Annexin A2 regulates phagocytosis of photoreceptor outer segments in the mouse retina.
ABSTRACT: The daily phagocytosis of shed photoreceptor outer segments by pigment epithelial cells is critical for the maintenance of the retina. In a subtractive polymerase chain reaction analysis, we found that functional differentiation of human ARPE19 retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells is accompanied by up-regulation of annexin (anx) A2, a major Src substrate and regulator of membrane-cytoskeleton dynamics. Here, we show that anx A2 is recruited to the nascent phagocytic cup in vitro and in vivo and that it fully dissociates once the phagosome is internalized. In ARPE19 cells depleted of anx A2 by using small interfering RNA and in ANX A2(-/-) mice the phagocytosis of outer segments was impaired, and in ANX A2(-/-) mice there was an accumulation of phagocytosed outer segments in the RPE apical processes, indicative of retarded phagosome transport. We show that anx A2 is tyrosine phosphorylated at the onset of phagocytosis and that the synchronized activation of focal adhesion kinase and c-Src is abnormal in ANX A2(-/-) mice. These findings reveal that anx A2 is involved in the circadian regulation of outer segment phagocytosis, and they provide new insight into the protein machinery that regulates phagocytic function in RPE cells.
Project description:Phagocytosis is a critical process to maintain tissue homeostasis. In the retina, photoreceptor cells renew their photoexcitability by shedding photoreceptor outer segments (POSs) in a diurnal rhythm. Shed POSs are phagocytosed by retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells to prevent debris accumulation, retinal degeneration, and blindness. Phagocytosis ligands are the key to understanding how RPE recognizes shed POSs. Here, we characterized mesoderm development candidate 2 (Mesd or Mesdc2), an endoplasmic reticulum (ER) chaperon for low-density lipoprotein receptor-related proteins (LRPs), to extrinsically promote RPE phagocytosis. The results showed that Mesd stimulated phagocytosis of fluorescence-labeled POS vesicles by D407 RPE cells. Ingested POSs were partially degraded within 3 h in some RPE cells to dispense undegradable fluorophore throughout the cytoplasm. Internalized POSs were colocalized with phagosome biomarker Rab7, suggesting that Mesd-mediated engulfment is involved in a phagocytosis pathway. Mesd also facilitated phagocytosis of POSs by primary RPE cells. Mesd bound to unknown phagocytic receptor(s) on RPE cells. Mesd was detected in the cytoplasm, but not nuclei, of different retinal layers and is predominantly expressed in the ER-free cellular compartment of POSs. Mesd was not secreted into medium from healthy cells but passively released from apoptotic cells with increased membrane permeability. Released Mesd selectively bound to the surface of POS vesicles and apoptotic cells, but not healthy cells. These results suggest that Mesd may be released from and bind to shed POSs to facilitate their phagocytic clearance.
Project description:Phagocytosis of shed photoreceptor outer segments (POSs) by retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells is critical to retinal homeostasis and shares many conserved signaling pathways with other phagocytes, including extrinsic regulations. Phagocytotic ligands are the key to cargo recognition, engulfment initiation, and activity regulation. In this study, we identified intracellular protein ATP-binding cassette subfamily F member 1 (ABCF1) as a novel RPE phagocytotic ligand by a new approach of functional screening. ABCF1 was independently verified to extrinsically promote phagocytosis of shed POSs by D407 RPE cells. This finding was further corroborated with primary RPE cells and RPE explants. Internalized POS vesicles were colocalized with a phagosome marker, suggesting that ABCF1-mediated engulfment is through a phagocytic pathway. ABCF1 was released from apoptotic cells and selectively bound to shed POS vesicles and apoptotic cells, possibly via externalized phosphatidylserine. ABCF1 is predominantly expressed in POSs and colocalized with the POS marker rhodopsin, providing geographical convenience for regulation of RPE phagocytosis. Collectively these results suggest that ABCF1 is released from and binds to shed POSs in an autocrine manner to facilitate RPE phagocytosis through a conserved pathway. Furthermore, the new approach is broadly applicable to many other phagocytes and will enable systematic elucidation of their ligands to understand extrinsic regulation and cargo recognition.
Project description:Photoreceptor outer segments (OS) in the vertebrate retina undergo a process of continual renewal involving shedding of disc membranes that are cleared by phagocytic uptake into the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). In dystrophic Royal College of Surgeons (RCS) rats, OS phagocytosis is blocked by a mutation in the gene encoding the receptor tyrosine kinase MERTK. To identify proteins tyrosine-phosphorylated downstream of MERTK in the RPE, MALDI-mass spectrometry with peptide-mass fingerprinting was used in comparative studies of RCS congenic and dystrophic rats. At times corresponding to peak phagocytic activity, the RAB GTPase effector GDP dissociation inhibitor alpha (GDI1) was found to undergo tyrosine phosphorylation only in congenic rats. In cryosections of native RPE/choroid, GDI1 colocalized with MERTK and the intracellular tyrosine-kinase SRC. In cultured RPE-J cells, and in transfected heterologous cells, MERTK stimulated SRC-mediated tyrosine phosphorylation of GDI1. In OS-fed RPE-J cells, GDI1 colocalized with MERTK and SRC on apparent phagosomes located near the apical membrane. In addition, both GDI1 and RAB5, a regulator of vesicular transport, colocalized with ingested OS. Taken together, these findings identify a novel role of MERTK signaling in membrane trafficking in the RPE that is likely to subserve mechanisms of phagosome formation.
Project description:Defects in phagocytosis and degradation of photoreceptor outer segments (POS) by the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) are associated with aging and retinal disease. The daily burst of rod outer segment (ROS) phagocytosis by the RPE provides a unique opportunity to analyse phagosome processing in vivo. In mouse retinae, phagosomes containing stacked rhodopsin-rich discs were identified by immuno-electron microscopy. Early apical phagosomes stained with antibodies against both cytoplasmic and intradiscal domains of rhodopsin. During phagosome maturation, a remarkably synchronised loss of the cytoplasmic epitope coincided with movement to the cell body and preceded phagosome-lysosome fusion and disc degradation. Loss of the intradiscal rhodopsin epitope and disc digestion occurred upon fusion with cathepsin-D-positive lysosomes. The same sequential stages of phagosome maturation were identified in cultured RPE and macrophages challenged with isolated POS. Loss of the cytoplasmic rhodopsin epitope was insensitive to pH but sensitive to protease inhibition and coincided with the interaction of phagosomes with endosomes. Thus, during pre-lysosomal maturation of ROS-containing phagosomes, limited rhodopsin processing occurs upon interaction with endosomes. This potentially provides a sensitive readout of phagosome-endosome interactions that is applicable to multiple phagocytes.
Project description:Age-related macular degeneration (ARMD) is the leading cause of vision loss in developed countries. Hallmarks of the disease are well known; indeed, this pathology is characterized by lipofuscin accumulation, is principally composed of lipid-containing residues of lysosomal digestion. The N-retinyl-N-retinylidene ethanolamine (A2E) retinoid which is thought to be a cytotoxic component for RPE is the best-characterized component of lipofuscin so far. Even if no direct correlation between A2E spatial distribution and lipofuscin fluorescence has been established in aged human RPE, modified forms or metabolites of A2E could be involved in ARMD pathology. Mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathways have been involved in many pathologies, but not in ARMD. Therefore, we wanted to analyze the effects of A2E on MAPKs in polarized ARPE19 and isolated mouse RPE cells. We showed that long-term exposure of polarized ARPE19 cells to low A2E dose induces a strong decrease of the extracellular signal-regulated kinases' (ERK1/2) activity. In addition, we showed that A2E, via ERK1/2 decrease, induces a significant decrease of the retinal pigment epithelium-specific protein 65 kDa (RPE65) expression in ARPE19 cells and isolated mouse RPE. In the meantime, we showed that the decrease of ERK1/2 activity mediates an increase of basic fibroblast growth factor (bFGF) mRNA expression and secretion that induces an increase in phagocytosis via a paracrine effect. We suggest that the accumulation of deposits coming from outer segments (OS) could be explained by both an increase of bFGF-induced phagocytosis and by the decrease of clearance by A2E. The bFGF angiogenic protein may therefore be an attractive target to treat ARMD.
Project description:Mutations in the ubiquitously expressed pre-mRNA processing factors 3, 8, and 31 (PRPF3, PRPF8, and PRPF31) cause nonsyndromic dominant retinitis pigmentosa in humans, an inherited retinal degeneration. It is unclear what mechanisms, or which cell types of the retina, are affected. Transgenic mice with the human mutations in these genes display late-onset morphological changes in the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE). To determine whether the observed morphological changes are preceded by abnormal RPE function, we investigated its phagocytic function in Prpf3(T494M/T494M), Prpf8(H2309P/H2309P), and Prpf31(+/-) mice. We observe decreased phagocytosis in primary RPE cultures from mutant mice, and this is replicated by shRNA-mediated knockdown of PRPF31 in human ARPE-19 cells. The diurnal rhythmicity of phagocytosis is almost lost, indicated by the marked attenuation of the phagocytic burst 2 hours after light onset. The strength of adhesion between RPE apical microvilli and photoreceptor outer segments also declined during peak adhesion in all mutants. In all models, at least one of the receptors involved in binding and internalization of shed photoreceptor outer segments was subjected to changes in localization. Although the mechanism underlying these changes in RPE function is yet to be elucidated, these data are consistent with the mouse RPE being the primary cell affected by mutations in the RNA splicing factors, and these changes occur at an early age.
Project description:Retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells increase in size and multinucleate during aging. We have shown using human and mouse cell lines that oxidised photoreceptor outer segments (oxPOS)-induced cytokinesis failure is related to RPE cell multinucleation, although the underlying mechanism remains unknown. This study investigated the role of the PKC pathway in oxPOS-induced RPE multinucleation using ARPE19 cells. oxPOS treatment promoted PKC activity and upregulated the mRNA expression of PKC ?, ?, ?, ? and ?. Inhibition of PKC? with G?6976 resulted in a 33% reduction of multinucleate ARPE19 cells, whereas inhibition of PKC? with G?6983 led to a 50% reduction in multinucleate ARPE19 cells. Furthermore, oxPOS treatment induced a PKC?-dependent upregulation of the Cdk inhibitor p27kip1, its inhibition using A2CE reduced oxPOS-induced ARPE19 multinucleation. Our results suggest that oxPOS-induced ARPE19 cytokinesis failure is, at least in part, due to the upregulation of p27kip1 through activating the PKC, particularly PKC? pathway. Targeting the PKC?-p27kip1 signalling axis may be a novel approach to restore RPE repair capacity during aging.
Project description:Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a leading cause of blindness among the elderly characterized by retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) degeneration with accumulation of abnormal intracellular deposits (lipofuscin) and photoreceptor death. RPE is vital for the retina and integrity of photoreceptors through its phagocytic function which is closely linked to formation of lipofuscin through daily phagocytosis of discarded photoreceptor outer segments (POS). Although phagocytosis has been implicated in AMD, it has not been directly shown to be altered in AMD. RPE phagocytic defect was previously shown to be rescued by subretinal injection of human umbilical tissue derived cells (hUTC) in a rodent model of retinal degeneration (RCS rat) through receptor tyrosine kinase (RTK) ligands and bridge molecules. Here, we examined RPE phagocytic function directly in the RPE from AMD patients and the ability and mechanisms of hUTC to affect phagocytosis in the human RPE.Human RPE was isolated from the post-mortem eyes of normal and AMD-affected subjects and cultured. RPE phagocytic function was measured in vitro using isolated POS. The effects of hUTC conditioned media, recombinant RTK ligands brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), hepatocyte growth factor (HGF), and glial cell-derived neurotrophic factor (GDNF), as well as bridge molecules milk-fat-globule-EGF-factor 8 (MFG-E8), thrombospondin (TSP)-1, and TSP-2 on phagocytosis were also examined in phagocytosis assays using isolated POS. RNA was isolated from normal and AMD RPE treated with hUTC conditioned media and subjected to transcriptome profiling by RNA-Seq and computational analyses.RPE phagocytosis, while showing a moderate decline with age, was significantly reduced in AMD RPE, more than expected for age. hUTC conditioned media stimulated phagocytosis in the normal human RPE and significantly rescued the phagocytic dysfunction in the AMD RPE. RTK ligands and bridge molecules duplicated the rescue effect. Moreover, multiple molecular pathways involving phagocytosis, apoptosis, oxidative stress, inflammation, immune activation, and cholesterol transport were affected by hUTC in the RPE.We demonstrated for the first time RPE phagocytic dysfunction in AMD, highlighting its likely importance in AMD, and the ability of hUTC to correct this dysfunction, providing insights into the therapeutic potential of hUTC for AMD.
Project description:Phagocytosis is critical to tissue homeostasis, as highlighted by phagocytosis defect of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells with debris accumulation, photoreceptor degeneration and blindness. Phagocytosis ligands are the key to delineating molecular mechanisms and functional roles of phagocytes, but are traditionally identified in individual cases with technical challenges. We recently developed open reading frame phage display (OPD) for phagocytosis-based functional cloning (PFC) to identify unknown ligands. One of the identified ligands was Ly-1 antibody reactive clone (Lyar) with functions poorly defined. Herein, we characterized Lyar as a new ligand to stimulate RPE phagocytosis. In contrast to its reported nucleolar expression, immunohistochemistry showed that Lyar was highly expressed in photoreceptor outer segments (POSs) of the retina. Cytoplasmic Lyar was released from apoptotic cells, and selectively bound to shed POSs and apoptotic cells, but not healthy cells. POS vesicles engulfed through Lyar-dependent pathway were targeted to phagosomes and colocalized with phagosome marker Rab7. These results suggest that Lyar is a genuine RPE phagocytosis ligand, which in turn supports the validity of OPD/PFC as the only available approach for unbiased identification of phagocytosis ligands with broad applicability to various phagocytes.
Project description:Daily phagocytosis of spent photoreceptor outer segments is a critical maintenance function performed by the retinal pigment epithelium (RPE) to preserve vision. Aging RPE accumulates lipofuscin, which includes N-retinylidene-N-retinylethanolamine (A2E) as the major autofluorescent component. We studied the effect of physiological levels of A2E in RPE cultures on their ability to phagocytose outer segments. A2E localized to lysosomes in cultured RPE as well as in human RPE in situ. A2E-loaded RPE cells in culture bound and internalized identical numbers of outer segments as control RPE indicating that A2E does not alter early steps of phagocytosis. A2E-loaded RPE degraded outer segment proteins efficiently but, strikingly, failed to completely digest phospholipids within 24 h. Because of the circadian rhythm of RPE phagocytosis in the eye, a delay in lipid degradation would likely result in a build up of undigested material in RPE that could contribute to the development of age-related macular degeneration.