Physical endurance, muscle, and bone mass can change with activity; however, the molecular mechanisms that underlie exercise capacity remain largely unexplored. In this issue of the JCI, Chowdhury et al. investigated the role of IL-6 in exercise capacity. During exercise, the body increases circulating IL-6 and osteocalcin. The authors show that muscle is a primary source of circulating IL-6. Muscle-derived IL-6 increased exercise capacity, maintained muscle mass, and enabled production of circulating osteocalcin by signaling through the IL-6 receptor on osteoblasts to promote osteoclast differentiation. Osteoclast-derived osteocalcin promoted glucose and fatty acid uptake. These results reveal a conserved mechanism that underlies exercise capacity and furthers our understanding of the muscle-bone-muscle endocrine axis. The cover image depicts a relay race with skeletal muscle passing the IL-6 baton to the skeletal system. Image credit: Biagio Palmisano.
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W. Kimryn Rathmell
Abhik K. Banerjee
Ahmed Khattab, Ian Marshall, Sally Radovick
M. Bishr Omary, Jeetendra Eswaraka, S. David Kimball, Prabhas V. Moghe, Reynold A. Panettieri Jr., Kathleen W. Scotto
Arthur L. Caplan, Ross Upshur
Laura E. Crotty Alexander, Amy L. Bellinghausen, Michelle N. Eakin
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS–CoV-2), the cause of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19), has spurred a global health crisis. To date, there are no proven options for prophylaxis for those who have been exposed to SARS–CoV-2, nor therapy for those who develop COVID-19. Immune (i.e., “convalescent”) plasma refers to plasma that is collected from individuals following resolution of infection and development of antibodies. Passive antibody administration through transfusion of convalescent plasma may offer the only short-term strategy for conferring immediate immunity to susceptible individuals. There are numerous examples in which convalescent plasma has been used successfully as postexposure prophylaxis and/or treatment of infectious diseases, including other outbreaks of coronaviruses (e.g., SARS-1, Middle East respiratory syndrome [MERS]). Convalescent plasma has also been used in the COVID-19 pandemic; limited data from China suggest clinical benefit, including radiological resolution, reduction in viral loads, and improved survival. Globally, blood centers have robust infrastructure for undertaking collections and constructing inventories of convalescent plasma to meet the growing demand. Nonetheless, there are nuanced challenges, both regulatory and logistical, spanning donor eligibility, donor recruitment, collections, and transfusion itself. Data from rigorously controlled clinical trials of convalescent plasma are also few, underscoring the need to evaluate its use objectively for a range of indications (e.g., prevention vs. treatment) and patient populations (e.g., age, comorbid disease). We provide an overview of convalescent plasma, including evidence of benefit, regulatory considerations, logistical work flow, and proposed clinical trials, as scale-up is brought underway to mobilize this critical resource.
Evan M. Bloch, Shmuel Shoham, Arturo Casadevall, Bruce S. Sachais, Beth Shaz, Jeffrey L. Winters, Camille van Buskirk, Brenda J. Grossman, Michael Joyner, Jeffrey P. Henderson, Andrew Pekosz, Bryan Lau, Amy Wesolowski, Louis Katz, Hua Shan, Paul G. Auwaerter, David Thomas, David J. Sullivan, Nigel Paneth, Eric Gehrie, Steven Spitalnik, Eldad A. Hod, Lewis Pollack, Wayne T. Nicholson, Liise-anne Pirofski, Jeffrey A. Bailey, Aaron A.R. Tobian
Muscular dystrophies are debilitating disorders that result in progressive weakness and degeneration of skeletal muscle. Although the genetic mutations and clinical abnormalities of a variety of neuromuscular diseases are well known, no curative therapies have been developed to date. The advent of genome editing technology provides new opportunities to correct the underlying mutations responsible for many monogenic neuromuscular diseases. For example, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, which is caused by mutations in the dystrophin gene, has been successfully corrected in mice, dogs, and human cells through CRISPR/Cas9 editing. In this Review, we focus on the potential for, and challenges of, correcting muscular dystrophies by editing disease-causing mutations at the genomic level. Ideally, because muscle tissues are extremely long-lived, CRISPR technology could offer a one-time treatment for muscular dystrophies by correcting the culprit genomic mutations and enabling normal expression of the repaired gene.
Francesco Chemello, Rhonda Bassel-Duby, Eric N. Olson
Stroke is the second leading cause of death worldwide and a leading cause of disability. Most strokes are caused by occlusion of a major cerebral artery, and substantial advances have been made in elucidating how ischemia damages the brain. In particular, increasing evidence points to a double-edged role of the immune system in stroke pathophysiology. In the acute phase, innate immune cells invade brain and meninges and contribute to ischemic damage, but may also be protective. At the same time, danger signals released into the circulation by damaged brain cells lead to activation of systemic immunity, followed by profound immunodepression that promotes life-threatening infections. In the chronic phase, antigen presentation initiates an adaptive immune response targeted to the brain, which may underlie neuropsychiatric sequelae, a considerable cause of poststroke morbidity. Here, we briefly review these pathogenic processes and assess the potential therapeutic value of targeting immunity in human stroke.
Costantino Iadecola, Marion S. Buckwalter, Josef Anrather
The critical role of suppressive myeloid cells in immune regulation has come to the forefront in cancer research, with myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) as a main oncology immunotherapeutic target. Recent improvement and standardization of criteria classifying tumor-induced MDSCs have led to unified descriptions and also promoted MDSC research in tuberculosis (TB) and AIDS. Despite convincing evidence on the induction of MDSCs by pathogen-derived molecules and inflammatory mediators in TB and AIDS, very little attention has been given to their therapeutic modulation or roles in vaccination in these diseases. Clinical manifestations in TB are consequences of complex host-pathogen interactions and are substantially affected by HIV infection. Here we summarize the current understanding and knowledge gaps regarding the role of MDSCs in HIV and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (co)infections. We discuss key scientific priorities to enable application of this knowledge to the development of novel strategies to improve vaccine efficacy and/or implementation of enhanced treatment approaches. Building on recent findings and potential for cross-fertilization between oncology and infection biology, we highlight current challenges and untapped opportunities for translating new advances in MDSC research into clinical applications for TB and AIDS.
Anca Dorhoi, Leigh A. Kotzé, Jay A. Berzofsky, Yongjun Sui, Dmitry I. Gabrilovich, Ankita Garg, Richard Hafner, Shabaana A. Khader, Ulrich E. Schaible, Stefan H.E. Kaufmann, Gerhard Walzl, Manfred B. Lutz, Robert N. Mahon, Suzanne Ostrand-Rosenberg, William Bishai, Nelita du Plessis
Plasmodium vivax bench research greatly lags behind Plasmodium falciparum because of an inability to culture in vitro. A century ago, intentionally inducing a malaria infection was a strategy commonly used to cure late-stage syphilis. These controlled human malaria infections were used with expertise and persisted to the end of World War II. While controlled malaria liver-stage infection has been achieved for both P. vivax and P. falciparum, controlled human transmission to mosquitoes falls short for both species. In this issue of the JCI, Collins et al. present groundbreaking work that establishes a system to transmit P. vivax gametocytes from humans to mosquitoes. The authors injected a unique human isolate of P. vivax that reached high gametocyte density within weeks. This study provides a technical advance that will facilitate the study and eradication of the human parasite P. vivax.
David J. Sullivan, Peter Agre
Discontinued antiretroviral therapy (ART) results in uncontrolled HIV replication in most cases. How the virus population that persists during ART escapes immune control remains unknown. In this issue of the JCI, Mitchell and authors investigated plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) from the blood of individuals living with HIV. After ART was discontinued and as the virus began to spread, an apparently functional pDC response emerged. Notably, these pDCs were initially capable of producing high levels of type I IFN, but rapidly lost this capacity, even before the virus became readily detectable in blood. This study suggests that dysfunctional pDCs are a key initial mechanism associated with poor HIV control. These innate immune responses might be targeted in the emerging efforts to cure HIV disease.
Lillian B. Cohn, Steven G. Deeks
Sustained persistence of chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cells is a key characteristic associated with long-term remission in patients with hematologic malignancies. Attempts to uncover mechanisms that enhance persistence and thus functionality will have a substantial impact in broadening application of CAR-T cell therapy, especially for solid tumors. In this issue of the JCI, Guedan et al. describe a promising strategy to limit T cell exhaustion and improve persistence by changing a single amino acid in the costimulatory domain of CD28. The authors demonstrated that this single amino acid substitution in CD28-based mesothelin CAR-T cells results in improved persistence and functionality in a xenograft model of pancreatic cancer. Furthermore, reciprocal alteration of the same residue in inducible costimulator–containing (ICOS-containing) CAR-T cells resulted in limited antitumor activity and persistence. These findings suggest that simple alterations in the costimulatory domain may enhance CAR-T cell persistence, warranting future evaluation in other CD28-costimulatory CARs in an effort to improve durable antitumor effects.
Emily M. Hsieh, Lauren D. Scherer, Rayne H. Rouce
Hepatic de novo lipogenesis is a major contributor to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). In this issue of the JCI, Liu and Lin et al. identified Slug as an epigenetic regulator of lipogenesis. Their findings suggest that Slug is stabilized by insulin signaling, and that it promotes lipogenesis by recruiting the histone demethylase Lsd1 to the fatty acid synthase gene promoter. On the other hand, genetic deletion or acute depletion of Slug, or Lsd1 inhibition, reduced lipogenesis and protected against obesity-associated NAFLD and insulin resistance in mice. This study advances our understanding of how lipogenesis is regulated downstream of insulin signaling in health and disease.
Clarence R. Manuel, Rebecca A. Haeusler
Class IIa histone deacetylases (HDACs) repress cardiomyocyte hypertrophy through association with the prohypertrophic transcription factor (TF) myocyte enhancer factor-2 (MEF2). The four class IIa HDACs — HDAC4, -5, -7, and -9 — are subject to signal-dependent phosphorylation by members of the Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase (CaMK) group. In response to stress, HDAC4, HDAC5, and HDAC9 undergo phosphorylation-induced nuclear export in cardiomyocytes, freeing MEF2 to stimulate progrowth genes; it was generally assumed that HDAC7 is also antihypertrophic. However, in this issue of the JCI, Hsu and colleagues demonstrate that, in sharp contrast to the other class IIa HDACs, HDAC7 is constitutively localized to the cardiomyocyte cytoplasm, where it promotes cardiac hypertrophy. Phosphorylation of HDAC7 by the CaMK group member salt-inducible kinase 1 (SIK1) stabilized the deacetylase, leading to increased expression of c-Myc, which in turn stimulated a pathological gene program. These unexpected findings highlight the SIK1/HDAC7 signaling axis as a promising target for the treatment of cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure.
Joshua G. Travers, Tianjing Hu, Timothy A. McKinsey
Glioblastoma is the most common human brain cancer entity and is maintained by a glioblastoma stem cell (GSC) subpopulation. In this issue of the JCI, El-Sehemy and colleagues explored the effects that Norrin, a well-characterized activator of Wnt/β-catenin signaling, had on tumor growth. Norrin inhibited cell growth via β-catenin signaling in GSCs that had low expression levels of the transcription factor ASCL1. However, Norrin had the opposite effect in GSCs with high ASCL1 expression levels. The modulation of Norrin expression, with respect to high or low ASCL1 levels in GSCs, significantly reduced tumor growth in vivo, and subsequently increased the survival rate of mice. Notably, Norrin mediates enhanced tumor growth of glioblastomas by activating the Notch pathway. This study clarifies the opposing effects of Norrin on glioblastoma tumor growth and provides potential therapeutic targets for glioblastoma treatment.
Stefan Kassumeh, Siegfried G. Priglinger, Andreas Ohlmann
Programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) has become one of the most investigated targets for cancer immunotherapy. Most research has centered on inhibiting PD-1 on T cells, but there is increased interest in understanding the role of PD-1 on NK cells. While the expression of PD-1 on NK cells has been controversial, with papers publishing contradictory results in multiple models, there is increased clinical interest in NK and PD-1 immunotherapy. In this issue of the JCI, Judge et al. comprehensively explore the lack of PD-1 expression on murine, canine, and human NK cells and the clinical implication of these findings.
Monica M. Cho, Aicha E. Quamine, Mallery R. Olsen, Christian M. Capitini
Phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH) catalyzes the first step in the synthesis of the amino acid serine, important for protein synthesis, one-carbon metabolism, lipid production, redox homeostasis, and other key processes of normal and cancer metabolism. While PHGDH is often overexpressed in cancer cells, how it is regulated has been unclear. In this issue of the JCI, Liu and colleagues describe a new aspect of PHGDH regulation, demonstrating that the Parkinson disease gene and tumor suppressor Parkin bound and ubiquitinated PHGDH. Parkin promoted PHGDH degradation, suppressed serine synthesis, and inhibited tumor growth in human cancer cell line xenografts. Conversely, inactivation of Parkin not only accelerated tumor growth, but also sensitized tumors to small molecule inhibitors of PHGDH. These results offer a new link between Parkin and the serine synthesis pathway, and they bear translational potential that warrants further study in Parkin-deficient human cancers.
W. Brian Dalton
Treatment for hepatitis C virus (HCV) with direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) in hepatitis B virus (HBV) coinfection can result in HBV reactivation. In this issue of the JCI, Cheng and colleagues explored the role of interferon signaling in the complex interaction between HBV and HCV using cell lines, mouse models, and samples from people with coinfection. Notably, HCV enhanced interferon signaling, as measured by interferon-stimulated gene (ISG) expression, and decreased HBV transcription and replication. Blockade of interferon signaling reversed the effects on HBV replication. Further, pharmacologic inhibition of HCV replication in vitro and in coinfected humanized mice also reduced interferon signaling and, correspondingly, increased HBV replication. Intriguingly, baseline serum levels of the ISG CXCL10 predicted HBV reactivation in a cohort of coinfected people taking DAAs. Determining how interferon signaling silences HBV transcription and whether serum CXCL10 predicts HBV reactivation in a clinical setting are questions that warrant further investigation.
Ashwin Balagopal, Chloe L. Thio
Inherited bone marrow failure syndromes (IBMFSs) are a heterogeneous group of disorders characterized by defective hematopoiesis, impaired stem cell function, and cancer susceptibility. Diagnosis of IBMFS presents a major challenge due to the large variety of associated phenotypes, and novel, clinically relevant biomarkers are urgently needed. Our study identified nuclear interaction partner of ALK (NIPA) as an IBMFS gene, as it is significantly downregulated in a distinct subset of myelodysplastic syndrome–type (MDS-type) refractory cytopenia in children. Mechanistically, we showed that NIPA is major player in the Fanconi anemia (FA) pathway, which binds FANCD2 and regulates its nuclear abundance, making it essential for a functional DNA repair/FA/BRCA pathway. In a knockout mouse model, Nipa deficiency led to major cell-intrinsic defects, including a premature aging phenotype, with accumulation of DNA damage in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Induction of replication stress triggered a reduction in and functional decline of murine HSCs, resulting in complete bone marrow failure and death of the knockout mice with 100% penetrance. Taken together, the results of our study add NIPA to the short list of FA-associated proteins, thereby highlighting its potential as a diagnostic marker and/or possible target in diseases characterized by hematopoietic failure.
Stefanie Kreutmair, Miriam Erlacher, Geoffroy Andrieux, Rouzanna Istvanffy, Alina Mueller-Rudorf, Melissa Zwick, Tamina Rückert, Milena Pantic, Teresa Poggio, Khalid Shoumariyeh, Tony A. Mueller, Hiroyuki Kawaguchi, Marie Follo, Cathrin Klingeberg, Marcin Wlodarski, Irith Baumann, Dietmar Pfeifer, Michal Kulinski, Martina Rudelius, Simone Lemeer, Bernhard Kuster, Christine Dierks, Christian Peschel, Nina Cabezas-Wallscheid, Jesus Duque-Afonso, Robert Zeiser, Michael L. Cleary, Detlev Schindler, Annette Schmitt-Graeff, Melanie Boerries, Charlotte M. Niemeyer, Robert A.J. Oostendorp, Justus Duyster, Anna Lena Illert
Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) are robust producers of IFNα and one of the first immune cells to respond to SIV infection. To elucidate responses to early HIV-1 replication, we studied blood pDCs in 29 HIV-infected participants who initiated antiretroviral therapy during acute infection and underwent analytic treatment interruption (ATI). We observed an increased frequency of partially activated pDCs in the blood before detection of HIV RNA. Concurrent with peak pDC frequency, we detected a transient decline in the ability of pDCs to produce IFNα in vitro, which correlated with decreased phosphorylation of IFN regulatory factory 7 (IRF7) and NF-κB. The levels of phosphorylated IRF7 and NF-κB inversely correlated with plasma IFNα2 levels, implying that pDCs were refractory to in vitro stimulation after IFNα production in vivo. After ATI, decreased expression of IFN genes in pDCs inversely correlated with the time to viral detection, suggesting that pDC IFN loss is part of an effective early immune response. These data from a limited cohort provide a critical first step in understanding the earliest immune response to HIV-1 and suggest that changes in blood pDC frequency and function can be used as an indicator of viral replication before detectable plasma viremia.
Julie L. Mitchell, Hiroshi Takata, Roshell Muir, Donn J. Colby, Eugène Kroon, Trevor A. Crowell, Carlo Sacdalan, Suteeraporn Pinyakorn, Suwanna Puttamaswin, Khunthalee Benjapornpong, Rapee Trichavaroj, Randall L. Tressler, Lawrence Fox, Victoria R. Polonis, Diane L. Bolton, Frank Maldarelli, Sharon R. Lewin, Elias K. Haddad, Praphan Phanuphak, Merlin L. Robb, Nelson L. Michael, Mark de Souza, Nittaya Phanuphak, Jintanat Ananworanich, Lydie Trautmann, on behalf of the RV397, RV411, and RV254 Study Groups
A majority (~95%) of the gas-exchange surface area is generated through septa formation during alveologenesis. Disruption of this process leads to alveolar simplification and bronchopulmonary dysplasia (BPD), a prevalent disorder in premature infants. Although several models have been proposed, the mechanism of septa formation remains under debate. Here we show that inactivation of myosin light chain kinase (MLCK), a key factor required for myofibroblast contraction, disrupted septa formation, supporting the myofibroblast contraction model of alveologenesis. The alveoli simplification phenotype was accompanied by decreased yes-associated protein (YAP), a key effector in the Hippo mechanotransduction pathway. Expression of activated YAP in Mlck-mutant lungs led to partial reversal of alveolar simplification. In the adult, although Mlck inactivation did not lead to simplification, it prevented reseptation during compensatory regrowth in the pneumonectomy model. These findings revealed that myofibroblast reactivation and contraction are requisite steps toward regenerating the gas-exchange surface in diseases such as BPD and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD).
Rongbo Li, Xiaoping Li, James Hagood, Min-Sheng Zhu, Xin Sun
The precise mechanism leading to profound immunodeficiency of HIV-infected patients is still only partially understood. Here, we show that more than 80% of CD4+ T cells from HIV-infected patients have morphological abnormalities. Their membranes exhibited numerous large abnormal membrane microdomains (aMMDs), which trap and inactivate physiological receptors, such as that for IL-7. In patient plasma, we identified phospholipase A2 group IB (PLA2G1B) as the key molecule responsible for the formation of aMMDs. At physiological concentrations, PLA2G1B synergized with the HIV gp41 envelope protein, which appears to be a driver that targets PLA2G1B to the CD4+ T cell surface. The PLA2G1B/gp41 pair induced CD4+ T cell unresponsiveness (anergy). At high concentrations in vitro, PLA2G1B acted alone, independently of gp41, and inhibited the IL-2, IL-4, and IL-7 responses, as well as TCR-mediated activation and proliferation, of CD4+ T cells. PLA2G1B also decreased CD4+ T cell survival in vitro, likely playing a role in CD4 lymphopenia in conjunction with its induced IL-7 receptor defects. The effects on CD4+ T cell anergy could be blocked by a PLA2G1B-specific neutralizing mAb in vitro and in vivo. The PLA2G1B/gp41 pair constitutes what we believe is a new mechanism of immune dysfunction and a compelling target for boosting immune responses in HIV-infected patients.
Julien Pothlichet, Thierry Rose, Florence Bugault, Louise Jeammet, Annalisa Meola, Ahmed Haouz, Frederick Saul, David Geny, José Alcami, Ezequiel Ruiz-Mateos, Luc Teyton, Gérard Lambeau, Jacques Thèze
Given the numerous health benefits of exercise, understanding how exercise capacity is regulated is a question of paramount importance. Circulating interleukin 6 (IL-6) levels surge during exercise and IL-6 favors exercise capacity. However, neither the cellular origin of circulating IL-6 during exercise nor the means by which this cytokine enhances exercise capacity has been formally established yet. Here we show through genetic means that the majority of circulating IL-6 detectable during exercise originates from muscle and that to increase exercise capacity, IL-6 must signal in osteoblasts to favor osteoclast differentiation and the release of bioactive osteocalcin in the general circulation. This explains why mice lacking the IL-6 receptor only in osteoblasts exhibit a deficit in exercise capacity of similar severity to the one seen in mice lacking muscle-derived IL-6 (mIL-6), and why this deficit is correctable by osteocalcin but not by IL-6. Furthermore, in agreement with the notion that IL-6 acts through osteocalcin, we demonstrate that mIL-6 promotes nutrient uptake and catabolism into myofibers during exercise in an osteocalcin-dependent manner. Finally, we show that the crosstalk between osteocalcin and IL-6 is conserved between rodents and humans. This study provides evidence that a muscle-bone-muscle endocrine axis is necessary to increase muscle function during exercise in rodents and humans.
Subrata Chowdhury, Logan Schulz, Biagio Palmisano, Parminder Singh, Julian M. Berger, Vijay K. Yadav, Paula Mera, Helga Ellingsgaard, Juan Hidalgo, Jens Brüning, Gerard Karsenty
The mechanisms underlying rapid elimination of herpes simplex virus-2 (HSV-2) in the human genital tract despite low CD8+ and CD4+ tissue-resident T cell (Trm cell) density are unknown. We analyzed shedding episodes during chronic HSV-2 infection; viral clearance always predominated within 24 hours of detection even when viral load exceeded 1 × 107 HSV DNA copies, and surges in granzyme B and IFN-γ occurred within the early hours after reactivation and correlated with local viral load. We next developed an agent-based mathematical model of an HSV-2 genital ulcer to integrate mechanistic observations of Trm cells in in situ proliferation, trafficking, cytolytic effects, and cytokine alarm signaling from murine studies with viral kinetics, histopathology, and lesion size data from humans. A sufficiently high density of HSV-2–specific Trm cells predicted rapid elimination of infected cells, but our data suggest that such Trm cell densities are relatively uncommon in infected tissues. At lower, more commonly observed Trm cell densities, Trm cells must initiate a rapidly diffusing, polyfunctional cytokine response with activation of bystander T cells in order to eliminate a majority of infected cells and eradicate briskly spreading HSV-2 infection.
Pavitra Roychoudhury, David A. Swan, Elizabeth Duke, Lawrence Corey, Jia Zhu, Veronica Davé, Laura Richert Spuhler, Jennifer M. Lund, Martin Prlic, Joshua T. Schiffer
BACKGROUND Interventions that interrupt Plasmodium vivax transmission or eliminate dormant P. vivax liver-stage parasites will be essential for malaria elimination. Development of these interventions has been hindered by the lack of P. vivax in vitro culture and could be accelerated by a safe and reproducible clinical model in malaria-naive individuals.METHODS Healthy, malaria-naive adults were enrolled in 2 studies to assess the safety, infectivity, and transmissibility of a new P. vivax isolate. Participants (Study 1, n = 2; Study 2, n = 24) were inoculated with P. vivax–infected red blood cells to initiate infection, and were treated with artemether-lumefantrine (Study 1) or chloroquine (Study 2). Primary endpoints were safety and infectivity of the new isolate. In Study 2, transmission to mosquitoes was also evaluated using mosquito feeding assays, and sporozoite viability was assessed using in vitro cultured hepatocytes.RESULTS Parasitemia and gametocytemia developed in all participants and was cleared by antimalarial treatment. Adverse events were mostly mild or moderate and none were serious. Sixty-nine percent of participants (11/16) were infectious to Anopheles mosquitoes at peak gametocytemia. Mosquito infection rates reached 97% following membrane feeding with gametocyte-enriched blood, and sporozoites developed into liver-stage schizonts in culture.CONCLUSION We have demonstrated the safe, reproducible, and efficient transmission of P. vivax gametocytes from humans to mosquitoes, and have established an experimental model that will accelerate the development of interventions targeting multiple stages of the P. vivax life cycle.TRIAL REGISTRATION ACTRN12614000930684 and ACTRN12616000174482.FUNDING (Australian) National Health and Medical Research Council Program Grant 1132975 (Study 1). Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation (OPP1111147) (Study 2).
Katharine A. Collins, Claire Y.T. Wang, Matthew Adams, Hayley Mitchell, Greg J. Robinson, Melanie Rampton, Suzanne Elliott, Anand Odedra, David Khoury, Emma Ballard, Todd B. Shelper, Leonardo Lucantoni, Vicky M. Avery, Stephan Chalon, Joerg J. Moehrle, James S. McCarthy
Nadine Haase, Donald J. Foster, Mark W. Cunningham, Julia Bercher, Tuyen Nguyen, Svetlana Shulga-Morskaya, Stuart Milstein, Sarfraz Shaikh, Jeff Rollins, Michaela Golic, Florian Herse, Kristin Kräker, Ivo Bendix, Meray Serdar, Hanna Napieczynska, Arnd Heuser, Alexandra Gellhaus, Kristin Thiele, Gerd Wallukat, Dominik N. Müller, Babbette LaMarca, Ralf Dechend
To identify neurons that specifically increase blood glucose from among the diversely functioning cell types in the ventromedial hypothalamic nucleus (VMN), we studied the cholecystokinin receptor B–expressing (CCKBR-expressing) VMN targets of glucose-elevating parabrachial nucleus neurons. Activation of these VMNCCKBR neurons increased blood glucose. Furthermore, although silencing the broader VMN decreased energy expenditure and promoted weight gain without altering blood glucose levels, silencing VMNCCKBR neurons decreased hIepatic glucose production, insulin-independently decreasing blood glucose without altering energy balance. Silencing VMNCCKBR neurons also impaired the counterregulatory response to insulin-induced hypoglycemia and glucoprivation and replicated hypoglycemia-associated autonomic failure. Hence, VMNCCKBR cells represent a specialized subset of VMN cells that function to elevate glucose. These cells not only mediate the allostatic response to hypoglycemia but also modulate the homeostatic setpoint for blood glucose in an insulin-independent manner, consistent with a role for the brain in the insulin-independent control of glucose homeostasis.
Jonathan N. Flak, Paulette B. Goforth, James Dell’Orco, Paul V. Sabatini, Chien Li, Nadejda Bozadjieva, Matthew Sorensen, Alec Valenta, Alan Rupp, Alison H. Affinati, Corentin Cras-Méneur, Ahsan Ansari, Jamie Sacksner, Nandan Kodur, Darleen A. Sandoval, Robert T. Kennedy, David P. Olson, Martin G. Myers Jr.
Platinum-based chemotherapy–induced peripheral neuropathy is one of the most common causes of dose reduction and discontinuation of life-saving chemotherapy in cancer treatment; it often causes permanent impairment of quality of life in cancer patients. The mechanisms that underlie this neuropathy are not defined, and effective treatment and prevention measures are not available. Here, we demonstrate that SIRT2 protected mice against cisplatin-induced peripheral neuropathy (CIPN). SIRT2 accumulated in the nuclei of dorsal root ganglion sensory neurons and prevented neuronal cell death following cisplatin treatment. Mechanistically, SIRT2, an NAD+-dependent deacetylase, protected neurons from cisplatin cytotoxicity by promoting transcription-coupled nucleotide excision repair (TC-NER) of cisplatin-induced DNA cross-links. Consistent with this mechanism, pharmacological inhibition of NER using spironolactone abolished SIRT2-mediated TC-NER activity in differentiated neuronal cells and protection of neurons from cisplatin-induced cytotoxicity and CIPN in mice. Importantly, SIRT2’s protective effects were not evident in lung cancer cells in vitro or in tumors in vivo. Taken together, our results identified SIRT2’s function in the NER pathway as a key underlying mechanism of preventing CIPN, warranting future investigation of SIRT2 activation–mediated neuroprotection during platinum-based cancer treatment.
Manchao Zhang, Wuying Du, Scarlett Acklin, Shengkai Jin, Fen Xia
Salt-inducible kinases (SIKs) are key regulators of cellular metabolism and growth, but their role in cardiomyocyte plasticity and heart failure pathogenesis remains unknown. Here, we showed that loss of SIK1 kinase activity protected against adverse cardiac remodeling and heart failure pathogenesis in rodent models and cardiomyocytes derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells. We found that SIK1 phosphorylated and stabilized histone deacetylase 7 (HDAC7) protein during cardiac stress, an event that is required for pathologic cardiomyocyte remodeling. Gain- and loss-of-function studies of HDAC7 in cultured cardiomyocytes implicated HDAC7 as a prohypertrophic signaling effector that can induce c-Myc expression, indicating a functional departure from the canonical MEF2 corepressor function of class IIa HDACs. Taken together, our findings reveal what we believe to be a previously unrecognized role for a SIK1/HDAC7 axis in regulating cardiac stress responses and implicate this pathway as a potential target in human heart failure.
Austin Hsu, Qiming Duan, Sarah McMahon, Yu Huang, Sarah A.B. Wood, Nathanael S. Gray, Biao Wang, Benoit G. Bruneau, Saptarsi M. Haldar
Although autophagy is generally protective, uncontrolled or excessive activation of autophagy can be detrimental. However, it is often difficult to distinguish death by autophagy from death with autophagy, and whether autophagy contributes to death in cardiomyocytes (CMs) is still controversial. Excessive activation of autophagy induces a morphologically and biochemically defined form of cell death termed autosis. Whether autosis is involved in tissue injury induced under pathologically relevant conditions is poorly understood. In the present study, myocardial ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) induced autosis in CMs, as evidenced by cell death with numerous vacuoles and perinuclear spaces, and depleted intracellular membranes. Autosis was observed frequently after 6 hours of reperfusion, accompanied by upregulation of Rubicon, attenuation of autophagic flux, and marked accumulation of autophagosomes. Genetic downregulation of Rubicon inhibited autosis and reduced I/R injury, whereas stimulation of autosis during the late phase of I/R with Tat–Beclin 1 exacerbated injury. Suppression of autosis by ouabain, a cardiac glycoside, in humanized Na+,K+-ATPase–knockin mice reduced I/R injury. Taken together, these results demonstrate that autosis is significantly involved in I/R injury in the heart and triggered by dysregulated accumulation of autophagosomes due to upregulation of Rubicon.
Jihoon Nah, Peiyong Zhai, Chun-Yang Huang, Álvaro F. Fernández, Satvik Mareedu, Beth Levine, Junichi Sadoshima
De novo lipogenesis is tightly regulated by insulin and nutritional signals to maintain metabolic homeostasis. Excessive lipogenesis induces lipotoxicity, leading to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and type 2 diabetes. Genetic lipogenic programs have been extensively investigated, but epigenetic regulation of lipogenesis is poorly understood. Here, we identified Slug as an important epigenetic regulator of lipogenesis. Hepatic Slug levels were markedly upregulated in mice by either feeding or insulin treatment. In primary hepatocytes, insulin stimulation increased Slug expression, stability, and interactions with epigenetic enzyme lysine-specific demethylase-1 (Lsd1). Slug bound to the fatty acid synthase (Fasn) promoter where Slug-associated Lsd1 catalyzed H3K9 demethylation, thereby stimulating Fasn expression and lipogenesis. Ablation of Slug blunted insulin-stimulated lipogenesis. Conversely, overexpression of Slug, but not a Lsd1 binding-defective Slug mutant, stimulated Fasn expression and lipogenesis. Lsd1 inhibitor treatment also blocked Slug-stimulated lipogenesis. Remarkably, hepatocyte-specific deletion of Slug inhibited the hepatic lipogenic program and protected against obesity-associated NAFLD, insulin resistance, and glucose intolerance in mice. Conversely, liver-restricted overexpression of Slug, but not the Lsd1 binding-defective Slug mutant, had the opposite effects. These results unveil an insulin/Slug/Lsd1/H3K9 demethylation lipogenic pathway that promotes NAFLD and type 2 diabetes.
Yan Liu, Haiyan Lin, Lin Jiang, Qingsen Shang, Lei Yin, Jiandie D. Lin, Wen-Shu Wu, Liangyou Rui
Transcriptional reactivation of telomerase catalytic subunit (TERT) is a frequent hallmark of cancer, occurring in 90% of human malignancies. However, specific mechanisms driving TERT reactivation remain obscure for many tumor types and in particular gastric cancer (GC), a leading cause of global cancer mortality. Here, through comprehensive genomic and epigenomic analysis of primary GCs and GC cell lines, we identified the transcription factor early B cell factor 1 (EBF1) as a TERT transcriptional repressor and inactivation of EBF1 function as a major cause of TERT upregulation. Abolishment of EBF1 function occurs through 3 distinct (epi)genomic mechanisms. First, EBF1 is epigenetically silenced via DNA methyltransferase, polycomb-repressive complex 2 (PRC2), and histone deacetylase activity in GCs. Second, recurrent, somatic, and heterozygous EBF1 DNA–binding domain mutations result in the production of dominant-negative EBF1 isoforms. Third, more rarely, genomic deletions and rearrangements proximal to the TERT promoter remobilize or abolish EBF1-binding sites, derepressing TERT and leading to high TERT expression. EBF1 is also functionally required for various malignant phenotypes in vitro and in vivo, highlighting its importance for GC development. These results indicate that multimodal genomic and epigenomic alterations underpin TERT reactivation in GC, converging on transcriptional repressors such as EBF1.
Manjie Xing, Wen Fong Ooi, Jing Tan, Aditi Qamra, Po-Hsien Lee, Zhimei Li, Chang Xu, Nisha Padmanabhan, Jing Quan Lim, Yu Amanda Guo, Xiaosai Yao, Mandoli Amit, Ley Moy Ng, Taotao Sheng, Jing Wang, Kie Kyon Huang, Chukwuemeka George Anene-Nzelu, Shamaine Wei Ting Ho, Mohana Ray, Lijia Ma, Gregorio Fazzi, Kevin Junliang Lim, Giovani Claresta Wijaya, Shenli Zhang, Tannistha Nandi, Tingdong Yan, Mei Mei Chang, Kakoli Das, Zul Fazreen Adam Isa, Jeanie Wu, Polly Suk Yean Poon, Yue Ning Lam, Joyce Suling Lin, Su Ting Tay, Ming Hui Lee, Angie Lay Keng Tan, Xuewen Ong, Kevin White, Steven George Rozen, Michael Beer, Roger Sik Yin Foo, Heike Irmgard Grabsch, Anders Jacobsen Skanderup, Shang Li, Bin Tean Teh, Patrick Tan
Patients with respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) infection exhibit enhanced susceptibility to subsequent pneumococcal infections. However, the underlying mechanisms involved in this increased susceptibility remain unclear. Here, we identified potentially novel cellular and molecular cascades triggered by RSV infection to exacerbate secondary pneumococcal pneumonia. RSV infection stimulated the local production of growth arrest–specific 6 (Gas6). The Gas6 receptor Axl was crucial for attenuating pneumococcal immunity in that the Gas6/Axl blockade fully restored antibacterial immunity. Mechanistically, Gas6/Axl interaction regulated the conversion of alveolar macrophages from an antibacterial phenotype to an M2-like phenotype that did not exhibit antibacterial activity, and the attenuation of caspase-1 activation and IL-18 production in response to pneumococcal infection. The attenuated IL-18 production failed to drive both NK cell–mediated IFN-γ production and local NO and TNF-α production, which impair the control of bacterial infection. Hence, the RSV-mediated Gas6/Axl activity attenuates the macrophage-mediated protection against pneumococcal infection. The Gas6/Axl axis could be a potentially novel therapeutic target for RSV-associated secondary bacterial infection.
Takehiko Shibata, Airi Makino, Ruiko Ogata, Shigeki Nakamura, Toshihiro Ito, Kisaburo Nagata, Yoshihiko Terauchi, Taku Oishi, Mikiya Fujieda, Yoshimasa Takahashi, Manabu Ato
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) disrupts the generation of normal blood cells, predisposing patients to hemorrhage, anemia, and infections. Differentiation and proliferation of residual normal hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) are impeded in AML-infiltrated bone marrow (BM). The underlying mechanisms and interactions of residual hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) within the leukemic niche are poorly understood, especially in the human context. To mimic AML infiltration and dissect the cellular crosstalk in human BM, we established humanized ex vivo and in vivo niche models comprising AML cells, normal HSPCs, and mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs). Both models replicated the suppression of phenotypically defined HSPC differentiation without affecting their viability. As occurs in AML patients, the majority of HSPCs were quiescent and showed enrichment of functional HSCs. HSPC suppression was largely dependent on secreted factors produced by transcriptionally remodeled MSCs. Secretome analysis and functional validation revealed MSC-derived stanniocalcin 1 (STC1) and its transcriptional regulator HIF-1α as limiting factors for HSPC proliferation. Abrogation of either STC1 or HIF-1α alleviated HSPC suppression by AML. This study provides a humanized model to study the crosstalk among HSPCs, leukemia, and their MSC niche, and a molecular mechanism whereby AML impairs normal hematopoiesis by remodeling the mesenchymal niche.
Alexander Waclawiczek, Ashley Hamilton, Kevin Rouault-Pierre, Ander Abarrategi, Manuel Garcia Albornoz, Farideh Miraki-Moud, Nourdine Bah, John Gribben, Jude Fitzgibbon, David Taussig, Dominique Bonnet
PD-1 expression is a hallmark of both early antigen-specific T cell activation and later chronic stimulation, suggesting key roles in both naive T cell priming and memory T cell responses. Although significant similarities exist between T cells and NK cells, there are critical differences in their biology and functions reflecting their respective adaptive and innate immune effector functions. Expression of PD-1 on NK cells is controversial despite rapid incorporation into clinical cancer trials. Our objective was to stringently and comprehensively assess expression of PD-1 on both mouse and human NK cells under multiple conditions and using a variety of readouts. We evaluated NK cells from primary human tumor samples, after ex vivo culturing, and from multiple mouse tumor and viral models using flow cytometry, quantitative reverse-transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR), and RNA-Seq for PD-1 expression. We demonstrate that, under multiple conditions, human and mouse NK cells consistently lack PD-1 expression despite the marked upregulation of other activation/regulatory markers, such as TIGIT. This was in marked contrast to T cells, which were far more prominent within all tumors and expressed PD-1. These data have important implications when attempting to discern NK from T cell effects and to determine whether PD-1 targeting can be expected to have direct effects on NK cell functions.
Sean J. Judge, Cordelia Dunai, Ethan G. Aguilar, Sarah C. Vick, Ian R. Sturgill, Lam T. Khuat, Kevin M. Stoffel, Jonathan Van Dyke, Dan L. Longo, Morgan A. Darrow, Stephen K. Anderson, Bruce R. Blazar, Arta M. Monjazeb, Jonathan S. Serody, Robert J. Canter, William J. Murphy
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) contains a subpopulation of cells, GBM stem cells (GSCs), that maintain the bulk tumor and represent a key therapeutic target. Norrin is a Wnt ligand that binds Frizzled class receptor 4 (FZD4) to activate canonical Wnt signaling. Although Norrin, encoded by NDP, has a well-described role in vascular development, its function in human tumorigenesis is largely unexplored. Here, we show that NDP expression is enriched in neurological cancers, including GBM, and its levels positively correlated with survival in a GBM subtype defined by low expression of ASCL1, a proneural factor. We investigated the function of Norrin and FZD4 in GSCs and found that it mediated opposing tumor-suppressive and -promoting effects on ASCL1lo and ASCL1hi GSCs. Consistent with a potential tumor-suppressive effect of Norrin suggested by the tumor outcome data, we found that Norrin signaling through FZD4 inhibited growth in ASCL1lo GSCs. In contrast, in ASCL1hi GSCs Norrin promoted Notch signaling, independently of WNT, to promote tumor progression. Forced ASCL1 expression reversed the tumor-suppressive effects of Norrin in ASCL1lo GSCs. Our results identify Norrin as a modulator of human brain cancer progression and reveal an unanticipated Notch-mediated function of Norrin in regulating cancer stem cell biology. This study identifies an unanticipated role of Norrin in human brain cancer progression. In addition, we provide preclinical evidence suggesting Norrin and canonical Wnt signaling as potential therapeutic targets for GBM subtype–restricted cancer stem cells.
Ahmed El-Sehemy, Hayden Selvadurai, Arturo Ortin-Martinez, Neno Pokrajac, Yasin Mamatjan, Nobuhiko Tachibana, Katherine Rowland, Lilian Lee, Nicole Park, Kenneth Aldape, Peter Dirks, Valerie A. Wallace
Chimeric antigen receptor–T (CAR-T) cell therapies can eliminate relapsed and refractory tumors, but the durability of antitumor activity requires in vivo persistence. Differential signaling through the CAR costimulatory domain can alter the T cell metabolism, memory differentiation, and influence long-term persistence. CAR-T cells costimulated with 4-1BB or ICOS persist in xenograft models but those constructed with CD28 exhibit rapid clearance. Here, we show that a single amino acid residue in CD28 drove T cell exhaustion and hindered the persistence of CD28-based CAR-T cells and changing this asparagine to phenylalanine (CD28-YMFM) promoted durable antitumor control. In addition, CD28-YMFM CAR-T cells exhibited reduced T cell differentiation and exhaustion as well as increased skewing toward Th17 cells. Reciprocal modification of ICOS-containing CAR-T cells abolished in vivo persistence and antitumor activity. This finding suggests modifications to the costimulatory domains of CAR-T cells can enable longer persistence and thereby improve antitumor response.
Sonia Guedan, Aviv Madar, Victoria Casado-Medrano, Carolyn Shaw, Anna Wing, Fang Liu, Regina M. Young, Carl H. June, Avery D. Posey Jr.
Neutrophil accumulation is associated with lung pathology during active tuberculosis (ATB). However, the molecular mechanism or mechanisms by which neutrophils accumulate in the lung and contribute to TB immunopathology are not fully delineated. Using the well-established mouse model of TB, our new data provide evidence that the alarmin S100A8/A9 mediates neutrophil accumulation during progression to chronic TB. Depletion of neutrophils or S100A8/A9 deficiency resulted in improved Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) control during chronic but not acute TB. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that, following Mtb infection, S100A8/A9 expression is required for upregulation of the integrin molecule CD11b specifically on neutrophils, mediating their accumulation during chronic TB disease. These findings are further substantiated by increased expression of S100A8 and S100A9 mRNA in whole blood in human TB progressors when compared with nonprogressors and rapidly decreased S100A8/A9 protein levels in the serum upon TB treatment. Furthermore, we demonstrate that S100A8/A9 serum levels along with chemokines are useful in distinguishing between ATB and asymptomatic Mtb-infected latent individuals. Thus, our results support targeting S100A8/A9 pathways as host-directed therapy for TB.
Ninecia R. Scott, Rosemary V. Swanson, Noor Al-Hammadi, Racquel Domingo-Gonzalez, Javier Rangel-Moreno, Belinda A. Kriel, Allison N. Bucsan, Shibali Das, Mushtaq Ahmed, Smriti Mehra, Puthayalai Treerat, Alfredo Cruz-Lagunas, Luis Jimenez-Alvarez, Marcela Muñoz-Torrico, Karen Bobadilla-Lozoya, Thomas Vogl, Gerhard Walzl, Nelita du Plessis, Deepak Kaushal, Thomas J. Scriba, Joaquín Zúñiga, Shabaana A. Khader
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) has coevolved with humans for millennia and developed multiple mechanisms to evade host immunity. Restoring host immunity in order to improve outcomes and potentially shorten existing therapy will require identification of the full complement by which host immunity is inhibited. Perturbation of host DNA methylation is a mechanism induced by chronic infections such as HIV, HPV, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), and schistosomiasis to evade host immunity. Here, we evaluated the DNA methylation status of patients with tuberculosis (TB) and their asymptomatic household contacts and found that the patients with TB have DNA hypermethylation of the IL-2/STAT5, TNF/NF-κB, and IFN-γ signaling pathways. We performed methylation-sensitive restriction enzyme–quantitative PCR (MSRE-qPCR) and observed that multiple genes of the IL-12/IFN-γ signaling pathway (IL12B, IL12RB2, TYK2, IFNGR1, JAK1, and JAK2) were hypermethylated in patients with TB. The DNA hypermethylation of these pathways was associated with decreased immune responsiveness with decreased mitogen-induced upregulation of IFN-γ, TNF, IL-6, CXCL9, CXCL10, and IL-1β production. The DNA hypermethylation of the IL-12/IFN-γ pathway was associated with decreased IFN-γ–induced gene expression and decreased IL-12–inducible upregulation of IFN-γ. This study demonstrates that immune cells from patients with TB are characterized by DNA hypermethylation of genes critical to mycobacterial immunity resulting in decreased mycobacteria-specific and nonspecific immune responsiveness.
Andrew R. DiNardo, Kimal Rajapakshe, Tomoki Nishiguchi, Sandra L. Grimm, Godwin Mtetwa, Qiniso Dlamini, Jaqueline Kahari, Sanjana Mahapatra, Alexander Kay, Gugu Maphalala, Emily M. Mace, George Makedonas, Jeffrey D. Cirillo, Mihai G. Netea, Reinout van Crevel, Cristian Coarfa, Anna M. Mandalakas
Chronic inflammation is a pathologic feature of neurodegeneration and aging; however, the mechanism regulating this process is not understood. Melatonin, an endogenous free radical scavenger synthesized by neuronal mitochondria, decreases with aging and neurodegeneration. We proposed that insufficient melatonin levels impair mitochondrial homeostasis, resulting in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) release and activation of cytosolic DNA-mediated inflammatory response in neurons. We found increased mitochondrial oxidative stress and decreased mitochondrial membrane potential, with higher mtDNA release in brain and primary cerebro-cortical neurons of melatonin-deficient aralkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) knockout mice. Cytosolic mtDNA activated the cGAS/STING/IRF3 pathway, stimulating inflammatory cytokine generation. We found that Huntington’s disease mice had increased mtDNA release, cGAS activation, and inflammation, all inhibited by exogenous melatonin. Thus, we demonstrated that cytosolic mtDNA activated the inflammatory response in aging and neurodegeneration, a process modulated by melatonin. Furthermore, our data suggest that AANAT knockout mice are a model of accelerated aging.
Abhishek Jauhari, Sergei V. Baranov, Yalikun Suofu, Jinho Kim, Tanisha Singh, Svitlana Yablonska, Fang Li, Xiaomin Wang, Patrick Oberly, M. Beth Minnigh, Samuel M. Poloyac, Diane L. Carlisle, Robert M. Friedlander
The molecular mechanisms responsible for the high immunosuppressive capacity of CD4+ Tregs in tumors are not well known. High-dimensional single-cell profiling of T cells from chemotherapy-naive individuals with non–small-cell lung cancer identified the transcription factor IRF4 as specifically expressed by a subset of intratumoral CD4+ effector Tregs with superior suppressive activity. In contrast to the IRF4– counterparts, IRF4+ Tregs expressed a vast array of suppressive molecules, and their presence correlated with multiple exhausted subpopulations of T cells. Integration of transcriptomic and epigenomic data revealed that IRF4, either alone or in combination with its partner BATF, directly controlled a molecular program responsible for immunosuppression in tumors. Accordingly, deletion of Irf4 exclusively in Tregs resulted in delayed tumor growth in mice while the abundance of IRF4+ Tregs correlated with poor prognosis in patients with multiple human cancers. Thus, a common mechanism underlies immunosuppression in the tumor microenvironment irrespective of the tumor type.
Giorgia Alvisi, Jolanda Brummelman, Simone Puccio, Emilia M.C. Mazza, Elisa Paoluzzi Tomada, Agnese Losurdo, Veronica Zanon, Clelia Peano, Federico S. Colombo, Alice Scarpa, Marco Alloisio, Ajithkumar Vasanthakumar, Rahul Roychoudhuri, Marinos Kallikourdis, Massimiliano Pagani, Egesta Lopci, Pierluigi Novellis, Jonas Blume, Axel Kallies, Giulia Veronesi, Enrico Lugli
Kallikrein-related peptidase 6 (KLK6) is a secreted serine protease hypothesized to promote inflammation via cleavage of protease-activated receptor 1 (PAR1) and PAR2. KLK6 levels are elevated in multiple inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, but no definitive role in pathogenesis has been established. Here, we show that skin-targeted overexpression of KLK6 causes generalized, severe psoriasiform dermatitis with spontaneous development of debilitating psoriatic arthritis-like joint disease. The psoriatic skin and joint phenotypes are reversed by normalization of skin KLK6 levels and attenuated following genetic elimination of PAR1 but not PAR2. Conservation of this regulatory pathway was confirmed in human psoriasis using vorapaxar, an FDA-approved PAR1 antagonist, on explanted lesional skin from patients with psoriasis. Beyond defining a critical role for KLK6/PAR1 signaling in promoting psoriasis, our results demonstrate that KLK6/PAR1-mediated inflammation in the skin alone is sufficient to drive inflammatory joint disease. Further, we identify PAR1 as a promising cytokine-independent target in therapy of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
Allison C. Billi, Jessica E. Ludwig, Yi Fritz, Richard Rozic, William R. Swindell, Lam C. Tsoi, Dennis Gruzska, Shahla Abdollahi-Roodsaz, Xianying Xing, Doina Diaconu, Ranjitha Uppala, Maya I. Camhi, Philip A. Klenotic, Mrinal K. Sarkar, M. Elaine Husni, Jose U. Scher, Christine McDonald, J. Michelle Kahlenberg, Ronald J. Midura, Johann E. Gudjonsson, Nicole L. Ward
Mendelian susceptibility to mycobacterial disease (MSMD) is characterized by a selective predisposition to clinical disease caused by the Bacille Calmette-Guérin (BCG) vaccine and environmental mycobacteria. The known genetic etiologies of MSMD are inborn errors of IFN-γ immunity due to mutations of 15 genes controlling the production of or response to IFN-γ. Since the first MSMD-causing mutations were reported in 1996, biallelic mutations in the genes encoding IFN-γ receptor 1 (IFN-γR1) and IFN-γR2 have been reported in many patients of diverse ancestries. Surprisingly, mutations of the gene encoding the IFN-γ cytokine itself have not been reported, raising the remote possibility that there might be other agonists of the IFN-γ receptor. We describe 2 Lebanese cousins with MSMD, living in Kuwait, who are both homozygous for a small deletion within the IFNG gene (c.354_357del), causing a frameshift that generates a premature stop codon (p.T119Ifs4*). The mutant allele is loss of expression and loss of function. We also show that the patients’ herpesvirus Saimiri–immortalized T lymphocytes did not produce IFN-γ, a phenotype that can be rescued by retrotransduction with WT IFNG cDNA. The blood T and NK lymphocytes from these patients also failed to produce and secrete detectable amounts of IFN-γ. Finally, we show that human IFNG has evolved under stronger negative selection than IFNGR1 or IFNGR2, suggesting that it is less tolerant to heterozygous deleterious mutations than IFNGR1 or IFNGR2. This may account for the rarity of patients with autosomal-recessive, complete IFN-γ deficiency relative to patients with complete IFN-γR1 and IFN-γR2 deficiencies.
Gaspard Kerner, Jérémie Rosain, Antoine Guérin, Ahmad Al-Khabaz, Carmen Oleaga-Quintas, Franck Rapaport, Michel J. Massaad, Jing-Ya Ding, Taushif Khan, Fatima Al Ali, Mahbuba Rahman, Caroline Deswarte, Rubén Martinez-Barricarte, Raif S. Geha, Valentine Jeanne-Julien, Diane Garcia, Chih-Yu Chi, Rui Yang, Manon Roynard, Bernhard Fleckenstein, Flore Rozenberg, Stéphanie Boisson-Dupuis, Cheng-Lung Ku, Yoann Seeleuthner, Vivien Béziat, Nico Marr, Laurent Abel, Waleed Al-Herz, Jean-Laurent Casanova, Jacinta Bustamante
Toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9) is a regulator of disease pathogenesis in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Why TLR9 represses disease while TLR7 and MyD88 have the opposite effect remains undefined. To begin to address this question, we created 2 alleles to manipulate TLR9 expression, allowing for either selective deletion or overexpression. We used these to test cell type–specific effects of Tlr9 expression on the regulation of SLE pathogenesis. Notably, Tlr9 deficiency in B cells was sufficient to exacerbate nephritis while extinguishing anti–nucleosome antibodies, whereas Tlr9 deficiency in dendritic cells (DCs), plasmacytoid DCs, and neutrophils had no discernable effect on disease. Thus, B cell–specific Tlr9 deficiency unlinked disease from autoantibody production. Critically, B cell–specific Tlr9 overexpression resulted in ameliorated nephritis, opposite of the effect of deleting Tlr9. Our findings highlight the nonredundant role of B cell–expressed TLR9 in regulating lupus and suggest therapeutic potential in modulating and perhaps even enhancing TLR9 signals in B cells.
Jeremy S. Tilstra, Shinu John, Rachael A. Gordon, Claire Leibler, Michael Kashgarian, Sheldon Bastacky, Kevin M. Nickerson, Mark J. Shlomchik
As there is growing evidence for the tumor microenvironment’s role in tumorigenesis, we investigated the role of fibroblast-expressed kinases in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Using a high-throughput kinome screen combined with 3D invasion assays, we identified fibroblast-expressed PIK3Cδ (f-PIK3Cδ) as a key regulator of cancer progression. Although PIK3Cδ was expressed in primary fibroblasts derived from TNBC patients, it was barely detectable in breast cancer (BC) cell lines. Genetic and pharmacological gain- and loss-of-function experiments verified the contribution of f-PIK3Cδ in TNBC cell invasion. Integrated secretomics and transcriptomics analyses revealed a paracrine mechanism via which f-PIK3Cδ confers its protumorigenic effects. Inhibition of f-PIK3Cδ promoted the secretion of factors, including PLGF and BDNF, that led to upregulation of NR4A1 in TNBC cells, where it acts as a tumor suppressor. Inhibition of PIK3Cδ in an orthotopic BC mouse model reduced tumor growth only after inoculation with fibroblasts, indicating a role of f-PIK3Cδ in cancer progression. Similar results were observed in the MMTV-PyMT transgenic BC mouse model, along with a decrease in tumor metastasis, emphasizing the potential immune-independent effects of PIK3Cδ inhibition. Finally, analysis of BC patient cohorts and TCGA data sets identified f-PIK3Cδ (protein and mRNA levels) as an independent prognostic factor for overall and disease-free survival, highlighting it as a therapeutic target for TNBC.
Teresa Gagliano, Kalpit Shah, Sofia Gargani, Liyan Lao, Mansour Alsaleem, Jianing Chen, Vasileios Ntafis, Penghan Huang, Angeliki Ditsiou, Viviana Vella, Kritika Yadav, Kamila Bienkowska, Giulia Bresciani, Kai Kang, Leping Li, Philip Carter, Graeme Benstead-Hume, Timothy O’Hanlon, Michael Dean, Frances M.G. Pearl, Soo-Chin Lee, Emad A. Rakha, Andrew R. Green, Dimitris L. Kontoyiannis, Erwei Song, Justin Stebbing, Georgios Giamas
In patients with HBV and HCV coinfection, HBV reactivation leading to severe hepatitis has been reported with the use of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) to treat HCV infection. Here we studied the molecular mechanisms behind this viral interaction. In coinfected cell culture and humanized mice, HBV replication was suppressed by HCV coinfection. In vitro, HBV suppression was attenuated when interferon (IFN) signaling was blocked. In vivo, HBV viremia, after initial suppression by HCV superinfection, rebounded following HCV clearance by DAA treatment that was accompanied by a reduced hepatic IFN response. Using blood samples of coinfected patients, IFN-stimulated gene products including C-X-C motif chemokine 10 (CXCL10), C-C motif chemokine ligand 5 (CCL5), and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) were identified to have predictive value for HBV reactivation after HCV clearance. Taken together, our data suggest that HBV reactivation is a result of diminished hepatic IFN response following HCV clearance and identify serologic markers that can predict HBV reactivation in DAA-treated HBV-HCV–coinfected persons.
Xiaoming Cheng, Takuro Uchida, Yuchen Xia, Regina Umarova, Chun-Jen Liu, Pei-Jer Chen, Anuj Gaggar, Vithika Suri, Marcus M. Mücke, Johannes Vermehren, Stefan Zeuzem, Yuji Teraoka, Mitsutaka Osawa, Hiroshi Aikata, Keiji Tsuji, Nami Mori, Shuhei Hige, Yoshiyasu Karino, Michio Imamura, Kazuaki Chayama, T. Jake Liang
Neutrophilic inflammation is central to disease pathogenesis, for example, in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, yet the mechanisms that retain neutrophils within tissues remain poorly understood. With emerging evidence that axon guidance factors can regulate myeloid recruitment and that neutrophils can regulate expression of a class 3 semaphorin, SEMA3F, we investigated the role of SEMA3F in inflammatory cell retention within inflamed tissues. We observed that neutrophils upregulate SEMA3F in response to proinflammatory mediators and following neutrophil recruitment to the inflamed lung. In both zebrafish tail injury and murine acute lung injury models of neutrophilic inflammation, overexpression of SEMA3F delayed inflammation resolution with slower neutrophil migratory speeds and retention of neutrophils within the tissues. Conversely, constitutive loss of sema3f accelerated egress of neutrophils from the tail injury site in fish, whereas neutrophil-specific deletion of Sema3f in mice resulted in more rapid neutrophil transit through the airways, and significantly reduced time to resolution of the neutrophilic response. Study of filamentous-actin (F-actin) subsequently showed that SEMA3F-mediated retention is associated with F-actin disassembly. In conclusion, SEMA3F signaling actively regulates neutrophil retention within the injured tissues with consequences for neutrophil clearance and inflammation resolution.
Tracie Plant, Suttida Eamsamarng, Manuel A. Sanchez-Garcia, Leila Reyes, Stephen A. Renshaw, Patricia Coelho, Ananda S. Mirchandani, Jessie-May Morgan, Felix E. Ellett, Tyler Morrison, Duncan Humphries, Emily R. Watts, Fiona Murphy, Ximena L. Raffo-Iraolagoitia, Ailiang Zhang, Jenna L. Cash, Catherine Loynes, Philip M. Elks, Freek Van Eeden, Leo M. Carlin, Andrew J.W. Furley, Moira K.B. Whyte, Sarah R. Walmsley
As treatment of the early, inflammatory phase of sepsis improves, post-sepsis immunosuppression and secondary infection have increased in importance. How early inflammation drives immunosuppression remains unclear. Although IFN-γ typically helps microbial clearance, we found that increased plasma IFN-γ in early clinical sepsis was associated with the later development of secondary Candida infection. Consistent with this observation, we found that exogenous IFN-γ suppressed macrophage phagocytosis of zymosan in vivo, and antibody blockade of IFN-γ after endotoxemia improved survival of secondary candidemia. Transcriptomic analysis of innate lymphocytes during endotoxemia suggested that NKT cells drove IFN-γ production by NK cells via mTORC1. Activation of invariant NKT (iNKT) cells with glycolipid antigen drove immunosuppression. Deletion of iNKT cells in Cd1d–/– mice or inhibition of mTOR by rapamycin reduced immunosuppression and susceptibility to secondary Candida infection. Thus, although rapamycin is typically an immunosuppressive medication, in the context of sepsis, rapamycin has the opposite effect. These results implicated an NKT cell/mTOR/IFN-γ axis in immunosuppression following endotoxemia or sepsis. In summary, in vivo iNKT cells activated mTORC1 in NK cells to produce IFN-γ, which worsened macrophage phagocytosis, clearance of secondary Candida infection, and mortality.
Edy Y. Kim, Hadas Ner-Gaon, Jack Varon, Aidan M. Cullen, Jingyu Guo, Jiyoung Choi, Diana Barragan-Bradford, Angelica Higuera, Mayra Pinilla-Vera, Samuel A.P. Short, Antonio Arciniegas-Rubio, Tomoyoshi Tamura, David E. Leaf, Rebecca M. Baron, Tal Shay, Michael B. Brenner
Phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH), the first rate-limiting enzyme of serine synthesis, is frequently overexpressed in human cancer. PHGDH overexpression activates serine synthesis to promote cancer progression. Currently, PHGDH regulation in normal cells and cancer is not well understood. Parkin, an E3 ubiquitin ligase involved in Parkinson’s disease, is a tumor suppressor. Parkin expression is frequently downregulated in many types of cancer, and its tumor-suppressive mechanism is poorly defined. Here, we show that PHGDH is a substrate for Parkin-mediated ubiquitination and degradation. Parkin interacted with PHGDH and ubiquitinated PHGDH at lysine 330, leading to PHGDH degradation to suppress serine synthesis. Parkin deficiency in cancer cells stabilized PHGDH and activated serine synthesis to promote cell proliferation and tumorigenesis, which was largely abolished by targeting PHGDH with RNA interference, CRISPR/Cas9 KO, or small-molecule PHGDH inhibitors. Furthermore, Parkin expression was inversely correlated with PHGDH expression in human breast cancer and lung cancer. Our results revealed PHGDH ubiquitination by Parkin as a crucial mechanism for PHGDH regulation that contributes to the tumor-suppressive function of Parkin and identified Parkin downregulation as a critical mechanism underlying PHGDH overexpression in cancer.
Juan Liu, Cen Zhang, Hao Wu, Xiao-Xin Sun, Yanchen Li, Shan Huang, Xuetian Yue, Shou-En Lu, Zhiyuan Shen, Xiaoyang Su, Eileen White, Bruce G. Haffty, Wenwei Hu, Zhaohui Feng
Single-nucleotide polymorphisms and locus amplification link the NF-κB transcription factor c-Rel to human autoimmune diseases and B cell lymphomas, respectively. However, the functional consequences of enhanced c-Rel levels remain enigmatic. Here, we overexpressed c-Rel specifically in mouse B cells from BAC-transgenic gene loci and demonstrate that c-Rel protein levels linearly dictated expansion of germinal center B (GCB) cells and isotype-switched plasma cells. c-Rel expression in B cells of otherwise c-Rel–deficient mice fully rescued terminal B cell differentiation, underscoring its critical B cell–intrinsic roles. Unexpectedly, in GCB cells transcription-independent regulation produced the highest c-Rel protein levels among B cell subsets. In c-Rel–overexpressing GCB cells this caused enhanced nuclear translocation, a profoundly altered transcriptional program, and increased proliferation. Finally, we provide a link between c-Rel gain and autoimmunity by showing that c-Rel overexpression in B cells caused autoantibody production and renal immune complex deposition.
Maike Kober-Hasslacher, Hyunju Oh-Strauß, Dilip Kumar, Valeria Soberon, Carina Diehl, Maciej Lech, Thomas Engleitner, Eslam Katab, Vanesa Fernández-Sáiz, Guido Piontek, Hongwei Li, Björn Menze, Christoph Ziegenhain, Wolfgang Enard, Roland Rad, Jan P. Böttcher, Hans-Joachim Anders, Martina Rudelius, Marc Schmidt-Supprian
Despite widespread use of taxanes, mechanisms of action and resistance in vivo remain to be established, and there is no way of predicting who will respond to therapy. This study examined prostate cancer (PCa) xenografts and patient samples to identify in vivo mechanisms of taxane action and resistance. Docetaxel drug-target engagement was assessed by confocal anti-tubulin immunofluorescence to quantify microtubule bundling in interphase cells and aberrant mitoses. Tumor biopsies from metastatic PCa patients obtained 2 to 5 days after their first dose of docetaxel or cabazitaxel were processed to assess microtubule bundling, which correlated with clinical response. Microtubule bundling was evident in PCa xenografts 2 to 3 days after docetaxel treatment but was decreased or lost with acquired resistance. Biopsies after treatment with leuprolide plus docetaxel showed extensive microtubule bundling as did biopsies obtained 2 to 3 days after initiation of docetaxel or cabazitaxel in 2 patients with castration-resistant PCa with clinical responses. In contrast, microtubule bundling in biopsies 2 to 3 days after the first dose of docetaxel was markedly lower in 4 nonresponding patients. These findings indicate that taxanes target both mitotic and interphase cells in vivo and that resistance is through mechanisms that impair drug-target engagement. Moreover, the findings suggest that microtubule bundling after initial taxane treatment may be a predictive biomarker for clinical response.
Ada Gjyrezi, Fang Xie, Olga Voznesensky, Prateek Khanna, Carla Calagua, Yang Bai, Justin Kung, Jim Wu, Eva Corey, Bruce Montgomery, Sandrine Mace, Diego A. Gianolio, Glenn J. Bubley, Steven P. Balk, Paraskevi Giannakakou, Rupal S. Bhatt
Infusion of the broadly neutralizing antibody VRC01 has been evaluated in individuals chronically infected with HIV-1. Here, we studied how VRC01 infusions affected viral rebound after cessation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in 18 acutely treated and durably suppressed individuals. Viral rebound occurred in all individuals, yet VRC01 infusions modestly delayed rebound and participants who showed a faster decay of VRC01 in serum rebounded more rapidly. Participants with strains most sensitive to VRC01 or with VRC01 epitope motifs similar to known VRC01-susceptible strains rebounded later. Upon rebound, HIV-1 sequences were indistinguishable from those sampled at diagnosis. Across the cohort, participant-derived Env showed different sensitivity to VRC01 neutralization (including 2 resistant viruses), yet neutralization sensitivity was similar at diagnosis and after rebound, indicating the lack of selection for VRC01 resistance during treatment interruption. Our results showed that viremia rebounded despite the absence of HIV-1 adaptation to VRC01 and an average VRC01 trough of 221 μg/mL. Although VRC01 levels were insufficient to prevent a resurgent infection, knowledge that they did not mediate Env mutations in acute-like viruses is relevant for antibody-based strategies in acute infection.
Evan M. Cale, Hongjun Bai, Meera Bose, Michael A. Messina, Donn J. Colby, Eric Sanders-Buell, Bethany Dearlove, Yifan Li, Emily Engeman, Daniel Silas, Anne Marie O’Sullivan, Brendan Mann, Suteeraporn Pinyakorn, Jintana Intasan, Khunthalee Benjapornpong, Carlo Sacdalan, Eugène Kroon, Nittaya Phanuphak, Robert Gramzinski, Sandhya Vasan, Merlin L. Robb, Nelson L. Michael, Rebecca M. Lynch, Robert T. Bailer, Amélie Pagliuzza, Nicolas Chomont, Amarendra Pegu, Nicole A. Doria-Rose, Lydie Trautmann, Trevor A. Crowell, John R. Mascola, Jintanat Ananworanich, Sodsai Tovanabutra, Morgane Rolland, on behalf of the RV397 Study Group
BACKGROUND Insulin is a key regulator of metabolic function. The effects of excess adiposity, insulin resistance, and hepatic steatosis on the complex integration of insulin secretion and hepatic and extrahepatic tissue extraction are not clear.METHODS A hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp and a 3-hour oral glucose tolerance test were performed to evaluate insulin sensitivity and insulin kinetics after glucose ingestion in 3 groups: (a) lean subjects with normal intrahepatic triglyceride (IHTG) and glucose tolerance (lean-NL; n = 14), (b) obese subjects with normal IHTG and glucose tolerance (obese-NL; n = 24), and (c) obese subjects with nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and prediabetes (obese-NAFLD; n = 22).RESULTS Insulin sensitivity progressively decreased and insulin secretion progressively increased from the lean-NL to the obese-NL to the obese-NAFLD groups. Fractional hepatic insulin extraction progressively decreased from the lean-NL to the obese-NL to the obese-NAFLD groups, whereas total hepatic insulin extraction (molar amount removed) was greater in the obese-NL and obese-NAFLD subjects than in the lean-NL subjects. Insulin appearance in the systemic circulation and extrahepatic insulin extraction progressively increased from the lean-NL to the obese-NL to the obese-NAFLD groups. Total hepatic insulin extraction plateaued at high rates of insulin delivery, whereas the relationship between systemic insulin appearance and total extrahepatic extraction was linear.CONCLUSION Hyperinsulinemia after glucose ingestion in obese-NL and obese-NAFLD is due to an increase in insulin secretion, without a decrease in total hepatic or extrahepatic insulin extraction. However, the liver’s maximum capacity to remove insulin is limited because of a saturable extraction process. The increase in insulin delivery to the liver and extrahepatic tissues in obese-NAFLD is unable to compensate for the increase in insulin resistance, resulting in impaired glucose homeostasis.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02706262.FUNDING NIH grants DK56341 (Nutrition Obesity Research Center), DK052574 (Digestive Disease Research Center), RR024992 (Clinical and Translational Science Award), and T32 DK007120 (a T32 Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award); the American Diabetes Foundation (1-18-ICTS-119); Janssen Research & Development; and the Pershing Square Foundation.
Gordon I. Smith, David C. Polidori, Mihoko Yoshino, Monica L. Kearney, Bruce W. Patterson, Bettina Mittendorfer, Samuel Klein
The atypical cadherin FAT4 has established roles in the regulation of planar cell polarity and Hippo pathway signaling that are cell context dependent. The recent identification of FAT4 mutations in Hennekam syndrome, features of which include lymphedema, lymphangiectasia, and mental retardation, uncovered an important role for FAT4 in the lymphatic vasculature. Hennekam syndrome is also caused by mutations in collagen and calcium binding EGF domains 1 (CCBE1) and ADAM metallopeptidase with thrombospondin type 1 motif 3 (ADAMTS3), encoding a matrix protein and protease, respectively, that regulate activity of the key prolymphangiogenic VEGF-C/VEGFR3 signaling axis by facilitating the proteolytic cleavage and activation of VEGF-C. The fact that FAT4, CCBE1, and ADAMTS3 mutations underlie Hennekam syndrome suggested that all 3 genes might function in a common pathway. We identified FAT4 as a target gene of GATA-binding protein 2 (GATA2), a key transcriptional regulator of lymphatic vascular development and, in particular, lymphatic vessel valve development. Here, we demonstrate that FAT4 functions in a lymphatic endothelial cell–autonomous manner to control cell polarity in response to flow and is required for lymphatic vessel morphogenesis throughout development. Our data reveal a crucial role for FAT4 in lymphangiogenesis and shed light on the mechanistic basis by which FAT4 mutations underlie a human lymphedema syndrome.
Kelly L. Betterman, Drew L. Sutton, Genevieve A. Secker, Jan Kazenwadel, Anna Oszmiana, Lillian Lim, Naoyuki Miura, Lydia Sorokin, Benjamin M. Hogan, Mark L. Kahn, Helen McNeill, Natasha L. Harvey