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The prototoxin LYPD6B modulates heteromeric {alpha}3{beta}4-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, but not {alpha}7 homomers [Research Communication]

Prototoxins are a diverse family of membrane-tethered molecules expressed in the nervous system that modulate nicotinic cholinergic signaling, but their functions and specificity have yet to be completely explored. We tested the selectivity and efficacy of leukocyte antigen, PLAUR (plasminogen activator, urokinase receptor) domain-containing (LYPD)-6B on α3β4-, α3α5β4-, and α7-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). To constrain stoichiometry, fusion proteins encoding concatemers of human α3, β4, and α5 (D and N variants) subunits were expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes and tested with or without LYPD6B. We used the 2-electrode voltage-clamp method to quantify responses to acetylcholine (ACh): agonist sensitivity (EC50), maximal agonist-induced current (Imax), and time constant () of desensitization. For β4–α3–α3–β4–α3 and β4–α3–β4–α3–α3, LYPD6B decreased EC50 from 631 to 79 μM, reduced Imax by at least 59%, and decreased . For β4–α3–α5D–β4–α3 and β4–α3–β4–α–α5D, LYPD6B decreased Imax by 63 and 32%, respectively. Thus, LYPD6B acted only on (α3)3(β4)2 and (α3)2(α5D)(β4)2 and did not affect the properties of (α3)2(β4)3, α7, or (α3)2(α5N)(β4)2 nAChRs. Therefore, LYPD6B acts as a mixed modulator that enhances the sensitivity of (α3)3(β4)2 nAChRs to ACh while reducing ACh-induced whole-cell currents. LYPD6B also negatively modulates α3β4 nAChRs that include the α5D common human variant, but not the N variant associated with nicotine dependence.—Ochoa, V., George, A. A., Nishi, R., Whiteaker, P. The prototoxin LYPD6B modulates heteromeric α3β4-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, but not α7 homomers.

The prototoxin LYPD6B modulates heteromeric {alpha}3{beta}4-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, but not {alpha}7 homomers [Research Communication]

Prototoxins are a diverse family of membrane-tethered molecules expressed in the nervous system that modulate nicotinic cholinergic signaling, but their functions and specificity have yet to be completely explored. We tested the selectivity and efficacy of leukocyte antigen, PLAUR (plasminogen activator, urokinase receptor) domain-containing (LYPD)-6B on α3β4-, α3α5β4-, and α7-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors (nAChRs). To constrain stoichiometry, fusion proteins encoding concatemers of human α3, β4, and α5 (D and N variants) subunits were expressed in Xenopus laevis oocytes and tested with or without LYPD6B. We used the 2-electrode voltage-clamp method to quantify responses to acetylcholine (ACh): agonist sensitivity (EC50), maximal agonist-induced current (Imax), and time constant () of desensitization. For β4–α3–α3–β4–α3 and β4–α3–β4–α3–α3, LYPD6B decreased EC50 from 631 to 79 μM, reduced Imax by at least 59%, and decreased . For β4–α3–α5D–β4–α3 and β4–α3–β4–α–α5D, LYPD6B decreased Imax by 63 and 32%, respectively. Thus, LYPD6B acted only on (α3)3(β4)2 and (α3)2(α5D)(β4)2 and did not affect the properties of (α3)2(β4)3, α7, or (α3)2(α5N)(β4)2 nAChRs. Therefore, LYPD6B acts as a mixed modulator that enhances the sensitivity of (α3)3(β4)2 nAChRs to ACh while reducing ACh-induced whole-cell currents. LYPD6B also negatively modulates α3β4 nAChRs that include the α5D common human variant, but not the N variant associated with nicotine dependence.—Ochoa, V., George, A. A., Nishi, R., Whiteaker, P. The prototoxin LYPD6B modulates heteromeric α3β4-containing nicotinic acetylcholine receptors, but not α7 homomers.

STAT-3 contributes to pulmonary fibrosis through epithelial injury and fibroblast-myofibroblast differentiation [Research Communication]

Lung fibrosis is the hallmark of the interstitial lung diseases. Alveolar epithelial cell (AEC) injury is a key step that contributes to a profibrotic microenvironment. Fibroblasts and myofibroblasts subsequently accumulate and deposit excessive extracellular matrix. In addition to TGF-β, the IL-6 family of cytokines, which signal through STAT-3, may also contribute to lung fibrosis. In the current manuscript, the extent to which STAT-3 inhibition decreases lung fibrosis is investigated. Phosphorylated STAT-3 was elevated in lung biopsies from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis and bleomycin (BLM)-induced fibrotic murine lungs. C-188-9, a small molecule STAT-3 inhibitor, decreased pulmonary fibrosis in the intraperitoneal BLM model as assessed by arterial oxygen saturation (control, 84.4 ± 1.3%; C-188-9, 94.4 ± 0.8%), histology (Ashcroft score: untreated, 5.4 ± 0.25; C-188-9, 3.3 ± 0.14), and attenuated fibrotic markers such as diminished α–smooth muscle actin, reduced collagen deposition. In addition, C-188-9 decreased the expression of epithelial injury markers, including hypoxia-inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) and plasminogen activator inhibitor-1 (PAI-1). In vitro studies show that inhibition of STAT-3 decreased IL-6– and TGF-β–induced expression of multiple genes, including HIF-1α and PAI-1, in AECs. Furthermore, C-188-9 decreased fibroblast-to-myofibroblast differentiation. Finally, TGF-β stimulation of lung fibroblasts resulted in SMAD2/SMAD3-dependent phosphorylation of STAT-3. These findings demonstrate that STAT-3 contributes to the development of lung fibrosis and suggest that STAT-3 may be a therapeutic target in pulmonary fibrosis.—Pedroza, M., Le, T. T., Lewis, K., Karmouty-Quintana, H., To, S., George, A. T., Blackburn, M. R., Tweardy, D. J., Agarwal, S. K. STAT-3 contributes to pulmonary fibrosis through epithelial injury and fibroblast-myofibroblast differentiation.