Neuronatin (Nnat) is an imprinted gene implicated in human obesity and widely expressed in neuroendocrine and metabolic tissues in a hormone- and nutrient-sensitive manner. However, its molecular and cellular functions and precise role in organismal physiology remain only partly defined. Here we demonstrate that mice lacking Nnat globally or specifically in β cells display impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion leading to defective glucose handling under conditions of nutrient excess. In contrast, we report no evidence for any feeding or body weight phenotypes in global Nnat-null mice. At the molecular level neuronatin augments insulin signal peptide cleavage by binding to the signal peptidase complex and facilitates translocation of the nascent preprohormone. Loss of neuronatin expression in β cells therefore reduces insulin content and blunts glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Nnat expression, in turn, is glucose-regulated. This mechanism therefore represents a novel site of nutrient-sensitive control of β cell function and whole-animal glucose homeostasis. These data also suggest a potential wider role for Nnat in the regulation of metabolism through the modulation of peptide processing events.
Steven J. Millership, Gabriela Da Silva Xavier, Agharul I. Choudhury, Sergio Bertazzo, Pauline Chabosseau, Silvia M.A. Pedroni, Elaine E. Irvine, Alex Montoya, Peter Faull, William R. Taylor, Julie Kerr-Conte, Francois Pattou, Jorge Ferrer, Mark Christian, Rosalind M. John, Mathieu Latreille, Ming Liu, Guy A. Rutter, James Scott, Dominic J. Withers
Atherosclerosis is a chronic inflammatory disease of the vasculature that is initiated by cholesterol deposition into the arterial wall, which triggers the infiltration of immune and inflammatory cells, including monocytes and macrophages. As atherosclerotic plaques progress, localized hypoxia promotes compensatory angiogenesis from the vasa vasorum. Immature neovessels are prone to leakage, thus destabilizing the plaque and leading to intraplaque hemorrhage. Macrophages with different phenotypes, ranging from classical inflammatory subtypes to alternatively activated antiinflammatory macrophages, have been identified in atherosclerotic lesions. Antiinflammatory hemoglobin-scavenging CD163+ macrophages are present in neovessel- and hemorrhage-rich areas; however, the role of these macrophages in atherogenesis has been unclear. In this issue of the JCI, Guo, Akahori, and colleagues show that CD163+ macrophages promote angiogenesis, vessel permeability, and leucocyte infiltration in human and mouse atherosclerotic lesions through a mechanism involving hemoglobin:haptoglobin/CD163/HIF1α-mediated VEGF induction. This study thus identifies proatherogenic properties of CD163+ macrophages, which previously were thought to be beneficial.
Benoit Pourcet, Bart Staels
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS) are associated with disease-initiating stem cells that are not eliminated by conventional therapies. Transcriptomic analysis of stem and progenitor populations in MDS and AML demonstrated overexpression of STAT3 that was validated in an independent cohort. STAT3 overexpression was predictive of a shorter survival and worse clinical features in a large MDS cohort. High STAT3 expression signature in MDS CD34+ cells was similar to known preleukemic gene signatures. Functionally, STAT3 inhibition by a clinical, antisense oligonucleotide, AZD9150, led to reduced viability and increased apoptosis in leukemic cell lines. AZD9150 was rapidly incorporated by primary MDS/AML stem and progenitor cells and led to increased hematopoietic differentiation. STAT3 knockdown also impaired leukemic growth in vivo and led to decreased expression of MCL1 and other oncogenic genes in malignant cells. These studies demonstrate that STAT3 is an adverse prognostic factor in MDS/AML and provide a preclinical rationale for studies using AZD9150 in these diseases.
Aditi Shastri, Gaurav Choudhary, Margarida Teixeira, Shanisha Gordon-Mitchell, Nandini Ramachandra, Lumie Bernard, Sanchari Bhattacharyya, Robert Lopez, Kith Pradhan, Orsolya Giricz, Goutham Ravipati, Li-Fan Wong, Sally Cole, Tushar D. Bhagat, Jonathan Feld, Yosman Dhar, Matthias Bartenstein, Victor J. Thiruthuvanathan, Amittha Wickrema, B. Hilda Ye, David A. Frank, Andrea Pellagatti, Jacqueline Boultwood, Tianyuan Zhou, Youngsoo Kim, A. Robert MacLeod, P.K. Epling-Burnette, Minwei Ye, Patricia McCoon, Richard Woessner, Ulrich Steidl, Britta Will, Amit Verma
BACKGROUND. The effect of a brief analytical treatment interruption (ATI) on the HIV-1 latent reservoir of individuals who initiate antiretroviral therapy (ART) during chronic infection is unknown. METHODS. We evaluated the impact of transient viremia on the latent reservoir in participants who underwent an ATI and at least 6 months of subsequent viral suppression in a clinical trial testing the effect of passive infusion of the broadly neutralizing Ab VRC01 during ATI. RESULTS. Measures of total HIV-1 DNA, cell-associated RNA, and infectious units per million cells (IUPM) (measured by quantitative viral outgrowth assay [QVOA]) were not statistically different before or after ATI. Phylogenetic analyses of HIV-1 env sequences from QVOA and proviral DNA demonstrated little change in the composition of the virus populations comprising the pre- and post-ATI reservoir. Expanded clones were common in both QVOA and proviral DNA sequences. The frequency of clonal populations differed significantly between QVOA viruses, proviral DNA sequences, and the viruses that reactivated in vivo. CONCLUSIONS. The results indicate that transient viremia from ATI does not substantially alter measures of the latent reservoir, that clonal expansion is prevalent within the latent reservoir, and that characterization of latent viruses that can reactivate in vivo remains challenging. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02463227 FUNDING. Funding was provided by the NIH.
D. Brenda Salantes, Yu Zheng, Felicity Mampe, Tuhina Srivastava, Subul Beg, Jun Lai, Jonathan Z. Li, Randall L. Tressler, Richard A. Koup, James Hoxie, Mohamed Abdel-Mohsen, Scott Sherrill-Mix, Kevin McCormick, E. Turner Overton, Frederic D. Bushman, Gerald H. Learn, Robert F. Siliciano, Janet M. Siliciano, Pablo Tebas, Katharine J. Bar
The mechanisms that drive T cell aging are not understood. We report that children and adult telomerase mutation carriers with short telomere length (TL) develop a T cell immunodeficiency that can manifest in the absence of bone marrow failure and causes life-threatening opportunistic infections. Mutation carriers shared T cell–aging phenotypes seen in adults 5 decades older, including depleted naive T cells, increased apoptosis, and restricted T cell repertoire. T cell receptor excision circles (TRECs) were also undetectable or low, suggesting that newborn screening may identify individuals with germline telomere maintenance defects. Telomerase-null mice with short TL showed defects throughout T cell development, including increased apoptosis of stimulated thymocytes, their intrathymic precursors, in addition to depleted hematopoietic reserves. When we examined the transcriptional programs of T cells from telomerase mutation carriers, we found they diverged from older adults with normal TL. Short telomere T cells upregulated DNA damage and intrinsic apoptosis pathways, while older adult T cells upregulated extrinsic apoptosis pathways and programmed cell death 1 (PD-1) expression. T cells from mice with short TL also showed an active DNA-damage response, in contrast with old WT mice, despite their shared propensity to apoptosis. Our data suggest there are TL-dependent and TL-independent mechanisms that differentially contribute to distinct molecular programs of T cell apoptosis with aging.
Christa L. Wagner, Vidya Sagar Hanumanthu, C. Conover Talbot Jr., Roshini S. Abraham, David Hamm, Dustin L. Gable, Christopher G. Kanakry, Carolyn D. Applegate, Janet Siliciano, J. Brooks Jackson, Stephen Desiderio, Jonathan K. Alder, Leo Luznik, Mary Armanios
Immune nonresponder (INR) HIV-1–infected subjects are characterized by their inability to reconstitute the CD4+ T cell pool after antiretroviral therapy. This is linked to poor clinical outcome. Mechanisms underlying immune reconstitution failure are poorly understood, although, counterintuitively, INRs often have increased frequencies of circulating CD4+ T cells in the cell cycle. While cycling CD4+ T cells from healthy controls and HIV+ patients with restored CD4+ T cell numbers complete cell division in vitro, cycling CD4+ T cells from INRs do not. Here, we show that cells with the phenotype and transcriptional profile of Tregs were enriched among cycling cells in health and in HIV infection. Yet there were diminished frequencies and numbers of Tregs among cycling CD4+ T cells in INRs, and cycling CD4+ T cells from INR subjects displayed transcriptional profiles associated with the impaired development and maintenance of functional Tregs. Flow cytometric assessment of TGF-β activity confirmed the dysfunction of Tregs in INR subjects. Transcriptional profiling and flow cytometry revealed diminished mitochondrial fitness in Tregs among INRs, and cycling Tregs from INRs had low expression of the mitochondrial biogenesis regulators peroxisome proliferator–activated receptor γ coactivator 1-α (PGC1α) and transcription factor A for mitochondria (TFAM). In vitro exposure to IL-15 allowed cells to complete division, restored the expression of PGC1α and TFAM, and regenerated mitochondrial fitness in the cycling Tregs of INRs. Our data suggest that rescuing mitochondrial function could correct the immune dysfunction characteristic of Tregs in HIV-1–infected subjects who fail to restore CD4+ T cells during antiretroviral therapy.
Souheil-Antoine Younes, Aarthi Talla, Susan Pereira Ribeiro, Evgeniya V. Saidakova, Larisa B. Korolevskaya, Konstantin V. Shmagel, Carey L. Shive, Michael L. Freeman, Soumya Panigrahi, Sophia Zweig, Robert Balderas, Leonid Margolis, Daniel C. Douek, Donald D. Anthony, Pushpa Pandiyan, Mark Cameron, Scott F. Sieg, Leonard H. Calabrese, Benigno Rodriguez, Michael M. Lederman
Malaria, caused by mosquito-transmitted Plasmodium parasites, continues to take a major toll on global health. The development of drugs and vaccines that reduce malaria transmission from humans back to mosquitos could contribute to the control and eventual eradication of malaria, but research models for the early clinical evaluation of candidate interventions are lacking. In this issue of the JCI, Collins and colleagues report the successful transmission of Plasmodium falciparum parasites from humans to mosquitoes during controlled human malaria infection, thus providing a potential tool to accelerate the development of much needed transmission-blocking drugs and vaccines.
Kazutoyo Miura, Peter D. Crompton
Oncolytic viruses (OVs) are a versatile new class of therapeutic agents based on native or genetically modified viruses that selectively replicate in tumor cells and can express therapeutic transgenes designed to target cells within the tumor microenvironment and/or host immunity. To date, however, confirmation of the underlying mechanism of action and an understanding of innate and acquired drug resistance for most OVs have been limited. In this issue of the JCI, Zamarin et al. report a comprehensive analysis of an oncolytic Newcastle disease virus (NDV) using both murine melanoma tumor models and human tumor explants to explore how the virus promotes tumor eradication and details of the mechanisms involved. These findings have implications for the optimization of oncolytic immunotherapy, at least that based on NDV, and further confirm that specific combinatorial approaches are promising for clinical development.
Praveen K. Bommareddy, Howard L. Kaufman
A homozygous truncating frameshift mutation in CEP57 (CEP57T/T) has been identified in a subset of mosaic-variegated aneuploidy (MVA) patients; however, the physiological roles of the centrosome-associated protein CEP57 that contribute to disease are unknown. To investigate these, we have generated a mouse model mimicking this disease mutation. Cep57T/T mice died within 24 hours after birth with short, curly tails and severely impaired vertebral ossification. Osteoblasts in lumbosacral vertebrae of Cep57T/T mice were deficient for Fgf2, a Cep57 binding partner implicated in diverse biological processes, including bone formation. Furthermore, a broad spectrum of tissues of Cep57T/T mice had severe aneuploidy at birth, consistent with the MVA patient phenotype. Cep57T/T mouse embryonic fibroblasts and patient-derived skin fibroblasts failed to undergo centrosome maturation in G2 phase, causing premature centriole disjunction, centrosome amplification, aberrant spindle formation, and high rates of chromosome missegregation. Mice heterozygous for the truncating frameshift mutation or a Cep57-null allele were overtly indistinguishable from WT mice despite reduced Cep57 protein levels, yet prone to aneuploidization and cancer, with tumors lacking evidence for loss of heterozygosity. This study identifies Cep57 as a haploinsufficient tumor suppressor with biologically diverse roles in centrosome maturation and Fgf2-mediated bone formation.
Khaled Aziz, Cynthia J. Sieben, Karthik B. Jeganathan, Masakazu Hamada, Brian A. Davies, Raul O. Fierro Velasco, Nazneen Rahman, David J. Katzmann, Jan M. van Deursen
Bone formation and resorption are tightly coupled, and dysfunction of either process leads to bone diseases, such as osteoporosis. Bone-forming agents have been explored clinically to increase bone density; however, long-term efficacy of these strategies is limited due to the accompanying increase in resorption in response to increased bone formation. Axonal guidance molecules have recently been shown to regulate formation-resorption coupling and thus have the potential for osteoporosis therapy. In this issue of the JCI, Kim et al. demonstrate that osteoclast-secreted SLIT3 influences bone formation and resorption by promoting osteoblast migration and suppressing osteoclast differentiation. Activation of SLIT3/ROBO signaling in ovariectomized mice increased bone mass, suggesting that SLIT3 should be further explored as a therapeutic target.
Jameel Iqbal, Tony Yuen, Se-Min Kim, Mone Zaidi
Intestinal tuft cells are a morphologically unique cell type, best characterized by striking microvilli that form an apical tuft. These cells represent approximately 0.5% of gut epithelial cells depending on location. While they are known to express chemosensory receptors, their function has remained unclear. Recently, numerous groups have revealed startling insights into intestinal tuft cell biology. Here, we review the latest developments in understanding this peculiar cell type’s structure and function. Recent advances in volumetric microscopy have begun to elucidate tuft cell ultrastructure with respect to its cellular neighbors. Moreover, single-cell approaches have revealed greater diversity in the tuft cell population than previously appreciated and uncovered novel markers to characterize this heterogeneity. Finally, advanced model systems have revealed tuft cells’ roles in mucosal healing and orchestrating type 2 immunity against eukaryotic infection. While much remains unknown about intestinal tuft cells, these critical advances have illuminated the physiological importance of these previously understudied cells and provided experimentally tractable tools to interrogate this rare cell population. Tuft cells act as luminal sensors, linking the luminal microbiome to the host immune system, which may make them a potent clinical target for modulating host response to a variety of acute or chronic immune-driven conditions.
Amrita Banerjee, Eliot T. McKinley, Jakob von Moltke, Robert J. Coffey, Ken S. Lau
Yaniv Zohar, Gizi Wildbaum, Rostislav Novak, Andrew L. Salzman, Marcus Thelen, Ronen Alon, Yiftah Barsheshet, Christopher L. Karp, Nathan Karin
For gene therapy of gain-of-function autosomal dominant diseases, either correcting or deleting the disease allele is potentially curative. To test whether there may be an advantage of one approach over the other for WHIM (warts, hypogammaglobulinemia, infections, and myelokathexis) syndrome — a primary immunodeficiency disorder caused by gain-of-function autosomal dominant mutations in chemokine receptor CXCR4 — we performed competitive transplantation experiments using both lethally irradiated WT (Cxcr4+/+) and unconditioned WHIM (Cxcr4+/w) recipient mice. In both models, hematopoietic reconstitution was markedly superior using BM cells from donors hemizygous for Cxcr4 (Cxcr4+/o) compared with BM cells from Cxcr4+/+ donors. Remarkably, only approximately 6% Cxcr4+/o hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) chimerism after transplantation in unconditioned Cxcr4+/w recipient BM supported more than 70% long-term donor myeloid chimerism in blood and corrected myeloid cell deficiency in blood. Donor Cxcr4+/o HSCs differentiated normally and did not undergo exhaustion as late as 465 days after transplantation. Thus, disease allele deletion resulting in Cxcr4 haploinsufficiency was superior to disease allele repair in a mouse model of gene therapy for WHIM syndrome, allowing correction of leukopenia without recipient conditioning.
Ji-Liang Gao, Erin Yim, Marie Siwicki, Alexander Yang, Qian Liu, Ari Azani, Albert Owusu-Ansah, David H. McDermott, Philip M. Murphy
As oncogenes drive carcinogenesis and promote cancer cell survival, they are highly attractive therapeutic targets, and oncogene-targeting small molecules have achieved some clinical success. While many oncogenes are presently considered to be “druggable,” tumors often acquire treatment resistance, and patients are rarely cured in response to oncogene-specific treatment. In this issue of the JCI, Veatch and colleagues describe a patient with metastatic acral melanoma who experienced a complete tumor response following infusion of tumor-infiltrating T cells that targeted multiple tumor antigens, including a BRAFV600E driver mutation. T cells genetically engineered to express an anti-BRAFV600E T cell receptor (TCR) from the patient demonstrated recognition of an epitope that spanned the BRAFV600E mutation. These findings suggest that BRAFV600E might be targeted therapeutically with adoptive transfer of anti-BRAFV600E T cells. This research supports the emerging therapeutic paradigm of targeting oncogenic drivers with T cell immunotherapy.
Christian S. Hinrichs
Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitors (PARPis) are DNA-damaging agents that trap PARP-DNA complexes and interfere with DNA replication. Three PARPis — olaparib, niraparib, and rucaparib — were recently approved by the FDA for the treatment of breast and ovarian cancers. These PARPis, along with 2 others (talazoparib and veliparib), are being evaluated for their potential to treat additional malignancies, including prostate cancers. While lack of PARP-1 confers high resistance to PARPis, it has not been established whether or not the levels of PARP-1 directly correlate with tumor response. In this issue of the JCI, Makvandi and coworkers describe an approach to address this question using [18F]FluorThanatrace, an [18F]-labeled PARP-1 inhibitor, for PET. The tracer was taken up by patient tumor tissue and appeared to differentiate levels of PARP-1 expression; however, future studies should be aimed at determining if this tracer can be used to stratify patient response to PARPi therapy.
Anish Thomas, Junko Murai, Yves Pommier
The E3 ubiquitin ligase RNF8 plays critical roles in maintaining genomic stability by promoting the repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) through ubiquitin signaling. Abnormal activation of Notch signaling and defective repair of DSBs promote breast cancer risk. Here, we found that low expression of the full-length RNF8 correlated with poor prognosis for breast cancer patients. Our data revealed that in addition to its role in the repair of DSBs, RNF8 regulated Notch1 signaling and cell-fate determination of mammary luminal progenitors. Mechanistically, RNF8 acted as a negative regulator of Notch signaling by ubiquitylating the active NOTCH1 protein (N1ICD), leading to its degradation. Consistent with abnormal activation of Notch signaling and impaired repair of DSBs in Rnf8-mutant mammary epithelial cells, we observed increased risk of mammary tumorigenesis in mouse models for RNF8 deficiency. Notably, deficiency of RNF8 sensitized breast cancer cells to combination of pharmacological inhibitors of Notch signaling and poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP), suggesting implications for treatment of breast cancer associated with impaired RNF8 expression or function.
Li Li, Kiran Kumar Naidu Guturi, Brandon Gautreau, Parasvi S. Patel, Amine Saad, Mayako Morii, Francesca Mateo, Luis Palomero, Haithem Barbour, Antonio Gomez, Deborah Ng, Max Kotlyar, Chiara Pastrello, Hartland W. Jackson, Rama Khokha, Igor Jurisica, El Bachir Affar, Brian Raught, Otto Sanchez, Moulay Alaoui-Jamali, Miguel A. Pujana, Anne Hakem, Razq Hakem
Lysine-63–linked (K63-linked) polyubiquitination of TRAF3 coordinates the engagement of pattern-recognition receptors with recruited adaptor proteins and downstream activator TBK1 in pathways that induce type I IFN. Whether autoubiquitination or other E3 ligases mediate K63-linked TRAF3 polyubiquitination remains unclear. We demonstrated that mice deficient in the E3 ligase gene Hectd3 remarkably increased host defense against infection by intracellular bacteria Francisella novicida, Mycobacterium, and Listeria by limiting bacterial dissemination. In the absence of HECTD3, type I IFN response was impaired during bacterial infection both in vivo and in vitro. HECTD3 regulated type I IFN production by mediating K63-linked polyubiquitination of TRAF3 at residue K138. The catalytic domain of HECTD3 regulated TRAF3 K63 polyubiquitination, which enabled TRAF3-TBK1 complex formation. Our study offers insights into mechanisms of TRAF3 modulation and provides potential therapeutic targets against infections by intracellular bacteria and inflammatory diseases.
Fubing Li, Yang Li, Huichun Liang, Tao Xu, Yanjie Kong, Maobo Huang, Ji Xiao, Xi Chen, Houjun Xia, Yingying Wu, Zhongmei Zhou, Xiaomin Guo, Chunmiao Hu, Chuanyu Yang, Xu Cheng, Ceshi Chen, Xiaopeng Qi
Inheritance of the E4 allele of the apolipoprotein E gene (APOE4) substantially increases the risk of developing late-onset Alzheimer disease (AD). A large body of evidence has firmly established a role for apoE in modulating the risk of developing the amyloid plaque pathology that is pathognomonic for AD. In this issue of the JCI, Liao and colleagues discovered that antibodies against a nonlipidated form of apoE4 are highly effective in delaying the deposition of amyloid β (Aβ) peptides in mouse models of AD pathology. Using a combination of passive immunization and viral-mediated expression of recombinant antibodies, the authors show that Fc receptor–mediated clearance of the nonlipidated apoE4 was critical in delaying Aβ deposition. Collectively, this study identifies a new therapeutic target that could be exploited to prevent, or possibly reverse, the Aβ pathology of AD.
David R. Borchelt
Current therapies for pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) provide symptomatic relief and improve prognosis but fall short of improving long-term survival. There is emerging evidence for a role of inflammatory mediators, primarily IL-6, in the pathogenesis of PAH. However, the mechanisms by which IL-6 potentially affects PAH are unknown. In this issue of the JCI, Tamura, Phan, and colleagues identified ectopic upregulation of the membrane-bound IL-6 receptor (IL6R), indicating classical IL-6 signaling in the smooth muscle layer of remodeled vessels in human and experimental PAH. They performed a series of in vitro and in vivo experiments that provide deeper insights into the mechanisms of classical IL-6 signaling and propose interventions directed against IL6R as a potential therapeutic strategy for PAH.
Soni Savai Pullamsetti, Werner Seeger, Rajkumar Savai
Precision medicine seeks to treat disease with molecular specificity. Advances in genome sequence analysis, gene delivery, and genome surgery have allowed clinician-scientists to treat genetic conditions at the level of their pathology. As a result, progress in treating retinal disease using genetic tools has advanced tremendously over the past several decades. Breakthroughs in gene delivery vectors, both viral and nonviral, have allowed the delivery of genetic payloads in preclinical models of retinal disorders and have paved the way for numerous successful clinical trials. Moreover, the adaptation of CRISPR-Cas systems for genome engineering have enabled the correction of both recessive and dominant pathogenic alleles, expanding the disease-modifying power of gene therapies. Here, we highlight the translational progress of gene therapy and genome editing of several retinal disorders, including RPE65-, CEP290-, and GUY2D-associated Leber congenital amaurosis, as well as choroideremia, achromatopsia, Mer tyrosine kinase– (MERTK–) and RPGR X-linked retinitis pigmentosa, Usher syndrome, neovascular age-related macular degeneration, X-linked retinoschisis, Stargardt disease, and Leber hereditary optic neuropathy.
James E. DiCarlo, Vinit B. Mahajan, Stephen H. Tsang
Rasmussen’s encephalitis (RE) is a neuroinflammatory disease that typically affects only one hemisphere of the brain, resulting in severe seizures. Sixty years after the disease was first described, the preferred and best treatment option for RE is grotesque and involves removing a hemisphere of the brain (hemispherectomy); therefore, a better understanding of this seizure disorder may provide additional, less invasive therapeutic options. In this issue of the JCI, Carmant and colleagues have developed an animal model of this focal seizure disorder. The model provides experimental insights into the pathogenesis of RE and potential new treatments for this disease.
It is suggested that subtyping of complex inflammatory diseases can be based on genetic susceptibility and relevant environmental exposure (G+E). We propose that using matched cellular phenotypes in human subjects and corresponding preclinical models with the same G+E combinations is useful to this end. As an example, defective Paneth cells can subtype Crohn’s disease (CD) subjects; Paneth cell defects have been linked to multiple CD susceptibility genes and are associated with poor outcome. We hypothesized that CD susceptibility genes interact with cigarette smoking, a major CD environmental risk factor, to trigger Paneth cell defects. We found that both CD subjects and mice with ATG16L1T300A (T300A; a prevalent CD susceptibility allele) developed Paneth cell defects triggered by tobacco smoke. Transcriptional analysis of full-thickness ileum and Paneth cell–enriched crypt base cells showed the T300A-smoking combination altered distinct pathways, including proapoptosis, metabolic dysregulation, and selective downregulation of the PPARγ pathway. Pharmacologic intervention by either apoptosis inhibitor or PPARγ agonist rosiglitazone prevented smoking-induced crypt apoptosis and Paneth cell defects in T300A mice and mice with conditional Paneth cell–specific knockout of Atg16l1. This study demonstrates how explicit G+E can drive disease-relevant phenotype and provides rational strategies for identifying actionable targets.
Ta-Chiang Liu, Justin T. Kern, Kelli L. VanDussen, Shanshan Xiong, Gerard E. Kaiko, Craig B. Wilen, Michael W. Rajala, Roberta Caruso, Michael J. Holtzman, Feng Gao, Dermot P.B. McGovern, Gabriel Nunez, Richard D. Head, Thaddeus S. Stappenbeck
Although nonmalignant stromal cells facilitate tumor growth and can occupy up to 90% of a solid tumor mass, better strategies to exploit these cells for improved cancer therapy are needed. Here, we describe a potent MMAE-linked antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) targeting tumor endothelial marker 8 (TEM8, also known as ANTXR1), a highly conserved transmembrane receptor broadly overexpressed on cancer-associated fibroblasts, endothelium, and pericytes. Anti-TEM8 ADC elicited potent anticancer activity through an unexpected killing mechanism we term DAaRTS (drug activation and release through stroma), whereby the tumor microenvironment localizes active drug at the tumor site. Following capture of ADC prodrug from the circulation, tumor-associated stromal cells release active MMAE free drug, killing nearby proliferating tumor cells in a target-independent manner. In preclinical studies, ADC treatment was well tolerated and induced regression and often eradication of multiple solid tumor types, blocked metastatic growth, and prolonged overall survival. By exploiting TEM8+ tumor stroma for targeted drug activation, these studies reveal a drug delivery strategy with potential to augment therapies against multiple cancer types.
Christopher Szot, Saurabh Saha, Xiaoyan M. Zhang, Zhongyu Zhu, Mary Beth Hilton, Karen Morris, Steven Seaman, James M. Dunleavey, Kuo-Sheng Hsu, Guo-Jun Yu, Holly Morris, Deborah A. Swing, Diana C. Haines, Yanping Wang, Jennifer Hwang, Yang Feng, Dean Welsch, Gary DeCrescenzo, Amit Chaudhary, Enrique Zudaire, Dimiter S. Dimitrov, Brad St. Croix
Central to the recognition, signaling, and repair of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are the MRE11-RAD50-NBS1 (MRN) complex and mediator of DNA damage checkpoint protein 1 (MDC1), the interplay of which is essential for initiation and amplification of the DNA damage response (DDR). The intrinsic rule governing the regulation of the function of this molecular machinery remains to be investigated. We report here that the ubiquitin-specific protease USP7 was physically associated with the MRN-MDC1 complex and that the MRN-MDC1 complex acted as a platform for USP7 to efficiently deubiquitinate and stabilize MDC1, thereby sustaining the DDR. Accordingly, depletion of USP7 impaired the engagement of the MRN-MDC1 complex and the consequent recruitment of the downstream factors p53-binding protein 1 (53BP1) and breast cancer protein 1 (BRCA1) at DNA lesions. Significantly, USP7 was overexpressed in cervical cancer, and the level of its expression positively correlated with that of MDC1 and worse survival rates for patients with cervical cancer. We demonstrate that USP7-mediated MDC1 stabilization promoted cervical cancer cell survival and conferred cellular resistance to genotoxic insults. Together, our study reveals a role for USP7 in regulating the function of the MRN-MDC1 complex and activity of the DDR, supporting the pursuit of USP7 as a potential therapeutic target for MDC1-proficient cancers.
Dongxue Su, Shuai Ma, Lin Shan, Yue Wang, Yuejiao Wang, Cheng Cao, Beibei Liu, Chao Yang, Liyong Wang, Shanshan Tian, Xiang Ding, Xinhua Liu, Na Yu, Nan Song, Ling Liu, Shangda Yang, Qi Zhang, Fuquan Yang, Kai Zhang, Lei Shi
Jinhong Wu, Jialong Yang, Kai Yang, Hongxia Wang, Balachandra Gorentla, Jinwook Shin, Yurong Qiu, Loretta G. Que, W. Michael Foster, Zhenwei Xia, Hongbo Chi, Xiao-Ping Zhong
HIV posttreatment controllers (PTCs) represent a natural model of sustained HIV remission, but they are rare and little is known about their viral reservoir. We obtained 1,450 proviral sequences after near-full-length amplification for 10 PTCs and 16 posttreatment noncontrollers (NCs). Before treatment interruption, the median intact and total reservoir size in PTCs was 7-fold lower than in NCs, but the proportion of intact, defective, and total clonally expanded proviral genomes was not significantly different between the 2 groups. Quantification of total but not intact proviral genome copies predicted sustained HIV remission as 81% of NCs, but none of the PTCs had a total proviral genome greater than 4 copies per million peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). The results highlight the restricted intact and defective HIV reservoir in PTCs and suggest that total proviral genome burden could act as the first biomarker for identifying PTCs. Total and defective but not intact proviral copy numbers correlated with levels of cell-associated HIV RNA, activated NK cell percentages, and both HIV-specific CD4+ and CD8+ responses. These results support the concept that defective HIV genomes can lead to viral antigen production and interact with both the innate and adaptive immune systems.
Radwa Sharaf, Guinevere Q. Lee, Xiaoming Sun, Behzad Etemad, Layla M. Aboukhater, Zixin Hu, Zabrina L. Brumme, Evgenia Aga, Ronald J. Bosch, Ying Wen, Golnaz Namazi, Ce Gao, Edward P. Acosta, Rajesh T. Gandhi, Jeffrey M. Jacobson, Daniel Skiest, David M. Margolis, Ronald Mitsuyasu, Paul Volberding, Elizabeth Connick, Daniel R. Kuritzkes, Michael M. Lederman, Xu G. Yu, Mathias Lichterfeld, Jonathan Z. Li
In type 1 diabetes, cytotoxic CD8+ T cells with specificity for β cell autoantigens are found in the pancreatic islets, where they are implicated in the destruction of insulin-secreting β cells. In contrast, the disease relevance of β cell–reactive CD8+ T cells that are detectable in the circulation, and their relationship to β cell function, are not known. Here, we tracked multiple, circulating β cell–reactive CD8+ T cell subsets and measured β cell function longitudinally for 2 years, starting immediately after diagnosis of type 1 diabetes. We found that change in β cell–specific effector memory CD8+ T cells expressing CD57 was positively correlated with C-peptide change in subjects below 12 years of age. Autoreactive CD57+ effector memory CD8+ T cells bore the signature of enhanced effector function (higher expression of granzyme B, killer-specific protein of 37 kDa, and CD16, and reduced expression of CD28) compared with their CD57– counterparts, and network association modeling indicated that the dynamics of β cell–reactive CD57+ effector memory CD8+ T cell subsets were strongly linked. Thus, coordinated changes in circulating β cell–specific CD8+ T cells within the CD57+ effector memory subset calibrate to functional insulin reserve in type 1 diabetes, providing a tool for immune monitoring and a mechanism-based target for immunotherapy.
Lorraine Yeo, Alyssa Woodwyk, Sanjana Sood, Anna Lorenc, Martin Eichmann, Irma Pujol-Autonell, Rosella Melchiotti, Ania Skowera, Efthymios Fidanis, Garry M. Dolton, Katie Tungatt, Andrew K. Sewell, Susanne Heck, Alka Saxena, Craig A. Beam, Mark Peakman
BACKGROUND. Injectable depot medroxyprogesterone acetate (DMPA) is one of the most popular contraception methods in areas of high HIV seroprevalence. Evidence is accumulating that use of DMPA might be associated with an increased risk of HIV-1 acquisition by women; however, mechanisms of this association are not completely understood. The goal of this study was to gain insight into mechanisms underlying the possible link between use of DMPA and risk of HIV-1 acquisition, exploring transcription profiling of ectocervical tissues. METHODS. Healthy women received either DMPA (n = 31) or combined oral contraceptive (COC), which has not been linked to an increased risk of HIV acquisition (n = 32). We conducted a comparative microarray-based whole-genome transcriptome profiling of human ectocervical tissues before and after 6 weeks of hormonal contraception use. RESULTS. The analysis identified that expression of 235 and 76 genes was significantly altered after DMPA and COC use, respectively. The most striking effect of DMPA, but not COC, was significantly altered expression (mostly downregulation) of many genes strategically involved in the maintenance of mucosal barrier function; the alterations, as indicated by Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA), were most likely due to the DMPA-induced estrogen deficiency. Furthermore, IPA predicted that transcriptome alterations related to ectocervical immune responses were in general compatible with an immunosuppressive effect of DMPA, but, in some women, also with an inflammatory-like response. CONCLUSION. Our results suggest that impairment of cervicovaginal mucosal integrity in response to DMPA administration is an important mechanism contributing to the potential increased risk of HIV-1 acquisition in DMPA users. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01421368. FUNDING. This study was supported by the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) under Cooperative Agreement GPO-A-00-08-00005-00.
Irina A. Zalenskaya, Neelima Chandra, Nazita Yousefieh, Xi Fang, Oluwatosin E. Adedipe, Suzanne S. Jackson, Sharon M. Anderson, Christine K. Mauck, Jill L. Schwartz, Andrea R. Thurman, Gustavo F. Doncel
First-generation immune checkpoint inhibitors, including anti–CTLA-4 and anti–programmed death 1 (anti–PD-1) antibodies, have led to major clinical progress, yet resistance frequently leads to treatment failure. Thus, new targets acting on T cells are needed. CD33-related sialic acid–binding immunoglobulin-like lectins (Siglecs) are pattern-recognition immune receptors binding to a range of sialoglycan ligands, which appear to function as self-associated molecular patterns (SAMPs) that suppress autoimmune responses. Siglecs are expressed at very low levels on normal T cells, and these receptors were not until recently considered as interesting targets on T cells for cancer immunotherapy. Here, we show an upregulation of Siglecs, including Siglec-9, on tumor-infiltrating T cells from non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC), colorectal, and ovarian cancer patients. Siglec-9–expressing T cells coexpressed several inhibitory receptors, including PD-1. Targeting of the sialoglycan-SAMP/Siglec pathway in vitro and in vivo resulted in increased anticancer immunity. T cell expression of Siglec-9 in NSCLC patients correlated with reduced survival, and Siglec-9 polymorphisms showed association with the risk of developing lung and colorectal cancer. Our data identify the sialoglycan-SAMP/Siglec pathway as a potential target for improving T cell activation for immunotherapy.
Michal A. Stanczak, Shoib S. Siddiqui, Marcel P. Trefny, Daniela S. Thommen, Kayluz Frias Boligan, Stephan von Gunten, Alexandar Tzankov, Lothar Tietze, Didier Lardinois, Viola Heinzelmann-Schwarz, Michael von Bergwelt-Baildon, Wu Zhang, Heinz-Josef Lenz, Younghun Han, Christopher I. Amos, Mohammedyaseen Syedbasha, Adrian Egli, Frank Stenner, Daniel E. Speiser, Ajit Varki, Alfred Zippelius, Heinz Läubli
BACKGROUND. Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is characterized by airway remodeling. Characterization of airway changes on computed tomography has been challenging due to the complexity of the recurring branching patterns, and this can be better measured using fractal dimensions. METHODS. We analyzed segmented airway trees of 8,135 participants enrolled in the COPDGene cohort. The fractal complexity of the segmented airway tree was measured by the Airway Fractal Dimension (AFD) using the Minkowski-Bougliand box-counting dimension. We examined associations between AFD and lung function and respiratory morbidity using multivariable regression analyses. We further estimated the extent of peribronchial emphysema (%) within 5 mm of the airway tree, as this is likely to affect AFD. We classified participants into 4 groups based on median AFD, percentage of peribronchial emphysema, and estimated survival. RESULTS. AFD was significantly associated with forced expiratory volume in one second (FEV1; P < 0.001) and FEV1/forced vital capacity (FEV1/FVC; P < 0.001) after adjusting for age, race, sex, smoking status, pack-years of smoking, BMI, CT emphysema, air trapping, airway thickness, and CT scanner type. On multivariable analysis, AFD was also associated with respiratory quality of life and 6-minute walk distance, as well as exacerbations, lung function decline, and mortality on longitudinal follow-up. We identified a subset of participants with AFD below the median and peribronchial emphysema above the median who had worse survival compared with participants with high AFD and low peribronchial emphysema (adjusted hazards ratio [HR]: 2.72; 95% CI: 2.20–3.35; P < 0.001), a substantial number of whom were not identified by traditional spirometry severity grades. CONCLUSION. Airway fractal dimension as a measure of airway branching complexity and remodeling in smokers is associated with respiratory morbidity and lung function change, offers prognostic information additional to traditional CT measures of airway wall thickness, and can be used to estimate mortality risk. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov identifier: NCT00608764. FUNDING. This study was supported by NIH K23 HL133438 (SPB) and the COPDGene study (NIH Grant Numbers R01 HL089897 and R01 HL089856). The COPDGene project is also supported by the COPD Foundation through contributions made to an Industry Advisory Board comprised of AstraZeneca, Boehringer Ingelheim, Novartis, Pfizer, Siemens, Sunovion and GlaxoSmithKline.
Sandeep Bodduluri, Abhilash S. Kizhakke Puliyakote, Sarah E. Gerard, Joseph M. Reinhardt, Eric A. Hoffman, John D. Newell Jr., Hrudaya P. Nath, MeiLan K. Han, George R. Washko, Raúl San José Estépar, Mark T. Dransfield, Surya P. Bhatt, COPDGene Investigators
Current immune checkpoint-modulating agents have demonstrated clinical efficacy in certain tumor types, particularly those with a high burden of tumor-specific neoantigens, high tumor-mutational burden, and abundant tumor-infiltrating T cells. However, these tumors often stop responding, with signs of T cells exhaustion, decreased T cell effector function, and upregulated inhibitory checkpoints. To enhance antitumor immunity and rescue exhausted T cells, newer inhibitory and stimulatory checkpoint modulators are being tested as monotherapy or in combination with approved checkpoint inhibitors. In contrast, tumors with low tumor-mutational burden, low neoantigen burden, and a paucity of T cells are immunologically “cold,” and therefore first require the addition of agents to facilitate the induction of T cells into tumors. Cold tumors also often recruit immunosuppressive cell subsets, including regulatory T cells, myeloid-derived suppressor cells, and macrophages, and secrete immunosuppressive soluble cytokines, chemokines, and metabolites. To unleash an optimal antitumor immune response, combinatorial therapeutics that combine immune checkpoints with other modalities, such as vaccines, are being developed. From current preclinical data, it appears that combinatorial strategies will provide robust and durable responses in patients with immunologically cold cancers.
Aleksandra Popovic, Elizabeth M. Jaffee, Neeha Zaidi
Rearrangements involving the neurotrophic receptor kinase genes (NTRK1, NTRK2, and NTRK3; hereafter referred to as TRK) produce oncogenic fusions in a wide variety of cancers in adults and children. Although TRK fusions occur in fewer than 1% of all solid tumors, inhibition of TRK results in profound therapeutic responses, resulting in Breakthrough Therapy FDA approval of the TRK inhibitor larotrectinib for adult and pediatric patients with solid tumors, regardless of histology. In contrast to solid tumors, the frequency of TRK fusions and the clinical effects of targeting TRK in hematologic malignancies are unknown. Here, through an evaluation for TRK fusions across more than 7,000 patients with hematologic malignancies, we identified TRK fusions in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), histiocytosis, multiple myeloma, and dendritic cell neoplasms. Although TRK fusions occurred in only 0.1% of patients (8 of 7,311 patients), they conferred responsiveness to TRK inhibition in vitro and in vivo in a patient-derived xenograft and a corresponding AML patient with ETV6-NTRK2 fusion. These data identify that despite their individual rarity, collectively, TRK fusions are present in a wide variety of hematologic malignancies and predict clinically significant therapeutic responses to TRK inhibition.
Justin Taylor, Dean Pavlick, Akihide Yoshimi, Christina Marcelus, Stephen S. Chung, Jaclyn F. Hechtman, Ryma Benayed, Emiliano Cocco, Benjamin H. Durham, Lillian Bitner, Daichi Inoue, Young Rock Chung, Kerry Mullaney, Justin M. Watts, Eli L. Diamond, Lee A. Albacker, Tariq I. Mughal, Kevin Ebata, Brian B. Tuch, Nora Ku, Maurizio Scaltriti, Mikhail Roshal, Maria Arcila, Siraj Ali, David M. Hyman, Jae H. Park, Omar Abdel-Wahab
Heng Lin, Shuang Wei, Elaine M. Hurt, Michael D. Green, Lili Zhao, Linda Vatan, Wojciech Szeliga, Ronald Herbst, Paul W. Harms, Leslie A. Fecher, Pankaj Vats, Arul M. Chinnaiyan, Christopher D. Lao, Theodore S. Lawrence, Max Wicha, Junzo Hamanishi, Masaki Mandai, Ilona Kryczek, Weiping Zou
The biological basis of human aging remains one of the greatest unanswered scientific questions. Increasing evidence, however, points to a role for alterations in mitochondrial function as a potential central regulator of the aging process. Here, we focus primarily on three aspects of mitochondrial biology that link this ancient organelle to how and why we age. In particular, we discuss the role of mitochondria in regulating the innate immune system, the mechanisms linking mitochondrial quality control to age-dependent pathology, and the possibility that mitochondrial-to-nuclear signaling might regulate the rate of aging.
Ji Yong Jang, Arnon Blum, Jie Liu, Toren Finkel
Diabetes profoundly alters fuel metabolism; both insulin deficiency and insulin resistance are characterized by inefficient mitochondrial coupling and excessive production of reactive oxygen species (ROS) despite their association with normal to high oxygen consumption. Altered mitochondrial function in diabetes can be traced to insulin’s pivotal role in maintaining mitochondrial proteome abundance and quality by enhancing mitochondrial biogenesis and preventing proteome damage and degradation, respectively. Although insulin enhances gene transcription, it also induces decreases in amino acids. Thus, if amino acid depletion is not corrected, increased transcription will not result in enhanced translation of transcripts to proteins. Mitochondrial biology varies among tissues, and although most studies in humans are performed in skeletal muscle, abnormalities have been reported in multiple organs in preclinical models of diabetes. Nutrient excess, especially fat excess, alters mitochondrial physiology by driving excess ROS emission that impairs insulin action. Excessive ROS irreversibly damages DNA and proteome with adverse effects on cellular functions. In insulin-resistant people, aerobic exercise stimulates both mitochondrial biogenesis and efficiency concurrent with enhancement of insulin action. This Review discusses the association between both insulin-deficient and insulin-resistant diabetes and alterations in mitochondrial proteome homeostasis and function that adversely affect cellular functions, likely contributing to many diabetic complications.
Gregory N. Ruegsegger, Ana L. Creo, Tiffany M. Cortes, Surendra Dasari, K. Sreekumaran Nair
Mammalian cells use a complex network of redox-dependent processes necessary to maintain cellular integrity during oxidative metabolism, as well as to protect against and/or adapt to stress. The disruption of these redox-dependent processes, including those in the mitochondria, creates a cellular environment permissive for progression to a malignant phenotype and the development of resistance to commonly used anticancer agents. An extension of this paradigm is that when these mitochondrial functions are altered by the events leading to transformation and ensuing downstream metabolic processes, they can be used as molecular biomarkers or targets in the development of new therapeutic interventions to selectively kill and/or sensitize cancer versus normal cells. In this Review we propose that mitochondrial oxidative metabolism is altered in tumor cells, and the central theme of this dysregulation is electron transport chain activity, folate metabolism, NADH/NADPH metabolism, thiol-mediated detoxification pathways, and redox-active metal ion metabolism. It is proposed that specific subgroups of human malignancies display distinct mitochondrial transformative and/or tumor signatures that may benefit from agents that target these pathways.
Yueming Zhu, Angela Elizabeth Dean, Nobuo Horikoshi, Collin Heer, Douglas R. Spitz, David Gius
Remodeling of mitochondrial metabolism plays an important role in regulating immune cell fate, proliferation, and activity. Furthermore, given their bacterial ancestry, disruption in mitochondrial fidelity leading to extravasation of their content initiates and amplifies innate immune surveillance with a myriad of physiologic and pathologic consequences. Investigations into the role of mitochondria in the immune system have come to the fore, and appreciation of mitochondrial function and quality control in immune regulation has enhanced our understanding of disease pathogenesis and identified new targets for immune modulation. This mitochondria-centered Review focuses on the role of mitochondrial metabolism and fidelity, as well as the role of the mitochondria as a structural platform, for the control of immune cell polarity, activation, and signaling. Mitochondria-linked disease and mitochondrially targeted therapeutic strategies to manage these conditions are also discussed.
Michael N. Sack
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is a global epidemic in obese children and adults, and the onset might have fetal origins. A growing body of evidence supports the role of developmental programming, whereby the maternal environment affects fetal and infant development, altering the risk profile for disease later in life. Human and nonhuman primate studies of maternal obesity demonstrate that risk factors for pediatric obesity and NAFLD begin in utero. The pathologic mechanisms for NAFLD are multifactorial but have centered on altered mitochondrial function/dysfunction that might precede insulin resistance. Compared with the adult liver, the fetal liver has fewer mitochondria, low activity of the fatty acid metabolic enzyme carnitine palmitoyl-CoA transferase-1, and little or no gluconeogenesis. Exposure to excess maternal fuels during fetal life uniquely alters hepatic fatty acid oxidation, tricarboxylic acid cycle activity, de novo lipogenesis, and mitochondrial health. These events promote increased oxidative stress and excess triglyceride storage, and, together with altered immune function and epigenetic changes, they prime the fetal liver for NAFLD and might drive the risk for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis in the next generation.
Peter R. Baker II, Jacob E. Friedman
Pulmonary hypertension (PH) is a heterogeneous and fatal disease of the lung vasculature, where metabolic and mitochondrial dysfunction may drive pathogenesis. Similar to the Warburg effect in cancer, a shift from mitochondrial oxidation to glycolysis occurs in diseased pulmonary vessels and the right ventricle. However, appreciation of metabolic events in PH beyond the Warburg effect is only just emerging. This Review discusses molecular, translational, and clinical concepts centered on the mitochondria and highlights promising, controversial, and challenging areas of investigation. If we can move beyond the “mountains” of obstacles in this field and elucidate these fundamental tenets of pulmonary vascular metabolism, such work has the potential to usher in much-needed diagnostic and therapeutic approaches for the mitochondrial and metabolic management of PH.
Miranda K. Culley, Stephen Y. Chan
Mitochondrial dysfunction has been implicated in the development of heart failure. Oxidative metabolism in mitochondria is the main energy source of the heart, and the inability to generate and transfer energy has long been considered the primary mechanism linking mitochondrial dysfunction and contractile failure. However, the role of mitochondria in heart failure is now increasingly recognized to be beyond that of a failed power plant. In this Review, we summarize recent evidence demonstrating vicious cycles of pathophysiological mechanisms during the pathological remodeling of the heart that drive mitochondrial contributions from being compensatory to being a suicide mission. These mechanisms include bottlenecks of metabolic flux, redox imbalance, protein modification, ROS-induced ROS generation, impaired mitochondrial Ca2+ homeostasis, and inflammation. The interpretation of these findings will lead us to novel avenues for disease mechanisms and therapy.
Bo Zhou, Rong Tian
While T cells are important for the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and lupus nephritis, little is known about how T cells function after infiltrating the kidney. The current paradigm suggests that kidney-infiltrating T cells (KITs) are activated effector cells contributing to tissue damage and ultimately organ failure. Herein, we demonstrate that the majority of CD4+ and CD8+ KITs in 3 murine lupus models are not effector cells, as hypothesized, but rather express multiple inhibitory receptors and are highly dysfunctional, with reduced cytokine production and proliferative capacity. In other systems, this hypofunctional profile is linked directly to metabolic and specifically mitochondrial dysfunction, which we also observed in KITs. The T cell phenotype was driven by the expression of an “exhausted” transcriptional signature. Our data thus reveal that the tissue parenchyma has the capability of suppressing T cell responses and limiting damage to self. These findings suggest avenues for the treatment of autoimmunity based on selectively exploiting the exhausted phenotype of tissue-infiltrating T cells.
Jeremy S. Tilstra, Lyndsay Avery, Ashley V. Menk, Rachael A. Gordon, Shuchi Smita, Lawrence P. Kane, Maria Chikina, Greg M. Delgoffe, Mark J. Shlomchik
BACKGROUND. The circadian clock is a fundamental and pervasive biological program that coordinates 24-hour rhythms in physiology, metabolism, and behavior, and it is essential to health. Whereas therapy adapted to time of day is increasingly reported to be highly successful, it needs to be personalized, since internal circadian time is different for each individual. In addition, internal time is not a stable trait, but is influenced by many factors, including genetic predisposition, age, sex, environmental light levels, and season. An easy and convenient diagnostic tool is currently missing. METHODS. To establish a validated test, we followed a 3-stage biomarker development strategy: (a) using circadian transcriptomics of blood monocytes from 12 individuals in a constant routine protocol combined with machine learning approaches, we identified biomarkers for internal time; and these biomarkers (b) were migrated to a clinically relevant gene expression profiling platform (NanoString) and (c) were externally validated using an independent study with 28 early or late chronotypes. RESULTS. We developed a highly accurate and simple assay (BodyTime) to estimate the internal circadian time in humans from a single blood sample. Our assay needs only a small set of blood-based transcript biomarkers and is as accurate as the current gold standard method, dim-light melatonin onset, at smaller monetary, time, and sample-number cost. CONCLUSION. The BodyTime assay provides a new diagnostic tool for personalization of health care according to the patient’s circadian clock. FUNDING. This study was supported by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, Germany (FKZ: 13N13160 and 13N13162) and Intellux GmbH, Germany.
Nicole Wittenbrink, Bharath Ananthasubramaniam, Mirjam Münch, Barbara Koller, Bert Maier, Charlotte Weschke, Frederik Bes, Jan de Zeeuw, Claudia Nowozin, Amely Wahnschaffe, Sophia Wisniewski, Mandy Zaleska, Osnat Bartok, Reut Ashwal-Fluss, Hedwig Lammert, Hanspeter Herzel, Michael Hummel, Sebastian Kadener, Dieter Kunz, Achim Kramer
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) densely accumulate into tumors and potently suppress antitumor immune responses, promoting tumor development. Targeting MDSCs in tumor immunotherapy has been hampered by lack of understanding of the molecular pathways that govern MDSC differentiation and function. Herein, we identify autophagy as a crucial pathway for MDSC-mediated suppression of antitumor immunity. Specifically, MDSCs in patients with melanoma and mouse melanoma exhibited increased levels of functional autophagy. Ablation of autophagy in myeloid cells markedly delayed tumor growth and endowed antitumor immune responses. Notably, tumor-infiltrating autophagy-deficient monocytic MDSCs (M-MDSCs) demonstrated impaired suppressive activity in vitro and in vivo, whereas transcriptome analysis revealed substantial differences in genes related to lysosomal function. Accordingly, autophagy-deficient M-MDSCs exhibited impaired lysosomal degradation, thereby enhancing surface expression of MHC class II molecules, resulting in efficient activation of tumor-specific CD4+ T cells. Finally, targeting of the membrane-associated RING-CH1 (MARCH1) E3 ubiquitin ligase that mediates the lysosomal degradation of MHC II in M-MDSCs attenuated their suppressive function, and resulted in markedly decreased tumor volume followed by development of a robust antitumor immunity. Collectively, these findings depict autophagy as a molecular target of MDSC-mediated suppression of antitumor immunity.
Themis Alissafi, Aikaterini Hatzioannou, Konstantinos Mintzas, Roza Maria Barouni, Aggelos Banos, Sundary Sormendi, Alexandros Polyzos, Maria Xilouri, Ben Wielockx, Helen Gogas, Panayotis Verginis
The M2 isoform of pyruvate kinase (PKM2) is highly expressed in most cancer cells, and has been studied extensively as a driver of oncogenic metabolism. In contrast, the role of PKM2 in nontransformed cells is little studied, and nearly nothing is known of its role, if any, in quiescent cells. We show here that endothelial cells express PKM2 almost exclusively over PKM1. In proliferating endothelial cells, PKM2 is required to suppress p53 and maintain cell cycle progression. In sharp contrast, PKM2 has a strikingly different role in quiescent endothelial cells, where inhibition of PKM2 leads to degeneration of tight junctions and barrier function. Mechanistically, PKM2 regulates barrier function independently of its canonical activity as a pyruvate kinase. Instead, PKM2 suppresses NF-kB and its downstream target, the vascular permeability factor angiopoietin 2. As a consequence, loss of endothelial cell PKM2 in vivo predisposes mice to VEGF-induced vascular leak, and to severe bacteremia and death in response to sepsis. Together, these data demonstrate new roles of PKM2 in quiescent cells, and highlight the need for caution in developing cancer therapies that target PKM2.
Boa Kim, Cholsoon Jang, Harita Dharaneeswaran, Jian Li, Mohit Bhide, Steven Yang, Kristina Li, Zolt Arany
Pain signals are transmitted by multisynaptic glutamatergic pathways. Their first synapse between primary nociceptors and excitatory spinal interneurons gates the sensory load. In this pathway, glutamate release is orchestrated by Ca2+-sensor proteins, with N-terminal EF-hand Ca2+-binding protein 2 (NECAB2) being particular abundant. However, neither the importance of NECAB2+ neuronal contingents in dorsal root ganglia (DRGs) and spinal cord nor the function determination by NECAB2 has been defined. A combination of histochemical analyses and single-cell RNA-sequencing showed NECAB2 in small- and medium-sized C- and Aδ D-hair low-threshold mechanoreceptors in DRGs, as well as in protein kinase C γ excitatory spinal interneurons. NECAB2 was downregulated by peripheral nerve injury, leading to the hypothesis that NECAB2 loss of function could limit pain sensation. Indeed, Necab2–/– mice reached a pain-free state significantly faster after peripheral inflammation than did WT littermates. Genetic access to transiently activated neurons revealed that a mediodorsal cohort of NECAB2+ neurons mediates inflammatory pain in the mouse spinal dorsal horn. Here, besides dampening excitatory transmission in spinal interneurons, NECAB2 limited pronociceptive brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) release from sensory afferents. Hoxb8-dependent reinstatement of NECAB2 expression in Necab2–/– mice then demonstrated that spinal and DRG NECAB2 alone could control inflammation-induced sensory hypersensitivity. Overall, we identify NECAB2 as a critical component of pronociceptive pain signaling, whose inactivation offers substantial pain relief.
Ming-Dong Zhang, Jie Su, Csaba Adori, Valentina Cinquina, Katarzyna Malenczyk, Fatima Girach, Changgeng Peng, Patrik Ernfors, Peter Löw, Lotta Borgius, Ole Kiehn, Masahiko Watanabe, Mathias Uhlén, Nicholas Mitsios, Jan Mulder, Tibor Harkany, Tomas Hökfelt
The targeted delivery of therapeutic drugs to lymph nodes (LNs) provides an unprecedented opportunity to improve the outcomes of transplantation and immune-mediated diseases. The high endothelial venule is a specialized segment of LN vasculature that uniquely expresses peripheral node addressin (PNAd) molecules. PNAd is recognized by MECA79 mAb. We previously generated a MECA79 mAb–coated microparticle (MP) that carries tacrolimus. Although this MP trafficked to LNs, it demonstrated limited therapeutic efficacy in our transplant model. Here, we have synthesized a nanoparticle (NP) as a carrier of anti-CD3, and optimized the conjugation strategy to coat the NP surface with MECA79 mAb (MECA79-anti-CD3-NP) to enhance LN accumulation. As compared with nonconjugated NPs, a significantly higher quantity of MECA79-NPs accumulated in the draining lymph node (DLN). Many MECA79-NPs underwent internalization by T cells and dendritic cells within the LNs. Short-term treatment of murine cardiac allograft recipients with MECA79-anti-CD3-NP resulted in significantly prolonged allograft survival in comparison with the control groups. Prolonged graft survival following treatment with MECA79-anti-CD3-NP was characterized by a significant increase in intragraft and DLN Treg populations. Treg depletion abrogated the prolongation of heart allograft survival. We believe this targeted approach of drug delivery could redefine the methods of administering immune therapeutics in transplantation.
Baharak Bahmani, Mayuko Uehara, Liwei Jiang, Farideh Ordikhani, Naima Banouni, Takaharu Ichimura, Zhabiz Solhjou, Georg J. Furtmüller, Gerald Brandacher, David Alvarez, Ulrich H. von Andrian, Kenji Uchimura, Qiaobing Xu, Ishaan Vohra, Osman A. Yilmam, Yousef Haik, Jamil Azzi, Vivek Kasinath, Jonathan S. Bromberg, Martina M. McGrath, Reza Abdi
The liver’s extraordinary ability to regenerate has been known since the myth of Prometheus, but the mechanisms involved are still being discovered. Various small animal models have been used in this quest. Two of the most popular include partial hepatectomy (PHx), in which two-thirds of the liver mass is surgically removed to evoke a massive, immediate stimulus for regeneration, and prolonged exposure to toxins that kill liver cells more gradually, provoking chronic regenerative activity. In either case, multiple types of cells must interact effectively to repopulate the organ with functional mature hepatocytes and thus assure ultimate restoration of healthy liver structure and function. This complexity has confounded efforts to distinguish specific changes that occur in cells that repopulate the hepatocyte compartment from changes in other cell populations, including subpopulations of hepatocytes or hepatocyte precursors that do not become regenerative. In the current issue of the JCI, Wang et al. used translating ribosome affinity purification followed by high-throughput RNA sequencing (TRAP-seq) to isolate mRNAs from repopulating hepatocytes in order to profile gene expression specifically in the hepatocytes that regenerate the liver following toxic injury imposed by inherent byproducts of tyrosine metabolism. This innovative methodology can potentially be used to design therapeutic strategies for liver regeneration.
Kai-Yuan Chen, Xiling Shen, Anna Mae Diehl
Anaplastic thyroid carcinomas (ATCs) have a high prevalence of BRAF and TP53 mutations. A trial of vemurafenib in nonmelanoma BRAFV600E-mutant cancers showed significant, although short-lived, responses in ATCs, indicating that these virulent tumors remain addicted to BRAF despite their high mutation burden. To explore the mechanisms mediating acquired resistance to BRAF blockade, we generated mice with thyroid-specific deletion of p53 and dox-dependent expression of BRAFV600E, 50% of which developed ATCs after dox treatment. Upon dox withdrawal there was complete regression in all mice, although recurrences were later detected in 85% of animals. The relapsed tumors had elevated MAPK transcriptional output, and retained responses to the MEK/RAF inhibitor CH5126766 in vivo and in vitro. Whole-exome sequencing identified recurrent focal amplifications of chromosome 6, with a minimal region of overlap that included Met. Met-amplified recurrences overexpressed the receptor as well as its ligand Hgf. Growth, signaling, and viability of Met-amplified tumor cells were suppressed in vitro and in vivo by the Met kinase inhibitors PF-04217903 and crizotinib, whereas primary ATCs and Met-diploid relapses were resistant. Hence, recurrences are the rule after BRAF suppression in murine ATCs, most commonly due to activation of HGF/MET signaling, which generates exquisite dependency to MET kinase inhibitors.
Jeffrey A. Knauf, Kathleen A. Luckett, Kuen-Yuan Chen, Francesca Voza, Nicholas D. Socci, Ronald Ghossein, James A. Fagin
T cells must migrate in order to encounter antigen-presenting cells (APCs) and to execute their varied functions in immune defense and inflammation. ATP release and autocrine signaling through purinergic receptors contribute to T cell activation at the immune synapse that T cells form with APCs. Here, we show that T cells also require ATP release and purinergic signaling for their migration to APCs. We found that the chemokine stromal-derived factor-1α (SDF-1α) triggered mitochondrial ATP production, rapid bursts of ATP release, and increased migration of primary human CD4+ T cells. This process depended on pannexin-1 ATP release channels and autocrine stimulation of P2X4 receptors. SDF-1α stimulation caused localized accumulation of mitochondria with P2X4 receptors near the front of cells, resulting in a feed-forward signaling mechanism that promotes cellular Ca2+ influx and sustains mitochondrial ATP synthesis at levels needed for pseudopod protrusion, T cell polarization, and cell migration. Inhibition of P2X4 receptors blocked the activation and migration of T cells in vitro. In a mouse lung transplant model, P2X4 receptor antagonist treatment prevented the recruitment of T cells into allograft tissue and the rejection of lung transplants. Our findings suggest that P2X4 receptors are therapeutic targets for immunomodulation in transplantation and inflammatory diseases.
Carola Ledderose, Kaifeng Liu, Yutaka Kondo, Christian J. Slubowski, Thomas Dertnig, Sara Denicoló, Mona Arbab, Johannes Hubner, Kirstin Konrad, Mahtab Fakhari, James A. Lederer, Simon C. Robson, Gary A. Visner, Wolfgang G. Junger
Loss-of-function mutations in a single allele of the gene encoding DEP domain–containing 5 protein (DEPDC5) are commonly linked to familial focal epilepsy with variable foci; however, a subset of patients presents with focal cortical dysplasia that is proposed to result from a second-hit somatic mutation. In this issue of the JCI, Ribierre and colleagues provide several lines of evidence to support second-hit DEPDC5 mutations in this disorder. Moreover, the authors use in vivo, in utero electroporation combined with CRISPR-Cas9 technology to generate a murine model of the disease that recapitulates human manifestations, including cortical dysplasia–like changes, focal seizures, and sudden unexpected death. This study provides important insights into familial focal epilepsy and provides a preclinical model for evaluating potential therapies.
Matthew P. Anderson
There is marked variability in vaccine efficacy among global populations. In particular, individuals in low- to middle-income countries have been shown to be less responsive to vaccines than those from developed nations. Several factors, including endemic infections, nutrition, genetics, and gut microbiome composition, have been proposed to underlie discrepancies in vaccine response. In this issue of the JCI, Kityo et al. evaluated response to yellow fever virus vaccine, inflammation, and lymphatic tissue architecture and fibrosis in three cohorts: two from the U.S. and one from Uganda. Compared with the U.S. subjects, the Ugandan cohort exhibited enhanced cytokine responses, increased lymph node fibrosis, reduced CD4+ T cell levels, and reduced vaccine response. Together, these results provide a link among chronic inflammation, damaged lymphoid architecture, and poor vaccine outcome, and set the stage for future studies to identify strategies to overcome these barriers.
Boris Julg, Galit Alter
The last decade has led to a significant advance in our knowledge of HIV-1 latency and immunity. However, we are still not close to finding a cure for HIV-1. Although combination antiretroviral therapy (cART) has led to increased survival, almost close to that of the general population, it is still not curative. In the current issue of the JCI, Wu et al. studied the prophylactic and therapeutic potential of an engineered tandem bispecific broadly neutralizing antibody (bs-bnAb), BiIA-SG. This bnAb’s breadth and potency were highly effective in protection and treatment settings, as measured by complete viremia control following direct infusion, as well as elimination of infected cells and delay in viral rebound when delivered with a recombinant vector. These observations underscore the need for the clinical development of BiIA-SG for the prevention of HIV-1.
The identity and function of the fibroblast, a highly prevalent cell type in the heart, have remained poorly defined. Recent faithful genetic lineage–tracing studies revealed that during development, the cardiac fibroblasts are derived from the epicardium and the endothelium, whereas in the adult heart, they constitute the cardiac injury–responsive resident fibroblast. In the current issue of the JCI, Molkentin and colleagues decipher the time course and mechanism of the fibroblast in response to myocardial infarction (MI). The model they propose is surprisingly simple and clear. It consists of three major phases. First, fibroblasts in the ischemic area die. Second, surrounding fibroblasts proliferate and migrate into the spaces created by dying cardiomyocytes over a few days. The new fibroblasts in the scar are activated and adopt a smooth muscle actin– and periostin-positive “myofibroblast” phenotype, which appears to last as long as the scar is not mature (~10 days after MI). In the third phase, initially proliferating myofibroblasts lose smooth muscle actin expression and convert to a nonproliferating, matrix-producing phenotype with a newly acquired tendon gene signature. Interestingly, this state appears to differ from that of quiescent fibroblasts in the uninjured heart, as it is resistant to proliferative stimuli. These cells are therefore termed “matrifibrocytes,” a novel category whose study will certainly further advance the field.
The human gammaherpesviruses, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) and Kaposi’s sarcoma–associated herpesvirus (KSHV), are both associated with tumors. Standard antiviral therapies are ineffective at treating these tumors. A serine/threonine kinase important for viral replication is conserved across the herpesviruses. Expression of the KSHV protein kinase in transgenic mice under the control of a ubiquitin promoter was associated with B cell lymphoproliferative disease and lymphoma. If the viral protein kinase is important in the pathogenesis of KSHV lymphoproliferative disease or lymphoma, the kinase may present a very good target for pharmacologic therapies.
Richard F. Ambinder
SMAD4 is the only common SMAD in TGF-β signaling that usually impedes immune cell activation in the tumor microenvironment. However, we demonstrated here that selective deletion of Smad4 in NK cells actually led to dramatically reduced tumor cell rejection and augmented tumor cell metastases, reduced murine CMV clearance, as well as impeded NK cell homeostasis and maturation. This was associated with a downregulation of granzyme B (Gzmb), Kit, and Prdm1 in Smad4-deficient NK cells. We further unveiled the mechanism by which SMAD4 promotes Gzmb expression. Gzmb was identified as a direct target of a transcriptional complex formed by SMAD4 and JUNB. A JUNB binding site distinct from that for SMAD4 in the proximal Gzmb promoter was required for transcriptional activation by the SMAD4-JUNB complex. In a Tgfbr2 and Smad4 NK cell–specific double–conditional KO model, SMAD4-mediated events were found to be independent of canonical TGF-β signaling. Our study identifies and mechanistically characterizes unusual functions and pathways for SMAD4 in governing innate immune responses to cancer and viral infection, as well as NK cell development.
Youwei Wang, Jianhong Chu, Ping Yi, Wenjuan Dong, Jennifer Saultz, Yufeng Wang, Hongwei Wang, Steven Scoville, Jianying Zhang, Lai-Chu Wu, Youcai Deng, Xiaoming He, Bethany Mundy-Bosse, Aharon G. Freud, Li-Shu Wang, Michael A. Caligiuri, Jianhua Yu
The clinical benefits that have been achieved for a group of cancer patients with metastatic disease on checkpoint inhibitor therapy have kindled intense interest in understanding tumor-induced escape from T lymphocyte control. Other lymphoid cells also participate in tumor control; in particular, NK cells can limit hematogenous cancer metastasis spread and are also subject to negative regulation by developing cancers. In this issue of the JCI, Li and colleagues define an unanticipated role for the stress-induced protein CD155 in cancer metastasis. The presence of CD155 on the surface of cancer cells was shown to promote tumor invasiveness, while its upregulation in tumor environment–infiltrating myeloid cells restrained antitumor immunity by impairing antitumor T lymphocytes and NK cell function. Together, these results support further exploration of strategies for targeting CD155.
In the mid-1990s, whole-cell pertussis (wP) vaccines were associated with local and systemic adverse events that prompted their replacement with acellular pertussis (aP) vaccines in many high-income countries. In the past decade, rates of pertussis disease have increased in children receiving only aP vaccines. We compared the immune responses to aP boosters in individuals who received their initial doses with either wP or aP vaccines using activation-induced marker (AIM) assays. Specifically, we examined pertussis-specific memory CD4+ T cell responses ex vivo, highlighting a type 2/Th2 versus type 1/Th1 and Th17 differential polarization as a function of childhood vaccination. Remarkably, after a contemporary aP booster, cells from donors originally primed with aP were (a) associated with increased IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, IL-9, and TGF-β and decreased IFN-γ and IL-17 production, (b) defective in their ex vivo capacity to expand memory cells, and (c) less capable of proliferating in vitro. These differences appeared to be T cell specific, since equivalent increases of antibody titers and plasmablasts after aP boost were seen in both groups. In conclusion, our data suggest that there are long-lasting effects and differences in polarization and proliferation of T cell responses in adults originally vaccinated with aP compared with those that initially received wP, despite repeated acellular boosters.
Ricardo da Silva Antunes, Mariana Babor, Chelsea Carpenter, Natalie Khalil, Mario Cortese, Alexander J. Mentzer, Grégory Seumois, Christopher D. Petro, Lisa A. Purcell, Pandurangan Vijayanand, Shane Crotty, Bali Pulendran, Bjoern Peters, Alessandro Sette
Renin cells are crucial for survival — they control fluid-electrolyte and blood pressure homeostasis, vascular development, regeneration, and oxygen delivery to tissues. During embryonic development, renin cells are progenitors for multiple cell types that retain the memory of the renin phenotype. When there is a threat to survival, those descendants are transformed and reenact the renin phenotype to restore homeostasis. We tested the hypothesis that the molecular memory of the renin phenotype resides in unique regions and states of these cells’ chromatin. Using renin cells at various stages of stimulation, we identified regions in the genome where the chromatin is open for transcription, mapped histone modifications characteristic of active enhancers such as H3K27ac, and tracked deposition of transcriptional activators such as Med1, whose deletion results in ablation of renin expression and low blood pressure. Using the rank ordering of super-enhancers, epigenetic rewriting, and enhancer deletion analysis, we found that renin cells harbor a unique set of super-enhancers that determine their identity. The most prominent renin super-enhancer may act as a chromatin sensor of signals that convey the physiologic status of the organism, and is responsible for the transformation of renin cell descendants to the renin phenotype, a fundamental process to ensure homeostasis.
Maria Florencia Martinez, Silvia Medrano, Evan A. Brown, Turan Tufan, Stephen Shang, Nadia Bertoncello, Omar Guessoum, Mazhar Adli, Brian C. Belyea, Maria Luisa S. Sequeira-Lopez, R. Ariel Gomez
ASXL1 is frequently mutated in myeloid malignancies and is known to co-occur with other gene mutations. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the leukemogenesis associated with ASXL1 and cooperating mutations remain to be elucidated. Here, we report that Asxl1 loss cooperated with haploinsufficiency of Nf1, a negative regulator of the RAS signaling pathway, to accelerate the development of myeloid leukemia in mice. Loss of Asxl1 and Nf1 in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells resulted in a gain-of-function transcriptional activation of multiple pathways such as MYC, NRAS, and BRD4 that are critical for leukemogenesis. The hyperactive MYC and BRD9 transcription programs were correlated with elevated H3K4 trimethylation at the promoter regions of genes involving these pathways. Furthermore, pharmacological inhibition of both the MAPK pathway and BET bromodomain prevented leukemia initiation and inhibited disease progression in Asxl1Δ/Δ Nf1Δ/Δ mice. Concomitant mutations of ASXL1 and RAS pathway genes were associated with aggressive progression of myeloid malignancies in patients. This study sheds light on the effect of cooperation between epigenetic alterations and signaling pathways on accelerating the progression of myeloid malignancies and provides a rational therapeutic strategy for the treatment of myeloid malignancies with ASXL1 and RAS pathway gene mutations.
Peng Zhang, Fuhong He, Jie Bai, Shohei Yamamoto, Shi Chen, Lin Zhang, Mengyao Sheng, Lei Zhang, Ying Guo, Na Man, Hui Yang, Suyun Wang, Tao Cheng, Stephen D. Nimer, Yuan Zhou, Mingjiang Xu, Qian-Fei Wang, Feng-Chun Yang
Thiazolidinediones (TZDs) are the only antidiabetic drugs that reverse insulin resistance. They have been a valuable asset in the treatment of type 2 diabetes, but their side effects have curtailed widespread use in the clinic. In this issue of the JCI, Kraakman and colleagues provide evidence that deacetylation of the nuclear receptor PPARγ improves the therapeutic index of TZDs. These findings should revitalize the quest to employ insulin sensitization as a first-line approach to managing type 2 diabetes.
Mitchell A. Lazar
Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) play a key role in antiviral responses by producing type-1 IFNs. However, recent studies showed that pDCs induce immune suppression and promote tumor growth in human ovarian cancer and myeloma. The molecular mechanisms underlying pDC acquisition of these properties are unknown. Here we show that human pDCs activated by CpG inhibited growth and induced apoptosis in myeloma cells via secreted IFN-α, but direct contact with myeloma cells converted pDCs into tumor-promoting cells by suppressing pDC IFN-α production. E-cadherin, expressed on both myeloma cells and pDCs, mediated these effects via a homophilic interaction — activation of E-cadherin signaling upregulated and activated TNFAIP3 to interact with TLR9, resulting in TLR9 ubiquitination and degradation, and inhibition of IFN-α production in pDCs. These findings were supported by an in vivo study in which pDC depletion induced tumor regression and better survival in the Vk*MYC myeloma mouse model. Furthermore, IFNAR1 expression level positively correlated to overall survival of patients with multiple myeloma (MM), and the IFN-α level in patient bone marrow was significantly lower than that in marrow of healthy individuals. This study reveals a novel mechanism underlying how MM tumors educate pDCs in their microenvironment and provides new targets for improving the treatment of MM.
Enguang Bi, Rong Li, Laura C. Bover, Haiyan Li, Pan Su, Xingzhe Ma, Chunjian Huang, Qiang Wang, Lintao Liu, Maojie Yang, Zhijuan Lin, Jianfei Qian, Weijun Fu, Yong-Jun Liu, Qing Yi
Human endogenous retroviruses (hERVs) are remnants of exogenous retroviruses that have integrated into the genome throughout evolution. We developed a computational workflow, hervQuant, which identified more than 3,000 transcriptionally active hERVs within The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) pan-cancer RNA-Seq database. hERV expression was associated with clinical prognosis in several tumor types, most significantly clear cell renal cell carcinoma (ccRCC). We explored two mechanisms by which hERV expression may influence the tumor immune microenvironment in ccRCC: (i) RIG-I–like signaling and (ii) retroviral antigen activation of adaptive immunity. We demonstrated the ability of hERV signatures associated with these immune mechanisms to predict patient survival in ccRCC, independent of clinical staging and molecular subtyping. We identified potential tumor-specific hERV epitopes with evidence of translational activity through the use of a ccRCC ribosome profiling (Ribo-Seq) dataset, validated their ability to bind HLA in vitro, and identified the presence of MHC tetramer–positive T cells against predicted epitopes. hERV sequences identified through this screening approach were significantly more highly expressed in ccRCC tumors responsive to treatment with programmed death receptor 1 (PD-1) inhibition. hervQuant provides insights into the role of hERVs within the tumor immune microenvironment, as well as evidence that hERV expression could serve as a biomarker for patient prognosis and response to immunotherapy.
Christof C. Smith, Kathryn E. Beckermann, Dante S. Bortone, Aguirre A. De Cubas, Lisa M. Bixby, Samuel J. Lee, Anshuman Panda, Shridar Ganesan, Gyan Bhanot, Eric M. Wallen, Matthew I. Milowsky, William Y. Kim, W. Kimryn Rathmell, Ronald Swanstrom, Joel S. Parker, Jonathan S. Serody, Sara R. Selitsky, Benjamin G. Vincent
The adjuvanted varicella-zoster virus (VZV) glycoprotein E (gE) subunit herpes zoster vaccine (HZ/su) confers higher protection against HZ than the live attenuated zoster vaccine (ZV). To understand the immunologic basis for the different efficacies of the vaccines, we compared immune responses to the vaccines in adults 50 to 85 years old. gE-specific T cells were very low/undetectable before vaccination when analyzed by FluoroSpot and flow cytometry. Both ZV and HZ/su increased gE-specific responses, but at peak memory response (PMR) after vaccination (30 days after ZV or after the second dose of HZ/su), gE-specific CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses were 10-fold or more higher in HZ/su compared with ZV recipients. Comparing the vaccines, T cell memory responses, including gE–IL-2+ and VZV–IL-2+ spot-forming cells (SFCs), were higher in HZ/su recipients and cytotoxic and effector responses were lower. At 1 year after vaccination, all gE-Th1 and VZV–IL-2+ SFCs remained higher in HZ/su compared with ZV recipients. Mediation analyses showed that IL-2+ PMR were necessary for the persistence of Th1 responses to either vaccine and VZV–IL-2+ PMR explained 73% of the total effect of HZ/su on persistence. This emphasizes the biological importance of the memory responses, which were clearly superior in HZ/su compared with ZV participants.
Myron J. Levin, Miranda E. Kroehl, Michael J. Johnson, Andrew Hammes, Dominik Reinhold, Nancy Lang, Adriana Weinberg
Autosomal dominant hyper IgE syndrome (AD-HIES), or Job’s syndrome, is a primary immune deficiency caused by dominant-negative mutations in STAT3. Recurrent Staphylococcus aureus skin abscesses are a defining feature of this syndrome. A widely held hypothesis that defects in peripheral Th17 differentiation confer this susceptibility has never been directly evaluated. To assess the cutaneous immune response in AD-HIES, we induced suction blisters in healthy volunteers (HVs) and patients with AD-HIES and then challenged the wound with lethally irradiated bacteria. We show that cutaneous production of IL-17A and IL-17F was normal in patients with AD-HIES. Overproduction of TNF-α differentiated the responses in AD-HIES from HVs. This was associated with reduced IL-10 family signaling in blister-infiltrating cells and defective epithelial cell function. Mouse models of AD-HIES recapitulated these aberrant epithelial responses to S. aureus and involved defective epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) rather than a failure of bacterial killing. Defective responses in mouse models of AD-HIES and primary keratinocyte cultures from patients with AD-HIES could be reversed by TNF-α blockade and by drugs with reported modulatory effects on EMT. Our results identify these as potential therapeutic approaches in patients with AD-HIES suffering S. aureus infections.
Ian A. Myles, Erik D. Anderson, Noah J. Earland, Kol A. Zarember, Inka Sastalla, Kelli W. Williams, Portia Gough, Ian N. Moore, Sundar Ganesan, Cedar J. Fowler, Arian Laurence, Mary Garofalo, Douglas B. Kuhns, Mark D. Kieh, Arhum Saleem, Pamela A. Welch, Dirk A. Darnell, John I. Gallin, Alexandra F. Freeman, Steven M. Holland, Sandip K. Datta
The discovery of HLA-B*57:01–associated abacavir hypersensitivity is a translational success story that eliminated adverse reactions to abacavir through pretreatment screening and defined a mechanistic model of an altered peptide repertoire. In this issue of the JCI, Cardone et al. have developed an HLA-B*57:01–transgenic mouse model and demonstrated that CD4+ T cells play a key role in mediating tolerance to the dramatically altered endogenous peptide repertoire induced by abacavir and postulate a known mechanism by which CD4+ T cells suppress DC maturation. This report potentially explains why 45% of HLA-B*57:01 carriers tolerate abacavir and provides a framework for future studies of HLA-restricted, T cell–mediated drug tolerance and hypersensitivity.
Elizabeth J. Phillips, Simon A. Mallal
Interferonopathies are a subset of autoinflammatory disorders with a prominent type I IFN gene signature. Treatment of these patients has been challenging, given the lack of response to common autoinflammatory therapeutics including IL-1 and TNF blockade. JAK inhibitors (Jakinibs) are a family of small-molecule inhibitors that target the JAK/STAT signaling pathway and have shown clinical efficacy, with FDA and European Medicines Agency (EMA) approval for arthritic and myeloproliferative syndromes. Sanchez and colleagues repurposed baricitinib to establish a significant role for JAK inhibition as a novel therapy for patients with interferonopathies, demonstrating the power of translational rare disease research with lifesaving effects.
Hal M. Hoffman, Lori Broderick
Stromal cells within the tumor microenvironment play a supportive role in tumor growth, progression, and treatment resistance; therefore, these nonmalignant cells are potential therapeutic targets. In this issue of the JCI, Szot et al. devised a strategy to exploit the cell-surface marker TEM8 (also known as ANTXR1), which is expressed by cancer-associated stromal cells, as a zip code to deliver an antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) linked to the potent cancer-killing drug monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE). In preclinical tumor and experimental metastasis models of multiple cancer types, TEM8-ADC targeted TEM8-expressing cancer-associated stromal cells, which processed and liberated membrane-permeable MMAE and released this drug via the P-glycoprotein (P-gp) drug transporter. Released MMAE killed cancer cells through a bystander mechanism that did minimal damage to the stromal cells themselves. P-gp–expressing tumor cells displayed MMAE resistance, suggesting that P-gp expression status may identify patients who might benefit the most from TEM8-ADC. This strategy, termed DAaRTS (drug activation and release through stroma), represents an elegant example of how selective expression of a cell-surface molecule on cancer-associated stroma can be exploited to facilitate drug delivery and shrink solid tumors.
James V. McCann, Jamie L. Null, Andrew C. Dudley
Jorg Dietrich, Ninib Baryawno, Naema Nayyar, Yannis K. Valtis, Betty Yang, Ina Ly, Antoine Besnard, Nicolas Severe, Karin U. Gustafsson, Ovidiu C. Andronesi, Tracy T. Batchelor, Amar Sahay, David T. Scadden
The ability to recognize and avoid noxious stimuli is essential for survival. The factors that determine whether a given stimulus is considered positive or negative are complex and not fully understood. In this issue of the JCI, Klawonn and colleagues demonstrate that melanocortin 4 receptor (MC4R) signaling is critical for proper responses to negative stimuli. Mice lacking MC4R were shown to have a surprising preference for aversive stimuli compared with WT animals. Moreover, the authors provide evidence that avoidance behaviors are mediated by hypothalamic POMC neurons signaling to striatal dopamine D1 receptor–expressing medium spiny neurons. Together, these results provide important insight into the regulation of responses to aversive stimuli.
Alexandra G. DiFeliceantonio, Paul J. Kenny
The motor neuron disease spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is caused by recessive, loss-of-function mutations of the survival motor neuron 1 gene (SMN1). Alone, such mutations are embryonically lethal, but SMA patients retain a paralog gene, SMN2, that undergoes alternative pre-mRNA splicing, producing low levels of SMN protein. By mechanisms that are not well understood, reduced expression of the ubiquitously expressed SMN protein causes an early-onset motor neuron disease that often results in infantile or childhood mortality. Recently, striking clinical improvements have resulted from two novel treatment strategies to increase SMN protein by (a) modulating the splicing of existing SMN2 pre-mRNAs using antisense oligonucleotides, and (b) transducing motor neurons with self-complementary adeno-associated virus 9 (scAAV9) expressing exogenous SMN1 cDNA. We review the recently published clinical trial results and discuss the differing administration, tissue targeting, and potential toxicities of these two therapies. We also focus on the challenges that remain, emphasizing the many clinical and biologic questions that remain open. Answers to these questions will enable further optimization of these remarkable SMA treatments as well as provide insights that may well be useful in application of these therapeutic platforms to other diseases.
Charlotte J. Sumner, Thomas O. Crawford
Long-lived HIV-1 reservoirs that persist despite antiretroviral therapy (ART) are a major impediment to a cure for HIV-1. We examined whether human liver macrophages (LMs), the largest tissue macrophage population, comprise an HIV-1 reservoir. We purified LMs from liver explants and included treatment with a T cell immunotoxin to reduce T cells to 1% or less. LMs were purified from 9 HIV-1–infected persons, 8 of whom were on ART (range 8–140 months). Purified LMs were stimulated ex vivo and supernatants from 6 of 8 LMs from persons on ART transmitted infection. However, HIV-1 propagation from LMs was not sustained except in LMs from 1 person taking ART for less than 1 year. Bulk liver sequences matched LM-derived HIV-1 in 5 individuals. Additional in vitro experiments undertaken to quantify the decay of HIV-1–infected LMs from 3 healthy controls showed evidence of infection and viral release for prolonged durations (>170 days). Released HIV-1 propagated robustly in target cells, demonstrating that viral outgrowth was observable using our methods. The t1/2 of HIV-1–infected LMs ranged from 3.8–55 days. These findings suggest that while HIV-1 persists in LMs during ART, it does so in forms that are inert, suggesting that they are defective or restricted with regard to propagation.
Abraham J. Kandathil, Sho Sugawara, Ashish Goyal, Christine M. Durand, Jeffrey Quinn, Jaiprasath Sachithanandham, Andrew M. Cameron, Justin R. Bailey, Alan S. Perelson, Ashwin Balagopal
The agonistic/antagonistic biocharacter of selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) can have therapeutic advantages, particularly in the case of premenopausal breast cancers. Although the contradictory effects of these modulators have been studied in terms of crosstalk between the estrogen receptor α (ER) and coactivator dynamics and growth factor signaling, the molecular basis of these mechanisms is still obscure. We identify a series of regulatory mechanisms controlling cofactor dynamics on ER and SERM function, whose activities require F-box protein 22 (Fbxo22). Skp1, Cullin1, F-box–containing complex (SCFFbxo22) ubiquitylated lysine demethylase 4B (KDM4B) complexed with tamoxifen-bound (TAM-bound) ER, whose degradation released steroid receptor coactivator (SRC) from ER. Depletion of Fbxo22 resulted in ER-dependent transcriptional activation via transactivation function 1 (AF1) function, even in the presence of SERMs. In living cells, TAM released SRC and KDM4B from ER in a Fbxo22-dependent manner. SRC release by TAM required Fbxo22 on almost all ER-SRC–bound enhancers and promoters. TAM failed to prevent the growth of Fbxo22-depleted, ER-positive breast cancers both in vitro and in vivo. Clinically, a low level of Fbxo22 in tumor tissues predicted a poorer outcome in ER-positive/human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2–negative (HER2-negative) breast cancers with high hazard ratios, independently of other markers such as Ki-67 and node status. We propose that the level of Fbxo22 in tumor tissues defines a new subclass of ER-positive breast cancers for which SCFFbxo22-mediated KDM4B degradation in patients can be a therapeutic target for the next generation of SERMs.
Yoshikazu Johmura, Ichiro Maeda, Narumi Suzuki, Wenwen Wu, Atsushi Goda, Mariko Morita, Kiyoshi Yamaguchi, Mizuki Yamamoto, Satoi Nagasawa, Yasuyuki Kojima, Koichiro Tsugawa, Natsuko Inoue, Yasuo Miyoshi, Tomo Osako, Futoshi Akiyama, Reo Maruyama, Jun-ichiro Inoue, Yoichi Furukawa, Tomohiko Ohta, Makoto Nakanishi
Zika virus (ZIKV) is a teratogenic mosquito-borne flavivirus that can be sexually transmitted from man to woman. The finding of high viral loads and prolonged viral shedding in semen suggests that ZIKV replicates within the human male genital tract, but its target organs are unknown. Using ex vivo infection of organotypic cultures, we demonstrated here that ZIKV replicates in human testicular tissue and infects a broad range of cell types, including germ cells, which we also identified as infected in semen from ZIKV-infected donors. ZIKV had no major deleterious effect on the morphology and hormonal production of the human testis explants. Infection induced a broad antiviral response but no IFN upregulation and minimal proinflammatory response in testis explants, with no cytopathic effect. Finally, we studied ZIKV infection in mouse testis and compared it to human infection. This study provides key insights into how ZIKV may persist in semen and alter semen parameters, as well as a valuable tool for testing antiviral agents.
Giulia Matusali, Laurent Houzet, Anne-Pascale Satie, Dominique Mahé, Florence Aubry, Thérèse Couderc, Julie Frouard, Salomé Bourgeau, Karim Bensalah, Sylvain Lavoué, Guillaume Joguet, Louis Bujan, André Cabié, Gleide Avelar, Marc Lecuit, Anna Le Tortorec, Nathalie Dejucq-Rainsford
Acute kidney injury comprises a heterogeneous group of conditions characterized by a sudden decrease in renal function over hours to days. Contrast-induced acute kidney injury (CI-AKI) is caused by radiographic contrast agents used in diagnostic imaging. In the current issue of the JCI, Lau et al. use a mouse model of CI-AKI to study the role of resident and infiltrating phagocytes, recruited leukocytes, and tubular cells in the immune surveillance response to contrast agents. This study has the potential to provide innovative therapies for human CI-AKI.
Simon J. Atkinson
Langerhans cells (LCs) are likely among the first targets of HIV-1 infection due to their localization in mucosal tissues. In their recent work, Pena-Cruz and colleagues were able to study HIV-1 infection in vaginal epithelial DCs (VEDCs), termed CD1a+ VEDCs. They show that VEDCs are distinct from other blood- and tissue-derived DCs or LCs because they express the protein langerin but not the lectin receptor DC-SIGN, and they do not have Birbeck granules. The results from this study indicate that HIV-1 using CXCR4 replicates poorly in VEDCs but that a higher replication for HIV-1 using CCR5 strains is supported by VDECs. Furthermore, Pena-Cruz and colleagues demonstrate that VDECs can represent a viral reservoir in HIV-1–infected virologically suppressed women. As such, VDECs may represent another sanctuary of viral persistence and can be an additional obstacle to viral eradication.
Stephan Caucheteux, Vincent Piguet
Alexandra Zanin-Zhorov, Liora Cahalon, Guy Tal, Raanan Margalit, Ofer Lider, Irun R. Cohen
WHIM (warts, hypogammaglobulinemia, infections, and myelokathexis) syndrome is a genetic autoimmune disorder that results from gain-of-function mutations in the gene encoding chemokine receptor CXCR4. A previous study characterized a patient with WHIM who underwent a chromothriptic event that resulted in spontaneous deletion of the WHIM allele in a single hematopoietic stem cell and subsequent cure of the disease. In this issue of the JCI, Gao et al. extend this work and show that Cxcl4-haplosufficient bone marrow has a selective advantage for long-term engraftment in murine WHIM models. Moreover, successful engraftment occurred without prior conditioning of recipients. Together, these results have important implications for improving hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell transplant not only for patients with WHIM but also for all patients who may require the procedure.
Hal E. Broxmeyer
The hemostatic response to vascular injury culminates in a fibrin clot network that forms an initial barrier to blood loss and also contributes to microbial host defense. Fibrinogen is cleaved by thrombin into fibrin monomers that spontaneously polymerize into protofibrils and form the extensive fiber networks characteristic of blood clots. In this issue of the JCI, Macrae and colleagues characterize an alternative fibrin structure in which fibrinogen and fibrin assemble into a continuous 2D film at the exterior face of the fibrin clot network. Fibrin films connect to the underlying fiber network through tethering fibers and provide a protective barrier to microbial infiltration. These findings shed new light on a previously overlooked mechanism of fibrin assembly at the clot surface and provide a link between hemostasis and innate immunity.
Sean X. Gu, Steven R. Lentz
The pathogenesis of ischemic diseases remains unclear. Here we demonstrate the induction of microRNA-668 (miR-668) in ischemic acute kidney injury (AKI) in human patients, mice, and renal tubular cells. The induction was HIF-1 dependent, as HIF-1 deficiency in cells and kidney proximal tubules attenuated miR-668 expression. We further identified a functional HIF-1 binding site in the miR-668 gene promoter. Anti–miR-668 increased apoptosis in renal tubular cells and enhanced ischemic AKI in mice, whereas miR-668 mimic was protective. Mechanistically, anti–miR-668 induced mitochondrial fragmentation, whereas miR-668 blocked mitochondrial fragmentation during hypoxia. We analyzed miR-668 target genes through immunoprecipitation of microRNA-induced silencing complexes followed by RNA deep sequencing and identified 124 protein-coding genes as likely targets of miR-668. Among these genes, only mitochondrial protein 18 kDa (MTP18) has been implicated in mitochondrial dynamics. In renal cells and mouse kidneys, miR-668 mimic suppressed MTP18, whereas anti–miR-668 increased MTP18 expression. Luciferase microRNA target reporter assay further verified MTP18 as a direct target of miR-668. In renal tubular cells, knockdown of MTP18 suppressed mitochondrial fragmentation and apoptosis. Together, the results suggest that miR-668 is induced via HIF-1 in ischemic AKI and that, upon induction, miR-668 represses MTP18 to preserve mitochondrial dynamics for renal tubular cell survival and kidney protection.
Qingqing Wei, Haipeng Sun, Shuwei Song, Yong Liu, Pengyuan Liu, Man Jiang Livingston, Jianwen Wang, Mingyu Liang, Qing-Sheng Mi, Yuqing Huo, Norris Stanley Nahman, Changlin Mei, Zheng Dong
MASTL, a Ser/Thr kinase that inhibits PP2A-B55 complexes during mitosis, is mutated in autosomal dominant thrombocytopenia. However, the connections between the cell-cycle machinery and this human disease remain unexplored. We report here that, whereas Mastl ablation in megakaryocytes prevented proper maturation of these cells, mice carrying the thrombocytopenia-associated mutation developed thrombocytopenia as a consequence of aberrant activation and survival of platelets. Activation of mutant platelets was characterized by hyperstabilized pseudopods mimicking the effect of PP2A inhibition and actin polymerization defects. These aberrations were accompanied by abnormal hyperphosphorylation of multiple components of the actin cytoskeleton and were rescued both in vitro and in vivo by inhibiting upstream kinases such as PKA, PKC, or AMPK. These data reveal an unexpected role of Mastl in actin cytoskeletal dynamics in postmitotic cells and suggest that the thrombocytopenia-associated mutation in MASTL is a pathogenic dominant mutation that mimics decreased PP2A activity resulting in altered phosphorylation of cytoskeletal regulatory pathways.
Begoña Hurtado, Marianna Trakala, Pilar Ximénez-Embún, Aicha El Bakkali, David Partida, Belén Sanz-Castillo, Mónica Álvarez-Fernández, María Maroto, Ruth Sánchez-Martínez, Lola Martínez, Javier Muñoz, Pablo García de Frutos, Marcos Malumbres
NLRP3 inflammasome plays a critical spatiotemporal role in the pathogenesis of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE). This study reports a mechanistic insight into noncanonical NLRP3 inflammasome activation in microglia for the effector stage of EAE. Microglia-specific deficiency of ASC (apoptosis-associated speck-like protein containing a C-terminal caspase-activation and recruitment [CARD] domain) attenuated T cell expansion and neutrophil recruitment during EAE pathogenesis. Mechanistically, TLR stimulation led to IRAKM–caspase-8–ASC complex formation, resulting in the activation of caspase-8 and IL-1β release in microglia. Noncanonical inflammasome-derived IL-1β produced by microglia in the CNS helped to expand the microglia population in an autocrine manner and amplified the production of inflammatory cytokines/chemokines. Furthermore, active caspase-8 was markedly increased in the microglia in the brain tissue from patients with multiple sclerosis. Taken together, our study suggests that microglia-derived IL-1β via noncanonical caspase-8–dependent inflammasome is necessary for microglia to exert their pathogenic role during CNS inflammation.
Cun-Jin Zhang, Meiling Jiang, Hao Zhou, Weiwei Liu, Chenhui Wang, Zizhen Kang, Bing Han, Quanri Zhang, Xing Chen, Jianxin Xiao, Amanda Fisher, William J. Kaiser, Masanori A. Murayama, Yoichiro Iwakura, Ji Gao, Julie Carman, Ashok Dongre, George Dubyak, Derek W. Abbott, Fu-Dong Shi, Richard M. Ransohoff, Xiaoxia Li
BACKGROUND. Understanding the integrated immunogenomic landscape of advanced prostate cancer (APC) could impact stratified treatment selection. METHODS. Defective mismatch repair (dMMR) status was determined by either loss of mismatch repair protein expression on IHC or microsatellite instability (MSI) by PCR in 127 APC biopsies from 124 patients (Royal Marsden [RMH] cohort); MSI by targeted panel next-generation sequencing (MSINGS) was then evaluated in the same cohort and in 254 APC samples from the Stand Up To Cancer/Prostate Cancer Foundation (SU2C/PCF). Whole exome sequencing (WES) data from this latter cohort were analyzed for pathogenic MMR gene variants, mutational load, and mutational signatures. Transcriptomic data, available for 168 samples, was also performed. RESULTS. Overall, 8.1% of patients in the RMH cohort had some evidence of dMMR, which associated with decreased overall survival. Higher MSINGS scores associated with dMMR, and these APCs were enriched for higher T cell infiltration and PD-L1 protein expression. Exome MSINGS scores strongly correlated with targeted panel MSINGS scores (r = 0.73, P < 0.0001), and higher MSINGS scores associated with dMMR mutational signatures in APC exomes. dMMR mutational signatures also associated with MMR gene mutations and increased immune cell, immune checkpoint, and T cell–associated transcripts. APC with dMMR mutational signatures overexpressed a variety of immune transcripts, including CD200R1, BTLA, PD-L1, PD-L2, ADORA2A, PIK3CG, and TIGIT. CONCLUSION. These data could impact immune target selection, combination therapeutic strategy selection, and selection of predictive biomarkers for immunotherapy in APC. FUNDING. We acknowledge funding support from Movember, Prostate Cancer UK, The Prostate Cancer Foundation, SU2C, and Cancer Research UK.
Daniel Nava Rodrigues, Pasquale Rescigno, David Liu, Wei Yuan, Suzanne Carreira, Maryou B. Lambros, George Seed, Joaquin Mateo, Ruth Riisnaes, Stephanie Mullane, Claire Margolis, Diana Miao, Susana Miranda, David Dolling, Matthew Clarke, Claudia Bertan, Mateus Crespo, Gunther Boysen, Ana Ferreira, Adam Sharp, Ines Figueiredo, Daniel Keliher, Saud Aldubayan, Kelly P. Burke, Semini Sumanasuriya, Mariane Sousa Fontes, Diletta Bianchini, Zafeiris Zafeiriou, Larissa Sena Teixeira Mendes, Kent Mouw, Michael T. Schweizer, Colin C. Pritchard, Stephen Salipante, Mary-Ellen Taplin, Himisha Beltran, Mark A. Rubin, Marcin Cieslik, Dan Robinson, Elizabeth Heath, Nikolaus Schultz, Joshua Armenia, Wassim Abida, Howard Scher, Christopher Lord, Alan D’Andrea, Charles L. Sawyers, Arul M. Chinnaiyan, Andrea Alimonti, Peter S. Nelson, Charles G. Drake, Eliezer M. Van Allen, Johann S. de Bono
In the era of combined antiretroviral therapy (cART), lung diseases such as chronic bronchitis (CB) and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) are common among persons living with HIV (PLWH), particularly smokers. Although smoking is highly prevalent among PLWH, HIV may be an independent risk factor for lung diseases; however, the role of HIV and cigarette smoke (CS) and their potential interaction in the development of chronic lung diseases among PLWH has not been delineated. To investigate this interaction, cynomolgus macaques were exposed to CS and/or simian-adapted human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) and treated with cART. The development of CB and the lung functions were evaluated following CS±SHIV treatment. The results showed that in the lung, SHIV was a strong independent risk factor for goblet cell metaplasia/hyperplasia and mucus formation, MUC5AC synthesis, loss of tight junction proteins, and increased expression of Th2 cytokines/transcription factors. In addition, SHIV and CS synergistically reduced lung function and increased extrathoracic tracheal ring thickness. Interestingly, SHIV infection generated significant numbers of HIV-gp120+ epithelial cells (HGECs) in small airways and alveoli, and their numbers doubled in CS+SHIV-infected lungs. We conclude that even with cART, SHIV independently induces CB and pro-COPD changes in the lung, and the effects are exacerbated by CS.
Hitendra S. Chand, Rodrigo Vazquez-Guillamet, Christopher Royer, Karin Rudolph, Neerad Mishra, Shashi P. Singh, Shah S. Hussain, Edward Barrett, Shannon Callen, Siddappa N. Byrareddy, Maria Cristina Vazquez Guillamet, Jawad Abukhalaf, Aryaz Sheybani, Vernat Exil, Veena Raizada, Hemant Agarwal, Madhavan Nair, Francois Villinger, Shilpa Buch, Mohan Sopori
Chronic HBV (CHB) infection suppresses virus-specific T cells, but its impact on humoral immunity has been poorly analyzed. Here, we developed a dual-staining method that utilizes hepatitis B virus (HBV) surface antigens (HBsAg) labeled with fluorochromes as “baits” for specific ex vivo detection of HBsAg-specific B cells and analysis of their quantity, function, and phenotype. We studied healthy vaccinated subjects (n = 18) and patients with resolved (n = 21), acute (n = 11), or chronic (n = 96) HBV infection and observed that frequencies of circulating HBsAg-specific B cells were independent of HBV infection status. In contrast, the presence of serum HBsAg affected function and phenotype of HBsAg-specific B cells that were unable to mature in vitro into Ab-secreting cells and displayed an increased expression of markers linked to hyperactivation (CD21lo) and exhaustion (PD-1). Importantly, B cell alterations were not limited to HBsAg-specific B cells, but affected the global B cell population. HBsAg-specific B cell maturation could be partially restored by a method involving the combination of the cytokines IL-2 and IL-21 and CD40L-expressing feeder cells and was further boosted by the addition of anti–PD-1 Abs. In conclusion, HBV infection has a marked impact on global and HBV-specific humoral immunity, yet HBsAg-specific B cells are amenable to a partial rescue by B cell–maturing cytokines and PD-1 blockade.
Loghman Salimzadeh, Nina Le Bert, Charles-A. Dutertre, Upkar S. Gill, Evan W. Newell, Christian Frey, Magdeleine Hung, Nikolai Novikov, Simon Fletcher, Patrick T.F. Kennedy, Antonio Bertoletti
B cells are increasingly recognized as playing an important role in the ongoing control of hepatitis B virus (HBV). The development of antibodies against the viral surface antigen (HBV surface antigen [HBsAgs]) constitutes the hallmark of resolution of acute infection and is a therapeutic goal for functional cure of chronic HBV (CHB). We characterized B cells directly ex vivo from the blood and liver of patients with CHB to investigate constraints on their antiviral potential. Unexpectedly, we found that HBsAg-specific B cells persisted in the blood and liver of many patients with CHB and were enriched for T-bet, a signature of antiviral potential in B cells. However, purified, differentiated HBsAg-specific B cells from patients with CHB had defective antibody production, consistent with undetectable anti-HBs antibodies in vivo. HBsAg-specific and global B cells had an accumulation of CD21–CD27– atypical memory B cells (atMBC) with high expression of inhibitory receptors, including PD-1. These atMBC demonstrated altered signaling, homing, differentiation into antibody-producing cells, survival, and antiviral/proinflammatory cytokine production that could be partially rescued by PD-1 blockade. Analysis of B cells within healthy and HBV-infected livers implicated the combination of this tolerogenic niche and HBV infection in driving PD-1hiatMBC and impairing B cell immunity.
Alice R. Burton, Laura J. Pallett, Laura E. McCoy, Kornelija Suveizdyte, Oliver E. Amin, Leo Swadling, Elena Alberts, Brian R. Davidson, Patrick T.F. Kennedy, Upkar S. Gill, Claudia Mauri, Paul A. Blair, Nadege Pelletier, Mala K. Maini
Hyperphosphatemic familial tumoral calcinosis (HFTC)/hyperostosis-hyperphosphatemia syndrome (HHS) is an autosomal recessive disorder of ectopic calcification due to deficiency of or resistance to intact fibroblast growth factor 23 (iFGF23). Inactivating mutations in FGF23, N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase 3 (GALNT3), or KLOTHO (KL) have been reported as causing HFTC/HHS. We present what we believe is the first identified case of autoimmune hyperphosphatemic tumoral calcinosis in an 8-year-old boy. In addition to the classical clinical and biochemical features of hyperphosphatemic tumoral calcinosis, the patient exhibited markedly elevated intact and C-terminal FGF23 levels, suggestive of FGF23 resistance. However, no mutations in FGF23, KL, or FGF receptor 1 (FGFR1) were identified. He subsequently developed type 1 diabetes mellitus, which raised the possibility of an autoimmune cause for hyperphosphatemic tumoral calcinosis. Luciferase immunoprecipitation systems revealed markedly elevated FGF23 autoantibodies without detectable FGFR1 or Klotho autoantibodies. Using an in vitro FGF23 functional assay, we found that the FGF23 autoantibodies in the patient’s plasma blocked downstream signaling via the MAPK/ERK signaling pathway in a dose-dependent manner. Thus, this report describes the first case, to our knowledge, of autoimmune hyperphosphatemic tumoral calcinosis with pathogenic autoantibodies targeting FGF23. Identification of this pathophysiology extends the etiologic spectrum of hyperphosphatemic tumoral calcinosis and suggests that immunomodulatory therapy may be an effective treatment.
Mary Scott Roberts, Peter D. Burbelo, Daniela Egli-Spichtig, Farzana Perwad, Christopher J. Romero, Shoji Ichikawa, Emily Farrow, Michael J. Econs, Lori C. Guthrie, Michael T. Collins, Rachel I. Gafni
A complex DNA repair machinery has evolved to protect genomic integrity in the face of a myriad of DNA damage sources. When DNA repair fails, this damage can lead to carcinogenesis and tumor genomic instability. Indeed, many heritable cancer predisposition syndromes are attributable to germline defects in DNA repair pathways. On the other hand, these defects may also portend particular vulnerabilities of the cancer and may be exploited therapeutically. Most recently this has been demonstrated in the case of mismatch repair-deficient cancers, in which the immune checkpoint inhibitors have been demonstrated to be highly active. This observation has paved the way for further research investigating other sources of genomic instability that may serve as biomarkers to select patients for immunotherapy.
Katherine M. Bever, Dung T. Le
The use of broad-spectrum antibiotics in empirical antimicrobial therapy is a lifesaving strategy for patients in intensive care. At the same time, antibiotics dramatically increase the risk for nosocomial infections, such as hospital‑acquired pneumonia caused by Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and other antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In this issue of the JCI, Robak and colleagues identified a mechanism by which depletion of resident gut and lung microbiota by antibiotic treatment results in secondary IgA deficiency and impaired anti–P. aeruginosa host defense. Impaired defenses could be improved by substitution of polyclonal IgA via the intranasal route in a mouse model of pneumonia. Importantly, antibiotic treatment caused lung IgA deficiency that involved reduced TLR-dependent production of a proliferation-inducing ligand (APRIL) and B cell–activating factor (BAFF) in intensive care unit patients. These patients might therefore benefit from future strategies to increase pulmonary IgA levels.
Juergen Lohmeyer, Rory E. Morty, Susanne Herold
Brown et al. report that two weeks of exogenous leptin administration to leptin-naive individuals with lipodystrophy resulted in increased energy expenditure and lipolysis, decreased ectopic liver fat, improved hepatic and peripheral insulin sensitivity, and attenuated dyslipidemia. Leptin withdrawal in individuals with lipodystrophy did not produce reciprocal effects on these phenotypes and resulted in significant improvements only in hepatic insulin sensitivity. This asymmetry in responses to leptin initiation and cessation is consistent with the other aspects of leptin biology that are dependent on the metabolic context in which this adipocyte-derived hormone functions.
Michael Rosenbaum, Rudolph L. Leibel
Crescentic glomerulonephritis, a complication of severe immune glomerular injury, is the pathological correlate of rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis, mediated by both humoral and cellular effectors. In the current issue of the JCI, Chen et al. have implicated Bowman’s capsule in functionally isolating potentially immune effectors, specifically antigen-specific CD8+ T lymphocytes, from podocytes. They suggest that, in crescentic glomerulonephritis, immune-mediated glomerular endothelial injury results in inside-out injury to the glomerulus, with subsequent leukocyte migration through a weakened or ruptured Bowman’s capsule, resulting in outside-in injury. Effector T cells then recognize nephritogenic antigens presented by podocytes or other cells within the urinary space, enhancing injury and crescent formation.
A. Richard Kitching, Maliha A. Alikhan
While disorders of impaired vitamin D activation and action have long been appreciated, the consequences of abnormalities in pathways leading to the inactivation of vitamin D metabolites have only recently been identified. Two recent articles have shed new light on this area of vitamin D biology. The report by Martineau et al., published in the JCI, describes a pathway in which binding of the vitamin D metabolite 24R,25(OH)2D3 to its effector molecule FAM57B2 plays an important role in endochondral ossification during bone repair. This work follows, and adds to, another recent JCI publication by Roizen et al., showing that rapid inactivation of vitamin D metabolites causes vitamin D deficiency, leading to vitamin D–dependent rickets.
Marie B. Demay
Mutations underlie all cancers, and their identification and study are the foundation of cancer biology. We describe what we believe to be a novel approach to mutagenesis and cancer studies based on the DNA polymerase ε (POLE) ultramutator phenotype recently described in human cancers, in which a single amino acid substitution (most commonly P286R) in the proofreading domain results in error-prone DNA replication. We engineered a conditional PoleP286R allele in mice. PoleP286R/+ embryonic fibroblasts exhibited a striking mutator phenotype and immortalized more efficiently. PoleP286R/+ mice were born at Mendelian ratios but rapidly developed lethal cancers of diverse lineages, yielding the most cancer-prone monoallelic model described to date, to our knowledge. Comprehensive whole-genome sequencing analyses showed that the cancers were driven by high base substitution rates in the range of human cancers, overcoming a major limitation of previous murine cancer models. These data establish polymerase-mediated ultramutagenesis as an efficient in vivo approach for the generation of diverse animal cancer models that recapitulate the high mutational loads inherent to human cancers.
Hao-Dong Li, Ileana Cuevas, Musi Zhang, Changzheng Lu, Md Maksudul Alam, Yang-Xin Fu, M. James You, Esra A. Akbay, He Zhang, Diego H. Castrillon
Donna M. Martin, W. Kimryn Rathmell, Sohail F. Tavazoie
Brandon M. Fox, Alexander J. Adami, Travis D. Hull
BACKGROUND. Evidence from rodent studies indicates that the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) regulates bone metabolism, principally via β2-adrenergic receptors (β2-ARs). Given the conflicting human data, we used multiple approaches to evaluate the role of the SNS in regulating human bone metabolism. METHODS. Bone biopsies were obtained from 19 young and 19 elderly women for assessment of ADRB1, ADRB2, and ADRB3 mRNA expression. We examined the relationship of β-blocker use to bone microarchitecture by high-resolution peripheral quantitative CT in a population sample of 248 subjects. A total of 155 postmenopausal women were randomized to 1 of 5 treatment groups for 20 weeks: placebo; propranolol, 20 mg b.i.d.; propranolol, 40 mg b.i.d.; atenolol, 50 mg/day; or nebivolol, 5 mg/day. We took advantage of the β1-AR selectivity gradient of these drugs (propranolol [nonselective] << atenolol [relatively β1-AR selective] < nebivolol [highly β1-AR selective]) to define the β-AR selectivity for SNS effects on bone. RESULTS. ADRB1 and ADRB2, but not ADRB3, were expressed in human bone; patients treated clinically with β1-AR–selective blockers had better bone microarchitecture than did nonusers, and relative to placebo, atenolol and nebivolol, but not propranolol, reduced the bone resorption marker serum C-telopeptide of type I collagen (by 19.5% and 20.6%, respectively; P < 0.01) and increased bone mineral density of the ultradistal radius (by 3.6% and 2.9%; P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively). CONCLUSIONS. These 3 independent lines of evidence strongly support a role for adrenergic signaling in the regulation of bone metabolism in humans, principally via β1-ARs. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02467400. FUNDING. This research was supported by the NIH (AG004875 and AR027065) and a Mayo Clinic Clinical and Translational Science Award (CTSA) (UL1 TR002377).
Sundeep Khosla, Matthew T. Drake, Tammie L. Volkman, Brianne S. Thicke, Sara J. Achenbach, Elizabeth J. Atkinson, Michael J. Joyner, Clifford J. Rosen, David G. Monroe, Joshua N. Farr
At implantation, the embryo expresses paternally derived alloantigens and evokes inflammation that can threaten reproductive success. To ensure a robust placenta and sustainable pregnancy, an active state of maternal immune tolerance mediated by CD4+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) is essential. Tregs operate to inhibit effector immunity, contain inflammation, and support maternal vascular adaptations, thereby facilitating trophoblast invasion and placental access to the maternal blood supply. Insufficient Treg numbers or inadequate functional competence are implicated in idiopathic infertility and recurrent miscarriage as well as later-onset pregnancy complications stemming from placental insufficiency, including preeclampsia and fetal growth restriction. In this Review, we summarize the mechanisms acting in the conception environment to drive the Treg response and discuss prospects for targeting the T cell compartment to alleviate immune-based reproductive disorders.
Sarah A. Robertson, Alison S. Care, Lachlan M. Moldenhauer
Resolution of inflammation is a critical process that is facilitated by specialized proresolving mediators (SPMs). In this issue, Bang et al. show that the G protein–coupled receptor GPR37 is a receptor for one such SPM, neuroprotectin D1. They also show that GPR37 activation in macrophages enhances phagocytosis, shifts cytokine release toward an antiinflammatory profile, and thereby helps to reverse inflammatory pain.
Lintao Qu, Michael J. Caterina
Myrthala Moreno-Smith, J.B. Halder, Paul S. Meltzer, Tamas A. Gonda, Lingegowda S. Mangala, Rajesha Rupaimoole, Chunhua Lu, Archana S. Nagaraja, Kshipra M. Gharpure, Yu Kang, Cristian Rodriguez-Aguayo, Pablo E. Vivas-Mejia, Behrouz Zand, Rosemarie Schmandt, Hua Wang, Robert R. Langley, Nicholas B. Jennings, Cristina Ivan, Jeremy E. Coffin, Guillermo N. Armaiz, Justin Bottsford-Miller, Sang Bae Kim, Margaret S. Halleck, Mary J.C. Hendrix, William Bornman, Menashe Bar-Eli, Ju-Seog Lee, Zahid H. Siddik, Gabriel Lopez-Berestein, Anil K. Sood
Recombinant adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors have been broadly adopted as a gene delivery tool in clinical trials, owing to their high efficiency of transduction of several host tissues and their low immunogenicity. However, a considerable proportion of the population is naturally exposed to the WT virus from which AAV vectors are derived, which leads to the acquisition of immunological memory that can directly determine the outcome of gene transfer. Here, we show that prior exposure to AAV drives distinct capsid immunity profiles in healthy subjects. In peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) isolated from AAV-seropositive donors, recombinant AAV triggered TNF-α secretion in memory CD8+ T cells, B cell differentiation into antibody-secreting cells, and anti-capsid antibody production. Conversely, PBMCs isolated from AAV-seronegative individuals appeared to carry a population of NK cells reactive to AAV. Further, we demonstrated that the AAV capsid activates IL-1β and IL-6 cytokine secretion in monocyte-related dendritic cells (moDCs). IL-1β and IL-6 blockade inhibited the anti-capsid humoral response in vitro and in vivo. These results provide insights into immune responses to AAV in humans, define a possible role for moDCs and NK cells in capsid immunity, and open new avenues for the modulation of vector immunogenicity.
Klaudia Kuranda, Priscilla Jean-Alphonse, Christian Leborgne, Romain Hardet, Fanny Collaud, Solenne Marmier, Helena Costa Verdera, Giuseppe Ronzitti, Philippe Veron, Federico Mingozzi
Activating mutations in the Wnt pathway drive a variety of cancers, but the specific targets and pathways activated by Wnt ligands are not fully understood. To bridge this knowledge gap, we performed a comprehensive time-course analysis of Wnt-dependent signaling pathways in an orthotopic model of Wnt-addicted pancreatic cancer, using a porcupine (PORCN) inhibitor currently in clinical trials, and validated key results in additional Wnt-addicted models. The temporal analysis of the drug-perturbed transcriptome demonstrated direct and indirect regulation of more than 3,500 Wnt-activated genes (23% of the transcriptome). Regulation was both via Wnt/β-catenin and through the modulation of protein abundance of important transcription factors, including MYC, via Wnt-dependent stabilization of proteins (Wnt/STOP). Our study identifies a central role of Wnt/β-catenin and Wnt/STOP signaling in controlling ribosome biogenesis, a key driver of cancer proliferation.
Babita Madan, Nathan Harmston, Gahyathiri Nallan, Alex Montoya, Peter Faull, Enrico Petretto, David M. Virshup
The mechanisms responsible for the development of the impaired awareness of hypoglycemia often seen in insulin-treated patients with diabetes remain uncertain, but cerebral adaptations to recurrent hypoglycemia are frequently hypothesized. In this issue of the JCI, Ma et al. demonstrate that neuropeptide Y (NPY) secretion from adrenal chromaffin cells persists during exposure to recurrent hypoglycemia and activation of the sympathetic nerves at the same time that epinephrine secretion is reduced. This results in the inhibition of tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme for catecholamine synthesis. These observations suggest that a peripheral mechanism downstream from the brain contributes to the development of impaired awareness of hypoglycemia.
Elizabeth R. Seaquist
Itch (pruritis) and pain represent two distinct sensory modalities; yet both have evolved to alert us to potentially harmful external stimuli. Compared with pain, our understanding of itch is still nascent. Here, we report a new clinical case of debilitating itch and altered pain perception resulting from the heterozygous de novo p.L811P gain-of-function mutation in NaV1.9, a voltage-gated sodium (NaV) channel subtype that relays sensory information from the periphery to the spine. To investigate the role of NaV1.9 in itch, we developed a mouse line in which the channel is N-terminally tagged with a fluorescent protein, thereby enabling the reliable identification and biophysical characterization of NaV1.9-expressing neurons. We also assessed NaV1.9 involvement in itch by using a newly created NaV1.9–/– and NaV1.9L799P/WT mouse model. We found that NaV1.9 is expressed in a subset of nonmyelinated, nonpeptidergic small-diameter dorsal root ganglia (DRGs). In WT DRGs, but not those of NaV1.9–/– mice, pruritogens altered action potential parameters and NaV channel gating properties. Additionally, NaV1.9–/– mice exhibited a strong reduction in acute scratching behavior in response to pruritogens, whereas NaV1.9L799P/WT mice displayed increased spontaneous scratching. Altogether, our data suggest an important contribution of NaV1.9 to itch signaling.
Juan Salvatierra, Marcelo Diaz-Bustamante, James Meixiong, Elaine Tierney, Xinzhong Dong, Frank Bosmans
Concordant activation of MYC and BCL-2 oncoproteins in double-hit lymphoma (DHL) results in aggressive disease that is refractory to treatment. By integrating activity-based proteomic profiling and drug screens, polo-like kinase-1 (PLK1) was identified as an essential regulator of the MYC-dependent kinome in DHL. Notably, PLK1 was expressed at high levels in DHL, correlated with MYC expression, and connoted poor outcome. Further, PLK1 signaling augmented MYC protein stability, and in turn, MYC directly induced PLK1 transcription, establishing a feed-forward MYC-PLK1 circuit in DHL. Finally, inhibition of PLK1 triggered degradation of MYC and of the antiapoptotic protein MCL-1, and PLK1 inhibitors showed synergy with BCL-2 antagonists in blocking DHL cell growth, survival, and tumorigenicity, supporting clinical targeting of PLK1 in DHL.
Yuan Ren, Chengfeng Bi, Xiaohong Zhao, Tint Lwin, Cheng Wang, Ji Yuan, Ariosto S. Silva, Bijal D. Shah, Bin Fang, Tao Li, John M. Koomen, Huijuan Jiang, Julio C. Chavez, Lan V. Pham, Praneeth R. Sudalagunta, Lixin Wan, Xuefeng Wang, William S. Dalton, Lynn C. Moscinski, Kenneth H. Shain, Julie Vose, John L. Cleveland, Eduardo M. Sotomayor, Kai Fu, Jianguo Tao
This issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation marks the transition of the position of editor from Gordon Tomaselli to me. It is with great humility that I begin my tenure as the editor of the flagship journal of the American Society for Clinical Investigation (ASCI). On behalf of the JCI editorial board and editorial staff, I wish Gordon Tomaselli all the best in his new position as the dean of the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.
Rexford S. Ahima
Chronic allergic inflammatory diseases are a major cause of morbidity, with allergic asthma alone affecting over 300 million people worldwide. Epidemiological studies demonstrate that environmental stimuli are associated with either the promotion or prevention of disease. Major reductions in asthma prevalence are documented in European and US farming communities. Protection is associated with exposure of mothers during pregnancy to microbial breakdown products present in farm dusts and unprocessed foods and enhancement of innate immune competence in the children. We sought to develop a scientific rationale for progressing these findings toward clinical application for primary disease prevention. Treatment of pregnant mice with a defined, clinically approved immune modulator was shown to markedly reduce susceptibility of their offspring to development of the hallmark clinical features of allergic airway inflammatory disease. Mechanistically, offspring displayed enhanced dendritic cell–dependent airway mucosal immune surveillance function, which resulted in more efficient generation of mucosal-homing regulatory T cells in response to local inflammatory challenge. We provide evidence that the principal target for maternal treatment effects was the fetal dendritic cell progenitor compartment, equipping the offspring for accelerated functional maturation of the airway mucosal dendritic cell network following birth. These data provide proof of concept supporting the rationale for developing transplacental immune reprogramming approaches for primary disease prevention.
Kyle T. Mincham, Naomi M. Scott, Jean-Francois Lauzon-Joset, Jonatan Leffler, Alexander N. Larcombe, Philip A. Stumbles, Sarah A. Robertson, Christian Pasquali, Patrick G. Holt, Deborah H. Strickland
The introduction of a whole-cell vaccine against Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent of whooping cough, dramatically reduced disease incidence. Unfortunately, the whole-cell formulation also induces severe reactions in some infants. Because of this, acellular vaccines have been developed, but they are used exclusively in high-income countries. However, the acellular vaccines do not provide long-term protection, and despite the use of routine boosters, the disease is on the rise. In this issue of the JCI, da Silva Antunes and colleagues demonstrate that the whole-cell vaccines promote long-term polarization toward Th1 and Th17 responses, while the acellular vaccines induce Th2 polarization. Moreover, this polarization is long term, as the response to acellular boosters is dependent on the initial vaccine given in infancy. The authors speculate that Tregs may be induced by initial acellular vaccine administration. The results of this study have important implications for the development of pertussis vaccination strategies that would induce Th1 and Th17 polarization.
Stanley A. Plotkin
Although mutant forms of the gene encoding surfactant protein C (SFTPC) have been linked to interstitial lung disease, the mechanisms by which the most common of these mutations, SFTPCI73T, results in lung fibrosis are uncertain. In this issue of the JCI, Nureki et al. developed a knockin mouse model and showed that SFTPCI73T is expressed by alveolar type II (AT2) epithelial cells in the lungs. These mice developed an age-related fibrotic phenotype when the mutant allele was expressed at low levels and acute lung inflammation/injury followed by lung fibrosis when mutant SFTPCI73T expression was enhanced. This work provides important information regarding the impact of AT2 cell dysfunction on fibrotic remodeling in the lungs.
Timothy S. Blackwell
Xiaochao Tan, Priyam Banerjee, Xin Liu, Jiang Yu, Don L. Gibbons, Ping Wu, Kenneth L. Scott, Lixia Diao, Xiaofeng Zheng, Jing Wang, Ali Jalali, Milind Suraokar, Junya Fujimoto, Carmen Behrens, Xiuping Liu, Chang-gong Liu, Chad J. Creighton, Ignacio I. Wistuba, Jonathan M. Kurie
T cell–dependent germinal center (GC) reactions are the pinnacle of adaptive immune responses, with profound effects on human health and disease. It has long been known that ligands of an innate immune pattern recognition receptor subgroup, TLRs, amplify antibody responses; however, the mechanisms regulating this phenomenon are poorly understood. In this issue of the JCI, Raso et al. demonstrate that αvβ3 integrins regulate the magnitude and speed of TLR-augmented GC reactions, limiting both short- and long-term humoral immunity. This phenomenon is dependent on a noncanonical form of the autophagy pathway and Rubicon, a noncanonical autophagy-associated protein. B cell–specific deletion of the gene encoding αvβ3 integrin enhanced GC responses in mice and conferred a dramatic survival advantage compared with controls after influenza infection, confirming that B cell integrin manipulation represents a potential and exciting target for augmenting or inhibiting GC reactions.
Jeremy S. Leventhal
RBCs are the most abundant circulating cells in humans and typically comprise 35% to 45% of the blood volume (hematocrit). Anemia is associated with an increase in bleeding, and epidemiological studies have shown an association between an elevated hematocrit and thrombosis. RBCs may contribute to hemostasis and thrombosis via mechanisms that include platelet margination leading to an increase in the near-wall platelet concentration, blood viscosity, thrombin generation, and platelet activation. In this issue of the JCI, Klatt et al. report that binding of the Fas ligand FasL on the surface of platelets to its cognate receptor FasR on the surface of RBCs increases thrombin generation in vitro and thrombosis in mouse models. This represents a new mechanism by which RBCs contribute to thrombosis.
Under normal conditions, there is a paucity of neutrophils within the intestinal mucosa; however, these innate immune cells rapidly infiltrate the mucosa in response to infection and are critical for pathogen control. Unfortunately, these cells can cause extensive damage to the intestine if the initial inflammatory influx is not resolved. Factors that promote resolution of inflammation are of great interest, as they have therapeutic potential for limiting uncontrolled inflammatory damage. In this issue of the JCI, Szabady et al. demonstrate that the multidrug resistance transporter P-glycoprotein (P-gp) secretes endocannabinoids into the intestinal lumen that counteract the proinflammatory actions of the eicosanoid hepoxilin A3, which is secreted into the lumen by the efflux pump MRP2 and serves as a potent neutrophil chemoattractant. Moreover, the antiinflammatory actions of P-gp–secreted endocannabinoids were mediated by peripheral cannabinoid receptor CB2 on neutrophils. Together, the results of this study identify an important mechanism by which endogenous endocannabinoids facilitate the resolution of inflammation; this mechanism has potential to be therapeutically exploited.
Andrew S. Neish
Hemagglutination inhibition (HI) titers are a major correlate of protection for influenza-related illness. The influenza virus hemagglutinin possesses antigenic sites that are the targets of HI active antibodies. Here, a panel of mutant viruses each lacking a classically defined antigenic site was created to compare the species-specific immunodominance of the antigenic sites in a clinically relevant hemagglutinin. HI active antibodies of antisera from influenza virus–infected mice targeted sites Sb and Ca2. HI active antibodies of guinea pigs were not directed against any specific antigenic site, although trends were observed toward Sb, Ca2, and Sa. HI titers of antisera from infected ferrets were significantly affected by site Sa. HI active antibodies of adult humans followed yet another immunodominance pattern, in which sites Sb and Sa were immunodominant. When comparing the HI profiles among different species by antigenic cartography, animals and humans grouped separately. This study provides characterizations of the antibody-mediated immune responses against the head domain of a recent H1 hemagglutinin in animals and humans.
Sean T. H. Liu, Mohammad Amin Behzadi, Weina Sun, Alec W. Freyn, Wen-Chun Liu, Felix Broecker, Randy A. Albrecht, Nicole M. Bouvier, Viviana Simon, Raffael Nachbagauer, Florian Krammer, Peter Palese
Bone metabolism is controlled by endocrine, paracrine, and inflammatory signals that continuously operate in health and disease. While these signals are critical for skeletal adaptation during development, longitudinal growth, and repair, disturbances such as sex hormone deficiency or chronic inflammation have unambiguously been linked to bone loss and skeletal fragility across species. In the current issue of the JCI, Khosla et al. evaluated the role of sympathetic outflow and present evidence to support the idea that the sympathetic nervous system regulates bone metabolism in humans, primarily via the β1-adrenergic receptor.
Lorenz C. Hofbauer, Holger Henneicke
Over 40 years ago, Loeb and colleagues proposed that errors in DNA replication produce a mutator phenotype that is involved in generating the multiple mutations required for tumor development. In this issue of the JCI, Li, Castrillon, and colleagues describe a mouse model containing a single base change in the gene encoding replicative DNA polymerase ε (POLE) that mimics the “ultramutator” phenotype recently reported in many human tumors. Their seminal accomplishment validates Loeb’s hypothesis and the use of mutational signatures to understand the origins and potentially the treatment of human tumors, and it offers an exciting opportunity to further explore the mechanisms responsible for normal DNA replication fidelity and their perturbations.
Thomas A. Kunkel
Cong Jin, Christopher P. Shelburne, Guojie Li, Erin N. Potts, Kristina J. Riebe, Gregory D. Sempowski, W. Michael Foster, Soman N. Abraham
In spite of a very robust body of literature and definitive data demonstrating the importance of the programmed cell death receptor-1 (PD-1) pathway in T cells and their function, the data on NK cell PD-1 expression have been highly variable and, particularly in the case of mouse NK cells, scarce. In this issue of the JCI, Hsu et al. present data demonstrating PD-1 expression on mouse NK cells only within tumors and show that PD-1 blockade elicits an antitumor NK cell–mediated response. This study indicates that, given the complexity of both the biology and study of NK cells, further work is needed to more clearly determine the role of the PD-1/PD-1 ligand (PD-L1) on NK cells.
Cordelia Dunai, William J. Murphy
About one-third of the US population will develop herpes zoster (HZ, commonly known as shingles) over a lifetime, while two-thirds will not. It is not clear exactly why certain people are susceptible to HZ; however, we may be coming closer to an answer. In this issue of the JCI, a study by Levin et al. provides important details concerning pathogenesis of and protection from HZ. The authors characterized differences in the immunologic responses induced by two HZ vaccines, the live attenuated zoster vaccine (ZV) and the more recently developed adjuvanted varicella-zoster virus (VZV) glycoprotein E (gE) subunit herpes zoster vaccine (HZ/su), in vaccine-naive subjects and those previously vaccinated with HZ. The observed differences in responses paralleled the observed clinical protection of the two zoster vaccines, with HZ/su being superior to HZ. Together, these results seem to explain immunologically why the new subunit vaccine outperforms the live vaccine. These differences may also provide clues as to why HZ develops in the first place.
Anne A. Gershon
The polyamine metabolic pathway has been considered a rational target for antineoplastic therapy since it was discovered that polyamines are absolute requirements for tumor initiation, growth, and, in some instances, survival. Although several promising preclinical studies have demonstrated the critical nature of polyamines for tumor growth, the clinical success of agents targeting polyamine metabolism have been lacking. In the accompanying article, Bianchi-Smiraglia et al. identify both a new target and new drug that inhibits polyamine biosynthesis, reduces intracellular polyamines, and inhibits the growth of several models of human multiple myeloma. These results are both intriguing and provide promise for moving such a strategy to the clinic.
Robert A. Casero Jr.
Despite breakthroughs in immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) immunotherapy, not all human cancers respond to ICI immunotherapy and a large fraction of patients with the responsive types of cancers do not respond to current ICI immunotherapy. This clinical conundrum suggests that additional immune checkpoints exist. We report here that interferon regulatory factor 8 (IRF8) deficiency led to impairment of cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) activation and allograft tumor tolerance. However, analysis of chimera mice with competitive reconstitution of WT and IRF8-KO bone marrow cells as well as mice with IRF8 deficiency only in T cells indicated that IRF8 plays no intrinsic role in CTL activation. Instead, IRF8 functioned as a repressor of osteopontin (OPN), the physiological ligand for CD44 on T cells, in CD11b+Ly6CloLy6G+ myeloid cells and OPN acted as a potent T cell suppressor. IRF8 bound to the Spp1 promoter to repress OPN expression in colon epithelial cells, and colon carcinoma exhibited decreased IRF8 and increased OPN expression. The elevated expression of OPN in human colon carcinoma was correlated with decreased patient survival. Our data indicate that myeloid and tumor cell–expressed OPN acts as an immune checkpoint to suppress T cell activation and confer host tumor immune tolerance.
John D. Klement, Amy V. Paschall, Priscilla S. Redd, Mohammed L. Ibrahim, Chunwan Lu, Dafeng Yang, Esteban Celis, Scott I. Abrams, Keiko Ozato, Kebin Liu
Stephen T. Oh
Robert M. Wachter, Talmadge E. King Jr.
Experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) is an inflammatory demyelinating disease of the central nervous system (CNS), induced by the adoptive transfer of myelin-reactive CD4+ T cells into naive syngeneic mice. It is widely used as a rodent model of multiple sclerosis (MS). The development of EAE lesions is initiated when transferred CD4+ T cells access the CNS and are reactivated by local antigen-presenting cells (APCs) bearing endogenous myelin peptide/MHC class II complexes. The identity of the CNS-resident, lesion-initiating APCs is widely debated. Here we demonstrate that classical dendritic cells (cDCs) normally reside in the meninges, brain, and spinal cord in the steady state. These cells are unique among candidate CNS APCs in their ability to stimulate naive, as well as effector, myelin-specific T cells to proliferate and produce proinflammatory cytokines directly ex vivo. cDCs expanded in the meninges and CNS parenchyma in association with disease progression. Selective depletion of cDCs led to a decrease in the number of myelin-primed donor T cells in the CNS and reduced the incidence of clinical EAE by half. Based on our findings, we propose that cDCs, and the factors that regulate them, be further investigated as potential therapeutic targets in MS.
David A. Giles, Patrick C. Duncker, Nicole M. Wilkinson, Jesse M. Washnock-Schmid, Benjamin M. Segal
Marisa L. Conte, M. Bishr Omary
Arturo Casadevall, Ferric C. Fang
Hepatitis B virus–specific (HBV-specific) T cells have been identified as main effector cells in HBV clearance. In contrast, B cells producing neutralizing antibodies against the HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) have been studied in little detail, mainly due to methodical limitations. In this issue of the JCI, two reports use a new technique to specifically detect and characterize HBsAg-specific B cells ex vivo. Indeed, these cells are present, but show phenotypic alterations and impaired function during acute and chronic HBV infection. Thus, HBsAg-specific B cells are a novel attractive target for antiviral strategies toward functional cure of chronic HBV infection.
Christoph Neumann-Haefelin, Robert Thimme
Jing Wang, Xiang Cheng, Mei-Xiang Xiang, Mervi Alanne-Kinnunen, Jian-An Wang, Han Chen, Aina He, Xinghui Sun, Yan Lin, Ting-Ting Tang, Xin Tu, Sara Sjöberg, Galina K. Sukhova, Yu-Hua Liao, Daniel H. Conrad, Lunyin Yu, Toshiaki Kawakami, Petri T. Kovanen, Peter Libby, Guo-Ping Shi
The current inactivated influenza vaccines rely on the induction of neutralizing antibodies against the head domain of the viral hemagglutinin (HA). The HA head contains five immunodominant antigenic sites, all of which are subject to antigenic drift, thereby limiting vaccine efficacy. Bypassing the immune system’s tendency to focus on the most variable regions of the HA may be a step toward more broadly protective influenza vaccines. However, this requires a better understanding of the biological meaning of immunodominance, and of the hierarchy between different antigenic sites. In this issue of the JCI, Liu et al. determined the immunodominance of the five antigenic sites of the HA head in experimentally infected mice, guinea pigs, and ferrets. All three species exhibited different preferences for the five sites of the 2009 pandemic H1N1 strain. Moreover, human subjects exhibited yet a different pattern of immunodominance following immunization with the standard inactivated influenza vaccine. Together, these results have important implications for influenza vaccine design and interpretation of animal models.
Kristien Van Reeth
Renin-expressing cells have been conserved through evolution and maintain blood pressure and fluid homeostasis. Lack of availability of tools to study the specifics of renin regulation has limited advances in this field. In the current issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, Martinez and colleagues used the genome-wide assessment of the chromatin status of cells and uncovered a unique set of super-enhancers that determine the identity of renin cells. The renin super-enhancers play a key role in the molecular memory of renin cell function, a mechanism at the core of preserving homeostasis.
Steven D. Crowley
In the vascular wall, endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) produces NO to regulate peripheral vascular resistance, tissue perfusion, and blood pressure. In resistance arteries, eNOS couples with α-globin and, through chemical reactions, modulates NO diffusion needed for vascular smooth muscle relaxation. While α-globin protein alone is known to be unstable, the mechanisms that enable α-globin protein expression remain elusive. Here, Lechauve et al. report that arterial endothelium expresses α hemoglobin–stabilizing protein, which acts as a critical chaperone protein for α-globin expression and vascular function.
Adam C. Straub, Mark T. Gladwin
The introduction of anti-TNF antibody therapy has changed the course of treatment for Crohn’s disease. However, the fundamental mechanism for the onset of Crohn’s disease is still unknown, and the treatment strategy for this disease remains suboptimal. The assessment of the disease phenotype based on key environmental factors and genetic background may indicate options for the personalized treatment of Crohn’s disease. In this issue of the JCI, Liu et al. show that consumption of tobacco and the mutation of ATG16L1T300A, a prevalent Crohn’s disease susceptibility allele, drive defects in cells at the bottom of the intestinal crypt, the Paneth cells. These factors may provide novel targets for personalized medicine.
Shigeru Oshima, Mamoru Watanabe
Obesity and overnutrition increase levels of reactive sugar- and lipid-derived aldehydes called reactive carbonyl species (RCS). Increased tissue and circulating RCS levels have been tied to insulin resistance and inflammation, but previous pharmacological approaches to target RCS have had equivocal outcomes. In this issue of the JCI, Anderson et al. present evidence for the development and implementation of carnisonol, a compound that is biologically stable in vivo and shows impressive effects on improving metabolism and inflammation in rodent models of diet-induced obesity and metabolic dysfunction.
Jacob M. Haus, John P. Thyfault
The stroma of solid tumors can exclude or limit immune infiltration, or lead to the recruitment of tumor-promoting rather than tumor-attacking immune cells. This finding was reported by Jayaprakash et al. in this issue of the JCI, and it was particularly prominent in the hypoxic zones of tumors in the transgenic adenocarcinoma of the mouse prostate (TRAMP) cancer models. A current clinical goal of immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) is to extend its utility to more patients by converting immunologically “cold” tumors that do not provoke a strong immunological response to “hot” tumors that are invaded by swarms of T cells. When the underlying cause is hypoxia linked, the therapeutic combination of simultaneous targeting of hypoxia and immune checkpoints merits exploration in future clinical trials.
Paul R. Walker
In critically ill patients, disruption of intestinal epithelial cell function occurs due to exposure of the epithelium to toxic internal and external inflammatory stimuli, which are key factors that trigger sepsis and multi-organ dysfunction syndrome (MODS). A greater understanding of how trauma and gut failure lead to sepsis and progression to MODS is much needed. In this issue of the JCI, Armacki and colleagues identify mechanisms by which thirty-eight-negative kinase 1 (TNK1) promotes the progression from intestinal apoptosis and gut failure to bacterial translocation, sepsis, and MODS. Moreover, the results of this study suggest TNK1 as a potential therapeutic target to prevent sepsis and MODS.
QiQi Zhou, G. Nicholas Verne
Helen H. Hobbs
Corinne L. Williams
Leonard I. Zon
Serpil C. Erzurum
Protein quality control (PQC) mechanisms are essential for maintaining cardiac function, and alterations in this pathway influence multiple forms of heart disease. Since heart disease is the leading cause of death worldwide, understanding how the delicate balance between protein synthesis and degradation is regulated in the heart demands attention. The study by Hu et al. reveals that the extraproteasomal ubiquitin receptor Ubiquilin1 (Ubqln1) plays an important role in cardiac ubiquitination-proteasome coupling, particularly in response to myocardial ischemia/reperfusion injury, thereby suggesting that this may be a new avenue for therapeutics.
Xi Fang, Christa Trexler, Ju Chen
Enteroviruses, including subtype EV-A71, infect the brain, liver, heart, and other organs, causing a myriad of human diseases. This spectrum of disease is thought to be due, in part, to differential binding to host cells, and additional knowledge of enterovirus cell entry is essential for therapeutic development. In this issue of the JCI, Yeung et al. provide evidence of a novel EV-A71 entry factor, a host-produced tryptophan tRNA synthetase (hWARS), that facilitates entry of multiple subtypes of enteroviruses. hWARS is a cytoplasmic enzyme that is essential for translation but also upregulated and secreted during inflammatory processes. The results of this study support the notion of secreted hWARS as an unconventional virus entry factor that raises interesting questions about mechanisms by which inflammation and a tRNA synthetase facilitate viral pathogenesis.
Stanley Perlman, Tom Gallagher
Lara Al-Olabi, Satyamaanasa Polubothu, Katherine Dowsett, Katrina A. Andrews, Paulina Stadnik, Agnel P. Joseph, Rachel Knox, Alan Pittman, Graeme Clark, William Baird, Neil Bulstrode, Mary Glover, Kristiana Gordon, Darren Hargrave, Susan M. Huson, Thomas S. Jacques, Gregory James, Hannah Kondolf, Loshan Kangesu, Kim M. Keppler-Noreuil, Amjad Khan, Marjorie J. Lindhurst, Mark Lipson, Sahar Mansour, Justine O’Hara, Caroline Mahon, Anda Mosica, Celia Moss, Aditi Murthy, Juling Ong, Victoria E. Parker, Jean-Baptiste Rivière, Julie C. Sapp, Neil J. Sebire, Rahul Shah, Branavan Sivakumar, Anna Thomas, Alex Virasami, Regula Waelchli, Zhiqiang Zeng, Leslie G. Biesecker, Alex Barnacle, Maya Topf, Robert K. Semple, E. Elizabeth Patton, Veronica A. Kinsler
Chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) is extremely heterogenous in its effects on airway remodeling. Parsing the complex and interrelated morphologic changes and understanding their contribution to disease severity has posed a significant challenge to the field. In the current issue of the JCI, Bodduluri et al. measured the complex effects of COPD on the airway tree using airway fractal dimension (AFD) on computerized tomography in a large cohort of smokers with and without COPD. They found that lower AFD was independently associated with disease severity and mortality in COPD. This work highlights AFD as a noninvasive approach to analyze complex changes in airway geometry.
Eleanor M. Dunican
Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients have increased histamine in their basal ganglia, but the role of this neurotransmitter in PD is poorly understood. In this issue of the JCI, Zhuang et al. demonstrate that histamine levels rise in the subthalamic nucleus (STN) to compensate for abnormal firing patterns. Injection of histamine into the STN restores normal firing patterns and motor activity, whereas merely changing firing rates has no behavioral effect. Moreover, STN deep brain stimulation, a widespread therapy for PD, regularizes firing through endogenous histamine release. This suggests that abnormal firing patterns, rather than rates, cause PD symptoms, and this histaminergic pathway may lead to new treatments for the disease.
Timothy C. Whalen, Aryn H. Gittis
βIV-Spectrin, along with ankyrin and Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII), has been shown to form local signaling domains at the intercalated disc, while playing a key role in the regulation of Na+ and K+ channels in cardiomyocytes. In this issue of the JCI, Unudurthi et al. show that under chronic pressure overload conditions, CaMKII activation leads to βIV-spectrin degradation, resulting in the release of sequestered STAT3 from the intercalated discs. This in turn leads to dysregulation of STAT3-mediated gene transcription, maladaptive remodeling, fibrosis, and decreased cardiac function. Overall, this study presents interesting findings regarding the role of CaMKII and βIV-spectrin under physiological as well as pathological conditions.
Mohit Hulsurkar, Ann P. Quick, Xander H.T. Wehrens
Benjamin L. Ebert
Cancer cells evade the immune system through a variety of different mechanisms, including the inhibition of antitumor effector T cells via checkpoint ligand–receptor interaction. Moreover, studies have shown that blocking these checkpoint pathways can reinvigorate the antitumor immunity, thereby prompting the development of numerous checkpoint immunotherapies, several of which are now being approved to treat multiple types of cancer. However, only a fraction of patients achieves promising long-term outcomes in response to checkpoint inhibition, suggesting the existence of additional unknown tumor-induced immunosuppressive pathways. In this issue of the JCI, Klement and colleagues describe an additional pathway of T cell inhibition in cancer. Specifically, the authors demonstrate that downregulation of IRF8, a molecular determinant of apoptotic resistance, in tumor cells aborts repression of osteopontin, which in turn binds to its physiological receptor CD44 on activated T cells and suppresses their activation. These results suggest that osteopontin may act as another immune checkpoint and may serve as a target to expand the number of patients who respond to immune checkpoint inhibitor therapy.
Michael R. Shurin
Inhibitors that target specific kinases or oncoproteins have become popular additions to or replacements for cytotoxic chemotherapies to treat many different types of cancer. However, many tumors lack a discernable target kinase and an amplified oncoprotein and/or rely on several cooperating mechanisms for progression. Thus, combinations of targeted therapies are essential for treating many cancers to avoid the rapid emergence of resistance. In this issue of the JCI, Ren et al. use an elegant kinase activity–profiling method and identify activity of the oncogene polo-like kinase-1 (PLK1) as an important driver of double-hit lymphoma (DHL), an aggressive subgroup of B cell lymphoma characterized by chromosomal translocations involving c-MYC and BCL2 or BCL6. Moreover, PLK1 activity was associated with MYC expression and poor prognosis in DHL patients. PLK1 inhibition with volasertib, alone and in combination with the BCL-2 inhibitor venetoclax, was efficacious in multiple DHL models, including mice harboring DHL patient–derived xenografts. Together, these data support PLK1 as a promising prognostic marker and therapeutic target for DHL.
Quais N. Hassan II, Lapo Alinari, John C. Byrd
Anna Sophia McKenney, Allison N. Lau, Amritha Varshini Hanasoge Somasundara, Barbara Spitzer, Andrew M. Intlekofer, Jihae Ahn, Kaitlyn Shank, Franck T. Rapaport, Minal A. Patel, Efthymia Papalexi, Alan H. Shih, April Chiu, Elizaveta Freinkman, Esra A. Akbay, Mya Steadman, Raj Nagaraja, Katharine Yen, Julie Teruya-Feldstein, Kwok-Kin Wong, Raajit Rampal, Matthew G. Vander Heiden, Craig B. Thompson, Ross L. Levine
People with diabetes mellitus are at higher risk of developing serious ascending infections of the urinary tract. The traditional explanation has focused on the role of glycosuria in promoting bacterial growth. Using mouse models, Murtha et al. demonstrate that when the intracellular insulin signaling pathway is compromised, antimicrobial defenses are compromised too, and the mice are unable to effectively handle uropathogenic E. coli introduced experimentally into the urinary tract. These observations strongly support the hypothesis that the antimicrobial defenses of the kidney are dependent on insulin, and the urinary tract infections associated with diabetes occur due to reduced expression of these key effectors of innate immunity.
Ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) sets off a devastating cascade of events, leading to cell death and possible organ failure. Treatments to limit I/R-associated damage are lacking, and the pathways that drive injury are poorly understood. In this issue of the JCI, Wei and colleagues identify microRNA-668 (miR-668) as a protective factor in acute kidney injury (AKI). miR-668 was shown to repress mitochondrial fission–associated protein MTP18, thereby inhibiting pathogenic mitochondrial fragmentation. In murine models of I/R-induced AKI, treatment with a miR-668 mimetic reduced mitochondrial fragmentation and improved renal function. Moreover, HIF-1α was shown to be required for miR-688 expression in response to I/R. Importantly, Wei et al. show miR-668 upregulation in a cohort of human patients with AKI. Together, these results identify a HIF-1α/miR-668/MTP18 axis that may have potential as a therapeutic target for AKI.
Nicholas Chun, Steven G. Coca, John Cijiang He
Edoardo Bertero, Christoph Maack, Brian O’Rourke
Dmitriy Zamarin, Jacob M. Ricca, Svetlana Sadekova, Anton Oseledchyk, Ying Yu, Wendy M. Blumenschein, Jerelyn Wong, Mathieu Gigoux, Taha Merghoub, Jedd D. Wolchok
Daniel Nava Rodrigues, Pasquale Rescigno, David Liu, Wei Yuan, Suzanne Carreira, Maryou B. Lambros, George Seed, Joaquin Mateo, Ruth Riisnaes, Stephanie Mullane, Claire Margolis, Diana Miao, Susana Miranda, David Dolling, Matthew Clarke, Claudia Bertan, Mateus Crespo, Gunther Boysen, Ana Ferreira, Adam Sharp, Ines Figueiredo, Daniel Keliher, Saud Aldubayan, Kelly P. Burke, Semini Sumanasuriya, Mariane Sousa Fontes, Diletta Bianchini, Zafeiris Zafeiriou, Larissa Sena Teixeira Mendes, Kent Mouw, Michael T. Schweizer, Colin C. Pritchard, Stephen Salipante, Mary-Ellen Taplin, Himisha Beltran, Mark A. Rubin, Marcin Cieslik, Dan Robinson, Elizabeth Heath, Nikolaus Schultz, Joshua Armenia, Wassim Abida, Howard Scher, Christopher Lord, Alan D’Andrea, Charles L. Sawyers, Arul M. Chinnaiyan, Andrea Alimonti, Peter S. Nelson, Charles G. Drake, Eliezer M. Van Allen, Johann S. de Bono
Sandeep Bodduluri, Abhilash S. Kizhakke Puliyakote, Sarah E. Gerard, Joseph M. Reinhardt, Eric A. Hoffman, John D. Newell Jr., Hrudaya P. Nath, MeiLan K. Han, George R. Washko, Raúl San José Estépar, Mark T. Dransfield, Surya P. Bhatt, COPDGene Investigators
Piero Anversa, Jan Kajstura, Marcello Rota, Annarosa Leri
Obesity is a major risk factor for developing nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). NAFLD is the most common form of chronic liver disease and is closely associated with insulin resistance, ultimately leading to cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma. However, knowledge of the intracellular regulators of obesity-linked fatty liver disease remains incomplete. Here we showed that hepatic Rho-kinase 1 (ROCK1) drives obesity-induced steatosis in mice through stimulation of de novo lipogenesis. Mice lacking ROCK1 in the liver were resistant to diet-induced obesity owing to increased energy expenditure and thermogenic gene expression. Constitutive expression of hepatic ROCK1 was sufficient to promote adiposity, insulin resistance, and hepatic lipid accumulation in mice fed a high-fat diet. Correspondingly, liver-specific ROCK1 deletion prevented the development of severe hepatic steatosis and reduced hyperglycemia in obese diabetic (ob/ob) mice. Of pathophysiological significance, hepatic ROCK1 was markedly upregulated in humans with fatty liver disease and correlated with risk factors clustering around NAFLD and insulin resistance. Mechanistically, we found that hepatic ROCK1 suppresses AMPK activity and a ROCK1/AMPK pathway is necessary to mediate cannabinoid-induced lipogenesis in the liver. Furthermore, treatment with metformin, the most widely used antidiabetes drug, reduced hepatic lipid accumulation by inactivating ROCK1, resulting in activation of AMPK downstream signaling. Taken together, our findings establish a ROCK1/AMPK signaling axis that regulates de novo lipogenesis, providing a unique target for treating obesity-related metabolic disorders such as NAFLD.
Hu Huang, Seung-Hwan Lee, Inês Sousa-Lima, Sang Soo Kim, Won Min Hwang, Yossi Dagon, Won-Mo Yang, Sungman Cho, Min-Cheol Kang, Ji A. Seo, Munehiko Shibata, Hyunsoo Cho, Getachew Debas Belew, Jinhyuk Bhin, Bhavna N. Desai, Min Jeong Ryu, Minho Shong, Peixin Li, Hua Meng, Byung-Hong Chung, Daehee Hwang, Min Seon Kim, Kyong Soo Park, Maria Paula Macedo, Morris White, John Jones, Young-Bum Kim
Congenital neutropenia is characterized by low absolute neutrophil numbers in blood, leading to recurrent bacterial infections, and patients often require life-long granulocyte CSF (G-CSF) support. X-linked neutropenia (XLN) is caused by gain-of-function mutations in the actin regulator Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASp). To understand the pathophysiology in XLN and the role of WASp in neutrophils, we here examined XLN patients and 2 XLN mouse models. XLN patients had reduced myelopoiesis and extremely low blood neutrophil number. However, their neutrophils had a hyperactive phenotype and were present in normal numbers in XLN patient saliva. Murine XLN neutrophils were hyperactivated, with increased actin dynamics and migration into tissues. We provide molecular evidence that the hyperactivity of XLN neutrophils is caused by WASp in a constitutively open conformation due to contingent phosphorylation of the critical tyrosine-293 and plasma membrane localization. This renders WASp activity less dependent on regulation by PI3K. Our data show that the amplitude of WASp activity inside a cell could be enhanced by cell-surface receptor signaling even in the context in which WASp is already in an active conformation. Moreover, these data categorize XLN as an atypical congenital neutropenia in which constitutive activation of WASp in tissue neutrophils compensates for reduced myelopoiesis.
Marton Keszei, Julien Record, Joanna S. Kritikou, Hannah Wurzer, Chiara Geyer, Meike Thiemann, Paul Drescher, Hanna Brauner, Laura Köcher, Jaime James, Minghui He, Marisa A.P. Baptista, Carin I.M. Dahlberg, Amlan Biswas, Sonia Lain, David P. Lane, Wenxia Song, Katrin Pütsep, Peter Vandenberghe, Scott B. Snapper, Lisa S. Westerberg
Polyamine inhibition for cancer therapy is, conceptually, an attractive approach but has yet to meet success in the clinical setting. The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) is the central transcriptional regulator of the xenobiotic response. Our study revealed that AHR also positively regulates intracellular polyamine production via direct transcriptional activation of 2 genes, ODC1 and AZIN1, which are involved in polyamine biosynthesis and control, respectively. In patients with multiple myeloma (MM), AHR levels were inversely correlated with survival, suggesting that AHR inhibition may be beneficial for the treatment of this disease. We identified clofazimine (CLF), an FDA-approved anti-leprosy drug, as a potent AHR antagonist and a suppressor of polyamine biosynthesis. Experiments in a transgenic model of MM (Vk*Myc mice) and in immunocompromised mice bearing MM cell xenografts revealed high efficacy of CLF comparable to that of bortezomib, a first-in-class proteasome inhibitor used for the treatment of MM. This study identifies a previously unrecognized regulatory axis between AHR and polyamine metabolism and reveals CLF as an inhibitor of AHR and a potentially clinically relevant anti-MM agent.
Anna Bianchi-Smiraglia, Archis Bagati, Emily E. Fink, Hayley C. Affronti, Brittany C. Lipchick, Sudha Moparthy, Mark D. Long, Spencer R. Rosario, Shivana M. Lightman, Kalyana Moparthy, David W. Wolff, Dong Hyun Yun, Zhannan Han, Anthony Polechetti, Matthew V. Roll, Ilya I. Gitlin, Katerina I. Leonova, Aryn M. Rowsam, Eugene S. Kandel, Andrei V. Gudkov, P. Leif Bergsagel, Kelvin P. Lee, Dominic J. Smiraglia, Mikhail A. Nikiforov
All species organize behaviors to optimally match daily changes in the environment, leading to pronounced activity/rest cycles that track the light/dark cycle. Endogenous, approximately 24-hour circadian rhythms in the brain, autonomic nervous system, heart, and vasculature prepare the cardiovascular system for optimal function during these anticipated behavioral cycles. Cardiovascular circadian rhythms, however, may be a double-edged sword. The normal amplified responses in the morning may aid the transition from sleep to activity, but such exaggerated responses are potentially perilous in individuals susceptible to adverse cardiovascular events. Indeed, the occurrence of stroke, myocardial infarction, and sudden cardiac death all have daily patterns, striking most frequently in the morning. Furthermore, chronic disruptions of the circadian clock, as with night-shift work, contribute to increased cardiovascular risk. Here we highlight the importance of the circadian system to normal cardiovascular function and to cardiovascular disease, and identify opportunities for optimizing timing of medications in cardiovascular disease.
Saurabh S. Thosar, Matthew P. Butler, Steven A. Shea
Islet amyloidosis is characterized by the aberrant accumulation of islet amyloid polypeptide (IAPP) in pancreatic islets, resulting in β cell toxicity, which exacerbates type 2 diabetes and islet transplant failure. It is not fully clear how IAPP induces cellular stress or how IAPP-induced toxicity can be prevented or treated. We recently defined the properties of toxic IAPP species. Here, we have identified a receptor-mediated mechanism of islet amyloidosis–induced proteotoxicity. In human diabetic pancreas and in cellular and mouse models of islet amyloidosis, increased expression of the receptor for advanced glycation endproducts (RAGE) correlated with human IAPP–induced (h-IAPP–induced) β cell and islet inflammation, toxicity, and apoptosis. RAGE selectively bound toxic intermediates, but not nontoxic forms of h-IAPP, including amyloid fibrils. The isolated extracellular ligand–binding domains of soluble RAGE (sRAGE) blocked both h-IAPP toxicity and amyloid formation. Inhibition of the interaction between h-IAPP and RAGE by sRAGE, RAGE-blocking antibodies, or genetic RAGE deletion protected pancreatic islets, β cells, and smooth muscle cells from h-IAPP–induced inflammation and metabolic dysfunction. sRAGE-treated h-IAPP Tg mice were protected from amyloid deposition, loss of β cell area, β cell inflammation, stress, apoptosis, and glucose intolerance. These findings establish RAGE as a mediator of IAPP-induced toxicity and suggest that targeting the IAPP/RAGE axis is a potential strategy to mitigate this source of β cell dysfunction in metabolic disease.
Andisheh Abedini, Ping Cao, Annette Plesner, Jinghua Zhang, Meilun He, Julia Derk, Sachi A. Patil, Rosa Rosario, Jacqueline Lonier, Fei Song, Hyunwook Koh, Huilin Li, Daniel P. Raleigh, Ann Marie Schmidt
After the initial responsiveness of triple-negative breast cancers (TNBCs) to chemotherapy, they often recur as chemotherapy-resistant tumors, and this has been associated with upregulated homology-directed repair (HDR). Thus, inhibitors of HDR could be a useful adjunct to chemotherapy treatment of these cancers. We performed a high-throughput chemical screen for inhibitors of HDR from which we obtained a number of hits that disrupted microtubule dynamics. We postulated that high levels of the target molecules of our screen in tumors would correlate with poor chemotherapy response. We found that inhibition or knockdown of dynamin 2 (DNM2), known for its role in endocytic cell trafficking and microtubule dynamics, impaired HDR and improved response to chemotherapy of cells and of tumors in mice. In a retrospective analysis, levels of DNM2 at the time of treatment strongly predicted chemotherapy outcome for estrogen receptor–negative and especially for TNBC patients. We propose that DNM2-associated DNA repair enzyme trafficking is important for HDR efficiency and is a powerful predictor of sensitivity to breast cancer chemotherapy and an important target for therapy.
Sophia B. Chernikova, Rochelle B. Nguyen, Jessica T. Truong, Stephano S. Mello, Jason H. Stafford, Michael P. Hay, Andrew Olson, David E. Solow-Cordero, Douglas J. Wood, Solomon Henry, Rie von Eyben, Lei Deng, Melanie Hayden Gephart, Asaithamby Aroumougame, Claudia Wiese, John C. Game, Balázs Győrffy, J. Martin Brown
While the transcription factor forkhead box M1 (FOXM1) is well known as a proto-oncogene, its potential role in lung fibroblast activation has never been explored. Here, we show that FOXM1 is more highly expressed in fibrotic than in normal lung fibroblasts in humans and mice. FOXM1 was required not only for cell proliferation in response to mitogens, but also for myofibroblast differentiation and apoptosis resistance elicited by TGF-β. The lipid mediator PGE2, acting via cAMP signaling, was identified as an endogenous negative regulator of FOXM1. Finally, genetic deletion of FOXM1 in fibroblasts or administration of the FOXM1 inhibitor Siomycin A in a therapeutic protocol attenuated bleomycin-induced pulmonary fibrosis. Our results identify FOXM1 as a driver of lung fibroblast activation and underscore the therapeutic potential of targeting FOXM1 for pulmonary fibrosis.
Loka R. Penke, Jennifer M. Speth, Vijaya L. Dommeti, Eric S. White, Ingrid L. Bergin, Marc Peters-Golden
Despite significant advances in the treatment of multiple myeloma (MM), most patients succumb to disease progression. One of the major immunosuppressive mechanisms that is believed to play a role in myeloma progression is the expansion of regulatory T cells (Tregs). In this study, we demonstrate that myeloma cells drive Treg expansion and activation by secreting type 1 interferon (IFN). Blocking IFN α and β receptor 1 (IFNAR1) on Tregs significantly decreases both myeloma-associated Treg immunosuppressive function and myeloma progression. Using syngeneic transplantable murine myeloma models and bone marrow (BM) aspirates of MM patients, we found that Tregs were expanded and activated in the BM microenvironment at early stages of myeloma development. Selective depletion of Tregs led to a complete remission and prolonged survival in mice injected with myeloma cells. Further analysis of the interaction between myeloma cells and Tregs using gene sequencing and enrichment analysis uncovered a feedback loop, wherein myeloma-cell-secreted type 1 IFN induced proliferation and expansion of Tregs. By using IFNAR1-blocking antibody treatment and IFNAR1-knockout Tregs, we demonstrated a significant decrease in myeloma-associated Treg proliferation, which was associated with longer survival of myeloma-injected mice. Our results thus suggest that blocking type 1 IFN signaling represents a potential strategy to target immunosuppressive Treg function in MM.
Yawara Kawano, Oksana Zavidij, Jihye Park, Michele Moschetta, Katsutoshi Kokubun, Tarek H. Mouhieddine, Salomon Manier, Yuji Mishima, Naoka Murakami, Mark Bustoros, Romanos Sklavenitis Pistofidis, Mairead Reidy, Yu J. Shen, Mahshid Rahmat, Pavlo Lukyanchykov, Esilida Sula Karreci, Shokichi Tsukamoto, Jiantao Shi, Satoshi Takagi, Daisy Huynh, Antonio Sacco, Yu-Tzu Tai, Marta Chesi, P. Leif Bergsagel, Aldo M. Roccaro, Jamil Azzi, Irene M. Ghobrial
HIF-1α, one of the most extensively studied oncogenes, is activated by a variety of microenvironmental factors. The resulting biological effects are thought to depend on its transcriptional activity. The RNAse enzyme Dicer is frequently downregulated in human cancers, which has been functionally linked to enhanced metastatic properties; however, current knowledge of the upstream mechanisms regulating Dicer is limited. In the present study, we identified Dicer as a HIF-1α–interacting protein in multiple types of cancer cell lines and different human tumors. HIF-1α downregulated Dicer expression by facilitating its ubiquitination by the E3 ligase Parkin, thereby enhancing autophagy-mediated degradation of Dicer, which further suppressed the maturation of known tumor suppressors, such as the microRNA let-7 and microRNA-200b. Consequently, expression of HIF-1α facilitated epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and metastasis in tumor-bearing mice. Thus, this study uncovered a connection between oncogenic HIF-1α and the tumor-suppressive Dicer. This function of HIF-1α is transcription independent and occurs through previously unrecognized protein interaction–mediated ubiquitination and autophagic proteolysis.
Hui-Huang Lai, Jie-Ning Li, Ming-Yang Wang, Hsin-Yi Huang, Carlo M. Croce, Hui-Lung Sun, Yu-Jhen Lyu, Jui-Wen Kang, Ching-Feng Chiu, Mien-Chie Hung, Hiroshi I. Suzuki, Pai-Sheng Chen
Acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) represents a severe, T cell–driven inflammatory complication following allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT). GVHD often affects the intestine and is associated with a poor prognosis. Although frequently detectable, proinflammatory mechanisms exerted by intestinal tissue–infiltrating Th cell subsets remain to be fully elucidated. Here, we show that the Th17-defining transcription factor basic leucine zipper transcription factor ATF-like (BATF) was strongly regulated across human and mouse intestinal GVHD tissues. Studies in complete MHC-mismatched and minor histocompatibility–mismatched (miHA-mismatched) GVHD models revealed that BATF-expressing T cells were functionally indispensable for intestinal GVHD manifestation. Mechanistically, BATF controlled the formation of colon-infiltrating, IL-7 receptor–positive (IL-7R+), granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor–positive (GM-CSF+), donor T effector memory (Tem) cells. This T cell subset was sufficient to promote intestinal GVHD, while its occurrence was largely dependent on T cell–intrinsic BATF expression, required IL-7–IL-7R interaction, and was enhanced by GM-CSF. Thus, this study identifies BATF-dependent pathogenic GM-CSF+ effector T cells as critical promoters of intestinal inflammation in GVHD and hence putatively provides mechanistic insight into inflammatory processes previously assumed to be selectively Th17 driven.
Evelyn Ullrich, Benjamin Abendroth, Johanna Rothamer, Carina Huber, Maike Büttner-Herold, Vera Buchele, Tina Vogler, Thomas Longerich, Sebastian Zundler, Simon Völkl, Andreas Beilhack, Stefan Rose-John, Stefan Wirtz, Georg F. Weber, Sakhila Ghimire, Marina Kreutz, Ernst Holler, Andreas Mackensen, Markus F. Neurath, Kai Hildner
Type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) is a common complication of obesity. Here, we have shown that activation of the IgG receptor FcγRIIB in endothelium by hyposialylated IgG plays an important role in obesity-induced insulin resistance. Despite becoming obese on a high-fat diet (HFD), mice lacking FcγRIIB globally or selectively in endothelium were protected from insulin resistance as a result of the preservation of insulin delivery to skeletal muscle and resulting maintenance of muscle glucose disposal. IgG transfer in IgG-deficient mice implicated IgG as the pathogenetic ligand for endothelial FcγRIIB in obesity-induced insulin resistance. Moreover, IgG transferred from patients with T2DM but not from metabolically healthy subjects caused insulin resistance in IgG-deficient mice via FcγRIIB, indicating that similar processes may be operative in T2DM in humans. Mechanistically, the activation of FcγRIIB by IgG from obese mice impaired endothelial cell insulin transcytosis in culture and in vivo. These effects were attributed to hyposialylation of the Fc glycan, and IgG from T2DM patients was also hyposialylated. In HFD-fed mice, supplementation with the sialic acid precursor N-acetyl-D-mannosamine restored IgG sialylation and preserved insulin sensitivity without affecting weight gain. Thus, IgG sialylation and endothelial FcγRIIB may represent promising therapeutic targets to sever the link between obesity and T2DM.
Keiji Tanigaki, Anastasia Sacharidou, Jun Peng, Ken L. Chambliss, Ivan S. Yuhanna, Debabrata Ghosh, Mohamed Ahmed, Alexander J. Szalai, Wanpen Vongpatanasin, Robert F. Mattrey, Qiushi Chen, Parastoo Azadi, Ildiko Lingvay, Marina Botto, William L. Holland, Jennifer J. Kohler, Shashank R. Sirsi, Kenneth Hoyt, Philip W. Shaul, Chieko Mineo
Progression of chronic kidney disease associated with progressive fibrosis and impaired tubular epithelial regeneration is still an unmet biomedical challenge because, once chronic lesions have manifested, no effective therapies are available as of yet for clinical use. Prompted by various studies across multiple organs demonstrating that preconditioning regimens to induce endogenous regenerative mechanisms protect various organs from later incurring acute injuries, we here aimed to gain insights into the molecular mechanisms underlying successful protection and to explore whether such pathways could be utilized to inhibit progression of chronic organ injury. We identified a protective mechanism controlled by the transcription factor ARNT that effectively inhibits progression of chronic kidney injury by transcriptional induction of ALK3, the principal mediator of antifibrotic and proregenerative bone morphogenetic protein–signaling (BMP-signaling) responses. We further report that ARNT expression itself is controlled by the FKBP12/YY1 transcriptional repressor complex and that disruption of such FKBP12/YY1 complexes by picomolar FK506 at subimmunosuppressive doses increases ARNT expression, subsequently leading to homodimeric ARNT-induced ALK3 transcription. Direct targeting of FKBP12/YY1 with in vivo morpholino approaches or small molecule inhibitors, including GPI-1046, was equally effective for inducing ARNT expression, with subsequent activation of ALK3-dependent canonical BMP-signaling responses and attenuated chronic organ failure in models of chronic kidney disease, and also cardiac and liver injuries. In summary, we report an organ-protective mechanism that can be pharmacologically modulated by immunophilin ligands FK506 and GPI-1046 or therapeutically targeted by in vivo morpholino approaches.
Björn Tampe, Désirée Tampe, Gunsmaa Nyamsuren, Friederike Klöpper, Gregor Rapp, Anne Kauffels, Thomas Lorf, Elisabeth M. Zeisberg, Gerhard A. Müller, Raghu Kalluri, Samy Hakroush, Michael Zeisberg
Autoimmune diseases, such as psoriasis and arthritis, show a patchy distribution of inflammation despite systemic dysregulation of adaptive immunity. Thus, additional tissue-derived signals, such as danger-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs), are indispensable for manifestation of local inflammation. S100A8/S100A9 complexes are the most abundant DAMPs in many autoimmune diseases. However, regulatory mechanisms locally restricting DAMP activities are barely understood. We now unravel for the first time, to our knowledge, a mechanism of autoinhibition in mice and humans restricting S100-DAMP activity to local sites of inflammation. Combining protease degradation, pull-down assays, mass spectrometry, and targeted mutations, we identified specific peptide sequences within the second calcium-binding EF-hands triggering TLR4/MD2-dependent inflammation. These binding sites are free when S100A8/S100A9 heterodimers are released at sites of inflammation. Subsequently, S100A8/S100A9 activities are locally restricted by calcium-induced (S100A8/S100A9)2 tetramer formation hiding the TLR4/MD2-binding site within the tetramer interphase, thus preventing undesirable systemic effects. Loss of this autoinhibitory mechanism in vivo results in TNF-α–driven fatal inflammation, as shown by lack of tetramer formation in crossing S100A9–/– mice with 2 independent TNF-α–transgene mouse strains. Since S100A8/S100A9 is the most abundant DAMP in many inflammatory diseases, specifically blocking the TLR4-binding site of active S100 dimers may represent a promising approach for local suppression of inflammatory diseases, avoiding systemic side effects.
Thomas Vogl, Athanasios Stratis, Viktor Wixler, Tom Völler, Sumita Thurainayagam, Selina K. Jorch, Stefanie Zenker, Alena Dreiling, Deblina Chakraborty, Mareike Fröhling, Peter Paruzel, Corinna Wehmeyer, Sven Hermann, Olympia Papantonopoulou, Christiane Geyer, Karin Loser, Michael Schäfers, Stephan Ludwig, Monika Stoll, Tomas Leanderson, Joachim L. Schultze, Simone König, Thomas Pap, Johannes Roth
Synthetic lethality is an efficient mechanism-based approach to selectively target DNA repair defects. Excision repair cross-complementation group 1 (ERCC1) deficiency is frequently found in non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), making this DNA repair protein an attractive target for exploiting synthetic lethal approaches in the disease. Using unbiased proteomic and metabolic high-throughput profiling on a unique in-house–generated isogenic model of ERCC1 deficiency, we found marked metabolic rewiring of ERCC1-deficient populations, including decreased levels of the metabolite NAD+ and reduced expression of the rate-limiting NAD+ biosynthetic enzyme nicotinamide phosphoribosyltransferase (NAMPT). We also found reduced NAMPT expression in NSCLC samples with low levels of ERCC1. These metabolic alterations were a primary effect of ERCC1 deficiency, and caused selective exquisite sensitivity to small-molecule NAMPT inhibitors, both in vitro — ERCC1-deficient cells being approximately 1,000 times more sensitive than ERCC1-WT cells — and in vivo. Using transmission electronic microscopy and functional metabolic studies, we found that ERCC1-deficient cells harbor mitochondrial defects. We propose a model where NAD+ acts as a regulator of ERCC1-deficient NSCLC cell fitness. These findings open therapeutic opportunities that exploit a yet-undescribed nuclear-mitochondrial synthetic lethal relationship in NSCLC models, and highlight the potential for targeting DNA repair/metabolic crosstalks for cancer therapy.
Mehdi Touat, Tony Sourisseau, Nicolas Dorvault, Roman M. Chabanon, Marlène Garrido, Daphné Morel, Dragomir B. Krastev, Ludovic Bigot, Julien Adam, Jessica R. Frankum, Sylvère Durand, Clement Pontoizeau, Sylvie Souquère, Mei-Shiue Kuo, Sylvie Sauvaigo, Faraz Mardakheh, Alain Sarasin, Ken A. Olaussen, Luc Friboulet, Frédéric Bouillaud, Gérard Pierron, Alan Ashworth, Anne Lombès, Christopher J. Lord, Jean-Charles Soria, Sophie Postel-Vinay
JAK2-V617F–positive chronic myeloproliferative neoplasia (CMN) commonly displays dysfunction of integrins and adhesion molecules expressed on platelets, erythrocytes, and leukocytes. However, the mechanism by which the 2 major leukocyte integrin chains, β1 and β2, may contribute to CMN pathophysiology remained unclear. β1 (α4β1; VLA-4) and β2 (αLβ2; LFA-1) integrins are essential regulators for attachment of leukocytes to endothelial cells. We here showed enhanced adhesion of granulocytes from mice with JAK2-V617F knockin (JAK2+/VF mice) to vascular cell adhesion molecule 1– (VCAM1-) and intercellular adhesion molecule 1–coated (ICAM1-coated) surfaces. Soluble VCAM1 and ICAM1 ligand binding assays revealed increased affinity of β1 and β2 integrins for their respective ligands. For β1 integrins, this correlated with a structural change from the low- to the high-affinity conformation induced by JAK2-V617F. JAK2-V617F triggered constitutive activation of the integrin inside-out signaling molecule Rap1, resulting in translocation toward the cell membrane. Employing a venous thrombosis model, we demonstrated that neutralizing anti–VLA-4 and anti–β2 integrin antibodies suppress pathologic thrombosis as observed in JAK2+/VF mice. In addition, aberrant homing of JAK2+/VF leukocytes to the spleen was inhibited by neutralizing anti-β2 antibodies and by pharmacologic inhibition of Rap1. Thus, our findings identified cross-talk between JAK2-V617F and integrin activation promoting pathologic thrombosis and abnormal trafficking of leukocytes to the spleen.
Bärbel Edelmann, Nibedita Gupta, Tina M. Schnoeder, Anja M. Oelschlegel, Khurrum Shahzad, Jürgen Goldschmidt, Lars Philipsen, Soenke Weinert, Aniket Ghosh, Felix C. Saalfeld, Subbaiah Chary Nimmagadda, Peter Müller, Rüdiger Braun-Dullaeus, Juliane Mohr, Denise Wolleschak, Stefanie Kliche, Holger Amthauer, Florian H. Heidel, Burkhart Schraven, Berend Isermann, Andreas J. Müller, Thomas Fischer
Claudins, the integral tight junction (TJ) proteins that regulate paracellular permeability and cell polarity, are frequently dysregulated in cancer; however, their role in neoplastic progression is unclear. Here, we demonstrated that knockout of Cldn18, a claudin family member highly expressed in lung alveolar epithelium, leads to lung enlargement, parenchymal expansion, increased abundance and proliferation of known distal lung progenitors, the alveolar epithelial type II (AT2) cells, activation of Yes-associated protein (YAP), increased organ size, and tumorigenesis in mice. Inhibition of YAP decreased proliferation and colony-forming efficiency (CFE) of Cldn18–/– AT2 cells and prevented increased lung size, while CLDN18 overexpression decreased YAP nuclear localization, cell proliferation, CFE, and YAP transcriptional activity. CLDN18 and YAP interacted and colocalized at cell-cell contacts, while loss of CLDN18 decreased YAP interaction with Hippo kinases p-LATS1/2. Additionally, Cldn18–/– mice had increased propensity to develop lung adenocarcinomas (LuAd) with age, and human LuAd showed stage-dependent reduction of CLDN18.1. These results establish CLDN18 as a regulator of YAP activity that serves to restrict organ size, progenitor cell proliferation, and tumorigenesis, and suggest a mechanism whereby TJ disruption may promote progenitor proliferation to enhance repair following injury.
Beiyun Zhou, Per Flodby, Jiao Luo, Dan R. Castillo, Yixin Liu, Fa-Xing Yu, Alicia McConnell, Bino Varghese, Guanglei Li, Nyam-Osor Chimge, Mitsuhiro Sunohara, Michael N. Koss, Wafaa Elatre, Peter Conti, Janice M. Liebler, Chenchen Yang, Crystal N. Marconett, Ite A. Laird-Offringa, Parviz Minoo, Kunliang Guan, Barry R. Stripp, Edward D. Crandall, Zea Borok
Nervous system injury is a frequent result of cancer therapy involving cranial irradiation, leaving patients with marked memory and other neurobehavioral disabilities. Here, we report an unanticipated link between bone marrow and brain in the setting of radiation injury. Specifically, we demonstrate that bone marrow–derived monocytes and macrophages are essential for structural and functional repair mechanisms, including regeneration of cerebral white matter and improvement in neurocognitive function. Using a granulocyte-colony stimulating factor (G-CSF) receptor knockout mouse model in combination with bone marrow cell transplantation, MRI, and neurocognitive functional assessments, we demonstrate that bone marrow–derived G-CSF–responsive cells home to the injured brain and are critical for altering neural progenitor cells and brain repair. Additionally, compared with untreated animals, animals that received G-CSF following radiation injury exhibited enhanced functional brain repair. Together, these results demonstrate that, in addition to its known role in defense and debris removal, the hematopoietic system provides critical regenerative drive to the brain that can be modulated by clinically available agents.
Jorg Dietrich, Ninib Baryawno, Naema Nayyar, Yannis K. Valtis, Betty Yang, Ina Ly, Antoine Besnard, Nicolas Severe, Karin U. Gustafsson, Ovidiu C. Andronesi, Tracy T. Batchelor, Amar Sahay, David T. Scadden
Pharmacologically difficult targets, such as MYC transcription factors, represent a major challenge in cancer therapy. For the childhood cancer neuroblastoma, amplification of the oncogene MYCN is associated with high-risk disease and poor prognosis. Here, we deployed genome-scale CRISPR-Cas9 screening of MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma and found a preferential dependency on genes encoding the polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) components EZH2, EED, and SUZ12. Genetic and pharmacological suppression of EZH2 inhibited neuroblastoma growth in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, compared with neuroblastomas without MYCN amplification, MYCN-amplified neuroblastomas expressed higher levels of EZH2. ChIP analysis showed that MYCN binds at the EZH2 promoter, thereby directly driving expression. Transcriptomic and epigenetic analysis, as well as genetic rescue experiments, revealed that EZH2 represses neuronal differentiation in neuroblastoma in a PRC2-dependent manner. Moreover, MYCN-amplified and high-risk primary tumors from patients with neuroblastoma exhibited strong repression of EZH2-regulated genes. Additionally, overexpression of IGFBP3, a direct EZH2 target, suppressed neuroblastoma growth in vitro and in vivo. We further observed strong synergy between histone deacetylase inhibitors and EZH2 inhibitors. Together, these observations demonstrate that MYCN upregulates EZH2, leading to inactivation of a tumor suppressor program in neuroblastoma, and support testing EZH2 inhibitors in patients with MYCN-amplified neuroblastoma.
Liying Chen, Gabriela Alexe, Neekesh V. Dharia, Linda Ross, Amanda Balboni Iniguez, Amy Saur Conway, Emily Jue Wang, Veronica Veschi, Norris Lam, Jun Qi, W. Clay Gustafson, Nicole Nasholm, Francisca Vazquez, Barbara A. Weir, Glenn S. Cowley, Levi D. Ali, Sasha Pantel, Guozhi Jiang, William F. Harrington, Yenarae Lee, Amy Goodale, Rakela Lubonja, John M. Krill-Burger, Robin M. Meyers, Aviad Tsherniak, David E. Root, James E. Bradner, Todd R. Golub, Charles W.M. Roberts, William C. Hahn, William A. Weiss, Carol J. Thiele, Kimberly Stegmaier
Coupling is the process that links bone resorption to bone formation in a temporally and spatially coordinated manner within the remodeling cycle. Several lines of evidence point to the critical roles of osteoclast-derived coupling factors in the regulation of osteoblast performance. Here, we used a fractionated secretomic approach and identified the axon-guidance molecule SLIT3 as a clastokine that stimulated osteoblast migration and proliferation by activating β-catenin. SLIT3 also inhibited bone resorption by suppressing osteoclast differentiation in an autocrine manner. Mice deficient in Slit3 or its receptor, Robo1, exhibited osteopenic phenotypes due to a decrease in bone formation and increase in bone resorption. Mice lacking Slit3 specifically in osteoclasts had low bone mass, whereas mice with either neuron-specific Slit3 deletion or osteoblast-specific Slit3 deletion had normal bone mass, thereby indicating the importance of SLIT3 as a local determinant of bone metabolism. In postmenopausal women, higher circulating SLIT3 levels were associated with increased bone mass. Notably, injection of a truncated recombinant SLIT3 markedly rescued bone loss after an ovariectomy. Thus, these results indicate that SLIT3 plays an osteoprotective role by synchronously stimulating bone formation and inhibiting bone resorption, making it a potential therapeutic target for metabolic bone diseases.
Beom-Jun Kim, Young-Sun Lee, Sun-Young Lee, Wook-Young Baek, Young Jin Choi, Sung Ah Moon, Seung Hun Lee, Jung-Eun Kim, Eun-Ju Chang, Eun-Young Kim, Jin Yoon, Seung-Whan Kim, Sung Ho Ryu, Sun-Kyeong Lee, Joseph A. Lorenzo, Seong Hee Ahn, Hyeonmok Kim, Ki-Up Lee, Ghi Su Kim, Jung-Min Koh
Polypeptide vaccines effectively activate human T cells but suffer from poor biological stability, which confines both transport logistics and in vivo therapeutic activity. Synthetic biology has the potential to address these limitations through the generation of highly stable antigenic “mimics” using subunits that do not exist in the natural world. We developed a platform based on D–amino acid combinatorial chemistry and used this platform to reverse engineer a fully artificial CD8+ T cell agonist that mirrored the immunogenicity profile of a native epitope blueprint from influenza virus. This nonnatural peptide was highly stable in human serum and gastric acid, reflecting an intrinsic resistance to physical and enzymatic degradation. In vitro, the synthetic agonist stimulated and expanded an archetypal repertoire of polyfunctional human influenza virus–specific CD8+ T cells. In vivo, specific responses were elicited in naive humanized mice by subcutaneous vaccination, conferring protection from subsequent lethal influenza challenge. Moreover, the synthetic agonist was immunogenic after oral administration. This proof-of-concept study highlights the power of synthetic biology to expand the horizons of vaccine design and therapeutic delivery.
John J. Miles, Mai Ping Tan, Garry Dolton, Emily S.J. Edwards, Sarah A.E. Galloway, Bruno Laugel, Mathew Clement, Julia Makinde, Kristin Ladell, Katherine K. Matthews, Thomas S. Watkins, Katie Tungatt, Yide Wong, Han Siean Lee, Richard J. Clark, Johanne M. Pentier, Meriem Attaf, Anya Lissina, Ann Ager, Awen Gallimore, Pierre J. Rizkallah, Stephanie Gras, Jamie Rossjohn, Scott R. Burrows, David K. Cole, David A. Price, Andrew K. Sewell
Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells are a unique innate-like T cell subset that responds to a wide array of bacteria and yeast through recognition of riboflavin metabolites presented by the MHC class I–like molecule MR1. Here, we demonstrate using MR1 tetramers that recipient MAIT cells are present in small but definable numbers in graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) target organs and protect from acute GVHD in the colon following bone marrow transplantation (BMT). Consistent with their preferential juxtaposition to microbial signals in the colon, recipient MAIT cells generate large amounts of IL-17A, promote gastrointestinal tract integrity, and limit the donor alloantigen presentation that in turn drives donor Th1 and Th17 expansion specifically in the colon after BMT. Allogeneic BMT recipients deficient in IL-17A also develop accelerated GVHD, suggesting MAIT cells likely regulate GVHD, at least in part, by the generation of this cytokine. Indeed, analysis of stool microbiota and colon tissue from IL-17A–/– and MR1–/– mice identified analogous shifts in microbiome operational taxonomic units (OTU) and mediators of barrier integrity that appear to represent pathways controlled by similar, IL-17A–dependent mechanisms. Thus, MAIT cells act to control barrier function to attenuate pathogenic T cell responses in the colon and, given their very high frequency in humans, likely represent an important population in clinical BMT.
Antiopi Varelias, Mark D. Bunting, Kate L. Ormerod, Motoko Koyama, Stuart D. Olver, Jasmin Straube, Rachel D. Kuns, Renee J. Robb, Andrea S. Henden, Leanne Cooper, Nancy Lachner, Kate H. Gartlan, Olivier Lantz, Lars Kjer-Nielsen, Jeffrey Y.W. Mak, David P. Fairlie, Andrew D. Clouston, James McCluskey, Jamie Rossjohn, Steven W. Lane, Philip Hugenholtz, Geoffrey R. Hill
Cell death is a key driver of disease progression and carcinogenesis in chronic liver disease (CLD), highlighted by the well-established clinical correlation between hepatocellular death and risk for the development of cirrhosis and hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Moreover, hepatocellular death is sufficient to trigger fibrosis and HCC in mice. However, the pathways through which cell death drives CLD progression remain elusive. Here, we tested the hypothesis that high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1), a damage-associated molecular pattern (DAMP) with key roles in acute liver injury, may link cell death to injury responses and hepatocarcinogenesis in CLD. While liver-specific HMGB1 deficiency did not significantly affect chronic injury responses such as fibrosis, regeneration, and inflammation, it inhibited ductular/progenitor cell expansion and hepatocyte metaplasia. HMGB1 promoted ductular expansion independently of active secretion in a nonautonomous fashion, consistent with its role as a DAMP. Liver-specific HMGB1 deficiency reduced HCC development in 3 mouse models of chronic injury but not in a model lacking chronic liver injury. As with CLD, HMGB1 ablation reduced the expression of progenitor and oncofetal markers, a key determinant of HCC aggressiveness, in tumors. In summary, HMGB1 links hepatocyte death to ductular reaction, progenitor signature, and hepatocarcinogenesis in CLD.
Celine Hernandez, Peter Huebener, Jean-Philippe Pradere, Richard A. Friedman, Robert F. Schwabe
Autophagy is important for liver homeostasis, and the deficiency leads to injury, inflammation, ductular reaction (DR), fibrosis, and tumorigenesis. It is not clear how these events are mechanistically linked to autophagy deficiency. Here, we reveal the role of high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) in two of these processes. First, HMGB1 was required for DR, which represents the expansion of hepatic progenitor cells (HPCs) implicated in liver repair and regeneration. DR caused by hepatotoxic diets (3,5-diethoxycarbonyl-1,4-dihydrocollidine [DDC] or choline-deficient, ethionine-supplemented [CDE]) also depended on HMGB1, indicating that HMGB1 may be generally required for DR in various injury scenarios. Second, HMGB1 promoted tumor progression in autophagy-deficient livers. Receptor for advanced glycation end product (RAGE), a receptor for HMGB1, was required in the same two processes and could mediate the proliferative effects of HMBG1 in isolated HPCs. HMGB1 was released from autophagy-deficient hepatocytes independently of cellular injury but depended on NRF2 and the inflammasome, which was activated by NRF2. Pharmacological or genetic activation of NRF2 alone, without disabling autophagy or causing injury, was sufficient to cause inflammasome-dependent HMGB1 release. In conclusion, HMGB1 release is a critical mechanism in hepatic pathogenesis under autophagy-deficient conditions and leads to HPC expansion as well as tumor progression.
Bilon Khambu, Nazmul Huda, Xiaoyun Chen, Yong Li, Guoli Dai, Ulrike A. Köhler, Wei-Xing Zong, Satoshi Waguri, Sabine Werner, Tim D. Oury, Zheng Dong, Xiao-Ming Yin
Oncogenic addiction to the Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3) is a hallmark of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) that harbors the FLT3–internal tandem duplication (FLT3-ITD) mutation. While FLT3 inhibitors like sorafenib show initial therapeutic efficacy, resistance rapidly develops through mechanisms that are incompletely understood. Here, we used RNA-Seq–based analysis of patient leukemic cells and found that upregulation of the Tec family kinase BMX occurs during sorafenib resistance. This upregulation was recapitulated in an in vivo murine FLT3-ITD–positive (FLT3-ITD+) model of sorafenib resistance. Mechanistically, the antiangiogenic effects of sorafenib led to increased bone marrow hypoxia, which contributed to HIF-dependent BMX upregulation. In in vitro experiments, hypoxia-dependent BMX upregulation was observed in both AML and non-AML cell lines. Functional studies in human FLT3-ITD+ cell lines showed that BMX is part of a compensatory signaling mechanism that promotes AML cell survival during FLT3 inhibition. Taken together, our results demonstrate that hypoxia-dependent upregulation of BMX contributes to therapeutic resistance through a compensatory prosurvival signaling mechanism. These results also reveal the role of off-target drug effects on tumor microenvironment and development of acquired drug resistance. We propose that the bone marrow niche can be altered by anticancer therapeutics, resulting in drug resistance through cell-nonautonomous microenvironment-dependent effects.
Jolieke G. van Oosterwijk, Daelynn R. Buelow, Christina D. Drenberg, Aksana Vasilyeva, Lie Li, Lei Shi, Yong-Dong Wang, David Finkelstein, Sheila A. Shurtleff, Laura J. Janke, Stanley Pounds, Jeffrey E. Rubnitz, Hiroto Inaba, Navjotsingh Pabla, Sharyn D. Baker
Hypoglycemia activates the counterregulatory response (CRR), a neural-endocrine reflex that restores euglycemia. Although effective if occasionally activated, repeated induction of the CRR leads to a decline in responsiveness and prolonged exposure to hypoglycemia. The mechanism underlying this impairment is not known. We found that the reduction in epinephrine release that characterizes a suppressed CRR involves a long-lasting form of sympatho-adrenal synaptic plasticity. Using optogenetically evoked catecholamine release, we show that recurrent hypoglycemia reduced the secretory capacity of mouse adrenal chromaffin cells. Single activation of the CRR increased the adrenal levels of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate-limiting enzyme for catecholamine synthesis, but this was prevented by repeated activation. In contrast, the level of neuropeptide Y (NPY), an adrenal cotransmitter, remained elevated after recurrent hypoglycemia. Inhibition of NPY or Y1 signaling, either transgenically or pharmacologically, prevented the attenuation of both TH expression and epinephrine release. These results indicate that impairment of the CRR involves suppressed activity at the adrenal level. Interfering with the peripheral NPY–dependent negative feedback loop may provide a way to avoid the pathophysiological consequences of recurrent hypoglycemia which are common in the diabetic state.
Yunbing Ma, Qian Wang, Debria Joe, Manqi Wang, Matthew D. Whim
Red blood cells (RBCs) influence rheology, and release ADP, ATP, and nitric oxide, suggesting a role for RBCs in hemostasis and thrombosis. Here, we provide evidence for a significant contribution of RBCs to thrombus formation. Anemic mice showed enhanced occlusion times upon injury of the carotid artery. A small population of RBCs was located to platelet thrombi and enhanced platelet activation by a direct cell contact via the FasL/FasR (CD95) pathway known to induce apoptosis. Activation of platelets in the presence of RBCs led to platelet FasL exposure that activated FasR on RBCs responsible for externalization of phosphatidylserine (PS) on the RBC membrane. Inhibition or genetic deletion of either FasL or FasR resulted in reduced PS exposure of RBCs and platelets, decreased thrombin generation, and reduced thrombus formation in vitro and protection against arterial thrombosis in vivo. Direct cell contacts between platelets and RBCs via FasL/FasR were shown after ligation of the inferior vena cava (IVC) and in surgical specimens of patients after thrombectomy. In a flow restriction model of the IVC, reduced thrombus formation was observed in FasL–/– mice. Taken together, our data reveal a significant contribution of RBCs to thrombosis by the FasL/FasR pathway.
Christoph Klatt, Irena Krüger, Saskia Zey, Kim-Jürgen Krott, Martina Spelleken, Nina Sarah Gowert, Alexander Oberhuber, Lena Pfaff, Wiebke Lückstädt, Kerstin Jurk, Martin Schaller, Hadi Al-Hasani, Jürgen Schrader, Steffen Massberg, Konstantin Stark, Hubert Schelzig, Malte Kelm, Margitta Elvers
Painful diabetic neuropathy (PDN) is an intractable complication of diabetes that affects 25% of patients. PDN is characterized by neuropathic pain and small-fiber degeneration, accompanied by dorsal root ganglion (DRG) nociceptor hyperexcitability and loss of their axons within the skin. The molecular mechanisms underlying DRG nociceptor hyperexcitability and small-fiber degeneration in PDN are unknown. We hypothesize that chemokine CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling is central to this mechanism, as we have shown that CXCL12/CXCR4 signaling is necessary for the development of mechanical allodynia, a pain hypersensitivity behavior common in PDN. Focusing on DRG neurons expressing the sodium channel Nav1.8, we applied transgenic, electrophysiological, imaging, and chemogenetic techniques to test this hypothesis. In the high-fat diet mouse model of PDN, we were able to prevent and reverse mechanical allodynia and small-fiber degeneration by limiting CXCR4 signaling or neuronal excitability. This study reveals that excitatory CXCR4/CXCL12 signaling in Nav1.8-positive DRG neurons plays a critical role in the pathogenesis of mechanical allodynia and small-fiber degeneration in a mouse model of PDN. Hence, we propose that targeting CXCR4-mediated DRG nociceptor hyperexcitability is a promising therapeutic approach for disease-modifying treatments for this currently intractable and widespread affliction.
Nirupa D. Jayaraj, Bula J. Bhattacharyya, Abdelhak A. Belmadani, Dongjun Ren, Craig A. Rathwell, Sandra Hackelberg, Brittany E. Hopkins, Herschel R. Gupta, Richard J. Miller, Daniela M. Menichella
Foods high in fermentable oligosaccharides, disaccharides, monosaccharides, and polyols (FODMAPs) exacerbate symptoms of irritable bowel syndrome (IBS); however, their mechanism of action is unknown. We hypothesized that a high-FODMAP (HFM) diet increases visceral nociception by inducing dysbiosis and that the FODMAP-altered gut microbial community leads to intestinal pathology. We fed rats an HFM and showed that HFM increases rat fecal Gram-negative bacteria, elevates lipopolysaccharides (LPS), and induces intestinal pathology, as indicated by inflammation, barrier dysfunction, and visceral hypersensitivity (VH). These manifestations were prevented by antibiotics and reversed by low-FODMAP (LFM) diet. Additionally, intracolonic administration of LPS or fecal supernatant (FS) from HFM-fed rats caused intestinal barrier dysfunction and VH, which were blocked by the LPS antagonist LPS-RS or by TLR4 knockdown. Fecal LPS was higher in IBS patients than in healthy subjects (HS), and IBS patients on a 4-week LFM diet had improved IBS symptoms and reduced fecal LPS levels. Intracolonic administration of FS from IBS patients, but not FS from HS or LFM-treated IBS patients, induced VH in rats, which was ameliorated by LPS-RS. Our findings indicate that HFM-associated gut dysbiosis and elevated fecal LPS levels induce intestinal pathology, thereby modulating visceral nociception and IBS symptomatology, and might provide an explanation for the success of LFM diet in IBS patients.
Shi-Yi Zhou, Merritt Gillilland III, Xiaoyin Wu, Pornchai Leelasinjaroen, Guanpo Zhang, Hui Zhou, Bo Ye, Yuanxu Lu, Chung Owyang
During tumor progression, immune system phagocytes continually clear apoptotic cancer cells in a process known as efferocytosis. However, the impact of efferocytosis in metastatic tumor growth is unknown. In this study, we observed that macrophage-driven efferocytosis of prostate cancer cells in vitro induced the expression of proinflammatory cytokines such as CXCL5 by activating Stat3 and NF-κB(p65) signaling. Administration of a dimerizer ligand (AP20187) triggered apoptosis in 2 in vivo syngeneic models of bone tumor growth in which apoptosis-inducible prostate cancer cells were either coimplanted with vertebral bodies, or inoculated in the tibiae of immunocompetent mice. Induction of 2 pulses of apoptosis correlated with increased infiltration of inflammatory cells and accelerated tumor growth in the bone. Apoptosis-induced tumors displayed elevated expression of the proinflammatory cytokine CXCL5. Likewise, CXCL5-deficient mice had reduced tumor progression. Peripheral blood monocytes isolated from patients with bone metastasis of prostate cancer were more efferocytic compared with normal controls, and CXCL5 serum levels were higher in metastatic prostate cancer patients relative to patients with localized prostate cancer or controls. Altogether, these findings suggest that the myeloid phagocytic clearance of apoptotic cancer cells accelerates CXCL5-mediated inflammation and tumor growth in bone, pointing to CXCL5 as a potential target for cancer therapeutics.
Hernan Roca, Jacqueline D. Jones, Marta C. Purica, Savannah Weidner, Amy J. Koh, Robert Kuo, John E. Wilkinson, Yugang Wang, Stephanie Daignault-Newton, Kenneth J. Pienta, Todd M. Morgan, Evan T. Keller, Jacques E. Nör, Lonnie D. Shea, Laurie K. McCauley
Oncogenomic studies indicate that copy number variation (CNV) alters genes involved in tumor progression; however, identification of specific driver genes affected by CNV has been difficult, as these rearrangements are often contained in large chromosomal intervals among several bystander genes. Here, we addressed this problem and identified a CNV-targeted oncogene by performing comparative oncogenomics of human and zebrafish melanomas. We determined that the gene encoding growth differentiation factor 6 (GDF6), which is the ligand for the BMP family, is recurrently amplified and transcriptionally upregulated in melanoma. GDF6-induced BMP signaling maintained a trunk neural crest gene signature in melanomas. Additionally, GDF6 repressed the melanocyte differentiation gene MITF and the proapoptotic factor SOX9, thereby preventing differentiation, inhibiting cell death, and promoting tumor growth. GDF6 was specifically expressed in melanomas but not melanocytes. Moreover, GDF6 expression levels in melanomas were inversely correlated with patient survival. Our study has identified a fundamental role for GDF6 and BMP signaling in governing an embryonic cell gene signature to promote melanoma progression, thus providing potential opportunities for targeted therapy to treat GDF6-positive cancers.
Arvind M. Venkatesan, Rajesh Vyas, Alec K. Gramann, Karen Dresser, Sharvari Gujja, Sanchita Bhatnagar, Sagar Chhangawala, Camilla Borges Ferreira Gomes, Hualin Simon Xi, Christine G. Lian, Yariv Houvras, Yvonne J. K. Edwards, April Deng, Michael Green, Craig J. Ceol
Medulloblastoma, an aggressive cancer of the cerebellum, is among the most common pediatric brain tumors. Approximately one-third of medulloblastomas are associated with misactivation of the Hedgehog (Hh) pathway. GLI family zinc finger 2 (GLI2) coordinates the Hh transcriptional program; however, the GLI2 targets that promote cancer cell proliferation are unknown. Here, we incorporated a Gli2-EGFP allele into 2 different genetic mouse models of Hh-associated medulloblastoma. Hh signaling induced GLI2 binding to the Cdk6 promoter and activated Cdk6 expression, thereby promoting uncontrolled cell proliferation. Genetic or pharmacological inhibition of CDK6 in mice repressed the growth of Hh-associated medulloblastoma and prolonged survival through inhibition of cell proliferation. In human medulloblastoma, misactivation of Hh signaling was associated with high levels of CDK6, pointing to CDK6 as a direct transcriptional target of the Hh pathway. These results suggest that CDK6 antagonists may be a promising therapeutic approach for Hh-associated medulloblastoma in humans.
David R. Raleigh, Pervinder K. Choksi, Alexis Leigh Krup, Wasima Mayer, Nicole Santos, Jeremy F. Reiter
DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs) are mainly repaired either by homologous recombination (HR) or by nonhomologous end-joining (NHEJ) pathways. Here, we showed that myeloid cell leukemia sequence 1 (Mcl-1) acts as a functional switch in selecting between HR and NHEJ pathways. Mcl-1 was cell cycle–regulated during HR, with its expression peaking in S/G2 phase. While endogenous Mcl-1 depletion reduced HR and enhanced NHEJ, Mcl-1 overexpression resulted in a net increase in HR over NHEJ. Mcl-1 directly interacted with the dimeric Ku protein complex via its Bcl-2 homology 1 and 3 (BH1 and BH3) domains, which are required for Mcl-1 to inhibit Ku-mediated NHEJ. Mcl-1 also promoted DNA resection mediated by the Mre11 complex and HR-dependent DSB repair. Using the Mcl-1 BH1 domain as a docking site, we identified a small molecule, MI-223, that directly bound to BH1 and blocked Mcl-1–stimulated HR DNA repair, leading to sensitization of cancer cells to hydroxyurea- or olaparib-induced DNA replication stress. Combined treatment with MI-223 and hydroxyurea or olaparib exhibited a strong synergy against lung cancer in vivo. This mechanism-driven combination of agents provides a highly attractive therapeutic strategy to improve lung cancer outcomes.
Guo Chen, Andrew T. Magis, Ke Xu, Dongkyoo Park, David S. Yu, Taofeek K. Owonikoko, Gabriel L. Sica, Sarah W. Satola, Suresh S. Ramalingam, Walter J. Curran, Paul W. Doetsch, Xingming Deng
BACKGROUND. The clinical management of chronic hepatitis B virus (HBV) patients is based exclusively on virological parameters that cannot independently determine in which patients nucleos(t)ide-analogue (NUC) therapy can be safely discontinued. NUCs efficiently suppress viral replication, but do not eliminate HBV. Thus, therapy discontinuation can be associated with virological and biochemical relapse and, consequently, therapy in the majority is life-long. METHODS. Since antiviral immunity is pivotal for HBV control, we investigated potential biomarkers for the safe discontinuation of NUCs within immune profiles of chronic HBV patients by utilizing traditional immunological assays (ELISPOT, flow cytometry) in conjunction with analyses of global non–antigen-specific immune populations (NanoString and CyTOF). Two distinct cohorts of 19 and 27 chronic HBV patients, respectively, were analyzed longitudinally prior to and after discontinuation of 2 different NUC therapy strategies. RESULTS. Absence of hepatic flares following discontinuation of NUC treatment correlated with the presence, during NUC viral suppression, of HBV core and polymerase-specific T cells that were contained within the ex vivo PD-1+ population. CONCLUSIONS. This study identifies the presence of functional HBV-specific T cells as a candidate immunological biomarker for safe therapy discontinuation in chronic HBV patients. Furthermore, the persistent and functional antiviral activity of PD-1+ HBV–specific T cells highlights the potential beneficial role of the expression of T cell exhaustion markers during human chronic viral infection. FUNDING. This work was funded by a Singapore Translational Research Investigator Award (NMRC/STaR/013/2012), the Eradication of HBV TCR Program (NMRC/TCR/014-NUHS/2015), the Singapore Immunology Network, the Wellcome Trust (107389/Z/15/Z), and a Barts and The London Charity (723/1795) grant.
Laura Rivino, Nina Le Bert, Upkar S. Gill, Kamini Kunasegaran, Yang Cheng, Damien Z.M. Tan, Etienne Becht, Navjyot K. Hansi, Graham R. Foster, Tung-Hung Su, Tai-Chung Tseng, Seng Gee Lim, Jia-Horng Kao, Evan W. Newell, Patrick T.F. Kennedy, Antonio Bertoletti
Natural and synthetic progestogens have been commonly used to prevent recurrent pregnancy loss in women with inadequate progesterone secretion or reduced progesterone sensitivity. However, the clinical efficacy of progesterone and its analogs for maintaining pregnancy is variable. Additionally, the underlying cause of impaired endometrial progesterone responsiveness during early pregnancy remains unknown. Here, we demonstrated that uterine-selective depletion of BMI1, a key component of the polycomb repressive complex-1 (PRC1), hampers uterine progesterone responsiveness and derails normal uterine receptivity, resulting in implantation failure in mice. We further uncovered genetic and biochemical evidence that BMI1 interacts with the progesterone receptor (PR) and the E3 ligase E6AP in a polycomb complex–independent manner and regulates the PR ubiquitination that is essential for normal progesterone responsiveness. A close association of aberrantly low endometrial BMI1 expression with restrained PR responsiveness in women who had previously had a miscarriage indicated that the role of BMI1 in endometrial PR function is conserved in mice and in humans. In addition to uncovering a potential regulatory mechanism of BMI1 that ensures normal endometrial progesterone responsiveness during early pregnancy, our findings have the potential to help clarify the underlying causes of spontaneous pregnancy loss in women.
Qiliang Xin, Shuangbo Kong, Junhao Yan, Jingtao Qiu, Bo He, Chan Zhou, Zhangli Ni, Haili Bao, Lin Huang, Jinhua Lu, Guoliang Xia, Xicheng Liu, Zi-Jiang Chen, Chao Wang, Haibin Wang
Incidence of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), which is considered a hepatic manifestation of metabolic syndrome, has been increasing worldwide with the rise in obesity; however, its pathological mechanism is poorly understood. Here, we demonstrate that the hepatic expression of aortic carboxypeptidase–like protein (ACLP), a glycosylated, secreted protein, increases in NASH in humans and mice. Furthermore, we elucidate that ACLP is a ligand, unrelated to WNT proteins, that activates the canonical WNT pathway and exacerbates NASH pathology. In the liver, ACLP is specifically expressed in hepatic stellate cells (HSCs). As fatty liver disease progresses, ACLP expression is enhanced via activation of STAT3 signaling by obesity-related factors in serum. ACLP specifically binds to frizzled-8 and low-density lipoprotein–related receptor 6 to form a ternary complex that activates canonical WNT signaling. Consequently, ACLP activates HSCs by inhibiting PPARγ signals. HSC-specific ACLP deficiency inhibits fibrosis progression in NASH by inhibiting canonical WNT signaling in HSCs. The present study elucidates the role of canonical WNT pathway activation by ACLP in NASH pathology, indicating that NASH can be treated by targeting ACLP-induced canonical WNT pathway activation in HSCs.
Toshiaki Teratani, Kengo Tomita, Takahiro Suzuki, Hirotaka Furuhashi, Rie Irie, Makoto Nishikawa, Junji Yamamoto, Toshifumi Hibi, Soichiro Miura, Tohru Minamino, Yuichi Oike, Ryota Hokari, Takanori Kanai
Coagulation factor XII (FXII) deficiency is associated with decreased neutrophil migration, but the mechanisms remain uncharacterized. Here, we examine how FXII contributes to the inflammatory response. In 2 models of sterile inflammation, FXII-deficient mice (F12–/–) had fewer neutrophils recruited than WT mice. We discovered that neutrophils produced a pool of FXII that is functionally distinct from hepatic-derived FXII and contributes to neutrophil trafficking at sites of inflammation. FXII signals in neutrophils through urokinase plasminogen activator receptor–mediated (uPAR-mediated) Akt2 phosphorylation at S474 (pAktS474). Downstream of pAkt2S474, FXII stimulation of neutrophils upregulated surface expression of αMβ2 integrin, increased intracellular calcium, and promoted extracellular DNA release. The sum of these activities contributed to neutrophil cell adhesion, migration, and release of neutrophil extracellular traps in a process called NETosis. Decreased neutrophil signaling in F12–/– mice resulted in less inflammation and faster wound healing. Targeting hepatic F12 with siRNA did not affect neutrophil migration, whereas WT BM transplanted into F12–/– hosts was sufficient to correct the neutrophil migration defect in F12–/– mice and restore wound inflammation. Importantly, these activities were a zymogen FXII function and independent of FXIIa and contact activation, highlighting that FXII has a sophisticated role in vivo that has not been previously appreciated.
Evi X. Stavrou, Chao Fang, Kara L. Bane, Andy T. Long, Clément Naudin, Erdem Kucukal, Agharnan Gandhi, Adina Brett-Morris, Michele M. Mumaw, Sudeh Izadmehr, Alona Merkulova, Cindy C. Reynolds, Omar Alhalabi, Lalitha Nayak, Wen-Mei Yu, Cheng-Kui Qu, Howard J. Meyerson, George R. Dubyak, Umut A. Gurkan, Marvin T. Nieman, Anirban Sen Gupta, Thomas Renné, Alvin H. Schmaier
NOTCH1 is a prevalent signaling pathway in T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL), but crucial NOTCH1 downstream signals and target genes contributing to T-ALL pathogenesis cannot be retrospectively analyzed in patients and thus remain ill defined. This information is clinically relevant, as initiating lesions that lead to cell transformation and leukemia-initiating cell (LIC) activity are promising therapeutic targets against the major hurdle of T-ALL relapse. Here, we describe the generation in vivo of a human T cell leukemia that recapitulates T-ALL in patients, which arises de novo in immunodeficient mice reconstituted with human hematopoietic progenitors ectopically expressing active NOTCH1. This T-ALL model allowed us to identify CD44 as a direct NOTCH1 transcriptional target and to recognize CD44 overexpression as an early hallmark of preleukemic cells that engraft the BM and finally develop a clonal transplantable T-ALL that infiltrates lymphoid organs and brain. Notably, CD44 is shown to support crucial BM niche interactions necessary for LIC activity of human T-ALL xenografts and disease progression, highlighting the importance of the NOTCH1/CD44 axis in T-ALL pathogenesis. The observed therapeutic benefit of anti-CD44 antibody administration in xenotransplanted mice holds great promise for therapeutic purposes against T-ALL relapse.
Marina García-Peydró, Patricia Fuentes, Marta Mosquera, María J. García-León, Juan Alcain, Antonio Rodríguez, Purificación García de Miguel, Pablo Menéndez, Kees Weijer, Hergen Spits, David T. Scadden, Carlos Cuesta-Mateos, Cecilia Muñoz-Calleja, Francisco Sánchez-Madrid, María L. Toribio
Intake of hemoglobin by the hemoglobin-haptoglobin receptor CD163 leads to a distinct alternative non–foam cell antiinflammatory macrophage phenotype that was previously considered atheroprotective. Here, we reveal an unexpected but important pathogenic role for these macrophages in atherosclerosis. Using human atherosclerotic samples, cultured cells, and a mouse model of advanced atherosclerosis, we investigated the role of intraplaque hemorrhage on macrophage function with respect to angiogenesis, vascular permeability, inflammation, and plaque progression. In human atherosclerotic lesions, CD163+ macrophages were associated with plaque progression, microvascularity, and a high level of HIF1α and VEGF-A expression. We observed irregular vascular endothelial cadherin in intraplaque microvessels surrounded by CD163+ macrophages. Within these cells, activation of HIF1α via inhibition of prolyl hydroxylases promoted VEGF-mediated increases in intraplaque angiogenesis, vascular permeability, and inflammatory cell recruitment. CD163+ macrophages increased intraplaque endothelial VCAM expression and plaque inflammation. Subjects with homozygous minor alleles of the SNP rs7136716 had elevated microvessel density, increased expression of CD163 in ruptured coronary plaques, and a higher risk of myocardial infarction and coronary heart disease in population cohorts. Thus, our findings highlight a nonlipid-driven mechanism by which alternative macrophages promote plaque angiogenesis, leakiness, inflammation, and progression via the CD163/HIF1α/VEGF-A pathway.
Liang Guo, Hirokuni Akahori, Emanuel Harari, Samantha L. Smith, Rohini Polavarapu, Vinit Karmali, Fumiyuki Otsuka, Rachel L. Gannon, Ryan E. Braumann, Megan H. Dickinson, Anuj Gupta, Audrey L. Jenkins, Michael J. Lipinski, Johoon Kim, Peter Chhour, Paul S. de Vries, Hiroyuki Jinnouchi, Robert Kutys, Hiroyoshi Mori, Matthew D. Kutyna, Sho Torii, Atsushi Sakamoto, Cheol Ung Choi, Qi Cheng, Megan L. Grove, Mariem A. Sawan, Yin Zhang, Yihai Cao, Frank D. Kolodgie, David P. Cormode, Dan E. Arking, Eric Boerwinkle, Alanna C. Morrison, Jeanette Erdmann, Nona Sotoodehnia, Renu Virmani, Aloke V. Finn
Atypical antipsychotics are highly effective antischizophrenic medications but their clinical utility is limited by adverse metabolic sequelae. We investigated whether upregulation of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) underlies the insulin resistance that develops during treatment with the most commonly prescribed atypical antipsychotic, olanzapine. Olanzapine monotherapy increased BMI and circulating insulin, triglyceride, and MIF concentrations in drug-naive schizophrenic patients with normal MIF expression, but not in genotypic low MIF expressers. Olanzapine administration to mice increased their food intake and hypothalamic MIF expression, which led to activation of the appetite-related AMP-activated protein kinase and Agouti-related protein pathway. Olanzapine also upregulated MIF expression in adipose tissue, which reduced lipolysis and increased lipogenic pathways. Increased plasma lipid concentrations were associated with abnormal fat deposition in liver and skeletal muscle, which are important determinants of insulin resistance. Global MIF-gene deletion protected mice from olanzapine-induced insulin resistance, as did intracerebroventricular injection of neutralizing anti–MIF antibody, supporting the role of increased hypothalamic MIF expression in metabolic dysfunction. These findings uphold the potential pharmacogenomic value of MIF genotype determination and suggest that MIF may be a tractable target for reducing the metabolic side effects of atypical antipsychotic therapy.
Donghong Cui, Yanmin Peng, Chengfang Zhang, Zezhi Li, Yousong Su, Yadan Qi, Mengjuan Xing, Jia Li, Grace E. Kim, Kevin N. Su, Jinjie Xu, Meiti Wang, Wenhua Ding, Marta Piecychna, Lin Leng, Michiru Hirasawa, Kaida Jiang, Lawrence Young, Yifeng Xu, Dake Qi, Richard Bucala
The incorporation of excess saturated free fatty acids (SFAs) into membrane phospholipids within the ER promotes ER stress, insulin resistance, and hepatic gluconeogenesis. Thioesterase superfamily member 2 (Them2) is a mitochondria-associated long-chain fatty acyl-CoA thioesterase that is activated upon binding phosphatidylcholine transfer protein (PC-TP). Under fasting conditions, the Them2/PC-TP complex directs saturated fatty acyl-CoA toward β-oxidation. Here, we showed that during either chronic overnutrition or acute induction of ER stress, Them2 and PC-TP play critical roles in trafficking SFAs into the glycerolipid biosynthetic pathway to form saturated phospholipids, which ultimately reduce ER membrane fluidity. The Them2/PC-TP complex activated ER stress pathways by enhancing translocon-mediated efflux of ER calcium. The increased cytosolic calcium, in turn, led to the phosphorylation of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, which promoted both hepatic insulin resistance and gluconeogenesis. These findings delineate a mechanistic link between obesity and insulin resistance and establish the Them2/PC-TP complex as an attractive target for the management of hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance.
Baran A. Ersoy, Kristal M. Maner-Smith, Yingxia Li, Ipek Alpertunga, David E. Cohen
Leukemia-initiating cells (LICs) are responsible for the initiation, development, and relapse of leukemia. The identification of novel therapeutic LIC targets is critical to curing leukemia. In this report, we reveal that junctional adhesion molecule 3 (JAM3) is highly enriched in both mouse and human LICs. Leukemogenesis is almost completely abrogated upon Jam3 deletion during serial transplantations in an MLL-AF9–induced murine acute myeloid leukemia model. In contrast, Jam3 deletion does not affect the functions of mouse hematopoietic stem cells. Moreover, knockdown of JAM3 leads to a dramatic decrease in the proliferation of both human leukemia cell lines and primary LICs. JAM3 directly associates with LRP5 to activate the downstream PDK1/AKT pathway, followed by the downregulation of GSK3β and activation of β-catenin/CCND1 signaling, to maintain the self-renewal ability and cell cycle entry of LICs. Thus, JAM3 may serve as a functional LIC marker and play an important role in the maintenance of LIC stemness through unexpected LRP5/PDK1/AKT/GSK3β/β-catenin/CCND1 signaling pathways but not via its canonical role in cell junctions and migration. JAM3 may be an ideal therapeutic target for the eradication of LICs without influencing normal hematopoiesis.
Yaping Zhang, Fangzhen Xia, Xiaoye Liu, Zhuo Yu, Li Xie, Ligen Liu, Chiqi Chen, Haishan Jiang, Xiaoxin Hao, Xiaoxiao He, Feifei Zhang, Hao Gu, Jun Zhu, Haitao Bai, Cheng Cheng Zhang, Guo-Qiang Chen, Junke Zheng
Anticancer vaccination is a promising approach to increase the efficacy of cytotoxic T lymphocyte–associated protein 4 (CTLA-4) and programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) checkpoint blockade therapies. However, the landmark FDA registration trial for anti–CTLA-4 therapy (ipilimumab) revealed a complete lack of benefit of adding vaccination with gp100 peptide formulated in incomplete Freund’s adjuvant (IFA). Here, using a mouse model of melanoma, we found that gp100 vaccination induced gp100-specific effector T cells (Teffs), which dominantly forced trafficking of anti–CTLA-4–induced, non-gp100–specific Teffs away from the tumor, reducing tumor control. The inflamed vaccination site subsequently also sequestered and destroyed anti–CTLA-4–induced Teffs with specificities for tumor antigens other than gp100, reducing the antitumor efficacy of anti–CTLA-4 therapy. Mechanistically, Teffs at the vaccination site recruited inflammatory monocytes, which in turn attracted additional Teffs in a vicious cycle mediated by IFN-γ, CXCR3, ICAM-1, and CCL2, dependent on IFA formulation. In contrast, nonpersistent vaccine formulations based on dendritic cells, viral vectors, or water-soluble peptides potently synergized with checkpoint blockade of both CTLA-4 and PD-L1 and induced complete tumor regression, including in settings of primary resistance to dual checkpoint blockade. We conclude that cancer vaccine formulation can dominantly determine synergy, or lack thereof, with CTLA-4 and PD-L1 checkpoint blockade therapy for cancer.
Yared Hailemichael, Amber Woods, Tihui Fu, Qiuming He, Michael C. Nielsen, Farah Hasan, Jason Roszik, Zhilan Xiao, Christina Vianden, Hiep Khong, Manisha Singh, Meenu Sharma, Faisal Faak, Derek Moore, Zhimin Dai, Scott M. Anthony, Kimberly S. Schluns, Padmanee Sharma, Victor H. Engelhard, Willem W. Overwijk
BACKGROUND. Cytotoxic T lymphocyte–mediated (CTL-mediated) severe cutaneous adverse reactions (SCARs), including Stevens-Johnson syndrome (SJS) and toxic epidermal necrolysis (TEN), are rare but life-threatening adverse reactions commonly induced by drugs. Although high levels of CTL-associated cytokines, chemokines, or cytotoxic proteins, including TNF-α and granulysin, were observed in SJS-TEN patients in recent studies, the optimal treatment for these diseases remains controversial. We aimed to evaluate the efficacy, safety, and therapeutic mechanism of a TNF-α antagonist in CTL-mediated SCARs. METHODS. We enrolled 96 patients with SJS-TEN in a randomized trial to compare the effects of the TNF-α antagonist etanercept versus traditional corticosteroids. RESULTS. Etanercept improved clinical outcomes in patients with SJS-TEN. Etanercept decreased the SCORTEN-based predicted mortality rate (predicted and observed rates, 17.7% and 8.3%, respectively). Compared with corticosteroids, etanercept further reduced the skin-healing time in moderate-to-severe SJS-TEN patients (median time for skin healing was 14 and 19 days for etanercept and corticosteroids, respectively; P = 0.010), with a lower incidence of gastrointestinal hemorrhage in all SJS-TEN patients (2.6% for etanercept and 18.2% for corticosteroids; P = 0.03). In the therapeutic mechanism study, etanercept decreased the TNF-α and granulysin secretions in blister fluids and plasma (45.7%–62.5% decrease after treatment; all P < 0.05) and increased the Treg population (2-fold percentage increase after treatment; P = 0.002), which was related to mortality in severe SJS-TEN. CONCLUSIONS. The anti–TNF-α biologic agent etanercept serves as an effective alternative for the treatment of CTL-mediated SCARs. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01276314. FUNDING. Ministry of Science and Technology of Taiwan.
Chuang-Wei Wang, Lan-Yan Yang, Chun-Bing Chen, Hsin-Chun Ho, Shuen-Iu Hung, Chih-Hsun Yang, Chee-Jen Chang, Shih-Chi Su, Rosaline Chung-Yee Hui, See-Wen Chin, Li-Fang Huang, Yang Yu-Wei Lin, Wei-Yang Chang, Wen-Lang Fan, Chin-Yi Yang, Ji-Chen Ho, Ya-Ching Chang, Chun-Wei Lu, Wen-Hung Chung, and the Taiwan Severe Cutaneous Adverse Reaction (TSCAR) Consortium
A critical event in the adaptation to extrauterine life is relaxation of the pulmonary vasculature at birth, allowing for a rapid increase in pulmonary blood flow that is essential for efficient gas exchange. Failure of this transition leads to pulmonary hypertension (PH), a major cause of newborn mortality associated with preterm birth, infection, hypoxia, and malformations including congenital diaphragmatic hernia (CDH). While individual vasoconstrictor and dilator genes have been identified, the coordination of their expression is not well understood. Here, we found that lung mesenchyme–specific deletion of CDH-implicated genes encoding pre–B cell leukemia transcription factors (Pbx) led to lethal PH in mice shortly after birth. Loss of Pbx genes resulted in the misexpression of both vasoconstrictors and vasodilators in multiple pathways that converge to increase phosphorylation of myosin in vascular smooth muscle (VSM) cells, causing persistent constriction. While targeting endothelin and angiotensin, which are upstream regulators that promote VSM contraction, was not effective, treatment with the Rho-kinase inhibitor Y-27632 reduced vessel constriction and PH in Pbx-mutant mice. These results demonstrate a lung-intrinsic, herniation-independent cause of PH in CDH. More broadly, our findings indicate that neonatal PH can result from perturbation of multiple pathways and suggest that targeting the downstream common effectors may be a more effective treatment for neonatal PH.
David J. McCulley, Mark D. Wienhold, Elizabeth A. Hines, Timothy A. Hacker, Allison Rogers, Ryan J. Pewowaruk, Rediet Zewdu, Naomi C. Chesler, Licia Selleri, Xin Sun
Humoral rejection is the most common cause of solid organ transplant failure. Here, we evaluated a cohort of 49 patients who were successfully grafted with allogenic islets and determined that the appearance of donor-specific anti-HLA antibodies (DSAs) did not accelerate the rate of islet graft attrition, suggesting resistance to humoral rejection. Murine DSAs bound to allogeneic targets expressed by islet cells and induced their destruction in vitro; however, passive transfer of the same DSAs did not affect islet graft survival in murine models. Live imaging revealed that DSAs were sequestrated in the circulation of the recipients and failed to reach the endocrine cells of grafted islets. We used murine heart transplantation models to confirm that endothelial cells were the only accessible targets for DSAs, which induced the development of typical microvascular lesions in allogeneic transplants. In contrast, the vasculature of DSA-exposed allogeneic islet grafts was devoid of lesions because sprouting of recipient capillaries reestablished blood flow in grafted islets. Thus, we conclude that endothelial chimerism combined with vascular sequestration of DSAs protects islet grafts from humoral rejection. The reduced immunoglobulin concentrations in the interstitial tissue, confirmed in patients, may have important implications for biotherapies such as vaccines and monoclonal antibodies.
Chien-Chia Chen, Eric Pouliquen, Alexis Broisat, Francesco Andreata, Maud Racapé, Patrick Bruneval, Laurence Kessler, Mitra Ahmadi, Sandrine Bacot, Carole Saison-Delaplace, Marina Marcaud, Jean-Paul Duong Van Huyen, Alexandre Loupy, Jean Villard, Sandrine Demuylder-Mischler, Thierry Berney, Emmanuel Morelon, Meng-Kun Tsai, Marie-Nathalie Kolopp-Sarda, Alice Koenig, Virginie Mathias, Stéphanie Ducreux, Catherine Ghezzi, Valerie Dubois, Antonino Nicoletti, Thierry Defrance, Olivier Thaunat
Intratumoral fibrosis results from the deposition of a cross-linked collagen matrix by cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs). This type of fibrosis has been shown to exert mechanical forces and create a biochemical milieu that, together, shape intratumoral immunity and influence tumor cell metastatic behavior. In this Review, we present recent evidence that CAFs and tumor cells are regulated by provisional matrix molecules, that metastasis results from a change in the type of stromal collagen cross-link, and that fibrosis and inflammation perpetuate each other through proteolytic and chemotactic mediators released into the tumor stroma. We also discuss aspects of the emerging biology that have potential therapeutic value.
Mitsuo Yamauchi, Thomas H. Barker, Don L. Gibbons, Jonathan M. Kurie
Fibroblasts synthesize the extracellular matrix of connective tissue and play an essential role in maintaining the structural integrity of most tissues. Researchers have long suspected that fibroblasts exhibit functional specialization according to their organ of origin, body site, and spatial location. In recent years, a number of approaches have revealed the existence of fibroblast subtypes in mice. Here, we discuss fibroblast heterogeneity with a focus on the mammalian dermis, which has proven an accessible and tractable system for the dissection of these relationships. We begin by considering differences in fibroblast identity according to anatomical site of origin. Subsequently, we discuss new results relating to the existence of multiple fibroblast subtypes within the mouse dermis. We consider the developmental origin of fibroblasts and how this influences heterogeneity and lineage restriction. We discuss the mechanisms by which fibroblast heterogeneity arises, including intrinsic specification by transcriptional regulatory networks and epigenetic factors in combination with extrinsic effects of the spatial context within tissue. Finally, we discuss how fibroblast heterogeneity may provide insights into pathological states including wound healing, fibrotic diseases, and aging. Our evolving understanding suggests that ex vivo expansion or in vivo inhibition of specific fibroblast subtypes may have important therapeutic applications.
Magnus D. Lynch, Fiona M. Watt
Genetic investigations of fibrotic diseases, including those of late onset, often yield unanticipated insights into disease pathogenesis. This Review focuses on pathways underlying lung fibrosis that are generalizable to other organs. Herein, we discuss genetic variants subdivided into those that shorten telomeres, activate the DNA damage response, change resident protein expression or function, or affect organelle activity. Genetic studies provide a window into the downstream cascade of maladaptive responses and pathways that lead to tissue fibrosis. In addition, these studies reveal interactions between genetic variants, environmental factors, and age that influence the phenotypic spectrum of disease. The discovery of forces counterbalancing inherited risk alleles identifies potential therapeutic targets, thus providing hope for future prevention or reversal of fibrosis.
Christine Kim Garcia
The extracellular matrix (ECM) is dynamically tuned to optimize physiological function. Its major properties, including composition and mechanics, profoundly influence cell biology. Cell-ECM interactions operate through an integrated set of sensor and effector circuits that use several classes of receptors and signal transduction pathways. At the single-cell level, the ECM governs differentiation, metabolism, motility, orientation, proliferation, and survival. At the cell population level, the ECM provides higher-order guidance that is essential for physiological function. When pathological changes in the ECM lead to impairment of organ function, we use the term “fibrosis.” In this Review, we differentiate fibrosis initiation from progression and focus primarily on progressive lung fibrosis impairing organ function. We present a working model to explain how the altered ECM is not only a consequence but also a driver of fibrosis. Additionally, we advance the concept that fibrosis progression occurs in a fibrogenic niche that is composed of a fibrogenic ECM that nurtures fibrogenic mesenchymal progenitor cells and their fibrogenic progeny.
Jeremy Herrera, Craig A. Henke, Peter B. Bitterman
The ability to repair tissues is essential for the survival of organisms. In chronic settings, the failure of the repair process to terminate results in overproduction of collagen, a pathology known as fibrosis, which compromises organ recovery and impairs function. The origin of the collagen-overproducing cell has been debated for years. Here we review recent insights gained from the use of lineage tracing approaches in several organs. The resulting evidence points toward specific subsets of tissue-resident mesenchymal cells, mainly localized in a perivascular position, as the major source for collagen-producing cells after injury. We discuss these findings in view of the functional heterogeneity of mesenchymal cells of the perivascular niche, which have essential vascular, immune, and regenerative functions that need to be preserved for efficient repair.
Selene E. Di Carlo, Lucie Peduto
Eukaryotic cells contain an elegant protein quality control system that is crucial in maintaining cellular homeostasis; however, dysfunction of this system results in endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and activation of the unfolded protein response (UPR). Severe or prolonged ER stress is associated with the development of degenerative and fibrotic disorders in multiple organs, as evidenced by the identification of disease-causing mutations in epithelial-restricted genes that lead to protein misfolding or mistrafficking in familial fibrotic diseases. Emerging evidence implicates ER stress and UPR signaling in a variety of profibrotic mechanisms in individual cell types. In epithelial cells, ER stress can induce apoptosis, inflammatory signaling, and epithelial-mesenchymal transition. In other cell types, ER stress is linked to myofibroblast activation, macrophage polarization, and T cell differentiation. ER stress–targeted therapies have begun to emerge using approaches that range from global enhancement of chaperone function to selective targeting of activated ER stress sensors and other downstream mediators. As the complex regulatory mechanisms of this system are further clarified, there are opportunities to develop new disease-modifying therapeutic strategies in a wide range of chronic fibrotic diseases.
Jonathan A. Kropski, Timothy S. Blackwell
Tissue injury disrupts the mechanical homeostasis that underlies normal tissue architecture and function. The failure to resolve injury and restore homeostasis gives rise to progressive fibrosis that is accompanied by persistent alterations in the mechanical environment as a consequence of pathological matrix deposition and stiffening. This Review focuses on our rapidly growing understanding of the molecular mechanisms linking the altered mechanical environment in injury, repair, and fibrosis to cellular activation. In particular, our focus is on the mechanisms by which cells transduce mechanical signals, leading to transcriptional and epigenetic responses that underlie both transient and persistent alterations in cell state that contribute to fibrosis. Translation of these mechanobiological insights may enable new approaches to promote tissue repair and arrest or reverse fibrotic tissue remodeling.
Daniel J. Tschumperlin, Giovanni Ligresti, Moira B. Hilscher, Vijay H. Shah
Epithelial cell loss alters a tissue’s optimal function and awakens evolutionarily adapted healing mechanisms to reestablish homeostasis. Although adult mammalian organs have a limited regeneration potential, the liver stands out as one remarkable exception. Following injury, the liver mounts a dynamic multicellular response wherein stromal cells are activated in situ and/or recruited from the bloodstream, the extracellular matrix (ECM) is remodeled, and epithelial cells expand to replenish their lost numbers. Chronic damage makes this response persistent instead of transient, tipping the system into an abnormal steady state known as fibrosis, in which ECM accumulates excessively and tissue function degenerates. Here we explore the cellular and molecular switches that balance hepatic regeneration and fibrosis, with a focus on uncovering avenues of disease modeling and therapeutic intervention.
Lucía Cordero-Espinoza, Meritxell Huch
Fibrosis is the excessive accumulation of extracellular matrix that often occurs as a wound healing response to repeated or chronic tissue injury, and may lead to the disruption of organ architecture and loss of function. Although fibrosis was previously thought to be irreversible, recent evidence indicates that certain circumstances permit the resolution of fibrosis when the underlying causes of injury are eradicated. The mechanism of fibrosis resolution encompasses degradation of the fibrotic extracellular matrix as well as elimination of fibrogenic myofibroblasts through their adaptation of various cell fates, including apoptosis, senescence, dedifferentiation, and reprogramming. In this Review, we discuss the present knowledge and gaps in our understanding of how matrix degradation is regulated and how myofibroblast cell fates can be manipulated, areas that may identify potential therapeutic approaches for fibrosis.
Joon-Il Jun, Lester F. Lau
The tumor suppressor protein retinoblastoma (RB) is mechanistically linked to suppression of transcription factor E2F1-mediated cell cycle regulation. For multiple tumor types, loss of RB function is associated with poor clinical outcome. RB action is abrogated either by direct depletion or through inactivation of RB function; however, the basis for this selectivity is unknown. Here, analysis of tumor samples and cell-free DNA from patients with advanced prostate cancer showed that direct RB loss was the preferred pathway of disruption in human disease. While RB loss was associated with lethal disease, RB-deficient tumors had no proliferative advantage and exhibited downstream effects distinct from cell cycle control. Mechanistically, RB loss led to E2F1 cistrome expansion and different binding specificity, alterations distinct from those observed after functional RB inactivation. Additionally, identification of protumorigenic transcriptional networks specific to RB loss that were validated in clinical samples demonstrated the ability of RB loss to differentially reprogram E2F1 in human cancers. Together, these findings not only identify tumor-suppressive functions of RB that are distinct from cell cycle control, but also demonstrate that the molecular consequence of RB loss is distinct from RB inactivation. Thus, these studies provide insight into how RB loss promotes disease progression, and identify new nodes for therapeutic intervention.
Christopher McNair, Kexin Xu, Amy C. Mandigo, Matteo Benelli, Benjamin Leiby, Daniel Rodrigues, Johan Lindberg, Henrik Gronberg, Mateus Crespo, Bram De Laere, Luc Dirix, Tapio Visakorpi, Fugen Li, Felix Y. Feng, Johann de Bono, Francesca Demichelis, Mark A. Rubin, Myles Brown, Karen E. Knudsen
Germline mutations in the gene encoding tumor suppressor kinase LKB1 lead to gastrointestinal tumorigenesis in Peutz-Jeghers syndrome (PJS) patients and mouse models; however, the cell types and signaling pathways underlying tumor formation are unknown. Here, we demonstrated that mesenchymal progenitor- or stromal fibroblast–specific deletion of Lkb1 results in fully penetrant polyposis in mice. Lineage tracing and immunohistochemical analyses revealed clonal expansion of Lkb1-deficient myofibroblast-like cell foci in the tumor stroma. Loss of Lkb1 in stromal cells was associated with induction of an inflammatory program including IL-11 production and activation of the JAK/STAT3 pathway in tumor epithelia concomitant with proliferation. Importantly, treatment of LKB1-defcient mice with the JAK1/2 inhibitor ruxolitinib dramatically decreased polyposis. These data indicate that IL-11–mediated induction of JAK/STAT3 is critical in gastrointestinal tumorigenesis following Lkb1 mutations and suggest that targeting this pathway has therapeutic potential in Peutz-Jeghers syndrome.
Saara Ollila, Eva Domènech-Moreno, Kaisa Laajanen, Iris P.L. Wong, Sushil Tripathi, Nalle Pentinmikko, Yajing Gao, Yan Yan, Elina H. Niemelä, Timothy C. Wang, Benoit Viollet, Gustavo Leone, Pekka Katajisto, Kari Vaahtomeri, Tomi P. Mäkelä
Breast cancer cells with stem cell properties are key contributors to metastatic disease, and there remains a need to better understand and target these cells in human cancers. Here, we identified rare stem-like cells in patients’ tumors characterized by low levels of the proapoptotic molecule p53-upregulated modulator of apoptosis (PUMA) and showed that these cells play a critical role in tumor progression that is independent of clinical subtype. A signaling axis consisting of the integrin αvβ3, Src kinase, and the transcription factor Slug suppresses PUMA in these cells, promoting tumor stemness. We showed that genetic or pharmacological disruption of αvβ3/Src signaling drives PUMA expression, specifically depleting these stem-like tumor cells; increases their sensitivity to apoptosis; and reduces pulmonary metastasis, with no effect on primary tumor growth. Taken together, these findings point to PUMA as a key vulnerability of stem-like cells and suggest that pharmacological upregulation of PUMA via Src inhibition may represent a strategy to selectively target these cells in a wide spectrum of aggressive breast cancers.
Qi Sun, Jacqueline Lesperance, Hiromi Wettersten, Elaine Luterstein, Yoko S. DeRose, Alana Welm, David A. Cheresh, Jay S. Desgrosellier
The molecular mechanisms that transduce the osteoblast response to physical forces in the bone microenvironment are poorly understood. Here, we used genetic and pharmacological experiments to determine whether the polycystins PC1 and PC2 (encoded by Pkd1 and Pkd2) and the transcriptional coactivator TAZ form a mechanosensing complex in osteoblasts. Compound-heterozygous mice lacking 1 copy of Pkd1 and Taz exhibited additive decrements in bone mass, impaired osteoblast-mediated bone formation, and enhanced bone marrow fat accumulation. Bone marrow stromal cells and osteoblasts derived from these mice showed impaired osteoblastogenesis and enhanced adipogenesis. Increased extracellular matrix stiffness and application of mechanical stretch to multipotent mesenchymal cells stimulated the nuclear translocation of the PC1 C-terminal tail/TAZ (PC1-CTT/TAZ) complex, leading to increased runt-related transcription factor 2–mediated (Runx2-mediated) osteogenic and decreased PPARγ-dependent adipogenic gene expression. Using structure-based virtual screening, we identified a compound predicted to bind to PC2 in the PC1:PC2 C-terminal tail region with helix:helix interaction. This molecule stimulated polycystin- and TAZ-dependent osteoblastogenesis and inhibited adipogenesis. Thus, we show that polycystins and TAZ integrate at the molecular level to reciprocally regulate osteoblast and adipocyte differentiation, indicating that the polycystins/TAZ complex may be a potential therapeutic target to increase bone mass.
Zhousheng Xiao, Jerome Baudry, Li Cao, Jinsong Huang, Hao Chen, Charles R. Yates, Wei Li, Brittany Dong, Christopher M. Waters, Jeremy C. Smith, L. Darryl Quarles
As new generations of targeted therapies emerge and tumor genome sequencing discovers increasingly comprehensive mutation repertoires, the functional relationships of mutations to tumor phenotypes remain largely unknown. Here, we measured ex vivo sensitivity of 246 blood cancers to 63 drugs alongside genome, transcriptome, and DNA methylome analysis to understand determinants of drug response. We assembled a primary blood cancer cell encyclopedia data set that revealed disease-specific sensitivities for each cancer. Within chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), responses to 62% of drugs were associated with 2 or more mutations, and linked the B cell receptor (BCR) pathway to trisomy 12, an important driver of CLL. Based on drug responses, the disease could be organized into phenotypic subgroups characterized by exploitable dependencies on BCR, mTOR, or MEK signaling and associated with mutations, gene expression, and DNA methylation. Fourteen percent of CLLs were driven by mTOR signaling in a non–BCR-dependent manner. Multivariate modeling revealed immunoglobulin heavy chain variable gene (IGHV) mutation status and trisomy 12 as the most important modulators of response to kinase inhibitors in CLL. Ex vivo drug responses were associated with outcome. This study overcomes the perception that most mutations do not influence drug response of cancer, and points to an updated approach to understanding tumor biology, with implications for biomarker discovery and cancer care.
Sascha Dietrich, Małgorzata Oleś, Junyan Lu, Leopold Sellner, Simon Anders, Britta Velten, Bian Wu, Jennifer Hüllein, Michelle da Silva Liberio, Tatjana Walther, Lena Wagner, Sophie Rabe, Sonja Ghidelli-Disse, Marcus Bantscheff, Andrzej K. Oleś, Mikołaj Słabicki, Andreas Mock, Christopher C. Oakes, Shihui Wang, Sina Oppermann, Marina Lukas, Vladislav Kim, Martin Sill, Axel Benner, Anna Jauch, Lesley Ann Sutton, Emma Young, Richard Rosenquist, Xiyang Liu, Alexander Jethwa, Kwang Seok Lee, Joe Lewis, Kerstin Putzker, Christoph Lutz, Davide Rossi, Andriy Mokhir, Thomas Oellerich, Katja Zirlik, Marco Herling, Florence Nguyen-Khac, Christoph Plass, Emma Andersson, Satu Mustjoki, Christof von Kalle, Anthony D. Ho, Manfred Hensel, Jan Dürig, Ingo Ringshausen, Marc Zapatka, Wolfgang Huber, Thorsten Zenz
Metabolic reprogramming in breast tumors is linked to increases in putative oncogenic metabolites that may contribute to malignant transformation. We previously showed that accumulation of the oncometabolite, 2-hydroxyglutarate (2HG), in breast tumors was associated with MYC signaling, but not with isocitrate dehydrogenase (IDH) mutations, suggesting a distinct mechanism for increased 2HG in breast cancer. Here, we determined that D-2HG is the predominant enantiomer in human breast tumors and show that the D-2HG–producing mitochondrial enzyme, alcohol dehydrogenase, iron-containing protein 1 (ADHFE1), is a breast cancer oncogene that decreases patient survival. We found that MYC upregulates ADHFE1 through changes in iron metabolism while coexpression of both ADHFE1 and MYC strongly enhanced orthotopic tumor growth in MCF7 cells. Moreover, ADHFE1 promoted metabolic reprogramming with increased formation of D-2HG and reactive oxygen, a reductive glutamine metabolism, and modifications of the epigenetic landscape, leading to cellular dedifferentiation, enhanced mesenchymal transition, and phenocopying alterations that occur with high D-2HG levels in cancer cells with IDH mutations. Together, our data support the hypothesis that ADHFE1 and MYC signaling contribute to D-2HG accumulation in breast tumors and show that D-2HG is an oncogenic metabolite and potential driver of disease progression.
Prachi Mishra, Wei Tang, Vasanta Putluri, Tiffany H. Dorsey, Feng Jin, Fang Wang, Donewei Zhu, Lauren Amable, Tao Deng, Shaofei Zhang, J. Keith Killian, Yonghong Wang, Tsion Z. Minas, Harry G. Yfantis, Dong H. Lee, Arun Sreekumar, Michael Bustin, Wei Liu, Nagireddy Putluri, Stefan Ambs
Recent studies reveal that airway epithelial cells are critical pulmonary circadian pacemaker cells, mediating rhythmic inflammatory responses. Using mouse models, we now identify the rhythmic circadian repressor REV-ERBα as essential to the mechanism coupling the pulmonary clock to innate immunity, involving both myeloid and bronchial epithelial cells in temporal gating and determining amplitude of response to inhaled endotoxin. Dual mutation of REV-ERBα and its paralog REV-ERBβ in bronchial epithelia further augmented inflammatory responses and chemokine activation, but also initiated a basal inflammatory state, revealing a critical homeostatic role for REV-ERB proteins in the suppression of the endogenous proinflammatory mechanism in unchallenged cells. However, REV-ERBα plays the dominant role, as deletion of REV-ERBβ alone had no impact on inflammatory responses. In turn, inflammatory challenges cause striking changes in stability and degradation of REV-ERBα protein, driven by SUMOylation and ubiquitination. We developed a novel selective oxazole-based inverse agonist of REV-ERB, which protects REV-ERBα protein from degradation, and used this to reveal how proinflammatory cytokines trigger rapid degradation of REV-ERBα in the elaboration of an inflammatory response. Thus, dynamic changes in stability of REV-ERBα protein couple the core clock to innate immunity.
Marie Pariollaud, Julie E. Gibbs, Thomas W. Hopwood, Sheila Brown, Nicola Begley, Ryan Vonslow, Toryn Poolman, Baoqiang Guo, Ben Saer, D. Heulyn Jones, James P. Tellam, Stefano Bresciani, Nicholas C.O. Tomkinson, Justyna Wojno-Picon, Anthony W.J. Cooper, Dion A. Daniels, Ryan P. Trump, Daniel Grant, William Zuercher, Timothy M. Willson, Andrew S. MacDonald, Brian Bolognese, Patricia L. Podolin, Yolanda Sanchez, Andrew S.I. Loudon, David W. Ray
Transplantation of neural progenitor cells (NPCs) is a potential therapy for treating neurodegenerative disorders, but this approach has faced many challenges and limited success, primarily because of inhospitable host brain environments that interfere with enriched neuron engraftment and function. Astrocytes play neurotrophic roles in the developing and adult brain, making them potential candidates for helping with modification of hostile brain environments. In this study, we examined whether astrocytic function could be utilized to overcome the current limitations of cell-based therapies in a murine model of Parkinson’s disease (PD) that is characterized by dopamine (DA) neuron degeneration in the midbrain. We show here that cografting astrocytes, especially those derived from the midbrain, remarkably enhanced NPC-based cell therapeutic outcomes along with robust DA neuron engraftment in PD rats for at least 6 months after transplantation. We further show that engineering of donor astrocytes with Nurr1 and Foxa2, transcription factors that were recently reported to polarize harmful immunogenic glia into the neuroprotective form, further promoted the neurotrophic actions of grafted astrocytes in the cell therapeutic approach. Collectively, these findings suggest that cografting astrocytes could be a potential strategy for successful cell therapeutic outcomes in neurodegenerative disorders.
Jae-Jin Song, Sang-Min Oh, Oh-Chan Kwon, Noviana Wulansari, Hyun-Seob Lee, Mi-Yoon Chang, Eunsoo Lee, Woong Sun, Sang-Eun Lee, Sunghoe Chang, Heeyoung An, C. Justin Lee, Sang-Hun Lee
Following amputation, most amputees still report feeling the missing limb and often describe these feelings as excruciatingly painful. Phantom limb sensations (PLS) are useful while controlling a prosthesis; however, phantom limb pain (PLP) is a debilitating condition that drastically hinders quality of life. Although such experiences have been reported since the early 16th century, the etiology remains unknown. Debate continues regarding the roles of the central and peripheral nervous systems. Currently, the most posited mechanistic theories rely on neuronal network reorganization; however, greater consideration should be given to the role of the dorsal root ganglion within the peripheral nervous system. This Review provides an overview of the proposed mechanistic theories as well as an overview of various treatments for PLP.
Kassondra L. Collins, Hannah G. Russell, Patrick J. Schumacher, Katherine E. Robinson-Freeman, Ellen C. O’Conor, Kyla D. Gibney, Olivia Yambem, Robert W. Dykes, Robert S. Waters, Jack W. Tsao
Before insulin can stimulate myocytes to take up glucose, it must first move from the circulation to the interstitial space. The continuous endothelium of skeletal muscle (SkM) capillaries restricts insulin’s access to myocytes. The mechanism by which insulin crosses this continuous endothelium is critical to understand insulin action and insulin resistance; however, methodological obstacles have limited understanding of endothelial insulin transport in vivo. Here, we present an intravital microscopy technique to measure the rate of insulin efflux across the endothelium of SkM capillaries. This method involves development of a fully bioactive, fluorescent insulin probe, a gastrocnemius preparation for intravital microscopy, an automated vascular segmentation algorithm, and the use of mathematical models to estimate endothelial transport parameters. We combined direct visualization of insulin efflux from SkM capillaries with modeling of insulin efflux kinetics to identify fluid-phase transport as the major mode of transendothelial insulin efflux in mice. Model-independent experiments demonstrating that insulin movement is neither saturable nor affected by insulin receptor antagonism supported this result. Our finding that insulin enters the SkM interstitium by fluid-phase transport may have implications in the pathophysiology of SkM insulin resistance as well as in the treatment of diabetes with various insulin analogs.
Ian M. Williams, Francisco A. Valenzuela, Steven D. Kahl, Doraiswami Ramkrishna, Adam R. Mezo, Jamey D. Young, K. Sam Wells, David H. Wasserman
Cerebral white matter injury (WMI) persistently disrupts myelin regeneration by oligodendrocyte progenitor cells (OPCs). We identified a specific bioactive hyaluronan fragment (bHAf) that downregulates myelin gene expression and chronically blocks OPC maturation and myelination via a tolerance-like mechanism that dysregulates pro-myelination signaling via AKT. Desensitization of AKT occurs via TLR4 but not TLR2 or CD44. OPC differentiation was selectively blocked by bHAf in a maturation-dependent fashion at the late OPC (preOL) stage by a noncanonical TLR4/TRIF pathway that induced persistent activation of the FoxO3 transcription factor downstream of AKT. Activated FoxO3 selectively localized to oligodendrocyte lineage cells in white matter lesions from human preterm neonates and adults with multiple sclerosis. FoxO3 constraint of OPC maturation was bHAf dependent, and involved interactions at the FoxO3 and MBP promoters with the chromatin remodeling factor Brg1 and the transcription factor Olig2, which regulate OPC differentiation. WMI has adapted an immune tolerance–like mechanism whereby persistent engagement of TLR4 by bHAf promotes an OPC niche at the expense of myelination by engaging a FoxO3 signaling pathway that chronically constrains OPC differentiation.
Taasin Srivastava, Parham Diba, Justin M. Dean, Fatima Banine, Daniel Shaver, Matthew Hagen, Xi Gong, Weiping Su, Ben Emery, Daniel L. Marks, Edward N. Harris, Bruce Baggenstoss, Paul H. Weigel, Larry S. Sherman, Stephen A. Back
Insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes are associated with low levels of high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C). The insulin-repressible FoxO transcription factors are potential mediators of the effect of insulin on HDL-C. FoxOs mediate a substantial portion of insulin-regulated transcription, and poor FoxO repression is thought to contribute to the excessive glucose production in diabetes. In this work, we show that mice with liver-specific triple FoxO knockout (L-FoxO1,3,4), which are known to have reduced hepatic glucose production, also have increased HDL-C. This was associated with decreased expression of the HDL-C clearance factors scavenger receptor class B type I (SR-BI) and hepatic lipase and defective selective uptake of HDL cholesteryl ester by the liver. The phenotype could be rescued by re-expression of SR-BI. These findings demonstrate that hepatic FoxOs are required for cholesterol homeostasis and HDL-mediated reverse cholesterol transport to the liver.
Samuel X. Lee, Markus Heine, Christian Schlein, Rajasekhar Ramakrishnan, Jing Liu, Gabriella Belnavis, Ido Haimi, Alexander W. Fischer, Henry N. Ginsberg, Joerg Heeren, Franz Rinninger, Rebecca A. Haeusler
Chromatin remodeler Brahma related gene 1 (BRG1) is silenced in approximately 10% of human pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas (PDAs). We previously showed that BRG1 inhibits the formation of intraductal pancreatic mucinous neoplasm (IPMN) and that IPMN-derived PDA originated from ductal cells. However, the role of BRG1 in pancreatic intraepithelial neoplasia–derived (PanIN-derived) PDA that originated from acinar cells remains elusive. Here, we found that exclusive elimination of Brg1 in acinar cells of Ptf1a-CreER; KrasG12D; Brg1fl/fl mice impaired the formation of acinar-to-ductal metaplasia (ADM) and PanIN independently of p53 mutation, while PDA formation was inhibited in the presence of p53 mutation. BRG1 bound to regions of the Sox9 promoter to regulate its expression and was critical for recruitment of upstream regulators, including PDX1, to the Sox9 promoter and enhancer in acinar cells. SOX9 expression was downregulated in BRG1-depleted ADMs/PanINs. Notably, Sox9 overexpression canceled this PanIN-attenuated phenotype in KBC mice. Furthermore, Brg1 deletion in established PanIN by using a dual recombinase system resulted in regression of the lesions in mice. Finally, BRG1 expression correlated with SOX9 expression in human PDAs. In summary, BRG1 is critical for PanIN initiation and progression through positive regulation of SOX9. Thus, the BRG1/SOX9 axis is a potential target for PanIN-derived PDA.
Motoyuki Tsuda, Akihisa Fukuda, Nilotpal Roy, Yukiko Hiramatsu, Laura Leonhardt, Nobuyuki Kakiuchi, Kaja Hoyer, Satoshi Ogawa, Norihiro Goto, Kozo Ikuta, Yoshito Kimura, Yoshihide Matsumoto, Yutaka Takada, Takuto Yoshioka, Takahisa Maruno, Yuichi Yamaga, Grace E. Kim, Haruhiko Akiyama, Seishi Ogawa, Christopher V. Wright, Dieter Saur, Kyoichi Takaori, Shinji Uemoto, Matthias Hebrok, Tsutomu Chiba, Hiroshi Seno
Sugar- and lipid-derived aldehydes are reactive carbonyl species (RCS) frequently used as surrogate markers of oxidative stress in obesity. A pathogenic role for RCS in metabolic diseases of obesity remains controversial, however, partly because of their highly diffuse and broad reactivity and the lack of specific RCS-scavenging therapies. Naturally occurring histidine dipeptides (e.g., anserine and carnosine) show RCS reactivity, but their therapeutic potential in humans is limited by serum carnosinases. Here, we present the rational design, characterization, and pharmacological evaluation of carnosinol, i.e., (2S)-2-(3-amino propanoylamino)-3-(1H-imidazol-5-yl)propanol, a derivative of carnosine with high oral bioavailability that is resistant to carnosinases. Carnosinol displayed a suitable ADMET (absorption, distribution, metabolism, excretion, and toxicity) profile and was determined to have the greatest potency and selectivity toward α,β-unsaturated aldehydes (e.g., 4-hydroxynonenal, HNE, ACR) among all others reported thus far. In rodent models of diet-induced obesity and metabolic syndrome, carnosinol dose-dependently attenuated HNE adduct formation in liver and skeletal muscle, while simultaneously mitigating inflammation, dyslipidemia, insulin resistance, and steatohepatitis. These improvements in metabolic parameters with carnosinol were not due to changes in energy expenditure, physical activity, adiposity, or body weight. Collectively, our findings illustrate a pathogenic role for RCS in obesity-related metabolic disorders and provide validation for a promising new class of carbonyl-scavenging therapeutic compounds rationally derived from carnosine.
Ethan J. Anderson, Giulio Vistoli, Lalage A. Katunga, Katsuhiko Funai, Luca Regazzoni, T. Blake Monroe, Ettore Gilardoni, Luca Cannizzaro, Mara Colzani, Danilo De Maddis, Giuseppe Rossoni, Renato Canevotti, Stefania Gagliardi, Marina Carini, Giancarlo Aldini
We have previously reported that the fractalkine (FKN)/CX3CR1 system represents a novel regulatory mechanism for insulin secretion and β cell function. Here, we demonstrate that chronic administration of a long-acting form of FKN, FKN-Fc, can exert durable effects to improve glucose tolerance with increased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and decreased β cell apoptosis in obese rodent models. Unexpectedly, chronic FKN-Fc administration also led to decreased α cell glucagon secretion. In islet cells, FKN inhibited ATP-sensitive potassium channel conductance by an ERK-dependent mechanism, which triggered β cell action potential (AP) firing and decreased α cell AP amplitude. This results in increased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and decreased glucagon secretion. Beyond its islet effects, FKN-Fc also exerted peripheral effects to enhance hepatic insulin sensitivity due to inhibition of glucagon action. In hepatocytes, FKN treatment reduced glucagon-stimulated cAMP production and CREB phosphorylation in a pertussis toxin–sensitive manner. Together, these results raise the possibility of use of FKN-based therapy to improve type 2 diabetes by increasing both insulin secretion and insulin sensitivity.
Matthew Riopel, Jong Bae Seo, Gautam K. Bandyopadhyay, Pingping Li, Joshua Wollam, Heekyung Chung, Seung-Ryoung Jung, Anne Murphy, Maria Wilson, Ron de Jong, Sanjay Patel, Deepika Balakrishna, James Bilakovics, Andrea Fanjul, Artur Plonowski, Duk-Su Koh, Christopher J. Larson, Jerrold M. Olefsky, Yun Sok Lee
Agonists of the vanilloid receptor transient vanilloid potential 1 (TRPV1) are emerging as highly efficacious nonopioid analgesics in preclinical studies. These drugs selectively lesion TRPV1+ primary sensory afferents, which are responsible for the transmission of many noxious stimulus modalities. Resiniferatoxin (RTX) is a very potent and selective TRPV1 agonist and is a promising candidate for treating many types of pain. Recent work establishing intrathecal application of RTX for the treatment of pain resulting from advanced cancer has demonstrated profound analgesia in client-owned dogs with osteosarcoma. The present study uses transcriptomics and histochemistry to examine the molecular mechanism of RTX action in rats, in clinical canine subjects, and in 1 human subject with advanced cancer treated for pain using intrathecal RTX. In all 3 species, we observe a strong analgesic action, yet this was accompanied by limited transcriptional alterations at the level of the dorsal root ganglion. Functional and neuroanatomical studies demonstrated that intrathecal RTX largely spares susceptible neuronal perikarya, which remain active peripherally but unable to transmit signals to the spinal cord. The results demonstrate that central chemo-axotomy of the TRPV1+ afferents underlies RTX analgesia and refine the neurobiology underlying effective clinical use of TRPV1 agonists for pain control.
Matthew R. Sapio, John K. Neubert, Danielle M. LaPaglia, Dragan Maric, Jason M. Keller, Stephen J. Raithel, Eric L. Rohrs, Ethan M. Anderson, John A. Butman, Robert M. Caudle, Dorothy C. Brown, John D. Heiss, Andrew J. Mannes, Michael J. Iadarola
Clarin-1, a tetraspan-like membrane protein defective in Usher syndrome type IIIA (USH3A), is essential for hair bundle morphogenesis in auditory hair cells. We report a new synaptic role for clarin-1 in mouse auditory hair cells elucidated by characterization of Clrn1 total (Clrn1ex4–/–) and postnatal hair cell–specific conditional (Clrn1ex4fl/fl Myo15-Cre+/–) knockout mice. Clrn1ex4–/– mice were profoundly deaf, whereas Clrn1ex4fl/fl Myo15-Cre+/– mice displayed progressive increases in hearing thresholds, with, initially, normal otoacoustic emissions and hair bundle morphology. Inner hair cell (IHC) patch-clamp recordings for the 2 mutant mice revealed defective exocytosis and a disorganization of synaptic F-actin and CaV1.3 Ca2+ channels, indicative of a synaptopathy. Postsynaptic defects were also observed, with an abnormally broad distribution of AMPA receptors associated with a loss of afferent dendrites and defective electrically evoked auditory brainstem responses. Protein-protein interaction assays revealed interactions between clarin-1 and the synaptic CaV1.3 Ca2+ channel complex via the Cavβ2 auxiliary subunit and the PDZ domain–containing protein harmonin (defective in Usher syndrome type IC). Cochlear gene therapy in vivo, through adeno-associated virus–mediated Clrn1 transfer into hair cells, prevented the synaptic defects and durably improved hearing in Clrn1ex4fl/fl Myo15-Cre+/– mice. Our results identify clarin-1 as a key organizer of IHC ribbon synapses, and suggest new treatment possibilities for USH3A patients.
Didier Dulon, Samantha Papal, Pranav Patni, Matteo Cortese, Philippe F.Y. Vincent, Margot Tertrais, Alice Emptoz, Abdelaziz Tlili, Yohan Bouleau, Vincent Michel, Sedigheh Delmaghani, Alain Aghaie, Elise Pepermans, Olinda Alegria-Prevot, Omar Akil, Lawrence Lustig, Paul Avan, Saaid Safieddine, Christine Petit, Aziz El-Amraoui
Increasing evidence suggests a role for excessive intake of fructose in the Western diet as a contributor to the current epidemics of metabolic syndrome and obesity. Hereditary fructose intolerance (HFI) is a difficult and potentially lethal orphan disease associated with impaired fructose metabolism. In HFI, the deficiency of aldolase B results in the accumulation of intracellular phosphorylated fructose, leading to phosphate sequestration and depletion, increased adenosine triphosphate (ATP) turnover, and a plethora of conditions that lead to clinical manifestations such as fatty liver, hyperuricemia, Fanconi syndrome, and severe hypoglycemia. Unfortunately, there is currently no treatment for HFI, and avoiding sugar and fructose has become challenging in our society. In this report, through use of genetically modified mice and pharmacological inhibitors, we demonstrate that the absence or inhibition of ketohexokinase (Khk), an enzyme upstream of aldolase B, is sufficient to prevent hypoglycemia and liver and intestinal injury associated with HFI. Herein we provide evidence for the first time to our knowledge of a potential therapeutic approach for HFI. Mechanistically, our studies suggest that it is the inhibition of the Khk C isoform, not the A isoform, that protects animals from HFI.
Miguel A. Lanaspa, Ana Andres-Hernando, David J. Orlicky, Christina Cicerchi, Cholsoon Jang, Nanxing Li, Tamara Milagres, Masanari Kuwabara, Michael F. Wempe, Joshua D. Rabinowitz, Richard J. Johnson, Dean R. Tolan
An increase in hepatic glucose production (HGP) is a key feature of type 2 diabetes. Excessive signaling through hepatic Gs–linked glucagon receptors critically contributes to pathologica