Functional non-coding polymorphism in an EPHA2 promoter PAX2 binding site modifies expression and alters the MAPK and AKT pathways.
ABSTRACT: To identify possible genetic variants influencing expression of EPHA2 (Ephrin-receptor Type-A2), a tyrosine kinase receptor that has been shown to be important for lens development and to contribute to both congenital and age related cataract when mutated, the extended promoter region of EPHA2 was screened for variants. SNP rs6603883 lies in a PAX2 binding site in the EPHA2 promoter region. The C (minor) allele decreased EPHA2 transcriptional activity relative to the T allele by reducing the binding affinity of PAX2. Knockdown of PAX2 in human lens epithelial (HLE) cells decreased endogenous expression of EPHA2. Whole RNA sequencing showed that extracellular matrix (ECM), MAPK-AKT signaling pathways and cytoskeleton related genes were dysregulated in EPHA2 knockdown HLE cells. Taken together, these results indicate a functional non-coding SNP in EPHA2 promoter affects PAX2 binding and reduces EPHA2 expression. They further suggest that decreasing EPHA2 levels alters MAPK, AKT signaling pathways and ECM and cytoskeletal genes in lens cells that could contribute to cataract. These results demonstrate a direct role for PAX2 in EPHA2 expression and help delineate the role of EPHA2 in development and homeostasis required for lens transparency.
Project description:PURPOSE:To determine the effect of decorin on oxidative stress and apoptosis of human lens epithelial (HLE) cells under high glucose condition. METHODS:HLE cell line (HLEB3) was incubated in normal glucose (5.5 mM) or high glucose (60 mM) medium. Decorin (50 nM) was applied 2 hours before high glucose medium was added. Apoptosis detection was executed by flow cytometry and western blotting (analysis of bcl-2 and bax). Oxidative stress level was measured by the generation of reactive oxygen species (ROS), glutathione peroxidase (GSH) and superoxide dismutase (SOD). P38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) phosphorylation, the expression of p22phox of HLE cells and human lens anterior capsules were detected by western blotting. Small interfering RNA transfection to p22phox and p38 MAPK was also carried out on HLEB3. RESULTS:High glucose caused HLE cells oxidative stress and apoptosis exhibiting the increase of apoptotic cells and ROS production and decrease of bcl-2/bax ratio, GSH/GSSG ration and SOD activity. P22phox and phospho-p38 MAPK were upregulated in high glucose treated HLEB3 cells. Knocking down p22phox or p38 by siRNAs can reduce high glucose induced cell apoptosis and oxidative stress level. Silencing p22phox by siRNA can downregulate the phosphorylation of p38 MAPK. Decorin can inhibit the apoptosis, oxidative stress level and the induction of p22phox and phospho-p38 of HLEB3 induced by high glucose. Furthermore, the expression of p22phox and p38 were found significantly increased in lens anterior capsules of diabetic cataract patients compared to that of normal age-related cataract patients. CONCLUSIONS:Results showed that p22phox-p38 pathway may be participated in high glucose induced lens epithelial cell injury, decorin may inhibit the high glucose induced apoptosis and oxidative stress injury by suppressing this pathway in part.
Project description:Rare germ-line mutations in the coding regions of the human EPHA2 gene (EPHA2) have been associated with inherited forms of pediatric cataract, whereas, frequent, non-coding, single nucleotide variants (SNVs) have been associated with age-related cataract. Here we sought to determine if germ-line EPHA2 coding SNVs were associated with age-related cataract in a case-control DNA panel (> 50 years) and if somatic EPHA2 coding SNVs were associated with lens aging and/or cataract in a post-mortem lens DNA panel (> 48 years). Micro-fluidic PCR amplification followed by targeted amplicon (exon) next-generation (deep) sequencing of EPHA2 (17-exons) afforded high read-depth coverage (1000x) for > 82% of reads in the cataract case-control panel (161 cases, 64 controls) and > 70% of reads in the post-mortem lens panel (35 clear lens pairs, 22 cataract lens pairs). Novel and reference (known) missense SNVs in EPHA2 that were predicted in silico to be functionally damaging were found in both cases and controls from the age-related cataract panel at variant allele frequencies (VAFs) consistent with germ-line transmission (VAF > 20%). Similarly, both novel and reference missense SNVs in EPHA2 were found in the post-mortem lens panel at VAFs consistent with a somatic origin (VAF > 3%). The majority of SNVs found in the cataract case-control panel and post-mortem lens panel were transitions and many occurred at di-pyrimidine sites that are susceptible to ultraviolet (UV) radiation induced mutation. These data suggest that novel germ-line (blood) and somatic (lens) coding SNVs in EPHA2 that are predicted to be functionally deleterious occur in adults over 50 years of age. However, both types of EPHA2 coding variants were present at comparable levels in individuals with or without age-related cataract making simple genotype-phenotype correlations inconclusive.
Project description:Despite accumulating evidence revealing susceptibility genes for age-related cataract, its pathophysiology leading to visual impairment at the cellular and molecular level remains poorly understood. Recent bioinformatic studies uncovered the association of two single nucleotide polymorphisms in human EPHA2, rs2291806 and rs1058371, with age-related cataract. Here we investigated the role of EPHA2 in counteracting oxidative stress-induced apoptosis of lens epithelial cells. The cataract-associated missense mutations resulted in the destabilization of EPHA2 receptor without altering the mRNA transcription. The cytoprotective and antiapoptotic function of EPHA2 in lens epithelial cells was abolished by the functional polymorphisms. Furthermore, our results suggest that the downstream signaling of activated EPHA2 promotes the antioxidative capacity of lens epithelial cells to eradicate the overproduction of reactive oxygen species. In contrast, the overexpression of EPHA2 with nonsynonymous mutations in the lens epithelial cells offered limited antioxidative protection against oxidative stress. Thus, our study not only sheds the light on the potential cytoprotective function of EPHA2 signaling in lens but also provides the cellular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of age-related cataract.
Project description:Age-related cataract is a major cause of blindness worldwide, and cortical cataract is the second most prevalent type of age-related cataract. Although a significant fraction of age-related cataract is heritable, the genetic basis remains to be elucidated. We report that homozygous deletion of Epha2 in two independent strains of mice developed progressive cortical cataract. Retroillumination revealed development of cortical vacuoles at one month of age; visible cataract appeared around three months, which progressed to mature cataract by six months. EPHA2 protein expression in the lens is spatially and temporally regulated. It is low in anterior epithelial cells, upregulated as the cells enter differentiation at the equator, strongly expressed in the cortical fiber cells, but absent in the nuclei. Deletion of Epha2 caused a significant increase in the expression of HSP25 (murine homologue of human HSP27) before the onset of cataract. The overexpressed HSP25 was in an underphosphorylated form, indicating excessive cellular stress and protein misfolding. The orthologous human EPHA2 gene on chromosome 1p36 was tested in three independent worldwide Caucasian populations for allelic association with cortical cataract. Common variants in EPHA2 were found that showed significant association with cortical cataract, and rs6678616 was the most significant in meta-analyses. In addition, we sequenced exons of EPHA2 in linked families and identified a new missense mutation, Arg721Gln, in the protein kinase domain that significantly alters EPHA2 functions in cellular and biochemical assays. Thus, converging evidence from humans and mice suggests that EPHA2 is important in maintaining lens clarity with age.
Project description:The cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the pathogenesis of cataracts leading to visual impairment remain poorly understood. In recent studies, several mutations in the cytoplasmic sterile-?-motif (SAM) domain of human EPHA2 on chromosome 1p36 have been associated with hereditary cataracts in several families. Here, we have investigated how these SAM domain mutations affect EPHA2 activity. We showed that the SAM domain mutations dramatically destabilized the EPHA2 protein in a proteasome-dependent pathway, as evidenced by the increase of EPHA2 receptor levels in the presence of the proteasome inhibitor MG132. In addition, the expression of wild-type EPHA2 promoted the migration of the mouse lens epithelial ?TN4-1 cells in the absence of ligand stimulation, whereas the mutants exhibited significantly reduced activity. In contrast, stimulation of EPHA2 with its ligand ephrin-A5 eradicates the enhancement of cell migration accompanied by Akt activation. Taken together, our studies suggest that the SAM domain of the EPHA2 protein plays critical roles in enhancing the stability of EPHA2 by modulating the proteasome-dependent process. Furthermore, activation of Akt switches EPHA2 from promoting to inhibiting cell migration upon ephrin-A5 binding. Our results provide the first report of multiple EPHA2 cataract mutations contributing to the destabilization of the receptor and causing the loss of cell migration activity.
Project description:Emerging evidence illustrates the critical roles of long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) in the diabetes. However, the deepgoing regulation of lncRNA PVT1 in the diabetic cataract (DC) is still unclear. Here, present research investigates the pathologic roles and underlying mechanism by which lncRNA PVT1 regulates the DC pathogenesis. Human lens epithelial (HLE) B-3 cells were induced by the high glucose (HG) to simulate the DC microenvironment models. Results revealed that lncRNA PVT1 expression was up-regulated in the HG-induced HLE B-3 cells as compared to the normal glucose group. Transcription factor SP1 could bind with the promoter region of PVT1 and activate its transcription. Functionally, PVT1 knock-down could repress the proliferation and promote the apoptosis of HLE B-3 cells. Mechanistically, PVT1 acted as the 'miRNA sponge' to target miR-214-3p/MMP2 axis. This finding revealed a novel insight of lncRNA PVT1 for the DC pathogenesis, providing an inspiration for the DC mechanism.
Project description:Age-related cataract (ARC) is the leading cause of visual impairment worldwide, and ?-crystallin (CRYAA) is the predominant structural protein involved in the maintenance of lens clarity and refractive properties. We previously demonstrated that CRYAA genes undergo epigenetic repression in the lens epithelia in ARC. We further analyze the underlying mechanism in the current study.The transcription factor binding sites of the CpG island of CRYAA promoter were predicted by TESS website. An electrophoretic mobility shift assay (EMSA) was used to analyze the impact of the methylation of CpG sites on transcription factors. Human lens epithelial B-3 (HLE B-3) Cells were treated with demethylation agent zebularine in the concentrations of 0 (PBS as control), 10 ?M, 20 ?M, 50 ?M, 100 ?M and 200 ?M, respectively. After treatment in the above concentrations for 24 h, 48 h and 72 h, respectively, CRYAA mRNA expression levels were detected by Quantitative Real-Time RT-PCR.The methylation of the CpG site of the CRYAA promoter decreased the DNA-binding capacity of transcription factor Sp1. Zebularine increased CRYAA expression in HLE B-3 Cells in a dose- dependent and time- dependent pattern.The evidence presented suggests that the methylation of the CpG sites of the CRYAA promotor directly affect Sp1 binding, leading to down expression of CRYAA in human lens epithelial cells. Zebularine treatment could restore CRYAA expression in a dose- dependent and time- dependent pattern.
Project description:Ephrin type-A receptor 2 (EPHA2) and one of its ligands, ephrin-A5 (EFNA5), have been associated with loss of eye lens transparency, or cataract, - an important cause of visual impairment. Here we show that mice functionally lacking EPHA2 (Epha2-null), EFNA5 (Efna5-null), or both receptor and ligand (Epha2/Efna5-null) consistently develop mostly transparent lenses with an internal refractive disturbance and a grossly disturbed cellular architecture. In situ hybridization localized Epha2 and Efna5 transcripts to lens epithelial cells and nascent fiber cells at the lens equator. In vivo labeling of Epha2-null lenses with a thymidine analog detected a significant decrease in lens epithelial cell proliferation within the germinative zone resulting in impaired early lens growth. Ex vivo imaging of Epha2-null, Efna5-null, and Epha2/Efna5-null lenses labelled in vivo with a membrane-targeted red fluorescent protein revealed misalignment of elongating fiber cells at the lens equator and loss of Y-suture pattern formation near the anterior and posterior poles of the lens. Immuno-fluorescent labeling of lens major intrinsic protein or aquaporin-0 (MIP/AQP0) showed that the precise, radial column patterning of hexagonal fiber cells throughout the cortex region was disrupted in Epha2-null, Efna5-null and Epha2/Efna5-null lenses. Collectively, these data suggest that Epha2 and Efna5 participate in the complex, global patterning of lens fiber cells that is necessary for maximal optical quality.
Project description:We investigated whether previously reported single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of EPHA2 in European studies are associated with cataract in India.We carried out a population-based genetic association study. We enumerated randomly sampled villages in two areas of north and south India to identify people aged 40 and over. Participants attended a clinical examination including lens photography and provided a blood sample for genotyping. Lens images were graded by the Lens Opacification Classification System (LOCS III). Cataract was defined as a LOCS III grade of nuclear ?4, cortical ?3, posterior sub-capsular (PSC) ?2, or dense opacities or aphakia/pseudophakia in either eye. We genotyped SNPs rs3754334, rs7543472 and rs11260867 on genomic DNA extracted from peripheral blood leukocytes using TaqMan assays in an ABI 7900 real-time PCR. We used logistic regression with robust standard errors to examine the association between cataract and the EPHA2 SNPs, adjusting for age, sex and location.7418 participants had data on at least one of the SNPs investigated. Genotype frequencies of controls were in Hardy-Weinberg Equilibrium (p>0.05). There was no association of rs3754334 with cataract or type of cataract. Minor allele homozygous genotypes of rs7543472 and rs11260867 compared to the major homozygote genotype were associated with cortical cataract, Odds ratio (OR)?=?1.8, 95% Confidence Interval (CI) (1.1, 3.1) p?=?0.03 and 2.9 (1.2, 7.1) p?=?0.01 respectively, and with PSC cataract, OR?=?1.5 (1.1, 2.2) p?=?0.02 and 1.8 (0.9, 3.6) p?=?0.07 respectively. There was no consistent association of SNPs with nuclear cataract or a combined variable of any type of cataract including operated cataract.Our results in the Indian population agree with previous studies of the association of EPHA2 variants with cortical cataracts. We report new findings for the association with PSC which is particularly prevalent in Indians.
Project description:Congenital reduction in nephron number (renal hypoplasia) is a predisposing factor for chronic kidney disease and hypertension. Despite identification of specific genes and pathways in nephrogenesis, determinants of final nephron endowment are poorly understood. Here, we report that mice with germ-line p53 deletion (p53(-/-)) manifest renal hypoplasia; the phenotype can be recapitulated by conditional deletion of p53 from renal progenitors in the cap mesenchyme (CM(p53-/-)). Mice or humans with germ-line heterozygous mutations in Pax2 exhibit renal hypoplasia. Since both transcription factors are developmentally expressed in the metanephros, we tested the hypothesis that p53 and Pax2 cooperate in nephrogenesis. In this study, we provide evidence for the presence of genetic epistasis between p53 and Pax2: a) p53(-/-) and CM(p53-/-)embryos express lower Pax2 mRNA and protein in nephron progenitors than their wild-type littermates; b) ChIP-Seq identified peaks of p53 occupancy in chromatin regions of the Pax2 promoter and gene in embryonic kidneys; c) p53 binding to Pax2 gene is significantly more enriched in Pax2 -expressing than non-expressing metanephric mesenchyme cells; d) in transient transfection assays, Pax2 promoter activity is stimulated by wild-type p53 and inhibited by a dominant negative mutant p53; e) p53 knockdown in cultured metanephric mesenchyme cells down-regulates endogenous Pax2 expression; f) reduction of p53 gene dosage worsens the renal hypoplasia in Pax2(+/-) mice. Bioinformatics identified a set of developmental renal genes likely to be co-regulated by p53 and Pax2. We propose that the cross-talk between p53 and Pax2 provides a transcriptional platform that promotes nephrogenesis, thus contributing to nephron endowment.