Avolio et al. show that cardiac pericytes have intrinsic vascular plasticity and can be pharmacologically reprogrammed using a MEK inhibitor to aid neovascularization of the ischemic heart. The cover image shows cardiomyocytes stained with α-sarcomeric actin (red) and TUNEL (green; recognizing apoptotic cell nuclei) from a mouse heart treated with a MEK inhibitor.
In lymphopenic environments, secondary lymphoid organs regulate the size of B and T-cell compartments by supporting homeostatic proliferation of mature lymphocytes. The molecular mechanisms underlying these responses and their functional consequences remain incompletely understood. To evaluate homeostasis of the mature B-cell pool during lymphopenia, we turned to an adoptive transfer model of purified follicular B-cells into Rag2-/- mouse recipients. Highly purified follicular B-cells transdifferentiated into marginal zone-like B-cells when transferred into Rag2-/- lymphopenic hosts, but not into wild-type hosts. In lymphopenic spleens, transferred B-cells gradually lost their follicular phenotype and acquired characteristics of marginal zone B-cells, as judged by cell surface phenotype, expression of integrins and chemokine receptors, positioning close to the marginal sinus, and an ability to rapidly generate functional plasma cells. Initiation of follicular to marginal zone B-cell transdifferentiation preceded proliferation. Furthermore, the transdifferentiation process was dependent on Notch2 receptors in B-cells and expression of Delta-like1 Notch ligands by splenic Ccl19-Cre+ fibroblastic stromal cells. Gene expression analysis showed rapid induction of Notch-regulated transcripts followed by upregulated Myc expression and acquisition of broad transcriptional features of marginal zone B-cells. Thus, naïve mature B-cells are endowed with plastic transdifferentiation potential in response to increased stromal Notch ligand availability during lymphopenia.
Daniela Gómez Atria, Brian T. Gaudette, Jennifer Londregan, Samantha Kelly, Eric Perkey, Anneka Allman, Bhaskar Srivastava, Ute Koch, Freddy Radtke, Burkhard Ludewig, Christian W. Siebel, Russell J.H. Ryan, Tanner F. Robertson, Janis K. Burkhardt, Warren S. Pear, David Allman, Ivan Maillard
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 1A (CMT1A), the most common inherited demyelinating peripheral neuropathy, is caused by PMP22 gene duplication. Over-expression of wild-type PMP22 in Schwann cells destabilizes the myelin sheath, leading to demyelination and ultimately to secondary axonal loss and disability. No treatments currently exist that modify the disease course. The most direct route to CMT1A therapy will involve reducing PMP22 to normal levels. To accomplish this, we developed a gene therapy strategy to reduce PMP22 using novel artificial microRNAs targeting human and mouse PMP22/Pmp22 mRNAs. Our lead therapeutic microRNA, miR871, was packaged into an AAV9 vector and delivered by lumbar intrathecal injection into C61-het mice, a model of CMT1A. AAV9-miR871 efficiently transduced Schwann cells in C61-het peripheral nerves and reduced human and mouse PMP22/Pmp22 mRNA and protein levels. Treatment at early and late stages of the disease significantly improved multiple functional outcome measures and nerve conduction velocities. Furthermore, myelin pathology in lumbar roots and femoral motor nerves was ameliorated. Treated mice also showed reductions in circulating biomarkers of CMT1A. Taken together, our data demonstrate that AAV9-miR871-driven silencing of PMP22 rescues a CMT1A model and provides proof of principle for treating CMT1A using a translatable gene therapy approach.
Marina Stavrou, Alexia Kagiava, Sarah G. Choudury, Matthew J. Jennings, Lindsay M. Wallace, Allison M. Fowler, Amanda Heslegrave, Jan Richter, Christina Tryfonos, Christina Christodoulou, Henrik Zetterberg, Rita Horvath, Scott Q. Harper, Kleopas A. Kleopa
Molecularly targeted cancer therapy has improved outcomes for cancer patients with targetable oncoproteins, such as mutant epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) in lung cancer. Yet, long-term patient survival remains limited because treatment responses are typically incomplete. One potential explanation for the lack of complete and durable responses is that oncogene-driven cancers with activating mutations in the EGFR often harbor additional co-occurring genetic alterations. This hypothesis remains untested for most genetic alterations that co-occur with mutant EGFR. Here, we report the functional impact of inactivating genetic alteration of the mRNA splicing factor RBM10 that co-occur with mutant EGFR. RBM10 deficiency decreased EGFR inhibitor efficacy in patient-derived EGFR mutant tumor models. RBM10 modulated mRNA alternative splicing of the mitochondrial apoptotic regulator Bcl-x to regulate tumor cell apoptosis during treatment. Genetic inactivation of RBM10 diminished EGFR inhibitor-mediated apoptosis by decreasing the ratio of Bcl-xS-(pro-apoptotic)-to-Bcl-xL(anti-apoptotic) Bcl-x isoforms. RBM10 deficiency was a biomarker of poor response to EGFR inhibitor treatment in clinical samples. Co-inhibition of Bcl-xL and mutant EGFR overcame resistance induced by RBM10 deficiency. This study sheds light on the role of co-occurring genetic alterations, and on the impact of splicing factor deficiency in the modulation of sensitivity to targeted kinase inhibitor cancer therapy.
Shigeki Nanjo, Wei Wu, Niki Karachaliou, Collin M. Blakely, Junji Suzuki, Yu-Ting Chou, Siraj M. Ali, D. Lucas Kerr, Victor R. Olivas, Jonathan Shue, Julia Rotow, Manasi K. Mayekar, Franziska Haderk, Nilanjana Chatterjee, Anatoly Urisman, Jia Chi Yeo, Anders J. Skanderup, Aaron C. Tan, Wai Leong Tam, Oscar Arrieta, Kazuyoshi Hosomichi, Akihiro Nishiyama, Seiji Yano, Yuriy Kirichok, Daniel S.W. Tan, Rafael Rosell, Ross A. Okimoto, Trever G. Bivona
The encoding of noxious stimuli into action potential firing is largely mediated by nociceptive free nerve endings. Tissue inflammation, by changing the intrinsic properties of the nociceptive endings, leads to nociceptive hyperexcitability, and thus to the development of inflammatory pain. Here, we showed that tissue inflammation-induced activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin complex 2 (mTORC2) triggers changes in the architecture of nociceptive terminals and leads to inflammatory pain. Pharmacological activation of mTORC2 induced elongation and branching of nociceptor peripheral endings and caused long-lasting pain hypersensitivity. Conversely, nociceptor-specific deletion of the mTORC2 regulatory protein, Rictor, prevented inflammation-induced elongation and branching of cutaneous nociceptive fibers and attenuated inflammatory pain hypersensitivity. Computational modelling demonstrated that mTORC2-mediated structural changes in the nociceptive terminal tree are sufficient to increase the excitability of nociceptors. Targeting mTORC2 using a single injection of antisense oligonucleotide against Rictor provided long-lasting alleviation of inflammatory pain hypersensitivity. Collectively, we showed that tissue inflammation-induced activation of mTORC2 causes structural plasticity of nociceptive free nerve endings in the epidermis and inflammatory hyperalgesia, representing a therapeutic target for inflammatory pain.
Calvin Wong, Omer Barkai, Feng Wang, Carolina Thörn Pérez, Shaya Lev, Weihua Cai, Shannon Tansley, Noosha Yousefpour, Mehdi Hooshmandi, Kevin C. Lister, Mariam Latif, A. Claudio Cuello, Masha Prager-Khoutorsky, Jeffrey S. Mogil, Philippe Séguéla, Yves De Koninck, Alfredo Ribeiro-da-Silva, Alexander M. Binshtok, Arkady Khoutorsky
Lymph node (LN) metastasis occurs frequently in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) and predicts poor prognosis for patients. The KRASG12D mutation confers an aggressive PDAC phenotype that is susceptible to lymphatic dissemination. However, the regulatory mechanism underlying KRASG12D mutation-driven LN metastasis in PDAC remains unclear. Herein, we identified that PDAC with KRASG12D mutation (KRASG12D PDAC) sustained extracellular vesicle (EV)-mediated transmission of hnRNPA1 in a SUMOylation-dependent manner and promoted lymphangiogenesis and LN metastasis in vitro and in vivo. Mechanistically, hnRNPA1 bound with SUMO2 at the lysine 113 residue via KRASG12D-induced hyperactivation of SUMOylation, which enabled its interaction with TSG101 to enhance hnRNPA1 packaging and transmission via EVs. Subsequently, SUMOylation induced EV-packaged hnRNPA1 anchoring to the adenylate and uridylate-rich elements of PROX1 in lymphatic endothelial cells, thus stabilizing PROX1 mRNA. Importantly, impeding SUMOylation of EV-packaged hnRNPA1 dramatically inhibited LN metastasis of KRASG12D PDAC in a genetically engineered KrasG12D/+; Trp53R172H/+; Pdx-1-Cre (KPC) mice model. Our findings highlight the mechanism by which KRAS mutant-driven SUMOylation triggers EV-packaged hnRNPA1 transmission to promote lymphangiogenesis and LN metastasis, shedding light on the potential application of hnRNPA1 as a therapeutic target in patients with KRASG12D PDAC.
Yuming Luo, Zhihua Li, Yao Kong, Wang He, Hanhao Zheng, Mingjie An, Yan Lin, Dingwen Zhang, Jiabin Yang, Yue Zhao, Changhao Chen, Rufu Chen
JCI This Month is a digest of the research, reviews, and other features published each month.
Cardiovascular diseases remain a leading cause of death worldwide, and treatment is complicated by the inadequacies of available therapies. This collection of reviews, developed by Daniel P. Kelly, explores emerging strategies for treating a range of cardiac pathologies, including: recent discoveries of epigenetic regulators that can be targeted to combat cardiac fibrosis, state of the art in genome-editing therapies, interactions of the vascular endothelium with metabolic tissues, current understanding of myosin modulators, and novel targets for treating dyslipidemia. Together, the reviews provide a broad update on numerous advances in cardiovascular medicine.