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Abstract

Chronic inflammation is deeply involved in various human disorders, such as cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, and metabolic disorders. Induction of epigenetic alterations, especially aberrant DNA methylation, is one of the major mechanisms, but how it is induced is still unclear. Here, we found that expression of TET genes, methylation erasers, was downregulated in inflamed mouse and human tissues, and that this was caused by upregulation of TET-targeting miRNAs such as MIR20A, MIR26B, and MIR29C, likely due to activation of NF-κB signaling downstream of IL-1β and TNF-α. However, TET knockdown induced only mild aberrant methylation. Nitric oxide (NO), produced by NOS2, enhanced enzymatic activity of DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs), methylation writers, and NO exposure induced minimal aberrant methylation. In contrast, a combination of TET knockdown and NO exposure synergistically induced aberrant methylation, involving genomic regions not methylated by either alone. The results showed that a vicious combination of TET repression, due to NF-κB activation, and DNMT activation, due to NO production, is responsible for aberrant methylation induction in human tissues.

Authors

Hideyuki Takeshima, Tohru Niwa, Satoshi Yamashita, Takeji Takamura-Enya, Naoko Iida, Mika Wakabayashi, Sohachi Nanjo, Masanobu Abe, Toshiro Sugiyama, Young-Joon Kim, Toshikazu Ushijima

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Abstract

Using the Nephrotic Syndrome Study Network Consortium data set and other publicly available transcriptomic data sets, we identified retinoic acid receptor responder protein 1 (RARRES1) as a gene whose expression positively correlated with renal function decline in human glomerular disease. The glomerular expression of RARRES1, which is largely restricted to podocytes, increased in focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS) and diabetic kidney disease (DKD). TNF-α was a potent inducer of RARRES1 expression in cultured podocytes, and transcriptomic analysis showed the enrichment of cell death pathway genes with RARRES1 overexpression. The overexpression of RARRES1 indeed induced podocyte apoptosis in vitro. Notably, this effect was dependent on its cleavage in the extracellular domain, as the mutation of its cleavage site abolished the apoptotic effect. Mechanistically, the soluble RARRES1 was endocytosed and interacted with and inhibited RIO kinase 1 (RIOK1), resulting in p53 activation and podocyte apoptosis. In mice, podocyte-specific overexpression of RARRES1 resulted in marked glomerular injury and albuminuria, while the overexpression of RARRES1 cleavage mutant had no effect. Conversely, podocyte-specific knockdown of Rarres1 in mice ameliorated glomerular injury in the setting of adriamycin-induced nephropathy. Our study demonstrates an important role and the mechanism of RARRES1 in podocyte injury in glomerular disease.

Authors

Anqun Chen, Ye Feng, Han Lai, Wenjun Ju, Zhengzhe Li, Yu Li, Andrew Wang, Quan Hong, Fang Zhong, Chengguo Wei, Jia Fu, Tianjun Guan, Bichen Liu, Matthias Kretzler, Kyung Lee, John Cijiang He

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Abstract

Alarmins, sequestered self-molecules containing damage-associated molecular patterns, are released during tissue injury to drive innate immune cell proinflammatory responses. Whether endogenous negative regulators controlling early immune responses are also released at the site of injury is poorly understood. Herein, we establish that the stromal cell–derived alarmin interleukin 33 (IL-33) is a local factor that directly restricts the proinflammatory capacity of graft-infiltrating macrophages early after transplantation. By assessing heart transplant recipient samples and using a mouse heart transplant model, we establish that IL-33 is upregulated in allografts to limit chronic rejection. Mouse cardiac transplants lacking IL-33 displayed dramatically accelerated vascular occlusion and subsequent fibrosis, which was not due to altered systemic immune responses. Instead, a lack of graft IL-33 caused local augmentation of proinflammatory iNOS+ macrophages that accelerated graft loss. IL-33 facilitated a metabolic program in macrophages associated with reparative and regulatory functions, and local delivery of IL-33 prevented the chronic rejection of IL-33–deficient cardiac transplants. Therefore, IL-33 represents what we believe is a novel regulatory alarmin in transplantation that limits chronic rejection by restraining the local activation of proinflammatory macrophages. The local delivery of IL-33 in extracellular matrix–based materials may be a promising biologic for chronic rejection prophylaxis.

Authors

Tengfang Li, Zhongqiang Zhang, Joe G. Bartolacci, Gaelen K. Dwyer, Quan Liu, Lisa R. Mathews, Murugesan Velayutham, Anna S. Roessing, Yoojin C. Lee, Helong Dai, Sruti Shiva, Martin H. Oberbarnscheidt, Jenna L. Dziki, Steven J. Mullet, Stacy G. Wendell, James D. Wilkinson, Steven A. Webber, Michelle Wood-Trageser, Simon C. Watkins, Anthony J. Demetris, George S. Hussey, Stephen F. Badylak, Hēth R. Turnquist

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Abstract

During hemolysis, macrophages in the liver phagocytose damaged erythrocytes to prevent the toxic effects of cell-free hemoglobin and heme. It remains unclear how this homeostatic process modulates phagocyte functions in inflammatory diseases. Using a genetic mouse model of spherocytosis and single-cell RNA sequencing, we found that erythrophagocytosis skewed liver macrophages into an antiinflammatory phenotype that we defined as MarcohiHmoxhiMHC class IIlo erythrophagocytes. This phenotype transformation profoundly mitigated disease expression in a model of an anti-CD40–induced hyperinflammatory syndrome with necrotic hepatitis and in a nonalcoholic steatohepatitis model, representing 2 macrophage-driven sterile inflammatory diseases. We reproduced the antiinflammatory erythrophagocyte transformation in vitro by heme exposure of mouse and human macrophages, yielding a distinctive transcriptional signature that segregated heme-polarized from M1- and M2-polarized cells. Mapping transposase-accessible chromatin in single cells by sequencing defined the transcription factor NFE2L2/NRF2 as a critical driver of erythrophagocytes, and Nfe2l2/Nrf2 deficiency restored heme-suppressed inflammation. Our findings point to a pathway that regulates macrophage functions to link erythrocyte homeostasis with innate immunity.

Authors

Marc Pfefferlé, Giada Ingoglia, Christian A. Schaer, Ayla Yalamanoglu, Raphael Buzzi, Irina L. Dubach, Ge Tan, Emilio Y. López-Cano, Nadja Schulthess, Kerstin Hansen, Rok Humar, Dominik J. Schaer, Florence Vallelian

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Abstract

To improve the clinical outcome of adoptive NK cell therapy in patients with solid tumors, NK cells need to persist within the tumor microenvironment (TME) in which the abundance of ROS could dampen antitumor immune responses. In the present study, we demonstrated that IL-15–primed NK cells acquired resistance against oxidative stress through the thioredoxin system activated by mTOR. Mechanistically, the activation of thioredoxin showed dependence on localization of thioredoxin-interacting protein. We show that NK cells residing in the tumor core expressed higher thiol densities that could aid in protecting other lymphocytes against ROS within the TME. Furthermore, the prognostic value of IL15 and the NK cell gene signature in tumors may be influenced by tobacco smoking history in patients with non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Collectively, the levels of reducing antioxidants in NK cells may not only predict better tumor penetrance but potentially even the immune therapy response.

Authors

Ying Yang, Shi Yong Neo, Ziqing Chen, Weiyingqi Cui, Yi Chen, Min Guo, Yongfang Wang, Haiyan Xu, Annina Kurzay, Evren Alici, Lars Holmgren, Felix Haglund, Kai Wang, Andreas Lundqvist

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Abstract

The liver has strong innate immunity to counteract pathogens from the gastrointestinal tract. During the development of liver cancer, which is typically driven by chronic inflammation, the composition and biological roles of the innate immune cells are extensively altered. Hypoxia is a common finding in all stages of liver cancer development. Hypoxia drives the stabilization of hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs), which act as central regulators to dampen the innate immunity of liver cancer. HIF signaling in innate immune cells and liver cancer cells together favors the recruitment and maintenance of pro-tumorigenic immune cells and the inhibition of anti-tumorigenic immune cells, promoting immune evasion. HIFs represent attractive therapeutic targets to inhibit the formation of an immunosuppressive microenvironment and growth of liver cancer.

Authors

Vincent Wai-Hin Yuen, Carmen Chak-Lui Wong

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Abstract

Hypoxia can be defined as a relative deficiency in the amount of oxygen reaching the tissues. Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) are critical regulators of the mammalian response to hypoxia. In normal circumstances, HIF-1α protein turnover is rapid, and hyperglycemia further destabilizes the protein. In addition to their role in diabetes pathogenesis, HIFs are implicated in development of the microvascular and macrovascular complications of diabetes. Improving glucose control in people with diabetes increases HIF-1α protein and has wide-ranging benefits, some of which are at least partially mediated by HIF-1α. Nevertheless, most strategies to improve diabetes or its complications via regulation of HIF-1α have not currently proven to be clinically useful. The intersection of HIF biology with diabetes is a complex area in which many further questions remain, especially regarding the well-conducted studies clearly describing discrepant effects of different methods of increasing HIF-1α, even within the same tissues. This Review presents a brief overview of HIFs; discusses the range of evidence implicating HIFs in β cell dysfunction, diabetes pathogenesis, and diabetes complications; and examines the differing outcomes of HIF-targeting approaches in these conditions.

Authors

Jenny E. Gunton

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Abstract

The development of broadly neutralizing antibodies (BNAbs) in HIV infection is a result of long-term coevolutionary interaction between viruses and antibodies. Understanding how this interaction promotes the increase of neutralization breadth during infection will improve the way in which AIDS vaccine strategies are designed. In this paper, we used SIV-infected rhesus macaques as a model to study the development of neutralization breadth by infecting rhesus macaques with longitudinal NAb escape variants and evaluating the kinetics of NAb response and viral evolution. We found that the infected macaques developed a stepwise NAb response against escape variants and increased neutralization breadth during the course of infection. Furthermore, the increase of neutralization breadth correlated with the duration of infection but was independent of properties of the inoculum, viral loads, or viral diversity during infection. These results imply that the duration of infection was the main factor driving the development of BNAbs. These data suggest the importance of novel immunization strategies to induce effective NAb response against HIV infection by mimicking long-term infection.

Authors

Fan Wu, Ilnour Ourmanov, Andrea Kirmaier, Sivan Leviyang, Celia LaBranche, Jinghe Huang, Sonya Whitted, Kenta Matsuda, David Montefiori, Vanessa M. Hirsch

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Abstract

Immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) has revolutionized cancer therapeutics. Desmoplastic malignancies, such as cholangiocarcinoma (CCA), have an abundant tumor immune microenvironment (TIME). However, to date, ICB monotherapy in such malignancies has been ineffective. Herein, we identify tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) as the primary source of programmed death–ligand 1 (PD-L1) in human and murine CCA. In a murine model of CCA, recruited PD-L1+ TAMs facilitated CCA progression. However, TAM blockade failed to decrease tumor progression due to a compensatory emergence of granulocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells (G-MDSCs) that mediated immune escape by impairing T cell response. Single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-Seq) of murine tumor G-MDSCs highlighted a unique ApoE G-MDSC subset enriched with TAM blockade; further analysis of a human scRNA-Seq data set demonstrated the presence of a similar G-MDSC subset in human CCA. Finally, dual inhibition of TAMs and G-MDSCs potentiated ICB. In summary, our findings highlight the therapeutic potential of coupling ICB with immunotherapies targeting immunosuppressive myeloid cells in CCA.

Authors

Emilien Loeuillard, Jingchun Yang, EeeLN Buckarma, Juan Wang, Yuanhang Liu, Caitlin Conboy, Kevin D. Pavelko, Ying Li, Daniel O’Brien, Chen Wang, Rondell P. Graham, Rory L. Smoot, Haidong Dong, Sumera Ilyas

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Abstract

Retinoic acid (RA) signaling is involved in various physiological and pathological conditions, including development, tumorigenesis, inflammation, and tissue damage and repair. In kidneys, the beneficial effect of RA has been reported in multiple disease models, such as glomerulosclerosis, renal fibrosis, and acute kidney injury. In this issue of the JCI, Chen et al. report a pathway activated by RA signaling that is mediated by the retinoic acid receptor responder protein 1 (RARRES1). Specifically, RARRES1, which is proteolytically cleaved to release the extracellular domain, was endocytosed by podocytes to induce apoptosis and glomerular dysfunction kidney disease. These findings unveil the contrasting aspects, a Janus face, of RA signaling that may guide its therapeutic use.

Authors

Qingqing Wei, Zheng Dong

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Abstract

NK cells are responsible for defense against viral infections and cancer. Although activated NK cells are armed to combat tumors, the tumor microenvironment (TME) contains ROS, which suppress NK cell antitumor activity. In this issue of the JCI, Yang, Neo, and colleagues explored NK cell resistance to oxidative stress in vitro and in human non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). High surface thiol density and elevated expression of the ROS scavenger thioredoxin (Trx1) protected NK cells from ROS. Trx1 and thiol levels were higher in IL-15– than in IL-2–primed NK cells. Tumor-infiltrating Trx1+ NK cells were present in patients with NSCLC with elevated ROS levels in the tumor. Smokers scored higher for the ROS signature, which predicted poor prognosis, compared with nonsmokers. This study explains how activated NK cells survive in the ROS-rich TME and suggests that smokers with lung cancer may benefit from therapies using IL-15–primed NK cells.

Authors

Theresa L. Whiteside

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Abstract

Late-onset inflammatory toxicities resembling hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) or macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) occur after chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR T cell) infusion and represent a therapeutic challenge. Given the established link between perforin deficiency and primary HLH, we investigated the role of perforin in anti-CD19 CAR T cell efficacy and HLH-like toxicities in a syngeneic murine model. Perforin contributed to both CD8+ and CD4+ CAR T cell cytotoxicity but was not required for in vitro or in vivo leukemia clearance. Upon CAR-mediated in vitro activation, perforin-deficient CAR T cells produced higher amounts of proinflammatory cytokines compared with WT CAR T cells. Following in vivo clearance of leukemia, perforin-deficient CAR T cells reexpanded, resulting in splenomegaly with disruption of normal splenic architecture and the presence of hemophagocytes, which are findings reminiscent of HLH. Notably, a substantial fraction of patients who received anti-CD22 CAR T cells also experienced biphasic inflammation, with the second phase occurring after the resolution of cytokine release syndrome, resembling clinical manifestations of HLH. Elevated inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β and IL-18 and concurrent late CAR T cell expansion characterized the HLH-like syndromes occurring in the murine model and in humans. Thus, a murine model of perforin-deficient CAR T cells recapitulated late-onset inflammatory toxicities occurring in human CAR T cell recipients, providing therapeutically relevant mechanistic insights.

Authors

Kazusa Ishii, Marie Pouzolles, Christopher D. Chien, Rebecca A. Erwin-Cohen, M. Eric Kohler, Haiying Qin, Haiyan Lei, Skyler Kuhn, Amanda K. Ombrello, Alina Dulau-Florea, Michael A. Eckhaus, Haneen Shalabi, Bonnie Yates, Daniel A. Lichtenstein, Valérie S. Zimmermann, Taisuke Kondo, Jack F. Shern, Howard A. Young, Naomi Taylor, Nirali N. Shah, Terry J. Fry

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Abstract

Postnatal failure of oligodendrocyte maturation has been proposed as a cellular mechanism of diffuse white matter injury (WMI) in premature infants. However, the molecular mechanisms for oligodendrocyte maturational failure remain unclear. In neonatal mice and cultured differentiating oligodendrocytes, sublethal intermittent hypoxic (IH) stress activated cyclophilin D–dependent mitochondrial proton leak and uncoupled mitochondrial respiration, leading to transient bioenergetic stress. This was associated with development of diffuse WMI: poor oligodendrocyte maturation, diffuse axonal hypomyelination, and permanent sensorimotor deficit. In normoxic mice and oligodendrocytes, exposure to a mitochondrial uncoupler recapitulated the phenotype of WMI, supporting the detrimental role of mitochondrial uncoupling in the pathogenesis of WMI. Compared with WT mice, cyclophilin D–knockout littermates did not develop bioenergetic stress in response to IH challenge and fully preserved oligodendrocyte maturation, axonal myelination, and neurofunction. Our study identified the cyclophilin D–dependent mitochondrial proton leak and uncoupling as a potentially novel subcellular mechanism for the maturational failure of oligodendrocytes and offers a potential therapeutic target for prevention of diffuse WMI in premature infants experiencing chronic IH stress.

Authors

Zoya Niatsetskaya, Sergey Sosunov, Anna Stepanova, James Goldman, Alexander Galkin, Maria Neginskaya, Evgeny Pavlov, Vadim Ten

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Abstract

Tissue factor (TF) is the primary initiator of blood coagulation in vivo and the only blood coagulation factor for which a human genetic defect has not been described. As there are no routine clinical assays that capture the contribution of endogenous TF to coagulation initiation, the extent to which reduced TF activity contributes to unexplained bleeding is unknown. Using whole genome sequencing, we identified a heterozygous frameshift variant (p.Ser117HisfsTer10) in F3, the gene encoding TF, causing premature termination of TF (TFshort) in a woman with unexplained bleeding. Routine hematological laboratory evaluation of the proposita was normal. CRISPR-edited human induced pluripotent stem cells recapitulating the variant were differentiated into vascular smooth muscle and endothelial cells that demonstrated haploinsufficiency of TF. The variant F3 transcript is eliminated by nonsense-mediated decay. Neither overexpression nor addition of exogenous recombinant TFshort inhibited factor Xa or thrombin generation, excluding a dominant-negative mechanism. F3+/– mice provide an animal model of TF haploinsufficiency and exhibited prolonged bleeding times, impaired thrombus formation, and reduced survival following major injury. Heterozygous TF deficiency is present in at least 1 in 25,000 individuals and could limit coagulation initiation in undiagnosed individuals with abnormal bleeding but a normal routine laboratory evaluation.

Authors

Sol Schulman, Emale El-Darzi, Mary HC Florido, Max Friesen, Glenn Merrill-Skoloff, Marisa A. Brake, Calvin R. Schuster, Lin Lin, Randal J. Westrick, Chad A. Cowan, Robert Flaumenhaft, NIHR BioResource, Willem H. Ouwehand, Kathelijne Peerlinck, Kathleen Freson, Ernest Turro, Bruce Furie

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Abstract

Most patients with COVID-19 lack antibody to SARS-CoV-2 in the first 10 days of illness while the virus drives disease pathogenesis. SARS-CoV-2 antibody deficiency in the setting of a tissue viral burden suggests that using an antibody as a therapeutic agent would augment the antiviral immune response. In this issue of the JCI, Wang and collaborators describe the kinetics of viral load and the antibody responses of 23 individuals with COVID-19 experiencing mild and severe disease. The researchers found that (a) individuals with mild and severe disease produced neutralizing IgG to SARS-CoV-2 10 days after disease onset, (b) SARS-CoV-2 persisted longer in those with severe disease, and (c) there was cross-reactivity between antibodies to SARS-CoV-1 and SARS-CoV-2, but only antibodies from patients with COVID-19 neutralized SARS-CoV-2. These observations provide important information on the serological response to SARS-CoV-2 of hospitalized patients with COVID-19 that can inform the use of convalescent plasma therapy.

Authors

Arturo Casadevall, Michael J. Joyner, Liise-anne Pirofski

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Abstract

Therapy-induced neuroendocrine prostate cancer (t-NEPC) is a highly aggressive subtype of prostate cancer with poor patient survival. Emerging evidence indicates that t-NEPC can develop when prostate adenocarcinoma cells acquire cancer stem-like cell signaling in the presence of androgen receptor inhibition, followed by redifferentiation toward neuroendocrine lineage and subsequent t-NEPC progression. Whether the stem-like signaling is controlled by the core pluripotency stem cell genes (e.g., LIN28 and SOX2) remains unknown. Here, we report that the transcription of the LIN28B isoform and SOX2 were co-upregulated in t-NEPC patient tumors, patient-derived xenografts, transgenic mice, and cell models. Immunohistochemistry validated that LIN28B and SOX2 protein expression were elevated in t-NEPC patient biopsies. Using prostate adenocarcinoma and t-NEPC cell models, we demonstrated that LIN28B induced a stem-like gene network, neuroendocrine biomarkers, and neuroendocrine cell morphology. LIN28B depletion by CRISPR inhibited t-NEPC tumorigenesis and xenograft growth. These LIN28B functions were mediated mainly through the suppression of let-7 miRNA expression, resulting in de-repression of the transcription factor HMGA2 and HMGA2-mediated SOX2 expression. This study revealed a mechanism by which t-NEPC can develop through the LIN28B/let-7/SOX2 axis that regulates a cancer cell stem-like gene network, highlighting LIN28B as a potential therapeutic target in t-NEPC.

Authors

Jessica Lovnicki, Yu Gan, Tingting Feng, Yinan Li, Ning Xie, Chia-Hao Ho, Ahn R. Lee, Xufeng Chen, Lucia Nappi, Bo Han, Ladan Fazli, Jiaoti Huang, Martin E. Gleave, Xuesen Dong

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Abstract

BACKGROUND Idiopathic CD4 lymphopenia (ICL) is defined by persistently low CD4+ cell counts (<300 cells/μL) in the absence of a causal infection or immune deficiency and can manifest with opportunistic infections. Approximately 30% of ICL patients develop autoimmune disease. The prevalence and breadth of their autoantibodies, however, and their potential contribution to pathogenesis of ICL remain unclear.METHODS We hybridized 34 and 51 ICL patients’ sera to a 9,000-human-proteome array and to a 128-known-autoantigen array, respectively. Using a flow-based method, we characterized the presence of anti-lymphocyte Abs in the whole cohort of 72 patients, as well as the Ab functional capability of inducing Ab-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC), complement deposition, and complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC). We tested ex vivo the activation of the classical complement pathway on ICL CD4+ T cells.RESULTS All ICL patients had a multitude of autoantibodies mostly directed against private (not shared) targets and unrelated quantitatively or qualitatively to the patients’ autoimmune disease status. The targets included lymphocyte intracellular and membrane antigens, confirmed by the detection by flow of IgM and IgG (mostly IgG1 and IgG4) anti–CD4+ cell Abs in 50% of the patients, with half of these cases triggering lysis of CD4+ T cells. We also detected in vivo classical complement activation on CD4+ T cells in 14% of the whole cohort.CONCLUSION Our data demonstrate that a high prevalence of autoantibodies in ICL, some of which are specific for CD4+ T cells, may contribute to pathogenesis, and may represent a potentially novel therapeutic target.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00867269.FUNDING NIAID and National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases of the NIH.

Authors

Ainhoa Perez-Diez, Chun-Shu Wong, Xiangdong Liu, Harry Mystakelis, Jian Song, Yong Lu, Virginia Sheikh, Jeffrey S. Bourgeois, Andrea Lisco, Elizabeth Laidlaw, Cornelia Cudrici, Chengsong Zhu, Quan-Zhen Li, Alexandra F. Freeman, Peter R. Williamson, Megan Anderson, Gregg Roby, John S. Tsang, Richard Siegel, Irini Sereti

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Abstract

The congenital sideroblastic anemias (CSAs) can be caused by primary defects in mitochondrial iron-sulfur (Fe-S) cluster biogenesis. HSCB (heat shock cognate B), which encodes a mitochondrial cochaperone, also known as HSC20 (heat shock cognate protein 20), is the partner of mitochondrial heat shock protein A9 (HSPA9). Together with glutaredoxin 5 (GLRX5), HSCB and HSPA9 facilitate the transfer of nascent 2-iron, 2-sulfur clusters to recipient mitochondrial proteins. Mutations in both HSPA9 and GLRX5 have previously been associated with CSA. Therefore, we hypothesized that mutations in HSCB could also cause CSA. We screened patients with genetically undefined CSA and identified a frameshift mutation and a rare promoter variant in HSCB in a female patient with non-syndromic CSA. We found that HSCB expression was decreased in patient-derived fibroblasts and K562 erythroleukemia cells engineered to have the patient-specific promoter variant. Furthermore, gene knockdown and deletion experiments performed in K562 cells, zebrafish, and mice demonstrate that loss of HSCB results in impaired Fe-S cluster biogenesis, a defect in RBC hemoglobinization, and the development of siderocytes and more broadly perturbs hematopoiesis in vivo. These results further affirm the involvement of Fe-S cluster biogenesis in erythropoiesis and hematopoiesis and define HSCB as a CSA gene.

Authors

Andrew Crispin, Chaoshe Guo, Caiyong Chen, Dean R. Campagna, Paul J. Schmidt, Daniel Lichtenstein, Chang Cao, Anoop K. Sendamarai, Gordon J. Hildick-Smith, Nicholas C. Huston, Jeanne Boudreaux, Sylvia S. Bottomley, Matthew M. Heeney, Barry H. Paw, Mark D. Fleming, Sarah Ducamp

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Abstract

In the mammalian heart, the left ventricle (LV) rapidly becomes more dominant in size and function over the right ventricle (RV) after birth. The molecular regulators responsible for this chamber-specific differential growth are largely unknown. We found that cardiomyocytes in the neonatal mouse RV had lower proliferation, more apoptosis, and a smaller average size compared with the LV. This chamber-specific growth pattern was associated with a selective activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity in the RV and simultaneous inactivation in the LV. Cardiomyocyte-specific deletion of both the Mapk14 and Mapk11 genes in mice resulted in loss of p38 MAPK expression and activity in the neonatal heart. Inactivation of p38 activity led to a marked increase in cardiomyocyte proliferation and hypertrophy but diminished cardiomyocyte apoptosis, specifically in the RV. Consequently, the p38-inactivated hearts showed RV-specific enlargement postnatally, progressing to pulmonary hypertension and right heart failure at the adult stage. Chamber-specific p38 activity was associated with differential expression of dual-specific phosphatases (DUSPs) in neonatal hearts, including DUSP26. Unbiased transcriptome analysis revealed that IRE1α/XBP1–mediated gene regulation contributed to p38 MAPK–dependent regulation of neonatal cardiomyocyte proliferation and binucleation. These findings establish an obligatory role of DUSP/p38/IRE1α signaling in cardiomyocytes for chamber-specific growth in the postnatal heart.

Authors

Tomohiro Yokota, Jin Li, Jijun Huang, Zhaojun Xiong, Qing Zhang, Tracey Chan, Yichen Ding, Christoph Rau, Kevin Sung, Shuxun Ren, Rajan Kulkarni, Tzung Hsiai, Xinshu Xiao, Marlin Touma, Susumu Minamisawa, Yibin Wang

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Abstract

Dengue virus (DENV) infection requires cholesterol as a proviral factor, although statin treatment did not show antiviral efficacy in patients with dengue. Here, we show that DENV infection manipulated cholesterol metabolism in cells residing in low-oxygen microenvironments (hypoxia) such as in the liver, spleen, and lymph nodes. DENV infection induced expression of proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9), which reduces low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) recycling and hence cholesterol uptake. We found that, whereas LDLR uptake would have distributed cholesterol throughout the various cell compartments, de novo cholesterol synthesis enriched this lipid in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). With cholesterol enrichment in the ER, ER-resident STING and type I IFN (IFN) activation was repressed during DENV infection. Our in vitro findings were further supported by the detection of elevated plasma PCSK9 levels in patients with dengue with high viremia and increased severity of plasma leakage. Our findings therefore suggest that PCSK9 plays a hitherto unrecognized role in dengue pathogenesis and that PCSK9 inhibitors could be a suitable host-directed treatment for patients with dengue.

Authors

Esther Shuyi Gan, Hwee Cheng Tan, Duyen Huynh Thi Le, Trieu Trung Huynh, Bridget Wills, Nabil G. Seidah, Eng Eong Ooi, Sophie Yacoub

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Abstract

Muscular dystrophies are a heterogeneous group of genetic diseases, characterized by progressive degeneration of skeletal and cardiac muscle. Despite the intense investigation of different therapeutic options, a definitive treatment has not been yet developed for this debilitating class of pathologies. Cell-based therapies in muscular dystrophies have been pursued experimentally for the last three decades. Several cell types with different characteristics and tissues of origin, including myogenic stem and progenitor cells, stromal cells, and pluripotent stem cells, have been investigated over the years and have recently entered in the clinical arena with mixed results. In this review, we will do a roundup of the past attempts and describe the updated status of cell-based therapies aimed at counteracting the skeletal and cardiac myopathy present in dystrophic patients. We will present current challenges, summarize recent progresses, and make recommendations for future research and clinical trials.

Authors

Stefano Biressi, Antonio Filareto, Thomas A. Rando

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Abstract

Macrophages are main effectors of heme metabolism, increasing transiently in the liver during heightened disposal of damaged or senescent red blood cells (sRBC). Macrophages are also essential in defense against microbial threats, but pathologic states of heme excess may be immunosuppressive. Herein, we uncovered a mechanism whereby an acute rise in sRBC disposal by macrophages led to an immunosuppressive phenotype following intrapulmonary Klebsiella pneumoniae infection characterized by increased extrapulmonary bacterial proliferation and reduced survival from sepsis in mice. The impaired immunity to K. pneumoniae during heightened sRBC disposal was independent of iron acquisition by bacterial siderophores, as K. pneumoniae mutant lacking siderophore function recapitulated findings observed with wildtype strain. Rather, sRBC disposal induced a liver transcriptomic profile notable for suppression of Stat1 and interferon-related responses during K. pneumoniae sepsis. Excess heme handling by macrophages recapitulated STAT1 suppression during infection that required synergistic NRF1 and NRF2 activation but was independent of heme oxygenase-1 induction. Whereas iron was dispensable, the porphyrin moiety of heme was sufficient to mediate suppression of STAT1-dependent responses in human and mouse macrophages and promoted liver dissemination of K. pneumoniae in vivo. Thus, cellular heme metabolism dysfunction negatively regulates the STAT1 pathway with implications in severe infection.

Authors

Tolani F. Olonisakin, Tomeka L. Suber, Shekina Gonzalez-Ferrer, Zeyu Xiong, Hernán F. Peñaloza, Rick van der Geest, Yuting Xiong, David O. Osei-Hwedieh, Jesus Tejero, Matthew R. Rosengart, Wendy M. Mars, Daria Van Tyne, Andreas Perlegas, Samuel Brashears, Daniel B. Kim-Shapiro, Mark T. Gladwin, Michael A. Bachman, Eldad A. Hod, Claudette St. Croix, Yulia Y. Tyurina, Valerian E. Kagan, Rama K. Mallampalli, Anuradha Ray, Prabir Ray, Janet S. Lee

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Abstract

RNA binding protein Apobec1 Complementation Factor (A1CF) regulates posttranscriptional ApoB mRNA editing but the range of RNA targets and long-term impact of altered A1CF expression on liver function are unknown. Here we studied hepatocyte-specific A1cf transgenic (A1cf +/Tg), A1cf+/Tg Apobec1–/– and A1cf –/– mice fed chow or high fat/high fructose diets using RNA-Seq, RNA-CLIP Seq and tissue microarrays from human hepatocellular cancer (HCC). A1cf +/Tg mice exhibited increased hepatic proliferation and steatosis, with increased lipogenic gene expression (Mogat1, Mogat2, Cidea, Cd36) associated with shifts in polysomal RNA distribution. Aged A1cf +/Tg mice developed spontaneous fibrosis, dysplasia and HCC, which was accelerated on a high fat/fructose diet and independent of Apobec1. RNA-Seq revealed increased expression of mRNAs involved in oxidative stress (Gstm3, Gpx3, Cbr3), inflammatory response (Il19, Cxcl14, Tnfα, Ly6c), extracellular matrix organization (Mmp2, Col1a1, Col4a1), proliferation (Kif20a, Mcm2, Mcm4, Mcm6) with a subset of mRNAs (including Sox4, Sox9, Cdh1) identified in RNA CLIP-Seq. Increased A1CF expression in human HCC correlated with advanced fibrosis and with reduced survival in a subset with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. In conclusion, we show that hepatic A1CF overexpression selectively alters polysomal distribution and mRNA expression, promoting lipogenic, proliferative and inflammatory pathways leading to HCC.

Authors

Valerie Blanc, Jesse D. Riordan, Saeed Soleymanjahi, Joseph Nadeau, ILKe Nalbantoglu, Yan Xie, Elizabeth A. Molitor, Blair B. Madison, Elizabeth M. Brunt, Jason C. Mills, Deborah C. Rubin, Irene O.L. Ng, Yeonjung Ha, Lewis R. Roberts, Nicholas O. Davidson

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Abstract

In the quest to provide treatment for COVID-19 patients, available therapies that have been approved for other indications but have insufficient evidence of safety and efficacy for use against COVID-19 have been considered. One of the unintended consequences of this approach is the potential creation of shortages, depriving existing patients who are benefiting from products based on their proven indications. Here, a pharmaceutical company outlines their ethical decision-making framework to guide decision-making and ensure equity of access to products.

Authors

Arthur L. Caplan, Joanne Waldstreicher, Karla Childers, Aran Maree

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Abstract

CD4+ T cells interactions with B cells play a critical role in the pathogenesis of systemic autoimmune diseases such as systemic lupus and chronic graft-versus-host disease (cGVHD). Extrafollicular CD44hiCD62LloPSGL1loCD4+ (PSGL1loCD4+) T cells are associated with the pathogenesis of lupus and cGVHD, but their causal role has not been established. With murine and humanized MHC–/–HLA-A2+DR4+ murine models of cGVHD, we show that both murine and human PSGL1loCD4+ T cells from GVHD target tissues have features of B cell helpers with upregulated-expression of PD1 and ICOS and production of IL-21. They reside in non-lymphoid tissues without circulating in the blood and have features of tissue-resident memory T cells with upregulated-expression of CD69. Murine PSGL1loCD4+ T cells from GVHD target tissues augmented B cell differentiation into plasma cells and production of autoantibodies via their PD1 interaction with PD-L2 on B cells. Human PSGL1loCD4+ T cells were apposed with memory B cells in the liver tissues of humanized mice and cGVHD patients. Human PSGL1loCD4+ T cells from humanized GVHD target tissues also augmented autologous memory B cell differentiation into plasma cells and antibody production in PD1/PD-L2-dependent manner. Further preclinical studies targeting tissue-resident T cells to treat antibody-mediated features of autoimmune diseases are warranted.

Authors

Xiaohui Kong, Deye Zeng, Xiwei Wu, Bixin Wang, Shijie Yang, Qingxiao Song, Yongping Zhu, Martha Salas, Hanjun Qin, Ubaydah Nasri, Karen M. Haas, Arthur D. Riggs, Ryotaro Nakamura, Paul J. Martin, Aimin Huang, Defu Zeng

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September 2020

September 2020 Issue

On the cover:
Placental infection by SARS–CoV-2

In this issue, Hillary Hosier, Shelli Farhadian, and colleagues present a case of SARS–CoV-2 infection of the placenta in the second trimester. This case report highlights a patient with severe COVID-19 who was admitted to the hospital at 22 weeks’ gestation with severe preeclampsia and placental abruption. Shown on the cover, pathological examination of the placenta revealed the presence of SARS–CoV-2 spike protein (brown) localized primarily in syncytiotrophoblast cells at the maternal-fetal interface. The report underscores the ongoing need to identify COVID-19’s risks to pregnant women, particularly those susceptible to hypertensive disorders of pregnancy. Image credit: Alice Lu-Culligan.

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September 2020 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

Latency in Infectious Disease

Series edited by Arturo Casadevall

Latency describes the persistence of a microorganism within its host in the absence of clinical symptoms of disease. Both microorganism and host benefit from induction of latency: the microorganism establishes a stable environment that facilitates survival, and the host avoids progressive damage and disease. Latent states have been observed in bacterial, viral, fungal, and parasitic infectious diseases, though the mechanisms differ within each microorganism and host pair. In this issue, a Review Series on Latency in Infectious Disease explores the different strategies that various microorganisms use to achieve latency. Conceptualized by JCI’s Deputy Editor Arturo Casadevall, the series highlights the latency mechanisms employed by herpesviruses, HIV, Cryptococcus neoformans, and Toxoplasma gondii. In addition to describing mechanisms, the reviews outline the detrimental effects of latent disease and recent progress toward treatment and eradication.

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