The CRTC1-MAML2 fusion oncogene underlies the etiology of mucoepidermoid salivary gland carcinoma (MEC) where it confers a favorable survival outcome as compared with fusion-negative MEC. While these analyses suggested that detection of CRTC1-MAML2 serves as a useful prognostic biomarker, we recently identified outlier cases of fusion-positive MEC associated with advanced-staged lethal disease. To identify additional genetic alterations that might cooperate with CRTC1-MAML2 to promote disease progression, we performed a pilot high-resolution oligonucleotide array CGH (aCGH) and PCR-based genotyping study on 23 MEC samples including14 fusion-positive samples for which we had clinical outcome information. Unbiased aCGH analysis identified inactivating deletions within CDKN2A as a candidate poor prognostic marker which was confirmed by PCR-based analysis (CDKN2A deletions in 5/5 unfavorable fusion-positive cases and 0/9 favorable fusion-positive cases). We did not detect either activating EGFR mutations, nor copy number gains at the EGFR or ERBB2 loci as poor prognostic features for fusion-positive MEC in any of the tumor specimens. Prospective studies with larger case series will be needed to confirm that combined CRTC1-MAML2 and CDKN2A genotyping will optimally stage this disease.
The CREB/CRE transcriptional pathway has been implicated in circadian clock timing and light-evoked clock resetting. To date, much of the work on CREB in circadian physiology has focused on how changes in the phosphorylation state of CREB regulate the timing processes. However, beyond changes in phosphorylation, CREB-dependent transcription can also be regulated by the CREB co-activator CRTC (CREB-regulated transcription coactivator), also known as TORC (Transducer of Regulated CREB). Here we profiled both the rhythmic and light-evoked regulation of CRTC1 and CRTC2 in the murine suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), the locus of the master mammalian clock. Immunohistochemical analysis revealed rhythmic expression of CRTC1 in the SCN. CRTC1 expression was detected throughout the dorso-ventral extent of the SCN in the middle of the subjective day, with limited expression during early night, and late night expression levels intermediate between mid-day and early night levels. In contrast to CRTC1, robust expression of CRTC2 was detected during both the subjective day and night. During early and late subjective night, a brief light pulse induced strong nuclear accumulation of CRTC1 in the SCN. In contrast with CRTC1, photic stimulation did not affect the subcellular localization of CRTC2 in the SCN. Additionally, period1 reporter gene profiling and ChIP analysis revealed that CRTC1 was associated with CREB in the 5′ regulatory region of the period1 gene, and that over-expression of CRTC1 leads to a marked upregulation in period1 transcription. Together these data raise the prospect that CRTC1 plays a role in fundamental aspects of SCN clock timing and entrainment.
The regulation of programmed cell death is critical to developmental homeostasis and normal morphogenesis of embryonic tissues. Survivin, a member of the inhibitors of apoptosis protein (IAP) family primarily expressed in embryonic cells, is both an anti-apoptosis and a pro-survival factor. Since our previous studies have demonstrated the importance of apoptosis during embryonic submandibular salivary gland (SMG) development, we postulated that survivin is a likely mediator of SMG epithelial cell survival.
We investigated the developmental expression of survivin in Pseudoglandular (~ E14), Canalicular (~ E15) and Terminal Bud (~ E17) Stage SMGs. We report a significant 26% increase in transcript levels between the Canalicular and Terminal Bud Stages. Immunohistochemical studies demonstrate nuclear-localized survivin protein in epithelial cells bounding forming lumina in Canalicular and Terminal Bud Stage SMGs.
Survivin is known to be a pro-survival and anti-apoptotic factor. Given that survivin translocation into the nucleus is required for the induction of entry into the cell cycle and the inhibition of apoptosis, our demonstration of nuclear-localized survivin protein in presumptive ductal and proacinar lumen-bounding cells suggests that survivin may be a key mediator of embryonic SMG epithelial cell survival.
During fasting periods, hepatic glucose production is enhanced by glucagon to provide fuels for other organs. This process is mediated via cAMP-dependent induction of the CREB regulated transcriptional coactivator (CRTC) 2, a critical transcriptional activator for hepatic gluconeogenesis. We have previously shown that CRTC2 activity is regulated by AMP activated protein kinase (AMPK) family members. Here we show that adiponectin and thiazolidinedione directly regulate AMPK to modulate CRTC2 activity in hepatocytes. Adiponectin or thiazolidinedione lowered glucose production from primary hepatocytes. Treatment of both reagents reduced gluconeogenic gene expression as well as cAMP-mediated induction of CRE reporter, suggesting that these reagents directly affect CREB/CRTC2- dependent transcription. Furthermore, adiponectin or thiazolidinedione mediated repression of CRE activity is largely blunted by co-expression of phosphorylation defective mutant CRTC2, underscoring the importance of serine 171 residue of this factor. Taken together, we propose that adiponectin and thiazolidinedione promote the modulation of AMPK-dependent CRTC2 activity to influence hepatic gluconeogenesis.
adiponectin; AMP-activated protein kinases; CRTC2 protein, human; gluconeogenesis; liver; thiazolidinediones
Somatic mutation of the tumor suppressor gene LKB1 occurs frequently in lung cancer where it causes tumor progression and metastasis, but the underlying mechanisms remain mainly unknown. Here, we show that the oncogene NEDD9 is an important downstream mediator of lung cancer progression evoked by LKB1 loss. In de novo mouse models, RNAi-mediated silencing of Nedd9 inhibited lung tumor progression, whereas ectopic NEDD9 expression accelerated this process. Mechanistically, LKB1 negatively regulated NEDD9 transcription by promoting cytosolic translocation of CRTC1 from the nucleus. Notably, ectopic expression of either NEDD9 or CRTC1 partially reversed the inhibitory function of LKB1 on metastasis of lung cancer cells. In clinical specimens, elevated expression of NEDD9 was associated with malignant progression and metastasis. Collectively, our results decipher the mechanism through which LKB1 deficiency promotes lung cancer progression and metastasis, and provide a mechanistic rationale for therapeutic attack of these processes.
During early fasting, increases in skeletal muscle proteolysis liberate free amino acids for hepatic gluconeogenesis in response to pancreatic glucagon. Hepatic glucose output diminishes during the late protein-sparing phase of fasting, when ketone body production by the liver supplies compensatory fuel for glucose-dependent tissues 1–4. Glucagon stimulates the gluconeogenic program by triggering the dephosphorylation and nuclear translocation of the CREB regulated transcription coactivator 2 (CRTC2; also known as TORC2), while parallel decreases in insulin signaling augment gluconeogenic gene expression through the de-phosphorylation and nuclear shuttling of Forkhead Box O1 (FOXO1) 5–7. Here we show that a fasting-inducible switch, consisting of the histone acetyl-transferase (HAT) P300 and the nutrient-sensing deacetylase Sirtuin 1 (SIRT1), maintains energy balance through the sequential induction of CRTC2 and FOXO1. Following glucagon induction, CRTC2 stimulated gluconeogenic gene expression through an association with P300, which we show here is also activated by de-phosphorylation at Ser89 during fasting. In turn, P300 increased hepatic CRTC2 activity by acetylating it at Lys628, a site that also targets CRTC2 for degradation following its ubiquitination by the E3 ligase Constitutive Photomorphogenic Protein (COP1) 8. Glucagon effects were attenuated during late fasting, when CRTC2 was down-regulated due to SIRT1-mediated deacetylation and when FOXO1 supported expression of the gluconeogenic program. Disrupting SIRT1 activity, by liver-specific knockout of the SIRT1 gene or by administration of SIRT1 antagonist, increased CRTC2 activity and glucose output, while exposure to SIRT1 agonists reduced them. In view of the reciprocal activation of FOXO1 and its coactivator peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma coactivator 1 alpha (PGC-1α) by SIRT1 activators 9–12, our results illustrate how the exchange of two gluconeogenic regulators during fasting maintains energy balance.
Differentiation of salivary gland acinic cell carcinoma from mucoepidermoid carcinoma can be diagnostically challenging as both may have prominent mucin production. P63 is a p53 homologue required for limb and epidermal morphogenesis. It is expressed in basal and myoepithelial cells of normal salivary gland tissues. In this immunohistochemical study, we examined the expression of p63 in salivary gland acinic cell and mucoepidermoid carcinomas (MEC) and its use in differentiating these two entities. A search was performed and appropriate cases were selected from Lifespan Hospital System archives as well as the consult archives of one author (DRG). 31 salivary gland acinic cell carcinomas (ACC) and 24 MEC were examined for p63 expression by immunohistochemistry. The nuclear immunoreactivity was examined by both authors and was graded semi-quantitatively with negative being less than 10 % of cells staining. Positive staining was graded as follows: 10–25 % of tumor cells staining was weakly positive, 26–75 % of tumor cells staining was moderately positive, and 76–100 % of tumor cells staining was strongly positive. Negative nuclear staining of the tumor cells was seen in 30/31 (96 %) of salivary gland ACC while 1/31 (3 %) showed diffuse nuclear staining of the tumor cells. This latter case was later reclassified as mammary analogue secretory carcinoma following confirmatory molecular testing for the ETV6-NTRK3 fusion gene. Strong positive nuclear staining of the tumor cells was seen in 24 (100 %) of salivary gland MEC cases. P63 is an immunohistochemical stain that can potentially aid in differentiating unusual ACC with prominent mucin production from MEC of the salivary gland. According to this study, acinic cell carcinoma is always negative for p63 immunoreactivity while mucoepidermoid carcinoma is always positive.
Acinic cell carcinoma; Mucoepidermoid carcinoma; Mammary analogue secretory carcinoma; p63; Salivary gland
During fasting, dephosphorylation-dependent activation of the CREB coactivator CRTC2 by glucagon is crucial for activation of the hepatic gluconeogenic program, but the molecular mechanism by which hormones regulate CRTC2 activation remains unclear. A recent report in Nature showed that PKA-dependent phosphorylation of the inositol-1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (InsP3R) induces Ca2+ mobilization, leading to increase in the phosphatase activity of calcineurin and the subsequent dephosphorylation of CRTC2, thereby resulting in the induction of gluconeogenic gene expression. It also showed that insulin-dependent phosphorylation of InsP3R by Akt inhibits Ca2+ mobilization and CRTC2 dephosphorylation, resulting in the suppression of gluconeogenesis.
Recently we identified a relationship between human cytomegalovirus (hCMV) and human salivary gland (SG) mucoepidermoid carcinoma (MEC) in over 90% of cases; tumorigenesis in these cases uniformly correlated with active hCMV protein expression and an upregulation of the EGFR → ERK pathway. Our previously characterized, novel mouse organ culture model of mouse CMV (mCMV)-induced tumorigenesis displays a number of histologic and molecular characteristics similar to human MEC.
Newborn mouse submandibular glands (SMGs) were incubated with 1 × 105 PFU/ml of lacZ-tagged mCMV RM427+ on day 0 for 24 hours and then cultured in virus-free media for a total of 6 or 12 days with or without EGFR/ERK inhibitors and/or aciclovir. SMGs were collected for histology, immunolocalization (pERK, FN, IL-6), viral distribution, or Western blot analysis (pERK).
Here we report: (1) mouse SMG tumors soon exhibit an acquired resistance to EGFR/ERK pathway kinase inhibitors, alone or in combination; (2) long term tumor regression can only be sustained by concurrent inhibitor and antiviral treatment; (3) CMV-dependent, kinase inhibitor resistance is associated with overexpression of fibronectin and IL-6 proteins in abnormal stromal cells.
Acquired resistance to kinase inhibitors is dependent upon CMV dysregulation of alternative pathways with downstream effectors common with the targeted pathway, a phenomenon with important therapeutic implications for human MEC of salivary glands.
Cytomegalovirus; Salivary gland; Tumorigenesis; EGFR; ERK; Fibronectin; Interleukin 6
Mouse Twisted gastrulation gene (Twsg1) expression is found throughout embryonic development, including substantial levels in the first branchial arch that gives rise to the submandibular salivary gland (SMG). We addressed the proposition that normal Twsg1 expression is critical to normal SMG ontogenesis.
Utilizing C57BL/6 embryos that were Twsg1−/− homozygotes, as well as wild type and heterozygote littermates, we investigated SMG development from gestational day 13 to newborn.
Twsg1 protein is immunodetected in epithelia throughout SMG development. Twsg1−/− embryos display widely variable craniofacial phenotypes that range from normal to severe holoprosencephaly/agnathia with no mandibular arch or stomodeum. The SMG phenotypes are correlated with the external craniofacial phenotype, ranging from normal to agenesis/aplasia.
It is evident that normal Twsg1 expression is critical for normal mouse SMG ontogenesis. Twsg1 loss of function is ultimately epistatic to the epigenome under normal physiologic conditions, but not always so. The reduced penetrance and variable expressivity seen in the SMGs of Twsg1−/− embryos is a challenging enigma.
Twisted gastrulation gene; Mouse; Salivary glands; Development; Embryonic; BMP, bone morphogenetic protein; BSA, bovine serum albumin; FGF8, fibroblast growth factor 8; Pitx1, paired-like homeodomain transcription factor 1; Shh, sonic hedgehog; SMG, submandibular salivary gland; Tsg, twisted gastrulation; Twsg1, twisted gastrulation gene
Circulating pancreatic glucagon is increased during fasting and maintains glucose balance by stimulating hepatic gluconeogenesis. Glucagon triggering of the cAMP pathway upregulates the gluconeogenic program through the phosphorylation of cAMP response element–binding protein (CREB) and the dephosphorylation of the CREB coactivator CRTC2. Hormonal and nutrient signals are also thought to modulate gluconeogenic gene expression by promoting epigenetic changes that facilitate assembly of the transcriptional machinery. However, the nature of these modifications is unclear. Using mouse models and in vitro assays, we show that histone H3 acetylation at Lys 9 (H3K9Ac) was elevated over gluconeogenic genes and contributed to increased hepatic glucose production during fasting and in diabetes. Dephosphorylation of CRTC2 promoted increased H3K9Ac through recruitment of the lysine acetyltransferase 2B (KAT2B) and WD repeat–containing protein 5 (WDR5), a core subunit of histone methyltransferase (HMT) complexes. KAT2B and WDR5 stimulated the gluconeogenic program through a self-reinforcing cycle, whereby increases in H3K9Ac further potentiated CRTC2 occupancy at CREB binding sites. Depletion of KAT2B or WDR5 decreased gluconeogenic gene expression, consequently breaking the cycle. Administration of a small-molecule KAT2B antagonist lowered circulating blood glucose concentrations in insulin resistance, suggesting that this enzyme may be a useful target for diabetes treatment.
Branching morphogenesis is essential for the formation of salivary glands, kidneys, lungs, and many other organs during development, but the mechanisms underlying this process are not adequately understood. Microarray and other gene expression methods have been powerful approaches for identifying candidate genes that potentially regulate branching morphogenesis. However, functional validation of the proposed roles for these genes has been severely hampered by the absence of efficient techniques to genetically manipulate cells within embryonic organs. Using ex vivo cultured embryonic mouse submandibular glands (SMGs) as models to study branching morphogenesis, we have identified new vectors for viral gene transfer with high efficiency and cell-type specificity to developing SMGs. We screened adenovirus, lentivirus, and 11 types of adeno-associated viruses (AAV) for their ability to transduce embryonic day 12 or 13 SMGs. We identified two AAV types, AAV2 and bovine AAV (BAAV), that are selective in targeting expression differentially to SMG epithelial and mesenchymal cell populations, respectively. Transduction of SMG epithelia with self-complementary (sc) AAV2 expressing fibroblast growth factor 7 (Fgf7) supported gland survival and enhanced SMG branching morphogenesis. Our findings represent, to our knowledge, the first successful selective gene targeting to epithelial vs. mesenchymal cells in an organ undergoing branching morphogenesis.
AAV; embryonic; gene transfer; organogenesis; salivary glands; transduction
Aquaporin 5 (AQP5) is known to be central for salivary fluid secretion. A study of the temporal-spatial distribution of AQP5 during submandibular gland (SMG) development and in adult tissues might offer further clues to its unknown role during development. In the present work, SMGs from embryonic day (E) 14.5–18.5 and postnatal days (P) 0, 2, 5, 25, and 60 were immunostained for AQP5 and analyzed using light microscopy. Additional confocal and transmission electron microscopy were performed on P60 glands. Our results show that AQP5 expression first occurs in a scattered pattern in the late canalicular stage and becomes more prominent and organized in the terminal tubuli/pro-acinar cells towards birth. Additional apical membrane staining in the entire intralobular duct is found just prior to birth. During postnatal development, AQP5 is expressed in both the luminal and lateral membrane of pro-acinar/acinar cells. AQP5 is also detected in the basal membrane of acinar cells at P25 and P60. In the intercalated ducts at P60, the male glands show apical staining in the entire segment, while only the proximal region is positive in the female glands. These results demonstrate an evolving distribution of AQP5 during pre- and postnatal development in the mouse SMGs.
Submandibular gland; AQP5; Development; Prenatal; Postnatal; Sexual dimorphism
Salivary gland organogenesis involves the specification, maintenance, lineage commitment, and differentiation of epithelial stem/progenitor cells. Identifying how stem/progenitor cells are directed along a series of cell fate decisions to form a functional salivary gland will be necessary for future stem cell regenerative therapy. The identification of stem/progenitor cells within the salivary gland has focused on their role in postnatal glands and little is known about them in embryonic glands. Here, we have reviewed the information available for other developing organ systems and used it to determine whether similar cell populations exist in the mouse submandibular gland. Additionally, using growth factors that influence salivary gland epithelial morphogenesis during development, we have taken a simple experimental approach asking whether any of these growth factors influence early developmental lineages within the salivary epithelium on a transcriptional level. These preliminary findings show that salivary epithelial stem/progenitor populations exist within the gland, and that growth factors that are reported to control epithelial morphogenesis may also impact cell fate decisions. Further investigation of the signaling networks that influence stem/progenitor cell behavior will allow us to hypothesize how we might induce autologous stem cells to regenerate damaged salivary tissue in a therapeutic context.
Branching morphogenesis (BrM), an essential step for salivary gland development, requires epithelial-mesenchymal interactions. BrM is impaired when the surrounding mesenchyme is detached from the salivary epithelium during the pseudoglandular stage. It is believed that the salivary mesenchyme is indispensable for BrM, however, an extracellular matrix gel with exogenous EGF can be used as a substitute for the mesenchyme during BrM in the developing salivary epithelium. Stem/progenitor cells isolated from salivary glands in humans and rodents can be classified as mesenchymal stem cell-like, bone-marrow-derived, duct cell-like, and embryonic epithelium-like cells. Salivary-gland-derived progenitor (SGP) cells isolated from duct-ligated rats, mice, and swine submandibular glands share similar characteristics, including intracellular laminin and α6β1-integrin expression, similar to the embryonic salivary epithelia during the pseudoglandular stage. Progenitor cells also isolated from human salivary glands (human SGP cells) having the same characteristics differentiate into hepatocyte-like cells when transplanted into the liver. Similar to the dissociated embryonic salivary epithelium, human SGP cells aggregate to self-organize into branching organ-like structures on Matrigel plus exogenous EGF. These results suggest the possibility that tissue stem cells organize rudiment-like structures, and the embryonic cells that organize into whole tissues during development are preserved even in adult tissues.
In fasted mammals, circulating pancreatic glucagon stimulates hepatic gluconeogenesis in part through the CREB Regulated Transcription Coactivator 2 (CRTC2; also referred to as TORC2) 1,2. Hepatic glucose production is elevated in obesity, reflecting chronic increases in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress that promote insulin resistance 3. Whether ER stress also modulates the gluconeogenic program directly, however, is unclear. Here we show that CRTC2 functions as a dual sensor for ER stress and fasting signals in liver. Acute increases in ER stress triggered the dephosphorylation and nuclear entry of CRTC2, which in turn promoted the expression of ER quality control genes through an association with Activating Transcription Factor 6 alpha (ATF6α), an integral branch of the unfolded protein response 4–9. In addition to mediating CRTC2 recruitment to ER stress inducible promoters, ATF6α also reduced hepatic glucose output by disrupting the CREB:CRTC2 interaction and thereby inhibiting CRTC2 occupancy over gluconeogenic genes. Conversely, hepatic glucose output was upregulated when hepatic ATF6α protein amounts were reduced, either by RNAi-mediated knockdown or as a result of persistent stress in obesity. As ATF6α over-expression in livers of obese mice reversed CRTC2 effects on the gluconeogenic program and lowered hepatic glucose output, our results demonstrate how cross-talk between ER stress and fasting pathways at the level of a transcriptional coactivator contributes to glucose homeostasis.
The role of the E3 ubiquitin ligase murine double minute 2 (Mdm2) in regulating the stability of the p53 tumor suppressor is well documented. By contrast, relatively little is known about p53-independent activities of Mdm2 and the role of Mdm2 in cellular differentiation. Here we report a novel role for Mdm2 in the initiation of adipocyte differentiation that is independent of its ability to regulate p53. We show that Mdm2 is required for cAMP-mediated induction of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein δ (C/EBPδ) expression by facilitating recruitment of the cAMP regulatory element-binding protein (CREB) coactivator, CREB-regulated transcription coactivator (Crtc2)/TORC2, to the c/ebpδ promoter. Our findings reveal an unexpected role for Mdm2 in the regulation of CREB-dependent transactivation during the initiation of adipogenesis. As Mdm2 is able to promote adipogenesis in the myoblast cell line C2C12, it is conceivable that Mdm2 acts as a switch in cell fate determination.
Mdm2; adipogenesis; CREB; Crtc2
Mucoepidermoid carcinoma is the most common malignant salivary gland tumor, composed of several different cell types, with controversial histogenesis. The aim of this study was to assess the expression of cytokeratins in mucoepidermoid carcinoma, comparing to cytokeratin expression in normal salivary glands, in order to establish a possible correlation between tumor cells immunostaining and mucoepidermoid carcinoma histogenesis and differentiation. Eighty cases of salivary gland mucoepidermoid carcinoma were immunohistochemically examined with the use of antibodies against cytokeratins 6, 7, 8, 13, 14, 18, and 19. Cytokeratin expression varied according to the cellular type: squamous cells presented high expression of cytokeratins 6, 7, 8, 14, 18, and 19; intermediate and mucous cells of cytokeratin 7; clear and columnar cells of cytokeratins 6, 7, 8 and the latter also expressed cytokeratin 18. Cytokeratin 13 expression was low in all cell types. Cytokeratin immunoexpression in mucoepidermoid carcinoma was variable according to the cellular type; but regardless of the cellular type studied, cytokeratins 7 and 13 were, respectively, constantly high and low expressed. The immunoprofile of the normal salivary glands was variable according to the component but, in general, cytokeratin profile in mucoepidermoid carcinoma showed similarity to the immunoexpression on the excretory duct unit of normal salivary glands.
Mucoepidermoid carcinoma; Mucous cell; Intermediate cell; Squamous cell; Clear cell; Columnar cell; Oncocyitic cell; Histogenesis; Differentiation; Cytokeratin; Salivary glands; Immunohistochemistry
Tumors of salivary glands are uncommon and comprise of about 2%–4% of all head and neck tumors. About 75%–80% of these tumors are benign and include pleomorphic adenoma, monomorphic adenoma, oncocytoma, and papillary cystadenoma lymphomatosum. Mucoepidermoid carcinoma is the most common malignant tumor of salivary glands, representing 5–10% of all salivary gland tumors. Although known to be metastatic to local lymph nodes, distant metastases are rare (especially, with low and intermediate grade tumors). Histologic grade and the expression of various mucin glycoproteins are useful prognostic indicators. We present a case of mucoepidermoid carcinoma of parotid gland origin with distant metastases which is an uncommon occurrence with intermediate grade tumors. Also, this is the first reported case of humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy secondary to mucoepidermoid carcinoma.
mucoepidermoid carcinoma; salivary gland tumors; humoral hypercalcemia of malignancy
Activating AMPK or inactivating calcineurin slows ageing in Caenorhabditis elegans1,2 and both have been implicated as therapeutic targets for age-related pathology in mammals3–5. However, the direct targets that mediate their effects on longevity remain unclear. In mammals, CREB-regulated transcriptional coactivators (CRTCs)6 are a family of cofactors involved in diverse physiological processes including energy homeostasis7–9, cancer10 and endoplasmic reticulum stress11. Here we show that both AMPK and calcineurin modulate longevity exclusively through post-translational modification of CRTC-1, the sole C. elegans CRTC. We demonstrate that CRTC-1 is a direct AMPK target, and interacts with the CREB homologue-1 (CRH-1) transcription factor in vivo. The pro-longevity effects of activating AMPK or deactivating calcineurin decrease CRTC-1 and CRH-1 activity and induce transcriptional responses similar to those of CRH-1 null worms. Downregulation of crtc-1 increases lifespan in a crh-1-dependent manner and directly reducing crh-1 expression increases longevity, substantiating a role for CRTCs and CREB in ageing. Together, these findings indicate a novel role for CRTCs and CREB in determining lifespan downstream of AMPK and calcineurin, and illustrate the molecular mechanisms by which an evolutionarily conserved pathway responds to low energy to increase longevity.
In the fasted state, increases in circulating glucagon promote hepatic glucose production through induction of the gluconeogenic program. Triggering of the cAMP pathway increases gluconeogenic gene expression via the de-phosphorylation of the CREB coactivator CRTC2 1. Glucagon promotes CRTC2 dephosphorylation in part through the PKA-mediated inhibition of the CRTC2 kinase SIK2. A number of Ser/Thr phosphatases appear capable of dephosphorylating CRTC2 2,3, but the mechanisms by which hormonal cues regulate these enzymes remain unclear. Here we show that glucagon stimulates CRTC2 dephosphorylation in hepatocytes by mobilizing intracellular calcium stores and activating the calcium/calmodulin dependent Ser/Thr phosphatase calcineurin/PP2B. Glucagon increased cytosolic calcium through the PKA-mediated phosphorylation of inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptors (InsP3Rs), which we show here associate with CRTC2. Following their activation, InsP3Rs enhanced gluconeogenic gene expression by promoting the calcineurin-mediated dephosphorylation of CRTC2. During feeding, increases in insulin signaling reduced CRTC2 activity via the AKT-mediated inactivation of InsP3Rs. InsP3R activity was increased in diabetes, leading to upregulation of the gluconeogenic program. As hepatic down-regulation of InsP3Rs and calcineurin improved circulating glucose levels in insulin resistance, these results demonstrate how cross-talk between cAMP and calcium pathways at the level of the InsP3 receptor modulates hepatic glucose production under fasting conditions and in diabetes.
The human kallikrein 8 protein (KLK8) is expressed in many normal tissues including esophagus, skin, testis, tonsil, kidney, breast, and salivary gland, and is found in biological fluids including breast milk, amniotic fluid, seminal fluid and serum. It has also been shown to be a biomarker and prognostic factor for breast cancer. The aim of this study was to determine whether KLK8 is expressed in salivary gland tissues and salivary gland tumors (both benign and malignant), in order to compare normal with tumor tissues. Pleomorphic adenomas, adenoid cystic carcinomas, polymorphous low grade adenocarcinomas, acinic cell carcinomas, mucoepidermoid carcinomas, and adenocarcinomas NOS of both minor and major salivary glands were examined. The results of this study indicate that most salivary gland tumors show high levels of expression of KLK8.
Kallikreins; Human kallikrein 8; Salivary gland tumors; Prognostic markers; Immunohistochemistry
The liver contributes to glucose homeostasis by promoting either storage or production of glucose depending on the physiological state. The cAMP response element binding protein (CREB) is a principal regulator of genes involved in coordinating the hepatic response to fasting, but its mechanism of gene activation remains controversial. We derived CRTC2-(CREB-regulated transcription coactivator 2; previously TORC2) deficient mice to assess the contribution of this cofactor to hepatic glucose metabolism in vivo. CRTC2 mutant hepatocytes showed reduced glucose production in response to glucagon, which correlated with decreased CREB binding to several gluconeogenic genes. However, despite attenuated expression of CREB target genes including PEPCK, G6Pase, and PGC1α, no hypoglycemia was observed in mutant mice. Collectively, these results provide genetic evidence supporting a role for CRTC2 in the transcriptional response to fasting, but indicate only a limited contribution of this cofactor to the maintenance of glucose homeostasis.
During an immune response, B cells undergo rapid proliferation and AID-dependent remodeling of immunoglobulin (IG) genes within germinal centers (GCs) to generate memory B and plasma cells. Unfortunately, the genotoxic stress associated with the GC reaction also promotes most B cell malignancies. Here we report that exogenous- and intrinsic AID-induced DNA strand breaks activate ATM, which signals through an LKB1 intermediate to inactivate CRTC2, a transcriptional coactivator of CREB. Using genome-wide location analysis, we determined that CRTC2 inactivation unexpectedly represses a genetic program that controls GC B cell proliferation, self-renewal, and differentiation while opposing lymphomagenesis. Inhibition of this pathway results in increased GC B cell proliferation, reduced antibody secretion, and impaired terminal differentiation. Multiple distinct pathway disruptions were also identified in human GC B cell lymphoma patient samples. Combined, our data show that CRTC2 inactivation, via physiologic DNA damage response signaling, promotes B cell differentiation in response to genotoxic stress.
The proper balance between epithelial cell proliferation, quiescence, and apoptosis during development is mediated by the specific temporal and spatial appearance of transcription factors, growth factors, cytokines, caspases, etc. Since our prior studies suggest the importance of transcription factor NF-κB during embryonic submandibular salivary gland (SMG) development, we attempted to delineate the emergent dynamics of a cognate signaling network by studying the molecular patterns and phenotypic outcomes of interrupted NF-κB signaling in embryonic SMG explants.
SN50-mediated inhibition of NF-κB nuclear translocation in E15 SMG explants cultured for 2 days results in a highly significant increase in apoptosis and decrease in cell proliferation. Probabilistic Neural Network (PNN) analyses of transcriptomic and proteomic assays identify specific transcripts and proteins with altered expression that best discriminate control from SN50-treated SMGs. These include PCNA, GR, BMP1, BMP3b, Chk1, Caspase 6, E2F1, c-Raf, ERK1/2 and JNK-1, as well as several others of lesser importance. Increased expression of signaling pathway components is not necessarily probative of pathway activity; however, as confirmation we found a significant increase in activated (phosphorylated/cleaved) ERK 1/2, Caspase 3, and PARP in SN50-treated explants. This increased activity of proapoptotic (caspase3/PARP) and compensatory antiapoptotic (ERK1/2) pathways is consistent with the dramatic cell death seen in SN50-treated SMGs.
Our morphological and functional genomic analyses indicate that the primary and secondary effects of NF-κB-mediated transcription are critical to embryonic SMG developmental homeostasis. Relative to understanding complex genetic networks and organogenesis, our results illustrate the importance of evaluating the gene, protein, and activated protein expression of multiple components from multiple pathways within broad functional categories.