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RNA sequencing reveals MMP2 and TGFB1 downregulation in LRRK2 G2019S Parkinson's iPSC-derived astrocytes.
Non-neuronal cell types such as astrocytes can contribute to Parkinson's disease (PD) pathology. The G2019S mutation in leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) is one of the most common known causes of familial PD. To characterize its effect on astrocytes, we developed a protocol to produce midbrain-patterned astrocytes from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from PD LRRK2 G2019S patients and healthy controls. RNA sequencing analysis revealed the downregulation of genes involved in the extracellular matrix in PD cases. In particular, transforming growth factor beta 1 (TGFB1), which has been shown to inhibit microglial inflammatory response in a rat model of PD, and matrix metallopeptidase 2 (MMP2), which has been shown to degrade α-synuclein aggregates, were found to be down-regulated in LRRK2 G2019S astrocytes. Our findings suggest that midbrain astrocytes carrying the LRRK2 G2019S mutation may have reduced neuroprotective capacity and may contribute to the development of PD pathology.
This paper arose from exhibitions in Oxford and Dublin and comprises three experiments which look at the relationship between anatomy and art. In the first experiment, a passport photograph, photographic portrait and portrait in oils, all of the same sitter, show how artistic input transforms anatomy from a mere likeness into works of art. In the second, the reverse is true, as computer techniques render idealized old master images anatomically accurate. The third experiment addresses the biomechanical consequences of anatomical variation and shows that vehicular design is based on mean body shapes, and so it is the average, rather than the idealized, form that is safer in a collision.
The mechanism of oxygen sensing in arterial chemoreceptors is unknown but has often been linked to mitochondrial function. A common criticism of this hypothesis is that mitochondrial function is insensitive to physiological levels of hypoxia. Here we investigate the effects of hypoxia (down to 0.5% O2) on mitochondrial function in neonatal rat type-1 cells. The oxygen sensitivity of mitochondrial [NADH] was assessed by monitoring autofluorescence and increased in hypoxia with a P50 of 15 mm Hg (1 mm Hg = 133.3 Pa) in normal Tyrode or 46 mm Hg in Ca(2+)-free Tyrode. Hypoxia also depolarised mitochondrial membrane potential (m, measured using rhodamine 123) with a P50 of 3.1, 3.3 and 2.8 mm Hg in normal Tyrode, Ca(2+)-free Tyrode and Tyrode containing the Ca(2+) channel antagonist Ni(2+), respectively. In the presence of oligomycin and low carbonyl cyanide 4-(trifluoromethoxy) phenylhydrazone (FCCP; 75 nm) m is maintained by electron transport working against an artificial proton leak. Under these conditions hypoxia depolarised m/inhibited electron transport with a P50 of 5.4 mm Hg. The effects of hypoxia upon cytochrome oxidase activity were investigated using rotenone, myxothiazol, antimycin A, oligomycin, ascorbate and the electron donor tetramethyl-p-phenylenediamine. Under these conditions m is maintained by complex IV activity alone. Hypoxia inhibited cytochrome oxidase activity (depolarised m) with a P50 of 2.6 mm Hg. In contrast hypoxia had little or no effect upon NADH (P50 = 0.3 mm Hg), electron transport or cytochrome oxidase activity in sympathetic neurons. In summary, type-1 cell mitochondria display extraordinary oxygen sensitivity commensurate with a role in oxygen sensing. The reasons for this highly unusual behaviour are as yet unexplained.
Auditory neurons encode stimulus history, which is often modelled using a span of time-delays in a spectro-temporal receptive field (STRF). We propose an alternative model for the encoding of stimulus history, which we apply to extracellular recordings of neurons in the primary auditory cortex of anaesthetized ferrets. For a linear-non-linear STRF model (LN model) to achieve a high level of performance in predicting single unit neural responses to natural sounds in the primary auditory cortex, we found that it is necessary to include time delays going back at least 200 ms in the past. This is an unrealistic time span for biological delay lines. We therefore asked how much of this dependence on stimulus history can instead be explained by dynamical aspects of neurons. We constructed a neural-network model whose output is the weighted sum of units whose responses are determined by a dynamic firing-rate equation. The dynamic aspect performs low-pass filtering on each unit's response, providing an exponentially decaying memory whose time constant is individual to each unit. We find that this dynamic network (DNet) model, when fitted to the neural data using STRFs of only 25 ms duration, can achieve prediction performance on a held-out dataset comparable to the best performing LN model with STRFs of 200 ms duration. These findings suggest that integration due to the membrane time constants or other exponentially-decaying memory processes may underlie linear temporal receptive fields of neurons beyond 25 ms.
Cardiovascular disease is the leading cause of death world-wide. It is increasingly recognised that cardiac pathologies show, or may even be caused by, changes in metabolism, leading to impaired cardiac energetics. The heart turns over 15 times its own weight in ATP every day and thus relies heavily on the availability of substrates and on efficient oxidation to generate this ATP. A number of old and emerging drugs that target different aspects of metabolism are showing promising results with regard to improved cardiac outcomes in patients. A non-invasive imaging technique that could assess the role of different aspects of metabolism in heart disease, as well as measure changes in cardiac energetics due to treatment, would be valuable in the routine clinical care of cardiac patients. Hyperpolarised magnetic resonance spectroscopy and imaging have revolutionised metabolic imaging, allowing real-time metabolic flux assessment in vivo for the first time. In this review we summarise metabolism in the healthy and diseased heart, give an introduction to the hyperpolarisation technique, 'dynamic nuclear polarisation' (DNP), and review the preclinical studies that have thus far explored healthy cardiac metabolism and different models of human heart disease. We furthermore show what advances have been made to translate this technique into the clinic, what technical challenges still remain and what unmet clinical needs and unexplored metabolic substrates still need to be assessed by researchers in this exciting and fast-moving field.
The long non-coding RNA Cerox1 is a post transcriptional regulator of mitochondrial complex I catalytic activity.
To generate energy efficiently, the cell is uniquely challenged to co-ordinate the abundance of electron transport chain protein subunits expressed from both nuclear and mitochondrial genomes. How an effective stoichiometry of this many constituent subunits is co-ordinated post-transcriptionally remains poorly understood. Here we show that Cerox1, an unusually abundant cytoplasmic long noncoding RNA (lncRNA), modulates the levels of mitochondrial complex I subunit transcripts in a manner that requires binding to microRNA-488-3p. Increased abundance of Cerox1 cooperatively elevates complex I subunit protein abundance and enzymatic activity, decreases reactive oxygen species production, and protects against the complex I inhibitor rotenone. Cerox1 function is conserved across placental mammals: human and mouse orthologues effectively modulate complex I enzymatic activity in mouse and human cells, respectively. Cerox1 is the first lncRNA demonstrated, to our knowledge, to regulate mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation and, with miR-488-3p, represent novel targets for the modulation of complex I activity.
Correction: Systemic administration of glibenclamide fails to achieve therapeutic levels in the brain and cerebrospinal fluid of rodents (PLoS ONE (2015) 10: 7 (e0134476) DOI: 10.1371/journal.pone.0134476)
© 2019 Lahmann et al. This is an open access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. The following information is missing from the Funding statement: We thank the European Research Council for funding (grant no. 322620 to FMA).
BACKGROUND: Meningiomas are generally slowly growing intracranial tumors. They are often incidentally diagnosed, given that symptoms may be absent even in cases of an enormous tumor size. Headache is a frequent but not consistent symptom. Therefore, we examined the association between structural, biochemical and histochemical tumor parameters with preoperative as well as postoperative occurrence of headache. METHODS: In our study, we prospectively investigated 69 consecutive patients enrolled for meningioma neurosurgery. Anatomical, histological and biochemical parameters were acquired, and headache parameters were registered from the clinical report and from a questionnaire filled by the patients before neurosurgery. The headache was re-evaluated one year after neurosurgery. The study was designed to exploratively investigate whether there is an association of acquired clinical and biological parameters with the occurrence of preoperative and postoperative headache. RESULTS: Edema diameter and the proliferation marker MIB-1 were negatively associated with the incidence and intensity of preoperative headache, while the content of prostaglandin E2 in the tumor tissue was positively associated with preoperative headache intensity. Headache was more prevalent when the meningioma was located in the area supplied by the ophthalmic trigeminal branch. Compared to preoperative headache levels, an overall reduction was observed one year postoperative, and patients with a larger tumor had a higher headache remission. In parietal and occipital meningiomas and in those with a larger edema, the percentage of the headache remission rate was higher compared to other locations or smaller edema. Multivariable analyses showed an involvement of substance P and prostaglandin E2 in preoperative headache. CONCLUSIONS: The study demonstrates new associations between meningiomas and headache. The postoperative headache outcome in the presented patient sample is encouraging for the performed neurosurgical intervention. These results should be tested in a prospective study that incorporates all patients with meningiomas.
A variety of FRET-based biosensors are currently in use for real-time monitoring of dynamic changes of intracellular cAMP. Due to differences in sensor properties, unique features of the cell type under examination and diverse specifications of the imaging setups in different laboratories, data generated using these sensors may not be immediately comparable within the same study or across studies. To facilitate comparison, often FRET data are normalized and expressed as fractional change of the maximal FRET response at sensor saturation. However, this approach may lead to misinterpretation of the underlying cAMP change. In this chapter, we provide examples of the problems that may arise when using normalized FRET data and present a method based on the conversion of FRET ratio changes into actual cAMP concentrations that mitigates these issues.
CTP synthase (CTPS), the rate-limiting enzyme in de novo CTP biosynthesis, has been demonstrated to assemble into evolutionarily conserved filamentous structures, termed cytoophidia, in Drosophila, bacteria, yeast and mammalian cells. However, the regulation and function of the cytoophidium remain elusive. Here, we provide evidence that the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway controls cytoophidium assembly in mammalian and Drosophila cells. In mammalian cells, we find that inhibition of mTOR pathway attenuates cytoophidium formation. Moreover, CTPS cytoophidium assembly appears to be dependent on the mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) mainly. In addition, knockdown of the mTORC1 downstream target S6K1 can inhibit cytoophidium formation, while overexpression of the constitutively active S6K1 reverses mTOR knockdown-induced cytoophidium disassembly. Finally, reducing mTOR protein expression results in a decrease of the length of cytoophidium in Drosophila follicle cells. Therefore, our study connects CTPS cytoophidium formation with the mTOR signaling pathway.
Angiogenesis, the fundamental process by which new blood vessels form from existing ones, depends on precise spatial and temporal gene expression within specific compartments of the endothelium. However, the molecular links between proangiogenic signals and downstream gene expression remain unclear. During sprouting angiogenesis, the specification of endothelial cells into the tip cells that lead new blood vessel sprouts is coordinated by vascular endothelial growth factor A (VEGFA) and Delta-like ligand 4 (Dll4)/Notch signaling and requires high levels of Notch ligand DLL4. Here, we identify MEF2 transcription factors as crucial regulators of sprouting angiogenesis directly downstream from VEGFA. Through the characterization of a Dll4 enhancer directing expression to endothelial cells at the angiogenic front, we found that MEF2 factors directly transcriptionally activate the expression of Dll4 and many other key genes up-regulated during sprouting angiogenesis in both physiological and tumor vascularization. Unlike ETS-mediated regulation, MEF2-binding motifs are not ubiquitous to all endothelial gene enhancers and promoters but are instead overrepresented around genes associated with sprouting angiogenesis. MEF2 target gene activation is directly linked to VEGFA-induced release of repressive histone deacetylases and concurrent recruitment of the histone acetyltransferase EP300 to MEF2 target gene regulatory elements, thus establishing MEF2 factors as the transcriptional effectors of VEGFA signaling during angiogenesis.
Venous endothelial cells are molecularly and functionally distinct from their arterial counterparts. Although veins are often considered the default endothelial state, genetic manipulations can modulate both acquisition and loss of venous fate, suggesting that venous identity is the result of active transcriptional regulation. However, little is known about this process. Here we show that BMP signalling controls venous identity via the ALK3/BMPR1A receptor and SMAD1/SMAD5. Perturbations to TGF-β and BMP signalling in mice and zebrafish result in aberrant vein formation and loss of expression of the venous-specific gene Ephb4, with no effect on arterial identity. Analysis of a venous endothelium-specific enhancer for Ephb4 shows enriched binding of SMAD1/5 and a requirement for SMAD binding motifs. Further, our results demonstrate that BMP/SMAD-mediated Ephb4 expression requires the venous-enriched BMP type I receptor ALK3/BMPR1A. Together, our analysis demonstrates a requirement for BMP signalling in the establishment of Ephb4 expression and the venous vasculature.
SoxF factors induce Notch1 expression via direct transcriptional regulation during early arterial development.
Arterial specification and differentiation are influenced by a number of regulatory pathways. While it is known that the Vegfa-Notch cascade plays a central role, the transcriptional hierarchy controlling arterial specification has not been fully delineated. To elucidate the direct transcriptional regulators of Notch receptor expression in arterial endothelial cells, we used histone signatures, DNaseI hypersensitivity and ChIP-seq data to identify enhancers for the human NOTCH1 and zebrafish notch1b genes. These enhancers were able to direct arterial endothelial cell-restricted expression in transgenic models. Genetic disruption of SoxF binding sites established a clear requirement for members of this group of transcription factors (SOX7, SOX17 and SOX18) to drive the activity of these enhancers in vivo Endogenous deletion of the notch1b enhancer led to a significant loss of arterial connections to the dorsal aorta in Notch pathway-deficient zebrafish. Loss of SoxF function revealed that these factors are necessary for NOTCH1 and notch1b enhancer activity and for correct endogenous transcription of these genes. These findings position SoxF transcription factors directly upstream of Notch receptor expression during the acquisition of arterial identity in vertebrates.
Pharmacological targeting of transcription factors holds great promise for the development of new therapeutics, but strategies based on blockade of DNA binding, nuclear shuttling, or individual protein partner recruitment have yielded limited success to date. Transcription factors typically engage in complex interaction networks, likely masking the effects of specifically inhibiting single protein-protein interactions. Here, we used a combination of genomic, proteomic and biophysical methods to discover a suite of protein-protein interactions involving the SOX18 transcription factor, a known regulator of vascular development and disease. We describe a small-molecule that is able to disrupt a discrete subset of SOX18-dependent interactions. This compound selectively suppressed SOX18 transcriptional outputs in vitro and interfered with vascular development in zebrafish larvae. In a mouse pre-clinical model of breast cancer, treatment with this inhibitor significantly improved survival by reducing tumour vascular density and metastatic spread. Our studies validate an interactome-based molecular strategy to interfere with transcription factor activity, for the development of novel disease therapeutics.