Nakamizo et al. report that the pentose phosphate pathway is activated in sarcoidosis granuloma macrophages and is a potential therapeutic target for sarcoidosis. The cover image shows a cutaneous sarcoidosis, highlighting subcutaneous distribution of FBP1+ (yellow) granulomas. HLA-DR+ (red-purple) antigen-presenting cells are present in the surrounding area.
Several canonical translocations produce oncofusion genes that can initiate Acute Myeloid Leukemia (AML). Although each translocation is associated with unique features, the mechanisms responsible remain unclear. While proteins interacting with each oncofusion are known to be relevant for how they act, these interactions have not yet been systematically defined. To address this issue in an unbiased fashion, we fused a promiscuous biotin ligase ("TurboID") in-frame with three favorable-risk acute myeloid leukemia (AML) oncofusion cDNAs (PML::RARA, RUNX1::RUNX1T1, and CBFB::MYH11), and identified their interacting proteins in primary murine hematopoietic cells. The PML::RARA- and RUNX1::RUNX1T1-TurboID fusion proteins labeled common and unique nuclear repressor complexes, implying their nuclear localization. However, CBFB::MYH11-TurboID interacting proteins were largely cytoplasmic, probably due to an interaction of the MYH11 domain with several cytoplasmic myosin-related proteins. Using a variety of methods, we showed that the CBFB domain of CBFB::MYH11 sequesters RUNX1 in cytoplasmic aggregates; these findings were confirmed in primary human AML cells. Paradoxically, CBFB::MYH11 expression was associated with increased RUNX1/2 expression, suggesting the presence of a sensor for reduced functional RUNX1 protein, and a feedback loop that that may attempt to compensate by increasing RUNX1/2 transcription. These findings may have broad implications for AML pathogenesis.
Ryan B. Day, Julia A. Hickman, Ziheng Xu, Casey D.S. Katerndahl, Francesca Ferraro, Sai Mukund Ramakrishnan, Petra Erdmann-Gilmore, Robert W. Sprung, Yiling Mi, R. Reid Townsend, Christopher A. Miller, Timothy J. Ley
Non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) is prevalent in the majority of obese individuals, but in a subset, this progresses to non-alcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and fibrosis. The mechanisms that prevent NASH and fibrosis in the majority of NAFLD patients remain unclear. Here we report that NAD(P)H oxidase (NOX)-4 and nuclear factor erythroid 2-related factor 2 (NFE2L2) were elevated in hepatocytes early in disease progression to prevent NASH/fibrosis. Mitochondrial-derived reactive oxygen species (ROS) activated NFE2L2 to induce the expression of NOX4, which in turn generated H2O2 to exacerbate the NFE2L2 antioxidant defense response. The deletion or inhibition of NOX4 in hepatocytes decreased ROS and attenuated antioxidant defense to promote mitochondrial oxidative stress, damage proteins and lipids, diminish insulin signalling and promote cell death upon oxidant challenge. Hepatocyte NOX4 deletion in high fat fed obese mice, which otherwise develop steatosis, but not NASH, resulted in hepatic oxidative damage, inflammation and T cell recruitment to drive NASH and fibrosis, whereas NOX4 overexpression tempered the development of NASH/fibrosis in mice fed a NASH-promoting diet. Thus, mitochondrial- and NOX4-derived ROS function in concert to drive a NFE2L2 antioxidant defense response to attenuate oxidative liver damage and the progression to NASH/fibrosis in obesity.
Spencer Greatorex, Supreet Kaur, Chrysovalantou E. Xirouchaki, Pei Kee Goh, Florian Wiede, Amanda J. Genders, Melanie Tran, YaoYao Jia, Arthe Raajendiran, Wendy A. Brown, Catriona A. McLean, Junichi Sadoshima, Matthew J. Watt, Tony Tiganis
Microscopic hemorrhage is a common aspect of cancers, yet its potential role as an independent factor influencing both cancer progression and therapeutic response is largely ignored. Recognizing the essential function of macrophages in red blood cell disposal, we explored a pathway that connects intratumoral hemorrhage with the formation of cancer-promoting tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs). Using spatial transcriptomics, we found that NRF2-activated myeloid cells possessing characteristics of procancerous TAMs tend to cluster in peri-necrotic hemorrhagic tumor regions. These cells resembled anti-inflammatory erythrophagocytic macrophages. We identified heme, a red blood cell metabolite, as a pivotal microenvironmental factor steering macrophages toward protumorigenic activities. Single-cell RNA-seq and functional assays of TAMs in 3D cell culture spheroids revealed how elevated intracellular heme signals via the transcription factor NRF2 to induce cancer-promoting TAMs. These TAMs stabilized epithelial-mesenchymal transition, enhancing cancer invasiveness and metastatic potential. Additionally, NRF2-activated macrophages exhibited resistance to reprogramming by IFNγ and anti-CD40 antibodies, reducing their tumoricidal capacity. Furthermore, MC38 colon adenocarcinoma-bearing mice with NRF2 constitutively activated in leukocytes were resistant to anti-CD40 immunotherapy. Overall, our findings emphasize hemorrhage-activated NRF2 in TAMs as a driver of cancer progression, suggesting that targeting this pathway could offer new strategies to enhance cancer immunity and overcome therapy resistance.
Dominik J. Schaer, Nadja Schulthess-Lutz, Livio Baselgia, Kerstin Hansen, Raphael M. Buzzi, Rok Humar, Elena Dürst, Florence Vallelian
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) presents a pressing medical need in that it is largely resistant to standard chemotherapy as well as modern therapeutics such as targeted therapy and immunotherapy, including anti-PD therapy. We demonstrate that Programmed Death-1 Homolog (PD-1H), an immune co-inhibitory molecule is highly expressed in blasts from the bone marrow of AML patients, while normal myeloid cell subsets and T cells have the expression of PD-1H. In studies employing syngeneic and humanized AML mouse models, overexpression of PD-1H promoted the growth of AML cells, mainly by evading T cell-mediated immune responses. Importantly, ablation of AML cell surface PD-1H by antibody blockade or genetic targeting significantly inhibited AML progression by promoting T cell activity. In addition, the genetic deletion of PD-1H from host normal myeloid cells inhibited AML progression as well and the combination of PD-1H blockade with PD-1 blockade conferred a synergistic anti-leukemia effect. Our findings provide the basis for PD-1H as an attractive therapeutic target to treat human AML.
Tae Kon Kim, Xue Han, Qianni Hu, Esten N. Vandsemb, Carly M. Fielder, Junshik Hong, Kwang Woon Kim, Emily F. Mason, R. Skipper Plowman, Jun Wang, Qi Wang, Jian-Ping Zhang, Ti Badri, Miguel F. Sanmamed, Linghua Zheng, Tianxiang Zhang, Jude Alawa, Sang Won Lee, Amer M. Zeidan, Stephanie Halene, Manoj M. Pillai, Namrata S. Chandhok, Jun Lu, Mina L. Xu, Steven D. Gore, Lieping Chen
Platelets from patients with myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) exhibit a hyperreactive phenotype. Here, we found elevated P-selectin exposure and platelet-leukocyte aggregates indicating activation of platelets from essential thrombocythemia (ET) patients. Single cell RNA-seq analysis of primary samples revealed significant enrichment of transcripts related to platelet activation, mTOR and oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) in ET patient platelets. These observations were validated via proteomic profiling. Platelet metabolomics revealed distinct metabolic phenotypes consisting of elevated ATP generation, accompanied by increases in the levels of multiple intermediates of the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle, but lower alpha-ketoglutarate (α-KG) in MPN patients. Inhibition of PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling significantly reduced metabolic responses and hyperreactivity in MPN patient platelets, while α-KG supplementation markedly reduced oxygen consumption and ATP generation. Ex vivo incubation of platelets from both MPN patients and Jak2 V617F mice with α-KG significantly reduced platelet activation responses. Oral α-KG supplementation of Jak2 V617F mice decreased splenomegaly and reduced hematocrit, monocyte and platelet counts. Finally, α-KG incubation significantly decreased proinflammatory cytokine secretion from MPN CD14+ monocytes. Our results reveal a previously unrecognized metabolic disorder in conjunction with aberrant PI3K/AKT/mTOR signaling, contributing to platelet hyperreactivity in MPN patients.
Fan He, Angelo B.A. Laranjeira, Tim Kong, Shuyang Lin, Katrina J. Ashworth, Alice Liu, Nina M. Lasky, Daniel A.C. Fisher, Maggie J. Cox, Mary C. Fulbright, Lilian A. Antunes Heck, LaYow C. Yu, Molly Brakhane, Bei Gao, Stephen M. Sykes, Angelo D’Alessandro, Jorge A. Di Paola, Stephen T. Oh
JCI This Month is a digest of the research, reviews, and other features published each month.
The lungs are regularly exposed to airborne irritants, pathogens, and other sources of inflammation that cause injury to the lung epithelium and its underlying structure. Repair and regeneration are essential for healthy lung function throughout life, yet these processes can also influence development and progression of acute and chronic conditions. Series editor Suzanne Herold developed this review series on lung inflammatory injury and tissue repair to reveal the many cell populations involved in normal and aberrant reparative responses. Ranging from discussion of lung stroma and vasculature to adaptive and innate immune systems, the reviews in this series describe the many complex mechanisms that influence pathogen-, inflammation-, and aging-driven injury to the lung and can contribute to aberrant healing, resolution of inflammation, and fibrosis. Reviews also discuss a wide range of potential therapies targeting injury and repair processes that represent promising progress toward better clinical options for patients with acute and chronic lung conditions.