MicroRNA-30 family members regulate calcium/calcineurin signaling in podocytes.
ABSTRACT: Calcium/calcineurin signaling is critical for normal cellular physiology. Abnormalities in this pathway cause many diseases, including podocytopathy; therefore, understanding the mechanisms that underlie the regulation of calcium/calcineurin signaling is essential. Here, we showed that critical components of calcium/calcineurin signaling, including TRPC6, PPP3CA, PPP3CB, PPP3R1, and NFATC3, are the targets of the microRNA-30 family (miR-30s). We found that these 5 genes are highly expressed as mRNA, but the level of the proteins is low in normal podocytes. Conversely, protein levels were markedly elevated in podocytes from rats treated with puromycin aminonucleoside (PAN) and from patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). In both FSGS patients and PAN-treated rats, miR-30s were downregulated in podocytes. In cultured podocytes, PAN or a miR-30 sponge increased TRPC6, PPP3CA, PPP3CB, PPP3R1, and NFATC3 expression; calcium influx; intracellular Ca2+ concentration; and calcineurin activity. Moreover, NFATC3 nuclear translocation, synaptopodin degradation, integrin ?3 (ITGB3) activation, and actin fiber loss, which are downstream of calcium/calcineurin signaling, were induced by miR-30 reduction but blocked by the calcineurin inhibitor FK506. Podocyte-specific expression of the miR-30 sponge in mice increased calcium/calcineurin pathway component protein expression and calcineurin activity. The mice developed podocyte foot process effacement and proteinuria, which were prevented by FK506. miR-30s also regulated calcium/calcineurin signaling in cardiomyocytes. Together, our results identify miR-30s as essential regulators of calcium/calcineurin signaling.
Project description:Background:Genetic and epigenetics factors have been implicated in drug response, graft function and rejection in solid organ transplantation. Differential expression of genes involved in calcineurin and mTOR signaling pathway and regulatory miRNAs was analyzed in the peripheral blood of kidney recipient cohort (n=36) under tacrolimus-based therapy. Methods:PPP3CA, PPP3CB, MTOR, FKBP1A, FKBP1B and FKBP5 mRNA expression and polymorphisms in PPP3CA and MTOR were analyzed by qPCR. Expression of miRNAs targeting PPP3CA (miR-30a, miR-145), PPP3CB (miR-10b), MTOR (miR-99a, miR-100), and FKBP1A (miR-103a) was measured by qPCR array. Results:PPP3CA and MTOR mRNA levels were reduced in the first three months of treatment compared to pre-transplant (P<0.05). PPP3CB, FKBP1A, FKBP1B, and FKBP5 expression was not changed. In the 3rd month of treatment, the expression of miR-99a, which targets MTOR, increased compared to pre-transplant (P<0.05). PPP3CA c.249G>A (GG genotype) and MTOR c.2997C>T (TT genotype) were associated with reduced expression of PPP3CA mRNA and MTOR, respectively. FKBP1B mRNA levels were higher in patients with acute rejection (P=0.026). Conclusions:The expression of PPP3CA, MTOR and miR-99a in the peripheral blood of renal recipients is influenced by tacrolimus-based therapy and by PPP3CA and MTOR variants. These molecules can be potential biomarkers for pharmacotherapy monitoring.
Project description:ATOH8 is a bHLH transcription factor playing roles in a variety of developmental processes such as neurogenesis, differentiation of pancreatic precursor cells, development of kidney and muscle, and differentiation of endothelial cells. PPP3CB belongs to the catalytic subunit of the serine/threonine phosphatase, calcineurin, which can dephosphorylate its substrate proteins to regulate their physiological activities. In our study, we demonstrated that ATOH8 interacts with PPP3CB in vitro with different approaches. We show that the conserved catalytic domain of PPP3CB interacts with both the N-terminus and the bHLH domain of ATOH8. Although the interaction domain of PPP3CB is conserved among all isoforms of calcineurin A, ATOH8 selectively interacts with PPP3CB instead of PPP3CA, probably due to the unique proline-rich region present in the N-terminus of PPP3CB, which controls the specificity of its interaction partners. Furthermore, we show that inhibition of the interaction with calcineurin inhibitor, cyclosporin A (CsA), leads to the retention of ATOH8 to the cytoplasm, suggesting that the interaction renders nuclear localization of ATOH8 which may be critical to control its activity as transcription factor.
Project description:Adjusting intracellular calcium signaling is an important feature in the regulation of immune cell function and survival. Here we show that miR-34a-5p, a small non-coding RNA that is deregulated in many common diseases, is a regulator of store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) and calcineurin signaling. Upon miR-34a-5p overexpression, we observed both a decreased depletion of ER calcium content and a decreased Ca2+ influx through Ca2+ release-activated Ca2+ channels. Based on an in silico target prediction we identified multiple miR-34a-5p target genes within both pathways that are implicated in the balance between T-cell activation and apoptosis including ITPR2, CAMLG, STIM1, ORAI3, RCAN1, PPP3R1, and NFATC4. Functional analysis revealed a decrease in Ca2+ activated calcineurin pathway activity measured by a reduced IL-2 secretion due to miR-34a-5p overexpression. Impacting SOCE and/or downstream calcineurin/NFAT signaling by miR-34a-5p offers a possible future approach to manipulate immune cells for clinical interventions.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) possess an important regulating effect among numerous renal diseases, while their functions in the process of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) after podocyte injury remain unclear. The purpose of our study is to identify the potential functions of miR-30a in EMT of podocytes and explore the underlying mechanisms of miR-30a in the impaired podocytes. The results revealed that downregulation of miR-30a in podocyte injury animal models and patients, highly induced the mesenchymal markers of EMT including Collagen I, Fibronectin and Snail. Furthermore, overexpression of miR-30a enhances epithelial markers (E-cadherin) but diminished mesenchymal markers (Collagen I, Fibronectin and Snail) in podocytes. In addition, we established miR-30a target NFATc3, an important transcription factor of Non-canonical Wnt signaling pathway. More importantly, our findings demonstrated that the augmentation of miR-30a level in podocytes inhibits the nuclear translocation of NFATc3 to protect cytoskeleton disorder or rearrangement. In summary, we uncovered the protective function of miR30a targeting NFATc3 in the regulation of podocyte injury response to EMT.
Project description:Compelling evidence suggests that phosphoprotein phosphatases (PPPs) are involved in a large spectrum of physiological and pathological processes, but little is known about their roles in pancreatic cancer. We investigated the expression level, prognostic value, and potential function of PPPs with data from Oncomine, GEPIA, THPA, and TCGA databases and an independent cohort of patients with pancreatic cancer. Among all the PPP catalytic subunits (PPPcs), the transcription levels of PPP1CA, PPP1CB, PPP3CA, PPP3CB, and PPP4C were higher in pancreatic cancer than in normal pancreas (P<0.01, fold change > 2). Kaplan-Meier analysis showed that high transcription levels of PPP1CA, PPP1CB, PPP2CA, PPP2CB, PPP3CA, and PPP4C correlated with poorer survival. In contrast, patients with high levels of PPP3CB, PPP3CC, PPP5C, PPP6C, and PPEF2 had much better prognoses. Data from THPA and patients with pancreatic cancer enrolled in our hospital also confirmed the prognostic value of PPP1CA, PPP1CB, PPP2CA, PPP2CB, PPP3CA, PPP3CB, and PPP6C at the protein level. In addition, the Pearson Chi-square test showed that PPP3CB level was significantly correlated with T and N stages. GO and KEGG analyses showed that the genes and pathways related to the pathogenesis and progression of pancreatic cancer were greatly affected by alterations in PPPcs. Results of the present study suggest that PPP1CA, PPP1CB, PPP2CA, PPP2CB, and PPP3CA have deleterious effects but PPP3CB, PPP5C, and PPP6C have beneficial effects on pancreatic cancer.
Project description:?: Astrocytosis is a reactive process involving cellular, molecular, and functional changes to facilitate neuronal survival, myelin preservation, blood brain barrier function and protective glial scar formation upon brain insult. The overall pro- or anti-inflammatory impact of reactive astrocytes appears to be driven in a context- and disease-driven manner by modulation of astrocytic Ca2+ homeostasis and activation of Ca2+/calmodulin-activated serine/threonine phosphatase calcineurin. Here, we aimed to assess whether calcineurin is dispensable for astrocytosis in the hypothalamus driven by prolonged high fat diet (HFD) feeding. Global deletion of calcineurin A beta (gene name: Ppp3cb) led to a decrease of glial fibrillary acidic protein (GFAP)-positive cells in the ventromedial hypothalamus (VMH), dorsomedial hypothalamus (DMH), and arcuate nucleus (ARC) of mice exposed chronically to HFD. The concomitant decrease in Iba1-positive microglia in the VMH further suggests a modest impact of Ppp3cb deletion on microgliosis. Pharmacological inhibition of calcineurin activity by Fk506 had no impact on IBA1-positive microglia in hypothalami of mice acutely exposed to HFD for 1 week. However, Fk506-treated mice displayed a decrease in GFAP levels in the ARC. In vivo effects could not be replicated in cell culture, where calcineurin inhibition by Fk506 had no effect on astrocytic morphology, astrocytic cell death, GFAP, and vimentin protein levels or microglia numbers in primary hypothalamic astrocytes and microglia co-cultures. Further, adenoviral overexpression of calcineurin subunit Ppp3r1 in primary glia culture did not lead to an increase in GFAP fluorescence intensity. Overall, our results point to a prominent role of calcineurin in mediating hypothalamic astrocytosis as response to acute and chronic HFD exposure. Moreover, discrepant findings in vivo and in cell culture indicate the necessity of studying astrocytes in their "natural" environment, i.e., preserving an intact hypothalamic microenvironment with neurons and non-neuronal cells in close proximity.
Project description:Urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (uPAR) is upregulated in podocytes of glomerular diseases and crucially mediates podocyte injury through integrin β3 (ITGB3). We previously showed that the miR-30 family maintains podocyte structure and function by inhibiting injurious calcineurin signaling through nuclear factor of activated T cells C (NFATC). Here, we tested whether the miR-30-calcineurin-NFATC and uPAR-ITGB3 pathways, two of the major pathways leading to podocyte injury, could interact. We found that podocyte-specific miR-30 knockdown in mice induced uPAR upregulation and ITGB3 activation, accompanied by proteinuria and podocyte injury. These effects of miR-30 knockdown were reduced using inhibitors of ITGB3, calcineurin, and NFATC, respectively, which are known to be antiproteinuric. These results indicate that miR-30 deficiency leads to calcineurin-NFATC signaling activation, which in turn activates the uPAR-ITGB3 pathway. In cultured podocytes, miR-30 knockdown also activated uPAR-ITGB3 signaling, leading to Rho GTPase activation, synaptopodin downregulation and podocyte injury. To explore uPAR-ITGB3 signaling regulation by miR-30 in podocytopathy development, we treated mice with lipopolysaccharide (LPS) and found that miR-30 was downregulated in podocytes, accompanied by uPAR upregulation and ITGB3 activation. We obtained the same results in cultured podocytes treated with LPS. Podocyte-specific transgenic miR-30 abolished uPAR-ITGB3 signaling and ameliorated podocyte injury and proteinuria in mice. Taken together, these experiments show that uPAR-ITGB3 signaling is negatively regulated by miR-30 through calcineurin-NFATC pathway, a novel mechanism underlying podocyte injury in glomerular diseases. Our study has elucidated the relationship among the crucial players governing podocyte pathophysiology and the antiproteinuric actions of drugs commonly used for podocytopathies.
Project description:MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are essential for podocyte homeostasis, and the miR-30 family may be responsible for this action. However, the exact roles and clinical relevance of miR-30s remain unknown. In this study, we examined the expression of the miR-30 family in the podocytes of patients with FSGS and found that all members are downregulated. Treating cultured human podocytes with TGF-?, LPS, or puromycin aminonucleoside (PAN) also downregulated the miR-30 family. Podocyte cytoskeletal damage and apoptosis caused by treatment with TGF-? or PAN were ameliorated by exogenous miR-30 expression and aggravated by miR-30 knockdown. Moreover, we found that miR-30s exert their protective roles by direct inhibition of Notch1 and p53, which mediate podocyte injury. In rats, treatment with PAN substantially downregulated podocyte miR-30s and induced proteinuria and podocyte injury; however, transfer of exogenous miR-30a to podocytes of PAN-treated rats ameliorated proteinuria and podocyte injury and reduced Notch1 activation. Finally, we demonstrated that glucocorticoid treatment maintains miR-30 expression in cultured podocytes treated with TGF-?, LPS, or PAN and in the podocytes of PAN-treated rats. Glucocorticoid-sustained miR-30 expression associated with reduced Notch1 activation and alleviated podocyte damage. Taken together, these findings demonstrate that miR-30s protect podocytes by targeting Notch1 and p53 and that the loss of miR-30s facilitates podocyte injury. In addition, sustained miR-30 expression may be a novel mechanism underlying the therapeutic effectiveness of glucocorticoids in treating podocytopathy.
Project description:MEK1, a member of the mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) cascade that directly activates extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK), induces cardiac hypertrophy in transgenic mice. Calcineurin is a calcium-regulated protein phosphatase that also functions as a positive regulator of cardiac hypertrophic growth through a direct mechanism involving activation of nuclear factor of activated T-cell (NFAT) transcription factors. Here we determined that calcineurin-NFAT and MEK1-ERK1/2 signaling pathways are interdependent in cardiomyocytes, where they directly coregulate the hypertrophic growth response. For example, genetic deletion of the calcineurin Abeta gene reduced the hypertrophic response elicited by an activated MEK1 transgene in the heart, while inhibition of calcineurin or NFAT in cultured neonatal cardiomyocytes also blunted the hypertrophic response driven by activated MEK1. Conversely, targeted inhibition of MEK1-ERK1/2 signaling in cultured cardiomyocytes attenuated the hypertrophic growth response directed by activated calcineurin. However, targeted inhibition of MEK1-ERK1/2 signaling did not directly affect calcineurin-NFAT activation, nor was MEK1-ERK1/2 activation altered by targeted inhibition of calcineurin-NFAT. Mechanistically, we show that MEK1-ERK1/2 signaling augments NFAT transcriptional activity independent of calcineurin, independent of changes in NFAT nuclear localization, and independent of alterations in NFAT transactivation potential. In contrast, MEK1-ERK1/2 signaling enhances NFAT-dependent gene expression through an indirect mechanism involving induction of cardiac AP-1 activity, which functions as a necessary NFAT-interacting partner. As a second mechanism, MEK1-ERK1/2 and calcineurin-NFAT proteins form a complex in cardiac myocytes, resulting in direct phosphorylation of NFATc3 within its C terminus. MEK1-ERK1/2-mediated phosphorylation of NFATc3 directly augmented its DNA binding activity, while inhibition of MEK1-ERK1/2 signaling reduced NFATc3 DNA binding activity. Collectively, these results indicate that calcineurin-NFAT and MEK1-ERK1/2 pathways constitute a codependent signaling module in cardiomyocytes that coordinately regulates the growth response through two distinct mechanisms.
Project description:Transforming growth factors beta (TGF-?) are multi-functional cytokines capable of inducing apoptosis in epithelial cells, including glomerular podocytes. We and others have previously shown that podocyte-selective genetic deletion of the microRNA (miR)-processing enzyme, Dicer, caused glomerulosclerosis that was associated with podocyte apoptosis, and the miR-30 family was implicated in the process. Here, we report that apoptosis-associated genes were highly enriched among the predicted targets of miR-30 when compared with randomly selected miRs (26% vs. 4.5 ± 2.1%) or with the known TGF-?-regulated miR-192 (6%), miR-216a (5.1%), and miR-217 (0%). miR-30 family members were abundantly expressed in podocytes in normal mice but were downregulated in albumin/TGF-? transgenic mice with podocyte apoptosis and glomerulosclerosis. In vitro, TGF-? downregulated miR-30s in wildtype and Smad3-deficient, but not Smad2- or Smad2/Smad3-deficient, podocytes. The TGF-?-induced activation of caspase 3 and an increase in TUNEL-positive nuclei were significantly inhibited by the lentivirus-mediated overexpression of miR-30d, but not by a scrambled control miR, in podocytes. TGF-? stimulated the phosphorylation of pro-apoptotic p53 in podocytes with lentiviral expression of a scrambled miR, but not in podocytes expressing miR-30d. In contrast, miR-30d had no effect on the phosphorylation of pro-apoptotic p38 MAP kinase induced by TGF-?. Thus, we report that Smad2-dependent inhibition of miR-30s in podocytes is required for the activation of p53 and the induction of apoptosis by TGF-?. These results demonstrate a novel functional role for miR-30 in podocyte survival and indicate that the loss of miR-30 survival signaling is a novel and specific mechanism of TGF-?-induced podocyte apoptosis during glomerulosclerosis. We propose the therapeutic replacement of miR-30 as a novel strategy to prevent the podocyte apoptosis that is characteristic of progressive glomerular diseases.