Vps35-deficiency impairs SLC4A11 trafficking and promotes corneal dystrophy.
ABSTRACT: Vps35 (vacuolar protein sorting 35) is a major component of retromer that selectively promotes endosome-to-Golgi retrieval of transmembrane proteins. Dysfunction of retromer is a risk factor for the pathogenesis of Parkinson's disease (PD) and Alzheimer's disease (AD). However, Vps35/retromer's function in the eye or the contribution of Vps35-deficiency to eye degenerative disorders remains to be explored. Here we provide evidence for a critical role of Vps35 in mouse corneal dystrophy. Vps35 is expressed in mouse and human cornea. Mouse cornea from Vps35 heterozygotes (Vps35+/-) show features of dystrophy, such as loss of both endothelial and epithelial cell densities, disorganizations of endothelial, stroma, and epithelial cells, excrescences in the Descemet membrane, and corneal edema. Additionally, corneal epithelial cell proliferation was reduced in Vps35-deficient mice. Intriguingly, cell surface targeting of SLC4A11, a membrane transport protein (OH- /H+ /NH3 /H2O) of corneal endothelium, whose mutations have been identified in patients with corneal dystrophy, was impaired in Vps35-deficient cells and cornea. Taken together, these results suggest that SLC4A11 appears to be a Vps35/retromer cargo, and Vps35-regulation of SLC4A11 trafficking may underlie Vps35/retromer regulation of corneal dystrophy.
Project description:Two blinding corneal dystrophies, pediatric-onset congenital hereditary endothelial dystrophy (CHED) and some cases of late-onset Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD), are caused by SLC4A11 mutations. Three N-terminal SLC4A11 variants: v1, v2 and v3 are expressed in humans. We set out to determine which of these transcripts and what translated products, are present in corneal endothelium as these would be most relevant for CHED and FECD studies. Reverse transcription PCR (RT-PCR) and quantitative RT-PCR revealed only v2 and v3 mRNA in human cornea, but v2 was most abundant. Immunoblots probed with variant-specific antibodies revealed that v2 protein is about four times more abundant than v3 in human corneal endothelium. Bioinformatics and protein analysis using variant-specific antibodies revealed that second methionine in the open reading frame (M36) acts as translation initiation site on SLC4A11 v2 in human cornea. The v2 variants starting at M1 (v2-M1) and M36 (v2-M36) were indistinguishable in their cell surface trafficking and transport function (water flux). Structural homology models of v2-M36 and v3 suggest structural differences but their significance remains unclear. A combination of bioinformatics, RNA quantification and isoform-specific antibodies allows us to conclude that SLC4A11 variant 2 with start site M36 is predominant in corneal endothelium.
Project description:Maintenance of ion concentration gradients is essential for the function of many organs, including the kidney, the cornea, and the inner ear. Ion concentrations and fluid content in the cornea are regulated by endothelial cells that separate the collagenous avascular corneal stroma from the anterior eye chamber. Failure to maintain correct ion concentrations leads to swelling and destruction of the cornea. In the inner ear, the stria vascularis is responsible for generating proper ion concentrations in the endolymph, which is essential for hearing. Mutations of SLC4A11 in humans lead to syndromes associated with corneal dystrophy and perceptive deafness. The molecular mechanisms underlying these symptoms are poorly understood, impeding therapeutic interventions. The ion transporter SLC4A11 mediates sodium-dependent transport of borate as well as flux of sodium and hydroxyl ions in vitro. Here, we show that SLC4A11 is expressed in the endothelial cells of the cornea where it prevents severe morphological changes of the cornea caused by increased sodium chloride concentrations in the stroma. In the inner ear, SLC4A11 is located in fibrocytes underlying the stria vascularis. Loss of SLC4A11 leads to morphological changes in the fibrocytes and deafness. We demonstrate that SLC4A11 is essential for the generation of the endocochlear potential but not for regulation of potassium concentrations in the endolymph. In the kidney, SLC4A11 is expressed in the thin descending limb of Henle loop. SLC4A11 is essential for urinary concentration, suggesting that SLC4A11 participates in the countercurrent multiplication that concentrates urine in the kidney medulla.
Project description:SLC4A11, a member of the SLC4 family of bicarbonate transporters, is a widely expressed integral membrane protein, abundant in kidney and cornea. Mutations of SLC4A11 cause some cases of the blinding corneal dystrophies, congenital hereditary endothelial dystrophy, and Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy. These diseases are marked by fluid accumulation in the corneal stroma, secondary to defective fluid reabsorption by the corneal endothelium. The role of SLC4A11 in these corneal dystrophies is not firmly established, as SLC4A11 function remains unclear. To clarify the normal function(s) of SLC4A11, we characterized the protein following expression in the simple, low-background expression system Xenopus laevis oocytes. Since plant and fungal SLC4A11 orthologs transport borate, we measured cell swelling associated with accumulation of solute borate. The plant water/borate transporter NIP5;1 manifested borate transport, whereas human SLC4A11 did not. SLC4A11 supported osmotically driven water accumulation that was electroneutral and Na+ independent. Studies in oocytes and HEK293 cells could not detect Na+-coupled HCO3- transport or Cl-/HCO3- exchange by SLC4A11. SLC4A11 mediated electroneutral NH3 transport in oocytes. Voltage-dependent OH- or H+ movement was not measurable in SLC4A11-expressing oocytes, but SLC4A11-expressing HEK293 cells manifested low-level cytosolic acidification at baseline. In mammalian cells, but not oocytes, OH-/H+ conductance may arise when SLC4A11 activates another protein or itself is activated by another protein. These data argue against a role of human SLC4A11 in bicarbonate or borate transport. This work provides additional support for water and ammonia transport by SLC4A11. When expressed in oocytes, SLC4A11 transported NH3, not NH3/H.
Project description:Homozygous mutations in SLC4A11 cause 2 rare recessive conditions: congenital hereditary endothelial dystrophy (CHED), affecting the cornea alone, and Harboyan syndrome consisting of corneal dystrophy and sensorineural hearing loss. In addition, adult-onset Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) is associated with dominant mutations in SLC4A11. In this report, we investigate whether patients with CHED go on to develop hearing loss and whether their parents, who are carriers of an SLC4A11 mutation, show signs of having FECD.Patients with CHED were screened for mutations in the SLC4A11 gene and underwent audiometric testing. The patients and their parents underwent a clinical examination and specular microscopy.Molecular analyses confirmed SLC4A11 mutations in 4 affected individuals from 3 families. All the patients were found to have varying degrees of sensorineural hearing loss at a higher frequency range. Guttate lesions were seen in 2 of the 4 parents who were available for examination.Our observations suggest that CHED caused by homozygous SLC4A11 mutations progresses to Harboyan syndrome, but the severity of this may vary considerably. Patients with CHED should therefore be monitored for progressive hearing loss. We could not determine conclusively whether the parents of the patients with CHED were at increased risk of developing late-onset FECD.
Project description:Purpose:To elucidate the molecular events in solute carrier family 4 member 11 (SLC4A11)-deficient corneal endothelium that lead to the endothelial dysfunction that characterizes the dystrophies associated with SLC4A11 mutations, congenital hereditary endothelial dystrophy (CHED) and Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy 4. Methods:Comparative transcriptomic analysis (CTA) was performed in primary human corneal endothelial cells (pHCEnC) and murine corneal endothelial cells (MCEnC) with normal and reduced levels of SLC4A11 (SLC4A11 KD pHCEnC) and Slc4a11 (Slc4a11-/- MCEnC), respectively. Validation of differentially expressed genes was performed using immunofluorescence staining of CHED corneal endothelium, as well as western blot and quantitative PCR analysis of SLC4A11 KD pHCEnC and Slc4a11-/- MCEnC. Functional analyses were performed to investigate potential functional changes associated with the observed transcriptomic alterations. Results:CTA revealed inhibition of cell metabolism and ion transport function as well as mitochondrial dysfunction, leading to reduced adenosine triphosphate (ATP) production, in SLC4A11 KD pHCEnC and Slc4a11-/- MCEnC. Co-localization of SNARE protein STX17 with mitochondria marker COX4 was observed in CHED corneal endothelium, as was activation of AMPK-p53/ULK1 in both SLC4A11 KD pHCEnC and Slc4a11-/- MCEnC, providing additional evidence of mitochondrial dysfunction and mitophagy. Reduced Na+-dependent HCO3- transport activity and altered NH4Cl-induced membrane potential changes were observed in Slc4a11-/- MCEnC. Conclusions:Reduced steady-state ATP levels and subsequent activation of the AMPK-p53 pathway provide a link between the metabolic functional deficit and transcriptome alterations, as well as evidence of insufficient ATP to maintain the Na+/K+-ATPase corneal endothelial pump as the cause of the edema that characterizes SLC4A11-associated corneal endothelial dystrophies.
Project description:Harboyan syndrome, or corneal dystrophy and perceptive deafness (CDPD), consists of congenital corneal endothelial dystrophy and progressive perceptive deafness, and is transmitted as an autosomal recessive trait. CDPD and autosomal recessive, non-syndromic congenital hereditary endothelial corneal dystrophy (CHED2) both map at overlapping loci at 20p13, and mutations of SLC4A11 were reported recently in CHED2. A genotype study on six families with CDPD and on one family with either CHED or CDPD, from various ethnic backgrounds (in the seventh family, hearing loss could not be assessed because of the proband's young age), is reported here. Novel SLC4A11 mutations were found in all patients. Why some mutations cause hearing loss in addition to corneal dystrophy is presently unclear. These findings extend the implication of the SLC4A11 borate transporter beyond corneal dystrophy to perceptive deafness.
Project description:Corneal endothelial dystrophy is a progressive disease with gradual loss of vision and characterized by degeneration and dysfunction of corneal endothelial cells. Mutations in SLC4A11, a Na+ dependent OH- transporter, cause congenital hereditary endothelial dystrophy (CHED) and Fuchs' endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD), the two most common forms of endothelial degeneration. Along with genetic factors, oxidative stress plays a role in pathogenesis of several corneal diseases. In this study we looked into the role of SLC4A11 in antioxidant stress response in human corneal endothelial cells (HCEnC). We found increased expression of SLC4A11 in presence of oxidative stress. Depletion of SLC4A11 using targeted siRNA, caused an increase in reactive oxygen species, cytochrome c, lowered mitochondrial membrane potential, and reduced cell viability during oxidative stress. Moreover, SLC4A11 was found to be necessary for NRF2 mediated antioxidant gene expression in HCEnC. On the other hand, over expression of SLC4A11 reduces reactive oxygen species levels and increases cell viability. Lastly, CHED tissue specimens show evidence of oxidative stress and reduced expression of NRF2. In conclusion, our data suggests a possible role of SLC4A11 in regulating oxidative stress, and might be responsible for both the etiology and treatment of corneal endothelial dystrophy.
Project description:Three genetic corneal dystrophies [congenital hereditary endothelial dystrophy type 2 (CHED2), Harboyan syndrome and Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy] arise from mutations of the SLC4a11 gene, which cause blindness from fluid accumulation in the corneal stroma. Selective transmembrane water conductance controls cell size, renal fluid reabsorption and cell division. All known water-channelling proteins belong to the major intrinsic protein family, exemplified by aquaporins (AQPs). Here we identified SLC4A11, a member of the solute carrier family 4 of bicarbonate transporters, as an unexpected addition to known transmembrane water movement facilitators. The rate of osmotic-gradient driven cell-swelling was monitored in Xenopus laevis oocytes and HEK293 cells, expressing human AQP1, NIP5;1 (a water channel protein from plant), hCNT3 (a human nucleoside transporter) and human SLC4A11. hCNT3-expressing cells swelled no faster than control cells, whereas SLC4A11-mediated water permeation at a rate about half that of some AQP proteins. SLC4A11-mediated water movement was: (i) similar to some AQPs in rate; (ii) uncoupled from solute-flux; (iii) inhibited by stilbene disulfonates (classical SLC4 inhibitors); (iv) inactivated in one CHED2 mutant (R125H). Localization of AQP1 and SLC4A11 in human and murine corneal (apical and basolateral, respectively) suggests a cooperative role in mediating trans-endothelial water reabsorption. Slc4a11(-/-) mice manifest corneal oedema and distorted endothelial cells, consistent with loss of a water-flux. Observed water-flux through SLC4A11 extends the repertoire of known water movement pathways and call for a re-examination of explanations for water movement in human tissues.
Project description:Homozygous mutations in the Borate Cotransporter SLC4A11 cause two early-onset corneal dystrophies: congenital hereditary endothelial dystrophy (CHED) and Harboyan syndrome. More recently, four sporadic patients with late-onset Fuchs corneal dystrophy (FCD), a common age-related disorder, were also reported to harbor heterozygous mutations at this locus. We therefore tested the hypothesis that SLC4A11 contributes to FCD and asked whether mutations in SLC4A11 are responsible for familial cases of late-onset FCD. We sequenced SLC4A11 in 192 sporadic and small nuclear late-onset FCD families and found seven heterozygous missense novel variations that were absent from ethnically matched controls. Familial data available for one of these mutations showed segregation under a dominant model in a three-generational family. In silico analyses suggested that most of these substitutions are intolerant, whereas biochemical studies of the mutant protein indicated that these alleles impact the localization and/or posttranslational modification of the protein. These results suggest that heterozygous mutations in SLC4A11 are modest contributors to the pathogenesis of adult FCD, suggesting a causality continuum between FCD and CHED. Taken together with a recent model between FCD and yet another early onset corneal dystrophy, PPCD, our data suggest a shared pathomechanism and genetic overlap across several corneal dystrophies.
Project description:Retromer is a multimeric protein complex that mediates intracellular receptor sorting. One of the roles of retromer is to promote transcytosis of the polymeric immunoglobulin receptor (pIgR) and its ligand polymeric immunoglobulin A (pIgA) in polarized epithelial cells. In Madin-Darby Canine Kidney (MDCK) cells, overexpression of Vps35, the retromer subunit key for cargo recognition, restores transcytosis to a pIgR mutant that is normally degraded. Here we show that pIgA transcytosis was not restored in these cells when treated with the specific phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) inhibitor LY294002. Likewise, the decrease in pIgA transcytosis by wild-type pIgR seen upon PI3K inhibition was not reverted by Vps35 overexpression. PI3K inhibition reduced membrane association of sorting-nexins (SNX) 1 and 2, which constitute the retromer subcomplex involved in membrane deformation, while association of the Vps35-Vps26-Vps29 subcomplex, involved in cargo recognition, remained virtually unaffected. Colocalization between the two retromer subcomplexes was reduced upon the treatment. Whereas the interaction among the subunits of the Vps35-Vps26-Vps29 subcomplex remained unchanged, less Vps35 was found associated with pIgR upon PI3K inhibition. In addition, colocalization of internalized pIgA with subunits of both retromer subcomplexes throughout the transcytotic pathway was substantially reduced by LY294002 treatment. These data implicate PI3K in controlling retromer's role in pIgR-pIgA transcytosis.