Issue published July 15, 2024 Previous issue

On the cover: Neutrophils trigger hypoxia in cutaneous leishmaniasis

Fowler et al. report that neutrophils act as oxygen sinks and modify CD8+ T cell behavior in the inflamed skin. The cover art shows staining of neutrophils (Ly6G, pink) and hypoxic regions (pimonidazole, green) in murine skin following Leishmania infection.

Lasker Foundation Essays

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Sarah Voss

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Subashan Vadibeler

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Andrea M. Maxwell

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Conversations with Giants in Medicine
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Ushma S. Neill

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Reviews
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A growing body of research has identified circadian-rhythm disruption as a risk factor for metabolic health. However, the underlying biological basis remains complex, and complete molecular mechanisms are unknown. There is emerging evidence from animal and human research to suggest that the expression of core circadian genes, such as circadian locomotor output cycles kaput gene (CLOCK), brain and muscle ARNT-Like 1 gene (BMAL1), period (PER), and cyptochrome (CRY), and the consequent expression of hundreds of circadian output genes are integral to the regulation of cellular metabolism. These circadian mechanisms represent potential pathophysiological pathways linking circadian disruption to adverse metabolic health outcomes, including obesity, metabolic syndrome, and type 2 diabetes. Here, we aim to summarize select evidence from in vivo animal models and compare these results with epidemiologic research findings to advance understanding of existing foundational evidence and potential mechanistic links between circadian disruption and altered clock gene expression contributions to metabolic health–related pathologies. Findings have important implications for the treatment, prevention, and control of metabolic pathologies underlying leading causes of death and disability, including diabetes, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.

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Lauren A. Schrader, Sean M. Ronnekleiv-Kelly, John B. Hogenesch, Christopher A. Bradfield, Kristen M.C. Malecki

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Apoptosis is a form of programmed cell death that is mediated by intrinsic and extrinsic pathways. Dysregulation of and resistance to cell death are hallmarks of cancer. For over three decades, the development of therapies to promote treatment of cancer by inducing various cell death modalities, including apoptosis, has been a main goal of clinical oncology. Apoptosis pathways also interact with other signaling mechanisms, such as the p53 signaling pathway and the integrated stress response (ISR) pathway. In addition to agents directly targeting the intrinsic and extrinsic pathway components, anticancer drugs that target the p53 and ISR signaling pathways are actively being developed. In this Review, we discuss selected and promising anticancer therapies in various stages of development, including drug targets, mechanisms, and resistance to related treatments, focusing especially on B cell lymphoma 2 (BCL-2) inhibitors, TRAIL analogues, DR5 antibodies, and strategies that target p53, mutant p53, and the ISR.

Authors

Xiaobing Tian, Praveen R. Srinivasan, Vida Tajiknia, Ashley F. Sanchez Sevilla Uruchurtu, Attila A. Seyhan, Benedito A. Carneiro, Arielle De La Cruz, Maximilian Pinho-Schwermann, Andrew George, Shuai Zhao, Jillian Strandberg, Francesca Di Cristofano, Shengliang Zhang, Lanlan Zhou, Alexander G. Raufi, Arunasalam Navaraj, Yiqun Zhang, Nataliia Verovkina, Maryam Ghandali, Dinara Ryspayeva, Wafik S. El-Deiry

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Abstract

Mutations in the tumor-suppressor genes BRCA1 and BRCA2 resulting in BRCA1/2 deficiency are frequently identified in breast, ovarian, prostate, pancreatic, and other cancers. Poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) inhibitors (PARPis) selectively kill BRCA1/2-deficient cancer cells by inducing synthetic lethality, providing an effective biomarker-guided strategy for targeted cancer therapy. However, a substantial fraction of cancer patients carrying BRCA1/2 mutations do not respond to PARPis, and most patients develop resistance to PARPis over time, highlighting a major obstacle to PARPi therapy in the clinic. Recent studies have revealed that changes of specific functional defects of BRCA1/2-deficient cells, particularly their defects in suppressing and protecting single-stranded DNA gaps, contribute to the gain or loss of PARPi-induced synthetic lethality. These findings not only shed light on the mechanism of action of PARPis, but also lead to revised models that explain how PARPis selectively kill BRCA-deficient cancer cells. Furthermore, new mechanistic principles of PARPi sensitivity and resistance have emerged from these studies, generating potentially useful guidelines for predicting the PARPi response and design therapies for overcoming PARPi resistance. In this Review, we will discuss these recent studies and put them in context with the classic views of PARPi-induced synthetic lethality, aiming to stimulate the development of new therapeutic strategies to overcome PARPi resistance and improve PARPi therapy.

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Xin Li, Lee Zou

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Research Articles
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Despite effective antiretroviral therapy (ART), persons living with HIV harbor reservoirs of persistently infected CD4+ cells, which constitute a barrier to cure. Initiation of ART during acute infection reduces the size of the HIV reservoir, and we hypothesized that in addition, it would favor integration of proviruses in HIV-specific CD4+ T cells, while initiation of ART during chronic HIV infection would favor relatively more proviruses in herpesvirus-specific cells. We further hypothesized that proviruses in acute ART initiators would be integrated into antiviral genes, whereas integration sites (ISs) in chronic ART initiators would favor genes associated with cell proliferation and exhaustion. We found that the HIV DNA distribution across HIV-specific versus herpesvirus-specific CD4+ T cells was as hypothesized. HIV ISs in acute ART initiators were significantly enriched in gene sets controlling lipid metabolism and HIF-1α–mediated hypoxia, both metabolic pathways active in early HIV infection. Persistence of these infected cells during prolonged ART suggests a survival advantage. ISs in chronic ART initiators were enriched in a gene set controlling EZH2 histone methylation, and methylation has been associated with diminished long terminal repeat transcription. These differences that we found in antigen specificities and IS distributions within HIV-infected cells might be leveraged in designing cure strategies tailored to the timing of ART initiation.

Authors

Jaimy Joy, Ana Gervassi, Lennie Chen, Brent Kirshenbaum, Sheila Styrchak, Daisy Ko, Sherry McLaughlin, Danica Shao, Ewelina Kosmider, Paul T. Edlefsen, Janine Maenza, Ann C. Collier, James I. Mullins, Helen Horton, Lisa M. Frenkel

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Abstract

Copy number variation (CNV) at 7q11.23 causes Williams-Beuren syndrome (WBS) and 7q microduplication syndrome (7Dup), neurodevelopmental disorders (NDDs) featuring intellectual disability accompanied by symmetrically opposite neurocognitive features. Although significant progress has been made in understanding the molecular mechanisms underlying 7q11.23-related pathophysiology, the propagation of CNV dosage across gene expression layers and their interplay remains elusive. Here we uncovered 7q11.23 dosage–dependent symmetrically opposite dynamics in neuronal differentiation and intrinsic excitability. By integrating transcriptomics, translatomics, and proteomics of patient-derived and isogenic induced neurons, we found that genes related to neuronal transmission follow 7q11.23 dosage and are transcriptionally controlled, while translational factors and ribosomal genes are posttranscriptionally buffered. Consistently, we found phosphorylated RPS6 (p-RPS6) downregulated in WBS and upregulated in 7Dup. Surprisingly, p-4EBP was changed in the opposite direction, reflecting dosage-specific changes in total 4EBP levels. This highlights different dosage-sensitive dyregulations of the mTOR pathway as well as distinct roles of p-RPS6 and p-4EBP during neurogenesis. Our work demonstrates the importance of multiscale disease modeling across molecular and functional layers, uncovers the pathophysiological relevance of ribosomal biogenesis in a paradigmatic pair of NDDs, and uncouples the roles of p-RPS6 and p-4EBP as mechanistically actionable relays in NDDs.

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Marija Mihailovich, Pierre-Luc Germain, Reinald Shyti, Davide Pozzi, Roberta Noberini, Yansheng Liu, Davide Aprile, Erika Tenderini, Flavia Troglio, Sebastiano Trattaro, Sonia Fabris, Ummi Ciptasari, Marco Tullio Rigoli, Nicolò Caporale, Giuseppe D’Agostino, Filippo Mirabella, Alessandro Vitriolo, Daniele Capocefalo, Adrianos Skaros, Agnese Virginia Franchini, Sara Ricciardi, Ida Biunno, Antonino Neri, Nael Nadif Kasri, Tiziana Bonaldi, Rudolf Aebersold, Michela Matteoli, Giuseppe Testa

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Pathogenic variants in valosin-containing protein (VCP) cause multisystem proteinopathy (MSP), a disease characterized by multiple clinical phenotypes including inclusion body myopathy, Paget’s disease of the bone, and frontotemporal dementia (FTD). How such diverse phenotypes are driven by pathogenic VCP variants is not known. We found that these diseases exhibit a common pathologic feature: ubiquitinated intranuclear inclusions affecting myocytes, osteoclasts, and neurons. Moreover, knock-in cell lines harboring MSP variants show a reduction in nuclear VCP. Given that MSP is associated with neuronal intranuclear inclusions comprised of TDP-43 protein, we developed a cellular model whereby proteostatic stress results in the formation of insoluble intranuclear TDP-43 aggregates. Consistent with a loss of nuclear VCP function, cells harboring MSP variants or cells treated with VCP inhibitor exhibited decreased clearance of insoluble intranuclear TDP-43 aggregates. Moreover, we identified 4 compounds that activate VCP primarily by increasing D2 ATPase activity, where pharmacologic VCP activation appears to enhance clearance of insoluble intranuclear TDP-43 aggregate. Our findings suggest that VCP function is important for nuclear protein homeostasis, that impaired nuclear proteostasis may contribute to MSP, and that VCP activation may be a potential therapeutic by virtue of enhancing the clearance of intranuclear protein aggregates.

Authors

Jessica M. Phan, Benjamin C. Creekmore, Aivi T. Nguyen, Darya D. Bershadskaya, Nabil F. Darwich, Carolyn N. Mann, Edward B. Lee

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Abstract

BACKGROUND Predicting immune effector cell–associated neurotoxicity syndrome (ICANS) in patients infused with CAR T cells is still a conundrum. This complication, thought to be consequent to CAR T cell activation, arises a few days after infusion, when circulating CAR T cells are scarce and specific CAR T cell–derived biomarkers are lacking.METHODS CAR+ extracellular vesicle (CAR+EV) release was assessed in human CD19.CAR T cells cocultured with CD19+ target cells. A prospective cohort of 100 patients with B cell lymphoma infused with approved CD19.CAR T cell products was assessed for plasma CAR+EVs as biomarkers of in vivo CD19.CAR T cell activation. Human induced pluripotent stem cell–derived (iPSC-derived) neural cells were used as a model for CAR+EV-induced neurotoxicity.RESULTS In vitro release of CAR+EVs occurs within 1 hour after target engagement. Plasma CAR+EVs are detectable 1 hour after infusion. A concentration greater than 132.8 CAR+EVs/μL at hour +1 or greater than 224.5 CAR+EVs/μL at day +1 predicted ICANS in advance of 4 days, with a sensitivity and a specificity outperforming other ICANS predictors. ENO2+ nanoparticles were released by iPSC-derived neural cells upon CAR+EV exposure and were increased in plasma of patients with ICANS.CONCLUSION Plasma CAR+EVs are an immediate signal of CD19.CAR T cell activation, are suitable predictors of neurotoxicity, and may be involved in ICANS pathogenesis.TRIAL REGISTRATION NCT04892433, NCT05807789.FUNDING Life Science Hub–Advanced Therapies (financed by Health Ministry as part of the National Plan for Complementary Investments to the National Recovery and Resilience Plan [NRRP]: E.3 Innovative health ecosystem for APC fees and immunomonitoring).

Authors

Gianluca Storci, Francesco De Felice, Francesca Ricci, Spartaco Santi, Daria Messelodi, Salvatore Nicola Bertuccio, Noemi Laprovitera, Michele Dicataldo, Lucrezia Rossini, Serena De Matteis, Beatrice Casadei, Francesca Vaglio, Margherita Ursi, Francesco Barbato, Marcello Roberto, Maria Guarino, Gian Maria Asioli, Mario Arpinati, Pietro Cortelli, Enrico Maffini, Enrica Tomassini, Marta Tassoni, Carola Cavallo, Francesco Iannotta, Maria Naddeo, Pier Luigi Tazzari, Elisa Dan, Cinzia Pellegrini, Serafina Guadagnuolo, Matteo Carella, Barbara Sinigaglia, Chiara Pirazzini, Caterina Severi, Paolo Garagnani, Katarzyna Malgorzata Kwiatkowska, Manuela Ferracin, Pier Luigi Zinzani, Massimiliano Bonafè, Francesca Bonifazi

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Abstract

Primary lymphedema (PL), characterized by tissue swelling, fat accumulation, and fibrosis, results from defects in lymphatic vessels or valves caused by mutations in genes involved in development, maturation, and function of the lymphatic vascular system. Pathogenic variants in various genes have been identified in about 30% of PL cases. By screening of a cohort of 755 individuals with PL, we identified two TIE1 (tyrosine kinase with immunoglobulin- and epidermal growth factor–like domains 1) missense variants and one truncating variant, all predicted to be pathogenic by bioinformatic algorithms. The TIE1 receptor, in complex with TIE2, binds angiopoietins to regulate the formation and remodeling of blood and lymphatic vessels. The premature stop codon mutant encoded an inactive truncated extracellular TIE1 fragment with decreased mRNA stability, and the amino acid substitutions led to decreased TIE1 signaling activity. By reproducing the two missense variants in mouse Tie1 via CRISPR/Cas9, we showed that both cause edema and are lethal in homozygous mice. Thus, our results indicate that TIE1 loss-of-function variants can cause lymphatic dysfunction in patients. Together with our earlier demonstration that ANGPT2 loss-of-function mutations can also cause PL, our results emphasize the important role of the ANGPT2/TIE1 pathway in lymphatic function.

Authors

Pascal Brouillard, Aino Murtomäki, Veli-Matti Leppänen, Marko Hyytiäinen, Sandrine Mestre, Lucas Potier, Laurence M. Boon, Nicole Revencu, Arin Greene, Andrey Anisimov, Miia H. Salo, Reetta Hinttala, Lauri Eklund, Isabelle Quéré, Kari Alitalo, Miikka Vikkula

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Abstract

Inactivation of phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) is prevalent in human prostate cancer and causes high-grade adenocarcinoma with a long latency. Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) play a pivotal role in tumor progression, but it remains elusive whether and how PTEN-deficient prostate cancers reprogram CAFs to overcome the barriers for tumor progression. Here, we report that PTEN deficiency induced Krüppel-like factor 5 (KLF5) acetylation and that interruption of KLF5 acetylation orchestrated intricate interactions between cancer cells and CAFs that enhance FGF receptor 1 (FGFR1) signaling and promote tumor growth. Deacetylated KLF5 promoted tumor cells to secrete TNF-α, which stimulated inflammatory CAFs to release FGF9. CX3CR1 inhibition blocked FGFR1 activation triggered by FGF9 and sensitized PTEN-deficient prostate cancer to the AKT inhibitor capivasertib. This study reveals the role of KLF5 acetylation in reprogramming CAFs and provides a rationale for combined therapies using inhibitors of AKT and CX3CR1.

Authors

Baotong Zhang, Mingcheng Liu, Fengyi Mai, Xiawei Li, Wenzhou Wang, Qingqing Huang, Xiancai Du, Weijian Ding, Yixiang Li, Benjamin G. Barwick, Jianping Jenny Ni, Adeboye O. Osunkoya, Yuanli Chen, Wei Zhou, Siyuan Xia, Jin-Tang Dong

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Abstract

BACKGROUND Metastases are the hallmark of lethal cancer, though underlying mechanisms that drive metastatic spread to specific organs remain poorly understood. Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is known to have distinct sites of metastases, with lung, bone, liver, and lymph nodes being more common than brain, gastrointestinal tract, and endocrine glands. Previous studies have shown varying clinical behavior and prognosis associated with the site of metastatic spread; however, little is known about the molecular underpinnings that contribute to the differential outcomes observed by the site of metastasis.METHODS We analyzed primary renal tumors and tumors derived from metastatic sites to comprehensively characterize genomic and transcriptomic features of tumor cells as well as to evaluate the tumor microenvironment at both sites.RESULTS We included a total of 657 tumor samples (340 from the primary site [kidney] and 317 from various sites of metastasis). We show distinct genomic alterations, transcriptomic signatures, and immune and stromal tumor microenvironments across metastatic sites in a large cohort of patients with RCC.CONCLUSION We demonstrate significant heterogeneity among primary tumors and metastatic sites and elucidate the complex interplay between tumor cells and the extrinsic tumor microenvironment that is vital for developing effective anticancer therapies.

Authors

Shuchi Gulati, Pedro C. Barata, Andrew Elliott, Mehmet Asim Bilen, Earle F. Burgess, Toni K. Choueiri, Sourat Darabi, Nancy Ann Dawson, Benjamin Adam Gartrell, Hans J. Hammers, Elisabeth I. Heath, Daniel Magee, Arpit Rao, Charles J. Ryan, Przemyslaw Twardowski, Shuanzeng Wei, James Brugarolas, Tian Zhang, Matthew R. Zibelman, Chadi Nabhan, Rana R. McKay

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Abstract

Emerging evidence has linked the dysregulation of N6-methyladenosine (m6A) modification to inflammation and inflammatory diseases, but the underlying mechanism still needs investigation. Here, we found that high levels of m6A modification in a variety of hyperinflammatory states are p65-dependent because Wilms tumor 1–associated protein (WTAP), a key component of the “writer” complex, is transcriptionally regulated by p65, and its overexpression can lead to increased levels of m6A modification. Mechanistically, upregulated WTAP is more prone to phase separation to facilitate the aggregation of the writer complex to nuclear speckles and the deposition of m6A marks on transcriptionally active inflammatory transcripts, thereby accelerating the proinflammatory response. Further, a myeloid deficiency in WTAP attenuates the severity of LPS-induced sepsis and DSS-induced IBD. Thus, the proinflammatory effect of WTAP is a general risk-increasing mechanism, and interrupting the assembly of the m6A writer complex to reduce the global m6A levels by targeting the phase separation of WTAP may be a potential and promising therapeutic strategy for alleviating hyperinflammation.

Authors

Yong Ge, Rong Chen, Tao Ling, Biaodi Liu, Jingrong Huang, Youxiang Cheng, Yi Lin, Hongxuan Chen, Xiongmei Xie, Guomeng Xia, Guanzheng Luo, Shaochun Yuan, Anlong Xu

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Abstract

Cutaneous leishmaniasis caused by Leishmania parasites exhibits a wide range of clinical manifestations. Although parasites influence disease severity, cytolytic CD8+ T cell responses mediate disease. Although these responses originate in the lymph node, we found that expression of the cytolytic effector molecule granzyme B was restricted to lesional CD8+ T cells in Leishmania-infected mice, suggesting that local cues within inflamed skin induced cytolytic function. Expression of Blimp-1 (Prdm1), a transcription factor necessary for cytolytic CD8+ T cell differentiation, was driven by hypoxia within the inflamed skin. Hypoxia was further enhanced by the recruitment of neutrophils that consumed oxygen to produce ROS and ultimately increased the hypoxic state and granzyme B expression in CD8+ T cells. Importantly, lesions from patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis exhibited hypoxia transcription signatures that correlated with the presence of neutrophils. Thus, targeting hypoxia-driven signals that support local differentiation of cytolytic CD8+ T cells may improve the prognosis for patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis, as well as for other inflammatory skin diseases in which cytolytic CD8+ T cells contribute to pathogenesis.

Authors

Erin A. Fowler, Camila Farias Amorim, Klauss Mostacada, Allison Yan, Laís Amorim Sacramento, Rae A. Stanco, Emily D.S. Hales, Aditi Varkey, Wenjing Zong, Gary D. Wu, Camila I. de Oliveira, Patrick L. Collins, Fernanda O. Novais

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Abstract

The melanocortin-3 receptor (MC3R) regulates GABA release from agouti-related protein (AgRP) nerve terminals and thus tonically suppresses multiple circuits involved in feeding behavior and energy homeostasis. Here, we examined the role of the MC3R and the melanocortin system in regulating the response to various anorexigenic agents. The genetic deletion or pharmacological inhibition of the MC3R, or subthreshold doses of an MC4R agonist, improved the dose responsiveness to glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP1) agonists, as assayed by inhibition of food intake and weight loss. An enhanced anorectic response to the acute satiety factors peptide YY (PYY3-36) and cholecystokinin (CCK) and the long-term adipostatic factor leptin demonstrated that increased sensitivity to anorectic agents was a generalized result of MC3R antagonism. We observed enhanced neuronal activation in multiple hypothalamic nuclei using Fos IHC following low-dose liraglutide in MC3R-KO mice (Mc3r–/–), supporting the hypothesis that the MC3R is a negative regulator of circuits that control multiple aspects of feeding behavior. The enhanced anorectic response in Mc3r–/– mice after administration of GLP1 analogs was also independent of the incretin effects and malaise induced by GLP1 receptor (GLP1R) analogs, suggesting that MC3R antagonists or MC4R agonists may have value in enhancing the dose-response range of obesity therapeutics.

Authors

Naima S. Dahir, Yijun Gui, Yanan Wu, Patrick R. Sweeney, Alix A.J. Rouault, Savannah Y. Williams, Luis E. Gimenez, Tomi K. Sawyer, Stephen T. Joy, Anna K. Mapp, Roger D. Cone

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Abstract

While inflammation is beneficial for insulin secretion during homeostasis, its transformation adversely affects β cells and contributes to diabetes. However, the regulation of islet inflammation for maintaining glucose homeostasis remains largely unknown. Here, we identified pericytes as pivotal regulators of islet immune and β cell function in health. Islets and pancreatic pericytes express various cytokines in healthy humans and mice. To interfere with the pericytic inflammatory response, we selectively inhibited the TLR/MyD88 pathway in these cells in transgenic mice. The loss of MyD88 impaired pericytic cytokine production. Furthermore, MyD88-deficient mice exhibited skewed islet inflammation with fewer cells, an impaired macrophage phenotype, and reduced IL-1β production. This aberrant pericyte-orchestrated islet inflammation was associated with β cell dedifferentiation and impaired glucose response. Additionally, we found that Cxcl1, a pericytic MyD88-dependent cytokine, promoted immune IL-1β production. Treatment with either Cxcl1 or IL-1β restored the mature β cell phenotype and glucose response in transgenic mice, suggesting a potential mechanism through which pericytes and immune cells regulate glucose homeostasis. Our study revealed pericyte-orchestrated islet inflammation as a crucial element in glucose regulation, implicating this process as a potential therapeutic target for diabetes.

Authors

Anat Schonblum, Dunia Ali Naser, Shai Ovadia, Mohammed Egbaria, Shani Puyesky, Alona Epshtein, Tomer Wald, Sophia Mercado-Medrez, Ruth Ashery-Padan, Limor Landsman

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Abstract

Intratumoral Tregs are key mediators of cancer immunotherapy resistance, including anti–programmed cell death (ligand) 1 [anti–PD-(L)1] immune checkpoint blockade (ICB). The mechanisms driving Treg infiltration into the tumor microenvironment (TME) and the consequence on CD8+ T cell exhaustion remain elusive. Here, we report that heat shock protein gp96 (also known as GRP94) was indispensable for Treg tumor infiltration, primarily through the roles of gp96 in chaperoning integrins. Among various gp96-dependent integrins, we found that only LFA-1 (αL integrin), and not αV, CD103 (αE), or β7 integrin, was required for Treg tumor homing. Loss of Treg infiltration into the TME by genetic deletion of gp96/LFA-1 potently induced rejection of tumors in multiple ICB-resistant murine cancer models in a CD8+ T cell–dependent manner, without loss of self-tolerance. Moreover, gp96 deletion impeded Treg activation primarily by suppressing IL-2/STAT5 signaling, which also contributed to tumor regression. By competing for intratumoral IL-2, Tregs prevented the activation of CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes, drove thymocyte selection-associated high mobility group box protein (TOX) induction, and induced bona fide CD8+ T cell exhaustion. By contrast, Treg ablation led to striking CD8+ T cell activation without TOX induction, demonstrating clear uncoupling of the 2 processes. Our study reveals that the gp96/LFA-1 axis plays a fundamental role in Treg biology and suggests that Treg-specific gp96/LFA-1 targeting represents a valuable strategy for cancer immunotherapy without inflicting autoinflammatory conditions.

Authors

Lei Zhou, Maria Velegraki, Yi Wang, J K Mandula, Yuzhou Chang, Weiwei Liu, No-Joon Song, Hyunwoo Kwon, Tong Xiao, Chelsea Bolyard, Feng Hong, Gang Xin, Qin Ma, Mark P. Rubinstein, Haitao Wen, Zihai Li

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Abstract

Neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nAMD) remains a major cause of visual impairment and puts considerable burden on patients and health care systems. L-DOPA-treated Parkinson Disease (PD) patients have been shown to be partially protected from nAMD, but the mechanism remains unknown. Using murine models, combining 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1,2,3,6-tetrahydropyridine (MPTP)-induced PD and laser-induced nAMD, standard PD treatment of L-DOPA/DOPA-decarboxylase inhibitor, or specific dopamine receptor inhibitors, we here demonstrate that L-DOPA treatment-induced increase of dopamine mediated dopamine receptor D2 (DRD2) signaling inhibits choroidal neovascularization independently of MPTP-associated nigrostriatal pathway lesion. Analyzing a retrospective cohort of more than two hundred thousand nAMD patients receiving anti-VEGF treatment from the French nationwide insurance database, we show that DRD2-agonist treated (PD) patients have a significantly delayed age of onset for nAMD (81.4 (±7.0) vs 79.4 (±8.1) years old, respectively, p<0.0001) and reduced need for anti-VEGF therapies (-0.6 injections per 100 mg/day daily dose of DRD2 agonists the second year of treatment), similar to the L-DOPA treatment. While providing a mechanistic explanation for an intriguing epidemiological observation, our findings suggest that systemic DRD2 agonists might constitute an adjuvant therapy to delay and reduce the need for anti-VEGF therapy in nAMD patients.

Authors

Thibaud Mathis, Florian Baudin, Anne-Sophie Mariet, Sébastien Augustin, Marion Bricout, Lauriane Przegralek, Christophe Roubeix, Éric Benzenine, Guillaume Blot, Caroline Nous, Laurent Kodjikian, Martine Mauget-Faÿsse, José-Alain Sahel, Robin Plevin, Christina Zeitz, Cécile Delarasse, Xavier Guillonneau, Catherine Creuzot-Garcher, Catherine Quantin, Stéphane Hunot, Florian Sennlaub

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Abstract

Authors

Vicente Quiroz, Laura Planas-Serra, Abigail Sveden, Amy Tam, Hyo M. Kim, Umar Zubair, Dario Resch, Afshin Saffari, Matt C. Danzi, Stephan Züchner, Maya Chopra, Luca Schierbaum, Aurora Pujol, Erik A. Eklund, Darius Ebrahimi-Fakhari

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Abstract

BACKGROUND. There is uncertainty around the timing of booster vaccination against COVID-19 in highly vaccinated populations during the present endemic phase of COVID-19. Studies focused on primary vaccination have previously suggested improved immunity after delaying immunisation. METHODS. We conducted a randomised controlled trial (Nov 2022 – Aug 2023) and assigned 52 fully vaccinated adults to an immediate or a 3-month delayed bivalent Spikevax mRNA booster vaccine. Follow-up visits were completed for 48 participants (n = 24 per arm), with saliva and plasma samples collected following each visit. RESULTS. The rise in neutralising antibody responses to ancestral and Omicron strains were almost identical between the immediate and delayed vaccination arms. Analyses of plasma and salivary antibody responses (IgG, IgA), plasma antibody-dependent phagocytic activity, and the decay kinetics of antibody responses were similar between the 2 arms. Symptomatic and asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection occurred in 49% (21/49) participants over the median 11.5 months of follow up and were also similar between the 2 arms. CONCLUSIONS. Our data suggests no benefit from delaying COVID-19 mRNA booster vaccination in pre-immune populations during the present endemic phase of COVID-19 TRIAL REGISTRATION. Australian New Zealand Clinical Trials Registry number 12622000411741. FUNDING. National Health and Medical Research Council, Australia, Program Grant App1149990 and Medical Research Future Fund App2005544.

Authors

Wen Shi Lee, Jennifer Audsley, Mai-Chi Trieu, Arnold Reynaldi, L. Carissa Aurelia, Palak H. Mehta, Joanne Patterson, Helen E. Kent, Julie Nguyen, Thakshila Amarasena, Robyn Esterbauer, Ebene R. Haycroft, Pradhipa Ramanathan, Miles P. Davenport, Timothy E. Schlub, Joseph Sasadeusz, Adam K. Wheatley, Amy W. Chung, Jennifer A. Juno, Kevin J. Selva, Stephen J. Kent

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Abstract

Reciprocal interactions between alveolar fibroblasts and epithelial cells are crucial for lung homeostasis, injury repair, and fibrogenesis, but underlying mechanisms remain unclear. To investigate, we administered the fibroblast-selective TGFβ1 signaling inhibitor, epigallocatechin gallate (EGCG), to Interstitial Lung Disease (ILD) patients undergoing diagnostic lung biopsy and conducted single-cell RNA sequencing on spare tissue. Biopsies from untreated patients showed higher fibroblast TGFβ1 signaling compared to non-disease donor or end-stage ILD tissues. In vivo, EGCG downregulated TGFβ1 signaling and several pro-inflammatory and stress pathways in biopsy samples. Notably, EGCG reduced fibroblast secreted frizzle-like receptor protein 2 (sFRP2), an unrecognized TGFβ1 fibroblast target gene induced near type II alveolar epithelial cells (AEC2s) in situ. Using AEC2-fibroblast coculture organoids and precision cut lung slices (PCLS) from non-diseased donors, we found TGFβ1 signaling promotes a spread AEC2 KRT17+ basaloid state, whereupon sFRP2 then activates a mature Krt5+ basal cell program. Wnt-receptor Frizzled 5 (Fzd5) expression and downstream calcineurin signaling were required for sFRP2-induced nuclear NFATc3 accumulation and KRT5 expression. These findings highlight stage-specific TGFβ1 signaling in ILD, the therapeutic potential of EGCG in reducing IPF-related transcriptional changes, and identify TGFβ1-non-canonical Wnt pathway crosstalk via sFRP2 as a novel mechanism for dysfunctional epithelial signaling in Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis/ILD.

Authors

Max L. Cohen, Alexis N. Brumwell, Tsung Che Ho, Kiana Garakani, Genevieve Montas, Darren Leong, Vivianne W. Ding, Jeffrey A. Golden, Binh N. Trinh, David M. Jablons, Michael A. Matthay, Kirk D. Jones, Paul J. Wolters, Ying Wei, Harold A. Chapman, Claude Jourdan Le Saux

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Abstract

Reelin (RELN) is a secreted glycoprotein essential for cerebral cortex development. In humans, recessive RELN variants cause cortical and cerebellar malformations, while heterozygous variants were associated to epilepsy, autism and mild cortical abnormalities. However, their functional effects remain unknown. We identified inherited and de novo RELN missense variants in heterozygous patients with neuronal migration disorders (NMDs) as diverse as pachygyria and polymicrogyria. We investigated in culture and in the developing mouse cerebral cortex how different variants impacted RELN function. Polymicrogyria-associated variants behaved as gain-of-function showing an enhanced ability to induce neuronal aggregation, while those linked to pachygyria as loss-of-function leading to defective neuronal aggregation/migration. The pachygyria-associated de novo heterozygous RELN variants acted as dominant-negative by preventing wild-type RELN secretion in culture, animal models and patients, thereby causing dominant NMDs. We demonstrated how mutant RELN proteins in vitro and in vivo predict cortical malformation phenotypes, providing valuable insights into the pathogenesis of such disorders.

Authors

Martina Riva, Sofia Ferreira, Kotaro Hayashi, Yoann Saillour, Vera P. Medvedeva, Takao Honda, Kanehiro Hayashi, Claire Altersitz, Shahad Albadri, Marion Rosello, Julie Dang, Malo Serafini, Frédéric Causeret, Olivia J. Henry, Charles-Joris Roux, Céline Bellesme, Elena Freri, Dragana Josifova, Elena Parrini, Renzo Guerrini, Filippo Del Bene, Kazunori Nakajima, Nadia Bahi-Buisson, Alessandra Pierani

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Vascular Malformations

Series edited by Miikka Vikkula

Vascular malformations in arteries, veins, and lymphatic vessels occur in a broad range of conditions that vary widely in severity and presentation. Leveraging the mechanisms specific to each type of malformation will be essential for optimizing disease management. This review series, developed with series editor Miikka Vikkula, will span hemangioma, hereditary hemorrhagic telangiectasia, lymphatic abnormalities, cerebral small vessel disease, capillary malformations, and more, with reviews contributed by leading experts in each condition.

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