Energy Shortage in Human and Mouse Models of SLC4A11-Associated Corneal Endothelial Dystrophies.
ABSTRACT: 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: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:The aim of this review was to provide an evidenced-based review of the genetic basis of the corneal endothelial dystrophies. A review of the English language peer-reviewed literature describing the molecular genetic basis of posterior polymorphous corneal dystrophy (PPCD), congenital hereditary endothelial dystrophy (CHED), Fuchs endothelial corneal dystrophy (FECD) and X-linked endothelial corneal dystrophy (XECD) was performed. Mutations in several genes have been implicated as playing a pathogenic role in the corneal endothelial dystrophies: VSX1 mutations in PPCD1; COL8A2 mutations in PPCD2 and FECD; ZEB1 mutations in PPCD3 and FECD; and SLC4A11 mutations in CHED2 and FECD. However, linkage, association and familial segregation analyses support a role of only one gene in each corneal endothelial dystrophy: ZEB1 in PPCD3, SLC4A11 in CHED2 and COL8A2 in FECD (early onset). In addition, insufficient evidence exists to consider the autosomal dominant form of CHED (CHED1) as distinct from PPCD. An accurate classification of the corneal endothelial dystrophies requires a critical review of the evidence to support the role of each suggested chromosomal locus, gene and genetic mutation associated with a corneal endothelial dystrophy. Only after the separation of evidence from opinion is performed can a critical examination of the molecular pathways that lead to endothelial dysfunction in each of these disorders be accurately performed.
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:Congenital hereditary endothelial dystrophy (CHED) is an autosomal recessive disorder characterized by bilateral, symmetrical, noninflammatory corneal clouding (edema) present at birth or shortly thereafter. This study reports on an unusual delayed presentation of CHED with compound heterozygous SLC4A11 mutations.A 45-year-old female, presenting with bilateral decreased vision since childhood that deteriorated in the last 5 years, was evaluated to rule out trauma, viral illness, chemical injury, glaucoma, and corneal endothelial dystrophies. Tear sample was sent for herpes simplex viral (HSV) antigen testing. Genomic DNA from peripheral blood was screened for mutations in all exons of SLC4A11 by direct sequencing. Full-thickness penetrating keratoplasty was done and corneal button was sent for histopathological examination.Slit-lamp findings revealed bilateral diffuse corneal edema and left eye spheroidal degeneration with scarring. Increased corneal thickness (762 ?m and 854 ?m in the right and left eyes, respectively), normal intraocular pressure (12 mmHg and 16 mmHg in the right and left eyes, respectively), inconclusive confocal scan, and specular microscopy, near normal tear film parameters, were the other clinical features. HSV-polymerase chain reaction was negative. Histopathological examination revealed markedly thickened Descemet's membrane with subepithelial spheroidal degeneration. SLC4A11 screening showed a novel variant p.Ser415Asn, reported mutation p.Cys386Arg and two polymorphisms, all in the heterozygous state and not identified in 100 controls.The study shows, for the first time, compound heterozygous SLC4A11 mutations impair protein function leading to delayed onset of the disease.
Project description:SLC4A11 is a NH3 sensitive membrane transporter with H+ channel-like properties that facilitates Glutamine catabolism in Human and Mouse corneal endothelium (CE). Loss of SLC4A11 activity induces oxidative stress and cell death, resulting in Congenital Hereditary Endothelial Dystrophy (CHED) with corneal edema and vision loss. However, the mechanism by which SLC4A11 prevents ROS production and protects CE is unknown. Here we demonstrate that SLC4A11 is localized to the inner mitochondrial membrane of CE and SLC4A11 transfected PS120 fibroblasts, where it acts as an NH3-sensitive mitochondrial uncoupler that enhances glutamine-dependent oxygen consumption, electron transport chain activity, and ATP levels by suppressing damaging Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) production. In the presence of glutamine, Slc4a11-/- (KO) mouse CE generate significantly greater mitochondrial superoxide, a greater proportion of damaged depolarized mitochondria, and more apoptotic cells than WT. KO CE can be rescued by MitoQ, reducing NH3 production by GLS1 inhibition or dimethyl αKetoglutarate supplementation, or by BAM15 mitochondrial uncoupling. Slc4a11 KO mouse corneal edema can be partially reversed by αKetoglutarate eye drops. Moreover, we demonstrate that this role for SLC4A11 is not specific to CE cells, as SLC4A11 knockdown in glutamine-addicted colon carcinoma cells reduced glutamine catabolism, increased ROS production, and inhibited cell proliferation. Overall, our studies reveal a unique metabolic mechanism that reduces mitochondrial oxidative stress while promoting glutamine catabolism.
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: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: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:Mutations in SLC4A11, a member of the SLC4 superfamily of bicarbonate transporters, give rise to corneal endothelial cell dystrophies. SLC4A11 is a putative Na? borate and Na?:OH? transporter. Therefore we ask whether SLC4A11 in corneal endothelium transports borate (B[OH]??), bicarbonate (HCO3?), or hydroxyl (OH?) anions coupled to Na?.SLC4A11 expression in cultured primary bovine corneal endothelial cells (BCECs) was determined by semiquantitative PCR, SDS-PAGE/Western blotting, and immunofluorescence staining. Ion transport function was examined by measuring intracellular pH (pHi) or Na? ([Na?](i)) in response to Ringer solutions with/without B(OH)?? or HCO?? after overexpressing or small interfering RNA (siRNA) silencing of SLC4A11.SLC4A11 is localized to the basolateral membrane in BCEC. B(OH)?? (2.5-10 mM) in bicarbonate-free Ringer induced a rapid small acidification (0.01 pH unit) followed by alkalinization (0.05-0.1 pH unit), consistent with diffusion of boric acid into the cell followed by B(OH)??. However, the rate of B(OH)??-induced pHi change was unaffected by overexpression of SLC4A11. B(OH)?? did not induce significant changes in resting [Na?(i)] or the amplitude and rate of acidification caused by Na? removal. siRNA-mediated knockdown of SLC4A11 (?70%) did not alter pHi responses to CO?/HCO??-rich Ringer, Na?-free induced acidification, or the rate of Na? influx in the presence of bicarbonate. However, in the absence of bicarbonate, siSLC4A11 knockdown significantly decreased the rate (43%) and amplitude (48%) of acidification due to Na? removal and recovery (53%) upon add-back. Additionally, the rate of acid recovery following NH?? prepulse was decreased significantly (27%) by SLC4A11 silencing.In corneal endothelium, SLC4A11 displays robust Na?-coupled OH? transport, but does not transport B(OH)?? or HCO??.
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.