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Abstract

Diabetes, obesity, and Alzheimer’s disease (AD) are associated with vascular complications and impaired nitric oxide (NO) production. Furthermore, increased β-site amyloid precursor protein–cleaving (APP-cleaving) enzyme 1 (BACE1), APP, and β-amyloid (Aβ) are linked with vascular disease development and increased BACE1 and Aβ accompany hyperglycemia and hyperlipidemia. However, the causal relationship between obesity and diabetes, increased Aβ, and vascular dysfunction is unclear. We report that diet-induced obesity (DIO) in mice increased plasma and vascular Aβ42 that correlated with decreased NO bioavailability, endothelial dysfunction, and increased blood pressure. Genetic or pharmacological reduction of BACE1 activity and Aβ42 prevented and reversed, respectively, these outcomes. In contrast, expression of human mutant APP in mice or Aβ42 infusion into control diet–fed mice to mimic obese levels impaired NO production, vascular relaxation, and raised blood pressure. In humans, increased plasma Aβ42 correlated with diabetes and endothelial dysfunction. Mechanistically, higher Aβ42 reduced endothelial NO synthase (eNOS), cyclic GMP (cGMP), and protein kinase G (PKG) activity independently of diet, whereas endothelin-1 was increased by diet and Aβ42. Lowering Aβ42 reversed the DIO deficit in the eNOS/cGMP/PKG pathway and decreased endothelin-1. Our findings suggest that BACE1 inhibitors may have therapeutic value in the treatment of vascular disease associated with diabetes.

Authors

Paul J. Meakin, Bethany M. Coull, Zofia Tuharska, Christopher McCaffery, Ioannis Akoumianakis, Charalambos Antoniades, Jane Brown, Kathryn J. Griffin, Fiona Platt, Claire H. Ozber, Nadira Y. Yuldasheva, Natallia Makava, Anna Skromna, Alan Prescott, Alison D. McNeilly, Moneeza Siddiqui, Colin N.A. Palmer, Faisel Khan, Michael L.J. Ashford

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Abstract

Haploinsufficiency of factors governing genome stability underlies hereditary breast and ovarian cancer. One significant pathway that is disabled as a result is homologous recombination repair (HRR). With the aim of identifying new candidate genes, we examined early-onset breast cancer patients negative for BRCA1 and BRCA2 pathogenic variants. Here, we focused on CtIP (RBBP8 gene), which mediates HRR through the end resection of DNA double-strand breaks (DSBs). Notably, these patients exhibited a number of rare germline RBBP8 variants. Functional analysis revealed that these variants did not affect DNA DSB end resection efficiency. However, expression of a subset of variants led to deleterious nucleolytic degradation of stalled DNA replication forks in a manner similar to that of cells lacking BRCA1 or BRCA2. In contrast to BRCA1 and BRCA2, CtIP deficiency promoted the helicase-driven destabilization of RAD51 nucleofilaments at damaged DNA replication forks. Taken together, our work identifies CtIP as a critical regulator of DNA replication fork integrity, which, when compromised, may predispose to the development of early-onset breast cancer.

Authors

Reihaneh Zarrizi, Martin R. Higgs, Karolin Voßgröne, Maria Rossing, Birgitte Bertelsen, Muthiah Bose, Arne Nedergaard Kousholt, Heike Rösner, the COMPLEXO Network, Bent Ejlertsen, Grant S. Stewart, Finn Cilius Nielsen, Claus S. Sørensen

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Abstract

Molecular mechanisms governing the development of the mammalian cochlea, the hearing organ, remain largely unknown. Through genome sequencing in 3 subjects from 2 families with nonsyndromic cochlear aplasia, we identified homozygous 221-kb and 338-kb deletions in a noncoding region on chromosome 8 with an approximately 200-kb overlapping section. Genomic location of the overlapping deleted region started from approximately 350 kb downstream of GDF6, which codes for growth and differentiation factor 6. Otic lineage cells differentiated from induced pluripotent stem cells derived from an affected individual showed reduced expression of GDF6 compared with control cells. Knockout of Gdf6 in a mouse model resulted in cochlear aplasia, closely resembling the human phenotype. We conclude that GDF6 plays a necessary role in early cochlear development controlled by cis-regulatory elements located within an approximately 500-kb region of the genome in humans and that its disruption leads to deafness due to cochlear aplasia.

Authors

Guney Bademci, Clemer Abad, Filiz B. Cengiz, Serhat Seyhan, Armagan Incesulu, Shengru Guo, Suat Fitoz, Emine Ikbal Atli, Nicholas C. Gosstola, Selma Demir, Brett M. Colbert, Gozde Cosar Seyhan, Claire J. Sineni, Duygu Duman, Hakan Gurkan, Cynthia C. Morton, Derek M. Dykxhoorn, Katherina Walz, Mustafa Tekin

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Abstract

Mothers living near high-traffic roads before or during pregnancy are more likely to have children with asthma. Mechanisms are unknown. Using a mouse model, here we showed that maternal exposure to diesel exhaust particles (DEP) predisposed offspring to allergic airway disease (AAD, murine counterpart of human asthma) through programming of their NK cells; predisposition to AAD did not develop in DEP pups that lacked NK cells and was induced in normal pups receiving NK cells from WT DEP pups. DEP NK cells expressed GATA3 and cosecreted IL-13 and the killer protease granzyme B in response to allergen challenge. Extracellular granzyme B did not kill, but instead stimulated protease-activated receptor 2 (PAR2) to cooperate with IL-13 in the induction of IL-25 in airway epithelial cells. Through loss-of-function and reconstitution experiments in pups, we showed that NK cells and granzyme B were required for IL-25 induction and activation of the type 2 immune response and that IL-25 mediated NK cell effects on type 2 response and AAD. Finally, experiments using human cord blood and airway epithelial cells suggested that DEP might induce an identical pathway in humans. Collectively, we describe an NK cell–dependent endotype of AAD that emerged in early life as a result of maternal exposure to DEP.

Authors

Qian Qian, Bidisha Paul Chowdhury, Zehua Sun, Jerica Lenberg, Rafeul Alam, Eric Vivier, Magdalena M. Gorska

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Abstract

There are more than 7000 described rare diseases, most lacking specific treatment. Autosomal-dominant hyper-IgE syndrome (AD-HIES, also known as Job’s syndrome) is caused by mutations in STAT3. These patients present with immunodeficiency accompanied by severe nonimmunological features, including skeletal, connective tissue, and vascular abnormalities, poor postinfection lung healing, and subsequent pulmonary failure. No specific therapies are available for these abnormalities. Here, we investigated underlying mechanisms in order to identify therapeutic targets. Histological analysis of skin wounds demonstrated delayed granulation tissue formation and vascularization during skin-wound healing in AD-HIES patients. Global gene expression analysis in AD-HIES patient skin fibroblasts identified deficiencies in a STAT3-controlled transcriptional network regulating extracellular matrix (ECM) remodeling and angiogenesis, with hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) being a major contributor. Consistent with this, histological analysis of skin wounds and coronary arteries from AD-HIES patients showed decreased HIF-1α expression and revealed abnormal organization of the ECM and altered formation of the coronary vasa vasorum. Disease modeling using cell culture and mouse models of angiogenesis and wound healing confirmed these predicted deficiencies and demonstrated therapeutic benefit of HIF-1α–stabilizing drugs. The study provides mechanistic insights into AD-HIES pathophysiology and suggests potential treatment options for this rare disease.

Authors

Natalia I. Dmitrieva, Avram D. Walts, Dai Phuong Nguyen, Alex Grubb, Xue Zhang, Xujing Wang, Xianfeng Ping, Hui Jin, Zhen Yu, Zu-Xi Yu, Dan Yang, Robin Schwartzbeck, Clifton L. Dalgard, Beth A. Kozel, Mark D. Levin, Russell H. Knutsen, Delong Liu, Joshua D. Milner, Diego B. López, Michael P. O’Connell, Chyi-Chia Richard Lee, Ian A. Myles, Amy P. Hsu, Alexandra F. Freeman, Steven M. Holland, Guibin Chen, Manfred Boehm

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Abstract

Aging is associated with a high prevalence of hypertension due to elevated susceptibility of BP to dietary salt, but its mechanism is unknown. Serum levels of Klotho, an anti-aging factor, decline with age. We found that high salt (HS) increased BP in aged mice and young heterozygous Klotho-knockout mice and was associated with increased vascular expression of Wnt5a and p-MYPT1, which indicate RhoA activity. Not only the Wnt inhibitor LGK974 and the Wnt5a antagonist Box5 but Klotho supplementation inhibits HS-induced BP elevation, similarly to the Rho kinase inhibitor fasudil, associated with reduced p-MYPT1 expression in both groups of mice. In cultured vascular smooth muscle cells, Wnt5a and angiotensin II (Ang II) increased p-MYPT1 expression but knockdown of Wnt5a with siRNA abolished Ang II–induced upregulation of p-MYPT1, indicating that Wnt5a is indispensable for Ang II–induced Rho/ROCK activation. Notably, Klotho inhibited Wnt5a- and Ang II–induced upregulation of p-MYPT1. Consistently, Klotho supplementation ameliorated HS-induced augmentation of reduced renal blood flow (RBF) response to intra-arterial infusion of Ang II and the thromboxane A2 analog U46619, which activated RhoA in both groups of mice and were associated with the inhibition of BP elevation, suggesting that abnormal response of RBF to Ang II contributes to HS-induced BP elevation. Thus, Klotho deficiency underlies aging-associated salt-sensitive hypertension through vascular non-canonical Wnt5a/RhoA activation.

Authors

Wakako Kawarazaki, Risuke Mizuno, Mitsuhiro Nishimoto, Nobuhiro Ayuzawa, Daigoro Hirohama, Kohei Ueda, Fumiko Kawakami-Mori, Shigeyoshi Oba, Takeshi Marumo, Toshiro Fujita

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Abstract

Characterization of the key cellular targets contributing to sustained microglial activation in neurodegenerative diseases, including Parkinson’s disease (PD), and optimal modulation of these targets can provide potential treatments to halt disease progression. Here, we demonstrated that microglial Kv1.3, a voltage-gated potassium channel, was transcriptionally upregulated in response to aggregated α-synuclein (αSynAgg) stimulation in primary microglial cultures and animal models of PD, as well as in postmortem human PD brains. Patch-clamp electrophysiological studies confirmed that the observed Kv1.3 upregulation translated to increased Kv1.3 channel activity. The kinase Fyn, a risk factor for PD, modulated transcriptional upregulation and posttranslational modification of microglial Kv1.3. Multiple state-of-the-art analyses, including Duolink proximity ligation assay imaging, revealed that Fyn directly bound to Kv1.3 and posttranslationally modified its channel activity. Furthermore, we demonstrated the functional relevance of Kv1.3 in augmenting the neuroinflammatory response by using Kv1.3-KO primary microglia and the Kv1.3-specific small-molecule inhibitor PAP-1, thus highlighting the importance of Kv1.3 in neuroinflammation. Administration of PAP-1 significantly inhibited neurodegeneration and neuroinflammation in multiple animal models of PD. Collectively, our results imply that Fyn-dependent regulation of Kv1.3 channels plays an obligatory role in accentuating the neuroinflammatory response in PD and identify Kv1.3 as a potential therapeutic target for PD.

Authors

Souvarish Sarkar, Hai M. Nguyen, Emir Malovic, Jie Luo, Monica Langley, Bharathi N. Palanisamy, Neeraj Singh, Sireesha Manne, Matthew Neal, Michelle Gabrielle, Ahmed Abdalla, Poojya Anantharam, Dharmin Rokad, Nikhil Panicker, Vikrant Singh, Muhammet Ay, Adhithiya Charli, Dilshan Harischandra, Lee-Way Jin, Huajun Jin, Srikant Rangaraju, Vellareddy Anantharam, Heike Wulff, Anumantha G. Kanthasamy

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Abstract

The lymph node (LN) is an intriguing site not only for inducing protective effector immunity but also for inducing tolerance against peripherally encountered antigens such as tissue-specific self-antigens that are regionally drained and through draining lymph nodes (DLNs). The dual functions of DLNs in immunity are attributable at least in part to fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs), which are a major population of the nonhematopoietic compartment in the LN. In this issue of the JCI, Li, Zhao, and colleagues investigated DLNs in the transplantation setting. The authors demonstrated that, following skin transplantation, the donor mast cell–mediated senescence in FRCs was associated with collagen 1 deposition in DLNs. Systemic administration to mice of FRCs that were expanded ex vivo decreased DLN fibrosis and strengthened the effect of anti-CD40L in prolonging heart allograft survival. These data implicate the DLN as a target for immunomodulatory therapy of transplant rejection.

Authors

Zhaoli Sun, James Burdick

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Abstract

Although the immune response within draining lymph nodes (DLNs) has been studied for decades, how their stromal compartment contributes to this process remains to be fully explored. Here, we show that donor mast cells were prominent activators of collagen I deposition by fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs) in DLNs shortly following transplantation. Serial analysis of the DLN indicated that the LN stroma did not return to its baseline microarchitecture following organ rejection and that the DLN contained significant fibrosis following repetitive organ transplants. Using several FRC conditional-knockout mice, we show that induction of senescence in the FRCs of the DLN resulted in massive production of collagen I and a proinflammatory milieu within the DLN. Stimulation of herpes virus entry mediator (HVEM) on FRCs by its ligand LIGHT contributed chiefly to the induction of senescence in FRCs and overproduction of collagen I. Systemic administration of ex vivo–expanded FRCs to mice decreased DLN fibrosis and strengthened the effect of anti-CD40L in prolonging heart allograft survival. These data demonstrate that the transformation of FRCs into proinflammatory myofibroblasts is critically important for the maintenance of a proinflammatory milieu within a fibrotic DLN.

Authors

Xiaofei Li, Jing Zhao, Vivek Kasinath, Mayuko Uehara, Liwei Jiang, Naima Banouni, Martina M. McGrath, Takaharu Ichimura, Paolo Fiorina, Dario R. Lemos, Su Ryon Shin, Carl F. Ware, Jonathan S. Bromberg, Reza Abdi

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Abstract

Lysosomal enzymes are synthesized in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and transferred to the Golgi complex by interaction with the Batten disease protein CLN8 (ceroid lipofuscinosis, neuronal, 8). Here we investigated the relationship of this pathway with CLN6, an ER-associated protein of unknown function that is defective in a different Batten disease subtype. Experiments focused on protein interaction and trafficking identified CLN6 as an obligate component of a CLN6-CLN8 complex (herein referred to as EGRESS: ER-to-Golgi relaying of enzymes of the lysosomal system), which recruits lysosomal enzymes at the ER to promote their Golgi transfer. Mutagenesis experiments showed that the second luminal loop of CLN6 is required for the interaction of CLN6 with the enzymes but dispensable for interaction with CLN8. In vitro and in vivo studies showed that CLN6 deficiency results in inefficient ER export of lysosomal enzymes and diminished levels of the enzymes at the lysosome. Mice lacking both CLN6 and CLN8 did not display aggravated pathology compared with the single deficiencies, indicating that the EGRESS complex works as a functional unit. These results identify CLN6 and the EGRESS complex as key players in lysosome biogenesis and shed light on the molecular etiology of Batten disease caused by defects in CLN6.

Authors

Lakshya Bajaj, Jaiprakash Sharma, Alberto di Ronza, Pengcheng Zhang, Aiden Eblimit, Rituraj Pal, Dany Roman, John R. Collette, Clarissa Booth, Kevin T. Chang, Richard N. Sifers, Sung Y. Jung, Jill M. Weimer, Rui Chen, Randy W. Schekman, Marco Sardiello

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Abstract

Gasdermin D (GSDMD) induces pyroptosis via the pore-forming activity of its N-terminal domain, cleaved by activated caspases associated with the release of IL-1β. Here, we report a nonpyroptotic role of full-length GSDMD in guiding the release of IL-1β–containing small extracellular vesicles (sEVs) from intestinal epithelial cells (IECs). In response to caspase-8 inflammasome activation, GSDMD, chaperoned by Cdc37/Hsp90, recruits the E3 ligase, NEDD4, to catalyze polyubiquitination of pro–IL-1β, serving as a signal for cargo loading into secretory vesicles. GSDMD and IL-1β colocalize with the exosome markers CD63 and ALIX intracellularly, and GSDMD and NEDD4 are required for release of CD63+ sEVs containing IL-1β, GSDMD, NEDD4, and caspase-8. Importantly, increased expression of epithelial-derived GSDMD is observed both in patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and those with experimental colitis. While GSDMD-dependent release of IL-1β–containing sEVs is detected in cultured colonic explants from colitic mice, GSDMD deficiency substantially attenuates disease severity, implicating GSDMD-mediated release of IL-1β sEVs in the pathogenesis of intestinal inflammation, such as that observed in IBD.

Authors

Katarzyna Bulek, Junjie Zhao, Yun Liao, Nitish Rana, Daniele Corridoni, Agne Antanaviciute, Xing Chen, Han Wang, Wen Qian, William A. Miller-Little, Shadi Swaidani, Fangqiang Tang, Belinda B. Willard, Keith McCrae, Zizhen Kang, George R. Dubyak, Fabio Cominelli, Alison Simmons, Theresa T. Pizarro, Xiaoxia Li

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Abstract

Authors

Wen-Chao Song, Garret A. FitzGerald

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Abstract

BACKGROUND Given the heightened tolerance to self-starvation in anorexia nervosa (AN), a hypothalamic dysregulation of energy and glucose homeostasis has been hypothesized. Therefore, we investigated whether hypothalamic reactivity to glucose metabolism is impaired in AN.METHODS Twenty-four participants with AN, 28 normal-weight participants, and 24 healthy participants with obesity underwent 2 MRI sessions in a single-blind, randomized, case-controlled crossover study. We used an intragastric infusion of glucose and water to bypass the cephalic phase of food intake. The responsivity of the hypothalamus and the crosstalk of the hypothalamus with reward-related brain regions were investigated using high-resolution MRI.RESULTS Normal-weight control participants displayed the expected glucose-induced deactivation of hypothalamic activation, whereas patients with AN and participants with obesity showed blunted hypothalamic reactivity. Furthermore, patients with AN displayed blunted reactivity in the nucleus accumbens and amygdala. Compared with the normal-weight participants and control participants with obesity, the patients with AN failed to show functional connectivity between the hypothalamus and the reward-related brain regions during water infusion relative to glucose infusion. Finally, the patients with AN displayed typical baseline levels of peripheral appetite hormones during a negative energy balance.CONCLUSION These results indicate that blunted hypothalamic glucose reactivity might be related to the pathophysiology of AN. This study provides insights for future research, as it is an extended perspective of the traditional primary nonhomeostatic understanding of the disease.FUNDING This study was supported by a grant from the DFG (SI 2087/2-1).

Authors

Joe J. Simon, Marion A. Stopyra, Esther Mönning, Sebastian Sailer, Nora Lavandier, Lars P. Kihm, Martin Bendszus, Hubert Preissl, Wolfgang Herzog, Hans-Christoph Friederich

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Abstract

Several missense mutations in the orphan transporter FLVCR2 have been reported in Fowler syndrome. Affected subjects exhibit signs of severe neurological defects. We identified the mouse ortholog Mfsd7c as a gene expressed in the blood-brain barrier. Here, we report the characterizations of Mfsd7c-KO mice and compare these characterizations to phenotypic findings in humans with biallelic FLVCR2 mutations. Global KO of Mfsd7c in mice resulted in late-gestation lethality, likely due to CNS phenotypes. We found that the angiogenic growth of CNS blood vessels in the brain of Mfsd7c-KO embryos was inhibited in cortical ventricular zones and ganglionic eminences. Vascular tips were dilated and fused, resulting in glomeruloid vessels. Nonetheless, CNS blood vessels were intact, without hemorrhage. Both embryos and humans with biallelic FLVCR2 mutations exhibited reduced cerebral cortical layers, enlargement of the cerebral ventricles, and microcephaly. Transcriptomic analysis of Mfsd7cK-KO embryonic brains revealed upregulation of genes involved in glycolysis and angiogenesis. The Mfsd7c-KO brain exhibited hypoxia and neuronal cell death. Our results indicate that MFSD7c is required for the normal growth of CNS blood vessels and that ablation of this gene results in microcephaly-associated vasculopathy in mice and humans.

Authors

Pazhanichamy Kalailingam, Kai Qi Wang, Xiu Ru Toh, Toan Q. Nguyen, Madhuvanthi Chandrakanthan, Zafrul Hasan, Clair Habib, Aharon Schif, Francesca Clementina Radio, Bruno Dallapiccola, Karin Weiss, Long N. Nguyen

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Abstract

The microbiome provides resistance to infection. However, the underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. We demonstrate that colonization with the intestinal bacterium Clostridium scindens protects from Entamoeba histolytica colitis via innate immunity. Introduction of C. scindens into the gut microbiota epigenetically altered and expanded bone marrow granulocyte-monocyte progenitors (GMPs) and resulted in increased intestinal neutrophils with subsequent challenge with E. histolytica. Introduction of C. scindens alone was sufficient to expand GMPs in gnotobiotic mice. Adoptive transfer of bone marrow from C. scindens–colonized mice into naive mice protected against amebic colitis and increased intestinal neutrophils. Children without E. histolytica diarrhea also had a higher abundance of Lachnoclostridia. Lachnoclostridia C. scindens can metabolize the bile salt cholate, so we measured deoxycholate and discovered that it was increased in the sera of C. scindens–colonized specific pathogen–free and gnotobiotic mice, as well as in children protected from amebiasis. Administration of deoxycholate alone increased GMPs and provided protection from amebiasis. We elucidated a mechanism by which C. scindens and the microbially metabolized bile salt deoxycholic acid alter hematopoietic precursors and provide innate protection from later infection with E. histolytica.

Authors

Stacey L. Burgess, Jhansi L. Leslie, Jashim Uddin, David N. Oakland, Carol Gilchrist, G. Brett Moreau, Koji Watanabe, Mahmoud Saleh, Morgan Simpson, Brandon A. Thompson, David T. Auble, Stephen D. Turner, Natasa Giallourou, Jonathan Swann, Zhen Pu, Jennie Z. Ma, Rashidul Haque, William A. Petri Jr.

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Abstract

Authors

Leonard Angka, Marisa Market, Michele Ardolino, Rebecca C. Auer

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Abstract

Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is difficult to detect, carries a poor prognosis, and is one of few cancers with an increasing yearly incidence. Molecular defects in complement factor H (CFH), a critical regulatory protein of the complement alternative pathway (AP), are typically associated with inflammatory diseases of the eye and kidney. Little is known regarding the role of CFH in controlling complement activation within the liver. While studying aging CFH-deficient (fH–/–) mice, we observed spontaneous hepatic tumor formation in more than 50% of aged fH–/– males. Examination of fH–/– livers (3–24 months) for evidence of complement-mediated inflammation revealed widespread deposition of complement-activation fragments throughout the sinusoids, elevated transaminase levels, increased hepatic CD8+ and F4/80+ cells, overexpression of hepatic mRNA associated with inflammatory signaling pathways, steatosis, and increased collagen deposition. Immunostaining of human HCC biopsies revealed extensive deposition of complement fragments within the tumors. Investigating the Cancer Genome Atlas also revealed that increased CFH mRNA expression is associated with improved survival in patients with HCC, whereas mutations are associated with worse survival. These results indicate that CFH is critical for controlling complement activation in the liver, and in its absence, AP activation leads to chronic inflammation and promotes hepatic carcinogenesis.

Authors

Jennifer Laskowski, Brandon Renner, Matthew C. Pickering, Natalie J. Serkova, Peter M. Smith-Jones, Eric T. Clambey, Raphael A. Nemenoff, Joshua M. Thurman

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Abstract

Despite recent advances in understanding chronic inflammation remission, global analyses have not been explored to systematically discover genes or pathways underlying the resolution dynamics of chronic inflammatory diseases. Here, we performed time-course gene expression profiling of mouse synovial tissues along progression and resolution of collagen-induced arthritis (CIA) and identified genes associated with inflammation resolution. Through network analysis of these genes, we predicted 3 key secretory factors responsible for the resolution of CIA: Itgb1, Rps3, and Ywhaz. These factors were predominantly expressed by Tregs and antiinflammatory M2 macrophages, suppressing production of proinflammatory cytokines. In particular, Ywhaz was elevated in the sera of mice with arthritis resolution and in the urine of rheumatoid arthritis (RA) patients with good therapeutic responses. Moreover, adenovirus-mediated transfer of the Ywhaz gene to the affected joints substantially inhibited arthritis progression in mice with CIA and suppressed expression of proinflammatory cytokines in joint tissues, lymph nodes, and spleens, suggesting Ywhaz is an excellent target for RA therapy. Therefore, our comprehensive analysis of dynamic synovial transcriptomes provides previously unidentified antiarthritic genes, Itgb1, Rps3, and Ywhaz, which can serve as molecular markers to predict disease remission, as well as therapeutic targets for chronic inflammatory arthritis.

Authors

Jin-Sun Kong, Ji-Hwan Park, Seung-Ah Yoo, Ki-Myo Kim, Yeung-Jin Bae, Yune-Jung Park, Chul-Soo Cho, Daehee Hwang, Wan-Uk Kim

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Abstract

Transcriptional dysregulation is a hallmark of prostate cancer (PCa). We mapped the RNA polymerase II–associated (RNA Pol II–associated) chromatin interactions in normal prostate cells and PCa cells. We discovered thousands of enhancer-promoter, enhancer-enhancer, as well as promoter-promoter chromatin interactions. These transcriptional hubs operate within the framework set by structural proteins — CTCF and cohesins — and are regulated by the cooperative action of master transcription factors, such as the androgen receptor (AR) and FOXA1. By combining analyses from metastatic castration-resistant PCa (mCRPC) specimens, we show that AR locus amplification contributes to the transcriptional upregulation of the AR gene by increasing the total number of chromatin interaction modules comprising the AR gene and its distal enhancer. We deconvoluted the transcription control modules of several PCa genes, notably the biomarker KLK3, lineage-restricted genes (KRT8, KRT18, HOXB13, FOXA1, ZBTB16), the drug target EZH2, and the oncogene MYC. By integrating clinical PCa data, we defined a germline-somatic interplay between the PCa risk allele rs684232 and the somatically acquired TMPRSS2-ERG gene fusion in the transcriptional regulation of multiple target genes — VPS53, FAM57A, and GEMIN4. Our studies implicate changes in genome organization as a critical determinant of aberrant transcriptional regulation in PCa.

Authors

Susmita G. Ramanand, Yong Chen, Jiapei Yuan, Kelly Daescu, Maryou B.K. Lambros, Kathleen E. Houlahan, Suzanne Carreira, Wei Yuan, GuemHee Baek, Adam Sharp, Alec Paschalis, Mohammed Kanchwala, Yunpeng Gao, Adam Aslam, Nida Safdar, Xiaowei Zhan, Ganesh V. Raj, Chao Xing, Paul C. Boutros, Johann de Bono, Michael Q. Zhang, Ram S. Mani

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Abstract

Fowler syndrome is a rare autosomal recessive brain vascular disorder caused by mutation in FLVCR2 in humans. The disease occurs during a critical period of brain vascular development, is characterized by glomeruloid vasculopathy and hydrocephalus, and is almost invariably prenatally fatal. Here, we sought to gain insights into the process of brain vascularization and the pathogenesis of Fowler syndrome by inactivating Flvcr2 in mice. We showed that Flvcr2 was necessary for angiogenic sprouting in the brain, but surprisingly dispensable for maintaining the blood-brain barrier. Endothelial cells lacking Flvcr2 had altered expression of angiogenic factors, failed to adopt tip cell properties, and displayed reduced sprouting, leading to vascular malformations similar to those seen in humans with Fowler syndrome. Brain hypovascularization was associated with hypoxia and tissue infarction, ultimately causing hydrocephalus and death of mutant animals. Strikingly, despite severe vascular anomalies and brain tissue infarction, the blood-brain barrier was maintained in Flvcr2 mutant mice. Our Fowler syndrome model therefore defined the pathobiology of this disease and provided new insights into brain angiogenesis by showing uncoupling of vessel morphogenesis and blood-brain barrier formation.

Authors

Nicolas Santander, Carlos O. Lizama, Eman Meky, Gabriel L. McKinsey, Bongnam Jung, Dean Sheppard, Christer Betsholtz, Thomas D. Arnold

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Abstract

TGFβ is a master regulator of fibrosis, driving the differentiation of fibroblasts into apoptosis resistant myofibroblasts and sustaining the production of extracellular matrix (ECM) components. Here, we identify the nuclear lncRNA H19X as a master regulator of TGFβ-driven tissue fibrosis. H19X was consistently upregulated in a wide variety of human fibrotic tissues and diseases and was strongly induced by TGFβ, particularly in fibroblasts and fibroblast-related cells. Functional experiments following H19X silencing revealed that H19X is an obligatory factor for the TGFβ-induced ECM synthesis as well as differentiation and survival of ECM-producing myofibroblasts. We showed that H19X regulates DDIT4L gene expression, specifically interacting with a region upstream of DDIT4L gene and changing the chromatin accessibility of a DDIT4L enhancer. These events resulted in transcriptional repression of DDIT4L and, in turn, in increased collagen expression and fibrosis. Our results shed light on key effectors of the TGFβ-induced ECM remodeling and fibrosis.

Authors

Elena Pachera, Shervin Assassi, Gloria A. Salazar, Mara Stellato, Florian Renoux, Adam Wunderlin, Przemyslaw Blyszczuk, Robert Lafyatis, Fina Kurreeman, Jeska de Vries-Bouwstra, Tobias Messemaker, Carol A. Feghali-Bostwick, Gerhard Rogler, Wouter T. van Haaften, Gerard Dijkstra, Fiona Oakley, Maurizio Calcagni, Janine Schniering, Britta Maurer, Jörg H.W. Distler, Gabriela Kania, Mojca Frank-Bertoncelj, Oliver Distler

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Abstract

Immunotherapeutic strategies are increasingly important in neuro-oncology and the elucidation of escape mechanisms which lead to treatment resistance is crucial. We investigated the impact of immune pressure on the clonal dynamics and immune escape signature by comparing glioma growth in immunocompetent versus immunodeficient mice. Glioma-bearing wildtype and Pd-1-/- mice survived significantly longer than immunodeficient Pfp-/- Rag2-/- mice. While tumors in Pfp-/- Rag2-/- mice were highly polyclonal, immunoedited tumors in WT and Pd-1-/- mice displayed reduced clonality with emergence of immune escape clones. Tumor cells in wildtype mice were distinguished by an interferon-γ-mediated response signature with upregulation of genes involved in immunosuppression. Tumor-infiltrating stromal cells, which include macrophages/microglia, contributed even stronger to the immunosuppressive signature than the actual tumor cells. The identified murine immune escape signature was reflected in human patients and correlated with poor survival. In conclusion, immune pressure profoundly shapes the clonal composition and gene regulation in malignant gliomas.

Authors

Cecile L. Maire, Malte Mohme, Michael Bockmayr, Krystian D. Fita, Kristoffer Riecken, Daniela Börnigen, Malik Alawi, Antonio Virgilio Failla, Katharina Kolbe, Svenja Zapf, Mareike Holz, Katrin Neumann, Lasse Dührsen, Tobias Lange, Boris Fehse, Manfred Westphal, Katrin Lamszus

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Abstract

Background: Pediatric and adult high-grade glioma (HGG) frequently harbor PDGFRA alterations. We hypothesized that co-treatment with everolimus may improve the efficacy of dasatinib in PDGFRα-driven glioma through combinatorial synergism and increased tumor accumulation of dasatinib. Methods: Dose response, synergism studies, P-gp inhibition and pharmacokinetic studies were performed on in vitro and in vivo human and mouse models of HGG. Six patients with recurrent PDGFRα-driven glioma were treated with dasatinib and everolimus. Results: Dasatinib effectively inhibited the proliferation of mouse and human primary HGG cells with a variety of PDGFRA alterations. Dasatinib exhibited synergy with everolimus in the treatment of HGG cells at low nanomolar concentrations of both agents, with reduction in mTOR signaling that persists after dasatinib treatment alone. Prolonged exposure to everolimus significantly improved the CNS retention of dasatinib and extended survival of PPK tumor bearing mice. Pediatric patients (n=6) with glioma tolerated this combination without significant adverse events. Recurrent patients (n=4) demonstrated median overall survival of 8.5 months. Conclusion: Efficacy of dasatinib treatment of PDGFRα-driven HGG is improved with everolimus and suggests a promising route for improving targeted therapy for this patient population. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03352427 Funding: The authors thank the patients and their families for participation in this study. CKis supported by NIH/NINDS K08-NS099427-01, the University of Michigan Chad Carr Pediatric Brain Tumor Center, the Chad Tough Foundation, Hyundai Hope on Wheels, Catching up With Jack, Prayers from Maria Foundation, U CAN-CER VIVE FOUNDATION, Morgan Behen Golf Classic, and the DIPG Collaborative. The PEDS-MIONCOSEQ study was supported by grant 1UM1HG006508 from the National Institutes of Health Clinical Sequencing Exploratory Research Award (PI: Arul Chinnaiyan).

Authors

Zachary Miklja, Viveka Nand Yadav, Rodrigo T. Cartaxo, Ruby Siada, Chase C. Thomas, Jessica R. Cummings, Brendan Mullan, Stefanie Stallard, Alyssa Paul, Amy K. Bruzek, Kyle Wierzbicki, Tao Yang, Taylor Garcia, Ian Wolfe, Marcia Leonard, Patricia L. Robertson, Hugh J.L. Garton, Daniel R. Wahl, Hemant A. Parmar, Jann N. Sarkaria, Cassie Kline, Sabine Mueller, Theodore Nicolaides, Chana Glasser, Sarah E. S. Leary, Sriram Venneti, Chandan Kumar-Sinha, Arul M. Chinnaiyan, Rajen Mody, Manjunath P. Pai, Timothy N. Phoenix, Bernard L. Marini, Carl Koschmann

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Abstract

Diabetic patients develop endothelial dysfunction shortly after diabetes onset that progresses to vascular disease underlying the majority of diabetes associated comorbidities. Increased lipid peroxidation, mitochondrial calcium overload and mitochondrial dysfunction are characteristics of dysfunctional endothelial cells in diabetic patients. We here identified that targeting the lipid peroxidation product 12(S)-hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid (12(S)-HETE) induced activation of the intracellularly located cation channel transient receptor potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) in endothelial cells is a means to causally control early stage vascular disease in type I diabetic mice. Mice with an inducible, endothelial specific 12/15 lipoxygenase (12/15Lo) knock out were similarly protected from type I diabetes induced endothelial dysfunction and impaired vascular regeneration following arterial injury as TRPV1 knock out mice. Both 12(S)-HETE in concentrations found in diabetic patients and TRPV1 agonists triggered mitochondrial calcium influx and mitochondrial dysfunction in endothelial cells and 12(S)-HETE effects were absent in endothelial cells from TRPV1 knock out mice. As a therapeutic consequence, we found that a peptide targeting 12(S)-HETE induced TRPV1 interaction at the TRPV1 TRP box ameliorated diabetes-induced endothelial dysfunction and augmented vascular regeneration in diabetic mice. Our findings suggest that pharmacological targeting of increased endothelial lipid peroxidation can attenuate diabetes induced comorbidities related to vascular disease.

Authors

Mandy Otto, Clarissa Bucher, Wantao Liu, Melanie Müller, Tobias Schmidt, Marina Kardell, Marvin Noel Driessen, Jan Rossaint, Eric R. Gross, Nana-Maria Wagner

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Abstract

The correlation of HIV-specific Antibody-Dependent Cellular Cytotoxicity (ADCC) responses with protection from, and delayed progression of HIV-1 infection provides a rationale to leverage ADCC-mediating antibodies for treatment purposes. We evaluated ADCC mediated by different combinations of two to six neutralizing and non-neutralizing anti-HIV-1-Envelope (Env) monoclonal antibodies (mAbs), using concentrations ≤ 1 µg/mL, to identify combinations effective at targeting latent reservoir HIV-1 viruses (LRVs) from ten individuals. We found that within 2 hours, combinations of three mAbs mediated >30% killing of HIV-infected primary CD4+ T cells in presence of autologous NK cells, with the combination of A32 (C1C2), DH511.2K3 (MPER), and PGT121 (V3) mAbs being the most effective. Increasing the incubation of target and effector cells in presence of mAb combinations from 2 to 24 hours resulted in increased specific killing of infected cells, even with neutralization-resistant viruses. The same combination eliminated reactivated HIV-1 latently-infected cells in an ex vivo qualitative viral outgrowth (QVOA) assay. Therefore, administration of a combination of three mAbs should be considered when planning in vivo studies seeking to eliminate persistently HIV-1 infected cells.

Authors

Marina Tuyishime, Carolina Garrido, Shalini Jha, Matthew Moeser, Dieter Mielke, Celia LaBranche, David Montefiori, Barton F. Haynes, Sarah B. Joseph, David M. Margolis, Guido Ferrari

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July 2020

July 2020 Issue

On the cover:
Th9 and Th17 cells in human lung cancer

T cells can contribute to metastatic spreading in lung cancer. However, the contributions of T cell subpopulations to tumor spreading are not well understood. In this issue of the JCI, Salazar et al. explored Th9 and Th17 cells and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition in cell culture, lung tumor tissue, and mouse models. Th9 and Th17 cells were observed in lung cancer samples and promoted EMT to result in metastatic spreading. The cover image depicts a non–small cell lung tumor specimen showing epithelial cells (anti-cytokeratin, green), Th17 cells (labeled with anti-CD4, red; and anti-STAT3, magenta), Th9 cells (labeled with anti-CD4, red; and anti-PU.1, yellow), and their nuclei (blue).

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July 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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