ROCKII inhibition promotes the maturation of human pancreatic beta-like cells.
ABSTRACT: Diabetes is linked to loss of pancreatic beta-cells. Pluripotent stem cells offer a valuable source of human beta-cells for basic studies of their biology and translational applications. However, the signalling pathways that regulate beta-cell development and functional maturation are not fully understood. Here we report a high content chemical screen, revealing that H1152, a ROCK inhibitor, promotes the robust generation of insulin-expressing cells from multiple hPSC lines. The insulin expressing cells obtained after H1152 treatment show increased expression of mature beta cell markers and improved glucose stimulated insulin secretion. Moreover, the H1152-treated beta-like cells show enhanced glucose stimulated insulin secretion and increased capacity to maintain glucose homeostasis after transplantation. Conditional gene knockdown reveals that inhibition of ROCKII promotes the generation and maturation of glucose-responding cells. This study provides a strategy to promote human beta-cell maturation and identifies an unexpected role for the ROCKII pathway in the development and maturation of beta-like cells.Our incomplete understanding of how pancreatic beta cells form limits the generation of beta-like cells from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC). Here, the authors identify a ROCKII inhibitor H1152 as increasing insulin secreting cells from hPSCs and improving beta-cell maturation on transplantation in vivo.
Project description:Luminal acidification in the epididymis is critical for sperm maturation and storage. Clear cells express the vacuolar H(+)-ATPase (V-ATPase) in their apical membrane and are major contributors to proton secretion. We showed that this process is regulated via recycling of V-ATPase-containing vesicles. We now report that RhoA and its effector ROCKII are enriched in rat epididymal clear cells. In addition, cortical F-actin was detected beneath the apical membrane and along the lateral membrane of "resting" clear cells using a pan-actin antibody or phalloidin-TRITC. In vivo luminal perfusion of the cauda epididymal tubule with the ROCK inhibitors Y27632 (10-30 μM) and HA1077 (30 μM) or with the cell-permeable Rho inhibitor Clostridium botulinum C3 transferase (3.75 μg/ml) induced the apical membrane accumulation of V-ATPase and extension of V-ATPase-labeled microvilli in clear cells. However, these newly formed microvilli were devoid of ROCKII. In addition, Y27632 (30 μM) or HA1077 (30 μM) decreased the ratio of F-actin to G-actin detected by Western blot analysis in epididymal epithelial cells, and Y27632 also decreased the ratio of F-actin to G-actin in clear cells isolated by fluorescence activated cell sorting from B1-enhanced green fluorescence protein (EGFP) transgenic mice. These results provide evidence that depolymerization of the cortical actin cytoskeleton via inhibition of RhoA or its effector ROCKII favors the recruitment of V-ATPase from the cytosolic compartment into the apical membrane in clear cells. In addition, our data suggest that the RhoA-ROCKII pathway is not locally involved in the elongation of apical microvilli. We propose that inhibition of RhoA-ROCKII might be part of the intracellular signaling cascade that is triggered upon agonist-induced apical membrane V-ATPase accumulation.
Project description:Diabetes mellitus (DM) is one of the most prevalent metabolic disorders. In order to replace the function of the destroyed pancreatic beta cells in diabetes, islet transplantation is the most widely practiced treatment. However, it has several limitations. As an alternative approach, human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) can provide an unlimited source of pancreatic cells that have the ability to secrete insulin in response to a high blood glucose level. However, the determination of the appropriate pancreatic lineage candidate for the purpose of cell therapy for the treatment of diabetes is still debated. While hPSC-derived beta cells are perceived as the ultimate candidate, their efficiency needs further improvement in order to obtain a sufficient number of glucose responsive beta cells for transplantation therapy. On the other hand, hPSC-derived pancreatic progenitors can be efficiently generated in vitro and can further mature into glucose responsive beta cells in vivo after transplantation. Herein, we discuss the advantages and predicted challenges associated with the use of each of the two pancreatic lineage products for diabetes cell therapy. Furthermore, we address the co-generation of functionally relevant islet cell subpopulations and structural properties contributing to the glucose responsiveness of beta cells, as well as the available encapsulation technology for these cells.
Project description:Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) represent a renewable source of pancreatic beta cells for both basic research and therapeutic applications. Given this outstanding potential, significant efforts have been made to identify the signaling pathways that regulate pancreatic development in hPSC differentiation cultures. In this study, we demonstrate that the combination of epidermal growth factor (EGF) and nicotinamide signaling induces the generation of NKX6-1(+) progenitors from all hPSC lines tested. Furthermore, we show that the size of the NKX6-1(+) population is regulated by the duration of treatment with retinoic acid, fibroblast growth factor 10 (FGF10), and inhibitors of bone morphogenetic protein (BMP) and hedgehog signaling pathways. When transplanted into NOD scid gamma (NSG) recipients, these progenitors differentiate to give rise to exocrine and endocrine cells, including monohormonal insulin(+) cells. Together, these findings provide an efficient and reproducible strategy for generating highly enriched populations of hPSC-derived beta cell progenitors for studies aimed at further characterizing their developmental potential in vivo and deciphering the pathways that regulate their maturation in vitro.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Quantitative variation of floral organs in plants is caused by an extremely complex process of transcriptional regulation. Despite progress in model plants, the molecular mechanisms of quantitative variation remain unknown in woody flower plants. The Paeonia rockii originated in China is a precious woody plant with ornamental, medicinal and oil properties. There is a wide variation in the number of carpel in P. rockii, but the molecular mechanism of the variation has rarely been studied. Then a comparative transcriptome was performed among two cultivars of P. rockii with different development patterns of carpel in this study. RESULTS:Through the next-generation and single-molecule long-read sequencing (NGS and SMLRS), 66,563 unigenes and 28,155 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) were identified in P. rockii. Then clustering pattern and weighted gene coexpression network analysis (WGCNA) indicated that 15 candidate genes were likely involved in the carpel quantitative variation, including floral organ development, transcriptional regulatory and enzyme-like factors. Moreover, transcription factors (TFs) from the MYB, WD, RING1 and LRR gene families suggested the important roles in the management of the upstream genes. Among them, PsMYB114-like, PsMYB12 and PsMYB61-like from the MYB gene family were probably the main characters that regulated the carpel quantitative variation. Further, a hypothetical model for the regulation pattern of carpel quantitative variation was proposed in which the candidate genes function synergistically the quantitative variation process. CONCLUSIONS:We present the high-quality sequencing products in P. rockii. Our results summarize a valuable collective of gene expression profiles characterizing the carpel quantitative variation. The DEGs are candidate for functional analyses of genes regulating the carpel quantitative variation in tree peonies, which provide a precious resource that reveals the molecular mechanism of carpel quantitative variation in other woody flower crops.
Project description:Although human pluripotent stem cell-derived cardiomyocytes (hPSC-CMs) have emerged as a novel platform for heart regeneration, disease modeling, and drug screening, their immaturity significantly hinders their application. A hallmark of postnatal cardiomyocyte maturation is the metabolic substrate switch from glucose to fatty acids. We hypothesized that fatty acid supplementation would enhance hPSC-CM maturation. Fatty acid treatment induces cardiomyocyte hypertrophy and significantly increases cardiomyocyte force production. The improvement in force generation is accompanied by enhanced calcium transient peak height and kinetics, and by increased action potential upstroke velocity and membrane capacitance. Fatty acids also enhance mitochondrial respiratory reserve capacity. RNA sequencing showed that fatty acid treatment upregulates genes involved in fatty acid β-oxidation and downregulates genes in lipid synthesis. Signal pathway analyses reveal that fatty acid treatment results in phosphorylation and activation of multiple intracellular kinases. Thus, fatty acids increase human cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, force generation, calcium dynamics, action potential upstroke velocity, and oxidative capacity. This enhanced maturation should facilitate hPSC-CM usage for cell therapy, disease modeling, and drug/toxicity screens.
Project description:The generation of insulin-producing pancreatic cells from stem cells in vitro would provide an unprecedented cell source for drug discovery and cell transplantation therapy in diabetes. However, insulin-producing cells previously generated from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC) lack many functional characteristics of bona fide β cells. Here we report a scalable differentiation protocol that can generate hundreds of millions of glucose-responsive β cells from hPSC in vitro. These stem cell derived cells (SC) express markers found in mature β cells, flux Ca2+ in response to glucose, package insulin into secretory granules and secrete quantities of insulin comparable to adult β cells in response to multiple sequential glucose challenges in vitro. Furthermore, these cells secrete human insulin into the serum of mice shortly after transplantation in a glucose-regulated manner, and transplantation of these cells ameliorates hyperglycemia in diabetic mice. Differentiated cells were sorted and processed for RNA isolation using the MARIS protocol published previously (PMID: 24516164.) Human embryonic stem cell (hESC) line HUES8 was differentiated into SC-beta cells. Two biological replicates were analyzed. Those data were normalized together with and compared to existing, previously published data from Hrvatin et al. ( (PMID: 24516164) from human islet -derived insulin+ cells, undifferentiated HUES8 hES cells, and insulin+ cells derived from HUES8 cells according to previously published protocols.
Project description:The generation of insulin-producing pancreatic ? cells from stem cells in vitro would provide an unprecedented cell source for drug discovery and cell transplantation therapy in diabetes. However, insulin-producing cells previously generated from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC) lack many functional characteristics of bona fide ? cells. Here, we report a scalable differentiation protocol that can generate hundreds of millions of glucose-responsive ? cells from hPSC in vitro. These stem-cell-derived ? cells (SC-?) express markers found in mature ? cells, flux Ca(2+) in response to glucose, package insulin into secretory granules, and secrete quantities of insulin comparable to adult ? cells in response to multiple sequential glucose challenges in vitro. Furthermore, these cells secrete human insulin into the serum of mice shortly after transplantation in a glucose-regulated manner, and transplantation of these cells ameliorates hyperglycemia in diabetic mice.
Project description:Rho GTPases are thought to mediate the action of several axonal growth inhibitors in the adult brain and spinal cord. RhoA has been targeted pharmacologically in both humans and animals to promote neurite outgrowth and functional recovery following CNS trauma. However, rat spinal cord injury studies suggest a complicated and partial benefit of inhibiting Rho or its downstream effector, Rho-associated kinase (ROCKII). This limited benefit may reflect inhibition of other kinases, poor access, or a minimal role of ROCKII in vivo. Therefore, we studied ROCKII mutant mice to probe this pathway genetically. ROCKII(-/-) dorsal root ganglion neurons are less sensitive to inhibition by Nogo protein or by chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan in vitro. We examined adult ROCKII(-/-) mice in two injury paradigms, cervical multilevel dorsal rhizotomy and midthoracic dorsal spinal cord hemisection. After dorsal root crush injury, the ROCKII(-/-) mice recovered use of the affected forepaw more quickly than did controls. Moreover, multiple classes of sensory axons regenerated across the dorsal root entry zone into the spinal cord of mice lacking ROCKII. After the spinal cord injury, ROCKII(-/-) mice showed enhanced local growth of raphespinal axons in the caudal spinal cord and corticospinal axons into the lesion site. Improved functional recovery was not observed by Basso Mouse Scale score following dorsal hemisection, likely due to developmental defects in the nervous system. Together, these findings demonstrate that the ROCKII gene product limits axonal growth after CNS trauma.
Project description:The selectivity of (4Z)-2-(4-chloro-3-nitrophenyl)-4-(pyridin-3-ylmethylidene)-1,3-oxazol-5-one (DI) for zipper-interacting protein kinase (ZIPK) was previously described by in silico computational modeling, screening a large panel of kinases, and determining the inhibition efficacy. Our assessment of DI revealed another target, the Rho-associated coiled-coil-containing protein kinase 2 (ROCKII). In vitro studies showed DI to be a competitive inhibitor of ROCKII (Ki, 132 nM with respect to ATP). This finding was supported by in silico molecular surface docking of DI with the ROCKII ATP-binding pocket. Time course analysis of myosin regulatory light chain (LC20) phosphorylation catalyzed by ROCKII in vitro revealed a significant decrease upon treatment with DI. ROCKII signaling was investigated in situ in human coronary artery vascular smooth muscle cells (CASMCs). ROCKII down-regulation using siRNA revealed several potential substrates involved in smooth muscle contraction (e.g., LC20, Par-4, MYPT1) and actin cytoskeletal dynamics (cofilin). The application of DI to CASMCs attenuated LC20, Par-4, LIMK, and cofilin phosphorylations. Notably, cofilin phosphorylation was not significantly decreased with a novel ZIPK selective inhibitor (HS-38). In addition, CASMCs treated with DI underwent cytoskeletal changes that were associated with diminution of cofilin phosphorylation. We conclude that DI is not selective for ZIPK and is a potent inhibitor of ROCKII.
Project description:Recent advances in human pluripotent stem cell (hPSC) differentiation protocols have generated insulin-producing cells resembling pancreatic β cells. While these stem cell-derived β (SC-β) cells are capable of undergoing glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS), insulin secretion per cell remains low compared with islets and cells lack dynamic insulin release. Herein, we report a differentiation strategy focused on modulating transforming growth factor β (TGF-β) signaling, controlling cellular cluster size, and using an enriched serum-free media to generate SC-β cells that express β cell markers and undergo GSIS with first- and second-phase dynamic insulin secretion. Transplantation of these cells into mice greatly improves glucose tolerance. These results reveal that specific time frames for inhibiting and permitting TGF-β signaling are required during SC-β cell differentiation to achieve dynamic function. The capacity of these cells to undergo GSIS with dynamic insulin release makes them a promising cell source for diabetes cellular therapy.