The FGF23 coreceptor αKlotho (αKL) is expressed as a membrane-bound protein (mKL) that forms heteromeric complexes with FGF receptors (FGFRs) to initiate intracellular signaling. It also circulates as an endoproteolytic cleavage product of mKL (cKL). Previously, a patient with increased plasma cKL as the result of a translocation [t(9;13)] in the αKLOTHO (KL) gene presented with rickets and a complex endocrine profile, including paradoxically elevated plasma FGF23, despite hypophosphatemia. The goal of this study was to test whether cKL regulates phosphate handling through control of FGF23 expression. To increase cKL levels, mice were treated with an adeno-associated virus producing cKL. The treated groups exhibited dose-dependent hypophosphatemia and hypocalcemia, with markedly elevated FGF23 (38 to 456 fold). The animals also manifested fractures, reduced bone mineral content, expanded growth plates, and severe osteomalacia, with highly increased bone Fgf23 mRNA (>150 fold). cKL activity in vitro was specific for interactions with FGF23 and was FGFR dependent. These results demonstrate that cKL potently stimulates FGF23 production in vivo, which phenocopies the KL translocation patient and metabolic bone syndromes associated with elevated FGF23. These findings have important implications for the regulation of αKL and FGF23 in disorders of phosphate handling and biomineralization.
Rosamund C. Smith, Linda M. O’Bryan, Emily G. Farrow, Lelia J. Summers, Erica L. Clinkenbeard, Jessica L. Roberts, Taryn A. Cass, Joy Saha, Carol Broderick, Y. Linda Ma, Qing Qiang Zeng, Alexei Kharitonenkov, Jonathan M. Wilson, Qianxu Guo, Haijun Sun, Matthew R. Allen, David B. Burr, Matthew D. Breyer, Kenneth E. White
Hyperprolactinemia is the most common cause of hypogonadotropic anovulation and is one of the leading causes of infertility in women aged 25–34. Hyperprolactinemia has been proposed to block ovulation through inhibition of GnRH release. Kisspeptin neurons, which express prolactin receptors, were recently identified as major regulators of GnRH neurons. To mimic the human pathology of anovulation, we continuously infused female mice with prolactin. Our studies demonstrated that hyperprolactinemia in mice induced anovulation, reduced GnRH and gonadotropin secretion, and diminished kisspeptin expression. Kisspeptin administration restored gonadotropin secretion and ovarian cyclicity, suggesting that kisspeptin neurons play a major role in hyperprolactinemic anovulation. Our studies indicate that administration of kisspeptin may serve as an alternative therapeutic approach to restore the fertility of hyperprolactinemic women who are resistant or intolerant to dopamine agonists.
Charlotte Sonigo, Justine Bouilly, Nadège Carré, Virginie Tolle, Alain Caraty, Javier Tello, Fabian-Jesus Simony-Conesa, Robert Millar, Jacques Young, Nadine Binart
Botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs) are zinc endopeptidases that block release of the neurotransmitter acetylcholine in neuromuscular synapses through cleavage of soluble N-ethylmaleimide-sensitive fusion (NSF) attachment protein receptor (SNARE) proteins, which promote fusion of synaptic vesicles to the plasma membrane. We designed and tested a BoNT-derived targeted secretion inhibitor (TSI) targeting pituitary somatotroph cells to suppress growth hormone (GH) secretion and treat acromegaly. This recombinant protein, called SXN101742, contains a modified GH-releasing hormone (GHRH) domain and the endopeptidase domain of botulinum toxin serotype D (GHRH-LHN/D, where HN/D indicates endopeptidase and translocation domain type D). In vitro, SXN101742 targeted the GHRH receptor and depleted a SNARE protein involved in GH exocytosis, vesicle-associated membrane protein 2 (VAMP2). In vivo, administering SXN101742 to growing rats produced a dose-dependent inhibition of GH synthesis, storage, and secretion. Consequently, hepatic IGF1 production and resultant circulating IGF1 levels were reduced. Accordingly, body weight, body length, organ weight, and bone mass acquisition were all decreased, reflecting the biological impact of SXN101742 on the GH/IGF1 axis. An inactivating 2–amino acid substitution within the zinc coordination site of the endopeptidase domain completely abolished SXN101742 inhibitory actions on GH and IGF1. Thus, genetically reengineered BoNTs can be targeted to nonneural cells to selectively inhibit hormone secretion, representing a new approach to treating hormonal excess.
Emmanuel Somm, Nicolas Bonnet, Alberto Martinez, Philip M.H. Marks, Verity A. Cadd, Mark Elliott, Audrey Toulotte, Serge L. Ferrari, René Rizzoli, Petra S. Hüppi, Elaine Harper, Shlomo Melmed, Richard Jones, Michel L. Aubert
Chronic kidney disease–mineral and bone disorder (CKD-MBD) is associated with secondary hyperparathyroidism (HPT) and serum elevations in the phosphaturic hormone FGF23, which may be maladaptive and lead to increased morbidity and mortality. To determine the role of FGF23 in the pathogenesis of CKD-MBD and development of secondary HPT, we developed a monoclonal FGF23 antibody to evaluate the impact of chronic FGF23 neutralization on CKD-MBD, secondary HPT, and associated comorbidities in a rat model of CKD-MBD. CKD-MBD rats fed a high-phosphate diet were treated with low or high doses of FGF23-Ab or an isotype control antibody. Neutralization of FGF23 led to sustained reductions in secondary HPT, including decreased parathyroid hormone, increased vitamin D, increased serum calcium, and normalization of bone markers such as cancellous bone volume, trabecular number, osteoblast surface, osteoid surface, and bone-formation rate. In addition, we observed dose-dependent increases in serum phosphate and aortic calcification associated with increased risk of mortality in CKD-MBD rats treated with FGF23-Ab. Thus, mineral disturbances caused by neutralization of FGF23 limited the efficacy of FGF23-Ab and likely contributed to the increased mortality observed in this CKD-MBD rat model.
Victoria Shalhoub, Edward M. Shatzen, Sabrina C. Ward, James Davis, Jennitte Stevens, Vivian Bi, Lisa Renshaw, Nessa Hawkins, Wei Wang, Ching Chen, Mei-Mei Tsai, Russell C. Cattley, Thomas J. Wronski, Xuechen Xia, Xiaodong Li, Charles Henley, Michael Eschenberg, William G. Richards
An interesting variant of familial glucocorticoid deficiency (FGD), an autosomal recessive form of adrenal failure, exists in a genetically isolated Irish population. In addition to hypocortisolemia, affected children show signs of growth failure, increased chromosomal breakage, and NK cell deficiency. Targeted exome sequencing in 8 patients identified a variant (c.71-1insG) in minichromosome maintenance–deficient 4 (MCM4) that was predicted to result in a severely truncated protein (p.Pro24ArgfsX4). Western blotting of patient samples revealed that the major 96-kDa isoform present in unaffected human controls was absent, while the presence of the minor 85-kDa isoform was preserved. Interestingly, histological studies with Mcm4-depleted mice showed grossly abnormal adrenal morphology that was characterized by non-steroidogenic GATA4- and Gli1-positive cells within the steroidogenic cortex, which reduced the number of steroidogenic cells in the zona fasciculata of the adrenal cortex. Since MCM4 is one part of a MCM2-7 complex recently confirmed as the replicative helicase essential for normal DNA replication and genome stability in all eukaryotes, it is possible that our patients may have an increased risk of neoplastic change. In summary, we have identified what we believe to be the first human mutation in MCM4 and have shown that it is associated with adrenal insufficiency, short stature, and NK cell deficiency.
Claire R. Hughes, Leonardo Guasti, Eirini Meimaridou, Chen-Hua Chuang, John C. Schimenti, Peter J. King, Colm Costigan, Adrian J.L. Clark, Louise A. Metherell
Glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1) circulates at low levels and acts as an incretin hormone, potentiating glucose-dependent insulin secretion from islet β cells. GLP-1 also modulates gastric emptying and engages neural circuits in the portal region and CNS that contribute to GLP-1 receptor–dependent (GLP-1R–dependent) regulation of glucose homeostasis. To elucidate the importance of pancreatic GLP-1R signaling for glucose homeostasis, we generated transgenic mice that expressed the human GLP-1R in islets and pancreatic ductal cells (Pdx1-hGLP1R:Glp1r–/– mice). Transgene expression restored GLP-1R–dependent stimulation of cAMP and Akt phosphorylation in isolated islets, conferred GLP-1R–dependent stimulation of β cell proliferation, and was sufficient for restoration of GLP-1–stimulated insulin secretion in perifused islets. Systemic GLP-1R activation with the GLP-1R agonist exendin-4 had no effect on food intake, hindbrain c-fos expression, or gastric emptying but improved glucose tolerance and stimulated insulin secretion in Pdx1-hGLP1R:Glp1r–/– mice. i.c.v. GLP-1R blockade with the antagonist exendin(9–39) impaired glucose tolerance in WT mice but had no effect in Pdx1-hGLP1R:Glp1r–/– mice. Nevertheless, transgenic expression of the pancreatic GLP-1R was sufficient to normalize both oral and i.p. glucose tolerance in Glp1r–/– mice. These findings illustrate that low levels of endogenous GLP-1 secreted from gut endocrine cells are capable of augmenting glucoregulatory activity via pancreatic GLP-1Rs independent of communication with neural pathways.
Benjamin J. Lamont, Yazhou Li, Edwin Kwan, Theodore J. Brown, Herbert Gaisano, Daniel J. Drucker
Cushing disease is a condition in which the pituitary gland releases excessive adrenocorticotropic hormone (ACTH) as a result of an adenoma arising from the ACTH-secreting cells in the anterior pituitary. ACTH-secreting pituitary adenomas lead to hypercortisolemia and cause significant morbidity and mortality. Pituitary-directed medications are mostly ineffective, and new treatment options are needed. As these tumors express EGFR, we tested whether EGFR might provide a therapeutic target for Cushing disease. Here, we show that in surgically resected human and canine corticotroph cultured tumors, blocking EGFR suppressed expression of proopiomelanocortin (POMC), the ACTH precursor. In mouse corticotroph EGFR transfectants, ACTH secretion was enhanced, and EGF increased Pomc promoter activity, an effect that was dependent on MAPK. Blocking EGFR activity with gefitinib, an EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitor, attenuated Pomc expression, inhibited corticotroph tumor cell proliferation, and induced apoptosis. As predominantly nuclear EGFR expression was observed in canine and human corticotroph tumors, we preferentially targeted EGFR to mouse corticotroph cell nuclei, which resulted in higher Pomc expression and ACTH secretion, both of which were inhibited by gefitinib. In athymic nude mice, EGFR overexpression enhanced the growth of explanted ACTH-secreting tumors and further elevated serum corticosterone levels. Gefitinib treatment decreased both tumor size and corticosterone levels; it also reversed signs of hypercortisolemia, including elevated glucose levels and excess omental fat. These results indicate that inhibiting EGFR signaling may be a novel strategy for treating Cushing disease.
Hidenori Fukuoka, Odelia Cooper, Anat Ben-Shlomo, Adam Mamelak, Song-Guang Ren, Dave Bruyette, Shlomo Melmed
Congenital hyperinsulinism (CHI) is the major cause of persistent neonatal hypoglycemia. CHI most often occurs due to mutations in the ABCC8 (which encodes sulfonylurea receptor 1) or KCNJ11 (which encodes the potassium channel Kir6.2) gene, which result in a lack of functional KATP channels in pancreatic β cells. Diffuse forms of CHI (DiCHI), in which all β cells are abnormal, often require subtotal pancreatectomy, whereas focal forms (FoCHI), which are characterized by localized hyperplasia of abnormal β cells, can be cured by resection of the lesion. Here, we characterized the in vitro kinetics of insulin secretion by pancreatic fragments from 6 DiCHI patients and by focal lesion and normal adjacent pancreas from 18 FoCHI patients. Responses of normal pancreas were similar to those reported for islets from adult organ donors. Compared with normal pancreas, basal insulin secretion was elevated in both FoCHI and DiCHI tissue. Affected tissues were heterogeneous in their secretory responses, with increased glucose levels often producing a rapid increase in insulin secretion that could be followed by a paradoxical decrease below prestimulatory levels. The KATP channel blocker tolbutamide was consistently ineffective in stimulating insulin secretion; conversely, the KATP channel activator diazoxide often caused an unanticipated increase in insulin secretion. These observed alterations in secretory behavior were similar in focal lesion and DiCHI tissue, and independent of the specific mutation in ABCC8 or KCNJ11. They cannot be explained by classic models of β cell function. Our results provide insight into the excessive and sometimes paradoxical changes in insulin secretion observed in CHI patients with inactivating mutations of KATP channels.
Jean-Claude Henquin, Myriam Nenquin, Christine Sempoux, Yves Guiot, Christine Bellanné-Chantelot, Timo Otonkoski, Pascale de Lonlay, Claire Nihoul-Fékété, Jacques Rahier
In rodents, acute brain insulin action reduces blood glucose levels by suppressing the expression of enzymes in the hepatic gluconeogenic pathway, thereby reducing gluconeogenesis and endogenous glucose production (EGP). Whether a similar mechanism is functional in large animals, including humans, is unknown. Here, we demonstrated that in canines, physiologic brain hyperinsulinemia brought about by infusion of insulin into the head arteries (during a pancreatic clamp to maintain basal hepatic insulin and glucagon levels) activated hypothalamic Akt, altered STAT3 signaling in the liver, and suppressed hepatic gluconeogenic gene expression without altering EGP or gluconeogenesis. Rather, brain hyperinsulinemia slowly caused a modest reduction in net hepatic glucose output (NHGO) that was attributable to increased net hepatic glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis. This was associated with decreased levels of glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) protein and mRNA and with decreased glycogen synthase phosphorylation, changes that were blocked by hypothalamic PI3K inhibition. Therefore, we conclude that the canine brain senses physiologic elevations in plasma insulin, and that this in turn regulates genetic events in the liver. In the context of basal insulin and glucagon levels at the liver, this input augments hepatic glucose uptake and glycogen synthesis, reducing NHGO without altering EGP.
Christopher J. Ramnanan, Viswanathan Saraswathi, Marta S. Smith, E. Patrick Donahue, Ben Farmer, Tiffany D. Farmer, Doss Neal, Philip E. Williams, Margaret Lautz, Andrea Mari, Alan D. Cherrington, Dale S. Edgerton
Nonthyroidal illness syndrome (NTIS) is a state of low serum 3,5,3′ triiodothyronine (T3) that occurs in chronically ill patients; the degree of reduction in T3 is associated with overall prognosis and survival. Iodothyronine deiodinases are enzymes that catalyze iodine removal from thyroid hormones; type I and II deiodinase (D1 and D2, respectively) convert the prohormone thyroxine T4 to active T3, whereas the type III enzyme (D3) inactivates T4 and T3. Increased production of cytokines, including IL-6, is a hallmark of the acute phase of NTIS, but the role of cytokines in altered thyroid hormone metabolism is poorly understood. Here, we measured the effect of IL-6 on both endogenous cofactor–mediated and dithiothreitol-stimulated (DTT-stimulated) cell sonicate deiodinase activities in human cell lines. Active T3 generation by D1 and D2 in intact cells was suppressed by IL-6, despite an increase in sonicate deiodinases (and mRNAs). N-acetyl-cysteine (NAC), an antioxidant that restores intracellular glutathione (GSH) concentrations, prevented the IL-6–induced inhibitory effect on D1- and D2-mediated T3 production, which suggests that IL-6 might function by depleting an intracellular thiol cofactor, perhaps GSH. In contrast, IL-6 stimulated endogenous D3–mediated inactivation of T3. Taken together, these results identify a single pathway by which IL-6–induced oxidative stress can reduce D1- and D2-mediated T4-to-T3 conversion as well as increasing D3-mediated T3 (and T4) inactivation, thus mimicking events during illness.
Simone Magagnin Wajner, Iuri Martin Goemann, Ana Laura Bueno, P. Reed Larsen, Ana Luiza Maia