bims-bicyki Biomed News
on Bicaudal-C1 and interactors in cystic kidney disease
Issue of 2021‒08‒29
27 papers selected by
Céline Gagnieux
École Polytechnique Fédérale de Lausanne (EPFL)

  1. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Aug 20. pii: 9013. [Epub ahead of print]22(16):
      In autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD), kidney cyst growth requires the recruitment of CFTR (cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator), the chloride channel that is defective in cystic fibrosis. We have been studying cyst inflation using the zebrafish Kupffer's vesicle (KV) as model system because we previously demonstrated that knocking down polycystin 2 (PC2) induced a CFTR-mediated enlargement of the organ. We have now quantified the PC2 knockdown by showing that it causes a 73% reduction in the number of KV cilia expressing PC2. According to the literature, this is an essential event in kidney cystogenesis in ADPKD mice. Additionally, we demonstrated that the PC2 knockdown leads to a significant accumulation of CFTR-GFP at the apical region of the KV cells. Furthermore, we determined that KV enlargement is rescued by the injection of Xenopus pkd2 mRNA and by 100 µM tolvaptan treatment, the unique and approved pharmacologic approach for ADPKD management. We expected vasopressin V2 receptor antagonist to lower the cAMP levels of KV-lining cells and, thus, to inactivate CFTR. These findings further support the use of the KV as an in vivo model for screening compounds that may prevent cyst enlargement in this ciliopathy, through CFTR inhibition.
    Keywords:  Kupffer’s vesicle (KV); autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD); cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR); polycystin-2 (PC2)
  2. Trends Cell Biol. 2021 Aug 19. pii: S0962-8924(21)00149-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      Primary cilia are solitary, microtubule-based structures emanating from the surface of most vertebrate cells. Although it is understood that ciliary assembly and disassembly both depend upon and impact cell cycle progression, critical mechanistic details of these links remain unresolved. Accumulating evidence shows that the signaling pathways downstream of receptor tyrosine kinases and lysophosphatidic acid receptors control the dynamics of primary cilia. It has also become clear that primary cilia not only serve as signaling hubs but also regulate the composition of the surrounding membrane, which is likely to affect the response to growth factors. Here, we overview recent advances in understanding the interplay between primary cilia and the cell cycle, with a focus on growth factor signaling pathways.
    Keywords:  centrosome; lipid raft; lysophosphatidic acid; primary cilium; receptor tyrosine kinase
  3. J Cell Sci. 2021 Jan 15. pii: jcs249078. [Epub ahead of print]134(2):
      Cell-cell junction formation requires actin cytoskeletal remodeling. Here, we show that PLEKHG4B, a Rho-guanine nucleotide exchange factor (Rho-GEF), plays a crucial role in epithelial cell-cell junction formation. Knockdown of PLEKHG4B decreased Cdc42 activity and tended to increase RhoA activity in A549 cells. A549 monolayer cells showed 'closed junctions' with closely packed actin bundles along the cell-cell contacts, but PLEKHG4B knockdown suppressed closed junction formation, and PLEKHG4B-knockdown cells exhibited 'open junctions' with split actin bundles located away from the cell-cell boundary. In Ca2+-switch assays, PLEKHG4B knockdown delayed the conversion of open junctions to closed junctions and β-catenin accumulation at cell-cell junctions. Furthermore, PLEKHG4B knockdown abrogated the reduction in myosin activity normally seen in the later stage of junction formation. The aberrant myosin activation and impairments in closed junction formation in PLEKHG4B-knockdown cells were reverted by ROCK inhibition or LARG/PDZ-RhoGEF knockdown. These results suggest that PLEKHG4B enables actin remodeling during epithelial cell-cell junction maturation, probably by reducing myosin activity in the later stage of junction formation, through suppressing LARG/PDZ-RhoGEF and RhoA-ROCK pathway activities. We also showed that annexin A2 participates in PLEKHG4B localization to cell-cell junctions. This article has an associated First Person interview with the first author of the paper.
    Keywords:  Actin organization; Annexin-A2; Cell adhesion; Myosin; PLEKHG4B; Rho-GEF
  4. Methods Mol Biol. 2021 ;2293 91-103
      Correlative light and electron microscopy (CLEM) enables determination of high-resolution structural information for proteins of interest within their biological context through the combination of electron and fluorescence microscopies. Numerous electron microscopy (EM) studies of primary cilia have provided ultrastructural details about these antennal-like organelles that extend from the surface of the cell. The core structure of the cilium includes a microtubule-based axoneme, a basal body derived from the mother centriole, and the ciliary membrane, which is connected to the plasma membrane. The small GTPase Rab8 localizes to the ciliary membrane and is important for ciliogenesis, and Rab11 transports the Rab8 guanine nucleotide exchange factor (GEF) Rabin8 to the mother centriole to activate Rab8-dependent ciliary membrane growth. Some primary cilia have a ciliary pocket membrane (CPM) which is observed as an involution from the plasma membrane to the base of the cilia membrane. The Rab11- and Rab8-assocaited membrane trafficking regulator Eps15 Homology Domain-containing protein 1 (EHD1) and EHD3 also function in early stages of ciliogenesis; however, they localize to the CPM. These ciliary localizations of Rab8 and EHD1 can be resolved using CLEM with conventional fluorescence microscopy and transmission electron microscopy (TEM) imaging. Here, we describe in detail the protocol for this CLEM method applicable for ciliary proteins and proteins in other cellular organelles.
    Keywords:  Centriole; Cilia; Ciliary pocket membrane; Ciliogenesis; Confocal microscopy; Correlative light and electron microscopy; Electron microscopy; Membrane trafficking; Rab GTPase
  5. Int J Cardiovasc Imaging. 2021 Aug 26.
      Subclinical atherosclerosis and cardiovascular events are common even in young normotensive patients with autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease (ADPKD). Our aim was to examine the relationship between serum fibroblast growth factor-23 (FGF-23) levels, left ventricular global longitudinal strain (LV-GLS), arterial stiffness (AS), and carotid intima-media thickness (CIMT) in patients with ADPKD with preserved kidney function. The relationship between albuminuria, AS, LV-GLS, CIMT, 24-hour ambulatory blood pressure measurement, and FGF-23 was examined in 52 normotensive and hypertensive patients with ADPKD and a matched control group of 35 subjects. AS was assesed with brachial-ankle pulse wave velocity, LV-GLS was measured with speckle-tracking echocardiography. FGF-23 was measured with enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. The microalbumin/creatinine ratio was significantly higher in the ADPKD group than in the control group (p?<?0.001). Serum FGF-23 levels were similar between the study and control group. LV-GLS value tended to be impaired and CIMT to be higher in the ADPKD group compared to controls (?18.1?±?2.6 vs. -19.4?±?3.1?%, p?=?0.08; 0.75?±?0.1 vs. 0.68?±?0.1 mm, p?=?0.09, respectively). The augmentation index was significantly higher in the ADPKD group than in the control group (26.2?±?12.5 vs. 16.4?±?11.2 mmHg/mmHg, p?=?0.01). Our study supports subclinical impairment in arterial and cardiac functions in the early period of ADPKD. However, none of these factors was found to be associated with serum FGF-23 levels.
    Keywords:  Arterial stiffness; Carotid intima-media; Global longitudinal strain; Polycystic kidney
  6. Open Biol. 2021 Aug;11(8): 210130
      Primary cilia, antenna-like structures of the plasma membrane, detect various extracellular cues and transduce signals into the cell to regulate a wide range of functions. Lipid rafts, plasma membrane microdomains enriched in cholesterol, sphingolipids and specific proteins, are also signalling hubs involved in a myriad of physiological functions. Although impairment of primary cilia and lipid rafts is associated with various diseases, the relationship between primary cilia and lipid rafts is poorly understood. Here, we review a newly discovered interaction between primary cilia and lipid raft dynamics that occurs during Akt signalling in adipogenesis. We also discuss the relationship between primary cilia and lipid raft-mediated Akt signalling in cancer biology. This review provides a novel perspective on primary cilia in the regulation of lipid raft dynamics.
    Keywords:  Akt; adipogenesis; cancer; lipid raft dynamics; primary cilia
  7. J Ren Nutr. 2021 Aug 21. pii: S1051-2276(21)00182-5. [Epub ahead of print]
      OBJECTIVE: The objective of this study was to determine the level of agreement between 3-day food records obtained as part of clinical care with 24-hour urine collections specifically assessing sodium, potassium, phosphorus, calcium, protein, and fluid intake.DESIGN AND METHODS: Data were collected from patients at a nephrology clinic in a metropolitan, academic medical center. Patients who completed both a 3-day food record and a 24-hour urine collection were analyzed. Food record and urine collection measurements were compared using a simple ratio, Pearson's correlation, and general linear models.
    RESULTS: Patients (n = 85) were 47.9 ± 15.2 years of age, 54% were female, with a mean serum creatinine of 1.3 ± 0.7 mg/dL and estimated glomerular filtration rate of 64.2 ± 25.6 mL/min. Patients had autosomal-dominant polycystic kidney disease (48.2%), nephrolithiasis (31.1%), chronic kidney disease (4.7%), or other genetic or cystic conditions impacting the kidney (12.9%). Nutrient intake was measured utilizing a 3-day food record. Food records and urine collections were compared using the values, correlations, and general linear models. Fluid intake demonstrated the highest agreement (ratio 1.01) and calcium demonstrated the least agreement (ratio 6.30). Significant correlations were demonstrated for phosphorus (r = 0.321, P = .003), magnesium (r = 0.256, P = .018), protein (r = 0.555, P < .000), and fluid (r = 0.277, P = .010) intake. Food record intake of potassium (P = .046), protein (P = .004), and fluid (P = .010) were significant predictors of 24-hour urine excretion.
    CONCLUSION: 3-day food records are useful tools to determine patient dietary patterns, but should be used with caution when assessing specific nutrient intake in clinical settings.
  8. Diagnostics (Basel). 2021 Jul 29. pii: 1363. [Epub ahead of print]11(8):
      The ciliary ultrastructure can be damaged in various situations. Such changes include primary defects found in primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) and secondary defects developing in secondary ciliary dyskinesia (SCD). PCD is a genetic disease resulting from impaired ciliary motility causing chronic disease of the respiratory tract. SCD is an acquired condition that can be caused, for example, by respiratory infection or exposure to tobacco smoke. The diagnosis of these diseases is a complex process with many diagnostic methods, including the evaluation of ciliary ultrastructure using transmission electron microscopy (the golden standard of examination). Our goal was to create a program capable of automatic quantitative analysis of the ciliary ultrastructure, determining the ratio of primary and secondary defects, as well as analysis of the mutual orientation of cilia in the ciliary border. PCD Quant, a program developed for the automatic quantitative analysis of cilia, cannot yet be used as a stand-alone method for evaluation and provides limited assistance in classifying primary and secondary defect classes and evaluating central pair angle deviations. Nevertheless, we see great potential for the future in automatic analysis of the ciliary ultrastructure.
    Keywords:  automatic analysis; cilia; primary ciliary dyskinesia; secondary ciliary dyskinesia
  9. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Aug 04. pii: 8361. [Epub ahead of print]22(16):
      Zebrafish is a vertebrate teleost widely used in many areas of research. As embryos, they develop quickly and provide unique opportunities for research studies owing to their transparency for at least 48 h post fertilization. Zebrafish have many ciliated organs that include primary cilia as well as motile cilia. Using zebrafish as an animal model helps to better understand human diseases such as Primary Ciliary Dyskinesia (PCD), an autosomal recessive disorder that affects cilia motility, currently associated with more than 50 genes. The aim of this study was to validate zebrafish motile cilia, both in mono and multiciliated cells, as organelles for PCD research. For this purpose, we obtained systematic high-resolution data in both the olfactory pit (OP) and the left-right organizer (LRO), a superficial organ and a deep organ embedded in the tail of the embryo, respectively. For the analysis of their axonemal ciliary structure, we used conventional transmission electron microscopy (TEM) and electron tomography (ET). We characterised the wild-type OP cilia and showed, for the first time in zebrafish, the presence of motile cilia (9 + 2) in the periphery of the pit and the presence of immotile cilia (still 9 + 2), with absent outer dynein arms, in the centre of the pit. In addition, we reported that a central pair of microtubules in the LRO motile cilia is common in zebrafish, contrary to mouse embryos, but it is not observed in all LRO cilia from the same embryo. We further showed that the outer dynein arms of the microtubular doublet of both the OP and LRO cilia are structurally similar in dimensions to the human respiratory cilia at the resolution of TEM and ET. We conclude that zebrafish is a good model organism for PCD research but investigators need to be aware of the specific physical differences to correctly interpret their results.
    Keywords:  animal model; electron tomography; left–right organizer; motile cilia; olfactory pit; transmission electron microscopy; zebrafish
  10. Cells. 2021 Jul 25. pii: 1885. [Epub ahead of print]10(8):
      Although ubiquitously present, the relevance of cilia for vertebrate development and health has long been underrated. However, the aberration or dysfunction of ciliary structures or components results in a large heterogeneous group of disorders in mammals, termed ciliopathies. The majority of human ciliopathy cases are caused by malfunction of the ciliary dynein motor activity, powering retrograde intraflagellar transport (enabled by the cytoplasmic dynein-2 complex) or axonemal movement (axonemal dynein complexes). Despite a partially shared evolutionary developmental path and shared ciliary localization, the cytoplasmic dynein-2 and axonemal dynein functions are markedly different: while cytoplasmic dynein-2 complex dysfunction results in an ultra-rare syndromal skeleto-renal phenotype with a high lethality, axonemal dynein dysfunction is associated with a motile cilia dysfunction disorder, primary ciliary dyskinesia (PCD) or Kartagener syndrome, causing recurrent airway infection, degenerative lung disease, laterality defects, and infertility. In this review, we provide an overview of ciliary dynein complex compositions, their functions, clinical disease hallmarks of ciliary dynein disorders, presumed underlying pathomechanisms, and novel developments in the field.
    Keywords:  cilium; dynein; intraflagellar transport; primary ciliary dyskinesia; short rib polydactyly syndrome
  11. Sci Rep. 2021 Aug 26. 11(1): 17220
      Primary cilia protrude from the apical surface of many cell types and act as a sensory organelle that regulates diverse biological processes ranging from chemo- and mechanosensation to signaling. Ciliary dysfunction is associated with a wide array of genetic disorders, known as ciliopathies. Polycystic lesions are commonly found in the kidney, liver, and pancreas of ciliopathy patients and mouse models. However, the pathogenesis of the pancreatic phenotype remains poorly understood. Chibby1 (Cby1), a small conserved coiled-coil protein, localizes to the ciliary base and plays a crucial role in ciliogenesis. Here, we report that Cby1-knockout (KO) mice develop severe exocrine pancreatic atrophy with dilated ducts during early postnatal development. A significant reduction in the number and length of cilia was observed in Cby1-KO pancreta. In the adult Cby1-KO pancreas, inflammatory cell infiltration and fibrosis were noticeable. Intriguingly, Cby1-KO acinar cells showed an accumulation of zymogen granules (ZGs) with altered polarity. Moreover, isolated acini from Cby1-KO pancreas exhibited defective ZG secretion in vitro. Collectively, our results suggest that, upon loss of Cby1, concomitant with ciliary defects, acinar cells accumulate ZGs due to defective exocytosis, leading to cell death and progressive exocrine pancreatic degeneration after birth.
  12. J Cell Mol Med. 2021 Aug 27.
      Retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) is a highly polarized epithelial monolayer lying between the photoreceptor layer and the Bruch membrane. It is essential for vision through participating in many critical activities, including phagocytosis of photoreceptor outer segments, recycling the visual cycle-related compounds, forming a barrier to control the transport of nutrients, ions, and water, and the removal of waste. Primary cilia are conservatively present in almost all the vertebrate cells and acts as a sensory organelle to control tissue development and homeostasis maintenance. Numerous studies reveal that abnormalities in RPE lead to various retinal diseases, such as age-related macular degeneration and diabetic macular oedema, but the mechanism of primary cilia in these physiological and pathological activities remains to be elucidated. Herein, we summarize the functions of primary cilia in the RPE development and the mutations of ciliary genes identified in RPE-related diseases. By highlighting the significance of primary cilia in regulating the physiological and pathological processes of RPE, we aim to provide novel insights for the treatment of RPE-related retinal diseases.
    Keywords:  barrier; development; primary cilium; retinal disease; retinal pigment epithelium
  13. Molecules. 2021 Aug 05. pii: 4747. [Epub ahead of print]26(16):
      KD025, a ROCK2 isoform-specific inhibitor, has an anti-adipogenic activity which is not mediated by ROCK2 inhibition. To identify the target, we searched binding targets of KD025 by using the KINOMEscanTM screening platform, and we identified casein kinase 2 (CK2) as a novel target. KD025 showed comparable binding affinity to CK2α (Kd = 128 nM). By contrast, CK2 inhibitor CX-4945 and ROCK inhibitor fasudil did not show such cross-reactivity. In addition, KD025 effectively inhibited CK2 at a nanomolar concentration (IC50 = 50 nM). We examined if the inhibitory effect of KD025 on adipocyte differentiation is through the inhibition of CK2. Both CX-4945 and KD025 suppressed the generation of lipid droplets and the expression of proadipogenic genes Pparg and Cebpa in 3T3-L1 cells during adipocyte differentiation. Fasudil exerted no significant effect on the quantity of lipid droplets, but another ROCK inhibitor Y-27632 increased the expression of Pparg and Cebpa. Both CX-4945 and KD025 acted specifically in the middle stage (days 1-3) but were ineffective when treated at days 0-1 or the late stages, indicating that CX-4945 and KD025 may regulate the same target, CK2. The mRNA and protein levels of CK2α and CK2β generally decreased in 3T3-L1 cells at day 2 but recovered thereafter. Other well-known CK2 inhibitors DMAT and quinalizarin inhibited effectively the differentiation of 3T3-L1 cells. Taken together, the results of this study confirmed that KD025 inhibits ROCK2 and CK2, and that the inhibitory effect on adipocyte differentiation is through the inhibition of CK2.
    Keywords:  CK2; KD025; ROCK2; adipocyte differentiation; belumosudil; casein kinase
  14. Cells. 2021 Jul 29. pii: 1927. [Epub ahead of print]10(8):
      The diurnal phagocytosis of spent photoreceptor outer segment fragments (POS) by retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells is essential for visual function. POS internalization by RPE cells requires the assembly of F-actin phagocytic cups beneath surface-tethered POS and Mer tyrosine kinase (MerTK) signaling. The activation of the Rho family GTPase Rac1 is necessary for phagocytic cup formation, and Rac1 is activated normally in MerTK-deficient RPE. We show here that mutant RPE lacking MerTK and wild-type RPE deprived of MerTK ligand both fail to form phagocytic cups regardless of Rac1 activation. However, in wild-type RPE in vivo, a decrease in RhoA activity coincides with the daily phagocytosis burst, while RhoA activity in MerTK-deficient RPE is constant. Elevating RhoA activity blocks phagocytic cup formation and phagocytosis by wild-type RPE. Conversely, inhibiting RhoA effector Rho kinases (ROCKs) rescues both F-actin assembly and POS internalization of primary RPE if MerTK or its ligand are lacking. Most strikingly, acute ROCK inhibition is sufficient to induce the formation and acidification of endogenous POS phagosomes by MerTK-deficient RPE ex vivo. Altogether, RhoA pathway inactivation is a necessary and sufficient downstream effect of MerTK phagocytic signaling such that the acute manipulation of cytosolic ROCK activity suffices to restore phagocytic capacity to MerTK-deficient RPE.
    Keywords:  F-actin; MerTK; ROCK; RhoA; TAM receptors; phagocytosis; retinal pigment epithelium
  15. Curr Biol. 2021 Aug 18. pii: S0960-9822(21)01053-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Centrioles are structurally conserved organelles, composing both centrosomes and cilia. In animal cycling cells, centrioles often form through a highly characterized process termed canonical duplication. However, a large diversity of eukaryotes assemble centrioles de novo through uncharacterized pathways. This unexplored diversity is key to understanding centriole assembly mechanisms and how they evolved to assist specific cellular functions. Here, we show that, during spermatogenesis of the bryophyte Physcomitrium patens, centrioles are born as a co-axially oriented centriole pair united by a cartwheel. Interestingly, we observe that these centrioles are twisted in opposite orientations. Microtubules emanate from the bicentrioles, which localize to the spindle poles during cell division. After their separation, the two resulting sister centrioles mature asymmetrically, elongating specific microtubule triplets and a naked cartwheel. Subsequently, two motile cilia are assembled that appear to alternate between different motility patterns. We further show that centriolar components SAS6, Bld10, and POC1, which are conserved across eukaryotes, are expressed during spermatogenesis and required for this de novo biogenesis pathway. Our work supports a scenario where centriole biogenesis, while driven by conserved molecular modules, is more diverse than previously thought.
    Keywords:  Bld10/Cep135; P. patens; POC1; SAS6; bicentriole; cartwheel; centriole; cilia; de novo; sperm
  16. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Aug 18. pii: 8875. [Epub ahead of print]22(16):
      CILK1 (ciliogenesis associated kinase 1)/ICK (intestinal cell kinase) is a highly conserved protein kinase that regulates primary cilia structure and function. CILK1 mutations cause a wide spectrum of human diseases collectively called ciliopathies. While several CILK1 heterozygous variants have been recently linked to juvenile myoclonic epilepsy (JME), it remains unclear whether these mutations cause seizures. Herein, we investigated whether mice harboring either a heterozygous null Cilk1 (Cilk1+/-) mutation or a heterozygous loss-of-function Cilk1 mutation (Cilk1R272Q/+) have epilepsy. We first evaluated the spontaneous seizure phenotype of Cilk1+/- and Cilk1R272Q/+ mice relative to wildtype littermates. We observed no electrographic differences among the three mouse genotypes during prolonged recordings. We also evaluated electrographic and behavioral responses of mice recovering from isoflurane anesthesia, an approach recently used to measure seizure-like activity. Again, we observed no electrographic or behavioral differences in control versus Cilk1+/- and Cilk1R272Q/+ mice upon isoflurane recovery. These results indicate that mice bearing a non-functional copy of Cilk1 fail to produce electrographic patterns resembling those of JME patients with a variant CILK1 copy. Our findings argue against CILK1 haploinsufficiency being the mechanism that links CILK1 variants to JME.
    Keywords:  ciliopathy; epilepsy; kinase; opisthotonos; primary cilium; seizure
  17. Antioxidants (Basel). 2021 Aug 13. pii: 1284. [Epub ahead of print]10(8):
      Primary cilia (PC) are microtubule-based protrusions of the cell membrane transducing molecular signals during brain development. Here, we report that PC are required for maintenance of Substantia nigra (SN) dopaminergic (DA) neurons highly vulnerable in Parkinson's disease (PD). Targeted blockage of ciliogenesis in differentiated DA neurons impaired striato-nigral integrity in adult mice. The relative number of SN DA neurons displaying a typical auto-inhibition of spontaneous activity in response to dopamine was elevated under control metabolic conditions, but not under metabolic stress. Strikingly, in the absence of PC, the remaining SN DA neurons were less vulnerable to the PD neurotoxin 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridin (MPTP). Our data indicate conserved PC-dependent neuroadaptive responses to DA lesions in the striatum. Moreover, PC control the integrity and dopamine response of a subtype of SN DA neurons. These results reinforce the critical role of PC as sensors of metabolic stress in PD and other disorders of the dopamine system.
    Keywords:  D2-autoreceptor; dopamine; intraflagellary protein; multielecotrode arrays (MEA); pacemaker; primary cilium; striatum; substantia nigra
  18. Case Rep Transplant. 2021 ;2021 6711155
      Renal transplantation is the gold standard treatment for patients with end-stage renal disease (ESRD) as it demonstrates improved long-term survival compared to patients who remain on renal replacement therapy. The widening gap between the demand and supply of organs warrants the expansion of donor criteria for renal transplantation. Kidneys with multiple cysts are often rejected for transplantation. Here, we present our recent experience of a 72-year-old patient with ESRD due to a biopsy-proven diabetic nephropathy who received a deceased donor kidney with adult polycystic kidney disease (APKD). At 31-month posttransplant, he had a serum creatinine of 1.6 mg/dL. Deceased donors affected by APKD should be considered an acceptable option for successful renal transplantation in select recipients, as well as an alternative kidney source to increase the donor pool.
  19. J Bone Miner Res. 2021 Aug 23.
      The Sprouty family is a highly conserved group of intracellular modulators of receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK)-signaling pathways, which have been recently linked to primary cilia. Disruptions in the structure and function of primary cilia cause inherited disorders called ciliopathies. We aimed to evaluate Sprouty2 and Sprouty4 gene dependent alterations of ciliary structure and to focus on the determination of its association with Hedgehog signaling defects in chondrocytes. Analysis of the transgenic mice phenotype with Sprouty2 and Sprouty4 deficiency revealed several defects, including improper endochondral bone formation and digit patterning, or craniofacial and dental abnormalities. Moreover, reduced bone thickness and trabecular bone mass, skull deformities, or chondroma-like lesions were revealed. All these pathologies might be attributed to ciliopathies. Elongation of the ciliary axonemes in embryonic and postnatal growth plate chondrocytes was observed in Sprouty2-/- and Sprouty2+/- ;Sprouty4-/- mutants compared with corresponding littermate controls. Also, cilia-dependent Hedgehog signaling was upregulated in Sprouty2/4 mutant animals. Ptch1 and Ihh expression were upregulated in the autopodium and the proximal tibia of Sprouty2-/- ;Sprouty4-/- mutants. Increased levels of the GLI3 repressor (GLI3R) form were detected in Sprouty2/4 mutant primary fibroblast embryonic cell cultures and tissues. These findings demonstrate that mouse lines deficient in Sprouty proteins manifest phenotypic features resembling ciliopathic phenotypes in multiple aspects and may serve as valuable models to study the association between overactivation of RTK and dysfunction of primary cilia during skeletogenesis. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
  20. Pharmaceutics. 2021 Jul 21. pii: 1105. [Epub ahead of print]13(8):
      Rho-associated kinase (ROCK) activation was shown to contribute to microvascular closure, retinal hypoxia, and to retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) barrier disruption in a rat model of diabetic retinopathy. Fasudil, a clinically approved ROCK inhibitor, improved retinal perfusion and reduced edema in this model, indicating that ROCK inhibition could be a promising new therapeutic approach for the treatment of diabetic retinopathy. However, due to its short intravitreal half-life, fasudil is not suitable for long-term treatment. In this study, we evaluated a very potent ROCK1/2 inhibitor (BIRKI) in a depot formulation administered as a single intravitreal injection providing a slow release for at least four weeks. Following BIRKI intravitreal injection in old Goto-Kakizaki (GK) type 2 diabetic rats, we observed a significant reduction in ROCK1 activity in the retinal pigment epithelium/choroid complex after 8 days and relocation of ROCK1 to the cytoplasm and nucleus in retinal pigment epithelium cells after 28 days. The chronic ROCK inhibition by the BIRKI depot formulation restored retinal pigment epithelial cell morphology and distribution, favored retinal capillaries dilation, and reduced hypoxia and inner blood barrier leakage observed in the diabetic retina. No functional or morphological negative effects were observed, indicating suitable tolerability of BIRKI after intravitreous injection. In conclusion, our data suggest that sustained ROCK inhibition, provided by BIRKI slow-release formulation, could be a valuable treatment option for diabetic retinopathy, especially with regard to the improvement of retinal vascular infusion and protection of the outer retinal barrier.
    Keywords:  diabetic retinopathy; retinal barrier restoration; retinal hypoxia; retinal pigment epithelium; rho-kinase inhibitor; slow-release formulation; vasoconstriction
  21. Ocul Surf. 2021 Aug 19. pii: S1542-0124(21)00093-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      PURPOSE: Impairment of corneal nerves can lead to neurotrophic keratopathy accompanied with severe ocular surface damage, which due to limited treatment options, can result in severe visual deterioration. This study evaluates a possible new treatment by enhancing the corneal nerve regeneration using a Rho Kinase inhibitor (Y27632). ROCK is known to play an important role in regulating cell morphology, adhesion and motility but little is known about its role in corneal nerve regeneration.METHODS: Effects of ROCK inhibition on murine peripheral nerves was assessed in single cell- and wound healing assays as well as a 3D in vitro model. Furthermore, Sholl analysis evaluating neuronal branching and life-death assays evaluating toxicity of the inhibitor were performed. An in vivo mouse model was established, with monitoring weekly corneal nerve regrowth using confocal microscopy. Additionally, corneal nerve fiber length was evaluated by immunofluorescence staining. Underlying pathways were examined by qrtPCR.
    RESULTS: ROCK inhibition leads to a significant enhancement of fiber growth in vitro. Sholl analysis revealed a higher degree of branching of treated fibers. Cytotoxicity assay showed no influence of Y27632 on cellular survival. In vivo measurement revealed significant enhanced regeneration after injury in the treated group. QrtPCR of trigeminal ganglia confirmed ROCK knock-down as well as altered pathways.
    CONCLUSION: The inhibition of ROCK after corneal nerve injury resulted in an enhanced regrowth of fibers in vitro and in vivo. This might be a step towards a new therapeutic concept for the treatment of impaired corneal nerves in diseases such as neurotrophic keratopathy.
    Keywords:  3D model; Cornea; Corneal nerve regeneration; Neurotrophic keratopathy; Rho kinase inhibitor
  22. Am J Physiol Lung Cell Mol Physiol. 2021 08 25.
      Accurate fluid pressure in the fetal lung is critical for its development, especially at the beginning of the saccular stage when alveolar epithelial type 1 (AT1) and type 2 (AT2) cells differentiate from the epithelial progenitors. Despite our growing understanding of the role of physical forces in lung development, the molecular mechanisms that regulate the transduction of mechanical stretch to alveolar differentiation remain elusive. To simulate lung distension, we optimized both an ex vivo model with precision cut lung slices and an in vivo model of fetal tracheal occlusion. Increased mechanical tension showed to improve alveolar maturation and differentiation towards AT1. By manipulating ROCK pathway, we demonstrate that stretch-induced Yap/Taz activation promotes alveolar differentiation towards AT1 phenotype via ROCK activity. Our findings show that balanced ROCK-Yap/Taz signaling is essential to regulate AT1 differentiation in response to mechanical stretching of the fetal lung, which might be helpful in improving lung development and regeneration.
    Keywords:  alveolar cell type 1; alveolar development; congenital diaphragmatic hernia; fetal lung stretch; tracheal occlusion
  23. Mol Neurobiol. 2021 Aug 26.
      Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) play a key role in a variety of disease processes. Plasmacytoma variant translocation 1 (PVT1), a lncRNA, is known to regulate cell functions and play a key role in the pathogenesis of many malignant tumors. The function and molecular mechanisms of lncRNA-PVT1 in cerebral ischemia remain unknown. Real-time PCR (qRT-PCR) was used to detect lncRNA-PVT1 and microRNA-30c-5p (miR-30c-5p) expression in the brain tissues of mice underwent middle cerebral artery occlusion/reperfusion (MCAO/R) and oxygen-glucose deprivation/reperfusion (OGD/R)-treated mouse primary brain neurons. Gain- or loss-of-function approaches were used to manipulate PVT1, miR-30c-5p, and Rho-associated protein kinase 2 (Rock2). The mechanism of PVT1 in ischemic stroke was evaluated both in vivo and in vitro via bioinformatics analysis, CCK-8, flow cytometry, TUNEL staining, luciferase activity assay, RNA FISH, and Western blot. PVT1 was upregulated in the brain tissues of mice treated with MCAO/R and primary cerebral cortex neurons of mice treated with OGD/R. Mechanistically, PVT1 knockdown resulted in a lower infarct volume and ameliorated neurobehavior in MCAO mice. Consistent with in vivo results, PVT1 upregulation significantly decreased the viability and induced apoptosis of neurons cultured in OGD/R. Moreover, we demonstrated that PVT1 acts as a competitive endogenous RNA (ceRNA) that competes with miR-30c-5p, thereby negatively regulating its endogenous target Rock2. Overexpression of miR-30c-5p significantly promoted cell proliferation and inhibited apoptosis. Meanwhile, PVT1 was confirmed to target miR-30c-5p, thus activating Rock2 expression, which finally led to the activation of MAPK signaling. We demonstrated that PVT1, as a ceRNA of miR-30c-5p, could target and regulate the level of Rock2, which aggravates cerebral I/R injury via activation of the MAPK pathway. These findings reveal a new function of PVT1, which helps to broadly understand cerebral ischemic stroke and provide a new treatment strategy for this disease.
    Keywords:  Cerebral ischemia; MAPK signaling; Rock2; lncRNA-PVT1; miR-30c-5p
  24. PeerJ. 2021 ;9 e11951
      Rho-associated kinase-1 (ROCK1) has been recognized for its pivotal role in heart diseases, different types of malignancy, and many neurological disorders. Hyperactivity of ROCK phosphorylates the protein kinase-C (PKC), which ultimately induces smooth muscle cell contraction in the vascular system. Inhibition of ROCK1 has been shown to be a promising therapy for patients with cardiovascular disease. In this study, we have conducted molecular modeling techniques such as docking, molecular dynamics (MD), and 3-Dimensional structure-activity relationship (3D-QSAR) on a series of N-ethyl-4-(pyridin-4-yl)benzamide-based compounds. Docking and MD showed critical interactions and binding affinities between ROCK1 and its inhibitors. To establish the structure-activity relationship (SAR) of the compounds, 3D-QSAR techniques such as Comparative Molecular Field Analysis (CoMFA) and Comparative Molecular Similarity Indices Analysis (CoMSIA) were used. The CoMFA (q 2 = 0.774, r 2 = 0.965, ONC = 6, and r p r e d 2 = 0.703) and CoMSIA (q 2 = 0.676, r 2 = 0.949, ONC = 6, and r p r e d 2 = 0.548) both models have shown reasonable external predictive activity, and contour maps revealed favorable and unfavorable substitutions for chemical group modifications. Based on the contour maps, we have designed forty new compounds, among which, seven compounds exhibited higher predictive activity (pIC50). Further, we conducted the MD study, ADME/Tox, and SA score prediction using the seven newly designed compounds. The combination of docking, MD, and 3D-QSAR studies helps to understand the coherence modification of existing molecules. Our study may provide valuable insight into the development of more potent ROCK1 inhibitors.
    Keywords:   3D-QSAR; ADME/Tox; Cardio-vascular disease; CoMFA; CoMSIA; MMPBSA; Molecular docking; Molecular dynamics; Rho-associated kinase-1 (ROCK1)
  25. Science. 2021 Aug 27. 373(6558): 984-991
      Protein kinase activity must be precisely regulated, but how a cell governs hyperactive kinases remains unclear. In this study, we generated a constitutively active mitogen-activated protein kinase DYF-5 (DYF-5CA) in Caenorhabditis elegans that disrupted sensory cilia. Genetic suppressor screens identified that mutations of ADR-2, an RNA adenosine deaminase, rescued ciliary phenotypes of dyf-5CA We found that dyf-5CA animals abnormally transcribed antisense RNAs that pair with dyf-5CA messenger RNA (mRNA) to form double-stranded RNA, recruiting ADR-2 to edit the region ectopically. RNA editing impaired dyf-5CA mRNA splicing, and the resultant intron retentions blocked DYF-5CA protein translation and activated nonsense-mediated dyf-5CA mRNA decay. The kinase RNA editing requires kinase hyperactivity. The similar RNA editing-dependent feedback regulation restricted the other ciliary kinases NEKL-4/NEK10 and DYF-18/CCRK, which suggests a widespread mechanism that underlies kinase regulation.