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Abstract

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.

Authors

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

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Abstract

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.

Authors

Hanna Starobinets, Jordan Ye, Miranda Broz, Kevin Barry, Juliet Goldsmith, Timothy Marsh, Fanya Rostker, Matthew Krummel, Jayanta Debnath

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Abstract

Multiple myeloma is incurable by standard approaches because of inevitable relapse and development of treatment resistance in all patients. In our prior work, we identified a panel of macropinocytosing human monoclonal antibodies against CD46, a negative regulator of the innate immune system, and constructed antibody-drug conjugates (ADCs). In this report, we show that an anti-CD46 ADC (CD46-ADC) potently inhibited proliferation in myeloma cell lines with little effect on normal cells. CD46-ADC also potently eliminated myeloma growth in orthometastatic xenograft models. In primary myeloma cells derived from bone marrow aspirates, CD46-ADC induced apoptosis and cell death, but did not affect the viability of nontumor mononuclear cells. It is of clinical interest that the CD46 gene resides on chromosome 1q, which undergoes genomic amplification in the majority of relapsed myeloma patients. We found that the cell surface expression level of CD46 was markedly higher in patient myeloma cells with 1q gain than in those with normal 1q copy number. Thus, genomic amplification of CD46 may serve as a surrogate for target amplification that could allow patient stratification for tailored CD46-targeted therapy. Overall, these findings indicate that CD46 is a promising target for antibody-based treatment of multiple myeloma, especially in patients with gain of chromosome 1q.

Authors

Daniel W. Sherbenou, Blake T. Aftab, Yang Su, Christopher R. Behrens, Arun Wiita, Aaron C. Logan, Diego Acosta-Alvear, Byron C. Hann, Peter Walter, Marc A. Shuman, Xiaobo Wu, John P. Atkinson, Jeffrey L. Wolf, Thomas G. Martin, Bin Liu

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Abstract

Epidermal keratinocytes form a structural and immune barrier that is essential for skin homeostasis. However, the mechanisms that regulate epidermal barrier function are incompletely understood. Here we have found that keratinocyte-specific deletion of the gene encoding RAB guanine nucleotide exchange factor 1 (RABGEF1, also known as RABEX-5) severely impairs epidermal barrier function in mice and induces an allergic cutaneous and systemic phenotype. RABGEF1-deficient keratinocytes exhibited aberrant activation of the intrinsic IL-1R/MYD88/NF-κB signaling pathway and MYD88-dependent abnormalities in expression of structural proteins that contribute to skin barrier function. Moreover, ablation of MYD88 signaling in RABGEF1-deficient keratinocytes or deletion of Il1r1 restored skin homeostasis and prevented development of skin inflammation. We further demonstrated that epidermal RABGEF1 expression is reduced in skin lesions of humans diagnosed with either atopic dermatitis or allergic contact dermatitis as well as in an inducible mouse model of allergic dermatitis. Our findings reveal a key role for RABGEF1 in dampening keratinocyte-intrinsic MYD88 signaling and sustaining epidermal barrier function in mice, and suggest that dysregulation of RABGEF1 expression may contribute to epidermal barrier dysfunction in allergic skin disorders in mice and humans. Thus, RABGEF1-mediated regulation of IL-1R/MYD88 signaling might represent a potential therapeutic target.

Authors

Thomas Marichal, Nicolas Gaudenzio, Sophie El Abbas, Riccardo Sibilano, Oliwia Zurek, Philipp Starkl, Laurent L. Reber, Dimitri Pirottin, Jinah Kim, Pierre Chambon, Axel Roers, Nadine Antoine, Yuko Kawakami, Toshiaki Kawakami, Fabrice Bureau, See-Ying Tam, Mindy Tsai, Stephen J. Galli

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Abstract

Current chemotherapies for T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) efficiently reduce tumor mass. Nonetheless, disease relapse attributed to survival of preleukemic stem cells (pre-LSCs) is associated with poor prognosis. Herein, we provide direct evidence that pre-LSCs are much less chemosensitive to existing chemotherapy drugs than leukemic blasts because of a distinctive lower proliferative state. Improving therapies for T-ALL requires the development of strategies to target pre-LSCs that are absolutely dependent on their microenvironment. Therefore, we designed a robust protocol for high-throughput screening of compounds that target primary pre-LSCs maintained in a niche-like environment, on stromal cells that were engineered for optimal NOTCH1 activation. The multiparametric readout takes into account the intrinsic complexity of primary cells in order to specifically monitor pre-LSCs, which were induced here by the SCL/TAL1 and LMO1 oncogenes. We screened a targeted library of compounds and determined that the estrogen derivative 2-methoxyestradiol (2-ME2) disrupted both cell-autonomous and non–cell-autonomous pathways. Specifically, 2-ME2 abrogated pre-LSC viability and self-renewal activity in vivo by inhibiting translation of MYC, a downstream effector of NOTCH1, and preventing SCL/TAL1 activity. In contrast, normal hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells remained functional. These results illustrate how recapitulating tissue-like properties of primary cells in high-throughput screening is a promising avenue for innovation in cancer chemotherapy.

Authors

Bastien Gerby, Diogo F.T. Veiga, Jana Krosl, Sami Nourreddine, Julianne Ouellette, André Haman, Geneviève Lavoie, Iman Fares, Mathieu Tremblay, Véronique Litalien, Elizabeth Ottoni, Milena Kosic, Dominique Geoffrion, Joël Ryan, Paul S. Maddox, Jalila Chagraoui, Anne Marinier, Josée Hébert, Guy Sauvageau, Benjamin H. Kwok, Philippe P. Roux, Trang Hoang

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Abstract

Mutations and deletions in components of ubiquitin ligase complexes that lead to alterations in protein turnover are important mechanisms in driving tumorigenesis. Here we describe an alternative mechanism involving upregulation of the microRNA miR-424 that leads to impaired ubiquitination and degradation of oncogenic transcription factors in prostate cancers. We found that miR-424 targets the E3 ubiquitin ligase COP1 and identified STAT3 as a key substrate of COP1 in promoting tumorigenic and cancer stem-like properties in prostate epithelial cells. Altered protein turnover due to impaired COP1 function led to accumulation and enhanced basal and cytokine-induced activity of STAT3. We further determined that loss of the ETS factor ESE3/EHF is the initial event that triggers the deregulation of the miR-424/COP1/STAT3 axis. COP1 silencing and STAT3 activation were effectively reverted by blocking of miR-424, suggesting a possible strategy to attack this key node of tumorigenesis in ESE3/EHF–deficient tumors. These results establish miR-424 as an oncogenic effector linked to noncanonical activation of STAT3 and as a potential therapeutic target.

Authors

Cecilia Dallavalle, Domenico Albino, Gianluca Civenni, Jessica Merulla, Paola Ostano, Maurizia Mello-Grand, Simona Rossi, Marco Losa, Gioacchino D’Ambrosio, Fausto Sessa, George N. Thalmann, Ramon Garcia-Escudero, Andrea Zitella, Giovanna Chiorino, Carlo V. Catapano, Giuseppina M. Carbone

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Abstract

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.

Authors

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

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Abstract

Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) encompasses a diverse group of Mendelian disorders leading to progressive degeneration of rods and then cones. For reasons that remain unclear, diseased RP photoreceptors begin to deteriorate, eventually leading to cell death and, consequently, loss of vision. Here, we have hypothesized that RP associated with mutations in phosphodiesterase-6 (PDE6) provokes a metabolic aberration in rod cells that promotes the pathological consequences of elevated cGMP and Ca2+, which are induced by the Pde6 mutation. Inhibition of sirtuin 6 (SIRT6), a histone deacetylase repressor of glycolytic flux, reprogrammed rods into perpetual glycolysis, thereby driving the accumulation of biosynthetic intermediates, improving outer segment (OS) length, enhancing photoreceptor survival, and preserving vision. In mouse retinae lacking Sirt6, effectors of glycolytic flux were dramatically increased, leading to upregulation of key intermediates in glycolysis, TCA cycle, and glutaminolysis. Both transgenic and AAV2/8 gene therapy–mediated ablation of Sirt6 in rods provided electrophysiological and anatomic rescue of both rod and cone photoreceptors in a preclinical model of RP. Due to the extensive network of downstream effectors of Sirt6, this study motivates further research into the role that these pathways play in retinal degeneration. Because reprogramming metabolism by enhancing glycolysis is not gene specific, this strategy may be applicable to a wide range of neurodegenerative disorders.

Authors

Lijuan Zhang, Jianhai Du, Sally Justus, Chun-Wei Hsu, Luis Bonet-Ponce, Wen-Hsuan Wu, Yi-Ting Tsai, Wei-Pu Wu, Yading Jia, Jimmy K. Duong, Vinit B. Mahajan, Chyuan-Sheng Lin, Shuang Wang, James B. Hurley, Stephen H. Tsang

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Abstract

Hypertension is a leading risk factor for dementia, but the mechanisms underlying its damaging effects on the brain are poorly understood. Due to a lack of energy reserves, the brain relies on continuous delivery of blood flow to its active regions in accordance with their dynamic metabolic needs. Hypertension disrupts these vital regulatory mechanisms, leading to the neuronal dysfunction and damage underlying cognitive impairment. Elucidating the cellular bases of these impairments is essential for developing new therapies. Perivascular macrophages (PVMs) represent a distinct population of resident brain macrophages that serves key homeostatic roles but also has the potential to generate large amounts of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Here, we report that PVMs are critical in driving the alterations in neurovascular regulation and attendant cognitive impairment in mouse models of hypertension. This effect was mediated by an increase in blood-brain barrier permeability that allowed angiotensin II to enter the perivascular space and activate angiotensin type 1 receptors in PVMs, leading to production of ROS through the superoxide-producing enzyme NOX2. These findings unveil a pathogenic role of PVMs in the neurovascular and cognitive dysfunction associated with hypertension and identify these cells as a putative therapeutic target for diseases associated with cerebrovascular oxidative stress.

Authors

Giuseppe Faraco, Yukio Sugiyama, Diane Lane, Lidia Garcia-Bonilla, Haejoo Chang, Monica M. Santisteban, Gianfranco Racchumi, Michelle Murphy, Nico Van Rooijen, Joseph Anrather, Costantino Iadecola

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Abstract

The transcription factor NR4A3 (also known as NOR-1) is a member of the Nr4a family of nuclear receptors and is expressed in myeloid and lymphoid cells. Here, we have shown that Nr4a3 is essential for the migration of CD103+ dendritic cells (DCs) to lymph nodes (LNs). Nr4a3-deficient mice had very few CD103+ migratory DCs (mDCs) present in LNs, and mixed-chimera studies revealed that this migratory defect was cell intrinsic. We further found that CD103+ DCs from Nr4a3-deficient mice displayed a marked loss of surface expression of the chemokine CCR7. This defect in CCR7 expression was confined to CD103+ DCs, as CCR7 expression on T lymphocytes was unaffected. Moreover, CCR7 was not induced on CD103+ DCs from Nr4a3-deficient mice in response to either administration of the TLR7 agonist R848 or infection with Citrobacter rodentium in vivo. The transcription factor FOXO1 has been shown to regulate CCR7 expression. We found that FOXO1 protein was reduced in Nr4a3-deficient DCs through an AKT-dependent mechanism. Further, we found a requirement for NR4A3 in the maintenance of homeostatic mitochondrial function in CD103+ DCs, although this is likely independent of the NR4A3/FOXO1/CCR7 axis in the regulation of DC migration. Thus, NR4A3 plays an important role in the regulation of CD103+ mDCs by regulating CCR7-dependent cell migration.

Authors

Kiwon Park, Zbigniew Mikulski, Goo-Young Seo, Aleksander Y. Andreyev, Paola Marcovecchio, Amy Blatchley, Mitchell Kronenberg, Catherine C. Hedrick

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Abstract

Certain secretory proteins are known to be critical for maintaining the stemness of stem cells through autocrine signaling. However, the processes underlying the biogenesis, maturation, and secretion of these proteins remain largely unknown. Here we demonstrate that many secretory proteins produced by hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) undergo exosomal maturation and release that is controlled by vacuolar protein sorting protein 33b (VPS33B). Deletion of VPS33B in either mouse or human HSCs resulted in impaired exosome maturation and secretion as well as loss of stemness. Additionally, VPS33B deficiency led to a dramatic delay in leukemogenesis. Exosomes purified from either conditioned medium or human plasma could partially rescue the defects of HSCs and leukemia-initiating cells (LICs). VPS33B co-existed in exosomes with GDI2, VPS16B, FLOT1, and other known exosome markers. Mechanistically, VPS33B interacted with the GDI2/RAB11A/RAB27A pathway to regulate the trafficking of secretory proteins as exosomes. These findings reveal an essential role for VPS33B in exosome pathways in HSCs and LICs. Moreover, they shed light on the understanding of vesicle trafficking in other stem cells and on the development of improved strategies for cancer treatment.

Authors

Hao Gu, Chiqi Chen, Xiaoxin Hao, Conghui Wang, Xiaocui Zhang, Zhen Li, Hongfang Shao, Hongxiang Zeng, Zhuo Yu, Li Xie, Fangzhen Xia, Feifei Zhang, Xiaoye Liu, Yaping Zhang, Haishan Jiang, Jun Zhu, Jiangbo Wan, Chun Wang, Wei Weng, Jingjing Xie, Minfang Tao, Cheng Cheng Zhang, Junling Liu, Guo-Qiang Chen, Junke Zheng

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Abstract

Arterial blood pressure is controlled by vasodilatory factors such as nitric oxide (NO) that are released from the endothelium under the influence of fluid shear stress exerted by flowing blood. Flow-induced endothelial release of ATP and subsequent activation of Gq/G11–coupled purinergic P2Y2 receptors have been shown to mediate fluid shear stress–induced stimulation of NO formation. However, the mechanism by which fluid shear stress initiates these processes is unclear. Here, we have shown that the endothelial mechanosensitive cation channel PIEZO1 is required for flow-induced ATP release and subsequent P2Y2/Gq/G11–mediated activation of downstream signaling that results in phosphorylation and activation of AKT and endothelial NOS. We also demonstrated that PIEZO1-dependent ATP release is mediated in part by pannexin channels. The PIEZO1 activator Yoda1 mimicked the effect of fluid shear stress on endothelial cells and induced vasorelaxation in a PIEZO1-dependent manner. Furthermore, mice with induced endothelium-specific PIEZO1 deficiency lost the ability to induce NO formation and vasodilation in response to flow and consequently developed hypertension. Together, our data demonstrate that PIEZO1 is required for the regulation of NO formation, vascular tone, and blood pressure.

Authors

ShengPeng Wang, Ramesh Chennupati, Harmandeep Kaur, Andras Iring, Nina Wettschureck, Stefan Offermanns

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Abstract

Cellular identity in metazoan organisms is frequently established through lineage-specifying transcription factors, which control their own expression through transcriptional positive feedback, while antagonizing the developmental networks of competing lineages. Here, we have uncovered a distinct positive feedback loop that arises from the reciprocal stabilization of the tyrosine kinase ABL and the transcriptional coactivator TAZ. Moreover, we determined that this loop is required for osteoblast differentiation and embryonic skeletal formation. ABL potentiated the assembly and activation of the RUNX2-TAZ master transcription factor complex that is required for osteoblastogenesis, while antagonizing PPARγ-mediated adipogenesis. ABL also enhanced TAZ nuclear localization and the formation of the TAZ-TEAD complex that is required for osteoblast expansion. Last, we have provided genetic data showing that regulation of the ABL-TAZ amplification loop lies downstream of the adaptor protein 3BP2, which is mutated in the craniofacial dysmorphia syndrome cherubism. Our study demonstrates an interplay between ABL and TAZ that controls the mesenchymal maturation program toward the osteoblast lineage and is mechanistically distinct from the established model of lineage-specific maturation.

Authors

Yoshinori Matsumoto, Jose La Rose, Oliver A. Kent, Melany J. Wagner, Masahiro Narimatsu, Aaron D. Levy, Mitchell H. Omar, Jiefei Tong, Jonathan R. Krieger, Emily Riggs, Yaryna Storozhuk, Julia Pasquale, Manuela Ventura, Behzad Yeganeh, Martin Post, Michael F. Moran, Marc D. Grynpas, Jeffrey L. Wrana, Giulio Superti-Furga, Anthony J. Koleske, Ann Marie Pendergast, Robert Rottapel

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Abstract

Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) reside in the bone marrow. Stress signals from cancer and other conditions promote HSPC mobilization into circulation and subsequent homing to tissue microenvironments. HSPC infiltration into tissue microenvironments can influence disease progression; notably, in cancer, HSPCs encourage tumor growth. Here we have uncovered a mutually exclusive distribution of EPHB4 receptors in bone marrow sinusoids and ephrin B2 ligands in hematopoietic cells. We determined that signaling interactions between EPHB4 and ephrin B2 control HSPC mobilization from the bone marrow. In mice, blockade of the EPHB4/ephrin B2 signaling pathway reduced mobilization of HSPCs and other myeloid cells to the circulation. EPHB4/ephrin B2 blockade also reduced HSPC infiltration into tumors as well as tumor progression in murine models of melanoma and mammary cancer. These results identify EPHB4/ephrin B2 signaling as critical to HSPC mobilization from bone marrow and provide a potential strategy for reducing cancer progression by targeting the bone marrow.

Authors

Hyeongil Kwak, Ombretta Salvucci, Roberto Weigert, Jorge L. Martinez-Torrecuadrada, Mark Henkemeyer, Michael G. Poulos, Jason M. Butler, Giovanna Tosato

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Abstract

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. Etv1 was highly expressed in murine PAM and VCS cardiomyocytes, where it regulates expression of Nkx2-5, Gja5, and Scn5a, key cardiac genes required for rapid conduction. Mice deficient in Etv1 exhibited marked cardiac conduction defects coupled with developmental abnormalities of the VCS. Loss of Etv1 resulted in a complete disruption of the normal sodium current heterogeneity that exists between atrial, VCS, and ventricular myocytes. Lastly, a phenome-wide association study identified a link between ETV1 and bundle branch block and heart block in humans. Together, these results identify ETV1 as a critical factor in determining fast conduction physiology in the heart.

Authors

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

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Abstract

Small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) are non-coding RNAs that form ribonucleoproteins to guide covalent modifications of ribosomal and small nuclear RNAs in the nucleus. Recent studies have also uncovered additional non-canonical roles for snoRNAs. However, the physiological contributions of these small RNAs are largely unknown. Here, we selectively deleted four snoRNAs encoded within the introns of the ribosomal protein L13a (Rpl13a) locus in a mouse model. Loss of Rpl13a snoRNAs altered mitochondrial metabolism and lowered reactive oxygen species tone, leading to increased glucose-stimulated insulin secretion from pancreatic islets and enhanced systemic glucose tolerance. Islets from mice lacking Rpl13a snoRNAs demonstrated blunted oxidative stress responses. Furthermore, these mice were protected against diabetogenic stimuli that cause oxidative stress damage to islets. Our study illuminates a previously unrecognized role for snoRNAs in metabolic regulation.

Authors

Jiyeon Lee, Alexis N. Harris, Christopher L. Holley, Jana Mahadevan, Kelly D. Pyles, Zeno Lavagnino, David E. Scherrer, Hideji Fujiwara, Rohini Sidhu, Jessie Zhang, Stanley Ching-Cheng Huang, David W. Piston, Maria S. Remedi, Fumihiko Urano, Daniel S. Ory, Jean E. Schaffer

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Abstract

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.

Authors

Salvador Alonso, Daniela Hernandez, Yu-ting Chang, Christian D. Gocke, Megan McCray, Ravi Varadhan, William H. Matsui, Richard J. Jones, Gabriel Ghiaur

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Abstract

Neuronal oscillations at beta frequencies (20–50 Hz) in the cortico-basal ganglia circuits have long been the leading theory for bradykinesia, the slow movements that are cardinal symptoms in Parkinson’s disease (PD). The beta oscillation theory helped to drive a frequency-based design in the development of deep brain stimulation therapy for PD. However, in contrast to this theory, here we have found that bradykinesia can be completely dissociated from beta oscillations in rodent models. Instead, we observed that bradykinesia is causatively regulated by the burst-firing pattern of the subthalamic nucleus (STN) in a feed-forward, or efferent-only, mechanism. Furthermore, STN burst-firing and beta oscillations are two independent mechanisms that are regulated by different NMDA receptors in STN. Our results shift the understanding of bradykinesia pathophysiology from an interactive oscillatory theory toward a feed-forward mechanism that is coded by firing patterns. This distinct mechanism may improve understanding of the fundamental concepts of motor control and enable more selective targeting of bradykinesia-specific mechanisms to improve PD therapy.

Authors

Ming-Kai Pan, Sheng-Han Kuo, Chun-Hwei Tai, Jyun-You Liou, Ju-Chun Pei, Chia-Yuan Chang, Yi-Mei Wang, Wen-Chuan Liu, Tien-Rei Wang, Wen-Sung Lai, Chung-Chin Kuo

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Abstract

MHC class I–associated peptides (MAPs) define the immune self for CD8+ T lymphocytes and are key targets of cancer immunosurveillance. Here, the goals of our work were to determine whether the entire set of protein-coding genes could generate MAPs and whether specific features influence the ability of discrete genes to generate MAPs. Using proteogenomics, we have identified 25,270 MAPs isolated from the B lymphocytes of 18 individuals who collectively expressed 27 high-frequency HLA-A,B allotypes. The entire MAP repertoire presented by these 27 allotypes covered only 10% of the exomic sequences expressed in B lymphocytes. Indeed, 41% of expressed protein-coding genes generated no MAPs, while 59% of genes generated up to 64 MAPs, often derived from adjacent regions and presented by different allotypes. We next identified several features of transcripts and proteins associated with efficient MAP production. From these data, we built a logistic regression model that predicts with good accuracy whether a gene generates MAPs. Our results show preferential selection of MAPs from a limited repertoire of proteins with distinctive features. The notion that the MHC class I immunopeptidome presents only a small fraction of the protein-coding genome for monitoring by the immune system has profound implications in autoimmunity and cancer immunology.

Authors

Hillary Pearson, Tariq Daouda, Diana Paola Granados, Chantal Durette, Eric Bonneil, Mathieu Courcelles, Anja Rodenbrock, Jean-Philippe Laverdure, Caroline Côté, Sylvie Mader, Sébastien Lemieux, Pierre Thibault, Claude Perreault

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Abstract

Chronic inflammation in visceral adipose tissue (VAT) precipitates the development of cardiometabolic disorders. Although changes in T cell function associated with visceral obesity are thought to affect chronic VAT inflammation, the specific features of these changes remain elusive. Here, we have determined that a high-fat diet (HFD) caused a preferential increase and accumulation of CD44hiCD62LloCD4+ T cells that constitutively express PD-1 and CD153 in a B cell–dependent manner in VAT. These cells possessed characteristics of cellular senescence and showed a strong activation of Spp1 (encoding osteopontin [OPN]) in VAT. Upon T cell receptor stimulation, these T cells also produced large amounts of OPN in a PD-1–resistant manner in vitro. The features of CD153+PD-1+CD44hiCD4+ T cells were highly reminiscent of senescence-associated CD4+ T cells that normally increase with age. Adoptive transfer of CD153+PD-1+CD44hiCD4+ T cells from HFD-fed WT, but not Spp1-deficient, mice into the VAT of lean mice fed a normal diet recapitulated the essential features of VAT inflammation and insulin resistance. Our results demonstrate that a distinct CD153+PD-1+CD44hiCD4+ T cell population that accumulates in the VAT of HFD-fed obese mice causes VAT inflammation by producing large amounts of OPN. This finding suggests a link between visceral adiposity and immune aging.

Authors

Kohsuke Shirakawa, Xiaoxiang Yan, Ken Shinmura, Jin Endo, Masaharu Kataoka, Yoshinori Katsumata, Tsunehisa Yamamoto, Atsushi Anzai, Sarasa Isobe, Naohiro Yoshida, Hiroshi Itoh, Ichiro Manabe, Miho Sekai, Yoko Hamazaki, Keiichi Fukuda, Nagahiro Minato, Motoaki Sano

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Abstract

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 Il33-deficient mice are highly susceptible to colitis and CAC. Mechanistically, we observed that IL-33 promoted IgA production from B cells, which is important for maintaining microbial homeostasis in the intestine. Il33-deficient mice developed a dysbiotic microbiota that was characterized by increased levels of mucolytic and colitogenic bacteria. In response to chemically induced colitis, this microbial landscape promoted the release of IL-1α, which acted as a critical driver of colitis and CAC. Consequently, reconstitution of symbiotic microbiota or IL-1α ablation markedly ameliorated colitis susceptibility in Il33-deficient animals. Our results demonstrate that IL-33 promotes IgA production to maintain gut microbial homoeostasis and restrain IL-1α–dependent colitis and CAC. This study therefore highlights modulation of IL-33, IgA, IL-1α, and the microbiota as a potential therapeutic approach in the treatment of IBD and CAC.

Authors

Ankit Malik, Deepika Sharma, Qifan Zhu, Rajendra Karki, Clifford S. Guy, Peter Vogel, Thirumala-Devi Kanneganti

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Abstract

BACKGROUND. Low vitamin D status in pregnancy was proposed as a risk factor of preeclampsia.

METHODS. We assessed the effect of vitamin D supplementation (4,400 vs. 400 IU/day), initiated early in pregnancy (10–18 weeks), on the development of preeclampsia. The effects of serum vitamin D (25-hydroxyvitamin D [25OHD]) levels on preeclampsia incidence at trial entry and in the third trimester (32–38 weeks) were studied. We also conducted a nested case-control study of 157 women to investigate peripheral blood vitamin D–associated gene expression profiles at 10 to 18 weeks in 47 participants who developed preeclampsia.

RESULTS. Of 881 women randomized, outcome data were available for 816, with 67 (8.2%) developing preeclampsia. There was no significant difference between treatment (N = 408) or control (N = 408) groups in the incidence of preeclampsia (8.08% vs. 8.33%, respectively; relative risk: 0.97; 95% CI, 0.61–1.53). However, in a cohort analysis and after adjustment for confounders, a significant effect of sufficient vitamin D status (25OHD ≥30 ng/ml) was observed in both early and late pregnancy compared with insufficient levels (25OHD <30 ng/ml) (adjusted odds ratio, 0.28; 95% CI, 0.10–0.96). Differential expression of 348 vitamin D–associated genes (158 upregulated) was found in peripheral blood of women who developed preeclampsia (FDR <0.05 in the Vitamin D Antenatal Asthma Reduction Trial [VDAART]; P < 0.05 in a replication cohort). Functional enrichment and network analyses of this vitamin D–associated gene set suggests several highly functional modules related to systematic inflammatory and immune responses, including some nodes with a high degree of connectivity.

CONCLUSIONS. Vitamin D supplementation initiated in weeks 10–18 of pregnancy did not reduce preeclampsia incidence in the intention-to-treat paradigm. However, vitamin D levels of 30 ng/ml or higher at trial entry and in late pregnancy were associated with a lower risk of preeclampsia. Differentially expressed vitamin D–associated transcriptomes implicated the emergence of an early pregnancy, distinctive immune response in women who went on to develop preeclampsia.

TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00920621.

FUNDING. Quebec Breast Cancer Foundation and Genome Canada Innovation Network. This trial was funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. For details see Acknowledgments.

Authors

Hooman Mirzakhani, Augusto A. Litonjua, Thomas F. McElrath, George O’Connor, Aviva Lee-Parritz, Ronald Iverson, George Macones, Robert C. Strunk, Leonard B. Bacharier, Robert Zeiger, Bruce W. Hollis, Diane E. Handy, Amitabh Sharma, Nancy Laranjo, Vincent Carey, Weilliang Qiu, Marc Santolini, Shikang Liu, Divya Chhabra, Daniel A. Enquobahrie, Michelle A. Williams, Joseph Loscalzo, Scott T. Weiss

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Abstract

Homeostatic control of tissue oxygenation is achieved largely through changes in blood flow that are regulated by the classic physiological response of hypoxic vasodilation. The role of nitric oxide (NO) in the control of blood flow is a central tenet of cardiovascular biology. However, extensive evidence now indicates that hypoxic vasodilation entails S-nitrosothiol–based (SNO-based) vasoactivity (rather than NO per se) and that this activity is conveyed substantially by the βCys93 residue in hemoglobin. Thus, tissue oxygenation in the respiratory cycle is dependent on S-nitrosohemoglobin. This perspective predicts that red blood cells (RBCs) may play an important but previously undescribed role in cardioprotection. Here, we have found that cardiac injury and mortality in models of myocardial infarction and heart failure were greatly enhanced in mice lacking βCys93 S-nitrosylation. In addition, βCys93 mutant mice exhibited adaptive collateralization of cardiac vasculature that mitigated ischemic injury and predicted outcomes after myocardial infarction. Enhanced myopathic injury and mortality across different etiologies in the absence of βCys93 confirm the central cardiovascular role of RBC-derived SNO-based vasoactivity and point to a potential locus of therapeutic intervention. Our findings also suggest the possibility that RBCs may play a previously unappreciated role in heart disease.

Authors

Rongli Zhang, Douglas T. Hess, James D. Reynolds, Jonathan S. Stamler

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Abstract

Authors

Ushma S. Neill

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Abstract

Cognitive impairment, an underappreciated consequence of hypertension, is linked to cerebral arteriolar disease through poorly defined mechanisms. A study by Faraco et al. in this issue of the JCI points to perturbations of neurovascular unit coupling caused by perivascular macrophages (PVMs) as a cause of hypertension-related cognitive impairment. Angiotensin II (Ang II) was shown to activate PVMs, causing them to produce superoxide and thereby alter the proper functioning of the adjacent arterioles. Faraco and colleagues also show that disruption of the blood-brain barrier occurs in hypertension, allowing circulating Ang II to access PVMs. This study provides important new insight into the role of inflammatory cells in the genesis of vascular dementia.

Authors

D.G. Harrison, Tomasz J. Guzik

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Abstract

Preeclampsia is a common complication of pregnancy that is associated with an increased risk of maternal and neonatal morbidity and mortality. Currently, delivery is the only cure for preeclampsia; therefore, effective prevention and treatment options for this condition are sorely needed. In the current issue of the JCI, Mirzakhani et al. report the findings of the Vitamin D Antenatal Asthma Reduction Trial (VDAART), a well-conducted large, randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled trial of vitamin D supplementation for the prevention of preeclampsia. Though vitamin D supplementation had no effect on the risk of preeclampsia, reduced maternal serum vitamin D levels did correlate with preeclampsia risk. Mirzakhani and colleagues identified a number of gene pathways that are differentially regulated among women with low serum vitamin D levels who develop preeclampsia. These results indicate that further research on the role of vitamin D in preeclampsia is warranted.

Authors

Chad A. Grotegut

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Abstract

CD8+ T cells play a central role in eradicating intracellular pathogens, but also are important for noninfectious diseases, including cancer and autoimmunity. The ability to clinically manipulate CD8+ T cells to target cancer and autoimmune disease is limited by our ignorance of relevant self-peptide target antigens. In this issue of the JCI, Pearson et al. describe 25,270 MHC class I–associated peptides presented by a wide range of HLA A and B allomorphs expressed by 18 different B cell lines. Via extensive bioinformatic analysis, the authors make surprising conclusions regarding the selective nature of peptide generation at the level of individual gene products and create a predictive algorithm for disease-relevant self-peptides that will be of immediate use for clinical and basic immunological research.

Authors

Devin Dersh, Jonathan W. Yewdell

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Abstract

Nitric oxide (NO) is a potent mediator of blood vessel dilation and is released by several cell sources. Red blood cells (rbc) release NO when hemoglobin that has been S-nitrosylated at Cys93 of the β-chain (βCys93) transitions from the oxygenated form to the deoxygenated form. This transition occurs in response to reduced tissue oxygenation and is an important physiologic regulator of hypoxic vasodilation. In this issue of the JCI, Zhang and colleagues demonstrate that S-nitrosylation of hemoglobin at βCys93 is important for tissue oxygenation after cardiac injury. Mice harboring mutations that prevent S-nitrosylation of βCys93 had higher rates of morbidity and mortality following cardiac injury compared with WT; however, adaptive cardiac vascularization was increased in some mutant mice and reduced cardiac injury in these animals. The results of this study reveal a previously unexplored role of S-nitrosylated hemoglobin in cardioprotection.

Authors

Claude A. Piantadosi

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Abstract

Leptin is an adipose tissue hormone that functions as an afferent signal in a negative feedback loop that maintains homeostatic control of adipose tissue mass. This endocrine system thus serves a critical evolutionary function by protecting individuals from the risks associated with being too thin (starvation) or too obese (predation and temperature dysregulation). Mutations in leptin or its receptor cause massive obesity in mice and humans, and leptin can effectively treat obesity in leptin-deficient patients. Leptin acts on neurons in the hypothalamus and elsewhere to elicit its effects, and mutations that affect the function of this neural circuit cause Mendelian forms of obesity. Leptin levels fall during starvation and elicit adaptive responses in many other physiologic systems, the net effect of which is to reduce energy expenditure. These effects include cessation of menstruation, insulin resistance, alterations of immune function, and neuroendocrine dysfunction, among others. Some or all of these effects are also seen in patients with constitutively low leptin levels, such as occur in lipodystrophy. Leptin is an approved treatment for generalized lipodystrophy, a condition associated with severe metabolic disease, and has also shown potential for the treatment of other types of diabetes. In addition, leptin restores reproductive capacity and increases bone mineral density in patients with hypothalamic amenorrhea, an infertility syndrome in females. Most obese patients have high endogenous levels of leptin, in some instances as a result of mutations in the neural circuit on which leptin acts, though in most cases, the pathogenesis of leptin resistance is not known. Obese patients with leptin resistance show a variable response to exogenous leptin but may respond to a combination of leptin plus amylin. Overall, the identification of leptin has provided a framework for studying the pathogenesis of obesity in the general population, clarified the nature of the biologic response to starvation, and helped to advance our understanding of the neural mechanisms that control feeding.

Authors

Jeffrey Friedman

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December 2016

126 12 cover

December 2016 Issue

On the cover:
Transcriptional regulation of cardiac conduction

Park and colleagues demonstrate an essential role for the transcription factor ETV1 in controlling fast conduction in the heart. The cover image shows expression of Etv1-nlz (blue) reporter genes within specialized fast conduction fibers of the ventricular conduction system, labeled with Cntn2-EGFP (green). Image credit: Akshay Shekhar.

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Jci tm 2016 12

December 2016 JCI This Month

JCI This Month is a digest of the research, reviews, and other features published each month.

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Review Series - More

Hypoxia and Inflammation

Series edited by M. Celeste Simon

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.

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