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2.  Disruptive innovation as a driver of science and medicine 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(7):2822-2826.
doi:10.1172/JCI77301
PMCID: PMC4071373  PMID: 24983421
3.  Giving back 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(7):2831-2835.
doi:10.1172/JCI77286
PMCID: PMC4071374  PMID: 24983423
4.  Leading by example: pastors, mentors, physician-scientists, and the ASCI 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(7):2816-2821.
doi:10.1172/JCI77200
PMCID: PMC4071402  PMID: 24983420
5.  Introduction of Elizabeth G. Nabel 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(7):2827-2831.
doi:10.1172/JCI77276
PMCID: PMC4072024  PMID: 24983422
6.  Netrin-1 controls sympathetic arterial innervation 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(7):3230-3240.
Autonomic sympathetic nerves innervate peripheral resistance arteries, thereby regulating vascular tone and controlling blood supply to organs. Despite the fundamental importance of blood flow control, how sympathetic arterial innervation develops remains largely unknown. Here, we identified the axon guidance cue netrin-1 as an essential factor required for development of arterial innervation in mice. Netrin-1 was produced by arterial smooth muscle cells (SMCs) at the onset of innervation, and arterial innervation required the interaction of netrin-1 with its receptor, deleted in colorectal cancer (DCC), on sympathetic growth cones. Function-blocking approaches, including cell type–specific deletion of the genes encoding Ntn1 in SMCs and Dcc in sympathetic neurons, led to severe and selective reduction of sympathetic innervation and to defective vasoconstriction in resistance arteries. These findings indicate that netrin-1 and DCC are critical for the control of arterial innervation and blood flow regulation in peripheral organs.
doi:10.1172/JCI75181
PMCID: PMC4071369  PMID: 24937433
7.  Purinergic P2Y14 receptor modulates stress-induced hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell senescence 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(7):3159-3171.
Purinergic receptors of the P2Y family are G protein–coupled surface receptors that respond to extracellular nucleotides and can mediate responses to local cell damage. P2Y-dependent signaling contributes to thrombotic and/or inflammatory consequences of tissue injury by altering platelet and endothelial activation and immune cell phagocytosis. Here, we have demonstrated that P2Y14 modifies cell senescence and cell death in response to tissue stress, thereby enabling preservation of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell function. In mice, P2Y14 deficiency had no demonstrable effect under homeostatic conditions; however, radiation stress, aging, sequential exposure to chemotherapy, and serial bone marrow transplantation increased senescence in animals lacking P2Y14. Enhanced senescence coincided with increased ROS, elevated p16INK4a expression, and hypophosphorylated Rb and was inhibited by treatment with a ROS scavenger or inhibition of p38/MAPK and JNK. Treatment of WT cells with pertussis toxin recapitulated the P2Y14 phenotype, suggesting that P2Y14 mediates antisenescence effects through Gi/o protein–dependent pathways. Primitive hematopoietic cells lacking P2Y14 were compromised in their ability to restore hematopoiesis in irradiated mice. Together, these data indicate that P2Y14 on stem/progenitor cells of the hematopoietic system inhibits cell senescence by monitoring and responding to the extracellular manifestations of tissue stress and suggest that P2Y14-mediated responses prevent the premature decline of regenerative capacity after injury.
doi:10.1172/JCI61636
PMCID: PMC4071372  PMID: 24937426
8.  TorsinA hypofunction causes abnormal twisting movements and sensorimotor circuit neurodegeneration 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(7):3080-3092.
Lack of a preclinical model of primary dystonia that exhibits dystonic-like twisting movements has stymied identification of the cellular and molecular underpinnings of the disease. The classical familial form of primary dystonia is caused by the DYT1 (ΔE) mutation in TOR1A, which encodes torsinA, AAA+ ATPase resident in the lumen of the endoplasmic reticular/nuclear envelope. Here, we found that conditional deletion of Tor1a in the CNS (nestin-Cre Tor1aflox/–) or isolated CNS expression of DYT1 mutant torsinA (nestin-Cre Tor1aflox/ΔE) causes striking abnormal twisting movements. These animals developed perinuclear accumulation of ubiquitin and the E3 ubiquitin ligase HRD1 in discrete sensorimotor regions, followed by neurodegeneration that was substantially milder in nestin-Cre Tor1aflox/ΔE compared with nestin-Cre Tor1aflox/– animals. Similar to the neurodevelopmental onset of DYT1 dystonia in humans, the behavioral and histopathological abnormalities emerged and became fixed during CNS maturation in the murine models. Our results establish a genetic model of primary dystonia that is overtly symptomatic, and link torsinA hypofunction to neurodegeneration and abnormal twisting movements. These findings provide a cellular and molecular framework for how impaired torsinA function selectively disrupts neural circuits and raise the possibility that discrete foci of neurodegeneration may contribute to the pathogenesis of DYT1 dystonia.
doi:10.1172/JCI72830
PMCID: PMC4071385  PMID: 24937429
9.  Impaired kisspeptin signaling decreases metabolism and promotes glucose intolerance and obesity 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(7):3075-3079.
The neuropeptide kisspeptin regulates reproduction by stimulating gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons via the kisspeptin receptor KISS1R. In addition to GnRH neurons, KISS1R is expressed in other brain areas and peripheral tissues, which suggests that kisspeptin has additional functions beyond reproduction. Here, we studied the energetic and metabolic phenotype in mice lacking kisspeptin signaling (Kiss1r KO mice). Compared with WT littermates, adult Kiss1r KO females displayed dramatically higher BW, leptin levels, and adiposity, along with strikingly impaired glucose tolerance. Conversely, male Kiss1r KO mice had normal BW and glucose regulation. Surprisingly, despite their obesity, Kiss1r KO females ate less than WT females; however, Kiss1r KO females displayed markedly reduced locomotor activity, respiratory rate, and energy expenditure, which were not due to impaired thyroid hormone secretion. The BW and metabolic phenotype in Kiss1r KO females was not solely reflective of absent gonadal estrogen, as chronically ovariectomized Kiss1r KO females developed obesity, hyperleptinemia, reduced metabolism, and glucose intolerance compared with ovariectomized WT females. Our findings demonstrate that in addition to reproduction, kisspeptin signaling influences BW, energy expenditure, and glucose homeostasis in a sexually dimorphic and partially sex steroid–independent manner; therefore, alterations in kisspeptin signaling might contribute, directly or indirectly, to some facets of human obesity, diabetes, or metabolic dysfunction.
doi:10.1172/JCI71075
PMCID: PMC4071390  PMID: 24937427
10.  α–Intercalated cells defend the urinary system from bacterial infection 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(7):2963-2976.
α–Intercalated cells (A-ICs) within the collecting duct of the kidney are critical for acid-base homeostasis. Here, we have shown that A-ICs also serve as both sentinels and effectors in the defense against urinary infections. In a murine urinary tract infection model, A-ICs bound uropathogenic E. coli and responded by acidifying the urine and secreting the bacteriostatic protein lipocalin 2 (LCN2; also known as NGAL). A-IC–dependent LCN2 secretion required TLR4, as mice expressing an LPS-insensitive form of TLR4 expressed reduced levels of LCN2. The presence of LCN2 in urine was both necessary and sufficient to control the urinary tract infection through iron sequestration, even in the harsh condition of urine acidification. In mice lacking A-ICs, both urinary LCN2 and urinary acidification were reduced, and consequently bacterial clearance was limited. Together these results indicate that A-ICs, which are known to regulate acid-base metabolism, are also critical for urinary defense against pathogenic bacteria. They respond to both cystitis and pyelonephritis by delivering bacteriostatic chemical agents to the lower urinary system.
doi:10.1172/JCI71630
PMCID: PMC4071397  PMID: 24937428
11.  Stromal heparan sulfate differentiates neuroblasts to suppress neuroblastoma growth 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(7):3016-3031.
Neuroblastoma prognosis is dependent on both the differentiation state and stromal content of the tumor. Neuroblastoma tumor stroma is thought to suppress neuroblast growth via release of soluble differentiating factors. Here, we identified critical growth-limiting components of the differentiating stroma secretome and designed a potential therapeutic strategy based on their central mechanism of action. We demonstrated that expression of heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs), including TβRIII, GPC1, GPC3, SDC3, and SDC4, is low in neuroblasts and high in the Schwannian stroma. Evaluation of neuroblastoma patient microarray data revealed an association between TGFBR3, GPC1, and SDC3 expression and improved prognosis. Treatment of neuroblastoma cell lines with soluble HSPGs promoted neuroblast differentiation via FGFR1 and ERK phosphorylation, leading to upregulation of the transcription factor inhibitor of DNA binding 1 (ID1). HSPGs also enhanced FGF2-dependent differentiation, and the anticoagulant heparin had a similar effect, leading to decreased neuroblast proliferation. Dissection of individual sulfation sites identified 2-O, 3-O-desulfated heparin (ODSH) as a differentiating agent, and treatment of orthotopic xenograft models with ODSH suppressed tumor growth and metastasis without anticoagulation. These studies support heparan sulfate signaling intermediates as prognostic and therapeutic neuroblastoma biomarkers and demonstrate that tumor stroma biology can inform the design of targeted molecular therapeutics.
doi:10.1172/JCI74270
PMCID: PMC4071405  PMID: 24937430
12.  Resident fibroblast lineages mediate pressure overload–induced cardiac fibrosis 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(7):2921-2934.
Activation and accumulation of cardiac fibroblasts, which result in excessive extracellular matrix deposition and consequent mechanical stiffness, myocyte uncoupling, and ischemia, are key contributors to heart failure progression. Recently, endothelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EndoMT) and the recruitment of circulating hematopoietic progenitors to the heart have been reported to generate substantial numbers of cardiac fibroblasts in response to pressure overload–induced injury; therefore, these processes are widely considered to be promising therapeutic targets. Here, using multiple independent murine Cre lines and a collagen1a1-GFP fusion reporter, which specifically labels fibroblasts, we found that following pressure overload, fibroblasts were not derived from hematopoietic cells, EndoMT, or epicardial epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. Instead, pressure overload promoted comparable proliferation and activation of two resident fibroblast lineages, including a previously described epicardial population and a population of endothelial origin. Together, these data present a paradigm for the origins of cardiac fibroblasts during development and in fibrosis. Furthermore, these data indicate that therapeutic strategies for reducing pathogenic cardiac fibroblasts should shift from targeting presumptive EndoMT or infiltrating hematopoietically derived fibroblasts, toward common pathways upregulated in two endogenous fibroblast populations.
doi:10.1172/JCI74783
PMCID: PMC4071409  PMID: 24937432
13.  Remote control of induced dopaminergic neurons in parkinsonian rats 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(7):3215-3229.
Direct lineage reprogramming through genetic-based strategies enables the conversion of differentiated somatic cells into functional neurons and distinct neuronal subtypes. Induced dopaminergic (iDA) neurons can be generated by direct conversion of skin fibroblasts; however, their in vivo phenotypic and functional properties remain incompletely understood, leaving their impact on Parkinson’s disease (PD) cell therapy and modeling uncertain. Here, we determined that iDA neurons retain a transgene-independent stable phenotype in culture and in animal models. Furthermore, transplanted iDA neurons functionally integrated into host neuronal tissue, exhibiting electrically excitable membranes, synaptic currents, dopamine release, and substantial reduction of motor symptoms in a PD animal model. Neuronal cell replacement approaches will benefit from a system that allows the activity of transplanted neurons to be controlled remotely and enables modulation depending on the physiological needs of the recipient; therefore, we adapted a DREADD (designer receptor exclusively activated by designer drug) technology for remote and real-time control of grafted iDA neuronal activity in living animals. Remote DREADD-dependent iDA neuron activation markedly enhanced the beneficial effects in transplanted PD animals. These data suggest that iDA neurons have therapeutic potential as a cell replacement approach for PD and highlight the applicability of pharmacogenetics for enhancing cellular signaling in reprogrammed cell–based approaches.
doi:10.1172/JCI74664
PMCID: PMC4071410  PMID: 24937431
14.  Vitamin B12–dependent taurine synthesis regulates growth and bone mass 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(7):2988-3002.
Both maternal and offspring-derived factors contribute to lifelong growth and bone mass accrual, although the specific role of maternal deficiencies in the growth and bone mass of offspring is poorly understood. In the present study, we have shown that vitamin B12 (B12) deficiency in a murine genetic model results in severe postweaning growth retardation and osteoporosis, and the severity and time of onset of this phenotype in the offspring depends on the maternal genotype. Using integrated physiological and metabolomic analysis, we determined that B12 deficiency in the offspring decreases liver taurine production and associates with abrogation of a growth hormone/insulin-like growth factor 1 (GH/IGF1) axis. Taurine increased GH-dependent IGF1 synthesis in the liver, which subsequently enhanced osteoblast function, and in B12-deficient offspring, oral administration of taurine rescued their growth retardation and osteoporosis phenotypes. These results identify B12 as an essential vitamin that positively regulates postweaning growth and bone formation through taurine synthesis and suggests potential therapies to increase bone mass.
doi:10.1172/JCI72606
PMCID: PMC4071367  PMID: 24911144
15.  Hypomorphic PCNA mutation underlies a human DNA repair disorder 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(7):3137-3146.
Numerous human disorders, including Cockayne syndrome, UV-sensitive syndrome, xeroderma pigmentosum, and trichothiodystrophy, result from the mutation of genes encoding molecules important for nucleotide excision repair. Here, we describe a syndrome in which the cardinal clinical features include short stature, hearing loss, premature aging, telangiectasia, neurodegeneration, and photosensitivity, resulting from a homozygous missense (p.Ser228Ile) sequence alteration of the proliferating cell nuclear antigen (PCNA). PCNA is a highly conserved sliding clamp protein essential for DNA replication and repair. Due to this fundamental role, mutations in PCNA that profoundly impair protein function would be incompatible with life. Interestingly, while the p.Ser228Ile alteration appeared to have no effect on protein levels or DNA replication, patient cells exhibited marked abnormalities in response to UV irradiation, displaying substantial reductions in both UV survival and RNA synthesis recovery. The p.Ser228Ile change also profoundly altered PCNA’s interaction with Flap endonuclease 1 and DNA Ligase 1, DNA metabolism enzymes. Together, our findings detail a mutation of PCNA in humans associated with a neurodegenerative phenotype, displaying clinical and molecular features common to other DNA repair disorders, which we showed to be attributable to a hypomorphic amino acid alteration.
doi:10.1172/JCI74593
PMCID: PMC4071375  PMID: 24911150
16.  Immune activation alters cellular and humoral responses to yellow fever 17D vaccine 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(7):3147-3158.
Background. Defining the parameters that modulate vaccine responses in African populations will be imperative to design effective vaccines for protection against HIV, malaria, tuberculosis, and dengue virus infections. This study aimed to evaluate the contribution of the patient-specific immune microenvironment to the response to the licensed yellow fever vaccine 17D (YF-17D) in an African cohort.
Methods. We compared responses to YF-17D in 50 volunteers in Entebbe, Uganda, and 50 volunteers in Lausanne, Switzerland. We measured the CD8+ T cell and B cell responses induced by YF-17D and correlated them with immune parameters analyzed by flow cytometry prior to vaccination.
Results. We showed that YF-17D–induced CD8+ T cell and B cell responses were substantially lower in immunized individuals from Entebbe compared with immunized individuals from Lausanne. The impaired vaccine response in the Entebbe cohort associated with reduced YF-17D replication. Prior to vaccination, we observed higher frequencies of exhausted and activated NK cells, differentiated T and B cell subsets and proinflammatory monocytes, suggesting an activated immune microenvironment in the Entebbe volunteers. Interestingly, activation of CD8+ T cells and B cells as well as proinflammatory monocytes at baseline negatively correlated with YF-17D–neutralizing antibody titers after vaccination. Additionally, memory T and B cell responses in preimmunized volunteers exhibited reduced persistence in the Entebbe cohort but were boosted by a second vaccination.
Conclusion. Together, these results demonstrate that an activated immune microenvironment prior to vaccination impedes efficacy of the YF-17D vaccine in an African cohort and suggest that vaccine regimens may need to be boosted in African populations to achieve efficient immunity.
Trial registration. Registration is not required for observational studies.
Funding. This study was funded by Canada’s Global Health Research Initiative, Defense Threat Reduction Agency, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, and United States Agency for International Development.
doi:10.1172/JCI75429
PMCID: PMC4071376  PMID: 24911151
17.  CRIPTO1 expression in EGFR-mutant NSCLC elicits intrinsic EGFR-inhibitor resistance 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(7):3003-3015.
The majority of non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients harbor EGFR-activating mutations that can be therapeutically targeted by EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKI), such as erlotinib and gefitinib. Unfortunately, a subset of patients with EGFR mutations are refractory to EGFR-TKIs. Resistance to EGFR inhibitors reportedly involves SRC activation and induction of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Here, we have demonstrated that overexpression of CRIPTO1, an EGF-CFC protein family member, renders EGFR-TKI–sensitive and EGFR-mutated NSCLC cells resistant to erlotinib in culture and in murine xenograft models. Furthermore, tumors from NSCLC patients with EGFR-activating mutations that were intrinsically resistant to EGFR-TKIs expressed higher levels of CRIPTO1 compared with tumors from patients that were sensitive to EGFR-TKIs. Primary NSCLC cells derived from a patient with EGFR-mutated NSCLC that was intrinsically erlotinib resistant were CRIPTO1 positive, but gained erlotinib sensitivity upon loss of CRIPTO1 expression during culture. CRIPTO1 activated SRC and ZEB1 to promote EMT via microRNA-205 (miR-205) downregulation. While miR-205 depletion induced erlotinib resistance, miR-205 overexpression inhibited CRIPTO1-dependent ZEB1 and SRC activation, restoring erlotinib sensitivity. CRIPTO1-induced erlotinib resistance was directly mediated through SRC but not ZEB1; therefore, cotargeting EGFR and SRC synergistically attenuated growth of erlotinib-resistant, CRIPTO1-positive, EGFR-mutated NSCLC cells in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that this combination may overcome intrinsic EGFR-inhibitor resistance in patients with CRIPTO1-positive, EGFR-mutated NSCLC.
doi:10.1172/JCI73048
PMCID: PMC4071378  PMID: 24911146
18.  Umbilical cord blood expansion with nicotinamide provides long-term multilineage engraftment 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(7):3121-3128.
BACKGROUND. Delayed hematopoietic recovery is a major drawback of umbilical cord blood (UCB) transplantation. Transplantation of ex vivo–expanded UCB shortens time to hematopoietic recovery, but long-term, robust engraftment by the expanded unit has yet to be demonstrated. We tested the hypothesis that a UCB-derived cell product consisting of stem cells expanded for 21 days in the presence of nicotinamide and a noncultured T cell fraction (NiCord) can accelerate hematopoietic recovery and provide long-term engraftment.
METHODS. In a phase I trial, 11 adults with hematologic malignancies received myeloablative bone marrow conditioning followed by transplantation with NiCord and a second unmanipulated UCB unit. Safety, hematopoietic recovery, and donor engraftment were assessed and compared with historical controls.
RESULTS. No adverse events were attributable to the infusion of NiCord. Complete or partial neutrophil and T cell engraftment derived from NiCord was observed in 8 patients, and NiCord engraftment remained stable in all patients, with a median follow-up of 21 months. Two patients achieved long-term engraftment with the unmanipulated unit. Patients transplanted with NiCord achieved earlier median neutrophil recovery (13 vs. 25 days, P < 0.001) compared with that seen in historical controls. The 1-year overall and progression-free survival rates were 82% and 73%, respectively.
CONCLUSION. UCB-derived hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells expanded in the presence of nicotinamide and transplanted with a T cell–containing fraction contain both short-term and long-term repopulating cells. The results justify further study of NiCord transplantation as a single UCB graft. If long-term safety is confirmed, NiCord has the potential to broaden accessibility and reduce the toxicity of UCB transplantation.
TRIAL REGISTRATION. Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01221857.
FUNDING. Gamida Cell Ltd.
doi:10.1172/JCI74556
PMCID: PMC4071379  PMID: 24911148
19.  Characterization of pandemic influenza immune memory signature after vaccination or infection 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(7):3129-3136.
The magnitude, quality, and maintenance of immunological memory after infection or vaccination must be considered for future design of effective influenza vaccines. In 2009, the influenza pandemic produced disease that ranged from mild to severe, even fatal, illness in infected healthy adults and led to vaccination of a portion of the population with the adjuvanted, inactivated influenza A(H1N1)pdm09 vaccine. Here, we have proposed a multiparameter quantitative and qualitative approach to comparing adaptive immune memory to influenza 1 year after mild or severe infection or vaccination. One year after antigen encounter, severely ill subjects maintained high levels of humoral and polyfunctional effector/memory CD4+ T cells responses, while mildly ill and vaccinated subjects retained strong cellular immunity, as indicated by high levels of mucosal homing and degranulation markers on IFN-γ+ antigen-specific T cells. A principal component analysis distinguished 3 distinct clusters of individuals. The first group comprised vaccinated and mildly ill subjects, while clusters 2 and 3 included mainly infected individuals. Each cluster had immune memory profiles that differed in magnitude and quality. These data provide evidence that there are substantial similarities between the antiinfluenza response that mildly ill and vaccinated individuals develop and that this immune memory signature is different from that seen in severely ill individuals.
doi:10.1172/JCI74565
PMCID: PMC4071387  PMID: 24911149
20.  Phosphatase WIP1 regulates adult neurogenesis and WNT signaling during aging 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(7):3263-3273.
The number of newly formed neurons declines rapidly during aging, and this decrease in neurogenesis is associated with decreased function of neural stem/progenitor cells (NPCs). Here, we determined that a WIP1-dependent pathway regulates NPC differentiation and contributes to the age-associated decline of neurogenesis. Specifically, we found that WIP1 is expressed in NPCs of the mouse subventricular zone (SVZ) and aged animals with genetically enhanced WIP1 expression exhibited higher NPC numbers and neuronal differentiation compared with aged WT animals. Additionally, augmenting WIP1 expression in aged animals markedly improved neuron formation and rescued a functional defect in fine odor discrimination in aged mice. We identified the WNT signaling pathway inhibitor DKK3 as a key downstream target of WIP1 and found that expression of DKK3 in the SVZ is restricted to NPCs. Using murine reporter strains, we determined that DKK3 inhibits neuroblast formation by suppressing WNT signaling and Dkk3 deletion or pharmacological activation of the WNT pathway improved neuron formation and olfactory function in aged mice. We propose that WIP1 controls DKK3-dependent inhibition of neuronal differentiation during aging and suggest that regulating WIP1 levels could prevent certain aspects of functional decline of the aging brain.
doi:10.1172/JCI73015
PMCID: PMC4071391  PMID: 24911145
21.  Missense dopamine transporter mutations associate with adult parkinsonism and ADHD 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(7):3107-3120.
Parkinsonism and attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) are widespread brain disorders that involve disturbances of dopaminergic signaling. The sodium-coupled dopamine transporter (DAT) controls dopamine homeostasis, but its contribution to disease remains poorly understood. Here, we analyzed a cohort of patients with atypical movement disorder and identified 2 DAT coding variants, DAT-Ile312Phe and a presumed de novo mutant DAT-Asp421Asn, in an adult male with early-onset parkinsonism and ADHD. According to DAT single-photon emission computed tomography (DAT-SPECT) scans and a fluoro-deoxy-glucose-PET/MRI (FDG-PET/MRI) scan, the patient suffered from progressive dopaminergic neurodegeneration. In heterologous cells, both DAT variants exhibited markedly reduced dopamine uptake capacity but preserved membrane targeting, consistent with impaired catalytic activity. Computational simulations and uptake experiments suggested that the disrupted function of the DAT-Asp421Asn mutant is the result of compromised sodium binding, in agreement with Asp421 coordinating sodium at the second sodium site. For DAT-Asp421Asn, substrate efflux experiments revealed a constitutive, anomalous efflux of dopamine, and electrophysiological analyses identified a large cation leak that might further perturb dopaminergic neurotransmission. Our results link specific DAT missense mutations to neurodegenerative early-onset parkinsonism. Moreover, the neuropsychiatric comorbidity provides additional support for the idea that DAT missense mutations are an ADHD risk factor and suggests that complex DAT genotype and phenotype correlations contribute to different dopaminergic pathologies.
doi:10.1172/JCI73778
PMCID: PMC4071392  PMID: 24911152
22.  MicroRNA-205 signaling regulates mammary stem cell fate and tumorigenesis 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(7):3093-3106.
Dysregulation of epigenetic controls is associated with tumorigenesis in response to microenvironmental stimuli; however, the regulatory pathways involved in epigenetic dysfunction are largely unclear. We have determined that a critical epigenetic regulator, microRNA-205 (miR-205), is repressed by the ligand jagged1, which is secreted from the tumor stroma to promote a cancer-associated stem cell phenotype. Knockdown of miR-205 in mammary epithelial cells promoted epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), disrupted epithelial cell polarity, and enhanced symmetric division to expand the stem cell population. Furthermore, miR-205–deficient mice spontaneously developed mammary lesions, while activation of miR-205 markedly diminished breast cancer stemness. These data provide evidence that links tumor microenvironment and microRNA-dependent regulation to disruption of epithelial polarity and aberrant mammary stem cell division, which in turn leads to an expansion of stem cell population and tumorigenesis. This study elucidates an important role for miR-205 in the regulation of mammary stem cell fate, suggesting a potential therapeutic target for limiting breast cancer genesis.
doi:10.1172/JCI73351
PMCID: PMC4071406  PMID: 24911147
23.  Ewing’s sarcoma precursors are highly enriched in embryonic osteochondrogenic progenitors 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  2014;124(7):3061-3074.
Ewing’s sarcoma is a highly malignant bone tumor found in children and adolescents, and the origin of this malignancy is not well understood. Here, we introduced a Ewing’s sarcoma–associated genetic fusion of the genes encoding the RNA-binding protein EWS and the transcription factor ETS (EWS-ETS) into a fraction of cells enriched for osteochondrogenic progenitors derived from the embryonic superficial zone (eSZ) of long bones collected from late gestational murine embryos. EWS-ETS fusions efficiently induced Ewing’s sarcoma–like small round cell sarcoma formation by these cells. Analysis of the eSZ revealed a fraction of a precursor cells that express growth/differentiation factor 5 (Gdf5), the transcription factor Erg, and parathyroid hormone-like hormone (Pthlh), and selection of the Pthlh-positive fraction alone further enhanced EWS-ETS–dependent tumor induction. Genes downstream of the EWS-ETS fusion protein were quite transcriptionally active in eSZ cells, especially in regions in which the chromatin structure of the ETS-responsive locus was open. Inhibition of β-catenin, poly (ADP-ribose) polymerase 1 (PARP1), or enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) suppressed cell growth in a murine model of Ewing’s sarcoma, suggesting the utility of the current system as a preclinical model. These results indicate that eSZ cells are highly enriched in precursors to Ewing’s sarcoma and provide clues to the histogenesis of Ewing’s sarcoma in bone.
doi:10.1172/JCI72399
PMCID: PMC4071408  PMID: 24911143

Results 1-25 (3618)