Graves' ophthalmopathy (GO) is characterized by expanded volume of the orbital tissues associated with elevated serum levels of TSH receptor (TSHR) autoantibodies. Because previous studies have demonstrated evidence of adipogenesis within the GO orbit, we sought to determine whether M22, a human monoclonal antibody directed against TSHR, enhances adipogenesis in orbital fibroblasts from patients with GO and, if so, to identify signaling mechanisms involved. GO orbital fibroblast cultures (n=10) were treated for 10 days with bovine TSH (1 or 10.0 U/l) or M22 (1 or 10 ng/ml) in serum-free adipocyte differentiation medium. Some cultures also received a phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor or an inhibitor of cAMP production. In other experiments, confluent cultures (n=8) were treated for between 1 and 30 min with TSH (0.1–10.0 U/l) or M22 (0.1–100 ng/ml) with measurement of cAMP production or levels of phosphorylated AKT (pAKT). We found levels of adiponectin, leptin, and TSHR mRNA to be increased in GO cultures treated for 10 days with either M22 (2.6 mean fold ±0.7; P=0.03) or TSH (13.2±5.8-fold, P=0.048). In other studies, M22 and TSH stimulated cAMP production and pAKT levels in GO cells. Inhibition of PI3K activity during 10 days in culture decreased the levels of M22-stimulated mRNA encoding adiponectin (67±12%; P=0.021), as well as adiponectin and CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein α protein levels. In conclusion, M22 is a pro-adipogenic factor in GO orbital preadipocytes. This antibody appears to act via the PI3K signaling cascade, suggesting that inhibition of PI3K signaling may represent a potential novel therapeutic approach in GO.
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Seema Kumar, Sarah Nadeem, Marius N Stan, Michael Coenen and Rebecca S Bahn
Oro Uchenunu, Michael Pollak, Ivan Topisirovic and Laura Hulea
Notwithstanding that metabolic perturbations and dysregulated protein synthesis are salient features of cancer, the mechanism underlying coordination of cellular energy balance with mRNA translation (which is the most energy consuming process in the cell) is poorly understood. In this review, we focus on recently emerging insights in the molecular underpinnings of the cross-talk between oncogenic kinases, translational apparatus and cellular energy metabolism. In particular, we focus on the central signaling nodes that regulate these processes (e.g. the mechanistic/mammalian target of rapamycin MTOR) and the potential implications of these findings on improving the anti-neoplastic efficacy of oncogenic kinase inhibitors.
Tingyuan Ren, Yuping Zhu, Xuejuan Xia, Yongbo Ding, Jing Guo and Jianquan Kan
This study aimed to evaluate the protein metabolism effect of Zanthoxylum alkylamides and to explore the potential mechanism in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetic rats. Diabetic rats were orally treated with 2, 4 and 8 mg per kg bw of alkylamides daily for 28 days. Alkylamides decreased the relative weight of the liver and food intake, significantly increased the relative skeletal muscle weight and significantly decreased the blood urea nitrogen levels. Insulin, insulin-like growth factor 1, total protein (TP) and albumin (ALB), globular proteins and ALB proteins/globulin protein levels in serum significantly increased. TP, RNA content and RNA/DNA ratio significantly increased in the skeletal muscle of diabetic rats. Real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction results indicated that alkylamides significantly increased the mRNA expression of insulin receptor (InR), IGF1 and insulin-like growth factor 1 receptor (IGF1R) in the liver and skeletal muscle. Moreover, the mRNA and protein expression levels of PI3K, PKB and mTOR significantly increased, whereas those of atrogin-1, muscle ring finger 1 and FOXO in the skeletal muscle significantly decreased. Alkylamides may advance protein synthesis by the PI3K/PKB/mTOR signalling pathway and attenuate the catabolism of protein through the ubiquitin–proteasome pathway. Therefore, it was possible that alkylamides ameliorate protein metabolism disorders in diabetic rats by activating the mTOR pathway.
Irit Hochberg, Innocence Harvey, Quynh T Tran, Erin J Stephenson, Ariel L Barkan, Alan R Saltiel, William F Chandler and Dave Bridges
Glucocorticoids have major effects on adipose tissue metabolism. To study tissue mRNA expression changes induced by chronic elevated endogenous glucocorticoids, we performed RNA sequencing on the subcutaneous adipose tissue from patients with Cushing's disease (n=5) compared to patients with nonfunctioning pituitary adenomas (n=11). We found a higher expression of transcripts involved in several metabolic pathways, including lipogenesis, proteolysis and glucose oxidation as well as a decreased expression of transcripts involved in inflammation and protein synthesis. To further study this in a model system, we subjected mice to dexamethasone treatment for 12 weeks and analyzed their inguinal (subcutaneous) fat pads, which led to similar findings. Additionally, mice treated with dexamethasone showed drastic decreases in lean body mass as well as increased fat mass, further supporting the human transcriptomic data. These data provide insight to transcriptional changes that may be responsible for the comorbidities associated with chronic elevations of glucocorticoids.
Bo Li, Zhiguo Zhang, Huizhi Zhang, Kai Quan, Yan Lu, Dongsheng Cai and Guang Ning
The prevalence of non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), a condition characterized by an excessive accumulation of triglycerides (TGs) in hepatocytes, has dramatically increased globally during recent decades. MicroRNAs (miRs) have been suggested to play crucial roles in many complex diseases and lipid metabolism. Our results indicated that miR199a-5p was remarkably upregulated in free fatty acid (FA)-treated hepatocytes. To investigate the role of miR199a-5p in the pathogenesis of fatty liver and the potential mechanism by which miR199a-5p regulates NAFLD, we first transfected two hepatocyte cell lines, HepG2 and AML12 cells, with agomiR199a-5p or antagomiR199a-5p. Our results indicated that miR199a-5p overexpression exacerbated deposition of FA and inhibited ATP levels and mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) contents. Consistently, suppression of miR199a-5p partially alleviated deposition of FA and increased ATP levels and mtDNA contents. Moreover, miR199a-5p suppressed the expression of mitochondrial FA β-oxidation-related genes through inhibition of caveolin1 (CAV1) and the related peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor alpha (PPAR α) pathway. Furthermore, suppression of CAV1 gene expression by CAV1 siRNA inhibited the PPARα signalling pathway. Finally, we examined the expression of miR199a-5p in liver samples derived from mice fed a high-fat diet, db/db mice, ob/ob mice and NAFLD patients, and found that miR199a-5p was upregulated while CAV1 and PPARA were downregulated in these systems, which was strongly indicative of the essential role of miR199a-5p in NAFLD. In summary, miR199a-5p plays a vital role in lipid metabolism, mitochondrial activity and mitochondrial β-oxidation in liver. Upregulated miR199a-5p in hepatocytes may contribute to impaired FA β-oxidation in mitochondria and aberrant lipid deposits, probably via CAV1 and the PPARα pathway.
Yasmine Hachemi, Anna E Rapp, Ann-Kristin Picke, Gilbert Weidinger, Anita Ignatius and Jan Tuckermann
Glucocorticoid hormones (GCs) have profound effects on bone metabolism. Via their nuclear hormone receptor – the GR – they act locally within bone cells and modulate their proliferation, differentiation, and cell death. Consequently, high glucocorticoid levels – as present during steroid therapy or stress – impair bone growth and integrity, leading to retarded growth and glucocorticoid-induced osteoporosis, respectively. Because of their profound impact on the immune system and bone cell differentiation, GCs also affect bone regeneration and fracture healing. The use of conditional-mutant mouse strains in recent research provided insights into the cell-type-specific actions of the GR. However, despite recent advances in system biology approaches addressing GR genomics in general, little is still known about the molecular mechanisms of GCs and GR in bone cells. Here, we review the most recent findings on the molecular mechanisms of the GR in general and the known cell-type-specific actions of the GR in mesenchymal cells and their derivatives as well as in osteoclasts during bone homeostasis, GC excess, bone regeneration and fracture healing.
Yihong Wan and Ronald M Evans
The nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor γ (PPARγ) is a key transcriptional regulator of both lipid metabolism and inflammation. The importance of PPARγ is accentuated by the widespread use of synthetic PPARγ agonists, thiazolidinediones (such as rosiglitazone), as drugs for insulin resistance and type II diabetes. Fractalkine (FKN) and FKN receptor (FR) play an important role in the immune responses by regulating leukocyte migration and adhesion to inflamed peripheral tissues. In this study, we have identified a novel link between PPARγ activation and FKN signaling. On one hand, the activation of PPARγ by rosiglitazone in macrophages not only represses the transcription of the FR gene, but also prevents the plasma membrane translocation of the FR protein. On the other hand, the activation of PPARγ by rosiglitazone in endothelial cells also impedes the nuclear export of FKN. Together, these data suggest that PPARγ activation represses FKN signaling. These findings indicate a previously unrecognized mechanism that may contribute to the anti-inflammatory effect of PPARγ.
Douglas A Gibson, Paul A Foster, Ioannis Simitsidellis, Hilary O D Critchley, Olympia Kelepouri, Frances Collins and Philippa T K Saunders
In women, establishment of pregnancy is dependent upon ‘fine-tuning’ of the endometrial microenvironment, which is mediated by terminal differentiation (decidualisation) of endometrial stromal fibroblasts (ESFs). We have demonstrated that intracrine steroid metabolism plays a key role in regulating decidualisation and is essential for time-dependent expression of key factors required for endometrial receptivity. The primary aim of the current study was to determine whether sulphated steroids can act as precursors to bioactive sex steroids during decidualisation. We used primary human ESF and a robust in vitro model of decidualisation to assess the expression of genes associated with sulphation, desulphation and transport of sulphated steroids in human ESF as well as the impact of the steroid sulphatase (STS) inhibitor STX64 (Irosustat). We found evidence for an increase in both expression and activity of STS in response to a decidualisation stimulus with abrogation of oestrone biosynthesis and decreased secretion of the decidualisation marker IGFBP1 in the presence of STX64. These results provide novel insight into the contribution of STS to the intracrine regulation of decidualisation.
Elizabeth M Pritchett, Susan J Lamont and Carl J Schmidt
The pituitary gland is a neuroendocrine organ that works closely with the hypothalamus to affect multiple processes within the body including the stress response, metabolism, growth and immune function. Relative tissue expression (rEx) is a transcriptome analysis method that compares the genes expressed in a particular tissue to the genes expressed in all other tissues with available data. Using rEx, the aim of this study was to identify genes that are uniquely or more abundantly expressed in the pituitary when compared to all other collected chicken tissues. We applied rEx to define genes enriched in the chicken pituitaries at days 21, 22 and 42 post-hatch. rEx analysis identified 25 genes shared between all time points, 295 genes shared between days 21 and 22 and 407 genes unique to day 42. The 25 genes shared by all time points are involved in morphogenesis and general nervous tissue development. The 295 shared genes between days 21 and 22 are involved in neurogenesis and nervous system development and differentiation. The 407 unique day 42 genes are involved in pituitary development, endocrine system development and other hormonally related gene ontology terms. Overall, rEx analysis indicates a focus on nervous system/tissue development at days 21 and 22. By day 42, in addition to nervous tissue development, there is expression of genes involved in the endocrine system, possibly for maturation and preparation for reproduction. This study defines the transcriptome of the chicken pituitary gland and aids in understanding the expressed genes critical to its function and maturation.
Gillian A Gray, Christopher I White, Raphael F P Castellan, Sara J McSweeney and Karen E Chapman
Corticosteroids influence the development and function of the heart and its response to injury and pressure overload via actions on glucocorticoid (GR) and mineralocorticoid (MR) receptors. Systemic corticosteroid concentration depends largely on the activity of the hypothalamic–pituitary–adrenal (HPA) axis, but glucocorticoid can also be regenerated from intrinsically inert metabolites by the enzyme 11β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase type 1 (11β-HSD1), selectively increasing glucocorticoid levels within cells and tissues. Extensive studies have revealed the roles for glucocorticoid regeneration by 11β-HSD1 in liver, adipose, brain and other tissues, but until recently, there has been little focus on the heart. This article reviews the evidence for glucocorticoid metabolism by 11β-HSD1 in the heart and for a role of 11β-HSD1 activity in determining the myocardial growth and physiological function. We also consider the potential of 11β-HSD1 as a therapeutic target to enhance repair after myocardial infarction and to prevent the development of cardiac remodelling and heart failure.