Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is a fatal neurodegenerative disease that is characterized by selective loss of motor neurons in brain and spinal cord. TAR DNA-binding protein 43 (TDP-43) was identified as a major component of disease pathogenesis in ALS, frontotemporal lobar degeneration (FTLD), and other neurodegenerative disease. Despite the fact that TDP-43 is a multi-functional protein involved in RNA processing and a large number of TDP-43 RNA targets have been discovered, the initial toxic effect and the pathogenic mechanism underlying TDP-43-linked neurodegeneration remain elusive. In this study, we found that loss of TDP-43 strongly induced a nuclear translocation of TFEB, the master regulator of lysosomal biogenesis and autophagy, through targeting the mTORC1 key component raptor. This regulation in turn enhanced global gene expressions in the autophagy-lysosome pathway (ALP) and increased autophagosomal and lysosomal biogenesis. However, loss of TDP-43 also impaired the fusion of autophagosomes with lysosomes through dynactin 1 downregulation, leading to accumulation of immature autophagic vesicles and overwhelmed ALP function. Importantly, inhibition of mTORC1 signaling by rapamycin treatment aggravated the neurodegenerative phenotype in a TDP-43-depleted Drosophila model, whereas activation of mTORC1 signaling by PA treatment ameliorated the neurodegenerative phenotype. Taken together, our data indicate that impaired mTORC1 signaling and influenced ALP may contribute to TDP-43-mediated neurodegeneration.
Parkin is an E3 ubiquitin ligase that mediates the ubiquitination of protein substrates. The mutations in the parkin gene can lead to a loss of function of parkin and cause autosomal recessive juvenile onset parkinsonism. Recently, parkin was reported to be involved in the regulation of mitophagy. Here, we identify the Bcl-2, an anti-apoptotic and autophagy inhibitory protein, as a substrate for parkin. Parkin directly binds to Bcl-2 via its C terminus and mediates the mono-ubiquitination of Bcl-2, which increases the steady-state levels of Bcl-2. Overexpression of parkin, but not its ligase-deficient forms, decreases autophagy marker LC3 conversion, whereas knockdown of parkin increases LC3 II levels. In HeLa cells, a parkin-deficient cell line, knockdown of parkin does not change LC3 conversion. Moreover, overexpression of parkin enhances the interactions between Bcl-2 and Beclin 1. Our results provide evidence that parkin mono-ubiquitinates Bcl-2 and regulates autophagy via Bcl-2. Parkinson disease (PD)2 is the second most common neurodegenerative disorder after Alzheimer disease (1) and is characterized by a distinct set of motor symptoms including tremor, muscle rigidity, postural instability, and bradykinesia (2). Although the cause of PD is poorly understood, there is evidence that both environmental factors and genetic factors contribute to its development. Recently, several genes have been reported to be associated with the pathogenesis of familial forms of PD. Mutations in the parkin gene (PARK2; OMIM600116) cause autosomal recessive juvenile onset parkinsonism (3). It has been shown that mutations in parkin account for nearly 50% of patients with the early onset familial PD cases (3-6) and more than 15% of sporadic PD cases with early onset (7).Parkin is a 465-amino acid protein that contains an ubiquitin-like domain at its N terminus and two RING finger domains separated by an in-between-ring domain at its C terminus. Similar to other RING finger-containing proteins, parkin is an E3 ubiquitin ligase. Parkin ubiquitinates several target proteins and enhances their degradation via the ubiquitin-proteasome system (8, 9). Ubiquitination of a substrate is usually processed by a multi-step involving the sequential activity of an E1 ubiquitin-activating enzyme, an E2 ubiquitin-conjugating enzyme, and an E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase (10). It was reported that parkin can selectively interact with the E2 enzymes, UbcH7 and UbcH8 (9,11,12). A number of protein substrates for parkin have been identified, including synphilin-1 (13, 14), CDCrel-1 and 2a (12, 15), Pael-R (16), synaptotagmin XI (17), ␣-and ␤-tubulin (18), RanBP2 (19), cyclin E (20), the aminoacyl-tRNA synthetase cofactor p38/AIMP2 (21, 22), Eps15 (23), and far upstream sequence element-binding protein 1 (24). Within these substrates, p38/AIMP2 and far upstream sequence element-binding protein 1 were reported to be accumulated in brains of parkin null mice, MPTP (1-Methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine) treated mice, and sporadic PD cases (22,24)...
Porcine epidemic diarrhea virus (PEDV), a member of the group of alphacoronaviruses, is the pathogen of a highly contagious gastrointestinal swine disease. The elucidation of the events associated with the intestinal epithelial response to PEDV infection has been limited by the absence of good in vitro porcine intestinal models that recapitulate the multicellular complexity of the gastrointestinal tract. Here, we generated swine enteroids from the intestinal crypt stem cells of the duodenum, jejunum, or ileum and found that the generated enteroids are able to satisfactorily recapitulate the complicated intestinal epithelium in vivo and are susceptible to infection by PEDV. PEDV infected multiple types of cells, including enterocytes, stem cells, and goblet cells, and exhibited segmental infection discrepancies compared with ileal enteroids and colonoids, and this finding was verified in vivo. Moreover, the clinical isolate PEDV-JMS propagated better in ileal enteroids than the cell-adapted isolate PEDV-CV777, and PEDV infection suppressed interferon (IFN) production early during the infection course. IFN lambda elicited a potent antiviral response and inhibited PEDV in enteroids more efficiently than IFN alpha (IFN-␣). Therefore, swine enteroids provide a novel in vitro model for exploring the pathogenesis of PEDV and for the in vitro study of the interplay between a host and a variety of swine enteric viruses. IMPORTANCE PEDV is a highly contagious enteric coronavirus that causes significant economic losses, and the lack of a good in vitro model system is a major roadblock to an in-depth understanding of PEDV pathogenesis. Here, we generated a porcine intestinal enteroid model for PEDV infection. Utilizing porcine intestinal enteroids, we demonstrated that PEDV infects multiple lineages of the intestinal epithelium and preferably infects ileal enteroids over colonoids and that enteroids prefer to respond to IFN lambda 1 over IFN-␣. These events recapitulate the events that occur in vivo. This study constitutes the first use of a primary intestinal enteroid model to investigate the susceptibility of porcine enteroids to PEDV and to determine the antiviral response following infection. Our study provides important insights into the events associated with PEDV infection of the porcine intestine and provides a valuable in vitro model for studying not only PEDV but also other swine enteric viruses.
Root diameter, a critical indicator of root physiological function, varies greatly among tree species, but the underlying mechanism of this high variability is unclear. Here, we sampled 50 tree species across tropical and temperate zones in China, and measured root morphological and anatomical traits along the first five branch orders in each species. Our objectives were (i) to reveal the relationships between root diameter, cortical thickness and stele diameter among tree species in tropical and temperate forests, and (ii) to investigate the relationship of both root morphological and anatomical traits with divergence time during species radiation. The results showed that root diameter was strongly affected by cortical thickness but less by stele diameter in both tropical and temperate species. Changes in cortical thickness explained over 90% of variation in root diameter for the first order, and ∼74-87% for the second and third orders. Thicker roots displayed greater cortical thickness and more cortical cell layers than thinner roots. Phylogenetic analysis demonstrated that root diameter, cortical thickness and number of cortical cell layers significantly correlated with divergence time at the family level, showing similar variation trends in geological time. The results also suggested that trees tend to decrease their root cortical thickness rather than stele diameter during species radiation. The close linkage of variations in root morphology and anatomy to phylogeny as demonstrated by the data from the 50 tree species should provide some insights into the mechanism of root diameter variability among tree species.
Superoxide dismutase-1 (SOD1) and ataxin-3 are two neurodegenerative disease proteins in association with familial amyotrophic lateral sclerosis and Machado-Joseph disease/spinocerebellar ataxia type 3. Both normal and mutant types of SOD1 and ataxin-3 are degraded by the proteasome. It was recently reported that these two proteins are associated with the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Mammalian gp78 is an E3 ubiquitin ligase involved in ER-associated degradation (ERAD). Here, we show that gp78 interacts with both SOD1 and ataxin-3. Overexpression of gp78 promotes the ubiquitination and degradation of these two proteins, whereas knockdown of gp78 stabilizes them. Moreover, gp78 represses aggregate formation of mutant SOD1 and protect cells against mutant SOD1-induced cell death. Furthermore, gp78 is increased in cells transfected with these two mutant proteins as well as in ALS mice. Thus, our results suggest that gp78 functions in the regulation of SOD1 and ataxin-3 to target them for ERAD.
Extracellular vesicles (EVs) derived from mesenchymal stem cells (MSC-EVs) have been recognized as a promising cell-free therapy for acute kidney injury (AKI), which avoids safety concerns associated with direct cell engraftment. However, low stability and retention of MSC-EVs have limited their therapeutic efficacy. RGD (Arg-Gly-Asp) peptide binds strongly to integrins, which have been identified on the surface of MSC-EV membranes; yet RGD has not been applied to EV scaffolds to enhance and prolong bioavailability. Here, we developed RGD hydrogels, which we hypothesized could augment MSC-EV efficacy in the treatment of AKI models. In vivo tracking of the labeled EVs revealed that RGD hydrogels increased retention and stability of EVs. Integrin gene knockdown experiments confirmed that EV−hydrogel interaction was mediated by RGD−integrin binding. Upon intrarenal injection into mouse AKI models, EV-RGD hydrogels provided superior rescuing effects to renal function, attenuated histopathological damage, decreased tubular injury, and promoted cell proliferation in early phases of AKI. RGD hydrogels also augmented antifibrotic effects of MSC-EVs in chronic stages. Further analysis revealed that the presence of microRNA let-7a-5p in MSC-EVs served as the mechanism contributing to the reduced cell apoptosis and elevated cell autophagy in AKI. In conclusion, RGD hydrogels facilitated MSC-derived let-7a-5p-containing EVs, improving reparative potential against AKI. This study developed an RGD scaffold to increase the EV integrin-mediated loading and in turn improved therapeutic efficacy in renal repair; therefore this strategy shed light on MSC-EV application as a cell-free treatment for potentiated efficiency.
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