Several virulence lipids populate the outer cell wall of pathogenic mycobacteria (Jackson, 2014). Phthiocerol dimycocerosate (PDIM), one of the most abundant outer membrane lipids (Anderson, 1929), plays important roles in both defending against host antimicrobial programs (Camacho et al., 2001; Cox et al., 1999; Murry et al., 2009) and in evading these programs altogether (Cambier et al., 2014a; Rousseau et al., 2004). Immediately following infection, mycobacteria rely on PDIM to evade Myd88-dependent recruitment of microbicidal monocytes which can clear infection (Cambier et al., 2014b). To circumvent the limitations in using genetics to understand virulence lipids, we developed a chemical approach to track PDIM during Mycobacterium marinum infection of zebrafish. We found that PDIM's methyl-branched lipid tails enabled it to spread into host epithelial membranes to prevent immune activation. Additionally, PDIM's affinity for cholesterol promoted this phenotype; treatment of zebrafish with statins, cholesterol synthesis inhibitors, decreased spreading and provided protection from infection. This work establishes that interactions between host and pathogen lipids influence mycobacterial infectivity and suggests the use of statins as tuberculosis preventive therapy by inhibiting PDIM spread.
All data generated or analyzed during this study are included in the manuscript and supporting files.
- Carolyn R Bertozzi
- CJ Cambier
- Steven M Banik
- Joseph A Buonomo
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Animal experimentation: All experiments performed on zebrafish were in compliance with the U.S. National Institutes of Health guidelines. All animals were handled according to approved Stanford Institutional Animal Care and Use Committee protocol APLAC-30262.
- Christina L Stallings, Washington University School of Medicine, United States
© 2020, Cambier 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.
Dynamic Ca2+ signals reflect acute changes in membrane excitability, and also mediate signaling cascades in chronic processes. In both cases, chronic Ca2+ imaging is often desired, but challenged by the cytotoxicity intrinsic to calmodulin (CaM)-based GCaMP, a series of genetically-encoded Ca2+ indicators that have been widely applied. Here, we demonstrate the performance of GCaMP-X in chronic Ca2+ imaging of cortical neurons, where GCaMP-X by design is to eliminate the unwanted interactions between the conventional GCaMP and endogenous (apo)CaM-binding proteins. By expressing in adult mice at high levels over an extended time frame, GCaMP-X showed less damage and improved performance in two-photon imaging of sensory (whisker-deflection) responses or spontaneous Ca2+ fluctuations, in comparison with GCaMP. Chronic Ca2+ imaging of one month or longer was conducted for cultured cortical neurons expressing GCaMP-X, unveiling that spontaneous/local Ca2+ transients progressively developed into autonomous/global Ca2+ oscillations. Along with the morphological indices of neurite length and soma size, the major metrics of oscillatory Ca2+, including rate, amplitude and synchrony were also examined. Dysregulations of both neuritogenesis and Ca2+ oscillations became discernible around 2–3 weeks after virus injection or drug induction to express GCaMP in newborn or mature neurons, which were exacerbated by stronger or prolonged expression of GCaMP. In contrast, neurons expressing GCaMP-X were significantly less damaged or perturbed, altogether highlighting the unique importance of oscillatory Ca2+ to neural development and neuronal health. In summary, GCaMP-X provides a viable solution for Ca2+ imaging applications involving long-time and/or high-level expression of Ca2+ probes.
N6-methyladenosine (m6A) RNA modification impacts mRNA fate primarily via reader proteins, which dictate processes in development, stress, and disease. Yet little is known about m6A function in Saccharomyces cerevisiae, which occurs solely during early meiosis. Here we perform a multifaceted analysis of the m6A reader protein Pho92/Mrb1. Cross-linking immunoprecipitation analysis reveals that Pho92 associates with the 3’end of meiotic mRNAs in both an m6A-dependent and independent manner. Within cells, Pho92 transitions from the nucleus to the cytoplasm, and associates with translating ribosomes. In the nucleus Pho92 associates with target loci through its interaction with transcriptional elongator Paf1C. Functionally, we show that Pho92 promotes and links protein synthesis to mRNA decay. As such, the Pho92-mediated m6A-mRNA decay is contingent on active translation and the CCR4-NOT complex. We propose that the m6A reader Pho92 is loaded co-transcriptionally to facilitate protein synthesis and subsequent decay of m6A modified transcripts, and thereby promotes meiosis.