Recent studies have identified a cholestatic variant of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) with portal inflammation and ductular reaction. Based on reports of biliary damage, as well as increased circulating free fatty acids (FFAs) in NAFLD, we hypothesized the involvement of cholangiocyte lipoapoptosis as a mechanism of cellular injury. Here, we demonstrate that the saturated FFAs palmitate and stearate induced robust and rapid cell death in cholangiocytes. Palmitate and stearate induced cholangiocyte lipoapoptosis in a concentration-dependent manner in multiple cholangiocyte-derived cell lines. The mechanism of lipoapoptosis relied on the activation of caspase 3/7 activity. There was also a significant up-regulation of the proapoptotic BH3-containing protein, PUMA. In addition, palmitate-induced cholangiocyte lipoapoptosis involved a time-dependent increase in the nuclear localization of forkhead family of transcription factor 3 (FoxO3). We show evidence for posttranslational modification of FoxO3, including early (6 hours) deacetylation and dephosphorylation that coincide with localization of FoxO3 in the nuclear compartment. By 16 hours, nuclear FoxO3 is both phosphorylated and acetylated. Knockdown studies confirmed that FoxO3 and its downstream target, PUMA, were critical for palmitate- and stearate-induced cholangiocyte lipoapoptosis. Interestingly, cultured cholangiocyte-derived cells did not accumulate appreciable amounts of neutral lipid upon FFA treatment. Conclusion: Our data show that the saturated FFAs palmitate and stearate induced cholangiocyte lipoapoptosis by way of caspase activation, nuclear translocation of FoxO3, and increased proapoptotic PUMA expression. These results suggest that cholangiocyte injury may occur through lipoapoptosis in NAFLD and nonalcoholic steatohepatitis patients. (Hepatology 2014).
Considerable information exists on the physiological correlates of life history adaptation, while molecular data on this topic are rapidly accumulating. However, much less is known about the enzymological basis of life history adaptation in outbred populations. In the present study, we compared developmental profiles of fat body specific activity, kinetic constants of homogeneously purified and unpurified enzyme, and fat body enzyme concentration of the pentose-shunt enzyme, 6-phosphogluconate dehydrogenase (6PGDH, E.C.22.214.171.124) between the dispersing [long-winged, LW(f)] and flightless [short-winged, SW] genotypes of the cricket Gryllus firmus. Neither kcat nor the Michaelis constant for 6-phosphogluconate differed between 6PGDH from LW(f) versus SW morphs for either homogeneously purified or unpurified enzyme. Purified enzyme from the LW(f) morph exhibited reduced KM for NADP(+), but this was not observed for multiple KM(NADP+) estimates for unpurified enzyme. A polyclonal antibody was generated against 6PGDH which was used to develop a chemiluminescence assay to quantify 6PGDH concentration in fat body homogenates. Elevated enzyme concentration accounted for all of the elevated 6PGDH specific activity in the LW(f) morph during the juvenile and adult stages. Finally, activity of another pentose-shunt enzyme, glucose-6-phosphate dehydrogenase, strongly covaried with 6PGDH activity suggesting that variation in 6PGDH activity gives rise to variation in pentose shunt flux. This is one of the first life-history studies and one of the few studies of intraspecific enzyme adaptation to identify the relative importance of evolutionary change in enzyme concentration vs. kinetic constants to adaptive variation in enzyme activity in an outbred population.
Wing polymorphism is a powerful model for examining many aspects of adaptation. The wing dimorphic cricket species, Gryllus firmus, consists of a long-winged morph with functional flight muscles that is capable of flight, and two flightless morphs. One (obligately) flightless morph emerges as an adult with vestigial wings and vestigial flight muscles. The other (plastic) flightless morph emerges with fully-developed wings but later in adulthood histolyzes its flight muscles. Importantly both flightless morphs have substantially increased reproductive output relative to the flight-capable morph. Much is known about the physiological and biochemical differences between the morphs with respect to adaptations for flight versus reproduction. In contrast, little is known about the molecular genetic basis of these morph-specific adaptations. To address this issue, we assembled a de novo transcriptome of G. firmus using 141.5 million Illumina reads generated from flight muscles and fat body, two organs that play key roles in flight and reproduction. We used the resulting 34,411 transcripts as a reference transcriptome for differential gene expression analyses. A comparison of gene expression profiles from functional flight muscles in the flight-capable morph versus histolyzed flight muscles in the plastic flight incapable morph identified a suite of genes involved in respiration that were highly expressed in pink (functional) flight muscles and genes involved in proteolysis highly expressed in the white (histolyzed) flight muscles. A comparison of fat body transcripts from the obligately flightless versus the flight-capable morphs revealed differential expression of genes involved in triglyceride biosynthesis, lipid transport, immune function and reproduction. These data provide a valuable resource for future molecular genetics research in this and related species and provide insight on the role of gene expression in morph-specific adaptations for flight versus reproduction.
Cholangiocarcinoma cells are dependent on antiapoptotic signaling for survival and resistance to death stimuli. Recent mechanistic studies have revealed that increased cellular expression of the E3 ubiquitin-protein ligase X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis (XIAP) impairs TRAIL- and chemotherapy-induced cytotoxicity, promoting survival of cholangiocarcinoma cells. This study was undertaken to determine if pharmacologic antagonism of XIAP protein was sufficient to sensitize cholangiocarcinoma cells to cell death. We employed malignant cholangiocarcinoma cell lines and used embelin to antagonize XIAP protein. Embelin treatment resulted in decreased XIAP protein levels by 8 hours of treatment with maximal effect at 16 hours in KMCH and Mz-ChA-1 cells. Assessment of nuclear morphology demonstrated a concentration-dependent increase in nuclear staining. Interestingly, embelin induced nuclear morphology changes as a single agent, independent of the addition of TNF-related apoptosis inducing ligand (TRAIL). However, caspase activity assays revealed that increasing embelin concentrations resulted in slight inhibition of caspase activity, not activation. In addition, the use of a pan-caspase inhibitor did not prevent nuclear morphology changes. Finally, embelin treatment of cholangiocarcinoma cells did not induce DNA fragmentation or PARP cleavage. Apoptosis does not appear to contribute to the effects of embelin on cholangiocarcinoma cells. Instead, embelin caused inhibition of cell proliferation and cell cycle analysis indicated that embelin increased the number of cells in S and G2/M phase. Our results demonstrate that embelin decreased proliferation in cholangiocarcinoma cell lines. Embelin treatment resulted in decreased XIAP protein expression, but did not induce or enhance apoptosis. Thus, in cholangiocarcinoma cells the mechanism of action of embelin may not be dependent on apoptosis.
Although whole-organism aspects of life-history physiology are well studied and molecular information (e.g., transcript abundance) on life-history variation is accumulating rapidly, much less information is available on the biochemical (enzymological) basis of life-history adaptation. The present study investigated the biochemical and molecular causes of specific activity differences of the lipogenic enzyme, NADP(+)-isocitrate dehydrogenase, between genetic lines of the wing-polymorphic cricket, Gryllus firmus, which differ in lipid biosynthesis and life history. With one exception, variation among 21 Nadp(+)-Idh genomic sequences, which spanned the entire coding sequence of the gene, was restricted to a few synonymous substitutions within and among replicate flight-capable or flightless lines. No NADP(+)-IDH electromorph variation was observed among individuals within or among lines as determined by polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis. Nor did any NADP(+)-IDH kinetic or stability parameter, such as K(M) for substrate or cofactor, k(cat), or thermal denaturation, differ between flight-capable and flightless lines. By contrast, line differences in NADP(+)-IDH-specific activity strongly covaried with transcript abundance and enzyme protein concentration. These results demonstrate that NADP(+)-IDH-specific activity differences between artificially selected lines of G. firmus are due primarily, if not exclusively, to genetic variation in regulators of NADP(+)-IDH gene expression, with no observed contribution from altered catalytic efficiency of the enzyme due to changes in amino acid sequence or posttranslational modification. Kinetic analyses indicate that in vitro differences in enzyme-specific activity between flight-capable and flightless lines likely occur in vivo. This study constitutes the most comprehensive analysis to date of the biochemical and molecular causes of naturally occurring genetic variation in enzyme activity that covaries strongly with life history.
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