ABSTRACT: Genetic mechanisms for the pathogenesis of visceral myopathy (VM) have been rarely demonstrated. Here we report the visceral role of misato (mst) in Drosophila and its implications for the pathogenesis of VM. Depletion of mst using three independent RNAi lines expressed by a pan-muscular driver elicited characteristic symptoms of VM, such as abnormal dilation of intestinal tracts, reduced gut motility, feeding defects, and decreased life span. By contrast, exaggerated expression of mst reduced intestine diameters, but increased intestinal motilities along with thickened muscle fibers, demonstrating a critical role of mst in the visceral muscle. Mst expression was detected in the adult intestine with its prominent localization to actin filaments and was required for maintenance of intestinal tubulin and actomyosin structures. Consistent with the subcellular localization of Mst, the intestinal defects induced by mst depletion were dramatically rescued by exogenous expression of an actin member. Upon ageing the intestinal defects were deteriorative with marked increase of apoptotic responses in the visceral muscle. Taken together, we propose the impairment of actomyosin structures induced by mst depletion in the visceral muscle as a pathogenic mechanism for VM.
Project description:Mitotic spindles are primarily composed of microtubules (MTs), generated by polymerization of ?- and ?-Tubulin hetero-dimers. Tubulins undergo a series of protein folding and post-translational modifications in order to fulfill their functions. Defects in Tubulin polymerization dramatically affect spindle formation and disrupt chromosome segregation. We recently described a role for the product of the conserved misato (mst) gene in regulating mitotic MT generation in flies, but the molecular function of Mst remains unknown. Here, we use affinity purification mass spectrometry (AP-MS) to identify interacting partners of Mst in the Drosophila embryo. We demonstrate that Mst associates stoichiometrically with the hetero-octameric Tubulin Chaperone Protein-1 (TCP-1) complex, with the hetero-hexameric Tubulin Prefoldin complex, and with proteins having conserved roles in generating MT-competent Tubulin. We show that RNAi-mediated in vivo depletion of any TCP-1 subunit phenocopies the effects of mutations in mst or the Prefoldin-encoding gene merry-go-round (mgr), leading to monopolar and disorganized mitotic spindles containing few MTs. Crucially, we demonstrate that Mst, but not Mgr, is required for TCP-1 complex stability and that both the efficiency of Tubulin polymerization and Tubulin stability are drastically compromised in mst mutants. Moreover, our structural bioinformatic analyses indicate that Mst resembles the three-dimensional structure of Tubulin monomers and might therefore occupy the TCP-1 complex central cavity. Collectively, our results suggest that Mst acts as a co-factor of the TCP-1 complex, playing an essential role in the Tubulin-folding processes required for proper assembly of spindle MTs.
Project description:<h4>Background and aims</h4>Neuropilin 1 (NRP1) is a non-tyrosine kinase receptor for vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and class 3 semaphorins, playing a role in angiogenesis and neuronal axon guidance, respectively. NRP1 is expressed in smooth muscle cells (SMC) but the functional role of NRP1 in SMC has not been elucidated. We therefore investigated the biological relevance of NRP1 in SMC in vivo by generating mice with SMC-specific Nrp1 deficiency.<h4>Methods</h4>Conditional gene targeting generated SMC-specific Nrp1 knockout mice (Nrp1SMKO) in which Cre recombinase is driven by the smooth muscle-specific myosin heavy chain (smMHC) promoter.<h4>Results</h4>SMC-specific Nrp1 deficiency resulted in a significant reduction in intestinal length by 6 months, and, by 18 months, in severe constipation, and enlargement of the intestine consistent with chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction. These effects were associated with significant thinning of the intestinal smooth muscle, and decreased intestinal contractility. Expression of contractile proteins was reduced in Nrp1SMKO mice, including the smMHC isoform, SMB, whereas we observed a significant increase in the expression of the small-conductance calcium-activated potassium channel 3 (SK3/KCa2.3), implicated in negative regulation of smooth muscle contraction.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Nrp1 deficiency in visceral SMC results in adult-onset defects in gastrointestinal contractility and motility and causes a shift to a less contractile SMC phenotype. These findings indicate a new role for Nrp1 in the maintenance of the visceral SMC contractile phenotype required for normal GI motility in aged mice.
Project description:Enteroendocrine cells populate gastrointestinal tissues and are known to translate local cues into systemic responses through the release of hormones into the bloodstream.Here we report a novel function of enteroendocrine cells acting as local regulators of intestinal stem cell (ISC) proliferation through modulation of the mesenchymal stem cell niche in the Drosophila midgut. This paracrine signaling acts to constrain ISC proliferation within the epithelial compartment. Mechanistically, midgut enteroendocrine cells secrete the neuroendocrine hormone Bursicon, which acts-beyond its known roles in development-as a paracrine factor on the visceral muscle (VM). Bursicon binding to its receptor, DLGR2, the ortholog of mammalian leucine-rich repeat-containing G protein-coupled receptors (LGR4-6), represses the production of the VM-derived EGF-like growth factor Vein through activation of cAMP.We therefore identify a novel paradigm in the regulation of ISC quiescence involving the conserved ligand/receptor Bursicon/DLGR2 and a previously unrecognized tissue-intrinsic role of enteroendocrine cells.
Project description:Familial visceral myopathy (FVM) is a rare heritable and heterogeneous condition due to impaired smooth muscle function. We identified a family segregating 11 individuals with a spectrum of visceral symptoms involving the small intestine, colon, biliary tract, urinary tract and uterus. Whole-exome sequencing revealed a novel heterozygous tandem base substitution c.806_807delinsAA (p.(Gly269Glu)) in ACTG2, encoding smooth muscle actin ?-2, in affected family members. Variants in ACTG2 were recently identified in FVM with intestinal pseudo-obstruction as well as with the congenital megacystics-microcolon-intestinal hypoperistalsis syndrome. In our family, eight affected members presented with severe complications from the biliary and/or the urinary tracts in addition to gastrointestinal pseudo-obstructions. Furthermore, all affected mothers had a history of assisted deliveries owing to poor progress during labor and weak uterine contractions. The variable involvement of multiple smooth muscle-dependent organs in our family, including the biliary tract and the uterus, add to the phenotypic spectrum associated with ACTG2 missense variants.
Project description:Intestinal stem cells in the adult Drosophila midgut are regulated by growth factors produced from the surrounding niche cells including enterocytes and visceral muscle. The role of the other major cell type, the secretory enteroendocrine cells, in regulating intestinal stem cells remains unclear. We show here that newly eclosed scute loss-of-function mutant flies are completely devoid of enteroendocrine cells. These enteroendocrine cell-less flies have normal ingestion and fecundity but shorter lifespan. Moreover, in these newly eclosed mutant flies, the diet-stimulated midgut growth that depends on the insulin-like peptide 3 expression in the surrounding muscle is defective. The depletion of Tachykinin-producing enteroendocrine cells or knockdown of Tachykinin leads to a similar although less severe phenotype. These results establish that enteroendocrine cells serve as an important link between diet and visceral muscle expression of an insulin-like growth factor to stimulate intestinal stem cell proliferation and tissue growth.
Project description:Null mutations at the misato locus of Drosophila melanogaster are associated with irregular chromosomal segregation at cell division. The consequences for morphogenesis are that mutant larvae are almost devoid of imaginal disk tissue, have a reduction in brain size, and die before the late third-instar larval stage. To analyze these findings, we isolated cDNAs in and around the misato locus, mapped the breakpoints of chromosomal deficiencies, determined which transcript corresponded to the misato gene, rescued the cell division defects in transgenic organisms, and sequenced the genomic DNA. Database searches revealed that misato codes for a novel protein, the N-terminal half of which contains a mixture of peptide motifs found in alpha-, beta-, and gamma-tubulins, as well as a motif related to part of the myosin heavy chain proteins. The sequence characteristics of misato indicate either that it arose from an ancestral tubulin-like gene, different parts of which underwent convergent evolution to resemble motifs in the conventional tubulins, or that it arose by the capture of motifs from different tubulin genes. The Saccharomyces cerevisiae genome lacks a true homolog of the misato gene, and this finding highlights the emerging problem of assigning functional attributes to orphan genes that occur only in some evolutionary lineages.
Project description:Currently, there exists no biomarker for visceral hypersensitivity in irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). Piezo proteins have been proven to play an important role in the mechanical stimulation to induce visceral pain in other tissues and may also be a biomarker candidate. The aim of this study was to test the expressions of Piezo1 and Piezo2 proteins in the intestinal epithelial cells from different intestinal segments and to explore the correlation between Piezo proteins expression and visceral pain threshold.Post-infectious IBS was induced in mice via a Trichinella spiralis infection. Visceral sensitivity was measured with abdominal withdrawal reflex to colorectal distention. Inflammation in the small intestine and colon was scored with H&E staining. Expression location of Piezo proteins was confirmed by immunohistochemistry. Abundance of Piezo proteins were measured with real-time reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction.Piezo1 and Piezo2 proteins were expressed in the intestinal epithelial cells. The expression levels of Piezo1 and Piezo2 were abundant in the colon than the small intestine (P < 0.001 for Piezo1, P = 0.003 for Piezo2). Expression of Piezo2 in the colon significantly correlated to the visceral sensitivity (r = -0.718, P = 0.001) rather than the mucosal inflammation.Piezo2 is a candidate biomarker for visceral hypersensitivity in IBS.
Project description:BACKGROUND: Chronic idiopathic intestinal pseudo-obstruction, a syndrome of ineffectual motility due to a primary disorder of enteric nerve or muscle, is rare. AIMS: To determine the clinical spectrum, underlying pathologies, response to treatments, and prognosis in a consecutive unselected group of patients. METHODS: Cross sectional study of all patients with clinical and radiological features of intestinal obstruction in the absence of organic obstruction, associated with dilated small intestine (with or without dilated large intestine), being actively managed in one tertiary referral centre at one time. RESULTS: Twenty patients (11 men and nine women, median age 43 years, range 22-67) fulfilled the diagnostic criteria. Median age at onset of symptoms was 17 years (range two weeks to 59 years). Two patients had an autosomally dominant inherited visceral myopathy. Major presenting symptoms were pain (80%), vomiting (75%), constipation (40%), and diarrhoea (20%). Eighteen patients required abdominal surgery, and a further patient had a full thickness rectal biopsy. The mean time interval from symptom onset to first operation was 5.8 years. Histology showed visceral myopathy in 13, visceral neuropathy in three, and was indeterminate in three. In the one other patient small bowel motility studies were suggestive of neuropathy. Two patients died within two years of symptom onset, one from generalised thrombosis and the other from an inflammatory myopathy. Of the remaining 18 patients, eight were nutritionally independent of supplements, two had gastrostomy or jejunostomy feeds, and eight were receiving home parenteral nutrition. Five patients were opiate dependent, only one patient had benefited from prokinetic drug therapy, and five patients required formal psychological intervention and support. CONCLUSIONS: In a referral setting visceral myopathy is the most common diagnosis in this heterogeneous syndrome, the course of the illness is usually prolonged, and prokinetic drug therapies are not usually helpful. Ongoing management problems include pain relief and nutritional support.
Project description:Intestinal failure (IF)-associated liver disease (IFALD) is widely recognized as a lethal complication of long-term parenteral nutrition. The pathophysiology of IFALD is poorly understood but appears to be multifactorial and related to the inflammatory state in the patient with IF. Visceral transplant for IFALD includes variants of intestine, liver, or combined liver-intestine allografts. Graft selection for an individual patient depends on the etiology of IF, abdominal and vascular anatomy, severity of IFALD, and potential for intestinal rehabilitation. The past decade has witnessed dramatic improvement in the management of IFALD, principally due to improved lipid emulsion formulations and the multidisciplinary care of the patient with IF. As the recognition and treatment of IFALD continue to improve, the requirement of liver-inclusive visceral grafts appears to be decreasing, representing a paradigm shift in the care of the patient with IF. This review highlights the current indications, graft selection, and outcomes of visceral transplantation for IFALD.
Project description:Nuclear DBF2p-related (NDR) kinases constitute a functionally conserved protein family of eukaryotic regulators that control cell division and polarity. In fungi, they function as effector kinases of the morphogenesis (MOR) and septation initiation (SIN) networks and are activated by pathway-specific germinal centre (GC) kinases. We characterized a third GC kinase, MST-1, that connects both kinase cascades. Genetic and biochemical interactions with SIN components and life cell imaging identify MST-1 as SIN-associated kinase that functions in parallel with the GC kinase SID-1 to activate the SIN-effector kinase DBF-2. SID-1 and MST-1 are both regulated by the upstream SIN kinase CDC-7, yet in an opposite manner. Aberrant cortical actomyosin rings are formed in ?mst-1, which resulted in mis-positioned septa and irregular spirals, indicating that MST-1-dependent regulation of the SIN is required for proper formation and constriction of the septal actomyosin ring. However, MST-1 also interacts with several components of the MOR network and modulates MOR activity at multiple levels. MST-1 functions as promiscuous enzyme and also activates the MOR effector kinase COT-1 through hydrophobic motif phosphorylation. In addition, MST-1 physically interacts with the MOR kinase POD-6, and dimerization of both proteins inactivates the GC kinase hetero-complex. These data specify an antagonistic relationship between the SIN and MOR during septum formation in the filamentous ascomycete model Neurospora crassa that is, at least in part, coordinated through the GC kinase MST-1. The similarity of the SIN and MOR pathways to the animal Hippo and Ndr pathways, respectively, suggests that intensive cross-communication between distinct NDR kinase modules may also be relevant for the homologous NDR kinases of higher eukaryotes.