Keratin 7 Is a Constituent of the Keratin Network in Mouse Pancreatic Islets and Is Upregulated in Experimental Diabetes.
ABSTRACT: Keratin (K) 7 is an intermediate filament protein expressed in ducts and glands of simple epithelial organs and in urothelial tissues. In the pancreas, K7 is expressed in exocrine ducts, and apico-laterally in acinar cells. Here, we report K7 expression with K8 and K18 in the endocrine islets of Langerhans in mice. K7 filament formation in islet and MIN6 β-cells is dependent on the presence and levels of K18. K18-knockout (K18‒/‒) mice have undetectable islet K7 and K8 proteins, while K7 and K18 are downregulated in K8‒/‒ islets. K7, akin to F-actin, is concentrated at the apical vertex of β-cells in wild-type mice and along the lateral membrane, in addition to forming a fine cytoplasmic network. In K8‒/‒ β-cells, apical K7 remains, but lateral keratin bundles are displaced and cytoplasmic filaments are scarce. Islet K7, rather than K8, is increased in K18 over-expressing mice and the K18-R90C mutation disrupts K7 filaments in mouse β-cells and in MIN6 cells. Notably, islet K7 filament networks significantly increase and expand in the perinuclear regions when examined in the streptozotocin diabetes model. Hence, K7 represents a significant component of the murine islet keratin network and becomes markedly upregulated during experimental diabetes.
Project description:Here, we report on the analysis of keratin 18 null mice. Unlike the ablation of K8, which together with K18 is expressed in embryonic and simple adult epithelia, K18 null mice are viable, fertile, and show a normal lifespan. In young K18 null mice, hepatocytes were completely devoid of keratin filaments. Nevertheless, typical desmosomes were formed and maintained. Old K18 null mice, however, developed a distinctive liver pathology with abnormal hepatocytes containing K8-positive aggregates. These stained positively for ubiquitin and MM120-1 and were identified as Mallory bodies, one hallmark of human alcoholic hepatitis. This is the first demonstration that the ablation of one keratin leads to the accumulation of its single partner. Another striking finding was the absence or drastic down regulation of K7 in several tissues despite its ongoing transcription. Moreover, K18 null mice revealed new insights in the filament-forming capacity of the tail-less K19 in vivo. Due to the unexpected secondary loss of K7, only K8/19 are expressed in the uterine epithelium of K18 null mice. Immunoelectron microscopy of this tissue demonstrated the presence of typical K8/19 IF, thus highlighting in vivo that K19 is a fully competent partner for K8.
Project description:Keratin intermediate filament (IF) proteins are epithelial cell cytoskeletal components that provide structural stability and protection from cell stress, among other cellular and tissue-specific functions. Numerous human diseases are associated with IF gene mutations, but the function of keratins in the endocrine pancreas and their potential significance for glycaemic control are unknown. The impact of keratins on ?-cell organisation and systemic glucose control was assessed using keratin 8 (K8) wild-type (K8(+/+)) and K8 knockout (K8(-/-)) mice. Islet ?-cell keratins were characterised under basal conditions, in streptozotocin (STZ)-induced diabetes and in non-obese diabetic (NOD) mice. STZ-induced diabetes incidence and islet damage was assessed in K8(+/+) and K8(-/-) mice. K8 and K18 were the predominant keratins in islet ?-cells and K8(-/-) mice expressed only remnant K18 and K7. K8 deletion resulted in lower fasting glucose levels, increased glucose tolerance and insulin sensitivity, reduced glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and decreased pancreatic insulin content. GLUT2 localisation and insulin vesicle morphology were disrupted in K8(-/-) ?-cells. The increased levels of cytoplasmic GLUT2 correlated with resistance to high-dose STZ-induced injury in K8(-/-) mice. However, K8 deletion conferred no long-term protection from STZ-induced diabetes and prolonged STZ-induced stress caused increased exocrine damage in K8(-/-) mice. ?-cell keratin upregulation occurred 2 weeks after treatments with low-dose STZ in K8(+/+) mice and in diabetic NOD mice, suggesting a role for keratins, particularly in non-acute islet stress responses. These results demonstrate previously unrecognised functions for keratins in ?-cell intracellular organisation, as well as for systemic blood glucose control under basal conditions and in diabetes-induced stress.
Project description:Keratin polypeptide 8 (K8) associates noncovalently with its partners K18 and/or K19 to form the intermediate filament cytoskeleton of hepatocytes and other simple-type epithelial cells. Human K8, K18, and K19 variants predispose to liver disease, whereas site-specific keratin phosphorylation confers hepatoprotection. Because stress-induced protein phosphorylation regulates sumoylation, we hypothesized that keratins are sumoylated in an injury-dependent manner and that keratin sumoylation is an important regulatory modification. We demonstrate that K8/K18/K19, epidermal keratins, and vimentin are sumoylated in vitro. Upon transfection, K8, K18, and K19 are modified by poly-SUMO-2/3 chains on Lys-285/Lys-364 (K8), Lys-207/Lys-372 (K18), and Lys-208 (K19). Sumoylation affects filament organization and stimulus-induced keratin solubility and is partially inhibited upon mutation of one of three known K8 phosphorylation sites. Extensive sumoylation occurs in cells transfected with individual K8, K18, or K19 but is limited upon heterodimerization (K8/K18 or K8/K19) in the absence of stress. In contrast, keratin sumoylation is significantly augmented in cells and tissues during apoptosis, oxidative stress, and phosphatase inhibition. Poly-SUMO-2/3 conjugates are present in chronically injured but not normal, human, and mouse livers along with polyubiquitinated and large insoluble keratin-containing complexes. Notably, common human K8 liver disease-associated variants trigger keratin hypersumoylation with consequent diminished solubility. In contrast, modest sumoylation of wild type K8 promotes solubility. Hence, conformational changes induced by keratin natural mutations and extensive tissue injury result in K8/K18/K19 hypersumoylation, which retains keratins in an insoluble compartment, thereby limiting their cytoprotective function.
Project description:Keratin 8 (K8) is the main intestinal epithelial intermediate filament protein with proposed roles for colonic epithelial cell integrity. Here, we used mice lacking K8 in intestinal epithelial cells (floxed K8 and Villin-Cre1000 and Villin-CreER<sup>t2</sup>) to investigate the cell-specific roles of intestinal epithelial K8 for colonocyte function and pathologies. Intestinal epithelial K8 deletion decreased K8 partner proteins, K18-K20, 75-95%, and the remaining keratin filaments were located at the colonocyte apical regions with type II K7, which decreased 30%. 2-Deoxy-2-[<sup>18</sup>F]-fluoroglucose positron emission tomography in vivo imaging identified a metabolic phenotype in the lower gut of the conditional K8 knockouts. These mice developed intestinal barrier leakiness, mild diarrhea, and epithelial damage, especially in the proximal colon. Mice exhibited shifted differentiation from enterocytes to goblet cells, displayed longer crypts and an increased number of Ki67 + transit-amplifying cells in the colon. Significant proproliferative and regenerative signaling occurred in the IL-22, STAT3, and pRb pathways, with minor effects on inflammatory parameters, which, however, increased in aging mice. Importantly, colonocyte K8 deletion induced a dramatically increased sensitivity to azoxymethane-induced tumorigenesis. In conclusion, intestinal epithelial K8 plays a significant role in colonocyte epithelial integrity maintenance, proliferation regulation and tumor suppression.
Project description:The major keratins in the pancreas and liver are keratins 8 and 18 (K8/K18), but their function seemingly differs in that liver K8/K18 are essential cytoprotective proteins, whereas pancreatic K8/K18 are dispensable. This functional dichotomy raises the hypothesis that K8-null pancreata may undergo compensatory cytoprotective gene expression. We tested this hypothesis by comparing the gene expression profile in pancreata of wild-type and K8-null mice. Most prominent among the up-regulated genes in K8-null pancreas was mRNA for regenerating islet-derived (Reg)-II, which was confirmed by quantitative reverse transcription-polymerase chain reaction and by an anti-Reg-II peptide antibody we generated. Both K8-null and wild-type mice express Reg-II predominantly in acinar cells as determined by in situ hybridization and immunostaining. Analysis of Reg-II expression in various keratin-related transgenic mouse models showed that its induction also occurs in response to keratin cytoplasmic filament collapse, absence, or ablation of K18 Ser52 but not Ser33 phosphorylation via Ser-to-Ala mutation, which represent situations associated with predisposition to liver but not pancreatic injury. In wild-type mice, Reg-II is markedly up-regulated in two established pancreatitis models in response to injury and during the recovery phase. Thus, Reg-II is a likely mouse exocrine pancreas cytoprotective candidate protein whose expression is regulated by keratin filament organization and phosphorylation.
Project description:Keratin 7 (K7) is a Type II member of the keratin superfamily and despite its widespread expression in different types of simple and transitional epithelia, its functional role in vivo remains elusive, in part due to the lack of any appropriate mouse models or any human diseases that are associated with KRT7 gene mutations. Using conventional gene targeting in mouse embryonic stem cells, we report here the generation and characterisation of the first K7 knockout mouse. Loss of K7 led to increased proliferation of the bladder urothelium although this was not associated with hyperplasia. K18, a presumptive type I assembly partner for K7, showed reduced expression in the bladder whereas K20, a marker of the terminally differentiated superficial urothelial cells was transcriptionally up-regulated. No other epithelia were seen to be adversely affected by the loss of K7 and western blot and immunofluorescence microscopy analysis revealed that the expression of K8, K18, K19 and K20 were not altered in the absence of K7, with the exception of the kidney where there was reduced K18 expression.
Project description:Keratin 8 (K8) and keratin 18 (K18) are the intermediate filament proteins whose phosphorylation/transamidation associate with their aggregation in Mallory-Denk bodies found in patients with various liver diseases. However, the functions of other post-translational modifications in keratins related to liver diseases have not been fully elucidated. Here, using a site-specific mutation assay combined with nano-liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry, we identified K8-Lys108 and K18-Lys187/426 as acetylation sites, and K8-Arg47 and K18-Arg55 as methylation sites. Keratin mutation (Arg-to-Lys/Ala) at the methylation sites, but not the acetylation sites, led to decreased stability of the keratin protein. We compared keratin acetylation/methylation in liver disease-associated keratin variants. The acetylation of K8 variants increased or decreased to various extents, whereas the methylation of K18-del65-72 and K18-I150V variants increased. Notably, the highly acetylated/methylated K18-I150V variant was less soluble and exhibited unusually prolonged protein stability, which suggests that additional acetylation of highly methylated keratins has a synergistic effect on prolonged stability. Therefore, the different levels of acetylation/methylation of the liver disease-associated variants regulate keratin protein stability. These findings extend our understanding of how disease-associated mutations in keratins modulate keratin acetylation and methylation, which may contribute to disease pathogenesis.-Jang, K.-H., Yoon, H.-N., Lee, J., Yi, H., Park, S.-Y., Lee, S.-Y., Lim, Y., Lee, H.-J., Cho, J.-W., Paik, Y.-K., Hancock, W. S., Ku, N.-O. Liver disease-associated keratin 8 and 18 mutations modulate keratin acetylation and methylation.
Project description:Keratin 18 (K18 or KRT18) undergoes caspase-mediated cleavage during apoptosis, the significance of which is poorly understood. Here, we mutated the two caspase-cleavage sites (D238E and D397E) in K18 (K18-DE), followed by transgenic overexpression of the resulting mutant. We found that K18-DE mice develop extensive Fas-mediated liver damage compared to wild-type mice overexpressing K18 (K18-WT). Fas-stimulation of K18-WT mice or isolated hepatocytes caused K18 degradation. By contrast, K18-DE livers or hepatocytes maintained intact keratins following Fas-stimulation, but showed hypo-phosphorylation at a major stress-kinase-related keratin 8 (K8) phosphorylation site. Although K18-WT and K18-DE hepatocytes showed similar Fas-mediated caspase activation, K18-DE hepatocytes were more 'leaky' after a mild hypoosmotic challenge and were more susceptible to necrosis after Fas-stimulation or severe hypoosmotic stress. K8 hypophosphorylation was not due to the inhibition of kinase binding to the keratin but was due to mutation-induced inaccessibility to the kinase that phosphorylates K8. A stress-modulated keratin phospho-mutant expressed in hepatocytes phenocopied the hepatocyte susceptibility to necrosis but was found to undergo keratin filament reorganization during apoptosis. Therefore, the caspase cleavage of keratins might promote keratin filament reorganization during apoptosis. Interference with keratin caspase cleavage shunts hepatocytes towards necrosis and increases liver injury through the inhibition of keratin phosphorylation. These findings might extend to other intermediate filament proteins that undergo proteolysis during apoptosis.
Project description:Although hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is developed with various etiologies, protection of hepatocytes seems basically essential to prevent the incidence of HCC. Keratin 8 and keratin 18 (K8/K18) are cytoskeletal intermediate filament proteins that are expressed in hepatocytes. They maintain the cell shape and protect cells under stress conditions. Their protective roles in liver damage have been described in studies of mouse models, and K8/K18 mutation frequency in liver patients. Interestingly, K8/K18 bind to signaling proteins such as transcription factors and protein kinases involved in HCC development. Since K8/K18 are abundant cytoskeletal proteins, K8/K18 binding with the signaling factors can alter the availability of the factors. Herein, we discuss the potential roles of K8/K18 in HCC development.
Project description:Keratin 8 and keratin 18 (K8/K18) are intermediate filament proteins that form the obligate heteropolymers in hepatocytes and protect the liver against toxins. The mechanisms of protection include the regulation of signaling pathway associated with cell survival. Previous studies show K8/K18 binding with Akt, which is a well-known protein kinase involved in the cell survival signaling pathway. However, the role of K8/K18 in the Akt signaling pathway is unclear. In this study, we found that K8/K18-Akt binding is downregulated by K8/K18 phosphorylation, specifically phosphorylation of K18 ser7/34/53 residues, whereas the binding is upregulated by K8 gly-62-cys mutation. K8/K18 expression in cultured cell system tends to enhance the stability of the Akt protein. A comparison of the Akt signaling pathway in a mouse system with liver damage shows that the pathway is downregulated in K18-null mice compared with nontransgenic mice. K18-null mice with Fas-induced liver damage show enhanced apoptosis combined with the downregulation of the Akt signaling pathway, i.e., lower phosphorylation levels of GSK3β and NFκB, which are the downstream signaling factors in the Akt signaling pathway, in K18-null mice compared with the control mice. Our study indicates that K8/K18 expression protects mice from liver damage by participating in enhancing the Akt signaling pathway.