Project description:Glucocorticoids have excellent therapeutic properties; however, they cause significant adverse atrophogenic effects. The mTORC1 inhibitor REDD1 has been recently identified as a key mediator of glucocorticoid-induced atrophy. We performed computational screening of a connectivity map database to identify putative REDD1 inhibitors. The top selected candidates included rapamycin, which was unexpected because it inhibits pro-proliferative mTOR signaling. Indeed, rapamycin inhibited REDD1 induction by glucocorticoids dexamethasone, clobetasol propionate, and fluocinolone acetonide in keratinocytes, lymphoid cells, and mouse skin. We also showed blunting of glucocorticoid-induced REDD1 induction by either catalytic inhibitor of mTORC1/2 (OSI-027) or genetic inhibition of mTORC1, highlighting role of mTOR in glucocorticoid receptor signaling. Moreover, rapamycin inhibited glucocorticoid receptor phosphorylation, nuclear translocation, and loading on glucocorticoid-responsive elements in REDD1 promoter. Using microarrays, we quantified a global effect of rapamycin on gene expression regulation by fluocinolone acetonide in human keratinocytes. Rapamycin inhibited activation of glucocorticoid receptor target genes yet enhanced the repression of pro-proliferative and proinflammatory genes. Remarkably, rapamycin protected skin against glucocorticoid-induced atrophy but had no effect on the glucocorticoid anti-inflammatory activity in different in vivo models, suggesting the clinical potential of combining rapamycin with glucocorticoids for the treatment of inflammatory diseases.
Project description:Classic physiology studies dating to the 1930s demonstrate that moderate or transient glucocorticoid (GC) exposure improves muscle performance. The ergogenic properties of GCs are further evidenced by their surreptitious use as doping agents by endurance athletes and poorly understood efficacy in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD), a genetic muscle-wasting disease. A defined molecular basis underlying these performance-enhancing properties of GCs in skeletal muscle remains obscure. Here, we demonstrate that ergogenic effects of GCs are mediated by direct induction of the metabolic transcription factor KLF15, defining a downstream pathway distinct from that resulting in GC-related muscle atrophy. Furthermore, we establish that KLF15 deficiency exacerbates dystrophic severity and muscle GC-KLF15 signaling mediates salutary therapeutic effects in the mdx mouse model of DMD. Thus, although glucocorticoid receptor (GR)-mediated transactivation is often associated with muscle atrophy and other adverse effects of pharmacologic GC administration, our data define a distinct GR-induced gene regulatory pathway that contributes to therapeutic effects of GCs in DMD through proergogenic metabolic programming.
Project description:Glucocorticoids are a well-recognized and common cause of muscle atrophy that can be prevented by testosterone. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying such protection have not been described. Thus, the global effects of testosterone on dexamethasone-induced changes in gene expression were evaluated in rat gastrocnemius muscle using DNA microarrays. Gene expression was analyzed after 7-d administration of dexamethasone, dexamethasone plus testosterone, or vehicle. Dexamethasone changed expression of 876 probe sets by at least 2-fold. Among these, 474 probe sets were changed by at least 2-fold in the opposite direction in the dexamethasone plus testosterone group (genes in opposition). Major biological themes represented by genes in opposition included IGF-I signaling, myogenesis and muscle development, and cell cycle progression. Testosterone completely prevented the 22-fold increase in expression of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) inhibitor regulated in development and DNA damage responses 1 (REDD1), and attenuated dexamethasone induced increased expression of eIF4E binding protein 1, Forkhead box O1, and the p85 regulatory subunit of the IGF-I receptor but prevented decreased expression of IRS-1. Testosterone attenuated increases in REDD1 protein in skeletal muscle and L6 myoblasts and prevented dephosphorylation of p70S6 kinase at the mTOR-dependent site Thr389 in L6 myoblast cells. Effects of testosterone on REDD1 mRNA levels occurred within 1 h, required the androgen receptor, were blocked by bicalutamide, and were due to inhibition of transcriptional activation of REDD1 by dexamethasone. These data suggest that testosterone blocks dexamethasone-induced changes in expression of REDD1 and other genes that collectively would otherwise down-regulate mTOR activity and hence also down-regulate protein synthesis.
Project description:Skeletal muscle atrophy is a common feature of numerous chronic pathologies and is correlated with patient mortality. The REDD1 protein is currently recognized as a negative regulator of muscle mass through inhibition of the Akt/mTORC1 signaling pathway. REDD1 expression is notably induced following glucocorticoid secretion, which is a component of energy stress responses.Unexpectedly, we show here that REDD1 instead limits muscle loss during energetic stresses such as hypoxia and fasting by reducing glycogen depletion and AMPK activation. Indeed, we demonstrate that REDD1 is required to decrease O2 and ATP consumption in skeletal muscle via reduction of the extent of mitochondrial-associated endoplasmic reticulum membranes (MAMs), a central hub connecting energy production by mitochondria and anabolic processes. In fact, REDD1 inhibits ATP-demanding processes such as glycogen storage and protein synthesis through disruption of the Akt/Hexokinase II and PRAS40/mTORC1 signaling pathways in MAMs. Our results uncover a new REDD1-dependent mechanism coupling mitochondrial respiration and anabolic processes during hypoxia, fasting, and exercise.Therefore, REDD1 is a crucial negative regulator of energy expenditure that is necessary for muscle adaptation during energetic stresses. This present study could shed new light on the role of REDD1 in several pathologies associated with energetic metabolism alteration, such as cancer, diabetes, and Parkinson's disease.
Project description:Podocyte injury is the inciting event in primary glomerulopathies, such as minimal change disease and primary FSGS, and glucocorticoids remain the initial and often, the primary treatment of choice for these glomerulopathies. Because inflammation is not readily apparent in these diseases, understanding the direct effects of glucocorticoids on the podocyte, independent of the immunomodulatory effects, may lead to the identification of targets downstream of glucocorticoids that minimize toxicity without compromising efficacy. Several studies showed that treatment with glucocorticoids restores podocyte differentiation markers and normal ultrastructure and improves cell survival in murine podocytes. We previously determined that Krüppel-like factor 15 (KLF15), a kidney-enriched zinc finger transcription factor, is required for restoring podocyte differentiation markers in mice and human podocytes under cell stress. Here, we show that in vitro treatment with dexamethasone induced a rapid increase of KLF15 expression in human and murine podocytes and enhanced the affinity of glucocorticoid receptor binding to the promoter region of KLF15 In three independent proteinuric murine models, podocyte-specific loss of Klf15 abrogated dexamethasone-induced podocyte recovery. Furthermore, knockdown of KLF15 reduced cell survival and destabilized the actin cytoskeleton in differentiated human podocytes. Conversely, overexpression of KLF15 stabilized the actin cytoskeleton under cell stress in human podocytes. Finally, the level of KLF15 expression in the podocytes and glomeruli from human biopsy specimens correlated with glucocorticoid responsiveness in 35 patients with minimal change disease or primary FSGS. Thus, these studies identify the critical role of KLF15 in mediating the salutary effects of glucocorticoids in the podocyte.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Skin atrophy is a major adverse effect of topical glucocorticoids. We recently reported that REDD1 (regulated in development and DNA damage 1) and FKBP51 (FK506 binding protein 5), negative regulators of mTOR/Akt signaling, are induced by glucocorticoids in mouse and human skin and are central drivers of steroid skin atrophy. Thus, we hypothesized that REDD1/FKBP51 inhibitors could protect skin against catabolic effects of glucocorticoids. METHODS:Using drug repurposing approach, we screened LINCS library (http://lincsproject.org/LINCS/) to identify repressors of REDD1/FKBP51 expression. Candidate compounds were tested for their ability to inhibit glucocorticoid-induced REDD1/FKBP51 expression in human primary/immortalized keratinocytes and in mouse skin. Reporter gene expression, microarray, and chromatin immunoprecipitation were employed to evaluate effect of these inhibitors on the glucocorticoid receptor (GR) signaling. FINDINGS:Bioinformatics analysis unexpectedly identified phosphoinositide-3-kinase (PI3K)/mTOR/Akt inhibitors as a pharmacological class of REDD1/FKBP51 repressors. Selected PI3K/mTOR/Akt inhibitors-Wortmannin (WM), LY294002, AZD8055, and two others indeed blocked REDD1/FKBP51expression in human keratinocytes. PI3K/mTOR/Akt inhibitors also modified global effect of glucocorticoids on trascriptome, shifting it towards therapeutically important transrepression; negatively impacted GR phosphorylation; nuclear translocation; and GR loading on REDD1/FKBP51 gene promoters. Further, topical application of LY294002 together with glucocorticoid fluocinolone acetonide (FA) protected mice against FA-induced proliferative block and skin atrophy but did not alter the anti-inflammatory activity of FA in ear edema test. INTERPRETATION:Our results built a strong foundation for development of safer GR-targeted therapies for inflammatory skin diseases using combination of glucocorticoids with PI3K/mTOR/Akt inhibitors. FUND: Work is supported by NIH grants R01GM112945, R01AI125366, and HESI-THRIVE foundation.
Project description:Glucocorticoids, such as dexamethasone, enhance protein breakdown via ubiquitin-proteasome system. However, the role of autophagy in organelle and protein turnover in the glucocorticoid-dependent atrophy program remains unknown. Here, we show that dexamethasone stimulates an early activation of autophagy in L6 myotubes depending on protein kinase, AMPK, and glucocorticoid receptor activity. Dexamethasone increases expression of several autophagy genes, including ATG5, LC3, BECN1, and SQSTM1 and triggers AMPK-dependent mitochondrial fragmentation associated with increased DNM1L protein levels. This process is required for mitophagy induced by dexamethasone. Inhibition of mitochondrial fragmentation by Mdivi-1 results in disrupted dexamethasone-induced autophagy/mitophagy. Furthermore, Mdivi-1 increases the expression of genes associated with the atrophy program, suggesting that mitophagy may serve as part of the quality control process in dexamethasone-treated L6 myotubes. Collectively, these data suggest a novel role for dexamethasone-induced autophagy/mitophagy in the regulation of the muscle atrophy program.
Project description:Glucocorticoids exert important therapeutic effects on airway smooth muscle (ASM), yet few direct targets of glucocorticoid signaling in ASM have been definitively identified. Here, we show that the transcription factor, Krüppel-like factor 15 (KLF15), is directly induced by glucocorticoids in primary human ASM, and that KLF15 represses ASM hypertrophy. We integrated transcriptome data from KLF15 overexpression with genome-wide analysis of RNA polymerase (RNAP) II and glucocorticoid receptor (GR) occupancy to identify phospholipase C delta 1 as both a KLF15-regulated gene and a novel repressor of ASM hypertrophy. Our chromatin immunoprecipitation sequencing data also allowed us to establish numerous direct transcriptional targets of GR in ASM. Genes with inducible GR occupancy and putative antiinflammatory properties included IRS2, APPL2, RAMP1, and MFGE8. Surprisingly, we also observed GR occupancy in the absence of supplemental ligand, including robust GR binding peaks within the IL11 and LIF loci. Detection of antibody-GR complexes at these areas was abrogated by dexamethasone treatment in association with reduced RNA polymerase II occupancy, suggesting that noncanonical pathways contribute to cytokine repression by glucocorticoids in ASM. Through defining GR interactions with chromatin on a genome-wide basis in ASM, our data also provide an important resource for future studies of GR in this therapeutically relevant cell type.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Many pathological states characterized by muscle atrophy are associated with an increase in circulating glucocorticoids and poor patient prognosis, making it an important target for treatment. The development of treatments for glucocorticoid-induced and wasting disorder-related skeletal muscle atrophy should be designed based on how the particular transcriptional program is orchestrated and how the balance of muscle protein synthesis and degradation is deregulated. Here, we investigated whether the obestatin/GPR39 system, an autocrine/paracrine signaling system acting on myogenesis and with anabolic effects on the skeletal muscle, could protect against glucocorticoid-induced muscle cell atrophy.<h4>Methods</h4>In the present study, we have utilized mouse C2C12 myotube cultures to examine whether the obestatin/GPR39 signaling pathways can affect the atrophy induced by the synthetic glucocorticoid dexamethasone. We have extended these findings to in vitro effects on human atrophy using human KM155C25 myotubes.<h4>Results</h4>The activation of the obestatin/GPR39 system protects from glucocorticoid-induced atrophy by regulation of Akt, PKD/PKC?, CAMKII and AMPK signaling and its downstream targets in the control of protein synthesis, ubiquitin-proteasome system and autophagy-lysosome system in mouse cells. We compared mouse and human myotube cells in their response to glucocorticoid and identified differences in both the triggering of the atrophic program and the response to obestatin stimulation. Notably, we demonstrate that specific patterns of post-translational modifications of FoxO4 and FoxO1 play a key role in directing FoxO activity in response to obestatin in human myotubes.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Our findings emphasize the function of the obestatin/GPR39 system in coordinating a variety of pathways involved in the regulation of protein degradation during catabolic conditions.
Project description:The circadian glucocorticoid-Krüppel-like factor 15-branched-chain amino acid (GC-KLF15-BCAA) signaling pathway is a key regulatory axis in muscle, whose imbalance has wide-reaching effects on metabolic homeostasis. Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a neuromuscular disorder also characterized by intrinsic muscle pathologies, metabolic abnormalities and disrupted sleep patterns, which can influence or be influenced by circadian regulatory networks that control behavioral and metabolic rhythms. We therefore set out to investigate the contribution of the GC-KLF15-BCAA pathway in SMA pathophysiology of Taiwanese Smn-/-;SMN2 and Smn2B/- mouse models. We thus uncover substantial dysregulation of GC-KLF15-BCAA diurnal rhythmicity in serum, skeletal muscle and metabolic tissues of SMA mice. Importantly, modulating the components of the GC-KLF15-BCAA pathway via pharmacological (prednisolone), genetic (muscle-specific Klf15 overexpression) and dietary (BCAA supplementation) interventions significantly improves disease phenotypes in SMA mice. Our study highlights the GC-KLF15-BCAA pathway as a contributor to SMA pathogenesis and provides several treatment avenues to alleviate peripheral manifestations of the disease. The therapeutic potential of targeting metabolic perturbations by diet and commercially available drugs could have a broader implementation across other neuromuscular and metabolic disorders characterized by altered GC-KLF15-BCAA signaling.