bims-nimamd Biomed News
on Neuroimmunity and neuroinflammation in ageing and metabolic disease
Issue of 2023‒03‒05
43 papers selected by
Fawaz Alzaïd
Sorbonne Université

  1. Nat Commun. 2023 Feb 27. 14(1): 1121
      Liver tumour-initiating cells (TICs) contribute to tumour initiation, metastasis, progression and drug resistance. Metabolic reprogramming is a cancer hallmark and plays vital roles in liver tumorigenesis. However, the role of metabolic reprogramming in TICs remains poorly explored. Here, we identify a mitochondria-encoded circular RNA, termed mcPGK1 (mitochondrial circRNA for translocating phosphoglycerate kinase 1), which is highly expressed in liver TICs. mcPGK1 knockdown impairs liver TIC self-renewal, whereas its overexpression drives liver TIC self-renewal. Mechanistically, mcPGK1 regulates metabolic reprogramming by inhibiting mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and promoting glycolysis. This alters the intracellular levels of α-ketoglutarate and lactate, which are modulators in Wnt/β-catenin activation and liver TIC self-renewal. In addition, mcPGK1 promotes PGK1 mitochondrial import via TOM40 interactions, reprogramming metabolism from oxidative phosphorylation to glycolysis through PGK1-PDK1-PDH axis. Our work suggests that mitochondria-encoded circRNAs represent an additional regulatory layer controlling mitochondrial function, metabolic reprogramming and liver TIC self-renewal.
  2. Nat Commun. 2023 Mar 03. 14(1): 1213
      Lymph nodes (LNs) are always embedded in the metabolically-active white adipose tissue (WAT), whereas their functional relationship remains obscure. Here, we identify fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs) in inguinal LNs (iLNs) as a major source of IL-33 in mediating cold-induced beiging and thermogenesis of subcutaneous WAT (scWAT). Depletion of iLNs in male mice results in defective cold-induced beiging of scWAT. Mechanistically, cold-enhanced sympathetic outflow to iLNs activates β1- and β2-adrenergic receptor (AR) signaling in FRCs to facilitate IL-33 release into iLN-surrounding scWAT, where IL-33 activates type 2 immune response to potentiate biogenesis of beige adipocytes. Cold-induced beiging of scWAT is abrogated by selective ablation of IL-33 or β1- and β2-AR in FRCs, or sympathetic denervation of iLNs, whereas replenishment of IL-33 reverses the impaired cold-induced beiging in iLN-deficient mice. Taken together, our study uncovers an unexpected role of FRCs in iLNs in mediating neuro-immune interaction to maintain energy homeostasis.
  3. Nat Commun. 2023 Feb 25. 14(1): 1097
      Brown adipose tissue (BAT) plays a pivotal role in maintaining body temperature and energy homeostasis. BAT dysfunction is associated with impaired metabolic health. Here, we show that Ssu72 phosphatase is essential for mRNA translation of genes required for thermogenesis in BAT. Ssu72 is found to be highly expressed in BAT among adipose tissue depots, and the expression level of Ssu72 is increased upon acute cold exposure. Mice lacking adipocyte Ssu72 exhibit cold intolerance during acute cold exposure. Mechanistically, Ssu72 deficiency alters cytosolic mRNA translation program through hyperphosphorylation of eIF2α and reduces translation of mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) subunits, resulting in mitochondrial dysfunction and defective thermogenesis in BAT. In addition, metabolic dysfunction in Ssu72-deficient BAT returns to almost normal after restoring Ssu72 expression. In summary, our findings demonstrate that cold-responsive Ssu72 phosphatase is involved in cytosolic translation of key thermogenic effectors via dephosphorylation of eIF2α in brown adipocytes, providing insights into metabolic benefits of Ssu72.
  4. Nat Commun. 2023 Mar 01. 14(1): 1167
      Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurogenetic disorder characterized by intellectual disability and atypical behaviors. AS results from loss of expression of the E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase UBE3A from the maternal allele in neurons. Individuals with AS display impaired coordination, poor balance, and gait ataxia. PIEZO2 is a mechanosensitive ion channel essential for coordination and balance. Here, we report that PIEZO2 activity is reduced in Ube3a deficient male and female mouse sensory neurons, a human Merkel cell carcinoma cell line and female human iPSC-derived sensory neurons with UBE3A knock-down, and de-identified stem cell-derived neurons from individuals with AS. We find that loss of UBE3A decreases actin filaments and reduces PIEZO2 expression and function. A linoleic acid (LA)-enriched diet increases PIEZO2 activity, mechano-excitability, and improves gait in male AS mice. Finally, LA supplementation increases PIEZO2 function in stem cell-derived neurons from individuals with AS. We propose a mechanism whereby loss of UBE3A expression reduces PIEZO2 function and identified a fatty acid that enhances channel activity and ameliorates AS-associated mechano-sensory deficits.
  5. Nat Commun. 2023 Feb 27. 14(1): 984
      Dysregulation of Th17 and Treg cells contributes to the pathophysiology of many autoimmune diseases. Herein, we show that itaconate, an immunomodulatory metabolite, inhibits Th17 cell differentiation and promotes Treg cell differentiation by orchestrating metabolic and epigenetic reprogramming. Mechanistically, itaconate suppresses glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation in Th17- and Treg-polarizing T cells. Following treatment with itaconate, the S-adenosyl-L-methionine/S-adenosylhomocysteine ratio and 2-hydroxyglutarate levels are decreased by inhibiting the synthetic enzyme activities in Th17 and Treg cells, respectively. Consequently, these metabolic changes are associated with altered chromatin accessibility of essential transcription factors and key gene expression in Th17 and Treg cell differentiation, including decreased RORγt binding at the Il17a promoter. The adoptive transfer of itaconate-treated Th17-polarizing T cells ameliorates experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. These results indicate that itaconate is a crucial metabolic regulator for Th17/Treg cell balance and could be a potential therapeutic agent for autoimmune diseases.
  6. Mol Cell. 2023 Mar 02. pii: S1097-2765(23)00085-0. [Epub ahead of print]83(5): 715-730.e6
      Transcriptional enhancers have been extensively characterized, but cis-regulatory elements involved in acute gene repression have received less attention. Transcription factor GATA1 promotes erythroid differentiation by activating and repressing distinct gene sets. Here, we study the mechanism by which GATA1 silences the proliferative gene Kit during murine erythroid cell maturation and define stages from initial loss of activation to heterochromatinization. We find that GATA1 inactivates a potent upstream enhancer but concomitantly creates a discrete intronic regulatory region marked by H3K27ac, short noncoding RNAs, and de novo chromatin looping. This enhancer-like element forms transiently and serves to delay Kit silencing. The element is ultimately erased via the FOG1/NuRD deacetylase complex, as revealed by the study of a disease-associated GATA1 variant. Hence, regulatory sites can be self-limiting by dynamic co-factor usage. Genome-wide analyses across cell types and species uncover transiently active elements at numerous genes during repression, suggesting that modulation of silencing kinetics is widespread.
    Keywords:  FOG1/NuRD complex; GATA1; erythroid differentiation; gene silencing; transcriptional regulation; transient enhancer
  7. EMBO Rep. 2023 Mar 02. e56932
      Obesity is associated with metabolic disorders and chronic inflammation. However, the obesity-associated metabolic contribution to inflammatory induction remains elusive. Here, we show that, compared with lean mice, CD4+ T cells from obese mice exhibit elevated basal levels of fatty acid β-oxidation (FAO), which promote T cell glycolysis and thus hyperactivation, leading to enhanced induction of inflammation. Mechanistically, the FAO rate-limiting enzyme carnitine palmitoyltransferase 1a (Cpt1a) stabilizes the mitochondrial E3 ubiquitin ligase Goliath, which mediates deubiquitination of calcineurin and thus enhances activation of NF-AT signaling, thereby promoting glycolysis and hyperactivation of CD4+ T cells in obesity. We also report the specific GOLIATH inhibitor DC-Gonib32, which blocks this FAO-glycolysis metabolic axis in CD4+ T cells of obese mice and reduces the induction of inflammation. Overall, these findings establish a role of a Goliath-bridged FAO-glycolysis axis in mediating CD4+ T cell hyperactivation and thus inflammation in obese mice.
    Keywords:  FAO; Goliath; glycolysis; inflammation; obesity
  8. Sci Adv. 2023 Mar;9(9): eadd5220
      Cellular metabolism is important for adult neural stem/progenitor cell (NSPC) behavior. However, its role in the transition from quiescence to proliferation is not fully understood. We here show that the mitochondrial pyruvate carrier (MPC) plays a crucial and unexpected part in this process. MPC transports pyruvate into mitochondria, linking cytosolic glycolysis to mitochondrial tricarboxylic acid cycle and oxidative phosphorylation. Despite its metabolic key function, the role of MPC in NSPCs has not been addressed. We show that quiescent NSPCs have an active mitochondrial metabolism and express high levels of MPC. Pharmacological MPC inhibition increases aspartate and triggers NSPC activation. Furthermore, genetic Mpc1 ablation in vitro and in vivo also activates NSPCs, which differentiate into mature neurons, leading to overall increased hippocampal neurogenesis in adult and aged mice. These findings highlight the importance of metabolism for NSPC regulation and identify an important pathway through which mitochondrial pyruvate import controls NSPC quiescence and activation.
  9. Cell. 2023 Mar 02. pii: S0092-8674(23)00109-5. [Epub ahead of print]186(5): 1066-1085.e36
      A generalizable strategy with programmable site specificity for in situ profiling of histone modifications on unperturbed chromatin remains highly desirable but challenging. We herein developed a single-site-resolved multi-omics (SiTomics) strategy for systematic mapping of dynamic modifications and subsequent profiling of chromatinized proteome and genome defined by specific chromatin acylations in living cells. By leveraging the genetic code expansion strategy, our SiTomics toolkit revealed distinct crotonylation (e.g., H3K56cr) and β-hydroxybutyrylation (e.g., H3K56bhb) upon short chain fatty acids stimulation and established linkages for chromatin acylation mark-defined proteome, genome, and functions. This led to the identification of GLYR1 as a distinct interacting protein in modulating H3K56cr's gene body localization as well as the discovery of an elevated super-enhancer repertoire underlying bhb-mediated chromatin modulations. SiTomics offers a platform technology for elucidating the "metabolites-modification-regulation" axis, which is widely applicable for multi-omics profiling and functional dissection of modifications beyond acylations and proteins beyond histones.
    Keywords:  chromatin; crotonylation; gene regulation; genetic code expansion; histone mark; metabolites; multi-omics; post-translational modification; super-enhancer; β-hydroxybutyrylation
  10. Cell Rep. 2023 Mar 01. pii: S2211-1247(23)00212-7. [Epub ahead of print]42(3): 112201
      Janus kinases (JAKs) mediate signal transduction downstream of cytokine receptors. Cytokine-dependent dimerization is conveyed across the cell membrane to drive JAK dimerization, trans-phosphorylation, and activation. Activated JAKs in turn phosphorylate receptor intracellular domains (ICDs), resulting in the recruitment, phosphorylation, and activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT)-family transcription factors. The structural arrangement of a JAK1 dimer complex with IFNλR1 ICD was recently elucidated while bound by stabilizing nanobodies. While this revealed insights into the dimerization-dependent activation of JAKs and the role of oncogenic mutations in this process, the tyrosine kinase (TK) domains were separated by a distance not compatible with the trans-phosphorylation events between the TK domains. Here, we report the cryoelectron microscopy structure of a mouse JAK1 complex in a putative trans-activation state and expand these insights to other physiologically relevant JAK complexes, providing mechanistic insight into the crucial trans-activation step of JAK signaling and allosteric mechanisms of JAK inhibition.
    Keywords:  CP: Molecular biology; cryo-EM; cytokine; janus kinase; phosphorylation
  11. Nat Commun. 2023 Mar 03. 14(1): 1223
      Renal tubular atrophy is a hallmark of chronic kidney disease. The cause of tubular atrophy, however, remains elusive. Here we report that reduction of renal tubular cell polynucleotide phosphorylase (PNPT1) causes renal tubular translation arrest and atrophy. Analysis of tubular atrophic tissues from renal dysfunction patients and male mice with ischemia-reperfusion injuries (IRI) or unilateral ureteral obstruction (UUO) treatment shows that renal tubular PNPT1 is markedly downregulated under atrophic conditions. PNPT1 reduction leads to leakage of mitochondrial double-stranded RNA (mt-dsRNA) into the cytoplasm where it activates protein kinase R (PKR), followed by phosphorylation of eukaryotic initiation factor 2α (eIF2α) and protein translational termination. Increasing renal PNPT1 expression or inhibiting PKR activity largely rescues IRI- or UUO-induced mouse renal tubular injury. Moreover, tubular-specific PNPT1-knockout mice display Fanconi syndrome-like phenotypes with impaired reabsorption and significant renal tubular injury. Our results reveal that PNPT1 protects renal tubules by blocking the mt-dsRNA-PKR-eIF2α axis.
  12. STAR Protoc. 2023 Feb 22. pii: S2666-1667(23)00083-7. [Epub ahead of print]4(1): 102125
      Although neutrophils are the most abundant leukocyte in healthy individuals and impact outcomes of diseases ranging from sepsis to cancer, they remain understudied due to technical constraints of isolation, preservation, and sequencing. We present a modified Smart-Seq2 protocol for bulk RNA sequencing of neutrophils enriched from whole blood. We describe steps for neutrophil isolation, cDNA generation, library preparation, and sample purity estimation via a bioinformatic approach. Our approach permits the collection of large cohorts and enables detection of neutrophil transcriptomic subtypes. For complete details on the use and execution of this protocol, please refer to LaSalle et al. (2022)1 and Boribong et al. (2022).2.
    Keywords:  Bioinformatics; Cell Biology; Cell Isolation; Immunology; Molecular Biology; RNAseq; Sequence Analysis; Single Cell
  13. Nat Commun. 2023 Feb 28. 14(1): 1128
      Neural communication networks form the fundamental basis for brain function. These communication networks are enabled by emitted ligands such as neurotransmitters, which activate receptor complexes to facilitate communication. Thus, neural communication is fundamentally dependent on the transcriptome. Here we develop NeuronChat, a method and package for the inference, visualization and analysis of neural-specific communication networks among pre-defined cell groups using single-cell expression data. We incorporate a manually curated molecular interaction database of neural signaling for both human and mouse, and benchmark NeuronChat on several published datasets to validate its ability in predicting neural connectivity. Then, we apply NeuronChat to three different neural tissue datasets to illustrate its functionalities in identifying interneural communication networks, revealing conserved or context-specific interactions across different biological contexts, and predicting communication pattern changes in diseased brains with autism spectrum disorder. Finally, we demonstrate NeuronChat can utilize spatial transcriptomics data to infer and visualize neural-specific cell-cell communication.
  14. Commun Biol. 2023 Mar 01. 6(1): 231
      Alleles within the chr19p13.1 locus are associated with increased risk of both ovarian and breast cancer and increased expression of the ANKLE1 gene. ANKLE1 is molecularly characterized as an endonuclease that efficiently cuts branched DNA and shuttles between the nucleus and cytoplasm. However, the role of ANKLE1 in mammalian development and homeostasis remains unknown. In normal development ANKLE1 expression is limited to the erythroblast lineage and we found that ANKLE1's role is to cleave the mitochondrial genome during erythropoiesis. We show that ectopic expression of ANKLE1 in breast epithelial-derived cells leads to genome instability and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) cleavage. mtDNA degradation then leads to mitophagy and causes a shift from oxidative phosphorylation to glycolysis (Warburg effect). Moreover, mtDNA degradation activates STAT1 and expression of epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) genes. Reduction in mitochondrial content contributes to apoptosis resistance, which may allow precancerous cells to avoid apoptotic checkpoints and proliferate. These findings provide evidence that ANKLE1 is the causal cancer susceptibility gene in the chr19p13.1 locus and describe mechanisms by which higher ANKLE1 expression promotes cancer risk.
  15. Nat Commun. 2023 Feb 27. 14(1): 1115
      The phenotype of the rare HIV-infected cells persisting during antiretroviral therapies (ART) remains elusive. We developed a single-cell approach that combines the phenotypic analysis of HIV-infected cells with near full-length sequencing of their associated proviruses to characterize the viral reservoir in 6 male individuals on suppressive ART. We show that individual cells carrying clonally expanded identical proviruses display very diverse phenotypes, indicating that cellular proliferation contributes to the phenotypic diversification of the HIV reservoir. Unlike most viral genomes persisting on ART, inducible and translation-competent proviruses rarely present large deletions but are enriched in defects in the Ψ locus. Interestingly, the few cells harboring genetically intact and inducible viral genomes express higher levels of the integrin VLA-4 compared to uninfected cells or cells with defective proviruses. Viral outgrowth assay confirmed that memory CD4+ T cells expressing high levels of VLA-4 are highly enriched in replication-competent HIV (27-fold enrichment). We conclude that although clonal expansions diversify the phenotype of HIV reservoir cells, CD4+ T cells harboring replication-competent HIV retain VLA-4 expression.
  16. Immunity. 2023 Feb 25. pii: S1074-7613(23)00037-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      Dietary components and metabolites have a profound impact on immunity and inflammation. Here, we investigated how sensing of cholesterol metabolite oxysterols by γδ T cells impacts their tissue residency and function. We show that dermal IL-17-producing γδ T (Tγδ17) cells essential for skin-barrier homeostasis require oxysterols sensing through G protein receptor 183 (GPR183) for their development and inflammatory responses. Single-cell transcriptomics and murine reporter strains revealed that GPR183 on developing γδ thymocytes is needed for their maturation by sensing medullary thymic epithelial-cell-derived oxysterols. In the skin, basal keratinocytes expressing the oxysterol enzyme cholesterol 25-hydroxylase (CH25H) maintain dermal Tγδ17 cells. Diet-driven increases in oxysterols exacerbate Tγδ17-cell-mediated psoriatic inflammation, dependent on GPR183 on γδ T cells. Hence, cholesterol-derived oxysterols control spatially distinct but biologically linked processes of thymic education and peripheral function of dermal T cells, implicating diet as a focal parameter of dermal Tγδ17 cells.
    Keywords:  GPR183; IL-17; cholesterol; diet; gamma delta T cells; mTEC; oxysterols; psoriasis; skin
  17. Cell. 2023 Mar 02. pii: S0092-8674(23)00105-8. [Epub ahead of print]186(5): 903-905
      Phage restriction by adenosine deaminase acting on RNA (RADAR) is a process by which bacteria may alter their own transcriptome to resist bacteriophage. In this issue of Cell, Duncan-Lowey and Tal et al. and Gao et al. both show RADAR proteins assemble into massive molecular complexes but present distinct views about how these assemblies obstruct phage.
  18. Nat Commun. 2023 Feb 28. 14(1): 1129
      Tissue injury to skin diminishes miR-200b in dermal fibroblasts. Fibroblasts are widely reported to directly reprogram into endothelial-like cells and we hypothesized that miR-200b inhibition may cause such changes. We transfected human dermal fibroblasts with anti-miR-200b oligonucleotide, then using single cell RNA sequencing, identified emergence of a vasculogenic subset with a distinct fibroblast transcriptome and demonstrated blood vessel forming function in vivo. Anti-miR-200b delivery to murine injury sites likewise enhanced tissue perfusion, wound closure, and vasculogenic fibroblast contribution to perfused vessels in a FLI1 dependent manner. Vasculogenic fibroblast subset emergence was blunted in delayed healing wounds of diabetic animals but, topical tissue nanotransfection of a single anti-miR-200b oligonucleotide was sufficient to restore FLI1 expression, vasculogenic fibroblast emergence, tissue perfusion, and wound healing. Augmenting a physiologic tissue injury adaptive response mechanism that produces a vasculogenic fibroblast state change opens new avenues for therapeutic tissue vascularization of ischemic wounds.
  19. Nat Methods. 2023 Mar 02.
      As spatially resolved multiplex profiling of RNA and proteins becomes more prominent, it is increasingly important to understand the statistical power available to test specific hypotheses when designing and interpreting such experiments. Ideally, it would be possible to create an oracle that predicts sampling requirements for generalized spatial experiments. However, the unknown number of relevant spatial features and the complexity of spatial data analysis make this challenging. Here, we enumerate multiple parameters of interest that should be considered in the design of a properly powered spatial omics study. We introduce a method for tunable in silico tissue (IST) generation and use it with spatial profiling data sets to construct an exploratory computational framework for spatial power analysis. Finally, we demonstrate that our framework can be applied across diverse spatial data modalities and tissues of interest. While we demonstrate ISTs in the context of spatial power analysis, these simulated tissues have other potential use cases, including spatial method benchmarking and optimization.
  20. J Leukoc Biol. 2023 Mar 04. pii: qiad027. [Epub ahead of print]
      Innate immune cells represent the first line of cellular immunity, comprising both circulating and tissue-resident natural killer cells (NK) and innate lymphoid cells (ILC). These innate lymphocytes arise from a common CD34+ progenitor that differentiates into mature NK and ILCs. The successive stages in NK cell maturation are characterized by increased lineage restriction and changes to phenotype and function. Mechanisms of human NK cell development have not been fully elucidated, especially the role of signals that drive the spatial localization and maturation NK cells. Cytokines, extracellular matrix components, and chemokines provide maturation signals and influence the trafficking of NK cell progenitors to peripheral sites of differentiation. Here we present the latest advances in our understanding of NK and ILC development in peripheral sites, including secondary lymphoid tissues (i.e. tonsil). Recent work in the field has provided a model for the spatial distribution of NK cell and ILC developmental intermediates in tissue and generated further insights into the developmental niche. In support of this model, future studies using multifaceted approaches seek to fully map the developmental trajectory of human NK cells and ILCs in secondary lymphoid tissues.
    Keywords:  Chemokines; cytokines; hematopoietic stem cells; innate immunity; innate lymphoid progenitors; secondary lymphoid tissue
  21. Sci Adv. 2023 Mar 03. 9(9): eadd2671
      Gene expression is changed by disease, but how these molecular responses arise and contribute to pathophysiology remains less understood. We discover that β-amyloid, a trigger of Alzheimer's disease (AD), promotes the formation of pathological CREB3L2-ATF4 transcription factor heterodimers in neurons. Through a multilevel approach based on AD datasets and a novel chemogenetic method that resolves the genomic binding profile of dimeric transcription factors (ChIPmera), we find that CREB3L2-ATF4 activates a transcription network that interacts with roughly half of the genes differentially expressed in AD, including subsets associated with β-amyloid and tau neuropathologies. CREB3L2-ATF4 activation drives tau hyperphosphorylation and secretion in neurons, in addition to misregulating the retromer, an endosomal complex linked to AD pathogenesis. We further provide evidence for increased heterodimer signaling in AD brain and identify dovitinib as a candidate molecule for normalizing β-amyloid-mediated transcriptional responses. The findings overall reveal differential transcription factor dimerization as a mechanism linking disease stimuli to the development of pathogenic cellular states.
  22. Sci Immunol. 2023 Mar 10. 8(81): eadh3115
      An approach for identifying antibodies derived from distinct B cell populations demonstrates how secondary immunization responses are dominated by mature B cells generated during primary responses.
  23. Nat Commun. 2023 Mar 02. 14(1): 1187
      Ferroptosis is mediated by lipid peroxidation of phospholipids containing polyunsaturated fatty acyl moieties. Glutathione, the key cellular antioxidant capable of inhibiting lipid peroxidation via the activity of the enzyme glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX-4), is generated directly from the sulfur-containing amino acid cysteine, and indirectly from methionine via the transsulfuration pathway. Herein we show that cysteine and methionine deprivation (CMD) can synergize with the GPX4 inhibitor RSL3 to increase ferroptotic cell death and lipid peroxidation in both murine and human glioma cell lines and in ex vivo organotypic slice cultures. We also show that a cysteine-depleted, methionine-restricted diet can improve therapeutic response to RSL3 and prolong survival in a syngeneic orthotopic murine glioma model. Finally, this CMD diet leads to profound in vivo metabolomic, proteomic and lipidomic alterations, highlighting the potential for improving the efficacy of ferroptotic therapies in glioma treatment with a non-invasive dietary modification.
  24. Nat Commun. 2023 Feb 28. 14(1): 1132
    iPSCORE Consortium
      The causal variants and genes underlying thousands of cardiac GWAS signals have yet to be identified. Here, we leverage spatiotemporal information on 966 RNA-seq cardiac samples and perform an expression quantitative trait locus (eQTL) analysis detecting eQTLs considering both eGenes and eIsoforms. We identify 2,578 eQTLs associated with a specific developmental stage-, tissue- and/or cell type. Colocalization between eQTL and GWAS signals of five cardiac traits identified variants with high posterior probabilities for being causal in 210 GWAS loci. Pulse pressure GWAS loci are enriched for colocalization with fetal- and smooth muscle- eQTLs; pulse rate with adult- and cardiac muscle- eQTLs; and atrial fibrillation with cardiac muscle- eQTLs. Fine mapping identifies 79 credible sets with five or fewer SNPs, of which 15 were associated with spatiotemporal eQTLs. Our study shows that many cardiac GWAS variants impact traits and disease in a developmental stage-, tissue- and/or cell type-specific fashion.
  25. Nat Commun. 2023 Feb 25. 14(1): 1098
      Inter-organ communication is a major hallmark of health and is often orchestrated by hormones released by the anterior pituitary gland. Pituitary gonadotropes secrete follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and luteinizing hormone (LH) to regulate gonadal function and control fertility. Whether FSH and LH also act on organs other than the gonads is debated. Here, we find that gonadotrope depletion in adult female mice triggers profound hypogonadism, obesity, glucose intolerance, fatty liver, and bone loss. The absence of sex steroids precipitates these phenotypes, with the notable exception of fatty liver, which results from ovary-independent actions of FSH. We uncover paracrine FSH action on pituitary corticotropes as a mechanism to restrain the production of corticosterone and prevent hepatic steatosis. Our data demonstrate that functional communication of two distinct hormone-secreting cell populations in the pituitary regulates hepatic lipid metabolism.
  26. Nat Commun. 2023 Mar 02. 14(1): 1190
      β2-microglobulin (β2m) and its truncated variant ΔΝ6 are co-deposited in amyloid fibrils in the joints, causing the disorder dialysis-related amyloidosis (DRA). Point mutations of β2m result in diseases with distinct pathologies. β2m-D76N causes a rare systemic amyloidosis with protein deposited in the viscera in the absence of renal failure, whilst β2m-V27M is associated with renal failure, with amyloid deposits forming predominantly in the tongue. Here we use cryoEM to determine the structures of fibrils formed from these variants under identical conditions in vitro. We show that each fibril sample is polymorphic, with diversity arising from a 'lego-like' assembly of a common amyloid building block. These results suggest a 'many sequences, one amyloid fold' paradigm in contrast with the recently reported 'one sequence, many amyloid folds' behaviour of intrinsically disordered proteins such as tau and Aβ.
  27. Nat Immunol. 2023 Feb 27.
      Antigen-specific CD8+ T cell accumulation in tumors is a prerequisite for effective immunotherapy, and yet the mechanisms of lymphocyte transit are not well defined. Here we show that tumor-associated lymphatic vessels control T cell exit from tumors via the chemokine CXCL12, and intratumoral antigen encounter tunes CXCR4 expression by effector CD8+ T cells. Only high-affinity antigen downregulates CXCR4 and upregulates the CXCL12 decoy receptor, ACKR3, thereby reducing CXCL12 sensitivity and promoting T cell retention. A diverse repertoire of functional tumor-specific CD8+ T cells, therefore, exit the tumor, which limits the pool of CD8+ T cells available to exert tumor control. CXCR4 inhibition or loss of lymphatic-specific CXCL12 boosts T cell retention and enhances tumor control. These data indicate that strategies to limit T cell egress might be an approach to boost the quantity and quality of intratumoral T cells and thereby response to immunotherapy.
  28. Mol Cell. 2023 Feb 23. pii: S1097-2765(23)00107-7. [Epub ahead of print]
      A multitude of histone chaperones are required to support histones from their biosynthesis until DNA deposition. They cooperate through the formation of histone co-chaperone complexes, but the crosstalk between nucleosome assembly pathways remains enigmatic. Using exploratory interactomics, we define the interplay between human histone H3-H4 chaperones in the histone chaperone network. We identify previously uncharacterized histone-dependent complexes and predict the structure of the ASF1 and SPT2 co-chaperone complex, expanding the role of ASF1 in histone dynamics. We show that DAXX provides a unique functionality to the histone chaperone network, recruiting histone methyltransferases to promote H3K9me3 catalysis on new histone H3.3-H4 prior to deposition onto DNA. Hereby, DAXX provides a molecular mechanism for de novo H3K9me3 deposition and heterochromatin assembly. Collectively, our findings provide a framework for understanding how cells orchestrate histone supply and employ targeted deposition of modified histones to underpin specialized chromatin states.
    Keywords:  ASF1; DAXX; HJURP; NASP; epigenetic; gene silencing; heterochromatin; histone chaperone; nucleosome assembly; protein network; proteomics
  29. Curr Opin Immunol. 2023 Mar 01. pii: S0952-7915(23)00015-8. [Epub ahead of print]81 102296
      Inborn errors of immunity (IEI) delineate redundant and essential defense mechanisms in humans. We review 15 autosomal-dominant (AD) or -recessive (AR) IEI involving 11 transcription factors (TFs) and impairing interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) immunity, conferring a predisposition to mycobacterial diseases. We consider three mechanism-based categories: 1) IEI mainly affecting myeloid compartment development (AD GATA2 and AR and AD IRF8 deficiencies), 2) IEI mainly affecting lymphoid compartment development (AR FOXN1, AR PAX1, AR RORγ/RORγT, AR T-bet, AR c-Rel, AD STAT3 gain-of-function (GOF), and loss-of-function (LOF) deficiencies), and 3) IEI mainly affecting myeloid and/or lymphoid function (AR and AD STAT1 LOF, AD STAT1 GOF, AR IRF1, and AD NFKB1 deficiencies). We discuss the contribution of the discovery and study of inborn errors of TFs essential for host defense against mycobacteria to molecular and cellular analyses of human IFN-γ immunity.
  30. Nat Commun. 2023 Mar 03. 14(1): 1208
      Genetic sharing is extensively observed for autoimmune diseases, but the causal variants and their underlying molecular mechanisms remain largely unknown. Through systematic investigation of autoimmune disease pleiotropic loci, we found most of these shared genetic effects are transmitted from regulatory code. We used an evidence-based strategy to functionally prioritize causal pleiotropic variants and identify their target genes. A top-ranked pleiotropic variant, rs4728142, yielded many lines of evidence as being causal. Mechanistically, the rs4728142-containing region interacts with the IRF5 alternative promoter in an allele-specific manner and orchestrates its upstream enhancer to regulate IRF5 alternative promoter usage through chromatin looping. A putative structural regulator, ZBTB3, mediates the allele-specific loop to promote IRF5-short transcript expression at the rs4728142 risk allele, resulting in IRF5 overactivation and M1 macrophage polarization. Together, our findings establish a causal mechanism between the regulatory variant and fine-scale molecular phenotype underlying the dysfunction of pleiotropic genes in human autoimmunity.
  31. Nat Commun. 2023 Mar 02. 14(1): 1181
      Diabetic cardiomyopathy is a primary myocardial injury induced by diabetes with complex pathogenesis. In this study, we identify disordered cardiac retinol metabolism in type 2 diabetic male mice and patients characterized by retinol overload, all-trans retinoic acid deficiency. By supplementing type 2 diabetic male mice with retinol or all-trans retinoic acid, we demonstrate that both cardiac retinol overload and all-trans retinoic acid deficiency promote diabetic cardiomyopathy. Mechanistically, by constructing cardiomyocyte-specific conditional retinol dehydrogenase 10-knockout male mice and overexpressing retinol dehydrogenase 10 in male type 2 diabetic mice via adeno-associated virus, we verify that the reduction in cardiac retinol dehydrogenase 10 is the initiating factor for cardiac retinol metabolism disorder and results in diabetic cardiomyopathy through lipotoxicity and ferroptosis. Therefore, we suggest that the reduction of cardiac retinol dehydrogenase 10 and its mediated disorder of cardiac retinol metabolism is a new mechanism underlying diabetic cardiomyopathy.
  32. Nat Rev Gastroenterol Hepatol. 2023 Feb 27.
      The intestinal lumen contains an abundance of bacteria, viruses and fungi alongside ingested material that shape the chronically active intestinal immune system from early life to maintain the integrity of the gut epithelial barrier. In health, the response is intricately balanced to provide active protection against pathogen invasion whilst tolerating food and avoiding inflammation. B cells are central to achieving this protection. Their activation and maturation generates the body's largest plasma cell population that secretes IgA, and the niches they provide support systemic immune cell specialization. For example, the gut supports the development and maturation of a splenic B cell subset - the marginal zone B cells. In addition, cells such as the T follicular helper cells, which are enriched in many autoinflammatory diseases, are intrinsically associated with the germinal centre microenvironment that is more abundant in the gut than in any other tissue in health. In this Review, we discuss intestinal B cells and their role when a loss of homeostasis results in intestinal and systemic inflammatory diseases.
  33. Nat Commun. 2023 Mar 01. 14(1): 1160
      By endowing light control of neuronal activity, optogenetics and photopharmacology are powerful methods notably used to probe the transmission of pain signals. However, costs, animal handling and ethical issues have reduced their dissemination and routine use. Here we report LAKI (Light Activated K+ channel Inhibitor), a specific photoswitchable inhibitor of the pain-related two-pore-domain potassium TREK and TRESK channels. In the dark or ambient light, LAKI is inactive. However, alternating transdermal illumination at 365 nm and 480 nm reversibly blocks and unblocks TREK/TRESK current in nociceptors, enabling rapid control of pain and nociception in intact and freely moving mice and nematode. These results demonstrate, in vivo, the subcellular localization of TREK/TRESK at the nociceptor free nerve endings in which their acute inhibition is sufficient to induce pain, showing LAKI potential as a valuable tool for TREK/TRESK channel studies. More importantly, LAKI gives the ability to reversibly remote-control pain in a non-invasive and physiological manner in naive animals, which has utility in basic and translational pain research but also in in vivo analgesic drug screening and validation, without the need of genetic manipulations or viral infection.
  34. Cell Metab. 2023 Feb 22. pii: S1550-4131(23)00012-8. [Epub ahead of print]
      Multiple cancers regulate oxidative stress by activating the transcription factor NRF2 through mutation of its negative regulator, KEAP1. NRF2 has been studied extensively in KEAP1-mutant cancers; however, the role of this pathway in cancers with wild-type KEAP1 remains poorly understood. To answer this question, we induced NRF2 via pharmacological inactivation of KEAP1 in a panel of 50+ non-small cell lung cancer cell lines. Unexpectedly, marked decreases in viability were observed in >13% of the cell lines-an effect that was rescued by NRF2 ablation. Genome-wide and targeted CRISPR screens revealed that NRF2 induces NADH-reductive stress, through the upregulation of the NAD+-consuming enzyme ALDH3A1. Leveraging these findings, we show that cells treated with KEAP1 inhibitors or those with endogenous KEAP1 mutations are selectively vulnerable to Complex I inhibition, which impairs NADH oxidation capacity and potentiates reductive stress. Thus, we identify reductive stress as a metabolic vulnerability in NRF2-activated lung cancers.
    Keywords:  NADH/NAD(+); NRF2-KEAP1 pathway; functional genomic; non-small cell lung cancer; oxidative phosphorylation; reductive stress
  35. Cell Rep. 2023 Mar 01. pii: S2211-1247(23)00171-7. [Epub ahead of print]42(3): 112160
      Immunogens that elicit broadly neutralizing antibodies targeting the conserved receptor-binding site (RBS) on influenza hemagglutinin may serve as candidates for a universal influenza vaccine. Here, we develop a computational model to interrogate antibody evolution by affinity maturation after immunization with two types of immunogens: a heterotrimeric "chimera" hemagglutinin that is enriched for the RBS epitope relative to other B cell epitopes and a cocktail composed of three non-epitope-enriched homotrimers of the monomers that comprise the chimera. Experiments in mice find that the chimera outperforms the cocktail for eliciting RBS-directed antibodies. We show that this result follows from an interplay between how B cells engage these antigens and interact with diverse helper T cells and requires T cell-mediated selection of germinal center B cells to be a stringent constraint. Our results shed light on antibody evolution and highlight how immunogen design and T cells modulate vaccination outcomes.
    Keywords:  CP: Immunology; affinity maturation; antigen capture; antigen valency; helper T cell; immune focusing; immunogen design; in silico; mechanism; selection
  36. Nat Metab. 2023 Mar 02.
      Whereas cholesterol is vital for cell growth, proliferation, and remodeling, dysregulation of cholesterol metabolism is associated with multiple age-related pathologies. Here we show that senescent cells accumulate cholesterol in lysosomes to maintain the senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP). We find that induction of cellular senescence by diverse triggers enhances cellular cholesterol metabolism. Senescence is associated with the upregulation of the cholesterol exporter ABCA1, which is rerouted to the lysosome, where it moonlights as a cholesterol importer. Lysosomal cholesterol accumulation results in the formation of cholesterol-rich microdomains on the lysosomal limiting membrane enriched with the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 (mTORC1) scaffolding complex, thereby sustaining mTORC1 activity to support the SASP. We further show that pharmacological modulation of lysosomal cholesterol partitioning alters senescence-associated inflammation and in vivo senescence during osteoarthritis progression in male mice. Our study reveals a potential unifying theme for the role of cholesterol in the aging process through the regulation of senescence-associated inflammation.
  37. J Clin Invest. 2023 Mar 01. pii: e167271. [Epub ahead of print]133(5):
      A majority of the human genome is transcribed into noncoding RNAs, of which long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) form a large and heterogeneous fraction. While lncRNAs are mostly noncoding, recent evidence suggests that cryptic translation within some lncRNAs may produce proteins with important regulatory functions. In this issue of the JCI, Zheng, Wei, and colleagues used an integrative functional genomic strategy to systematically identify cryptic lncRNA-encoded ORFs that play a role in estrogen receptor-positive (ER+) breast cancer (BC). They identified 758 cryptic lncRNA-encoded ORFs undergoing active translation, of which 28 had potential functional and clinical relevance in ER+ BC. The LINC00992-encoded polypeptide GT3-INCP was upregulated in ER+ BC and drove tumor growth. GT3-INCP was regulated by estrogen and the ER and acted via the transcription factor GATA3 to regulate BC susceptibility and risk genes. These findings discern a largely unexplored class of molecules and have implications for many pathologies, including cancer.
  38. Nat Aging. 2023 Jan;3(1): 17-33
      As we age, structural changes contribute to progressive decline in organ function, which in the heart act through poorly characterized mechanisms. Taking advantage of the short lifespan and conserved cardiac proteome of the fruit fly, we found that cardiomyocytes exhibit progressive loss of Lamin C (mammalian Lamin A/C homologue) with age, coincident with decreasing nuclear size and increasing nuclear stiffness. Premature genetic reduction of Lamin C phenocopies aging's effects on the nucleus, and subsequently decreases heart contractility and sarcomere organization. Surprisingly, Lamin C reduction downregulates myogenic transcription factors and cytoskeletal regulators, possibly via reduced chromatin accessibility. Subsequently, we find a role for cardiac transcription factors in regulating adult heart contractility and show that maintenance of Lamin C, and cardiac transcription factor expression, prevents age-dependent cardiac decline. Our findings are conserved in aged non-human primates and mice, demonstrating that age-dependent nuclear remodeling is a major mechanism contributing to cardiac dysfunction.
  39. Cell Rep. 2023 Mar 01. pii: S2211-1247(23)00182-1. [Epub ahead of print]42(3): 112171
      Macrophages facilitate critical functions in regulating pathogen clearance and immune homeostasis in tissues. The remarkable functional diversity exhibited by macrophage subsets is dependent on tissue environment and the nature of the pathological insult. Our current knowledge of the mechanisms that regulate the multifaceted counter-inflammatory responses mediated by macrophages remains incomplete. Here, we report that CD169+ macrophage subsets are necessary for protection under excessive inflammatory conditions. We show that in the absence of these macrophages, even under mild septic conditions, mice fail to survive and exhibit increased production of inflammatory cytokines. Mechanistically, CD169+ macrophages control inflammatory responses via interleukin-10 (IL-10), as CD169+ macrophage-specific deletion of IL-10 was lethal during septic conditions, and recombinant IL-10 treatment reduced lipopolysaccharide (LPS)-induced lethality in mice lacking CD169+ macrophages. Collectively, our findings show a pivotal homeostatic role for CD169+ macrophages and suggest they may serve as an important target for therapy under damaging inflammatory conditions.
    Keywords:  CD169; CP: Immunology; G-CSF; IL-10; LPS; Siglec-1; macrophages; septic shock
  40. Science. 2023 Mar 02. eadd6220
      Individual free fatty acids (FAs) play important roles in metabolic homeostasis, many via engagement with more than 40 GPCRs. Searching for receptors to sense beneficial ω-3 FAs of fish oil enabled the identification of GPR120, involving with a spectrum of metabolic diseases. Here, we report six cryo-EM structures of GPR120 in complex with FA hormones or TUG891 and Gi or Giq trimers. Aromatic residues inside the GPR120 ligand pocket were responsible for recognizing different double-bond positions of these FAs and connect ligand recognition to distinct effector coupling. We also investigated synthetic ligand selectivity and the structural basis of missense single nucleotide polymorphisms. We reveal how GPR120 differentiates rigid double bonds and flexible single bonds and may facilitate rational drug design targeting to GPR120.
  41. Nat Commun. 2023 Mar 02. 14(1): 1179
      Biological regulation ubiquitously depends on protein allostery, but the regulatory mechanisms are incompletely understood, especially in proteins that undergo ligand-induced allostery with few structural changes. Here we used hydrogen-deuterium exchange with mass spectrometry (HDX/MS) to map allosteric effects in a paradigm ligand-responsive transcription factor, the lac repressor (LacI), in different functional states (apo, or bound to inducer, anti-inducer, and/or DNA). Although X-ray crystal structures of the LacI core domain in these states are nearly indistinguishable, HDX/MS experiments reveal widespread differences in flexibility. We integrate these results with modeling of protein-ligand-solvent interactions to propose a revised model for allostery in LacI, where ligand binding allosterically shifts the conformational ensemble as a result of distinct changes in the rigidity of secondary structures in the different states. Our model provides a mechanistic basis for the altered function of distal mutations. More generally, our approach provides a platform for characterizing and engineering protein allostery.