Signaling pathways often transmit multiple signals through a single shared transcription factor (TF) and encode signal information by differentially regulating TF dynamics. However, signal information will be lost unless it can be reliably decoded by downstream genes. To understand the limits on dynamic information transduction, we apply information theory to quantify how much gene expression information the yeast TF Msn2 can transduce to target genes in the amplitude or frequency of its activation dynamics. We find that although the amount of information transmitted by Msn2 to single target genes is limited, information transduction can be increased by modulating promoter cis-elements or by integrating information from multiple genes. By correcting for extrinsic noise, we estimate an upper bound on information transduction. Overall, we find that information transduction through amplitude and frequency regulation of Msn2 is limited to error-free transduction of signal identity, but not signal intensity information.
- Naama Barkai, Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel
© 2015, Hansen & O'Shea
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Mitochondrial dysfunction has been reported in obesity and insulin resistance, but primary genetic mitochondrial dysfunction is generally not associated with these, arguing against a straightforward causal relationship. A rare exception, recently identified in humans, is a syndrome of lower body adipose loss, leptin-deficient severe upper body adipose overgrowth, and insulin resistance caused by the p.Arg707Trp mutation in MFN2, encoding mitofusin 2. How the resulting selective form of mitochondrial dysfunction leads to tissue- and adipose depot-specific growth abnormalities and systemic biochemical perturbation is unknown. To address this, Mfn2R707W/R707W knock-in mice were generated and phenotyped on chow and high fat diets. Electron microscopy revealed adipose-specific mitochondrial morphological abnormalities. Oxidative phosphorylation measured in isolated mitochondria was unperturbed, but the cellular integrated stress response was activated in adipose tissue. Fat mass and distribution, body weight, and systemic glucose and lipid metabolism were unchanged, however serum leptin and adiponectin concentrations, and their secretion from adipose explants were reduced. Pharmacological induction of the integrated stress response in wild-type adipocytes also reduced secretion of leptin and adiponectin, suggesting an explanation for the in vivo findings. These data suggest that the p.Arg707Trp MFN2 mutation selectively perturbs mitochondrial morphology and activates the integrated stress response in adipose tissue. In mice, this does not disrupt most adipocyte functions or systemic metabolism, whereas in humans it is associated with pathological adipose remodelling and metabolic disease. In both species, disproportionate effects on leptin secretion may relate to cell autonomous induction of the integrated stress response.
Oral inflammatory diseases such as apical periodontitis are common bacterial infectious diseases that may affect the periapical alveolar bone tissues. A protective process occurs simultaneously with the inflammatory tissue destruction, in which mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) play a primary role. However, a systematic and precise description of the cellular and molecular composition of the microenvironment of bone affected by inflammation is lacking. In this study, we created a single cell atlas of cell populations that compose alveolar bone in healthy and inflammatory disease states. We investigated changes in expression frequency and patterns related to apical periodontitis, as well as the interactions between MSCs and immunocytes. Our results highlight an enhanced self-supporting network and osteogenic potential within MSCs during apical periodontitis-associated inflammation. MSCs not only differentiated towards osteoblast lineage cells, but also expressed higher levels of osteogenic related markers, including Sparc and Col1a1. This was confirmed by lineage tracing in transgenic mouse models and human samples from oral inflammatory-related alveolar bone lesions. In summary, the current study provides an in-depth description of the microenvironment of MSCs and immunocytes in both healthy and disease states. We also identified key apical periodontitis-associated MSC subclusters and their biomarkers, which could further our understanding of the protective process and the underlying mechanisms of oral inflammatory-related bone disease. Taken together, these results enhance our understanding of heterogeneity and cellular interactions of alveolar bone cells under pathogenic and inflammatory conditions. We provide these data as a tool for investigators not only to better appreciate the repertoire of progenitors that are stress responsive but importantly to help design new therapeutic targets to restore bone lesions caused by apical periodontitis and other inflammatory-related bone diseases.