Exercise benefits a variety of organ systems in mammals, and some of the best-recognized effects of exercise on muscle are mediated by the transcriptional coactivator PGC1α Here we show that PGC1α expression in muscle stimulates an increase in expression of Fndc5, a membrane protein that is cleaved and secreted as a new hormone, irisin. Irisin acts on white adipose cells in culture and in vivo to stimulate UCP1 expression and a broad program of brown fat-like development. Irisin is induced with exercise in mice and humans, and mildly increased irisin levels in blood cause an increase in energy expenditure in mice with no changes in movement or food intake. This results in improvements in obesity and glucose homeostasis. Irisin could be a protein therapeutic for human metabolic disease and other disorders that are improved with exercise.
Summary Brown fat defends against hypothermia and obesity through thermogenesis mediated by mitochondrial UCP1. Recent data suggest that there are two distinct types of brown fat: classical brown fat derived from a myf-5 cellular lineage and UCP1-positive cells that emerge in white fat from a non-myf-5 lineage. Here we report the cloning of “beige” cells from murine white fat depots. Beige cells resemble white fat cells in having extremely low basal expression of UCP1, but like classical brown fat, they respond to cyclic AMP stimulation with high UCP1 expression and respiration rates. Beige cells have a gene expression pattern distinct from either white or brown fat and are preferentially sensitive to the polypeptide hormone irisin. Finally, we show that deposits of brown fat previously observed in adult humans are composed of beige adipose cells. These data illustrate a new cell type with therapeutic potential in mouse and human.
Tuberous sclerosis (TSC) is an autosomal dominant disorder characterized by the formation of hamartomas in a wide range of human tissues. Mutation in either the TSC1 or TSC2 tumour suppressor gene is responsible for both the familial and sporadic forms of this disease. TSC1 and TSC2 proteins form a physical and functional complex in vivo. Here, we show that TSC1-TSC2 inhibits the p70 ribosomal protein S6 kinase 1 (an activator of translation) and activates the eukaryotic initiation factor 4E binding protein 1 (4E-BP1, an inhibitor of translational initiation). These functions of TSC1-TSC2 are mediated by inhibition of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). Furthermore, TSC2 is directly phosphorylated by Akt, which is involved in stimulating cell growth and is activated by growth stimulating signals, such as insulin. TSC2 is inactivated by Akt-dependent phosphorylation, which destabilizes TSC2 and disrupts its interaction with TSC1. Our data indicate a molecular mechanism for TSC2 in insulin signalling, tumour suppressor functions and in the inhibition of cell growth.
Measuring gene expression in individual cells is crucial for understanding the gene regulatory network controlling human embryonic development. Here we apply single-cell RNA sequencing (RNA-Seq) analysis to 124 individual cells from human preimplantation embryos and human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) at different passages. The number of maternally expressed genes detected in our data set is 22,687, including 8,701 long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs), which represents a significant increase from 9,735 maternal genes detected previously by cDNA microarray. We discovered 2,733 novel lncRNAs, many of which are expressed in specific developmental stages. To address the long-standing question whether gene expression signatures of human epiblast (EPI) and in vitro hESCs are the same, we found that EPI cells and primary hESC outgrowth have dramatically different transcriptomes, with 1,498 genes showing differential expression between them. This work provides a comprehensive framework of the transcriptome landscapes of human early embryos and hESCs.
SUMMARY Cancer-secreted miRNAs are emerging mediators of cancer–host crosstalk. Here we show that miR-105, which is characteristically expressed and secreted by metastatic breast cancer cells, is a potent regulator of migration through targeting the tight junction protein ZO-1. In endothelial monolayers, exosome-mediated transfer of cancer-secreted miR-105 efficiently destroys tight junctions and the integrity of these natural barriers against metastasis. Overexpression of miR-105 in non-metastatic cancer cells induces metastasis and vascular permeability in distant organs, whereas inhibition of miR-105 in highly metastatic tumors alleviates these effects. MiR-105 can be detected in the circulation at the pre-metastatic stage, and its levels in the blood and tumor are associated with ZO-1 expression and metastatic progression in early-stage breast cancer.
SUMMARY Exercise can improve cognitive function and has been linked to the increased expression of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF). However, the underlying molecular mechanisms driving the elevation of this neurotrophin remain unknown. Here we show that FNDC5, a previously identified muscle protein that is induced in exercise and is cleaved and secreted as irisin, is also elevated by endurance exercise in the hippocampus of mice. Neuronal Fndc5 gene expression is regulated by PGC-1α and Pgc1a−/− mice show reduced Fndc5 expression in the brain. Forced expression of FNDC5 in primary cortical neurons increases Bdnf expression, whereas RNAi-mediated knockdown of FNDC5 reduces Bdnf. Importantly, peripheral delivery of FNDC5 to the liver via adenoviral vectors, resulting in elevated blood irisin, induces expression of Bdnf and other neuroprotective genes in the hippocampus. Taken together, our findings link endurance exercise and the important metabolic mediators, PGC-1α and FNDC5, with BDNF expression in the brain.
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) clusters in families, but the only known common genetic variants influencing risk are near PNPLA3. We sought to identify additional genetic variants influencing NAFLD using genome-wide association (GWA) analysis of computed tomography (CT) measured hepatic steatosis, a non-invasive measure of NAFLD, in large population based samples. Using variance components methods, we show that CT hepatic steatosis is heritable (∼26%–27%) in family-based Amish, Family Heart, and Framingham Heart Studies (n = 880 to 3,070). By carrying out a fixed-effects meta-analysis of genome-wide association (GWA) results between CT hepatic steatosis and ∼2.4 million imputed or genotyped SNPs in 7,176 individuals from the Old Order Amish, Age, Gene/Environment Susceptibility-Reykjavik study (AGES), Family Heart, and Framingham Heart Studies, we identify variants associated at genome-wide significant levels (p<5×10−8) in or near PNPLA3, NCAN, and PPP1R3B. We genotype these and 42 other top CT hepatic steatosis-associated SNPs in 592 subjects with biopsy-proven NAFLD from the NASH Clinical Research Network (NASH CRN). In comparisons with 1,405 healthy controls from the Myocardial Genetics Consortium (MIGen), we observe significant associations with histologic NAFLD at variants in or near NCAN, GCKR, LYPLAL1, and PNPLA3, but not PPP1R3B. Variants at these five loci exhibit distinct patterns of association with serum lipids, as well as glycemic and anthropometric traits. We identify common genetic variants influencing CT–assessed steatosis and risk of NAFLD. Hepatic steatosis associated variants are not uniformly associated with NASH/fibrosis or result in abnormalities in serum lipids or glycemic and anthropometric traits, suggesting genetic heterogeneity in the pathways influencing these traits.
Longitudinal characteristics of lymphocyte responses and cytokine profiles in the peripheral blood of SARS-CoV-2 infected patients, EBioMedicine (2020), doi: https://doi.Abstract Background: The dynamic changes of lymphocyte subsets and cytokines profiles of patients with novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) and their correlation with the disease severity remain unclear. Methods: Peripheral blood samples were longitudinally collected from 40 confirmed COVID-19 patients and examined for lymphocyte subsets by flow cytometry and cytokine profiles by specific immunoassays. Findings: Of the 40 COVID-19 patients enrolled, 13 severe cases showed significant and sustained decreases in lymphocyte counts [0·6 (0·6-0·8)] but increases in neutrophil counts [4·7 (3·6-5·8)] than 27 mild cases [1.1 (0·8-1·4); 2·0 (1·5-2·9)].Further analysis demonstrated significant decreases in the counts of T cells, especially CD8 + T cells, as well as increases in IL-6, IL-10, IL-2 and IFN-γ levels in the peripheral blood in the severe cases compared to those in the mild cases. T cell counts and cytokine levels in severe COVID-19 patients who survived the disease gradually recovered at later time points to levels that were comparable to those of the mild cases.Moreover, the neutrophil-to-lymphocyte ratio (NLR) (AUC=0·93) and neutrophil-to-CD8 + T cell ratio (N8R) (AUC =0·94) were identified as powerful prognostic factors affecting the prognosis for severe COVID-19.Interpretation: The degree of lymphopenia and a proinflammatory cytokine storm is higher in severe COVID-19 patients than in mild cases, and is associated with the disease severity. N8R and NLR may serve as a useful prognostic factor for early 4 identification of severe COVID-19 cases.
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