Modeling paraquat-induced lung fibrosis in C. elegans reveals KRIT1 as a key regulator of collagen gene transcription.
ABSTRACT: Paraquat poisoning causes lung fibrosis, which often results in long-term pulmonary dysfunction. Lung fibrosis has been attributed to collagens accumulation, but the underlying regulatory pathway remains unclear. Here we use the genetically tractable C. elegans as a model to study collagen gene transcription in response to paraquat. We find that paraquat robustly up-regulates collagen gene transcription, which is dependent on KRI-1, a poorly studied protein homologous to human KRIT1/CCM1. KRI-1 knockdown prevents paraquat from activating the oxidative stress response transcription factor SKN-1/Nrf2, resulting in reduced collagen transcription and increased paraquat sensitivity. Using human lung fibroblasts (MRC-5), we confirm that both KRIT1 and Nrf2 are required for collagen transcription in response to paraquat. Nrf2 hyper-activation by KEAP1 knockdown bypasses KRIT1 to up-regulate collagen transcription. Our findings on the regulation of collagen gene transcription by paraquat could suggest potential strategies to treat pulmonary fibrosis caused by paraquat poisoning.
Project description:In Caenorhabditis elegans, removing germ cells slows aging and extends life. Here we show that transcription factors that extend life and confer protection to age-related protein-aggregation toxicity are activated early in adulthood in response to a burst of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and a shift in sulfur metabolism. Germline loss triggers H2S production, mitochondrial biogenesis, and a dynamic pattern of ROS in specific somatic tissues. A cytoskeletal protein, KRI-1, plays a key role in the generation of H2S and ROS. These kri-1-dependent redox species, in turn, promote life extension by activating SKN-1/Nrf2 and the mitochondrial unfolded-protein response, respectively. Both H2S and, remarkably, kri-1-dependent ROS are required for the life extension produced by low levels of the superoxide-generator paraquat and by a mutation that inhibits respiration. Together our findings link reproductive signaling to mitochondria and define an inducible, kri-1-dependent redox-signaling module that can be invoked in different contexts to extend life and counteract proteotoxicity.
Project description:This article contains additional data related to the original research article entitled "KRIT1 loss-of-function induces a chronic Nrf2-mediated adaptive homeostasis that sensitizes cells to oxidative stress: implication for Cerebral Cavernous Malformation disease" (Antognelli et al., 2017) . Data were obtained by si-RNA-mediated gene silencing, qRT-PCR, immunoblotting, and immunohistochemistry studies, and enzymatic activity and apoptosis assays. Overall, they support, complement and extend original findings demonstrating that KRIT1 loss-of-function induces a redox-sensitive and JNK-dependent sustained upregulation of the master Nrf2 antioxidant defense pathway and its downstream target Glyoxalase 1 (Glo1), and a drop in intracellular levels of AP-modified Hsp70 and Hsp27 proteins, leading to a chronic adaptive redox homeostasis that sensitizes cells to oxidative DNA damage and apoptosis. In particular, immunoblotting analyses of Nrf2, Glo1, AP-modified Hsp70 and Hsp27 proteins, HO-1, phospho-c-Jun, phospho-ERK5, and KLF4 expression levels were performed both in KRIT1-knockout MEF cells and in KRIT1-silenced human brain microvascular endothelial cells (hBMEC) treated with the antioxidant Tiron, and compared with control cells. Moreover, immunohistochemistry analysis of Nrf2, Glo1, phospho-JNK, and KLF4 was performed on histological samples of human CCM lesions. Finally, the role of Glo1 in the downregulation of AP-modified Hsp70 and Hsp27 proteins, and the increase in apoptosis susceptibility associated with KRIT1 loss-of-function was addressed by si-RNA-mediated Glo1 gene silencing in KRIT1-knockout MEF cells.
Project description:Apoptotic death of cells damaged by genotoxic stress requires regulatory input from surrounding tissues. The C. elegans scaffold protein KRI-1, ortholog of mammalian KRIT1/CCM1, permits DNA damage-induced apoptosis of cells in the germline by an unknown cell non-autonomous mechanism. We reveal that KRI-1 exists in a complex with CCM-2 in the intestine to negatively regulate the ERK-5/MAPK pathway. This allows the KLF-3 transcription factor to facilitate expression of the SLC39 zinc transporter gene zipt-2.3, which functions to sequester zinc in the intestine. Ablation of KRI-1 results in reduced zinc sequestration in the intestine, inhibition of IR-induced MPK-1/ERK1 activation, and apoptosis in the germline. Zinc localization is also perturbed in the vasculature of krit1-/- zebrafish, and SLC39 zinc transporters are mis-expressed in Cerebral Cavernous Malformations (CCM) patient tissues. This study provides new insights into the regulation of apoptosis by cross-tissue communication, and suggests a link between zinc localization and CCM disease.
Project description:KRIT1, also called CCM1, is a member of a multiprotein complex that contains the products of the CCM2 and PDCD10 (also known as CCM3) loci. Heterozygous loss of any of the genes that encode these proteins leads to cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM), which are vascular lesions that are found in around 0.5% of humans. KRIT1 mediates the stabilization of beta-catenin-containing endothelial cell-cell junctions downstream of the Rap1 GTPase. Here, we report that Rap1 and KRIT1 are negative regulators of canonical beta-catenin signaling in mice and that hemizygous Krit1 deficiency exacerbates beta-catenin-driven pathologies. Depletion of endothelial KRIT1 caused beta-catenin to dissociate from vascular endothelial (VE)-cadherin and to accumulate in the nucleus with consequent increases in beta-catenin-dependent transcription. Activation of Rap1 inhibited beta-catenin-dependent transcription in confluent endothelial cells; this effect required the presence of intact cell-cell junctions and KRIT1. These effects of KRIT1 were not limited to endothelial cells; the KRIT1 protein was expressed widely and its depletion increased beta-catenin signaling in epithelial cells. Moreover, a reduction in KRIT1 expression also increased beta-catenin signaling in vivo. Hemizygous deficiency of Krit1 resulted in a ~1.5-fold increase in intestinal polyps in the Apc(Min/+) mouse, which was associated with increased beta-catenin-driven transcription. Thus, KRIT1 regulates beta-catenin signaling, and Krit1(+/-) mice are more susceptible to beta-catenin-driven intestinal adenomas.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Since Bangladesh government issued a ban on the use of highly toxic WHO Class I pesticides, annual consumption of herbicides like Paraquat have been sharply increasing in the markets. Paraquat poisoning is an emerging public health threat and its high mortality rate is responsible for a significant number of deaths. Diagnostic limitations and unavailable sample at presentation have resulted in under-reporting and lack of awareness among the treating physicians, making Paraquat poisoning one of the most neglected toxicological emergencies. Herein, we present a case of Paraquat induced multi-organ failure and emphasis on pitfalls in the management. CASE PRESENTATION:An 18-years-old healthy male was admitted in Sylhet M.A.G Osmani Medical College Hospital with history of attempted suicide by Paraquat ingestion. On admission, he had high serum creatinine but otherwise asymptomatic. He was discharged on day 10 when his renal functions returned to normal. But On day 15, he started having respiratory symptoms-unresponsive to any of the local treatments he received, and by day 30, he developed overt lung fibrosis. We present sequential blood picture, radiographs and CT scans demonstrating Paraquat induced kidney and lung injury over the course of 30 days. CONCLUSION:Paraquat poisoning can lead to death and fatal long-term consequences. All cases of Paraquat poisoning, regardless of symptoms, must be hospitalized and observed for early detection of complications. Distribution of Paraquat should be restricted and/or banned as 38 other countries have done so, which we believe will greatly reduce poisoning related mortality.
Project description:Pulmonary fibrosis results from the excessive deposition of collagen fibers and scarring in the lungs with or without an identifiable cause. The mechanism(s) underlying lung fibrosis development is poorly understood, and effective treatment is lacking. Here we compared mouse lung fibrosis induced by pulmonary exposure to prototypical particulate (crystalline silica) or soluble chemical (bleomycin or paraquat) fibrogenic agents to identify the underlying mechanisms. Young male C57BL/6J mice were given silica (2 mg), bleomycin (0.07 mg), or paraquat (0.02 mg) by pharyngeal aspiration. All treatments induced significant inflammatory infiltration and collagen deposition, manifesting fibrotic foci in silica-exposed lungs or diffuse fibrosis in bleomycin or paraquat-exposed lungs on day 7 post-exposure, at which time the lesions reached their peaks and represented a junction of transition from an acute response to chronic fibrosis. Lung genome-wide gene expression was analyzed, and differential gene expression was confirmed by quantitative RT-PCR, immunohistochemistry, and immunoblotting for representative genes to demonstrate their induced expression and localization in fibrotic lungs. Canonical signaling pathways, gene ontology, and upstream transcription networks modified by each agent were identified. In particular, these inducers elicited marked proliferative responses; at the same time, silica preferentially activated innate immune functions and the defense against foreign bodies, whereas bleomycin and paraquat boosted responses related to cell adhesion, platelet activation, extracellular matrix remodeling, and wound healing. This study identified, for the first time, the shared and unique genes, signaling pathways, and biological functions regulated by particulate and soluble chemical fibrogenic agents during lung fibrosis, providing insights into the mechanisms underlying human lung fibrotic diseases.
Project description:Loss-of-function mutations in the KRIT1 gene (CCM1) have been associated with the pathogenesis of cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM), a major cerebrovascular disease. However, KRIT1 functions and CCM pathogenetic mechanisms remain incompletely understood. Indeed, recent experiments in animal models have clearly demonstrated that the homozygous loss of KRIT1 is not sufficient to induce CCM lesions, suggesting that additional factors are necessary to cause CCM disease. Previously, we found that KRIT1 is involved in the maintenance of the intracellular reactive oxygen species (ROS) homeostasis to prevent ROS-induced cellular dysfunctions, including a reduced ability to maintain a quiescent state. Here, we show that KRIT1 loss of function leads to enhanced expression and phosphorylation of the redox-sensitive transcription factor c-Jun, as well as induction of its downstream target COX-2, in both cellular models and human CCM tissues. Furthermore, we demonstrate that c-Jun upregulation can be reversed by either KRIT1 re-expression or ROS scavenging, whereas KRIT1 overexpression prevents forced upregulation of c-Jun induced by oxidative stimuli. Taken together with the reported role of c-Jun in vascular dysfunctions triggered by oxidative stress, our findings shed new light on the molecular mechanisms underlying KRIT1 function and CCM pathogenesis.
Project description:Paraquat (PQ) poisoning can cause multiple organ failure, in which the lung is the primary target organ. There is currently no treatment for PQ poisoning. Mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), which differentiate into multiple cell types, have generated much enthusiasm regarding their use for the treatment of several diseases. The aim of this study was to systematically review and analyze published preclinical studies describing MSC administration for the treatment of PQ poisoning in animal models to provide a basis for cell therapy.The electronic databases PubMed and CBMdisc were searched in this systematic review and meta-analysis. The MSC treatment characteristics of animal models of PQ poisoning were summarized. After quality assessment was performed, the effects of MSC transplantation were evaluated based on the survival rate, lung wet/dry weight, fibrosis scores, oxidative stress response, and inflammatory response. Publication bias was assessed.Eleven controlled preclinical studies involving MSC transplantation in animal models of PQ poisoning were included in this review. MSC therapy improved the survival rate and reduced the lung wet/dry weight and histopathological fibrosis changes in most studies. MSCs decreased serum or plasma malondialdehyde levels in the acute phase after 7 and 14 d and increased serum or plasma superoxide dismutase and glutathione levels at the same time points. IL-1?, TNF-? and TGF-?1 levels in blood or lung tissues were decreased to different degrees by MSCs. Lung hydroxyproline was decreased by MSCs after 14 d. No obvious evidence of publication bias was found.MSCs showed anti-fibrosis therapeutic effects in animal models of lung injury caused by PQ poisoning, which may be related to reduced oxidative stress and inflammatory cytokine levels. Our review indicates a potential therapeutic role for MSC therapy to treat PQ poisoning and serves to augment the rationale for clinical studies.
Project description:Loss-of-function mutations of the gene encoding Krev interaction trapped protein 1 (KRIT1) are associated with the pathogenesis of Cerebral Cavernous Malformation (CCM), a major cerebrovascular disease characterized by abnormally enlarged and leaky capillaries and affecting 0.5% of the human population. However, growing evidence demonstrates that KRIT1 is implicated in the modulation of major redox-sensitive signaling pathways and mechanisms involved in adaptive responses to oxidative stress and inflammation, suggesting that its loss-of-function mutations may have pathological effects not limited to CCM disease. The aim of this study was to address whether KRIT1 loss-of-function predisposes to the development of pathological conditions associated with enhanced endothelial cell susceptibility to oxidative stress and inflammation, such as arterial endothelial dysfunction (ED) and atherosclerosis. Silencing of KRIT1 in human aortic endothelial cells (HAECs), coronary artery endothelial cells (HCAECs), and umbilical vein endothelial cells (HUVECs) resulted in increased expression of endothelial proinflammatory adhesion molecules vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1) and intercellular adhesion molecule 1 (ICAM-1) and in enhanced susceptibility to tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α)-induced apoptosis. These effects were associated with a downregulation of Notch1 activation that could be rescued by antioxidant treatment, suggesting that they are consequent to altered intracellular redox homeostasis induced by KRIT1 loss-of-function. Furthermore, analysis of the aorta of heterozygous KRIT1+/- mice fed a high-fructose diet to induce systemic oxidative stress and inflammation demonstrated a 1.6-fold increased expression of VCAM-1 and an approximately 2-fold enhanced fat accumulation (7.5% vs 3.6%) in atherosclerosis-prone regions, including the aortic arch and aortic root, as compared to corresponding wild-type littermates. In conclusion, we found that KRIT1 deficiency promotes ED, suggesting that, besides CCM, KRIT1 may be implicated in genetic susceptibility to the development of atherosclerotic lesions.
Project description:KRIT1 is a gene responsible for Cerebral Cavernous Malformations (CCM), a major cerebrovascular disease characterized by abnormally enlarged and leaky capillaries that predispose to seizures, focal neurological deficits, and fatal intracerebral hemorrhage. Comprehensive analysis of the KRIT1 gene in CCM patients has suggested that KRIT1 functions need to be severely impaired for pathogenesis. However, the molecular and cellular functions of KRIT1 as well as CCM pathogenesis mechanisms are still research challenges. We found that KRIT1 plays an important role in molecular mechanisms involved in the maintenance of the intracellular Reactive Oxygen Species (ROS) homeostasis to prevent oxidative cellular damage. In particular, we demonstrate that KRIT1 loss/down-regulation is associated with a significant increase in intracellular ROS levels. Conversely, ROS levels in KRIT1(-/-) cells are significantly and dose-dependently reduced after restoration of KRIT1 expression. Moreover, we show that the modulation of intracellular ROS levels by KRIT1 loss/restoration is strictly correlated with the modulation of the expression of the antioxidant protein SOD2 as well as of the transcriptional factor FoxO1, a master regulator of cell responses to oxidative stress and a modulator of SOD2 levels. Furthermore, we show that the KRIT1-dependent maintenance of low ROS levels facilitates the downregulation of cyclin D1 expression required for cell transition from proliferative growth to quiescence. Finally, we demonstrate that the enhanced ROS levels in KRIT1(-/-) cells are associated with an increased cell susceptibility to oxidative DNA damage and a marked induction of the DNA damage sensor and repair gene Gadd45alpha, as well as with a decline of mitochondrial energy metabolism. Taken together, our results point to a new model where KRIT1 limits the accumulation of intracellular oxidants and prevents oxidative stress-mediated cellular dysfunction and DNA damage by enhancing the cell capacity to scavenge intracellular ROS through an antioxidant pathway involving FoxO1 and SOD2, thus providing novel and useful insights into the understanding of KRIT1 molecular and cellular functions.