MAPK4 is an atypical MAPK. Currently, little is known about its physiological function and involvement in diseases, including cancer. A comprehensive analysis of 8887 gene expression profiles in The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) revealed that MAPK4 overexpression correlates with decreased overall survival, with particularly marked survival effects in patients with lung adenocarcinoma, bladder cancer, low-grade glioma, and thyroid carcinoma. Interestingly, human tumor MAPK4 overexpression also correlated with phosphorylation of AKT, 4E-BP1, and p70S6K, independent of the loss of PTEN or mutation of PIK3CA. This led us to examine whether MAPK4 activates the key metabolic, prosurvival, and proliferative kinase AKT and mTORC1 signaling, independent of the canonical PI3K pathway. We found that MAPK4 activated AKT via a novel, concerted mechanism independent of PI3K. Mechanistically, MAPK4 directly bound and activated AKT by phosphorylation of the activation loop at threonine 308. It also activated mTORC2 to phosphorylate AKT at serine 473 for full activation. MAPK4 overexpression induced oncogenic outcomes, including transforming prostate epithelial cells into anchorage-independent growth, and MAPK4 knockdown inhibited cancer cell proliferation, anchorage-independent growth, and xenograft growth. We concluded that MAPK4 can promote cancer by activating the AKT/mTOR signaling pathway and that targeting MAPK4 may provide a novel therapeutic approach for cancer.
Wei Wang, Tao Shen, Bingning Dong, Chad J. Creighton, Yanling Meng, Wolong Zhou, Qing Shi, Hao Zhou, Yinjie Zhang, David D. Moore, Feng Yang
Activation of the type 1 angiotensin II receptor (AT1) triggers proinflammatory signaling through pathways independent of classical Gq signaling that regulate vascular homeostasis. Here, we report that the AT1 receptor preformed a heteromeric complex with the receptor for advanced glycation endproducts (RAGE). Activation of the AT1 receptor by angiotensin II (Ang II) triggered transactivation of the cytosolic tail of RAGE and NF-κB–driven proinflammatory gene expression independently of the liberation of RAGE ligands or the ligand-binding ectodomain of RAGE. The importance of this transactivation pathway was demonstrated by our finding that adverse proinflammatory signaling events induced by AT1 receptor activation were attenuated when RAGE was deleted or transactivation of its cytosolic tail was inhibited. At the same time, classical homeostatic Gq signaling pathways were unaffected by RAGE deletion or inhibition. These data position RAGE transactivation by the AT1 receptor as a target for vasculoprotective interventions. As proof of concept, we showed that treatment with the mutant RAGE peptide S391A-RAGE362–404 was able to inhibit transactivation of RAGE and attenuate Ang II–dependent inflammation and atherogenesis. Furthermore, treatment with WT RAGE362–404 restored Ang II–dependent atherogenesis in Ager/Apoe-KO mice, without restoring ligand-mediated signaling via RAGE, suggesting that the major effector of RAGE activation was its transactivation.
Raelene J. Pickering, Christos Tikellis, Carlos J. Rosado, Despina Tsorotes, Alexandra Dimitropoulos, Monique Smith, Olivier Huet, Ruth M. Seeber, Rekhati Abhayawardana, Elizabeth K.M. Johnstone, Jonathan Golledge, Yutang Wang, Karin A. Jandeleit-Dahm, Mark E. Cooper, Kevin D.G. Pfleger, Merlin C. Thomas
Energy stress, such as ischemia, induces mitochondrial damage and death in the heart. Degradation of damaged mitochondria by mitophagy is essential for the maintenance of healthy mitochondria and survival. Here we show that mitophagy during myocardial ischemia was mediated predominantly through autophagy characterized by Rab9-associated autophagosomes, rather than the well-characterized form of autophagy that is dependent upon the Atg-conjugation system and LC3. This form of mitophagy played an essential role in protecting the heart against ischemia and was mediated by a protein complex consisting of Ulk1, Rab9, Rip1 and Drp1. This complex allowed recruitment of trans-Golgi membranes associated with Rab9 to damaged mitochondria through Ser179 phosphorylation of Rab9 by Ulk1 and Ser616 phosphorylation of Drp1 by Rip1. Knock-in of Rab9 (S179A) abolished mitophagy and exacerbated injury in response to myocardial ischemia without affecting conventional autophagy. Mitophagy mediated through the Ulk1-Rab9-Rip1-Drp1 pathway protected the heart against ischemia by maintaining healthy mitochondria.
Toshiro Saito, Jihoon Nah, Shin-ichi Oka, Risa Mukai, Yoshiya Monden, Yusuhiro Maejima, Yoshiyuki Ikeda, Sebastiano Sciarretta, Tong Liu, Hong Li, Erdene Baljinnyam, Diego Fraidenraich, Luke Fritzky, Peiyong Zhai, Shizuko Ichinose, Mitsuaki Isobe, Chiao-Po Hsu, Mondira Kundu, Junichi Sadoshima
Peroxisomes perform essential functions in lipid metabolism, including fatty acid oxidation and plasmalogen synthesis. Here, we describe a role for peroxisomal lipid metabolism in mitochondrial dynamics in brown and beige adipocytes. Adipose tissue peroxisomal biogenesis was induced in response to cold exposure through activation of the thermogenic co-regulator PRDM16. Adipose-specific knockout of the peroxisomal biogenesis factor Pex16 (Pex16-AKO) in mice impaired cold tolerance, decreased energy expenditure, and increased diet-induced obesity. Pex16 deficiency blocked cold-induced mitochondrial fission, decreased mitochondrial copy number, and caused mitochondrial dysfunction. Adipose-specific knockout of the peroxisomal beta-oxidation enzyme acyl CoA oxidase 1 (Acox1-AKO) was not sufficient to affect adiposity, thermogenesis or mitochondrial copy number, but knockdown of the plasmalogen synthetic enzyme glyceronephosphate O-acyltransferase (GNPAT) recapitulated the effects of Pex16 inactivation on mitochondrial morphology and function. Plasmalogens are present in mitochondria and decreased with Pex16 inactivation. Their dietary supplementation increased mitochondrial copy number, improved mitochondrial function, and rescued thermogenesis in Pex16-AKO mice. These findings support a surprising interaction between peroxisomes and mitochondria to regulate mitochondrial dynamics and thermogenesis.
Hongsuk Park, Anyuan He, Min Tan, Jordan M. Johnson, John M. Dean, Terri A. Pietka, Yali Chen, Xiangyu Zhang, Fong-Fu Hsu, Babak Razani, Katsuhiko Funai, Irfan J. Lodhi
Loss of phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) represents one hallmark of prostate cancer (PCa). However, restoration of PTEN or inhibition of the activated PI3K-AKT pathway has shown limited success, prompting us to identify obligate targets for disease intervention. We hypothesized that PTEN loss might expose cells to unique epigenetic vulnerabilities. Here, we identified a synthetic lethal relationship between PTEN and BRG1, an ATPase subunit of the SWI/SNF chromatin remodeling complex. Higher BRG1 expression in tumors with low PTEN expression was associated with a worse clinical outcome. Genetically engineered mice (GEMs) and organoid assays confirmed that ablation of PTEN sensitized the cells to BRG1 depletion. Mechanistically, PTEN loss stabilized BRG1 protein through the inhibition of the AKT-GSK3β-FBXW7 axis. Increased BRG1 expression in PTEN-deficient PCa cells led to chromatin remodeling into configurations that drive a protumorigenic transcriptome, causing cells to become further addicted to BRG1. Furthermore, we showed in preclinical models that BRG1 antagonist selectively inhibited the progression of PTEN-deficient prostate tumors. Together, our results highlight the synthetic lethal relationship between PTEN and BRG1, and support targeting BRG1 as an effective approach to the treatment of PTEN-deficient PCa.
Yufeng Ding, Ni Li, Baijun Dong, Wangxin Guo, Hui Wei, Qilong Chen, Huairui Yuan, Ying Han, Hanwen Chang, Shan Kan, Xuege Wang, Qiang Pan, Ping Wu, Chao Peng, Tong Qiu, Qintong Li, Dong Gao, Wei Xue, Jun Qin
Abnormal alternative splicing (AS) caused by alterations of splicing factors contributes to tumor progression. Serine/arginine splicing factor 1 (SRSF1) has emerged as a key oncodriver in numerous solid tumors, leaving its roles and mechanisms largely obscure in glioma. Herein we demonstrated that SRSF1 was increased in glioma tissues and cell lines. Moreover, its expression was correlated positively with tumor grade and Ki-67 index, but inversely with patients’ survival. Using RNA-seq, we comprehensively screened and identified multiple SRSF1-affected AS events. Motif analysis revealed a position-dependent modulation of AS by SRSF1 in glioma. Functionally, we verified that SRSF1 promoted cell proliferation, survival and invasion by specifically switching the AS of myosin IB (MYO1B) gene and facilitating the expression of the oncogenic and membrane-localized isoform, MYO1B-fl. Strikingly, MYO1B splicing was dysregulated in parallel with SRSF1 expression in gliomas, and predicted the poor prognosis of the patients. Further investigation revealed that SRSF1-guided AS of MYO1B gene increased the tumorigenic potentials of glioma cells through the PDK1/AKT and PAK/LIMK pathways. Taken together, we identify SRSF1 as an important oncodriver, which integrates the AS controlling of MYO1B into promotion of gliomagenesis, and represents a potential prognostic biomarker and target for glioma therapy.
Xuexia Zhou, Run Wang, Xuebing Li, Lin Yu, Dan Hua, Cuiyun Sun, Cuijuan Shi, Wenjun Luo, Chun Rao, Zhendong Jiang, Ying Feng, Qian Wang, Shizhu Yu
Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is a premature aging disorder characterized by accelerated cardiovascular disease with extensive fibrosis. It is caused by a mutation in LMNA leading to expression of truncated prelamin A (progerin) in the nucleus. To investigate the contribution of the endothelium to cardiovascular HGPS pathology, we generated an endothelium-specific HGPS mouse model with selective endothelial progerin expression. Transgenic mice develop interstitial myocardial and perivascular fibrosis and left ventricular hypertrophy associated with diastolic dysfunction and premature death. Endothelial cells show impaired shear stress response and reduced levels of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and NO. On the molecular level, progerin impairs nucleocytoskeletal coupling in endothelial cells through changes in mechanoresponsive components at the nuclear envelope, increased F-/G-actin ratios and deregulation of mechanoresponsive myocardin-related transcription factor-A (MRTFA). MRTFA binds to the Nos3 promoter reducing eNOS expression, thereby mediating a pro-fibrotic paracrine response in fibroblasts. MRTFA inhibition rescues eNOS levels and ameliorates the pro-fibrotic effect of endothelial cells in vitro. Although this murine model lacks the key anatomical feature of vascular smooth muscle cell loss seen in HGPS patients, our data show that progerin-induced impairment of mechanosignaling in endothelial cells contributes to excessive fibrosis and cardiovascular disease in HGPS patients.
Selma Osmanagic-Myers, Attila Kiss, Christina Manakanatas, Ouafa Hamza, Franziska Sedlmayer, Petra L. Szabo, Irmgard Fischer, Petra Fichtinger, Bruno K. Podesser, Maria Eriksson, Roland Foisner
Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is an autosomal dominant disease characterized by recurrent edema attacks associated with morbidity and mortality. HAE results from variations in the SERPING1 gene encoding C1 inhibitor (C1INH), a serine protease inhibitor (serpin). Reduced plasma levels of C1INH lead to enhanced activation of the contact system triggering high levels of bradykinin and increased vascular permeability, but the cellular mechanisms leading to low C1INH levels (20-30% of normal) in heterozygous HAE type I patients remain obscure. Here, we showed that C1INH encoded by a subset of HAE-causing SERPING1 alleles affected secretion of normal C1INH protein in a dominant negative fashion by triggering formation of protein-protein interactions between normal and mutant C1INH leading to creation of larger intracellular C1INH aggregates that were trapped in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Notably, intracellular aggregation of C1INH and ER abnormality were observed in fibroblasts from a heterozygous carrier of a dominant negative SERPING1 gene variant, but the condition was ameliorated by viral delivery of the SERPING1 gene. Collectively, our data link abnormal accumulation of serpins, a hallmark of serpinopathies, with dominant negative disease mechanisms affecting C1INH plasma levels in HAE type I patients and may pave the way for new treatments of HAE.
Didde Haslund, Laura Barrett Ryø, Sara Seidelin Majidi, Iben Kløvgaard Rose, Kristian Alsbjerg Skipper, Tue Fryland, Anja Bille Bohn, Claus Koch, Martin K. Thomsen, Yaseelan Palarasah, Thomas J. Corydon, Anette Bygum, Lene N. Nejsum, Jacob Giehm Mikkelsen
Aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) is a mitochondrial enzyme detoxifying acetaldehyde and endogenous lipid aldehydes; previous studies suggest a protective role of ALDH2 against cardiovascular disease (CVD). Around 40% of East Asians carrying a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) ALDH2 rs671 have increased incidences of CVD. However, the role of ALDH2 in CVD beyond alcohol consumption remains poorly defined. Here we report that ALDH2/LDLR DKO mice have decreased atherosclerosis compared to LDLR KO mice, whereas ALDH2/APOpoE DKO have increased atherosclerosis, suggesting an unexpected interaction of ALDH2 with LDLR. Further studies demonstrate that in the absence of LDLR, AMPK phosphorylates ALDH2 at threonine 356 and enables its nuclear translocation. Nuclear ALDH2 interacts with HDAC3 and represses transcription of a lysosomal proton pump protein ATP6Vv0Ee2, critical for maintaining lysosomal function, autophagy and degradation of oxLDL. Interestingly, an interaction of cytosolic LDLR C-terminus with AMPK blocks ALDH2 phosphorylation and subsequent nuclear translocation, whereas ALDH2 rs671 mutant in human macrophages attenuates this interaction, which releases ALDH2 to nucleus to suppress ATP6Vv0Ee2 expression, resulting in increased foam cells due to impaired lysosomal function. Our studies reveal a novel role of ALDH2 and LDLR in atherosclerosis and provide a molecular mechanism by which ALDH2 rs671 SNP increases CVD.
Shanshan Zhong, Luxiao Li, Yu-Lei Zhang, Lili Zhang, Jianhong Lu, Shuyuan Guo, Ningning Liang, Jing Ge, Mingjiang Zhu, Yongzhen Tao, Yun-Cheng Wu, Huiyong Yin
Mutations in CDCA7 and HELLS that respectively encode a CXXC-type zinc finger protein and a SNF2 family chromatin remodeler cause immunodeficiency, centromeric instability, facial anomalies (ICF) syndrome type 3 and 4, respectively. Here, we demonstrate that classical non-homologous end joining (C-NHEJ) proteins Ku80 and Ku70, as well as HELLS coimmunoprecipitated with CDCA7. The coimmunoprecipitation of the repair proteins was sensitive to nuclease treatment and an ICF3 mutation in CDCA7 that impairs its chromatin binding. The functional importance of these interactions was strongly suggested by the compromised C-NHEJ activity and significant delay in Ku80 accumulation at DNA damage sites in CDCA7 and HELLS deficient HEK293 cells. Consistent with the repair defect, these cells displayed increased apoptosis, abnormal chromosome segregation, aneuploidy, centrosome amplification, and significant accumulation of γH2AX signals. Although less prominent, cells mutated for the other ICF genes DNMT3B and ZBTB24 (responsible for ICF type 1 and 2, respectively) showed similar defects. Importantly, lymphoblastoid cells from ICF patients shared the same changes detected in the mutant HEK293 cells to varying degrees. Although the C-NHEJ defect alone did not cause CG hypomethylation, CDCA7 and HELLS are involved in maintaining CG methylation at centromeric and pericentromeric repeats. The defect in C-NHEJ may account for some common features of ICF cells, including centromeric instability, abnormal chromosome segregation, and apoptosis.
Motoko Unoki, Hironori Funabiki, Guillaume Velasco, Claire Francastel, Hiroyuki Sasaki
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