Thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (TTP) is a life-threatening illness caused by deficiency of the vWF-cleaving protease ADAMTS13. Here we show that ADAMTS13-deficient mice are viable and exhibit normal survival, although vWF-mediated platelet-endothelial interactions are significantly prolonged. Introduction of the genetic background CASA/Rk (a mouse strain with elevated plasma vWF) resulted in the appearance of spontaneous thrombocytopenia in a subset of ADAMTS13-deficient mice and significantly decreased survival. Challenge of these mice with shigatoxin (derived from bacterial pathogens associated with the related human disease hemolytic uremic syndrome) resulted in a striking syndrome closely resembling human TTP. Surprisingly, no correlation was observed between plasma vWF level and severity of TTP, implying the existence of TTP-modifying genes distinct from vWF. These data suggest that microbe-derived toxins (or possibly other sources of endothelial injury), together with additional genetic susceptibility factors, are required to trigger TTP in the setting of ADAMTS13 deficiency.
David G. Motto, Anil K. Chauhan, Guojing Zhu, Jonathon Homeister, Colin B. Lamb, Karl C. Desch, Weirui Zhang, Han-Mou Tsai, Denisa D. Wagner, David Ginsburg
The myelodysplastic/myeloproliferative diseases (MDS/MPDs) are a heterogeneous group of myeloid neoplasms that share characteristics with chronic myeloproliferative diseases and myelodysplastic syndromes. The broad spectrum of clinical manifestations makes MDS/MPDs extremely difficult to diagnose and treat, with a median survival time of 1–5 years. No single gene defect has been firmly associated with MDS/MPDs, and no animal models have been developed for these diseases. The association of deletions on chromosome 20q with myeloid malignancies suggests the presence of unidentified tumor suppressor genes in this region. Here we show that the recently identified death inducer–obliterator (Dido) gene gives rise to at least 3 polypeptides (Dido1, Dido2, and Dido3) through alternative splicing, and we map the human gene to the long arm of chromosome 20. We found that targeting of murine Dido caused a transplantable disease whose symptoms and signs suggested MDS/MPDs. Furthermore, 100% of human MDS/MPD patients analyzed showed Dido expression abnormalities, which we also found in other myeloid but not lymphoid neoplasms or in healthy donors. Our findings suggest that Dido might be one of the tumor suppressor genes at chromosome 20q and that the Dido-targeted mouse may be a suitable model for studying MDS/MPD diseases and testing new approaches to their diagnosis and treatment.
Agnes Fütterer, Miguel R. Campanero, Esther Leonardo, Luis M. Criado, Juana M. Flores, Jesús M. Hernández, Jesús F. San Miguel, Carlos Martínez-A
Hypoxic vasodilation is a fundamental, highly conserved physiological response that requires oxygen and/or pH sensing coupled to vasodilation. While this process was first characterized more than 80 years ago, the precise identity and mechanism of the oxygen sensor and mediators of vasodilation remain uncertain. In support of a possible role for hemoglobin (Hb) as a sensor and effector of hypoxic vasodilation, here we show biochemical evidence that Hb exhibits enzymatic behavior as a nitrite reductase, with maximal NO generation rates occurring near the oxy-to-deoxy (R-to-T) allosteric structural transition of the protein. The observed rate of nitrite reduction by Hb deviates from second-order kinetics, and sigmoidal reaction progress is determined by a balance between 2 opposing chemistries of the heme in the R (oxygenated conformation) and T (deoxygenated conformation) allosteric quaternary structures of the Hb tetramer — the greater reductive potential of deoxyheme in the R state tetramer and the number of unligated deoxyheme sites necessary for nitrite binding, which are more plentiful in the T state tetramer. These opposing chemistries result in a maximal nitrite reduction rate when Hb is 40–60% saturated with oxygen (near the Hb P50), an apparent ideal set point for hypoxia-responsive NO generation. These data suggest that the oxygen sensor for hypoxic vasodilation is determined by Hb oxygen saturation and quaternary structure and that the nitrite reductase activity of Hb generates NO gas under allosteric and pH control.
Zhi Huang, Sruti Shiva, Daniel B. Kim-Shapiro, Rakesh P. Patel, Lorna A. Ringwood, Cynthia E. Irby, Kris T. Huang, Chien Ho, Neil Hogg, Alan N. Schechter, Mark T. Gladwin
Silvia Buonamici, Donglan Li, Yiqing Chi, Rui Zhao, Xuerong Wang, Larry Brace, Hongyu Ni, Yogen Saunthararajah, Giuseppina Nucifora
Magdalena Chrzanowska-Wodnicka, Susan S. Smyth, Simone M. Schoenwaelder, Thomas H. Fischer, Gilbert C. White II
Missense mutations in ferroportin1 (fpn1), an intestinal and macrophage iron exporter, have been identified between transmembrane helices 3 and 4 in the zebrafish anemia mutant weissherbst (wehTp85c–/–) and in patients with type 4 hemochromatosis. To explore the effects of fpn1 mutation on blood development and iron homeostasis in the adult zebrafish, wehTp85c–/– zebrafish were rescued by injection with iron dextran and studied in comparison with injected and uninjected WT zebrafish and heterozygotes. Although iron deposition was observed in all iron-injected fish, only wehTp85c–/– zebrafish exhibited iron accumulation in the intestinal epithelium compatible with a block in iron export. Iron injections initially reversed the anemia. However, 8 months after iron injections were discontinued, wehTp85c–/– zebrafish developed hypochromic anemia and impaired erythroid maturation despite the persistence of iron-loaded macrophages and elevated hepatic nonheme iron stores. Quantitative real-time RT-PCR revealed a significant decrease in mean hepatic transcript levels of the secreted iron-regulator hepcidin and increased intestinal expression of fpn1 in anemic wehTp85c–/– adults. Injection of iron dextran into WT or mutant zebrafish embryos, however, resulted in significant increases in hepcidin expression 18 hours after injection, demonstrating that hepcidin expression in zebrafish is iron responsive and independent of fpn1’s function as an iron exporter.
Paula G. Fraenkel, David Traver, Adriana Donovan, David Zahrieh, Leonard I. Zon
Anticoagulant protein C (PC) is important not only for maintenance of normal hemostasis, but also for regulating the host immune response during inflammation. Because mice with a designed total genetic deficiency in PC (PC–/– mice) die soon after birth, attempts to dissect PC function in various coagulation/inflammation-based pathologies through use of mice with less than 50% of normal PC levels have not been successful to date. In the current investigation, we have used a novel transgenic strategy to generate different mouse models expressing 1–18% of normal PC levels. In contrast to PC–/– mice, mice with only partial PC deficiency survived beyond birth and also developed thrombosis and inflammation. The onset and severity of these phenotypes vary significantly and are strongly dependent on plasma PC levels. Our findings additionally provide the first evidence that maternal PC is vital for sustaining pregnancy beyond 7.5 days postcoitum, likely by regulating the balance of coagulation and inflammation during trophoblast invasion. These low PC–expressing transgenic mouse lines provide novel animal models that can be used to elucidate the importance of PC in maintenance of the organism and in disease.
Angelina J. Lay, Zhong Liang, Elliot D. Rosen, Francis J. Castellino
Heme-regulated eIF2α kinase (HRI) controls protein synthesis by phosphorylating the α-subunit of eukaryotic translational initiation factor 2 (eIF2α). In heme deficiency, HRI is essential for translational regulation of α- and β-globins and for the survival of erythroid progenitors. HRI is also activated by a number of cytoplasmic stresses other than heme deficiency, including oxidative stress and heat shock. However, to date, HRI has not been implicated in the pathogenesis of any known human disease or mouse phenotype. Here we report the essential role of HRI in 2 mouse models of human rbc disorders, namely erythropoietic protoporphyria (EPP) and β-thalassemia. In both cases, lack of HRI adversely modifies the phenotype: HRI deficiency exacerbates EPP and renders β-thalassemia embryonically lethal. This study establishes the protective function of HRI in inherited rbc diseases in mice and suggests that HRI may be a significant modifier of many rbc disorders in humans. Our findings also demonstrate that translational regulation could play a critical role in the clinical manifestation of rbc diseases.
An-Ping Han, Mark D. Fleming, Jane-Jane Chen
Solute carrier family 11, member 2 (SLC11A2) is the only transmembrane iron transporter known to be involved in cellular iron uptake. It is widely expressed and has been postulated to play important roles in intestinal iron absorption, erythroid iron utilization, hepatic iron accumulation, placental iron transfer, and other processes. Previous studies have suggested that other transporters might exist, but their physiological significance remained uncertain. To define the activities of Slc11a2 in vivo, we inactivated the murine gene that encodes it globally and selectively. We found that fetal Slc11a2 is not needed for materno-fetal iron transfer but that Slc11a2 activity is essential for intestinal non-heme iron absorption after birth. Slc11a2 is also required for normal hemoglobin production during the development of erythroid precursors. However, hepatocytes and most other cells must have an alternative, as-yet-unknown, iron uptake mechanism. We previously showed that Slc11a2 serves as the primary portal for intestinal iron entry in hemochromatosis. However, inactivation of murine Hfe ameliorates the phenotype of animals lacking Slc11a2.
Hiromi Gunshin, Yuko Fujiwara, Angel O. Custodio, Cristina DiRenzo, Sylvie Robine, Nancy C. Andrews
Thrombomodulin (TM) is an endothelial anticoagulant cofactor that promotes thrombin-mediated formation of activated protein C (APC). We have found that the N-terminal lectin-like domain (D1) of TM has unique antiinflammatory properties. TM, via D1, binds high-mobility group-B1 DNA-binding protein (HMGB1), a factor closely associated with necrotic cell damage following its release from the nucleus, thereby preventing in vitro leukocyte activation, in vivo UV irradiation–induced cutaneous inflammation, and in vivo lipopolysaccharide-induced lethality. Our data also demonstrate antiinflammatory properties of a peptide spanning D1 of TM and suggest its therapeutic potential. These findings highlight a novel mechanism, i.e., sequestration of mediators, through which an endothelial cofactor, TM, suppresses inflammation quite distinctly from its anticoagulant cofactor activity, thereby preventing the interaction of these mediators with cell surface receptors on effector cells in the vasculature.
Kazuhiro Abeyama, David M. Stern, Yuji Ito, Ko-ichi Kawahara, Yasushi Yoshimoto, Motoyuki Tanaka, Tomonori Uchimura, Nobuo Ida, Yoshiaki Yamazaki, Shingo Yamada, Yasuhiko Yamamoto, Hiroshi Yamamoto, Satoshi Iino, Noboru Taniguchi, Ikuro Maruyama