Natural killer (NK) cells can have potent antileukemic activity following haplo-mismatched, T cell–depleted stem cell transplantations for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), but they are not successful in eradicating de novo AML. Here, we have used a mouse model of de novo AML to elucidate the mechanisms by which AML evades NK cell surveillance. NK cells in leukemic mice displayed a marked reduction in the cytolytic granules perforin and granzyme B. Further, as AML progressed, we noted the selective loss of an immature subset of NK cells in leukemic mice and in AML patients. This absence was not due to elimination by cell death or selective reduction in proliferation, but rather to the result of a block in NK cell differentiation. Indeed, NK cells from leukemic mice and humans with AML showed lower levels of TBET and EOMES, transcription factors that are critical for terminal NK cell differentiation. Further, the microRNA miR-29b, a regulator of T-bet and EOMES, was elevated in leukemic NK cells. Finally, deletion of miR-29b in NK cells reversed the depletion of this NK cell subset in leukemic mice. These results indicate that leukemic evasion of NK cell surveillance occurs through miR-mediated dysregulation of lymphocyte development, representing an additional mechanism of immune escape in cancer.
Bethany L. Mundy-Bosse, Steven D. Scoville, Li Chen, Kathleen McConnell, Hsiaoyin C. Mao, Elshafa H. Ahmed, Nicholas Zorko, Sophia Harvey, Jordan Cole, Xiaoli Zhang, Stefan Costinean, Carlo M. Croce, Karilyn Larkin, John C. Byrd, Sumithira Vasu, William Blum, Jianhua Yu, Aharon G. Freud, Michael A. Caligiuri
The rising success of cancer immunotherapy has produced immense interest in defining the clinical contexts that may benefit from this therapeutic approach. To this end, there is a need to ascertain how the therapeutic modulation of intrinsic cancer cell programs influences the anticancer immune response. For example, the role of autophagy as a tumor cell survival and metabolic fitness pathway is being therapeutically targeted in ongoing clinical trials that combine cancer therapies with antimalarial drugs for the treatment of a broad spectrum of cancers, many of which will likely benefit from immunotherapy. However, our current understanding of the interplay between autophagy and the immune response remains incomplete. Here, we have evaluated how autophagy inhibition impacts the antitumor immune response in immune-competent mouse models of melanoma and mammary cancer. We observed equivalent levels of T cell infiltration and function within autophagy-competent and -deficient tumors, even upon treatment with the anthracycline chemotherapeutic doxorubicin. Similarly, we found equivalent T cell responses upon systemic treatment of tumor-bearing mice with antimalarial drugs. Our findings demonstrate that antitumor adaptive immunity is not adversely impaired by autophagy inhibition in these models, allowing for the future possibility of combining autophagy inhibitors with immunotherapy in certain clinical contexts.
Hanna Starobinets, Jordan Ye, Miranda Broz, Kevin Barry, Juliet Goldsmith, Timothy Marsh, Fanya Rostker, Matthew Krummel, Jayanta Debnath
Interactions of diet, gut microbiota, and host genetics play important roles in the development of obesity and insulin resistance. Here, we have investigated the molecular links between gut microbiota, insulin resistance, and glucose metabolism in 3 inbred mouse strains with differing susceptibilities to metabolic syndrome using diet and antibiotic treatment. Antibiotic treatment altered intestinal microbiota, decreased tissue inflammation, improved insulin signaling in basal and stimulated states, and improved glucose metabolism in obesity- and diabetes-prone C57BL/6J mice on a high-fat diet (HFD). Many of these changes were reproduced by the transfer of gut microbiota from antibiotic-treated donors to germ-free or germ-depleted mice. These physiological changes closely correlated with changes in serum bile acids and levels of the antiinflammatory bile acid receptor Takeda G protein–coupled receptor 5 (TGR5) and were partially recapitulated by treatment with a TGR5 agonist. In contrast, antibiotic treatment of HFD-fed, obesity-resistant 129S1 and obesity-prone 129S6 mice did not improve metabolism, despite changes in microbiota and bile acids. These mice also failed to show a reduction in inflammatory gene expression in response to the TGR5 agonist. Thus, changes in bile acid and inflammatory signaling, insulin resistance, and glucose metabolism driven by an HFD can be modified by antibiotic-induced changes in gut microbiota; however, these effects depend on important interactions with the host’s genetic background and inflammatory potential.
Shiho Fujisaka, Siegfried Ussar, Clary Clish, Suzanne Devkota, Jonathan M. Dreyfuss, Masaji Sakaguchi, Marion Soto, Masahiro Konishi, Samir Softic, Emrah Altindis, Ning Li, Georg Gerber, Lynn Bry, C. Ronald Kahn
Rapid impulse propagation in the heart is a defining property of pectinated atrial myocardium (PAM) and the ventricular conduction system (VCS) and is essential for maintaining normal cardiac rhythm and optimal cardiac output. Conduction defects in these tissues produce a disproportionate burden of arrhythmic disease and are major predictors of mortality in heart failure patients. Despite the clinical importance, little is known about the gene regulatory network that dictates the fast conduction phenotype. Here, we have used signal transduction and transcriptional profiling screens to identify a genetic pathway that converges on the NRG1-responsive transcription factor ETV1 as a critical regulator of fast conduction physiology for PAM and VCS cardiomyocytes.
Akshay Shekhar, Xianming Lin, Fang-Yu Liu, Jie Zhang, Huan Mo, Lisa Bastarache, Joshua C. Denny, Nancy J. Cox, Mario Delmar, Dan M. Roden, Glenn I. Fishman, David S. Park
Interactions between multiple myeloma (MM) cells and the BM microenvironment play a critical role in bortezomib (BTZ) resistance. However, the mechanisms involved in these interactions are not completely understood. We previously showed that expression of CYP26 in BM stromal cells maintains a retinoic acid–low (RA-low) microenvironment that prevents the differentiation of normal and malignant hematopoietic cells. Since a low secretory B cell phenotype is associated with BTZ resistance in MM and retinoid signaling promotes plasma cell differentiation and Ig production, we investigated whether stromal expression of the cytochrome P450 monooxygenase CYP26 modulates BTZ sensitivity in the BM niche. CYP26-mediated inactivation of RA within the BM microenvironment prevented plasma cell differentiation and promoted a B cell–like, BTZ-resistant phenotype in human MM cells that were cocultured on BM stroma. Moreover, paracrine Hedgehog secretion by MM cells upregulated stromal CYP26 and further reinforced a protective microenvironment. These results suggest that crosstalk between Hedgehog and retinoid signaling modulates BTZ sensitivity in the BM niche. Targeting these pathological interactions holds promise for eliminating minimal residual disease in MM.
Salvador Alonso, Daniela Hernandez, Yu-ting Chang, Christian D. Gocke, Megan McCray, Ravi Varadhan, William H. Matsui, Richard J. Jones, Gabriel Ghiaur
Inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) affect over 5 million individuals in the industrialized world, with an increasing incidence rate worldwide. IBD also predisposes affected individuals to development of colorectal cancer, which is a leading cause of cancer-related deaths in adults. Mutations in genes encoding molecules in the IL-33 signaling pathway are associated with colitis and colitis-associated cancer (CAC), but how IL-33 modulates gut homeostasis is unclear. Here, we have shown that
Ankit Malik, Deepika Sharma, Qifan Zhu, Rajendra Karki, Clifford S. Guy, Peter Vogel, Thirumala-Devi Kanneganti
On page 3783, Yost et al. identify a peptide in umbilical cord blood that inhibits NET formation in neutrophils isolated from neonates and adults. The cover image shows NET formation by LPS-stimulated neutrophils isolated from a 3-day-old preterm infant. Image credit: Diana Lim.
JCI This Month is a digest of the research, reviews, and other features published each month.
Inflammation is a primary response to injury and or infection, allowing the body to eliminate pathogens and/or damaged tissue and to initiate repair processes. Low oxygen levels, or hypoxia, is a key feature of inflamed tissue and is due to damage to the local vasculature and increased oxygen consumption by pathogens and infiltrating immune cells. In addition to being a feature of inflammation, hypoxia also induces and regulates the inflammatory response by inducing the release of inflammatory cytokines, directing immune cell infiltration, and tuning the responses of the immune cells themselves. These effects are largely mediated by a family of hypoxia-inducible transcription factors (HIFs), which serve as the master regulators of cellular responses to inadequate oxygenation and HIFs and their regulatory factors are now emerging as therapeutic targets in a number of disease states. Reviews in this series discuss the roles of hypoxia and HIFs in the regulation of inflammatory pathways, immune cell metabolism, mucosal inflammation, the tumor microenvironment, intestinal inflammation and colorectal cancer, and recovery from radiation-induced gastrointestinal toxicity. Together, these reviews identify a number of hypoxia-regulated processes that could potentially be targeted to modulate inflammation.