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Abstract

BACKGROUND. Noninvasive prenatal testing can be used to accurately detect chromosomal aneuploidies in circulating fetal DNA; however, the necessity of parental haplotype construction is a primary drawback to noninvasive prenatal diagnosis (NIPD) of monogenic disease. Family-specific haplotype assembly is essential for accurate diagnosis of minuscule amounts of circulating cell-free fetal DNA; however, current haplotyping techniques are too time-consuming and laborious to be carried out within the limited time constraints of prenatal testing, hampering practical application of NIPD in the clinic. Here, we have addressed this pitfall and devised a universal strategy for rapid NIPD of a prevalent mutation in the Ashkenazi Jewish (AJ) population.

METHODS. Pregnant AJ couples, carrying mutation(s) in GBA, which encodes acid β-glucosidase, were recruited at the SZMC Gaucher Clinic. Targeted next-generation sequencing of GBA-flanking SNPs was performed on peripheral blood samples from each couple, relevant mutation carrier family members, and unrelated individuals who are homozygotes for an AJ founder mutation. Allele-specific haplotypes were constructed based on linkage, and a consensus Gaucher disease–associated founder mutation–flanking haplotype was fine mapped. Together, these haplotypes were used for NIPD. All test results were validated by conventional prenatal or postnatal diagnostic methods.

RESULTS. Ten parental alleles in eight unrelated fetuses were diagnosed successfully based on the noninvasive method developed in this study. The consensus mutation–flanking haplotype aided diagnosis for 6 of 9 founder mutation alleles.

CONCLUSIONS. The founder NIPD method developed and described here is rapid, economical, and readily adaptable for prenatal testing of prevalent autosomal recessive disease-causing mutations in an assortment of worldwide populations.

FUNDING. SZMC, Protalix Biotherapeutics Inc., and Centogene AG.

Authors

David A. Zeevi, Gheona Altarescu, Ariella Weinberg-Shukron, Fouad Zahdeh, Tama Dinur, Gaya Chicco, Yair Herskovitz, Paul Renbaum, Deborah Elstein, Ephrat Levy-Lahad, Arndt Rolfs, Ari Zimran

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Abstract

Primary pain and touch sensory neurons not only detect internal and external sensory stimuli, but also receive inputs from other neurons. However, the neuronal derived inputs for primary neurons have not been systematically identified. Using a monosynaptic rabies viruses–based transneuronal tracing method combined with sensory-specific Cre-drivers, we found that sensory neurons receive intraganglion, intraspinal, and supraspinal inputs, the latter of which are mainly derived from the rostroventral medulla (RVM). The viral-traced central neurons were largely inhibitory but also consisted of some glutamatergic neurons in the spinal cord and serotonergic neurons in the RVM. The majority of RVM-derived descending inputs were dual GABAergic and enkephalinergic (opioidergic). These inputs projected through the dorsolateral funiculus and primarily innervated layers I, II, and V of the dorsal horn, where pain-sensory afferents terminate. Silencing or activation of the dual GABA/enkephalinergic RVM neurons in adult animals substantially increased or decreased behavioral sensitivity, respectively, to heat and mechanical stimuli. These results are consistent with the fact that both GABA and enkephalin can exert presynaptic inhibition of the sensory afferents. Taken together, this work provides a systematic view of and a set of tools for examining peri- and extrasynaptic regulations of pain-afferent transmission.

Authors

Yi Zhang, Shengli Zhao, Erica Rodriguez, Jun Takatoh, Bao-Xia Han, Xiang Zhou, Fan Wang

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Abstract

The development of inhibitory antibodies to factor VIII (FVIII) is a major obstacle in using this clotting factor to treat individuals with hemophilia A. Patients with a congenital absence of FVIII do not develop central tolerance to FVIII, and therefore, any control of their FVIII-reactive lymphocytes relies upon peripheral tolerance mechanisms. Indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1 (IDO1) is a key regulatory enzyme that supports Treg function and peripheral tolerance in adult life. Here, we investigated the association between IDO1 competence and inhibitor status by evaluating hemophilia A patients harboring F8-null mutations that were either inhibitor negative (n = 50) or positive (n = 50). We analyzed IDO1 induction, expression, and function for any relationship with inhibitor occurrence by multivariable logistic regression and determined that defective TLR9-mediated activation of IDO1 induction is associated with an inhibitor-positive status. Evaluation of experimental hemophilic mouse models with or without functional IDO1 revealed that tryptophan metabolites, which result from IDO1 activity, prevent generation of anti-FVIII antibodies. Moreover, treatment of hemophilic animals with a TLR9 agonist suppressed FVIII-specific B cells by a mechanism that involves IDO1-dependent induction of Tregs. Together, these findings indicate that strategies aimed at improving IDO1 function should be further explored for preventing or eradicating inhibitors to therapeutically administered FVIII protein.

Authors

Davide Matino, Marco Gargaro, Elena Santagostino, Matteo N.D. Di Minno, Giancarlo Castaman, Massimo Morfini, Angiola Rocino, Maria E. Mancuso, Giovanni Di Minno, Antonio Coppola, Vincenzo N. Talesa, Claudia Volpi, Carmine Vacca, Ciriana Orabona, Rossana Iannitti, Maria G. Mazzucconi, Cristina Santoro, Antonella Tosti, Sara Chiappalupi, Guglielmo Sorci, Giuseppe Tagariello, Donata Belvini, Paolo Radossi, Raffaele Landolfi, Dietmar Fuchs, Louis Boon, Matteo Pirro, Emanuela Marchesini, Ursula Grohmann, Paolo Puccetti, Alfonso Iorio, Francesca Fallarino

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Abstract

Regulation of neutrophil activity is critical for immune evasion among extracellular pathogens, yet the mechanisms by which many bacteria disrupt phagocyte function remain unclear. Here, we have shown that the respiratory pathogen Streptococcus pneumoniae disables neutrophils by exploiting molecular mimicry to degrade platelet-activating factor (PAF), a host-derived inflammatory phospholipid. Using mass spectrometry and murine upper airway infection models, we demonstrated that phosphorylcholine (ChoP) moieties that are shared by PAF and the bacterial cell wall allow S. pneumoniae to leverage a ChoP-remodeling enzyme (Pce) to remove PAF from the airway. S. pneumoniae–mediated PAF deprivation impaired viability, activation, and bactericidal capacity among responding neutrophils. In the absence of Pce, neutrophils rapidly cleared S. pneumoniae from the airway and impeded invasive disease and transmission between mice. Abrogation of PAF signaling rendered Pce dispensable for S. pneumoniae persistence, reinforcing that this enzyme deprives neutrophils of essential PAF-mediated stimulation. Accordingly, exogenous activation of neutrophils overwhelmed Pce-mediated phagocyte disruption. Haemophilus influenzae also uses an enzyme, GlpQ, to hydrolyze ChoP and subvert PAF function, suggesting that mimicry-driven immune evasion is a common paradigm among respiratory pathogens. These results identify a mechanism by which shared molecular structures enable microbial enzymes to subvert host lipid signaling, suppress inflammation, and ensure bacterial persistence at the mucosa.

Authors

Christopher B. Hergott, Aoife M. Roche, Nikhil A. Naidu, Clementina Mesaros, Ian A. Blair, Jeffrey N. Weiser

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Abstract

Liver cancer stem cells (CSCs) have been identified and shown to have self-renewal and differentiation properties; however, the biology of these hepatic CSCs remains largely unknown. Here, we analyzed transcriptome gene expression profiles of liver CSCs and non-CSCs from hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) cells lines and found that the transcription factor (TF) ZIC2 is highly expressed in liver CSCs. ZIC2 was required for the self-renewal maintenance of liver CSCs, as ZIC2 depletion reduced sphere formation and xenograft tumor growth in mice. We determined that ZIC2 acts upstream of the TF OCT4 and that ZIC2 recruits the nuclear remodeling factor (NURF) complex to the OCT4 promoter, thereby initiating OCT4 activation. In HCC patients, expression levels of the NURF complex were consistent with clinical severity and prognosis. Moreover, ZIC2 and OCT4 levels positively correlated to the clinicopathological stages of HCC patients. Altogether, our results indicate that levels of ZIC2, OCT4, and the NURF complex can be detected and used for diagnosis and prognosis prediction of HCC patients. Moreover, these factors may be potential therapeutic targets for eradicating liver CSCs.

Authors

Pingping Zhu, Yanying Wang, Lei He, Guanling Huang, Ying Du, Geng Zhang, Xinlong Yan, Pengyan Xia, Buqing Ye, Shuo Wang, Lu Hao, Jiayi Wu, Zusen Fan

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August 2015

125 8 cover 125 8 cover

On the cover:
Ankyrin-B mutation impairs metabolism


125 8 cover

August 2015 Issue

On the cover:
Ankyrin-B mutation impairs metabolism

This month’s cover is an isosurface rendering of 3D confocal images showing enlarged lipid droplets (green) in differentiated adipocytes expressing the R1788W human AnkB variant (red), with nuclei shown in blue. On page 3087, Lorenzo et al. explore the mechanisms by which rare variants in ankyrin-B promote metabolic dysfunction. Image credit: Damaris N. Lorenzo.

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Jci impact 2015 08

August 2015 JCI This Month

JCI This Month is a digest of the research, reviews, and other features published in each month's issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation.

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Review Series - More

Autoimmunity

Series edited by Antonio La Cava

Autoimmune disease encompasses a diverse group of over 80 chronic disorders. Each of these diseases has distinct clinical manifestations that are due to the differences in the cells and organ systems involved; however, these diseases are universally characterized by a loss of self-tolerance, resulting in autoreactive immune cells, autoantibodies, and elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines. Reviews in this series examine mechanisms underlying autoimmunity, including failure of B cell tolerance checkpoints, the generation of autoantibodies, cytokine dysregulation, aberrant T cell signaling, and the loss of immune suppressive cells and functions. They also explore the influence of genetic background, environment, microRNAs, and sex-specific factors on the loss of immune homeostasis.

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