In this issue, Bhattacharjee et al. investigated the origin and functions of cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF) in liver metastasis. They found that hepatic stellate cell-derived CAF promoted the growth of desmoplastic tumors, mediated by direct CAF-tumor interactions. Myofibroblastic CAF-secreted hyaluronan and inflammatory CAF-secreted HGF promoted tumor growth, which was opposed by myofibroblastic CAF-expressed type-I collagen, physically restraining tumors. The cover image shows a mouse liver section 14 days after intrasplenic injection of pancreatic tumor cells. Tumor cells are marked by CK19 (cyan), surrounded by subpopulations of Col1a1-GFP+ CAF (green), primarily derived from LratCre+ HSC (red), and nuclei are stained with DAPI (blue).
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Giorgio Sirugo, Sarah A. Tishkoff, Scott M. Williams
Dimitrios C. Mastellos, Panagiotis Skendros, John D. Lambris
In recent decades, cancer research has expanded exponentially beyond the study of abnormally dividing cells to include complex and extensive heterotypic interactions between cancer and noncancer cells that constitute the tumor microenvironment (TME). Modulation of stromal, immune, and endothelial cells by cancer cells promotes proliferation, survival, and metabolic changes that support tumor growth and metastasis. Recent evidence demonstrates that tumors can recruit peripheral nerves to the TME, leading to enhanced tumor growth in a range of cancer models through distinct mechanisms. This process, termed tumor innervation, is associated with an aggressive tumor phenotype and correlates with poor prognosis in clinical studies. Therefore, the peripheral nervous system may play an underrecognized role in cancer development, harboring targetable pathways that warrant investigation. To date, nerves have been implicated in driving proliferation, invasion, metastasis, and immune evasion through locally delivered neurotransmitters. However, emerging evidence suggests that cell-cell communication via exosomes induces tumor innervation, and thus exosomes may also mediate neural regulation of the TME. In this Review, seminal studies establishing tumor innervation are discussed, and known and putative signaling mechanisms between peripheral nerves and components of the TME are explored as a means to identify potential opportunities for therapeutic intervention.
Stefan M. Gysler, Ronny Drapkin
First administered to a human subject as a tuberculosis (TB) vaccine on July 18, 1921, Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) has a long history of use for the prevention of TB and later the immunotherapy of bladder cancer. For TB prevention, BCG is given to infants born globally across over 180 countries and has been in use since the late 1920s. With about 352 million BCG doses procured annually and tens of billions of doses having been administered over the past century, it is estimated to be the most widely used vaccine in human history. While its roles for TB prevention and bladder cancer immunotherapy are widely appreciated, over the past century, BCG has been also studied for nontraditional purposes, which include (a) prevention of viral infections and nontuberculous mycobacterial infections, (b) cancer immunotherapy aside from bladder cancer, and (c) immunologic diseases, including multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, and atopic diseases. The basis for these heterologous effects lies in the ability of BCG to alter immunologic set points via heterologous T cell immunity, as well as epigenetic and metabolomic changes in innate immune cells, a process called “trained immunity.” In this Review, we provide an overview of what is known regarding the trained immunity mechanism of heterologous protection, and we describe the current knowledge base for these nontraditional uses of BCG.
Alok K. Singh, Mihai G. Netea, William R. Bishai
Iron plays an important role in mammalian physiological processes. It is a critical component for the function of many proteins, including enzymes that require heme and iron-sulfur clusters. However, excess iron is also detrimental because of its ability to catalyze the formation of reactive oxygen species. As a result, cellular and systemic iron levels are tightly regulated to prevent oxidative damage. Iron deficiency can lead to a number of pathological conditions, the most prominent being anemia. Iron deficiency should be corrected to improve adult patients’ symptoms and to facilitate normal growth during fetal development and childhood. However, inappropriate use of intravenous iron in chronic conditions, such as cancer and heart failure, in the absence of clear iron deficiency can lead to unwanted side effects. Thus, this form of therapy should be reserved for certain patients who cannot tolerate oral iron and need rapid iron replenishment. Here, we will review cellular and systemic iron homeostasis and will discuss complications of iron deficiency.
Navid Koleini, Jason S. Shapiro, Justin Geier, Hossein Ardehali
A small percentage of people living with HIV-1 can control viral replication without antiretroviral therapy (ART). These patients are called elite controllers (ECs) if they are able to maintain viral suppression without initiating ART and posttreatment controllers (PTCs) if they control HIV replication after ART has been discontinued. Both types of controllers may serve as a model of a functional cure for HIV-1 but the mechanisms responsible for viral control have not been fully elucidated. In this review, we highlight key lessons that have been learned so far in the study of ECs and PTCs and their implications for HIV cure research.
Jonathan Z. Li, Joel N. Blankson
The genetic peripheral neuropathy known as Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 4J (CMT4J) is caused by recessive mutations in the FIG4 gene. The transformational success of adeno-associated virus (AAV) gene therapy for spinal muscular atrophy has generated substantial interest in using this approach to create similar treatments for CMT. In this issue of the JCI, Presa et al. provide a preclinical demonstration of efficacy using AAV-directed gene therapy for CMT4J. The study showed a dramatic improvement in both survival and neuropathy symptoms in a severe mouse model of CMT4J after administration of AAV gene therapy at several time points. The authors’ approach advances the technique for delivering treatments to individuals with CMT, for which FDA-approved therapies have not yet come to the clinic.
Pulmonary hypertension (PH), increased blood pressure within the lungs, is classified into five diagnostic groups based on etiology, with treatment assigned on this basis. Currently, only Group 1 pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and Group 4 chronic thromboembolic PH (CTEPH) have pharmacological treatments available. The role of the endothelial cell in pulmonary hypertension has long been debated, and in this issue of the JCI, Culley et al. present evidence for the reduction in frataxin expression across multiple groups of PH. Reduced frataxin expression led to endothelial cell senescence and associated with the development of PH. Removal of the senescent cells using the senolytic drug Navitoclax in multiple models of PH effectively treated PH, suggesting a new class of treatments that may work beyond Group 1 and Group 4 PH in patients with evidence of pulmonary vascular endothelial senescence.
Allan Lawrie, Sheila E. Francis
Calcineurin inhibitors (CNIs) such as cyclosporin A and FK506 are widely administered immunosuppressive drugs. Calcineurin relieves inhibitory phosphorylation from nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) transcription factors downstream of T cell receptor engagement, resulting in their nuclear translocation and the production of cytokines, including IL-2, IFN-γ, and TNF-α. It was previously believed that CNIs downregulate immunity by reducing NFAT activation. However, work from Otsuka et al. in this issue of the JCI revealed a second mechanism by which CNIs suppress T cell function. The authors previously reported that calcineurin removes an inhibitory phosphate from the tyrosine kinase Lck at Ser59 (Lck-S59) and that this dephosphorylation positively regulates T cell activation. In the present work, the authors showed that inhibition of Lck-S59 dephosphorylation was essential for the CNI-mediated suppression of acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD). These findings have important implications for future approaches to the management of aGVHD, organ transplant rejection, and autoimmune disease.
Nicole M. Carter, Joel L. Pomerantz
Parkinson disease (PD) is now the world’s fastest growing brain disease; however, the factors underlying this rise are unclear. The past 25 years has witnessed a vast expansion in our understanding of the genetics of PD, but few individuals with PD carry one of the major known genetic risk factors. Environmental factors, including individual (e.g., medications) and ambient (e.g., pollutants), may contribute to this rise. In this issue of the JCI, Sasane et al. examined the risk of PD associated with medications commonly used to treat benign prostatic hypertrophy. In contrast with previous studies, certain α1 receptor antagonists failed to lower PD risk. Rather, the commonly used comparator drug, tamsulosin, increased PD risk. This finding highlights the importance of selecting comparator groups to correctly identify risk factors. Future studies to address the rise of PD with emphasis on both individual as well as the understudied ambient environmental factors are warranted.
Karl Kieburtz, E. Ray Dorsey
Skeletal muscle wasting is commonly associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD), resulting in increased morbidity and mortality. However, the link between kidney and muscle function remains poorly understood. Here, we took a complementary interorgan approach to investigate skeletal muscle wasting in CKD. We identified increased production and elevated blood levels of soluble pro-cachectic factors, including activin A, directly linking experimental and human CKD to skeletal muscle wasting programs. Single-cell sequencing data identified the expression of activin A in specific kidney cell populations of fibroblasts and cells of the juxtaglomerular apparatus. We propose that persistent and increased kidney production of pro-cachectic factors, combined with a lack of kidney clearance, facilitates a vicious kidney/muscle signaling cycle, leading to exacerbated blood accumulation and, thereby, skeletal muscle wasting. Systemic pharmacological blockade of activin A using soluble activin receptor type IIB ligand trap as well as muscle-specific adeno-associated virus–mediated downregulation of its receptor ACVR2A/B prevented muscle wasting in different mouse models of experimental CKD, suggesting that activin A is a key factor in CKD-induced cachexia. In summary, we uncovered a crosstalk between kidney and muscle and propose modulation of activin signaling as a potential therapeutic strategy for skeletal muscle wasting in CKD.
Francesca Solagna, Caterina Tezze, Maja T. Lindenmeyer, Shun Lu, Guochao Wu, Shuya Liu, Yu Zhao, Robert Mitchell, Charlotte Meyer, Saleh Omairi, Temel Kilic, Andrea Paolini, Olli Ritvos, Arja Pasternack, Antonios Matsakas, Dominik Kylies, Julian Schulze zur Wiesch, Jan-Eric Turner, Nicola Wanner, Viji Nair, Felix Eichinger, Rajasree Menon, Ina V. Martin, Barbara M. Klinkhammer, Elion Hoxha, Clemens D. Cohen, Pierre-Louis Tharaux, Peter Boor, Tammo Ostendorf, Matthias Kretzler, Marco Sandri, Oliver Kretz, Victor G. Puelles, Ketan Patel, Tobias B. Huber
The dynamic regulation of endothelial pathophenotypes in pulmonary hypertension (PH) remains undefined. Cellular senescence is linked to PH with intracardiac shunts; however, its regulation across PH subtypes is unknown. Since endothelial deficiency of iron-sulfur (Fe-S) clusters is pathogenic in PH, we hypothesized that a Fe-S biogenesis protein, frataxin (FXN), controls endothelial senescence. An endothelial subpopulation in rodent and patient lungs across PH subtypes exhibited reduced FXN and elevated senescence. In vitro, hypoxic and inflammatory FXN deficiency abrogated activity of endothelial Fe-S–containing polymerases, promoting replication stress, DNA damage response, and senescence. This was also observed in stem cell–derived endothelial cells from Friedreich’s ataxia (FRDA), a genetic disease of FXN deficiency, ataxia, and cardiomyopathy, often with PH. In vivo, FXN deficiency–dependent senescence drove vessel inflammation, remodeling, and PH, whereas pharmacologic removal of senescent cells in Fxn-deficient rodents ameliorated PH. These data offer a model of endothelial biology in PH, where FXN deficiency generates a senescent endothelial subpopulation, promoting vascular inflammatory and proliferative signals in other cells to drive disease. These findings also establish an endothelial etiology for PH in FRDA and left heart disease and support therapeutic development of senolytic drugs, reversing effects of Fe-S deficiency across PH subtypes.
Miranda K. Culley, Jingsi Zhao, Yi Yin Tai, Ying Tang, Dror Perk, Vinny Negi, Qiujun Yu, Chen-Shan C. Woodcock, Adam Handen, Gil Speyer, Seungchan Kim, Yen-Chun Lai, Taijyu Satoh, Annie M.M. Watson, Yassmin Al Aaraj, John Sembrat, Mauricio Rojas, Dmitry Goncharov, Elena A. Goncharova, Omar F. Khan, Daniel G. Anderson, James E. Dahlman, Aditi U. Gurkar, Robert Lafyatis, Ahmed U. Fayyaz, Margaret M. Redfield, Mark T. Gladwin, Marlene Rabinovitch, Mingxia Gu, Thomas Bertero, Stephen Y. Chan
Myelofibrosis (MF) is a non–BCR-ABL myeloproliferative neoplasm associated with poor outcomes. Current treatment has little effect on the natural history of the disease. MF results from complex interactions between (a) the malignant clone, (b) an inflammatory context, and (c) remodeling of the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment. Each of these points is a potential target of PPARγ activation. Here, we demonstrated the therapeutic potential of PPARγ agonists in resolving MF in 3 mouse models. We showed that PPARγ agonists reduce myeloproliferation, modulate inflammation, and protect the BM stroma in vitro and ex vivo. Activation of PPARγ constitutes a relevant therapeutic target in MF, and our data support the possibility of using PPARγ agonists in clinical practice.
Juliette Lambert, Joseph Saliba, Carolina Calderon, Karine Sii-Felice, Mohammad Salma, Valérie Edmond, Jean-Claude Alvarez, Marc Delord, Caroline Marty, Isabelle Plo, Jean-Jacques Kiladjian, Eric Soler, William Vainchenker, Jean-Luc Villeval, Philippe Rousselot, Stéphane Prost
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 4J (CMT4J) is caused by recessive, loss-of-function mutations in FIG4, encoding a phosphoinositol(3,5)P2-phosphatase. CMT4J patients have both neuron loss and demyelination in the peripheral nervous system, with vacuolization indicative of endosome/lysosome trafficking defects. Although the disease is highly variable, the onset is often in childhood and FIG4 mutations can dramatically shorten life span. There is currently no treatment for CMT4J. Here, we present the results of preclinical studies testing a gene-therapy approach to restoring FIG4 expression. A mouse model of CMT4J, the Fig4–pale tremor (plt) allele, was dosed with a single-stranded adeno-associated virus serotype 9 (AAV9) to deliver a codon-optimized human FIG4 sequence. Untreated, Fig4plt/plt mice have a median survival of approximately 5 weeks. When treated with the AAV9-FIG4 vector at P1 or P4, mice survived at least 1 year, with largely normal gross motor performance and little sign of neuropathy by neurophysiological or histopathological evaluation. When mice were treated at P7 or P11, life span was still significantly prolonged and peripheral nerve function was improved, but rescue was less complete. No unanticipated adverse effects were observed. Therefore, AAV9-mediated delivery of FIG4 is a well-tolerated and efficacious strategy in a mouse model of CMT4J.
Maximiliano Presa, Rachel M. Bailey, Crystal Davis, Tara Murphy, Jenn Cook, Randy Walls, Hannah Wilpan, Laurent Bogdanik, Guy M. Lenk, Robert W. Burgess, Steven J. Gray, Cathleen Lutz
Dysregulated protein degradative pathways are increasingly recognized as mediators of human disease. This mechanism may have particular relevance to desmosomal proteins that play critical structural roles in both tissue architecture and cell-cell communication, as destabilization/breakdown of the desmosomal proteome is a hallmark of genetic-based desmosomal-targeted diseases, such as the cardiac disease arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia/cardiomyopathy (ARVD/C). However, no information exists on whether there are resident proteins that regulate desmosomal proteome homeostasis. Here, we uncovered a cardiac constitutive photomorphogenesis 9 (COP9) desmosomal resident protein complex, composed of subunit 6 of the COP9 signalosome (CSN6), that enzymatically restricted neddylation and targeted desmosomal proteome degradation. CSN6 binding, localization, levels, and function were affected in hearts of classic mouse and human models of ARVD/C affected by desmosomal loss and mutations, respectively. Loss of desmosomal proteome degradation control due to junctional reduction/loss of CSN6 and human desmosomal mutations destabilizing junctional CSN6 were also sufficient to trigger ARVD/C in mice. We identified a desmosomal resident regulatory complex that restricted desmosomal proteome degradation and disease.
Yan Liang, Robert C. Lyon, Jason Pellman, William H. Bradford, Stephan Lange, Julius Bogomolovas, Nancy D. Dalton, Yusu Gu, Marcus Bobar, Mong-Hong Lee, Tomoo Iwakuma, Vishal Nigam, Angeliki Asimaki, Melvin Scheinman, Kirk L. Peterson, Farah Sheikh
The ability to adapt to low-nutrient microenvironments is essential for tumor cell survival and progression in solid cancers, such as colorectal carcinoma (CRC). Signaling by the NF-κB transcription factor pathway associates with advanced disease stages and shorter survival in patients with CRC. NF-κB has been shown to drive tumor-promoting inflammation, cancer cell survival, and intestinal epithelial cell (IEC) dedifferentiation in mouse models of CRC. However, whether NF-κB affects the metabolic adaptations that fuel aggressive disease in patients with CRC is unknown. Here, we identified carboxylesterase 1 (CES1) as an essential NF-κB–regulated lipase linking obesity-associated inflammation with fat metabolism and adaptation to energy stress in aggressive CRC. CES1 promoted CRC cell survival via cell-autonomous mechanisms that fuel fatty acid oxidation (FAO) and prevent the toxic build-up of triacylglycerols. We found that elevated CES1 expression correlated with worse outcomes in overweight patients with CRC. Accordingly, NF-κB drove CES1 expression in CRC consensus molecular subtype 4 (CMS4), which is associated with obesity, stemness, and inflammation. CES1 was also upregulated by gene amplifications of its transcriptional regulator HNF4A in CMS2 tumors, reinforcing its clinical relevance as a driver of CRC. This subtype-based distribution and unfavorable prognostic correlation distinguished CES1 from other intracellular triacylglycerol lipases and suggest CES1 could provide a route to treat aggressive CRC.
Daria Capece, Daniel D’Andrea, Federica Begalli, Laura Goracci, Laura Tornatore, James L. Alexander, Alessandra Di Veroli, Shi-Chi Leow, Thamil S. Vaiyapuri, James K. Ellis, Daniela Verzella, Jason Bennett, Luca Savino, Yue Ma, James S. McKenzie, Maria Luisa Doria, Sam E. Mason, Kern Rei Chng, Hector C. Keun, Gary Frost, Vinay Tergaonkar, Katarzyna Broniowska, Walter Stunkel, Zoltan Takats, James M. Kinross, Gabriele Cruciani, Guido Franzoso
Lung-resident memory B cells (BRM cells) are elicited after influenza infections of mice, but connections to other pathogens and hosts — as well as their functional significance — have yet to be determined. We postulate that BRM cells are core components of lung immunity. To test this, we examined whether lung BRM cells are elicited by the respiratory pathogen pneumococcus, are present in humans, and are important in pneumonia defense. Lungs of mice that had recovered from pneumococcal infections did not contain organized tertiary lymphoid organs, but did have plasma cells and noncirculating memory B cells. The latter expressed distinctive surface markers (including CD69, PD-L2, CD80, and CD73) and were poised to secrete antibodies upon stimulation. Human lungs also contained B cells with a resident memory phenotype. In mice recovered from pneumococcal pneumonia, depletion of PD-L2+ B cells, including lung BRM cells, diminished bacterial clearance and the level of pneumococcus-reactive antibodies in the lung. These data define lung BRM cells as a common feature of pathogen-experienced lungs and provide direct evidence of a role for these cells in pulmonary antibacterial immunity.
Kimberly A. Barker, Neelou S. Etesami, Anukul T. Shenoy, Emad I. Arafa, Carolina Lyon de Ana, Nicole M.S. Smith, Ian M.C. Martin, Wesley N. Goltry, Alexander M.S. Barron, Jeffrey L. Browning, Hasmeena Kathuria, Anna C. Belkina, Antoine Guillon, Xuemei Zhong, Nicholas A. Crossland, Matthew R. Jones, Lee J. Quinton, Joseph P. Mizgerd
Chronic hepatitis B (CHB) infection is rarely eradicated by current antiviral nucleos(t)ide analogues. We found that α2,6-biantennary sialoglycans of HBV surface antigen (HBsAg) bound human SIGLEC-3 (CD33) by IP and ELISA, and the binding affinity between SIGLEC-3 and α2,6-biantennary sialoglycans was determined by biolayer interferometry (equilibrium dissociation constant [KD]: 1.95 × 10–10 ± 0.21 × 10–10 M). Moreover, HBV activated SIGLEC-3 on myeloid cells and induced immunosuppression by stimulating immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibitory motif phosphorylation and SHP-1/-2 recruitment via α2,6-biantennary sialoglycans on HBsAg. An antagonistic anti–SIGLEC-3 mAb reversed this effect and enhanced cytokine production in response to TLR-7 agonist GS-9620 in PBMCs from CHB patients. Moreover, anti–SIGLEC-3 mAb alone was able to upregulate the expression of molecules involved in antigen presentation, such as CD80, CD86, CD40, MHC-I, MHC-II, and PD-L1 in CD14+ cells. Furthermore, SIGLEC-3 SNP rs12459419 C, which expressed a higher amount of SIGLEC-3, was associated with increased risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in CHB patients (HR: 1.256, 95% CI: 1.027–1.535, P = 0.0266). Thus, blockade of SIGLEC-3 is a promising strategy to reactivate host immunity to HBV and lower the incidence of HCC in the CHB patient population.
Tsung-Yu Tsai, Ming-Ting Huang, Pei-Shan Sung, Cheng-Yuan Peng, Mi-Hua Tao, Hwai-I Yang, Wei-Chiao Chang, An-Suei Yang, Chung-Ming Yu, Ya-Ping Lin, Ching-Yu Bau, Chih-Jen Huang, Mei-Hung Pan, Chung-Yi Wu, Chwan-Deng Hsiao, Yi-Hung Yeh, Shiteng Duan, James C Paulson, Shie-Liang Hsieh
Rapidly growing tumors often experience hypoxia and nutrient (e.g., glucose) deficiency because of poor vascularization. Tumor cells respond to the cytotoxic effects of such stresses by inducing molecular adaptations that promote clonal selection of a more malignant tumor-initiating cell phenotype, especially in the innermost tumor regions. Here, we report a regulatory mechanism involving fucosylation by which glucose restriction promotes cancer stemness to drive drug resistance and tumor recurrence. Using hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) as a model, we showed that restricted glucose availability enhanced the PERK/eIF2α/ATF4 signaling axis to drive fucosyltransferase 1 (FUT1) transcription via direct binding of ATF4 to the FUT1 promoter. FUT1 overexpression is a poor prognostic indicator for HCC. FUT1 inhibition could mitigate tumor initiation, self-renewal, and drug resistance. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that CD147, ICAM-1, EGFR, and EPHA2 are glycoprotein targets of FUT1, in which such fucosylation would consequently converge on deregulated AKT/mTOR/4EBP1 signaling to drive cancer stemness. Treatment with an α-(1,2)-fucosylation inhibitor sensitized HCC tumors to sorafenib, a first-line molecularly targeted drug used for advanced HCC patients, and reduced the tumor-initiating subset. FUT1 overexpression and/or CD147, ICAM-1, EGFR, and EPHA2 fucosylation may be good prognostic markers and therapeutic targets for cancer patients.
Jane H.C. Loong, Tin-Lok Wong, Man Tong, Rakesh Sharma, Lei Zhou, Kai-Yu Ng, Hua-Jian Yu, Chi-Han Li, Kwan Man, Chung-Mau Lo, Xin-Yuan Guan, Terence K. Lee, Jing-Ping Yun, Stephanie K.Y. Ma
With increasing age, individuals are more vulnerable to viral infections such as with influenza or the SARS-CoV-2 virus. One age-associated defect in human T cells is the reduced expression of miR-181a. miR-181ab1 deficiency in peripheral murine T cells causes delayed viral clearance after infection, resembling human immune aging. Here we show that naive T cells from older individuals as well as miR-181ab1–deficient murine T cells develop excessive replication stress after activation, due to reduced histone expression and delayed S-phase cell cycle progression. Reduced histone expression was caused by the miR-181a target SIRT1 that directly repressed transcription of histone genes by binding to their promoters and reducing histone acetylation. Inhibition of SIRT1 activity or SIRT1 silencing increased histone expression, restored cell cycle progression, diminished the replication-stress response, and reduced the production of inflammatory mediators in replicating T cells from old individuals. Correspondingly, treatment with SIRT1 inhibitors improved viral clearance in mice with miR-181a–deficient T cells after LCMV infection. In conclusion, SIRT1 inhibition may be beneficial to treat systemic viral infection in older individuals by targeting antigen-specific T cells that develop replication stress due to miR-181a deficiency.
Chulwoo Kim, Jun Jin, Zhongde Ye, Rohit R. Jadhav, Claire E. Gustafson, Bin Hu, Wenqiang Cao, Lu Tian, Cornelia M. Weyand, Jörg J. Goronzy
Phoebe Carter, Ulrike Schnell, Christopher Chaney, Betty Tong, Xinchao Pan, Jianhua Ye, Glenda Mernaugh, Jennifer L. Cotton, Vitaly Margulis, Junhao Mao, Roy Zent, Bret M. Evers, Payal Kapur, Thomas J. Carroll
Disrupting transmission of Borrelia burgdorferi sensu lato complex (B. burgdorferi) from infected ticks to humans is one strategy to prevent the significant morbidity from Lyme disease. We have previously shown that an anti-OspA human mAb, 2217, prevents transmission of B. burgdorferi from infected ticks in animal models. Maintenance of a protective plasma concentration of a human mAb for tick season presents a significant challenge for a preexposure prophylaxis strategy. Here, we describe the optimization of mAb 2217 by amino acid substitutions (2217LS: M428L and N434S) in the Fc domain. The LS mutation led to a 2-fold increase in half-life in cynomolgus monkeys. In a rhesus macaque model, 2217LS protected animals from tick transmission of spirochetes at a dose of 3 mg/kg. Crystallographic analysis of Fab in complex with OspA revealed that 2217 bound an epitope that was highly conserved among the B. burgdorferi, B. garinii, and B. afzelii species. Unlike most vaccines that may require boosters to achieve protection, our work supports the development of 2217LS as an effective preexposure prophylaxis in Lyme-endemic regions, with a single dose at the beginning of tick season offering immediate protection that remains for the duration of exposure risk.
Zachary A. Schiller, Michael J. Rudolph, Jacqueline R. Toomey, Monir Ejemel, Alan LaRochelle, Simon A. Davis, Havard S. Lambert, Aurélie Kern, Amanda C. Tardo, Colby A. Souders, Eric Peterson, Rebecca D. Cannon, Chandrashekar Ganesa, Frank Fazio, Nicholas J. Mantis, Lisa A. Cavacini, John Sullivan-Bolyai, Linden T. Hu, Monica E. Embers, Mark S. Klempner, Yang Wang
BACKGROUND Recently the α1 adrenergic receptor antagonist terazosin was shown to activate PGK1, a possible target for the mitochondrial deficits in Parkinson disease related to its function as the initial enzyme in ATP synthesis during glycolysis. An epidemiological study of terazosin users showed a lower incidence of Parkinson disease when compared with users of tamsulosin, an α1 adrenergic receptor antagonist of a different class that does not activate PGK1. However, prior research on tamsulosin has suggested that it may in fact potentiate neurodegeneration, raising the question of whether it is an appropriate control group.METHODS To address this question, we undertook an epidemiological study on Parkinson disease occurrence rate in 113,450 individuals from the United States with 5 or more years of follow-up. Patients were classified as tamsulosin users (n = 45,380), terazosin/alfuzosin/doxazosin users (n = 22,690), or controls matched for age, sex, and Charlson comorbidity index score (n = 45,380).RESULTS Incidence of Parkinson disease in tamsulosin users was 1.53%, which was significantly higher than that in both terazosin/alfuzosin/doxazosin users (1.10%, P < 0.0001) and matched controls (1.01%, P < 0.0001). Terazosin/alfuzosin/doxazosin users did not differ in Parkinson disease risk from matched controls (P = 0.29).CONCLUSION These results suggest that zosins may not confer a protective effect against Parkinson disease, but rather that tamsulosin may in some way potentiate Parkinson disease progression.FUNDING This work was supported by Cerevel Therapeutics.
Rahul Sasane, Amy Bartels, Michelle Field, Maria I. Sierra, Sridhar Duvvuri, David L. Gray, Sokhom S. Pin, John J. Renger, David J. Stone
Hypoxia, a hallmark feature of the tumor microenvironment, causes resistance to conventional chemotherapy, but was recently reported to synergize with poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase inhibitors (PARPis) in homologous recombination–proficient (HR-proficient) cells through suppression of HR. While this synergistic killing occurs under severe hypoxia (<0.5% oxygen), our study shows that moderate hypoxia (2% oxygen) instead promotes PARPi resistance in both HR-proficient and -deficient cancer cells. Mechanistically, we identify reduced ROS-induced DNA damage as the cause for the observed resistance. To determine the contribution of hypoxia to PARPi resistance in tumors, we used the hypoxic cytotoxin tirapazamine to selectively kill hypoxic tumor cells. We found that the selective elimination of hypoxic tumor cells led to a substantial antitumor response when used with PARPi compared with that in tumors treated with PARPi alone, without enhancing normal tissue toxicity. Since human breast cancers with BRAC1/2 mutations have an increased hypoxia signature and hypoxia reduces the efficacy of PARPi, then eliminating hypoxic tumor cells should enhance the efficacy of PARPi therapy.
Manal Mehibel, Yu Xu, Caiyun G. Li, Eui Jung Moon, Kaushik N. Thakkar, Anh N. Diep, Ryan K. Kim, Joshua D. Bloomstein, Yiren Xiao, Julien Bacal, Joshua C. Saldivar, Quynh-Thu Le, Karlene A. Cimprich, Erinn B. Rankin, Amato J. Giaccia
Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF) may exert tumor-promoting and tumor-suppressive functions, but the mechanisms underlying these opposing effects remain elusive. Here, we sought to understand these potentially opposing functions by interrogating functional relationships among CAF subtypes, their mediators, desmoplasia, and tumor growth in a wide range of tumor types metastasizing to the liver, the most common organ site for metastasis. Depletion of hepatic stellate cells (HSC), which represented the main source of CAF in mice and patients in our study, or depletion of all CAF decreased tumor growth and mortality in desmoplastic colorectal and pancreatic metastasis but not in nondesmoplastic metastatic tumors. Single-cell RNA-Seq in conjunction with CellPhoneDB ligand-receptor analysis, as well as studies in immune cell–depleted and HSC-selective knockout mice, uncovered direct CAF-tumor interactions as a tumor-promoting mechanism, mediated by myofibroblastic CAF–secreted (myCAF-secreted) hyaluronan and inflammatory CAF–secreted (iCAF-secreted) HGF. These effects were opposed by myCAF-expressed type I collagen, which suppressed tumor growth by mechanically restraining tumor spread, overriding its own stiffness-induced mechanosignals. In summary, mechanical restriction by type I collagen opposes the overall tumor-promoting effects of CAF, thus providing a mechanistic explanation for their dual functions in cancer. Therapeutic targeting of tumor-promoting CAF mediators while preserving type I collagen may convert CAF from tumor promoting to tumor restricting.
Sonakshi Bhattacharjee, Florian Hamberger, Aashreya Ravichandra, Maximilian Miller, Ajay Nair, Silvia Affo, Aveline Filliol, LiKang Chin, Thomas M. Savage, Deqi Yin, Naita Maren Wirsik, Adam Mehal, Nicholas Arpaia, Ekihiro Seki, Matthias Mack, Di Zhu, Peter A. Sims, Raghu Kalluri, Ben Z. Stanger, Kenneth P. Olive, Thomas Schmidt, Rebecca G. Wells, Ingmar Mederacke, Robert F. Schwabe
Worse outcomes occur in aged compared with young populations after infections with respiratory viruses, including pathogenic coronaviruses (SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, and SARS-CoV-2), and are associated with a suboptimal lung milieu (“inflammaging”). We previously showed that a single inducible phospholipase, PLA2G2D, is associated with a proresolving/antiinflammatory response in the lungs, and increases with age. Survival was increased in naive Pla2g2d–/– mice infected with SARS-CoV resulting from augmented respiratory dendritic cell (rDC) activation and enhanced priming of virus-specific T cells. Here, in contrast, we show that intranasal immunization provided no additional protection in middle-aged Pla2g2d–/– mice infected with any of the 3 pathogenic human coronaviruses because virtually no virus-specific antibodies or follicular helper CD4+ T (Tfh) cells were produced. Using MERS-CoV–infected mice, we found that these effects did not result from T or B cell intrinsic factors. Rather, they resulted from enhanced, and ultimately, pathogenic rDC activation, as manifested most prominently by enhanced IL-1β expression. Wild-type rDC transfer to Pla2g2d–/– mice in conjunction with partial IL-1β blockade reversed this defect and resulted in increased virus-specific antibody and Tfh responses. Together, these results indicate that PLA2G2D has an unexpected role in the lungs, serving as an important modulator of rDC activation, with protective and pathogenic effects in respiratory coronavirus infections and immunization, respectively.
Jian Zheng, David Meyerholz, Lok-Yin Roy Wong, Michael Gelb, Makoto Murakami, Stanley Perlman
Inhibitors of calcineurin phosphatase activity (CNIs) such as cyclosporin A (CsA) are widely used to treat tissue transplant rejection and acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD), for which inhibition of gene expression dependent on nuclear factor of activated T cells (NFAT) is the mechanistic paradigm. We recently reported that CNIs inhibit TCR-proximal signaling by preventing calcineurin-mediated dephosphorylation of LckS59, an inhibitory modification, raising the possibility of another mechanism by which CNIs suppress immune responses. Here we used T cells from mice that express LckS59A, which cannot accept a phosphate at residue 59, to initiate aGVHD. Although CsA inhibited NFAT-dependent gene upregulation in allo-aggressive T cells expressing either LckWT or LckS59A, it was ineffective in treating disease when the T cells expressed LckS59A. Two important NFAT-independent T cell functions were found to be CsA-resistant in LckS59A T cells: upregulation of the cytolytic protein perforin in tissue-infiltrating CD8+ T cells and antigen-specific T/DC adhesion and clustering in lymph nodes. These results demonstrate that effective treatment of aGVHD by CsA requires NFAT-independent inhibition of TCR signaling. Given that NFATs are widely expressed and off-target effects are a major limitation in CNI use, it is possible that targeting TCR-associated calcineurin directly may provide effective therapies with less toxicity.
Shizuka Otsuka, Nicolas Melis, Matthias M. Gaida, Debjani Dutta, Roberto Weigert, Jonathan D. Ashwell
Lupus nephritis is a severe organ manifestation in systemic lupus erythematosus leading to kidney failure in a subset of patients. In lupus-prone mice, controlled infection with Plasmodium parasites protects against the progression of autoimmune pathology including lethal glomerulonephritis. Here, we demonstrate that parasite-induced protection was not due to a systemic effect of infection on autoimmunity as previously assumed, but rather to specific alterations in immune cell infiltrates into kidneys and renal draining lymph nodes. Infection of lupus-prone mice with a Plasmodium parasite did not reduce the levels or specificities of autoreactive antibodies, vasculitis, immune complex–induced innate activation, or hypoxia. Instead, infection uniquely reduced kidney-infiltrating CCL17-producing bone marrow–derived type 2 inflammatory dendritic cells (iDC2s). Bone marrow reconstitution experiments revealed that infection with Plasmodium caused alterations in bone marrow cells that hindered the ability of DC2s to infiltrate the kidneys. The essential role for CCL17 in lupus nephritis was confirmed by in vivo depletion with a blocking antibody, which reduced kidney pathology and immune infiltrates, while bypassing the need for parasitic infection. Therefore, infiltration into the kidneys of iDC2s, with the potential to prime local adaptive responses, is an essential regulated event in the transition from manageable glomerulonephritis to lethal tubular injury.
Laura Amo, Hemanta K. Kole, Bethany Scott, Chen-Feng Qi, Juan Wu, Silvia Bolland