Much has been written already about whether the scientific machine is churning out too many PhDs and postdocs when there are a limited number of academic jobs and the competition for funding and space in competitive journals is intense. But gratifyingly, there exists a vast array of other scientific careers. We need to mentor and advise trainees about the diverse and rewarding professional opportunities that are available beyond the postdoctoral apprenticeship period.
Ushma S. Neill
Jillian H. Hurst
Corinne L. Williams
Hypoxia is a prominent characteristic of many acute or chronic inflammatory diseases, and exerts significant influence on their progression. Macrophages and neutrophils are major cellular components of innate immunity and contribute not only to O2 deprivation at the site of inflammation, but also alter many of their functions in response to hypoxia to either facilitate or suppress inflammation. Hypoxia stabilizes HIF-αs in macrophages and neutrophils, and these O2-sensitive transcription factors are key regulators of inflammatory responses in myeloid cells. In this review, we will summarize our current understanding of the role of HIF-αs in shaping macrophage and neutrophil functions in the pathogenesis and progression of multiple inflammatory diseases.
Nan Lin, M. Celeste Simon
The role of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) in cancer is often correlated with poor prognosis, even though this statement should be interpreted with care, as the effects of macrophages primarily depend on their localization within the tumor. This versatile cell type orchestrates a broad spectrum of biological functions and exerts very complex and even opposing functions on cell death, immune stimulation or suppression, and angiogenesis, resulting in an overall pro- or antitumoral effect. We are only beginning to understand the environmental cues that contribute to transient retention of macrophages in a specific phenotype. It has become clear that hypoxia shapes and induces specific macrophage phenotypes that serve tumor malignancy, as hypoxia promotes immune evasion, angiogenesis, tumor cell survival, and metastatic dissemination. Additionally, TAMs in the hypoxic niches within the tumor are known to mediate resistance to several anticancer treatments and to promote cancer relapse. Thus, a careful characterization and understanding of this macrophage differentiation state is needed in order to efficiently tailor cancer therapy.
Anne-Theres Henze, Massimiliano Mazzone
Mucosal surfaces are lined by epithelial cells and provide an important barrier to the flux of antigens from the outside. This barrier is provided at a number of levels, including epithelial junctional complexes, mucus production, and mucosa-derived antimicrobials. Tissue metabolism is central to the maintenance of homeostasis in the mucosa. In the intestine, for example, baseline pO2 levels are uniquely low due to counter-current blood flow and the presence of large numbers of bacteria. As such, hypoxia and HIF signaling predominates normal intestinal metabolism and barrier regulation during both homeostasis and active inflammation. Contributing factors that elicit important adaptive responses within the mucosa include the transcriptional regulation of tight junction proteins, metabolic regulation of barrier components, and changes in autophagic flux. Here, we review recent literature around the topic of hypoxia and barrier function in health and during disease.
Louise E. Glover, J. Scott Lee, Sean P. Colgan
The tumor immune response is in a dynamic balance between antitumor mechanisms, which serve to decrease cancer growth, and the protumor inflammatory response, which increases immune tolerance, cell survival, and proliferation. Hypoxia and expression of HIF-1α and HIF-2α are characteristic features of all solid tumors. HIF signaling serves as a major adaptive mechanism in tumor growth in a hypoxic microenvironment. HIFs represent a critical signaling node in the switch to protumorigenic inflammatory responses through recruitment of protumor immune cells and altered immune cell effector functions to suppress antitumor immune responses and promote tumor growth through direct growth-promoting cytokine production, angiogenesis, and ROS production. Modulating HIF function will be an important mechanism to dampen the tumor-promoting inflammatory response and inhibit cancer growth.
Daniel Triner, Yatrik M. Shah
HIF1α is a common component of pathways involved in the control of cellular metabolism and has a role in regulating immune cell effector functions. Additionally, HIF1α is critical for the maturation of dendritic cells and for the activation of T cells. HIF1α is induced in LPS-activated macrophages, where it is critically involved in glycolysis and the induction of proinflammatory genes, notably
Sarah E. Corcoran, Luke A.J. O’Neill
Radiotherapy is an effective treatment strategy for cancer, but a significant proportion of patients experience radiation-induced toxicity due to damage to normal tissue in the irradiation field. The use of chemical or biological approaches aimed at reducing or preventing normal tissue toxicity induced by radiotherapy is a long-held goal. Hypoxia-inducible factors (HIFs) regulate the production of factors that may protect several cellular compartments affected by radiation-induced toxicity. Pharmacological inhibitors of prolyl hydroxylase domain–containing enzymes (PHDs), which result in stabilization of HIFs, have recently been proposed as a new class of radioprotectors. In this review, radiation-induced toxicity in the gastrointestinal (GI) tract and the main cellular compartments studied in this context will be discussed. The effects of PHD inhibition on GI radioprotection will be described in detail.
Monica M. Olcina, Amato J. Giaccia
Uncontrolled inflammation underpins a diverse range of diseases where effective therapy remains an unmet clinical need. Hypoxia is a prominent feature of the inflammatory microenvironment that regulates key transcription factors including HIF and NF-κB in both innate and adaptive immune cells. In turn, altered activity of the pathways controlled by these factors can affect the course of inflammation through the regulation of immune cell development and function. In this review, we will discuss these pathways and the oxygen sensors that confer hypoxic sensitivity in immune cells. Furthermore, we will describe how hypoxia-dependent pathways contribute to immunity and discuss their potential as therapeutic targets in inflammatory and infectious disease.
Cormac T. Taylor, Glen Doherty, Padraic G. Fallon, Eoin P. Cummins
In the past decade, new approaches have been explored that are aimed at restoring functional β cell mass as a treatment strategy for diabetes. The two most intensely pursued strategies are β cell replacement through conversion of other cell types and β cell regeneration by enhancement of β cell replication. The approach closest to clinical implementation is the replacement of β cells with human pluripotent stem cell–derived (hPSC-derived) cells, which are currently under investigation in a clinical trial to assess their safety in humans. In addition, there has been success in reprogramming developmentally related cell types into β cells. Reprogramming approaches could find therapeutic applications by inducing β cell conversion in vivo or by reprogramming cells ex vivo followed by implantation. Finally, recent studies have revealed novel pharmacologic targets for stimulating β cell replication. Manipulating these targets or the pathways they regulate could be a strategy for promoting the expansion of residual β cells in diabetic patients. Here, we provide an overview of progress made toward β cell replacement and regeneration and discuss promises and challenges for clinical implementation of these strategies.
Jacqueline R. Benthuysen, Andrea C. Carrano, Maike Sander
Recent findings have linked brain swelling to death in cerebral malaria (CM). These observations have prompted a number of investigations into the mechanisms of this pathology with the goal of identifying potential therapeutic targets. In this issue of the
Jens E.V. Petersen, Thomas Lavstsen, Alister Craig
Dysregulation of the type 2 immune system presents with various manifestations, including allergic inflammation, and has emerged as an alarming public health issue. The pathological mechanisms that underlie T helper type 2 cell–driven (Th2-driven) allergic diseases remain unclear. In particular, it is not completely understood how type 2 immunity is restricted in inflammatory responses. In this issue of the
Yun Liang, Johann E. Gudjonsson
Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a cardiac arrhythmia that arises from electrical and contractile dysfunction in the atria. Atrial function is regulated by a variety of intracellular signaling networks that facilitate rapid communication and coordinate responses of atrial myocytes. In this issue of the
Thomas J. Hund, Peter J. Mohler
Mast cells (MCs) are present in various tissues and are responsible for initiating many of the early inflammatory responses to extrinsic challenges. Recent studies have demonstrated that MCs can tailor their responses, depending on the stimulus encountered and the tissue in which they are stimulated. In this issue of the
Jörn Karhausen, Soman N. Abraham
Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) includes basal-like and claudin-low subtypes for which no specific treatment is currently available. Although the retinoblastoma tumor-suppressor gene (
Robert A. Jones, Tyler J. Robinson, Jeff C. Liu, Mariusz Shrestha, Veronique Voisin, YoungJun Ju, Philip E.D. Chung, Giovanna Pellecchia, Victoria L. Fell, SooIn Bae, Lakshmi Muthuswamy, Alessandro Datti, Sean E. Egan, Zhe Jiang, Gustavo Leone, Gary D. Bader, Aaron Schimmer, Eldad Zacksenhaus
Studies of the genetic factors associated with human autoimmune disease suggest a multigenic origin of susceptibility; however, how these factors interact and through which tolerance pathways they operate generally remain to be defined. One key checkpoint occurs through the activity of the autoimmune regulator
Irina Proekt, Corey N. Miller, Marion Jeanne, Kayla J. Fasano, James J. Moon, Clifford A. Lowell, Douglas B. Gould, Mark S. Anderson, Anthony L. DeFranco
NK cells are innate lymphocytes with protective functions against viral infections and tumor formation. Human NK cells carry inhibitory killer cell Ig-like receptors (KIRs), which recognize distinct HLAs. NK cells with KIRs for self-HLA molecules acquire superior cytotoxicity against HLA– tumor cells during education for improved missing-self recognition. Here, we reconstituted mice with human hematopoietic cells from donors with homozygous KIR ligands or with a mix of hematopoietic cells from these homozygous donors, allowing assessment of the resulting KIR repertoire and NK cell education. We found that co-reconstitution with 2 KIR ligand–mismatched compartments did not alter the frequency of KIR-expressing NK cells. However, NK cell education was diminished in mice reconstituted with parallel HLA compartments due to a lack of cognate HLA molecules on leukocytes for the corresponding KIRs. This change in NK cell education in mixed human donor–reconstituted mice improved NK cell–mediated immune control of EBV infection, indicating that mixed hematopoietic cell populations could be exploited to improve NK cell reactivity against leukotropic pathogens. Taken together, these findings indicate that leukocytes lacking cognate HLA ligands can disarm KIR+ NK cells in a manner that may decrease HLA– tumor cell recognition but allows for improved NK cell–mediated immune control of a human γ-herpesvirus.
Vanessa Landtwing, Ana Raykova, Gaetana Pezzino, Vivien Béziat, Emanuela Marcenaro, Claudine Graf, Alessandro Moretta, Riccarda Capaul, Andrea Zbinden, Guido Ferlazzo, Karl-Johan Malmberg, Obinna Chijioke, Christian Münz
Neutrophil granulocytes, also called polymorphonuclear leukocytes (PMNs), extrude molecular lattices of decondensed chromatin studded with histones, granule enzymes, and antimicrobial peptides that are referred to as neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). NETs capture and contain bacteria, viruses, and other pathogens. Nevertheless, experimental evidence indicates that NETs also cause inflammatory vascular and tissue damage, suggesting that identifying pathways that inhibit NET formation may have therapeutic implications. Here, we determined that neonatal NET-inhibitory factor (nNIF) is an inhibitor of NET formation in umbilical cord blood. In human neonatal and adult neutrophils, nNIF inhibits key terminal events in NET formation, including peptidyl arginine deiminase 4 (PAD4) activity, neutrophil nuclear histone citrullination, and nuclear decondensation. We also identified additional nNIF-related peptides (NRPs) that inhibit NET formation. nNIFs and NRPs blocked NET formation induced by pathogens, microbial toxins, and pharmacologic agonists in vitro and in mouse models of infection and systemic inflammation, and they improved mortality in murine models of systemic inflammation, which are associated with NET-induced collateral tissue injury. The identification of NRPs as neutrophil modulators that selectively interrupt NET generation at critical steps suggests their potential as therapeutic agents. Furthermore, our results indicate that nNIF may be an important regulator of NET formation in fetal and neonatal inflammation.
Christian C. Yost, Hansjörg Schwertz, Mark J. Cody, Jared A. Wallace, Robert A. Campbell, Adriana Vieira-de-Abreu, Claudia V. Araujo, Sebastian Schubert, Estelle S. Harris, Jesse W. Rowley, Matthew T. Rondina, James M. Fulcher, Curry L. Koening, Andrew S. Weyrich, Guy A. Zimmerman
Suppression of CD8 and CD4 T cells is a hallmark in chronic viral infections, including hepatitis C and HIV. While multiple pathways are known to inhibit CD8 T cells, the host molecules that restrict CD4 T cell responses are less understood. Here, we used inducible and CD4 T cell–specific deletion of the gene encoding the TGF-β receptor during chronic lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus infection in mice, and determined that TGF-β signaling restricted proliferation and terminal differentiation of antiviral CD4 T cells. TGF-β signaling also inhibited a cytotoxic program that includes granzymes and perforin expression at both early and late stages of infection in vivo and repressed the transcription factor eomesodermin. Overexpression of eomesodermin was sufficient to recapitulate in great part the phenotype of TGF-β receptor–deficient CD4 T cells, while SMAD4 was necessary for CD4 T cell accumulation and differentiation. TGF-β signaling also restricted accumulation and differentiation of CD4 T cells and reduced the expression of cytotoxic molecules in mice and humans infected with other persistent viruses. These data uncovered an eomesodermin-driven CD4 T cell program that is continuously suppressed by TGF-β signaling. During chronic viral infection, this program limits CD4 T cell responses while maintaining CD4 T helper cell identity.
Gavin M. Lewis, Ellen J. Wehrens, Lara Labarta-Bajo, Hendrik Streeck, Elina I. Zuniga
Potent CD19-directed immunotherapies, such as chimeric antigen receptor T cells (CART) and blinatumomab, have drastically changed the outcome of patients with relapsed/refractory B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). However, CD19-negative relapses have emerged as a major problem that is observed in approximately 30% of treated patients. Developing approaches to preventing and treating antigen-loss escapes would therefore represent a vertical advance in the field. Here, we found that in primary patient samples, the IL-3 receptor α chain CD123 was highly expressed on leukemia-initiating cells and CD19-negative blasts in bulk B-ALL at baseline and at relapse after CART19 administration. Using intravital imaging in an antigen-loss CD19-negative relapse xenograft model, we determined that CART123, but not CART19, recognized leukemic blasts, established protracted synapses, and eradicated CD19-negative leukemia, leading to prolonged survival. Furthermore, combining CART19 and CART123 prevented antigen-loss relapses in xenograft models. Finally, we devised a dual CAR-expressing construct that combined CD19- and CD123-mediated T cell activation and demonstrated that it provides superior in vivo activity against B-ALL compared with single-expressing CART or pooled combination CART. In conclusion, these findings indicate that targeting CD19 and CD123 on leukemic blasts represents an effective strategy for treating and preventing antigen-loss relapses occurring after CD19-directed therapies
Marco Ruella, David M. Barrett, Saad S. Kenderian, Olga Shestova, Ted J. Hofmann, Jessica Perazzelli, Michael Klichinsky, Vania Aikawa, Farzana Nazimuddin, Miroslaw Kozlowski, John Scholler, Simon F. Lacey, Jan J. Melenhorst, Jennifer J.D. Morrissette, David A. Christian, Christopher A. Hunter, Michael Kalos, David L. Porter, Carl H. June, Stephan A. Grupp, Saar Gill
Upfront resistance to chemotherapy and relapse following remission are critical problems in leukemia that are generally attributed to subpopulations of chemoresistant tumor cells. There are, however, limited means for prospectively identifying these subpopulations, which hinders an understanding of therapeutic resistance. BH3 profiling is a functional single-cell analysis using synthetic BCL-2 BH3 domain–like peptides that measures mitochondrial apoptotic sensitivity or “priming.” Here, we observed that the extent of apoptotic priming is heterogeneous within multiple cancer cell lines and is not the result of experimental noise. Apoptotic priming was also heterogeneous in treatment-naive primary human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) myeloblasts, and this heterogeneity decreased in chemotherapy-treated AML patients. The priming of the most apoptosis-resistant tumor cells, rather than the median priming of the population, best predicted patient response to induction chemotherapy. For several patients, these poorly primed subpopulations of AML tumor cells were enriched for antiapoptotic proteins. Developing techniques to identify and understand these apoptosis-insensitive subpopulations of tumor cells may yield insights into clinical chemoresistance and potentially improve therapeutic outcomes in AML.
Patrick D. Bhola, Brenton G. Mar, R. Coleman Lindsley, Jeremy A. Ryan, Leah J. Hogdal, Thanh Trang Vo, Daniel J. DeAngelo, Ilene Galinsky, Benjamin L. Ebert, Anthony Letai
Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) is associated with mutations in the WAS protein (WASp), which plays a critical role in the initiation of T cell receptor–driven (TCR-driven) actin polymerization. The clinical phenotype of WAS includes susceptibility to infection, allergy, autoimmunity, and malignancy and overlaps with the symptoms of dedicator of cytokinesis 8 (DOCK8) deficiency, suggesting that the 2 syndromes share common pathogenic mechanisms. Here, we demonstrated that the WASp-interacting protein (WIP) bridges DOCK8 to WASp and actin in T cells. We determined that the guanine nucleotide exchange factor activity of DOCK8 is essential for the integrity of the subcortical actin cytoskeleton as well as for TCR-driven WASp activation, F-actin assembly, immune synapse formation, actin foci formation, mechanotransduction, T cell transendothelial migration, and homing to lymph nodes, all of which also depend on WASp. These results indicate that DOCK8 and WASp are in the same signaling pathway that links TCRs to the actin cytoskeleton in TCR-driven actin assembly. Further, they provide an explanation for similarities in the clinical phenotypes of WAS and DOCK8 deficiency.
Erin Janssen, Mira Tohme, Mona Hedayat, Marion Leick, Sudha Kumari, Narayanaswamy Ramesh, Michel J. Massaad, Sumana Ullas, Veronica Azcutia, Christopher C. Goodnow, Katrina L. Randall, Qi Qiao, Hao Wu, Waleed Al-Herz, Dianne Cox, John Hartwig, Darrell J. Irvine, Francis W. Luscinskas, Raif S. Geha
Inhibition of VLDL secretion reduces plasma levels of atherogenic apolipoprotein B (apoB) lipoproteins but can also cause hepatic steatosis. Approaches targeting apoB synthesis, which lies upstream of VLDL secretion, have potential to effectively reduce dyslipidemia but can also lead to hepatic accumulation of unsecreted triglycerides (TG). Here, we found that treating mice with apoB antisense oligonucleotides (ASOs) for 6 weeks decreased VLDL secretion and plasma cholesterol without causing steatosis. The absence of steatosis was linked to an increase in ER stress in the first 3 weeks of ASO treatment, followed by development of ER autophagy at the end of 6 weeks of treatment. The latter resulted in increased fatty acid (FA) oxidation that was inhibited by both chloroquine and 3-methyl adenine, consistent with trafficking of ER TG through the autophagic pathway before oxidation. These findings support the concept that inhibition of apoB synthesis traps lipids that have been transferred to the ER by microsomal TG transfer protein (MTP), inducing ER stress. ER stress then triggers ER autophagy and subsequent lysosomal lipolysis of TG, followed by mitochondrial oxidation of released FA, leading to prevention of steatosis. The identification of this pathway indicates that inhibition of VLDL secretion remains a viable target for therapies aiming to reduce circulating levels of atherogenic apoB lipoproteins.
Donna M. Conlon, Tiffany Thomas, Tatyana Fedotova, Antonio Hernandez-Ono, Gilbert Di Paolo, Robin B. Chan, Kelly Ruggles, Sarah Gibeley, Jing Liu, Henry N. Ginsberg
Reducing expression of the fetal hemoglobin (HbF) repressor BCL11A leads to a simultaneous increase in γ-globin expression and reduction in β-globin expression. Thus, there is interest in targeting BCL11A as a treatment for β-hemoglobinopathies, including sickle cell disease (SCD) and β-thalassemia. Here, we found that using optimized shRNAs embedded within an miRNA (shRNAmiR) architecture to achieve ubiquitous knockdown of BCL11A profoundly impaired long-term engraftment of both human and mouse hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) despite a reduction in nonspecific cellular toxicities. BCL11A knockdown was associated with a substantial increase in S/G2-phase human HSCs after engraftment into immunodeficient (NSG) mice, a phenotype that is associated with HSC exhaustion. Lineage-specific, shRNAmiR-mediated suppression of BCL11A in erythroid cells led to stable long-term engraftment of gene-modified cells. Transduced primary normal or SCD human HSCs expressing the lineage-specific BCL11A shRNAmiR gave rise to erythroid cells with up to 90% reduction of BCL11A protein. These erythrocytes demonstrated 60%–70% γ-chain expression (vs. < 10% for negative control) and a corresponding increase in HbF. Transplantation of gene-modified murine HSCs from Berkeley sickle cell mice led to a substantial improvement of sickle-associated hemolytic anemia and reticulocytosis, key pathophysiological biomarkers of SCD. These data form the basis for a clinical trial application for treating sickle cell disease.
Christian Brendel, Swaroopa Guda, Raffaele Renella, Daniel E. Bauer, Matthew C. Canver, Young-Jo Kim, Matthew M. Heeney, Denise Klatt, Jonathan Fogel, Michael D. Milsom, Stuart H. Orkin, Richard I. Gregory, David A. Williams
Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is a rare autosomal dominant genetic disease that is caused by a silent mutation of the
Su-Jin Lee, Youn-Sang Jung, Min-Ho Yoon, So-mi Kang, Ah-Young Oh, Jee-Hyun Lee, So-Young Jun, Tae-Gyun Woo, Ho-Young Chun, Sang Kyum Kim, Kyu Jin Chung, Ho-Young Lee, Kyeong Lee, Guanghai Jin, Min-Kyun Na, Nam Chul Ha, Clea Bárcena, José M.P. Freije, Carlos López-Otín, Gyu Yong Song, Bum-Joon Park
Ventricular arrhythmias are among the most severe complications of heart disease and can result in sudden cardiac death. Patients at risk currently receive implantable defibrillators that deliver electrical shocks to terminate arrhythmias on demand. However, strong electrical shocks can damage the heart and cause severe pain. Therefore, we have tested optogenetic defibrillation using expression of the light-sensitive channel channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2) in cardiac tissue. Epicardial illumination effectively terminated ventricular arrhythmias in hearts from transgenic mice and from WT mice after adeno-associated virus–based gene transfer of ChR2. We also explored optogenetic defibrillation for human hearts, taking advantage of a recently developed, clinically validated in silico approach for simulating infarct-related ventricular tachycardia (VT). Our analysis revealed that illumination with red light effectively terminates VT in diseased, ChR2-expressing human hearts. Mechanistically, we determined that the observed VT termination is due to ChR2-mediated transmural depolarization of the myocardium, which causes a block of voltage-dependent Na+ channels throughout the myocardial wall and interrupts wavefront propagation into illuminated tissue. Thus, our results demonstrate that optogenetic defibrillation is highly effective in the mouse heart and could potentially be translated into humans to achieve nondamaging and pain-free termination of ventricular arrhythmia.
Tobias Bruegmann, Patrick M. Boyle, Christoph C. Vogt, Thomas V. Karathanos, Hermenegild J. Arevalo, Bernd K. Fleischmann, Natalia A. Trayanova, Philipp Sasse
Immune surveillance in tissues is mediated by a long-lived subset of tissue-resident memory T cells (Trm cells). A putative subset of tissue-resident long-lived stem cells is characterized by the ability to efflux Hoechst dyes and is referred to as side population (SP) cells. Here, we have characterized a subset of SP T cells (Tsp cells) that exhibit a quiescent (G0) phenotype in humans and mice. Human Trm cells in the gut and BM were enriched in Tsp cells that were predominantly in the G0 stage of the cell cycle. Moreover, in histone 2B-GFP mice, the 2B-GFP label was retained in Tsp cells, indicative of a slow-cycling phenotype. Human Tsp cells displayed a distinct gene-expression profile that was enriched for genes overexpressed in Trm cells. In mice, proteins encoded by Tsp signature genes, including nuclear receptor subfamily 4 group A member 1 (NR4A1) and ATP-binding cassette (ABC) transporters, influenced the function and differentiation of Trm cells. Responses to adoptive transfer of human Tsp cells into immune-deficient mice and plerixafor therapy suggested that human Tsp cell mobilization could be manipulated as a potential cellular therapy. These data identify a distinct subset of human T cells with a quiescent/slow-cycling phenotype, propensity for tissue enrichment, and potential to mobilize into circulation, which may be harnessed for adoptive cellular therapy.
Chandra Sekhar Boddupalli, Shiny Nair, Simon M. Gray, Heba N. Nowyhed, Rakesh Verma, Joanna A. Gibson, Clara Abraham, Deepak Narayan, Juan Vasquez, Catherine C. Hedrick, Richard A. Flavell, Kavita M. Dhodapkar, Susan M. Kaech, Madhav V. Dhodapkar
Members of the NLR family can assemble inflammasome complexes with the adaptor protein ASC and caspase-1 that result in the activation of caspase-1 and the release of IL-1β and IL-18. Although the NLRC4 inflammasome is known to have a protective role in tumorigenesis, there is an increased appreciation for the inflammasome-independent actions of NLRC4. Here, we utilized a syngeneic subcutaneous murine model of B16F10 melanoma to explore the role of NLRC4 in tumor suppression. We found that NLRC4-deficient mice exhibited enhanced tumor growth that was independent of the inflammasome components ASC and caspase-1.
Ann M. Janowski, Oscar R. Colegio, Emma E. Hornick, Jennifer M. McNiff, Matthew D. Martin, Vladimir P. Badovinac, Lyse A. Norian, Weizhou Zhang, Suzanne L. Cassel, Fayyaz S. Sutterwala
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a severe and progressive muscle-wasting disease caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene. Although dystrophin deficiency in myofiber triggers the disease’s pathological changes, the degree of satellite cell (SC) dysfunction defines disease progression. Here, we have identified chicken ovalbumin upstream promoter–transcription factor II (COUP-TFII) hyperactivity as a contributing factor underlying muscular dystrophy in a dystrophin-deficient murine model of DMD. Ectopic expression of COUP-TFII in murine SCs led to Duchenne-like dystrophy in the muscles of control animals and exacerbated degenerative myopathies in dystrophin-deficient mice. COUP-TFII–overexpressing mice exhibited regenerative failure that was attributed to deficient SC proliferation and myoblast fusion. Mechanistically, we determined that COUP-TFII coordinated a regenerative program through combined regulation of multiple promyogenic factors. Furthermore, inhibition of COUP-TFII preserved SC function and counteracted the muscle weakness associated with Duchenne-like dystrophy in the murine model, suggesting that targeting COUP-TFII is a potential treatment for DMD. Together, our findings reveal a regulatory role of COUP-TFII in the development of muscular dystrophy and open up a potential therapeutic opportunity for managing disease progression in patients with DMD.
Xin Xie, Sophia Y. Tsai, Ming-Jer Tsai
Protective T cell memory is an acquired trait that is contingent upon the preservation of its constituents and therefore vulnerable to the potentially deleterious effects of organismal aging. Here, however, we have found that long-term T cell memory in a natural murine host-pathogen system can substantially improve over time. Comprehensive molecular, phenotypic, and functional profiling of aging antiviral CD8+ memory T cells (CD8+ TM) revealed a pervasive remodeling process that promotes the gradual acquisition of distinct molecular signatures, of increasingly homogeneous phenotypes, and of diversified functionalities that combine to confer a CD8+ TM–autonomous capacity for enhanced recall responses and immune protection. Notably, the process of CD8+ TM aging is characterized by a progressive harmonization of memory and naive T cell traits, is broadly amenable to experimental acceleration or retardation, and serves as a constitutional component for the “rebound model” of memory T cell maturation. By casting CD8+ TM populations within the temporal framework of their slowly evolving properties, this model establishes a simple ontogenetic perspective on the principal organization of CD8+ T cell memory that may directly inform the development of improved diagnostic, prophylactic, and therapeutic modalities.
Jens Eberlein, Bennett Davenport, Tom Nguyen, Francisco Victorino, Kelsey Haist, Kevin Jhun, Anis Karimpour-Fard, Lawrence Hunter, Ross Kedl, Eric T. Clambey, Dirk Homann
Imatinib-insensitive leukemia stem cells (LSCs) are believed to be responsible for resistance to BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitors and relapse of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Identifying therapeutic targets to eradicate CML LSCs may be a strategy to cure CML. In the present study, we discovered a positive feedback loop between BCR-ABL and protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5) in CML cells. Overexpression of
Yanli Jin, Jingfeng Zhou, Fang Xu, Bei Jin, Lijing Cui, Yun Wang, Xin Du, Juan Li, Peng Li, Ruibao Ren, Jingxuan Pan
Mast cells (MCs) influence intercellular communication during inflammation by secreting cytoplasmic granules that contain diverse mediators. Here, we have demonstrated that MCs decode different activation stimuli into spatially and temporally distinct patterns of granule secretion. Certain signals, including substance P, the complement anaphylatoxins C3a and C5a, and endothelin 1, induced human MCs rapidly to secrete small and relatively spherical granule structures, a pattern consistent with the secretion of individual granules. Conversely, activating MCs with anti-IgE increased the time partition between signaling and secretion, which was associated with a period of sustained elevation of intracellular calcium and formation of larger and more heterogeneously shaped granule structures that underwent prolonged exteriorization. Pharmacological inhibition of IKK-β during IgE-dependent stimulation strongly reduced the time partition between signaling and secretion, inhibited SNAP23/STX4 complex formation, and switched the degranulation pattern into one that resembled degranulation induced by substance P. IgE-dependent and substance P–dependent activation in vivo also induced different patterns of mouse MC degranulation that were associated with distinct local and systemic pathophysiological responses. These findings show that cytoplasmic granule secretion from MCs that occurs in response to different activating stimuli can exhibit distinct dynamics and features that are associated with distinct patterns of MC-dependent inflammation.
Nicolas Gaudenzio, Riccardo Sibilano, Thomas Marichal, Philipp Starkl, Laurent L. Reber, Nicolas Cenac, Benjamin D. McNeil, Xinzhong Dong, Joseph D. Hernandez, Ronit Sagi-Eisenberg, Ilan Hammel, Axel Roers, Salvatore Valitutti, Mindy Tsai, Eric Espinosa, Stephen J. Galli
The canonical atrial myocyte (AM) is characterized by sparse transverse tubule (TT) invaginations and slow intracellular Ca2+ propagation but exhibits rapid contractile activation that is susceptible to loss of function during hypertrophic remodeling. Here, we have identified a membrane structure and Ca2+-signaling complex that may enhance the speed of atrial contraction independently of phospholamban regulation. This axial couplon was observed in human and mouse atria and is composed of voluminous axial tubules (ATs) with extensive junctions to the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) that include ryanodine receptor 2 (RyR2) clusters. In mouse AM, AT structures triggered Ca2+ release from the SR approximately 2 times faster at the AM center than at the surface. Rapid Ca2+ release correlated with colocalization of highly phosphorylated RyR2 clusters at AT-SR junctions and earlier, more rapid shortening of central sarcomeres. In contrast, mice expressing phosphorylation-incompetent RyR2 displayed depressed AM sarcomere shortening and reduced in vivo atrial contractile function. Moreover, left atrial hypertrophy led to AT proliferation, with a marked increase in the highly phosphorylated RyR2-pS2808 cluster fraction, thereby maintaining cytosolic Ca2+ signaling despite decreases in RyR2 cluster density and RyR2 protein expression. AT couplon “super-hubs” thus underlie faster excitation-contraction coupling in health as well as hypertrophic compensatory adaptation and represent a structural and metabolic mechanism that may contribute to contractile dysfunction and arrhythmias.
Sören Brandenburg, Tobias Kohl, George S.B. Williams, Konstantin Gusev, Eva Wagner, Eva A. Rog-Zielinska, Elke Hebisch, Miroslav Dura, Michael Didié, Michael Gotthardt, Viacheslav O. Nikolaev, Gerd Hasenfuss, Peter Kohl, Christopher W. Ward, W. Jonathan Lederer, Stephan E. Lehnart
Cerebral malaria is characterized by cytoadhesion of
Julio Gallego-Delgado, Upal Basu-Roy, Maureen Ty, Matilde Alique, Cristina Fernandez-Arias, Alexandru Movila, Pollyanna Gomes, Ada Weinstock, Wenyue Xu, Innocent Edagha, Samuel C. Wassmer, Thomas Walther, Marta Ruiz-Ortega, Ana Rodriguez
In addition to the infectious consequences of immunodeficiency, patients with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) often suffer from poorly understood exaggerated immune responses that result in autoimmunity and elevated levels of serum IgE. Here, we have shown that WAS patients and mice deficient in WAS protein (WASP) frequently develop IgE-mediated reactions to common food allergens. WASP-deficient animals displayed an adjuvant-free IgE-sensitization to chow antigens that was most pronounced for wheat and soy and occurred under specific pathogen–free as well as germ-free housing conditions. Conditional deletion of Was in FOXP3+ Tregs resulted in more severe Th2-type intestinal inflammation than that observed in mice with global WASP deficiency, indicating that allergic responses to food allergens are dependent upon loss of WASP expression in this immune compartment. While WASP-deficient Tregs efficiently contained Th1- and Th17-type effector differentiation in vivo, they failed to restrain Th2 effector responses that drive allergic intestinal inflammation. Loss of WASP was phenotypically associated with increased GATA3 expression in effector memory FOXP3+ Tregs, but not in naive-like FOXP3+ Tregs, an effect that occurred independently of increased IL-4 signaling. Our results reveal a Treg-specific role for WASP that is required for prevention of Th2 effector cell differentiation and allergic sensitization to dietary antigens.
Willem S. Lexmond, Jeremy A. Goettel, Jonathan J. Lyons, Justin Jacobse, Marion M. Deken, Monica G. Lawrence, Thomas H. DiMaggio, Daniel Kotlarz, Elizabeth Garabedian, Paul Sackstein, Celeste C. Nelson, Nina Jones, Kelly D. Stone, Fabio Candotti, Edmond H.H.M. Rings, Adrian J. Thrasher, Joshua D. Milner, Scott B. Snapper, Edda Fiebiger
Transcriptional reactivation of telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) reconstitutes telomerase activity in the majority of human cancers. Here, we found that ectopic TERT expression increases cell proliferation, while acute reductions in TERT levels lead to a dramatic loss of proliferation without any change in telomere length, suggesting that the effects of TERT could be telomere independent. We observed that TERT determines the growth rate of cancer cells by directly regulating global protein synthesis independently of its catalytic activity. Genome-wide TERT binding across 5 cancer cell lines and 2 embryonic stem cell lines revealed that endogenous TERT, driven by mutant promoters or oncogenes, directly associates with the RNA polymerase III (pol III) subunit RPC32 and enhances its recruitment to chromatin, resulting in increased RNA pol III occupancy and tRNA expression in cancers. TERT-deficient mice displayed marked delays in polyomavirus middle T oncogene–induced (PyMT-induced) mammary tumorigenesis, increased survival, and reductions in tRNA levels. Ectopic expression of either RPC32 or TERT restored tRNA levels and proliferation defects in TERT-depleted cells. Finally, we determined that levels of TERT and tRNA correlated in breast and liver cancer samples. Together, these data suggest the existence of a unifying mechanism by which TERT enhances translation in cells to regulate cancer cell proliferation.
Ekta Khattar, Pavanish Kumar, Chia Yi Liu, Semih Can Akıncılar, Anandhkumar Raju, Manikandan Lakshmanan, Julien Jean Pierre Maury, Yu Qiang, Shang Li, Ern Yu Tan, Kam M. Hui, Ming Shi, Yuin Han Loh, Vinay Tergaonkar