Anatomy and Neuroscience - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 1034
Sorting nexin 27 couples PTHR trafficking to retromer for signal regulation in osteoblasts during bone growth.
(American Society for Cell Biology (ASCB), 2016-04-15)
The parathyroid hormone 1 receptor (PTHR) is central to the process of bone formation and remodeling. PTHR signaling requires receptor internalization into endosomes, which is then terminated by recycling or degradation. Here we show that sorting nexin 27 (SNX27) functions as an adaptor that couples PTHR to the retromer trafficking complex. SNX27 binds directly to the C-terminal PDZ-binding motif of PTHR, wiring it to retromer for endosomal sorting. The structure of SNX27 bound to the PTHR motif reveals a high-affinity interface involving conserved electrostatic interactions. Mechanistically, depletion of SNX27 or retromer augments intracellular PTHR signaling in endosomes. Osteoblasts genetically lacking SNX27 show similar disruptions in PTHR signaling and greatly reduced capacity for bone mineralization, contributing to profound skeletal deficits in SNX27-knockout mice. Taken together, our data support a critical role for SNX27-retromer mediated transport of PTHR in normal bone development.
Serotonin-induced vascular permeability is mediated by transient receptor potential vanilloid 4 in the airways and upper gastrointestinal tract of mice
Endothelial and epithelial cells form physical barriers that modulate the exchange of fluid and molecules. The integrity of these barriers can be influenced by signaling through G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) and ion channels. Serotonin (5-HT) is an important vasoactive mediator of tissue edema and inflammation. However, the mechanisms that drive 5-HT-induced plasma extravasation are poorly defined. The Transient Receptor Potential Vanilloid 4 (TRPV4) ion channel is an established enhancer of signaling by GPCRs that promote inflammation and endothelial barrier disruption. Here, we investigated the role of TRPV4 in 5-HT-induced plasma extravasation using pharmacological and genetic approaches. Activation of either TRPV4 or 5-HT receptors promoted significant plasma extravasation in the airway and upper gastrointestinal tract of mice. 5-HT-mediated extravasation was significantly reduced by pharmacological inhibition of the 5-HT2A receptor subtype, or with antagonism or deletion of TRPV4, consistent with functional interaction between 5-HT receptors and TRPV4. Inhibition of receptors for the neuropeptides substance P (SP) or calcitonin gene-related peptide (CGRP) diminished 5-HT-induced plasma extravasation. Supporting studies assessing treatment of HUVEC with 5-HT, CGRP, or SP was associated with ERK phosphorylation. Exposure to the TRPV4 activator GSK1016790A, but not 5-HT, increased intracellular Ca2+ in these cells. However, 5-HT pre-treatment enhanced GSK1016790A-mediated Ca2+ signaling, consistent with sensitization of TRPV4. The functional interaction was further characterized in HEK293 cells expressing 5-HT2A to reveal that TRPV4 enhances the duration of 5-HT-evoked Ca2+ signaling through a PLA2 and PKC-dependent mechanism. In summary, this study demonstrates that TRPV4 contributes to 5-HT2A-induced plasma extravasation in the airways and upper GI tract, with evidence supporting a mechanism of action involving SP and CGRP release.
Confronting COVID-19-associated cough and the post-COVID syndrome: role of viral neurotropism, neuroinflammation, and neuroimmune responses.
(Elsevier BV, 2021-05)
Cough is one of the most common presenting symptoms of COVID-19, along with fever and loss of taste and smell. Cough can persist for weeks or months after SARS-CoV-2 infection, often accompanied by chronic fatigue, cognitive impairment, dyspnoea, or pain-a collection of long-term effects referred to as the post-COVID syndrome or long COVID. We hypothesise that the pathways of neurotropism, neuroinflammation, and neuroimmunomodulation through the vagal sensory nerves, which are implicated in SARS-CoV-2 infection, lead to a cough hypersensitivity state. The post-COVID syndrome might also result from neuroinflammatory events in the brain. We highlight gaps in understanding of the mechanisms of acute and chronic COVID-19-associated cough and post-COVID syndrome, consider potential ways to reduce the effect of COVID-19 by controlling cough, and suggest future directions for research and clinical practice. Although neuromodulators such as gabapentin or opioids might be considered for acute and chronic COVID-19 cough, we discuss the possible mechanisms of COVID-19-associated cough and the promise of new anti-inflammatories or neuromodulators that might successfully target both the cough of COVID-19 and the post-COVID syndrome.
BET inhibition blocks inflammation-induced cardiac dysfunction and SARS-CoV-2 infection
(CELL PRESS, 2021-04-15)
Cardiac injury and dysfunction occur in COVID-19 patients and increase the risk of mortality. Causes are ill defined but could be through direct cardiac infection and/or inflammation-induced dysfunction. To identify mechanisms and cardio-protective drugs, we use a state-of-the-art pipeline combining human cardiac organoids with phosphoproteomics and single nuclei RNA sequencing. We identify an inflammatory "cytokine-storm", a cocktail of interferon gamma, interleukin 1β, and poly(I:C), induced diastolic dysfunction. Bromodomain-containing protein 4 is activated along with a viral response that is consistent in both human cardiac organoids (hCOs) and hearts of SARS-CoV-2-infected K18-hACE2 mice. Bromodomain and extraterminal family inhibitors (BETi) recover dysfunction in hCOs and completely prevent cardiac dysfunction and death in a mouse cytokine-storm model. Additionally, BETi decreases transcription of genes in the viral response, decreases ACE2 expression, and reduces SARS-CoV-2 infection of cardiomyocytes. Together, BETi, including the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) breakthrough designated drug, apabetalone, are promising candidates to prevent COVID-19 mediated cardiac damage.
Discovery of rare variants associated with blood pressure regulation through meta-analysis of 1.3 million individuals
(NATURE RESEARCH, 2020-11-23)
Genetic studies of blood pressure (BP) to date have mainly analyzed common variants (minor allele frequency > 0.05). In a meta-analysis of up to ~1.3 million participants, we discovered 106 new BP-associated genomic regions and 87 rare (minor allele frequency ≤ 0.01) variant BP associations (P < 5 × 10-8), of which 32 were in new BP-associated loci and 55 were independent BP-associated single-nucleotide variants within known BP-associated regions. Average effects of rare variants (44% coding) were ~8 times larger than common variant effects and indicate potential candidate causal genes at new and known loci (for example, GATA5 and PLCB3). BP-associated variants (including rare and common) were enriched in regions of active chromatin in fetal tissues, potentially linking fetal development with BP regulation in later life. Multivariable Mendelian randomization suggested possible inverse effects of elevated systolic and diastolic BP on large artery stroke. Our study demonstrates the utility of rare-variant analyses for identifying candidate genes and the results highlight potential therapeutic targets.
Biomedical and societal impacts of in vitro embryo models of mammalian development.
(Elsevier BV, 2021-05-11)
In recent years, a diverse array of in vitro cell-derived models of mammalian development have been described that hold immense potential for exploring fundamental questions in developmental biology, particularly in the case of the human embryo where ethical and technical limitations restrict research. These models open up new avenues toward biomedical advances in in vitro fertilization, clinical research, and drug screening with potential to impact wider society across many diverse fields. These technologies raise challenging questions with profound ethical, regulatory, and social implications that deserve due consideration. Here, we discuss the potential impacts of embryo-like models, and their biomedical potential and current limitations.
FGF-MAPK signaling regulates human deep-layer corticogenesis
(CELL PRESS, 2021-05-11)
Despite heterogeneity across the six layers of the mammalian cortex, all excitatory neurons are generated from a single founder population of neuroepithelial stem cells. However, how these progenitors alter their layer competence over time remains unknown. Here, we used human embryonic stem cell-derived cortical progenitors to examine the role of fibroblast growth factor (FGF) and Notch signaling in influencing cell fate, assessing their impact on progenitor phenotype, cell-cycle kinetics, and layer specificity. Forced early cell-cycle exit, via Notch inhibition, caused rapid, near-exclusive generation of deep-layer VI neurons. In contrast, prolonged FGF2 promoted proliferation and maintained progenitor identity, delaying laminar progression via MAPK-dependent mechanisms. Inhibiting MAPK extended cell-cycle length and led to generation of layer-V CTIP2+ neurons by repressing alternative laminar fates. Taken together, FGF/MAPK regulates the proliferative/neurogenic balance in deep-layer corticogenesis and provides a resource for generating layer-specific neurons for studying development and disease.
Loss of the long non-coding RNA OIP5-AS1 exacerbates heart failure in a sex-specific manner.
(Elsevier BV, 2021-06-25)
Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) have been demonstrated to influence numerous biological processes, being strongly implicated in the maintenance and physiological function of various tissues including the heart. The lncRNA OIP5-AS1 (1700020I14Rik/Cyrano) has been studied in several settings; however its role in cardiac pathologies remains mostly uncharacterized. Using a series of in vitro and ex vivo methods, we demonstrate that OIP5-AS1 is regulated during cardiac development in rodent and human models and in disease settings in mice. Using CRISPR, we engineered a global OIP5-AS1 knockout (KO) mouse and demonstrated that female KO mice develop exacerbated heart failure following cardiac pressure overload (transverse aortic constriction [TAC]) but male mice do not. RNA-sequencing of wild-type and KO hearts suggest that OIP5-AS1 regulates pathways that impact mitochondrial function. Thus, these findings highlight OIP5-AS1 as a gene of interest in sex-specific differences in mitochondrial function and development of heart failure.
Live-imaging of endothelial Erk activity reveals dynamic and sequential signalling events during regenerative angiogenesis
(ELIFE SCIENCES PUBLICATIONS LTD, 2021-05-18)
The formation of new blood vessel networks occurs via angiogenesis during development, tissue repair, and disease. Angiogenesis is regulated by intracellular endothelial signalling pathways, induced downstream of vascular endothelial growth factors (VEGFs) and their receptors (VEGFRs). A major challenge in understanding angiogenesis is interpreting how signalling events occur dynamically within endothelial cell populations during sprouting, proliferation, and migration. Extracellular signal-regulated kinase (Erk) is a central downstream effector of Vegf-signalling and reports the signalling that drives angiogenesis. We generated a vascular Erk biosensor transgenic line in zebrafish using a kinase translocation reporter that allows live-imaging of Erk-signalling dynamics. We demonstrate the utility of this line to live-image Erk activity during physiologically relevant angiogenic events. Further, we reveal dynamic and sequential endothelial cell Erk-signalling events following blood vessel wounding. Initial signalling is dependent upon Ca2+ in the earliest responding endothelial cells, but is independent of Vegfr-signalling and local inflammation. The sustained regenerative response, however, involves a Vegfr-dependent mechanism that initiates concomitantly with the wound inflammatory response. This work reveals a highly dynamic sequence of signalling events in regenerative angiogenesis and validates a new resource for the study of vascular Erk-signalling in real-time.
Zinc drives vasorelaxation by acting in sensory nerves, endothelium and smooth muscle
(NATURE RESEARCH, 2021-06-01)
Zinc, an abundant transition metal, serves as a signalling molecule in several biological systems. Zinc transporters are genetically associated with cardiovascular diseases but the function of zinc in vascular tone regulation is unknown. We found that elevating cytoplasmic zinc using ionophores relaxed rat and human isolated blood vessels and caused hyperpolarization of smooth muscle membrane. Furthermore, zinc ionophores lowered blood pressure in anaesthetized rats and increased blood flow without affecting heart rate. Conversely, intracellular zinc chelation induced contraction of selected vessels from rats and humans and depolarized vascular smooth muscle membrane potential. We demonstrate three mechanisms for zinc-induced vasorelaxation: (1) activation of transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 to increase calcitonin gene-related peptide signalling from perivascular sensory nerves; (2) enhancement of cyclooxygenase-sensitive vasodilatory prostanoid signalling in the endothelium; and (3) inhibition of voltage-gated calcium channels in the smooth muscle. These data introduce zinc as a new target for vascular therapeutics.
Reactive oxygen species in exercise and insulin resistance: Working towards personalized antioxidant treatment
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are well known for their role in insulin resistance and the development of cardiometabolic disease including type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D). Conversely, evidence supports the notion that ROS are a necessary component for glucose cell transport and adaptation to physiological stress including exercise and muscle contraction. Although genetic rodent models and cell culture studies indicate antioxidant treatment to be an effective strategy for targeting ROS to promote health, human findings are largely inconsistent. In this review we discuss human research that has investigated antioxidant treatment and glycemic control in the context of health (healthy individuals and during exercise) and disease (insulin resistance and T2D). We have identified key factors that are likely to influence the effectiveness of antioxidant treatment: 1) the context of treatment including whether oxidative distress or eustress is present (e.g., hyperglycemia/lipidaemia or during exercise and muscle contraction); 2) whether specific endogenous antioxidant deficiencies are identified (redox screening); 3) whether antioxidant treatment is specifically designed to target and restore identified deficiencies (antioxidant specificity); 4) and the bioavailability and bioactivity of the antioxidant which are influenced by treatment dose, duration, and method of administration. The majority of human research has failed to account for these factors, limiting their ability to robustly test the effectiveness of antioxidants for health promotion and disease prevention. We propose that a modern "redox screening" and "personalized antioxidant treatment" approach is required to robustly explore redox regulation of human physiology and to elicit more effective antioxidant treatment in humans.