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Intrahepatic microbes govern liver immunity by programming NKT cells

Leinwand, Joshua C; Paul, Bidisha; Chen, Ruonan; Xu, Fangxi; Sierra, Maria A; Paluru, Madan M; Nanduri, Sumant; Alcantara Hirsch, Carolina G; Shadaloey, Sorin Aa; Yang, Fan; Adam, Salma A; Li, Qianhao; Bandel, Michelle; Gakhal, Inderdeep; Appiah, Lara; Guo, Yuqi; Vardhan, Mridula; Flaminio, Zia J; Grodman, Emilie R; Mermelstein, Ari; Wang, Wei; Diskin, Brian; Aykut, Berk; Khan, Mohammed; Werba, Gregor; Pushalkar, Smruti; McKinstry, Mia; Kluger, Zachary; Park, Jaimie J; Hsieh, Brandon; Dancel-Manning, Kristen; Liang, Feng-Xia; Park, James S; Saxena, Anjana; Li, Xin; Theise, Neil D; Saxena, Deepak; Miller, George
The gut microbiome shapes local and systemic immunity. The liver is presumed to be a protected sterile site. As such, a hepatic microbiome has not been examined. Here, we showed a liver microbiome in mice and humans that is distinct from the gut and is enriched in Proteobacteria. It undergoes dynamic alterations with age and is influenced by the environment and host physiology. Fecal microbial transfer experiments revealed that the liver microbiome is populated from the gut in a highly selective manner. Hepatic immunity is dependent on the microbiome, specifically Bacteroidetes species. Targeting Bacteroidetes with oral antibiotics reduced hepatic immune cells by ~90%, prevented APC maturation, and mitigated adaptive immunity. Mechanistically, our findings are consistent with presentation of Bacteroidetes-derived glycosphingolipids to NKT cells promoting CCL5 signaling, which drives hepatic leukocyte expansion and activation, among other possible host-microbe interactions. Collectively, we reveal a microbial - glycosphingolipid - NKT - CCL5 axis that underlies hepatic immunity.
PMID: 35175938
ISSN: 1558-8238
CID: 5163572

Regulators of tubulin polyglutamylation control nuclear shape and cilium disassembly by balancing microtubule and actin assembly

Wang, Lei; Paudyal, Sharad C; Kang, Yuchen; Owa, Mikito; Liang, Feng-Xia; Spektor, Alexander; Knaut, Holger; Sánchez, Irma; Dynlacht, Brian D
Cytoskeletal networks play an important role in regulating nuclear morphology and ciliogenesis. However, the role of microtubule (MT) post-translational modifications in nuclear shape regulation and cilium disassembly has not been explored. Here we identified a novel regulator of the tubulin polyglutamylase complex (TPGC), C11ORF49/CSTPP1, that regulates cytoskeletal organization, nuclear shape, and cilium disassembly. Mechanistically, loss of C11ORF49/CSTPP1 impacts the assembly and stability of the TPGC, which modulates long-chain polyglutamylation levels on microtubules (MTs) and thereby balances the binding of MT-associated proteins and actin nucleators. As a result, loss of TPGC leads to aberrant, enhanced assembly of MTs that penetrate the nucleus, which in turn leads to defects in nuclear shape, and disorganization of cytoplasmic actin that disrupts the YAP/TAZ pathway and cilium disassembly. Further, we showed that C11ORF49/CSTPP1-TPGC plays mechanistically distinct roles in the regulation of nuclear shape and cilium disassembly. Remarkably, disruption of C11ORF49/CSTPP1-TPGC also leads to developmental defects in vivo. Our findings point to an unanticipated nexus that links tubulin polyglutamylation with nuclear shape and ciliogenesis.
PMID: 34782749
ISSN: 1748-7838
CID: 5049022

"Orphan" Connexin43 in Plakophilin-2 Deficient Hearts Revealed by Volume Electron Microscopy

van Opbergen, Chantal J M; Sall, Joseph; Petzold, Chris; Dancel-Manning, Kristen; Delmar, Mario; Liang, Feng-Xia
Previous studies revealed an abundance of functional Connexin43 (Cx43) hemichannels consequent to loss of plakophilin-2 (PKP2) expression in adult murine hearts. The increased Cx43-mediated membrane permeability is likely responsible for excess entry of calcium into the cells, leading to an arrhythmogenic/cardiomyopathic phenotype. The latter has translational implications to the molecular mechanisms of inheritable arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC). Despite functional evidence, visualization of these "orphan" (i.e., non-paired in a gap junction configuration) Cx43 hemichannels remains lacking. Immuno-electron microscopy (IEM) remains an extremely powerful tool to localize, with nanometric resolution, a protein within its native structural landscape. Yet, challenges for IEM are to preserve the antigenicity of the molecular target and to provide access for antibodies to reach their target, while maintaining the cellular/tissue ultrastructure. Fixation is important for maintaining cell structure, but strong fixation and vigorous dehydration (as it is routine for EM) can alter protein structure, thus impairing antigen-antibody binding. Here, we implemented a method to combine pre-embedding immunolabeling (pre-embedding) with serial block-face scanning electron microscopy (SBF-SEM). We utilized a murine model of cardiomyocyte-specific, Tamoxifen (TAM) activated knockout of PKP2. Adult hearts were harvested 14 days post-TAM, at this time hearts present a phenotype of concealed ARVC (i.e., an arrhythmogenic phenotype but no overt structural disease). Thick (200 µm) vibratome slices were immunolabelled for Cx43 and treated with nanogold or FluoroNanogold, coupled with a silver enhancement. Left or right ventricular free walls were dissected and three-dimensional (3D) localization of Cx43 in cardiac muscle was performed using SBF-SEM. Reconstructed images allowed us to visualize the entire length of gap junction plaques, seen as two parallel, closely packed strings of Cx43-immunoreactive beads at the intercalated disc. In contrast, in PKP2-deficient hearts we observed bulging of the intercellular space, and entire areas where only one of the two strings could be observed, indicating the presence of orphan Cx43. We conclude that pre-embedding and SBF-SEM allowed visualization of cardiac Cx43 plaques in their native environment, providing for the first time a visual complement of functional data indicating the presence of orphan Cx43 hemichannels resulting from loss of desmosomal integrity in the heart.
PMID: 35663385
ISSN: 2296-634x
CID: 5283052

Neural cell adhesion molecule is required for ventricular conduction system development

Delgado, Camila; Bu, Lei; Zhang, Jie; Liu, Fang-Yu; Sall, Joseph; Liang, Feng-Xia; Furley, Andrew J; Fishman, Glenn I
The most distal portion of the ventricular conduction system (VCS) contains cardiac Purkinje cells (PCs), which are essential for synchronous activation of the ventricular myocardium. Contactin-2 (CNTN2), a member of the immunoglobulin superfamily of cell adhesion molecules (IgSF-CAMs), was previously identified as a marker of the VCS. Through differential transcriptional profiling, we discovered two additional highly enriched IgSF-CAMs in the VCS: NCAM-1 and ALCAM. Immunofluorescence staining showed dynamic expression patterns for each IgSF-CAM during embryonic and early postnatal stages, but ultimately all three proteins became highly enriched in mature PCs. Mice deficient in NCAM-1, but not CNTN2 or ALCAM, exhibited defects in PC gene expression and VCS patterning, as well as cardiac conduction disease. Moreover, using ST8sia2 and ST8sia4 knockout mice, we show that inhibition of post-translational modification of NCAM-1 by polysialic acid leads to disrupted trafficking of sarcolemmal intercalated disc proteins to junctional membranes and abnormal expansion of the extracellular space between apposing PCs. Taken together, our data provide insights into the complex developmental biology of the ventricular conduction system.
PMID: 34100064
ISSN: 1477-9129
CID: 4899742

Structural and Functional Characterization of A Nav1.5-Mitochondrial Couplon

Pérez-Hernández Duran, Marta; Leo-Macias, Alejandra; Keegan, Sarah; Jouni, Mariam; Kim, Joon-Chul; Agullo-Pascual, Esperanza; Vermij, Sarah H; Zhang, Mingliang; Liang, Feng-Xia; Burridge, Paul; Fenyo, David; Rothenberg, Eli; Delmar, Mario
Rationale: The cardiac sodium channel NaV1.5 has a fundamental role in excitability and conduction. Previous studies have shown that sodium channels cluster together in specific cellular subdomains. Their association with intracellular organelles in defined regions of the myocytes, and the functional consequences of that association, remain to be defined. Objective: To characterize a subcellular domain formed by sodium channel clusters in the crest region of the myocytes, and the subjacent subsarcolemmal mitochondria (SSM).Methods and Results: Through a combination of imaging approaches including super-resolution microscopy and electron microscopy we identified, in adult cardiac myocytes, a NaV1.5 subpopulation in close proximity to SSM; we further found that SSM preferentially host the mitochondrial Na+/Ca2+ exchanger (NCLX). This anatomical proximity led us to investigate functional changes in mitochondria resulting from sodium channel activity. Upon TTX exposure, mitochondria near NaV1.5 channels accumulated more Ca2+ and showed increased ROS production when compared to interfibrillar mitochondria. Finally, crosstalk between NaV1.5 channels and mitochondria was analyzed at a transcriptional level. We found that SCN5A and SLC8B1 (which encode NaV1.5 and NCLX, respectively) are negatively correlated both in a human transcriptome dataset (GTEx) and in human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiac myocytes deficient in SCN5A. Conclusions: We describe an anatomical hub (a couplon) formed by sodium channel clusters and SSM. Preferential localization of NCLX to this domain allows for functional coupling where the extrusion of Ca2+ from the mitochondria is powered, at least in part, by the entry of sodium through NaV1.5 channels. These results provide a novel entry-point into a mechanistic understanding of the intersection between electrical and structural functions of the heart.
PMID: 33342222
ISSN: 1524-4571
CID: 4726042

Murine GFP-Mx1 forms nuclear condensates and associates with cytoplasmic intermediate filaments: Novel antiviral activity against VSV

Sehgal, Pravin B; Yuan, Huijuan; Scott, Mia F; Deng, Yan; Liang, Feng-Xia; Mackiewicz, Andrzej
Type I and III interferons induce expression of the "myxovirus resistance proteins" MxA in human cells and its ortholog Mx1 in murine cells. Human MxA forms cytoplasmic structures, whereas murine Mx1 forms nuclear bodies. Whereas both HuMxA and MuMx1 are antiviral toward influenza A virus (FLUAV) (an orthomyxovirus), only HuMxA is considered antiviral toward vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) (a rhabdovirus). We previously reported that the cytoplasmic human GFP-MxA structures were phase-separated membraneless organelles ("biomolecular condensates"). In the present study, we investigated whether nuclear murine Mx1 structures might also represent phase-separated biomolecular condensates. The transient expression of murine GFP-Mx1 in human Huh7 hepatoma, human Mich-2H6 melanoma, and murine NIH 3T3 cells led to the appearance of Mx1 nuclear bodies. These GFP-MuMx1 nuclear bodies were rapidly disassembled by exposing cells to 1,6-hexanediol (5%, w/v), or to hypotonic buffer (40-50 mosm), consistent with properties of membraneless phase-separated condensates. Fluorescence recovery after photobleaching (FRAP) assays revealed that the GFP-MuMx1 nuclear bodies upon photobleaching showed a slow partial recovery (mobile fraction: ∼18%) suggestive of a gel-like consistency. Surprisingly, expression of GFP-MuMx1 in Huh7 cells also led to the appearance of GFP-MuMx1 in 20-30% of transfected cells in a novel cytoplasmic giantin-based intermediate filament meshwork and in cytoplasmic bodies. Remarkably, Huh7 cells with cytoplasmic murine GFP-MuMx1 filaments, but not those with only nuclear bodies, showed antiviral activity toward VSV. Thus, GFP-MuMx1 nuclear bodies comprised phase-separated condensates. Unexpectedly, GFP-MuMx1 in Huh7 cells also associated with cytoplasmic giantin-based intermediate filaments, and such cells showed antiviral activity toward VSV.
PMID: 33453814
ISSN: 1083-351x
CID: 4764802

3-Dimensional organization and dynamics of the microsporidian polar tube invasion machinery

Jaroenlak, Pattana; Cammer, Michael; Davydov, Alina; Sall, Joseph; Usmani, Mahrukh; Liang, Feng-Xia; Ekiert, Damian C; Bhabha, Gira
Microsporidia, a divergent group of single-celled eukaryotic parasites, harness a specialized harpoon-like invasion apparatus called the polar tube (PT) to gain entry into host cells. The PT is tightly coiled within the transmissible extracellular spore, and is about 20 times the length of the spore. Once triggered, the PT is rapidly ejected and is thought to penetrate the host cell, acting as a conduit for the transfer of infectious cargo into the host. The organization of this specialized infection apparatus in the spore, how it is deployed, and how the nucleus and other large cargo are transported through the narrow PT are not well understood. Here we use serial block-face scanning electron microscopy to reveal the 3-dimensional architecture of the PT and its relative spatial orientation to other organelles within the spore. Using high-speed optical microscopy, we also capture and quantify the entire PT germination process of three human-infecting microsporidia species in vitro: Anncaliia algerae, Encephalitozoon hellem and E. intestinalis. Our results show that the emerging PT experiences very high accelerating forces to reach velocities exceeding 300 μm⋅s-1, and that firing kinetics differ markedly between species. Live-cell imaging reveals that the nucleus, which is at least 7 times larger than the diameter of the PT, undergoes extreme deformation to fit through the narrow tube, and moves at speeds comparable to PT extension. Our study sheds new light on the 3-dimensional organization, dynamics, and mechanism of PT extrusion, and shows how infectious cargo moves through the tube to initiate infection.
PMID: 32946515
ISSN: 1553-7374
CID: 4593522

Adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR) stimulation enhances mitochondrial metabolism and mitigates reactive oxygen species-mediated mitochondrial injury

Castro, Cristina M; Corciulo, Carmen; Solesio, Maria E; Liang, Fengxia; Pavlov, Evgeny V; Cronstein, Bruce N
In OA chondrocytes, there is diminished mitochondrial production of ATP and diminished extracellular adenosine resulting in diminished adenosine A2A receptor (A2AR) stimulation and altered chondrocyte homeostasis which contributes to the pathogenesis of OA. We tested the hypothesis that A2AR stimulation maintains or enhances mitochondrial function in chondrocytes. The effect of A2AR signaling on mitochondrial health and function was determined in primary murine chondrocytes, a human chondrocytic cell line (T/C-28a2), primary human chondrocytes, and a murine model of OA by transmission electron microscopy analysis, mitochondrial stress testing, confocal live imaging for mitochondrial inner membrane polarity, and immunohistochemistry. In primary murine chondrocytes from A2AR-/- null mice, which develop spontaneous OA by 16 weeks, there is mitochondrial swelling, dysfunction, and reduced mitochondrial content with increased reactive oxygen species (ROS) burden and diminished mitophagy, as compared to chondrocytes from WT animals. IL-1-stimulated T/C-28a2 cells treated with an A2AR agonist had reduced ROS burden with increased mitochondrial dynamic stability and function, findings which were recapitulated in primary human chondrocytes. In an obesity-induced OA mouse model, there was a marked increase in mitochondrial oxidized material which was markedly improved after intraarticular injections of liposomal A2AR agonist. These results are consistent with the hypothesis that A2AR ligation is mitoprotective in OA.
PMID: 32052890
ISSN: 1530-6860
CID: 4304552

Decoy exosomes provide protection against bacterial toxins

Keller, Matthew D; Ching, Krystal L; Liang, Feng-Xia; Dhabaria, Avantika; Tam, Kayan; Ueberheide, Beatrix M; Unutmaz, Derya; Torres, Victor J; Cadwell, Ken
The production of pore-forming toxins that disrupt the plasma membrane of host cells is a common virulence strategy for bacterial pathogens such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA)1-3. It is unclear, however, whether host species possess innate immune mechanisms that can neutralize pore-forming toxins during infection. We previously showed that the autophagy protein ATG16L1 is necessary for protection against MRSA strains encoding α-toxin4-a pore-forming toxin that binds the metalloprotease ADAM10 on the surface of a broad range of target cells and tissues2,5,6. Autophagy typically involves the targeting of cytosolic material to the lysosome for degradation. Here we demonstrate that ATG16L1 and other ATG proteins mediate protection against α-toxin through the release of ADAM10 on exosomes-extracellular vesicles of endosomal origin. Bacterial DNA and CpG DNA induce the secretion of ADAM10-bearing exosomes from human cells as well as in mice. Transferred exosomes protect host cells in vitro by serving as scavengers that can bind multiple toxins, and improve the survival of mice infected with MRSA in vivo. These findings indicate that ATG proteins mediate a previously unknown form of defence in response to infection, facilitating the release of exosomes that serve as decoys for bacterially produced toxins.
PMID: 32132711
ISSN: 1476-4687
CID: 4339792

Transcriptomic Coupling of PKP2 With Inflammatory and Immune Pathways Endogenous to Adult Cardiac Myocytes

Pérez-Hernández, Marta; Marrón-Liñares, Grecia M; Schlamp, Florencia; Heguy, Adriana; van Opbergen, Chantal J M; Mezzano, Valeria; Zhang, Mingliang; Liang, Feng-Xia; Cerrone, Marina; Delmar, Mario
Plakophilin-2 (PKP2) is classically defined as a component of the desmosome. Besides its role in cell-cell adhesion, PKP2 can modulate transcription through intracellular signals initiated at the site of cell-cell contact. Mutations in PKP2 associate with arrhythmogenic right ventricular cardiomyopathy (ARVC). Recent data demonstrate that inflammation plays a key role in disease progression; other results show an abundance of anti-heart antibodies in patients with confirmed diagnosis of ARVC. Here, we test the hypothesis that, in adult cardiac myocytes, PKP2 transcript abundance is endogenously linked to the abundance of transcripts participating in the inflammatory/immune response. Cardiac-specific, tamoxifen (TAM)-activated PKP2-knockout mice (PKP2cKO) were crossed with a RiboTag line to allow characterization of the ribosome-resident transcriptome of cardiomyocytes after PKP2 knockdown. Data were combined with informatics analysis of human cardiac transcriptome using GTEx. Separately, the presence of non-myocyte cells at the time of analysis was assessed by imaging methods. We identified a large number of transcripts upregulated consequent to PKP2 deficiency in myocytes, inversely correlated with PKP2 abundance in human transcriptomes, and part of functional pathways associated with inflammatory/immune responses. Our data support the concept that PKP2 is transcriptionally linked, in cardiac myocytes, to genes coding for host-response molecules even in the absence of exogenous triggers. Targeted anti-inflammatory therapy may be effective in ARVC.
PMID: 33536940
ISSN: 1664-042x
CID: 4776512