The synthesis of cholesterol and fatty acids (FA) in liver is independently regulated by SREBP-2 and SREBP-1c, respectively. Here we genetically deleted Srebf-2 from hepatocytes and confirmed that SREBP-2 regulates all genes involved in cholesterol biosynthesis, the LDL receptor, and PCSK9; a secreted protein that degrades LDL receptors in liver. Surprisingly, we found that elimination of Srebf-2 in hepatocytes of mice also markedly reduced SREBP-1c and the expression of all genes involved in FA and triglyceride synthesis that are normally regulated by SREBP-1c. The nuclear receptor LXR is necessary for Srebf-1c transcription. The deletion of Srebf-2 and subsequent lower sterol synthesis in hepatocytes eliminated the production of an endogenous sterol ligand required for LXR activity and SREBP-1c expression. These studies demonstrate that cholesterol and FA synthesis in hepatocytes are coupled and that flux through the cholesterol biosynthetic pathway is required for maximal SREBP-1c expression and high rates of FA synthesis.
- Jay D Horton
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All animal experiments were performed with approval of the Institutional Animal Care and Research Advisory Committee at UT Southwestern.
- Peter Tontonoz, University of California, Los Angeles, United States
© 2017, Rong et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Splicing is highly regulated and is modulated by numerous factors. Quantitative predictions for how a mutation will affect precursor mRNA (pre-mRNA) structure and downstream function are particularly challenging. Here, we use a novel chemical probing strategy to visualize endogenous precursor and mature MAPT mRNA structures in cells. We used these data to estimate Boltzmann suboptimal structural ensembles, which were then analyzed to predict consequences of mutations on pre-mRNA structure. Further analysis of recent cryo-EM structures of the spliceosome at different stages of the splicing cycle revealed that the footprint of the Bact complex with pre-mRNA best predicted alternative splicing outcomes for exon 10 inclusion of the alternatively spliced MAPT gene, achieving 74% accuracy. We further developed a β-regression weighting framework that incorporates splice site strength, RNA structure, and exonic/intronic splicing regulatory elements capable of predicting, with 90% accuracy, the effects of 47 known and 6 newly discovered mutations on inclusion of exon 10 of MAPT. This combined experimental and computational framework represents a path forward for accurate prediction of splicing-related disease-causing variants.
In the first meiotic cell division, proper segregation of chromosomes in most organisms depends on chiasmata, exchanges of continuity between homologous chromosomes that originate from the repair of programmed double-strand breaks (DSBs) catalyzed by the Spo11 endonuclease. Since DSBs can lead to irreparable damage in germ cells, while chromosomes lacking DSBs also lack chiasmata, the number of DSBs must be carefully regulated to be neither too high nor too low. Here, we show that in Caenorhabditis elegans, meiotic DSB levels are controlled by the phosphoregulation of DSB-1, a homolog of the yeast Spo11 cofactor Rec114, by the opposing activities of PP4PPH-4.1 phosphatase and ATRATL-1 kinase. Increased DSB-1 phosphorylation in pph-4.1 mutants correlates with reduction in DSB formation, while prevention of DSB-1 phosphorylation drastically increases the number of meiotic DSBs both in pph-4.1 mutants as well as in the wild type background. C. elegans and its close relatives also possess a diverged paralog of DSB-1, called DSB-2, and loss of dsb-2 is known to reduce DSB formation in oocytes with increasing age. We show that the proportion of the phosphorylated, and thus inactivated, form of DSB-1 increases with age and upon loss of DSB-2, while non-phosphorylatable DSB-1 rescues the age-dependent decrease in DSBs in dsb-2 mutants. These results suggest that DSB-2 evolved in part to compensate for the inactivation of DSB-1 through phosphorylation, to maintain levels of DSBs in older animals. Our work shows that PP4PPH-4.1, ATRATL-1, and DSB-2 act in concert with DSB-1 to promote optimal DSB levels throughout the reproductive lifespan.