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Distinct and shared endothermic strategies in the heat producing tissues of tuna and other teleosts

Although most fishes are ectothermic, some, including tuna and billfish, achieve endothermy through specialized heat producing tissues that are modified muscles. How these heat producing tissues evolved, and whether they share convergent molecular mechanisms, remain unresolved. Here, we generated a high-quality genome from the mackerel tuna (Euthynnus affinis) and investigated the heat producing tissues of this fish by single-nucleus and bulk RNA sequencing. Compared with other teleosts, tuna-specific genetic variation is strongly associated with muscle differentiation. Single-nucleus RNA-seq revealed a high proportion of specific slow skeletal muscle cell subtypes in the heat producing tissues of tuna. Marker genes of this cell subtype are associated with the relative sliding of actin and myosin, suggesting that tuna endothermy is mainly based on shivering thermogenesis. In contrast, cross-species transcriptome analysis indicated that endothermy in billfish relies mainly on non-shivering thermogenesis. Nevertheless, the heat producing tissues of the different species do share some tissue-specific genes, including vascular-related and mitochondrial genes. Overall, although tunas and billfishes differ in their thermogenic strategies, they share similar expression patterns in some respects, highlighting the complexity of convergent evolution.

Nematode-induced trap formation regulated by the histone H3K4 methyltransferase AoSET1 in the nematode-trapping fungus Arthrobotrys oligospora

The methylation of lysine 4 of histone H3 (H3K4), catalyzed by the histone methyltransferase KMT2/SET1, has been functionally identified in many pathogenic fungi but remains unexplored in nematode-trapping fungi (NTFs). Here, we report a regulatory mechanism of an H3K4-specific SET1 orthologue, AoSET1, in the typical nematode-trapping fungus Arthrobotrys oligospora. When the fungus is induced by the nematode, the expression of AoSET1 is up-regulated. Disruption of AoSet1 led to the abolishment of H3K4me. Consequently, the yield of traps and conidia of ΔAoSet1 was significantly lower than that of the WT strain, and the growth rate and pathogenicity were also compromised. Moreover, H3K4 trimethylation was enriched mainly in the promoter of two bZip transcription factor genes (AobZip129 and AobZip350) and ultimately up-regulated the expression level of these two transcription factor genes. In the ΔAoSet1 and AoH3K4A strains, the H3K4me modification level was significantly decreased at the promoter of transcription factor genes AobZip129 and AobZip350. These results suggest that AoSET1-mediated H3KEme serves as an epigenetic marker of the promoter region of the targeted transcription factor genes. Furthermore, we found that AobZip129 negatively regulates the formation of adhesive networks and the pathogenicity of downstream AoPABP1 and AoCPR1. Our findings confirm that the epigenetic regulatory mechanism plays a pivotal role in regulating trap formation and pathogenesis in NTFs, and provide novel insights into the mechanisms of interaction between NTFs and nematodes.

Endothelial extracellular vesicles induce acute lung injury via follistatin-like protein 1

Cardiopulmonary bypass has been speculated to elicit systemic inflammation to initiate acute lung injury (ALI), including acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), in patients after cardiac surgery. We previously found that post-operative patients showed an increase in endothelial cell-derived extracellular vesicles (eEVs) with components of coagulation and acute inflammatory responses. However, the mechanism underlying the onset of ALI owing to the release of eEVs after cardiopulmonary bypass, remains unclear. Plasma plasminogen-activated inhibitor-1 (PAI-1) and eEV levels were measured in patients with cardiopulmonary bypass. Endothelial cells and mice (C57BL/6, Toll-like receptor 4 knockout (TLR4-/-) and inducible nitric oxide synthase knockout (iNOS-/-)) were challenged with eEVs isolated from PAI-1-stimulated endothelial cells. Plasma PAI-1 and eEVs were remarkably enhanced after cardiopulmonary bypass. Plasma PAI-1 elevation was positively correlated with the increase in eEVs. The increase in plasma PAI-1 and eEV levels was associated with post-operative ARDS. The eEVs derived from PAI-1-stimulated endothelial cells could recognize TLR4 to stimulate a downstream signaling cascade identified as the Janus kinase 2/3 (JAK2/3)-signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3)-interferon regulatory factor 1 (IRF-1) pathway, along with iNOS induction, and cytokine/chemokine production in vascular endothelial cells and C57BL/6 mice, ultimately contributing to ALI. ALI could be attenuated by JAK2/3 or STAT3 inhibitors (AG490 or S3I-201, respectively), and was relieved in TLR4-/- and iNOS-/- mice. eEVs activate the TLR4/JAK3/STAT3/IRF-1 signaling pathway to induce ALI/ARDS by delivering follistatin-like protein 1 (FSTL1), and FSTL1 knockdown in eEVs alleviates eEV-induced ALI/ARDS. Our data thus demonstrate that cardiopulmonary bypass may increase plasma PAI-1 levels to induce FSTL1-enriched eEVs, which target the TLR4-mediated JAK2/3/STAT3/IRF-1 signaling cascade and form a positive feedback loop, leading to ALI/ARDS after cardiac surgery. Our findings provide new insight into the molecular mechanisms and therapeutic targets for ALI/ARDS after cardiac surgery.

Open Access
Human TRMT1 catalyzes m2G or m22G formation on tRNAs in a substrate-dependent manner

TRMT1 is an N2-methylguanosine (m2G) and N2,N2-methylguanosine (m22G) methyltransferase that targets G26 of both cytoplasmic and mitochondrial tRNAs. In higher eukaryotes, most cytoplasmic tRNAs with G26 carry m22G26, although the majority of mitochondrial G26-containing tRNAs carry m2G26 or G26, suggesting differences in the mechanisms by which TRMT1 catalyzes modification of these tRNAs. Loss-of-function mutations of human TRMT1 result in neurological disorders and completely abrogate tRNA:m22G26 formation. However, the mechanism underlying the independent catalytic activity of human TRMT1 and identity of its specific substrate remain elusive, hindering a comprehensive understanding of the pathogenesis of neurological disorders caused by TRMT1 mutations. Here, we showed that human TRMT1 independently catalyzes formation of the tRNA:m2G26 or m22G26 modification in a substrate-dependent manner, which explains the distinct distribution of m2G26 and m22G26 on cytoplasmic and mitochondrial tRNAs. For human TRMT1-mediated tRNA:m22G26 formation, the semi-conserved C11:G24 serves as the determinant, and the U10:A25 or G10:C25 base pair is also required, while the size of the variable loop has no effect. We defined the requirements of this recognition mechanism as the "m22G26 criteria". We found that the m22G26 modification occurred in almost all the higher eukaryotic tRNAs conforming to these criteria, suggesting the "m22G26 criteria" are applicable to other higher eukaryotic tRNAs.