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BACKGROUND/AIMS - The prostaglandin E (PGE) EP3 receptor has a multifaceted role in metabolism. Drugs targeting EP3 have been proposed as therapeutics for diabetes; however, studies utilizing global EP3 knockout mice suggest that EP3 blockade increases obesity and insulin resistance. The present studies attempt to determine the effect of acute EP3 antagonist treatment on the diabetic phenotype.
METHODS - DG-041 was confirmed to be a high affinity antagonist at the mouse EP3 receptor by competition radioligand binding and by blockade of EP3-mediated responses. DG-041 pharmacokinetic studies were performed to determine the most efficacious route of administration. Male C57BL/6 × BALB/c (CB6F1) mice were fed diets containing 10%, 45%, or 60% calories from fat to induce obesity. Changes to the metabolic phenotype in these mice were evaluated after one week treatment with DG-041.
RESULTS - Subcutaneous injections of DG-041 at 20 mg/kg blocked the sulprostone-evoked rise in mean arterial pressure confirming the efficacy of this administration regime. Seven day treatment with DG-041 had minimal effect on body composition or glycemic control. DG-041 administration caused a reduction in skeletal muscle triglyceride content while showing a trend toward increased hepatic triglycerides.
CONCLUSION - Short term EP3 administration of DG-041 produced effective blockade of the EP3 receptor and decreased skeletal muscle triglyceride content but had no significant effects on the diabetic phenotype.
Published by Elsevier Inc.
Beta-arrestin-1 and -2 (Barr1 and Barr2, respectively) are intracellular signaling molecules that regulate many important metabolic functions. We previously demonstrated that mice lacking Barr2 selectively in pancreatic beta-cells showed pronounced metabolic impairments. Here we investigated whether Barr1 plays a similar role in regulating beta-cell function and whole body glucose homeostasis. Initially, we inactivated the Barr1 gene in beta-cells of adult mice (beta-barr1-KO mice). Beta-barr1-KO mice did not display any obvious phenotypes in a series of in vivo and in vitro metabolic tests. However, glibenclamide and tolbutamide, two widely used antidiabetic drugs of the sulfonylurea (SU) family, showed greatly reduced efficacy in stimulating insulin secretion in the KO mice in vivo and in perifused KO islets in vitro. Additional in vivo and in vitro studies demonstrated that Barr1 enhanced SU-stimulated insulin secretion by promoting SU-mediated activation of Epac2. Pull-down and co-immunoprecipitation experiments showed that Barr1 can directly interact with Epac2 and that SUs such as glibenclamide promote Barr1/Epac2 complex formation, triggering enhanced Rap1 signaling and insulin secretion. These findings suggest that strategies aimed at promoting Barr1 signaling in beta-cells may prove useful for the development of efficacious antidiabetic drugs.
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) is responsible for a public health burden with multi-systemic complications. Through trans-ancestry meta-analysis of genome-wide association studies of estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) and independent replication (n = 1,046,070), we identified 264 associated loci (166 new). Of these, 147 were likely to be relevant for kidney function on the basis of associations with the alternative kidney function marker blood urea nitrogen (n = 416,178). Pathway and enrichment analyses, including mouse models with renal phenotypes, support the kidney as the main target organ. A genetic risk score for lower eGFR was associated with clinically diagnosed CKD in 452,264 independent individuals. Colocalization analyses of associations with eGFR among 783,978 European-ancestry individuals and gene expression across 46 human tissues, including tubulo-interstitial and glomerular kidney compartments, identified 17 genes differentially expressed in kidney. Fine-mapping highlighted missense driver variants in 11 genes and kidney-specific regulatory variants. These results provide a comprehensive priority list of molecular targets for translational research.
The unfolded protein response (UPR) detects and restores deficits in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) protein folding capacity. Ceapins specifically inhibit the UPR sensor ATF6α, an ER-tethered transcription factor, by retaining it at the ER through an unknown mechanism. Our genome-wide CRISPR interference (CRISPRi) screen reveals that Ceapins function is completely dependent on the ABCD3 peroxisomal transporter. Proteomics studies establish that ABCD3 physically associates with ER-resident ATF6α in cells and in vitro in a Ceapin-dependent manner. Ceapins induce the neomorphic association of ER and peroxisomes by directly tethering the cytosolic domain of ATF6α to ABCD3's transmembrane regions without inhibiting or depending on ABCD3 transporter activity. Thus, our studies reveal that Ceapins function by chemical-induced misdirection which explains their remarkable specificity and opens up new mechanistic routes for drug development and synthetic biology.
© 2019, Torres et al.
Cell-cycle checkpoints and DNA repair processes protect organisms from potentially lethal mutational damage. Compared to other budding yeasts in the subphylum Saccharomycotina, we noticed that a lineage in the genus Hanseniaspora exhibited very high evolutionary rates, low Guanine-Cytosine (GC) content, small genome sizes, and lower gene numbers. To better understand Hanseniaspora evolution, we analyzed 25 genomes, including 11 newly sequenced, representing 18/21 known species in the genus. Our phylogenomic analyses identify two Hanseniaspora lineages, a faster-evolving lineage (FEL), which began diversifying approximately 87 million years ago (mya), and a slower-evolving lineage (SEL), which began diversifying approximately 54 mya. Remarkably, both lineages lost genes associated with the cell cycle and genome integrity, but these losses were greater in the FEL. E.g., all species lost the cell-cycle regulator WHIskey 5 (WHI5), and the FEL lost components of the spindle checkpoint pathway (e.g., Mitotic Arrest-Deficient 1 [MAD1], Mitotic Arrest-Deficient 2 [MAD2]) and DNA-damage-checkpoint pathway (e.g., Mitosis Entry Checkpoint 3 [MEC3], RADiation sensitive 9 [RAD9]). Similarly, both lineages lost genes involved in DNA repair pathways, including the DNA glycosylase gene 3-MethylAdenine DNA Glycosylase 1 (MAG1), which is part of the base-excision repair pathway, and the DNA photolyase gene PHotoreactivation Repair deficient 1 (PHR1), which is involved in pyrimidine dimer repair. Strikingly, the FEL lost 33 additional genes, including polymerases (i.e., POLymerase 4 [POL4] and POL32) and telomere-associated genes (e.g., Repressor/activator site binding protein-Interacting Factor 1 [RIF1], Replication Factor A 3 [RFA3], Cell Division Cycle 13 [CDC13], Pbp1p Binding Protein [PBP2]). Echoing these losses, molecular evolutionary analyses reveal that, compared to the SEL, the FEL stem lineage underwent a burst of accelerated evolution, which resulted in greater mutational loads, homopolymer instabilities, and higher fractions of mutations associated with the common endogenously damaged base, 8-oxoguanine. We conclude that Hanseniaspora is an ancient lineage that has diversified and thrived, despite lacking many otherwise highly conserved cell-cycle and genome integrity genes and pathways, and may represent a novel, to our knowledge, system for studying cellular life without them.
Understanding the nature of the genetic regulation of gene expression promises to advance our understanding of the genetic basis of disease. However, the methodological impact of the use of local ancestry on high-dimensional omics analyses, including, most prominently, expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) mapping and trait heritability estimation, in admixed populations remains critically underexplored. Here, we develop a statistical framework that characterizes the relationships among the determinants of the genetic architecture of an important class of molecular traits. We provide a computationally efficient approach to local ancestry analysis in eQTL mapping while increasing control of type I and type II error over traditional approaches. Applying our method to National Institute of General Medical Sciences (NIGMS) and Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) datasets, we show that the use of local ancestry can improve eQTL mapping in admixed and multiethnic populations, respectively. We estimate the trait variance explained by ancestry by using local admixture relatedness between individuals. By using simulations of diverse genetic architectures and degrees of confounding, we show improved accuracy in estimating heritability when accounting for local ancestry similarity. Furthermore, we characterize the sparse versus polygenic components of gene expression in admixed individuals. Our study has important methodological implications for genetic analysis of omics traits across a range of genomic contexts, from a single variant to a prioritized region to the entire genome. Our findings highlight the importance of using local ancestry to better characterize the heritability of complex traits and to more accurately map genetic associations.
Copyright © 2019 American Society of Human Genetics. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The immune monocyte/phagocyte system (MPS) includes numerous cell subsets of the myeloid lineage including monocyte, macrophage, and dendritic cell (DC) populations that are heterogeneous both phenotypically and functionally. Previously, we characterized these diverse MPS phenotypes with multi-parametric mass cytometry (CyTOF). In order to expansively characterize monocytes, macrophages, and dendritic cells, a CyTOF panel was designed to measure 35 identity-, activation-, and polarization-markers. Here we provide a protocol to define a reference map for the myeloid compartment, including sample preparation, to produce reference cell subsets from the monocyte/phagocyte system. In particular, we focused on monocyte-derived macrophages that were further polarized in vitro with cytokine stimulation (i.e., M-CSF, GM-CSF, IL-4, IL-10, IFNγ, and LPS), as well as monocyte-derived DCs, and myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs), generated in vitro from human bone marrow and/or peripheral blood.
Atypical responses to tactile stimulation have been linked to core domains of dysfunction in individuals with autism spectrum disorder (ASD) and phenotypic traits associated with ASD in neurotypical individuals. We investigated (a) the extent to which two psychophysically derived measures of tactile sensitivity-detection threshold and dynamic range-relate to traits associated with ASD and (b) whether those relations vary according to the presence of self-reported sensory hypersensitivities in neurotypical individuals. A narrow dynamic range was associated with increased autism-related traits in individuals who reported greater sensory hypersensitivity. In contrast, in individuals less prone to sensory hypersensitivity, a narrow dynamic range was associated with reduced autism-related traits. Findings highlight the potential importance of considering dynamic psychophysical metrics in future studies.
Carbamazepine (CBZ) causes life-threating T-cell-mediated hypersensitivity reactions, including serious cutaneous adverse reactions (SCARs) and drug-induced liver injury (CBZ-DILI). In order to evaluate shared or phenotype-specific genetic predisposing factors for CBZ hypersensitivity reactions, we performed a meta-analysis of two genomewide association studies (GWAS) on a total of 43 well-phenotyped Northern and Southern European CBZ-SCAR cases and 10,701 population controls and a GWAS on 12 CBZ-DILI cases and 8,438 ethnically matched population controls. HLA-A*31:01 was identified as the strongest genetic predisposing factor for both CBZ-SCAR (odds ratio (OR) = 8.0; 95% CI 4.10-15.80; P = 1.2 × 10 ) and CBZ-DILI (OR = 7.3; 95% CI 2.47-23.67; P = 0.0004) in European populations. The association with HLA-A*31:01 in patients with SCAR was mainly driven by hypersensitivity syndrome (OR = 12.9; P = 2.1 × 10 ) rather than by Stevens-Johnson syndrome/toxic epidermal necrolysis cases, which showed an association with HLA-B*57:01. We also identified a novel risk locus mapping to ALK only for CBZ-SCAR cases, which needs replication in additional cohorts and functional evaluation.
© 2019 The Authors Clinical Pharmacology & Therapeutics published by Wiley Periodicals, Inc. on behalf of American Society for Clinical Pharmacology and Therapeutics.
BACKGROUND - Commercial genetic testing for long QT syndrome (LQTS) has rapidly expanded, but the inability to accurately predict whether a rare variant is pathogenic has limited its clinical benefit. Novel missense variants are routinely reported as variant of unknown significance (VUS) and cannot be used to screen family members at risk for sudden cardiac death. Better approaches to determine the pathogenicity of VUS are needed.
OBJECTIVE - The purpose of this study was to rapidly determine the pathogenicity of a CACNA1C variant reported by commercial genetic testing as a VUS using a patient-independent human induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) model.
METHODS - Using CRISPR/Cas9 genome editing, CACNA1C-p.N639T was introduced into a previously established hiPSC from an unrelated healthy volunteer, thereby generating a patient-independent hiPSC model. Three independent heterozygous N639T hiPSC lines were generated and differentiated into cardiomyocytes (CM). Electrophysiological properties of N639T hiPSC-CM were compared to those of isogenic and population control hiPSC-CM by measuring the extracellular field potential (EFP) of 96-well hiPSC-CM monolayers and by patch clamp.
RESULTS - Significant EFP prolongation was observed only in optically stimulated but not in spontaneously beating N639T hiPSC-CM. Patch-clamp studies revealed that N639T prolonged the ventricular action potential by slowing voltage-dependent inactivation of Ca1.2 currents. Heterologous expression studies confirmed the effect of N639T on Ca1.2 inactivation.
CONCLUSION - The patient-independent hiPSC model enabled rapid generation of functional data to support reclassification of a CACNA1C VUS to likely pathogenic, thereby establishing a novel LQTS type 8 mutation. Furthermore, our results indicate the importance of controlling beating rates to evaluate the functional significance of LQTS VUS in high-throughput hiPSC-CM assays.
Copyright © 2019 Heart Rhythm Society. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.