Endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress causes the ER-resident transmembrane protein Ire1 to self-associate, leading to the formation of large oligomeric clusters. In yeast cells, this induces strong unfolded protein response (UPR) through splicing of HAC1 mRNA. Here, we demonstrate that highly ER-stressed yeast cells exhibited poor Ire1 clustering in the presence of the actin-disrupting agent latrunculin-A. Under these conditions, Ire1 may form smaller oligomers because latrunculin-A only partially diminished the Ire1-mediated splicing of HAC1 mRNA. Ire1 cluster formation was also impaired by deletion of the type-II myosin gene MYO1 or SAC6, which encodes the actin-bundling protein fimbrin. Finally, we demonstrated that Ire1 clusters are predominantly located on or near actin filaments. Therefore, we propose that actin filaments play an important role in ER stress-induced clustering of Ire1.
Cell-cell contact regulates the proliferation and differentiation of non-transformed cells, e.g., NIH/3T3 cells show growth arrest at high cell density. However, only a few reports described the dynamic behavior of transcription factors involved in this process. In this study, we showed that the mRNA levels of plasminogen activator inhibitor type 1 (PAI-1) decreased drastically at high cell density, and that ELK3, a member of the Ets transcription factor family, repressed PAI-1 expression. We also demonstrated that while ELK3 was distributed evenly throughout the cell at low cell density, it accumulated in the nucleus at high cell density, and that binding of DNA by ELK3 at the A domain facilitated its nuclear accumulation. Furthermore, we found that ETS1, a PAI-1 activator, occupied the ELK3-binding site within the PAI-1 promoter at low cell density, while it was released at high cell density. These results suggest that at high cell density, the switching of binding of transcription factors from ETS1 to ELK3 occurs at a specific binding site of the PAI-1 promoter, leading to the cell-density dependent suppression of PAI-1 expression.
The mina53 (myc-induced nuclear antigen with a 53 kDa molecular mass; also known as mina) was identified as a direct transcriptional target of the oncoprotein Myc and encodes a conserved protein in vertebrates. While Mina53 is known to be associated with tumorigenesis, it is not clear what role Mina53 plays in non-neoplastic tissues. To directly address the roles of Mina53 in non-neoplastic tissues, we created mina53-deficient mice. Both male and female mina53-deficient mice reached adulthood and were fertile, suggesting that Mina53 is dispensable for the basic developmental processes. Since we found that Mina53 was expressed in cells responsible for immune responses, we investigated whether Mina53 was involved in immune responses. When mice were exposed intranasally to house dust mites as an allergen, the airway tract showed hyperresponsiveness to methacholine in wild-type mice but not in mina53-deficient mice. The mina53-deficient mice also showed a significantly reduced migration of immune cells, including eosinophils, into bronchoalveolar lavage fluid compared with wild-type mice. The levels of Th2 cytokines, IL-4 and IL-5, produced in response to house dust mites were lower in the mina53-deficient mice than in wild-type mice. The level of IFN-γ in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid was significantly decreased by exposure to house dust mites in wild-type mice but not in the mina53-deficient mice. These results suggest that Mina53 plays a role in the allergic response to inhaled allergens, possibly through controlling IL-4 production.
The DNA replication-related element-binding factor (DREF) is a BED finger-type transcription factor that has important roles in cell cycle progression. In an earlier study, we showed that DREF is required for endoreplication during posterior scutellar macrochaete development. However, dynamic change in the dref expression in the cell lineage is unclear. In this study, we focused on the spatio-temporal pattern of expression of the dref gene during bristle development. Gene expression analysis using GAL4 enhancer trap lines of dref and the upstream activation sequence-green fluorescent protein with nuclear localization signals (UAS-GFPnls) in combination with immunostaining revealed the half-life of GFPnls in vivo (<6 hours) is short enough to monitor the dref gene expression. The analysis revealed that the dref expression occurs in clusters that include cells consisting of a bristle as well as surrounding epidermal cells. The intensity of GFP signals was almost the same in those cells, suggesting expression of the dref gene in bristle cell lineages occurs simultaneously in clusters. Further analysis showed that GFP signals increased twice during sensory organ precursor development as well as in bristle development at 9 hours and 15 hours after pupal formation, respectively. However, its expression was barely detectable in the cell lineages in and around asymmetric cell division or at other stages of development. For the first time, we clarified a spatio-temporal pattern of expression of the dref gene in vivo and revealed that expression of the dref gene occurs in clusters and is temporally regulated at specific times during bristle development.
Patients with schizophrenia receive medication to alleviate various symptoms, but some efficacious second generation antipsychotics, particularly olanzapine, can cause obesity, dyslipidemia, and diabetes mellitus. It has been generally considered that olanzapine contributes to the development of diabetes by inducing obesity and subsequent insulin resistance. In this study, we examined the effect of olanzapine and risperidone, another second generation antipsychotic, on a hamster pancreatic β cell line, and found that both evoked mild endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress, as evidenced by mild activation of the ER stress sensor molecule PERK. Surprisingly, only olanzapine induced marked apoptosis. Phosphorylation of the α subunit of eukaryotic initiation factor 2, an event immediately downstream of PERK activation, was not observed in cells treated with olanzapine, protein synthesis continued despite PERK activation, and ER stress was thereby sustained. Secretion of insulin was markedly inhibited, and both proinsulin and insulin accumulated inside olanzapine-treated cells. Inhibition of protein synthesis and knockdown of insulin mRNA, which result in less unfolded protein burden, both attenuated subsequent olanzapine-induced apoptosis. Given clinical observations that some patients taking olanzapine exhibit hyperlipidemia and hyperglycemia without gaining weight, our observations suggest that damage to pancreatic β cells may contribute to the undesirable metabolic consequences of olanzapine treatment in some cases.
The Prdm (PRDI-BF1-RIZ1 homologous) family is involved in cell differentiation, and several Prdms have been reported to methylate histone H3 by intrinsic or extrinsic pathways. Here, we report that Prdm12 recruits G9a to methylate histone H3 on lysine 9 through its zinc finger domains. Because of the expression of Prdm12 in the developmental nervous system, we investigated the role of Prdm12 on P19 embryonic carcinoma cells as a model system for neurogenesis. In P19 cells, Prdm12 is induced by Retinoic acid (RA). Overproduction of Prdm12 in P19 cells impairs cell proliferation and increases the G1 population accompanied by the upregulation of p27. In contrast, the knockdown of Prdm12 increases the number of cells in a suspension culture of RA-induced neural differentiation. Both the PR domain and zinc finger domains are required for the anti-proliferative activity of Prdm12. While the data in this study is based on in vitro models, the results suggest that Prdm12 is induced by the RA signaling in vivo, and may regulate neural differentiation during animal development.
Activations of mitochondrial calpains cause apoptosis-inducing factor-dependent apoptosis of retinal photoreceptor cells in the Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rat, an animal model of retinitis pigmentosa. In the present study, we attempted to develop specific inhibitors of mitochondrial calpains that would prevent the retinal degeneration. We examined the inhibitory potency of 20-mer peptides of the m-calpain for mitochondrial calpains activity, determined the inhibitory regions, and conjugated the cell-penetrating peptides (CPP). The cytotoxicity and delivery of the peptide was evaluated using mouse photoreceptor-derived 661W cells. After intravitreal injection of the peptide in RCS rats, we examined the peptide delivery to the retina, photoreceptor cell death numbers, responses of the electroretinogram (ERG), concentrations of intracellular ATP, and changes of retinal morphology. Results showed that one of the peptides inhibited the activity of the mitochondrial m-calpain. The HIV-1 tat-conjugated m-calpain peptide, HIV-Nm, could preserve the inhibitory potency of the mitochondrial m-calpain, and penetrate into the 661W cells. While intravitreal injection of HIV-Nm made it possible to deliver to the retina, it did not prevent photoreceptor cell death. Furthermore, it caused the ERG attenuation and the decrease in the intracellular ATP only a day after the injection. Although HIV-Nm did not cause histological change of the retina after 1 or 2 days of the administration, the morphological abnormality of the retina was observed after 3–14 days. Our results demonstrated that HIV-Nm failed to prevent the photoreceptor cell death, but rather caused the attenuation of ERG response and the decrease of ATP.
Remodeling of collagen fibrils is involved in a variety of physiological and pathological processes including development, tissue repair, and metastasis. Fibroblast-populated collagen gel contraction has been employed as a model system to investigate the collagen fibril remodeling within three-dimensional collagen matrices. Research on collagen gel contraction is also important for understanding the mechanism underlying connective tissue repair, and for design considerations for engineered tissues in regenerative medicine. Second harmonic generation (SHG) is a non-linier optical effect by which well-ordered protein assemblies, including collagen fibrils, can be visualized without any labeling, and used for a noninvasive imaging of collagen fibrils in the skin. Here we demonstrate that the remodeling of collagen fibrils in the fibroblast-populated collagen gel can be analyzed by SHG imaging with a multiphoton microscope. Two models of collagen gel contraction (freely versus restrained contraction) were prepared, and orientation of fibroblasts, density, diameter, and distribution of collagen fibrils were examined by multiphoton fluorescent and SHG microscopy. Three-dimensional construction images revealed vertical and horizontal orientation of fibroblasts in freely and restrained gel contraction, respectively. Quantitative analysis indicated that collagen fibrils were accumulated within the gel and assembled into the thicker bundles in freely but not restrained collagen gel contraction. We also found that actomyosin contractility was involved in collagen fibril remodeling. This study elucidates how collagen fibrils are remodeled by fibroblasts in collagen gel contraction, and also proves that SHG microscopy can be used for the investigation of the fibroblast-populated collagen gel.