Planas-Serra et al. report that malfunction of the sphingolipid desaturase DEGS1 derails lipid homeostasis beyond sphingolipids, leading to mitochondria-associated endoplasmic reticulum membrane disruption and a hyperfused mitochondrial network. The cover artwork shows electron microscopy images of a mitochondria from a control individual, at the center, and mitochondria with aberrant morphology from hypomyelinating leukodystrophy-18 patients, along the spiral.
Samuel Philip Nobs, Eran Elinav
Organoid technology has provided new translational research opportunities in oncology, in part by enabling the development of patient-representative living biobanks. Prostate cancer research historically has been constrained to a small number of in vitro models, limiting the ability to translate experimental conclusions for contemporary, heterogeneous patient populations. The facility of organoid culture methods to maintain luminal prostate epithelia, the common lineage of prostate cancers, has greatly expanded the phenotypic and genotypic diversity of available tractable models, including luminal stem/progenitor cells and progressive patient-derived cancers. Biobanks of patient prostate cancer organoids enable increased accuracy in predicting therapeutic efficacy and informative clinical trial designs. Here, we discuss how prostate organoid technology is currently being used, the promising areas of future therapeutic applications, and the current obstacles to be overcome.
Michael Beshiri, Supreet Agarwal, Juan Juan Yin, Kathleen Kelly
While MYCN expression is an important contributing factor to heterogeneity in the natural history of neuroblastoma (NBL), a mechanistic understanding of this often mutationally quiet tumor has remained elusive. In this issue of the JCI, Weichert-Leahey and authors focused on the adrenergic and mesenchymal core regulatory circuitries (CRC) as NBL transcriptional programs. The authors previously showed that overexpression of LIM-domain-only 1 (LMO1), a transcriptional coregulator, synergizes with MYCN to accelerate tumor formation and metastasis in an NBL-zebrafish model. They now demonstrate experimentally, using genome-edited zebrafish, that a polymorphism in the human rs2168101 locus of the LMO1 gene determines which CRC is active in a tumor. In some cases, LMO3 compensated for LMO1 loss and drove the adrenergic CRC in MYCN-positive NBL. This study exemplifies the value of evolutionary relationships and zebrafish models in the investigation of human disease and reveals pathways of NBL development that may affect prevention or intervention strategies.
Jaime N. Wertman, Jason N. Berman
Treatment-resistant cancer, such as neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC), is a lethal disease with limited therapeutic options. RB1 is a tumor suppressor gene that is lost in a majority of NEPC tumors. In this issue of the JCI, Wang and colleagues examined how RB1 loss may sensitize cancer cells to ferroptosis inducers through elevation of ACSL4, a key enzyme that promotes lipid peroxidation and triggers ferroptosis. We discuss a high potential of RB1-deficient cells to undergo ferroptosis due to the elevation of ACSL4. This is normally kept in check by abundant expression of GPX4, an antioxidant enzyme, in cancer cells. This balance, however, is tilted by GPX4 inhibitors, leading to massive ferroptosis. We highlight possible therapeutic strategies that exploit this inherent vulnerability for targeting RB1-deficient, treatment-resistant cancer.
Wanqing Xie, Shivani Agarwal, Jindan Yu
Spastic paraplegia 50 (SPG50) is a rare neurodegenerative disease caused by loss-of-function mutations in AP4M1. There are no effective treatments for SPG50 or any other type of SPG, and current treatments are limited to symptomatic management. In this issue of the JCI, Chen et al. provide promising data from preclinical studies that evaluated the efficacy and safety profiles of an AAV-mediated AP4M1 gene replacement therapy for SPG50. AAV/AP4M1 gene replacement partly rescued functional defects in SPG50 cellular and mouse models, with acceptable safety profiles in rodents and monkeys. This work represents a substantial advancement in therapeutic development of SPG50 treatments, establishing the criteria for taking AAV9/AP4M1 gene therapy to clinical trials.
Jonathan R. Brent, Han-Xiang Deng
Cytomegalovirus (CMV) viremia from reactivation of latent infection is a common complication after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Untreated, CMV viremia can progress to affect other organs, resulting in organ dysfunction with high morbidity and mortality. In this issue of the JCI, Prockop and authors demonstrate that third-party donor T cells sensitized ex vivo to CMV pp65-derived overlapping pentadecapeptides are safe and effective for the treatment of CMV reactivation or CMV disease refractory to first-line pharmacotherapies occurring after HCT. They also provide insight into the biological differences between responders and nonresponders. This work confirms the utility of third-party CMV pp65 VSTs and suggests strategies for further improving the efficacy of this cell-therapy approach.
George L. Chen, Elizabeth J. Shpall
Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) is a lethal muscle disease caused by absence of the protein dystrophin, which acts as a structural link between the basal lamina and contractile machinery to stabilize muscle membranes in response to mechanical stress. In DMD, mechanical stress leads to exaggerated membrane injury and fiber breakdown, with fast fibers being the most susceptible to damage. A major contributor to this injury is muscle contraction, controlled by the motor protein myosin. However, how muscle contraction and fast muscle fiber damage contribute to the pathophysiology of DMD has not been well characterized. We explored the role of fast skeletal muscle contraction in DMD with a potentially novel, selective, orally active inhibitor of fast skeletal muscle myosin, EDG-5506. Surprisingly, even modest decreases of contraction (<15%) were sufficient to protect skeletal muscles in dystrophic mdx mice from stress injury. Longer-term treatment also decreased muscle fibrosis in key disease-implicated tissues. Importantly, therapeutic levels of myosin inhibition with EDG-5506 did not detrimentally affect strength or coordination. Finally, in dystrophic dogs, EDG-5506 reversibly reduced circulating muscle injury biomarkers and increased habitual activity. This unexpected biology may represent an important alternative treatment strategy for Duchenne and related myopathies.
Alan J. Russell, Mike DuVall, Ben Barthel, Ying Qian, Angela K. Peter, Breanne L. Newell-Stamper, Kevin Hunt, Sarah Lehman, Molly Madden, Stephen Schlachter, Ben Robertson, Ashleigh Van Deusen, Hector M. Rodriguez, Carlos Vera, Yu Su, Dennis R. Claflin, Susan V. Brooks, Peter Nghiem, Alexis Rutledge, Twlya I. Juehne, Jinsheng Yu, Elisabeth R. Barton, Yangyi E. Luo, Andreas Patsalos, Laszlo Nagy, H. Lee Sweeney, Leslie A. Leinwand, Kevin Koch
Despite the prevalence of pericytes in the microvasculature of the heart, their role during ischemia-induced remodeling remains unclear. We used multiple lineage-tracing mouse models and found that pericytes migrated to the injury site and expressed profibrotic genes, coinciding with increased vessel leakage after myocardial infarction (MI). Single-cell RNA-Seq of cardiac pericytes at various time points after MI revealed the temporally regulated induction of genes related to vascular permeability, extracellular matrix production, basement membrane degradation, and TGF-β signaling. Deleting TGF-β receptor 1 in chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan 4–expressing (Cspg4-expressing) cells reduced fibrosis following MI, leading to a transient improvement in the cardiac ejection fraction. Furthermore, genetic ablation of Cspg4-expressing cells resulted in excessive vascular permeability, a decline in cardiac function, and increased mortality in the second week after MI. These data reveal an essential role for cardiac pericytes in the control of vascular homeostasis and the fibrotic response after acute ischemic injury, information that will help guide the development of novel strategies to preserve vascular integrity and attenuate pathological cardiac remodeling.
Pearl Quijada, Shuin Park, Peng Zhao, Kamal S.S. Kolluri, David Wong, Kevin D. Shih, Kai Fang, Arash Pezhouman, Lingjun Wang, Ali Daraei, Matthew D. Tran, Elle M. Rathbun, Kimberly N. Burgos Villar, Maria L. Garcia-Hernandez, Thanh T.D. Pham, Charles J. Lowenstein, M. Luisa Iruela-Arispe, S. Thomas Carmichael, Eric M. Small, Reza Ardehali
Despite advances in acute care, ischemic stroke remains a major cause of long-term disability. Approaches targeting both neuronal and glial responses are needed to enhance recovery and improve long-term outcome. The complement C3a receptor (C3aR) is a regulator of inflammation with roles in neurodevelopment, neural plasticity, and neurodegeneration. Using mice lacking C3aR (C3aR–/–) and mice overexpressing C3a in the brain, we uncovered 2 opposing effects of C3aR signaling on functional recovery after ischemic stroke: inhibition in the acute phase and facilitation in the later phase. Peri-infarct astrocyte reactivity was increased and density of microglia reduced in C3aR–/– mice; C3a overexpression led to the opposite effects. Pharmacological treatment of wild-type mice with intranasal C3a starting 7 days after stroke accelerated recovery of motor function and attenuated astrocyte reactivity without enhancing microgliosis. C3a treatment stimulated global white matter reorganization, increased peri-infarct structural connectivity, and upregulated Igf1 and Thbs4 in the peri-infarct cortex. Thus, C3a treatment from day 7 after stroke exerts positive effects on astrocytes and neuronal connectivity while avoiding the deleterious consequences of C3aR signaling during the acute phase. Intranasal administration of C3aR agonists within a convenient time window holds translational promise to improve outcome after ischemic stroke.
Anna Stokowska, Markus Aswendt, Daniel Zucha, Stephanie Lohmann, Frederique Wieters, Javier Morán Suarez, Alison L. Atkins, YiXian Li, Maria Miteva, Julia Lewin, Dirk Wiedermann, Michael Diedenhofen, Åsa Torinsson Naluai, Pavel Abaffy, Lukas Valihrach, Mikael Kubista, Mathias Hoehn, Milos Pekny, Marcela Pekna
BACKGROUND We previously demonstrated the safety of stereotactic body radiotherapy followed by pembrolizumab (SBRT+P) in patients with advanced solid tumors. This phase I clinical trial was expanded to study the safety of partial tumor irradiation (partial-Rx). We assessed irradiated local failure (LF) and clinical outcomes with correlations to biomarkers including CD8+ T cell radiomics score (RS) and circulating cytokines.METHODS Patients received SBRT to 2–4 metastases and pembrolizumab for up to 7 days after SBRT. Tumors measuring up to 65 cc received the full radiation dose (complete-Rx), whereas tumors measuring more than 65 cc received partial-Rx. Landmark analysis was used to assess the relationship between tumor response and overall survival (OS). Multivariable analysis was performed for RS and circulating cytokines.RESULTS In the combined (expansion plus original) cohort, 97 patients (219 metastases) were analyzed and received SBRT+P. Forty-six (47%) patients received at least 1 partial-Rx treatment. There were 7 (7.2%)dose-limiting toxicities (DLTs). 1-year LF was 7.6% overall, and 13.3% and 5.4% for partial-Rx and complete-Rx tumors, respectively (HR 2.32, 95% CI 0.90–5.97, P = 0.08). The overall, unirradiated, and irradiated objective response rates were 22%, 12%, and 34%, respectively. Irradiated tumor response to SBRT+P was associated with prolonged OS; 1-year OS was 71% (responders), 42% (mixed-responders), and 0% (nonresponders) (P < 0.01). High-RS was significantly associated with improved LF, progression-free survival (PFS), and OS. Elevated circulating IL-8 was independently associated with inferior PFS and OS.CONCLUSION SBRT+P is safe in patients with large, advanced solid tumors. Additional studies are warranted to assess noninferiority of complete versus partial irradiation of tumors in the setting of immunotherapy.TRIAL REGISTRATION Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02608385FUNDING Merck Investigator Studies Program; Hillman Fellows for Innovative Cancer Research Program; NIH grants UM1CA186690-06, P50CA254865-01A1, P30CA047904-32, and R01DE031729-01A1.
Mark C. Korpics, Benjamin E. Onderdonk, Rebekah E. Dadey, Jared H. Hara, Lilit Karapetyan, Yuanyuan Zha, Theodore G. Karrison, Adam C. Olson, Gini F. Fleming, Ralph R. Weichselbaum, Riyue Bao, Steven J. Chmura, Jason J. Luke
Mucosal infections pose a significant global health burden. Antigen-specific tissue-resident T cells are critical to maintaining barrier immunity. Previous studies in the context of systemic infection suggest that memory CD8+ T cells may also provide innate-like protection against antigenically unrelated pathogens independent of T cell receptor engagement. Whether bystander T cell activation is also an important defense mechanism in the mucosa is poorly understood. Here, we investigated whether innate-like memory CD8+ T cells could protect against a model mucosal virus infection, herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2). We found that immunization with an irrelevant antigen delayed disease progression from lethal HSV-2 challenge, suggesting that memory CD8+ T cells may mediate protection despite the lack of antigen specificity. Upon HSV-2 infection, we observed an early infiltration, rather than substantial local proliferation, of antigen-nonspecific CD8+ T cells, which became bystander-activated only within the infected mucosal tissue. Critically, we show that bystander-activated CD8+ T cells are sufficient to reduce early viral burden after HSV-2 infection. Finally, local cytokine cues within the tissue microenvironment after infection were sufficient for bystander activation of mucosal tissue memory CD8+ T cells from mice and humans. Altogether, our findings suggest that local bystander activation of CD8+ memory T cells contributes a fast and effective innate-like response to infection in mucosal tissue.
Tanvi Arkatkar, Veronica Davé, Irene Cruz Talavera, Jessica B. Graham, Jessica L. Swarts, Sean M. Hughes, Timothy A. Bell, Pablo Hock, Joe Farrington, Ginger D. Shaw, Anna Kirby, Michael Fialkow, Meei-Li Huang, Keith R. Jerome, Martin T. Ferris, Florian Hladik, Joshua T. Schiffer, Martin Prlic, Jennifer M. Lund
Sphingolipids function as membrane constituents and signaling molecules, with crucial roles in human diseases, from neurodevelopmental disorders to cancer, best exemplified in the inborn errors of sphingolipid metabolism in lysosomes. The dihydroceramide desaturase Δ4-dihydroceramide desaturase 1 (DEGS1) acts in the last step of a sector of the sphingolipid pathway, de novo ceramide biosynthesis. Defects in DEGS1 cause the recently described hypomyelinating leukodystrophy-18 (HLD18) (OMIM #618404). Here, we reveal that DEGS1 is a mitochondria-associated endoplasmic reticulum membrane–resident (MAM-resident) enzyme, refining previous reports locating DEGS1 at the endoplasmic reticulum only. Using patient fibroblasts, multiomics, and enzymatic assays, we show that DEGS1 deficiency disrupts the main core functions of the MAM: (a) mitochondrial dynamics, with a hyperfused mitochondrial network associated with decreased activation of dynamin-related protein 1; (b) cholesterol metabolism, with impaired sterol O-acyltransferase activity and decreased cholesteryl esters; (c) phospholipid metabolism, with increased phosphatidic acid and phosphatidylserine and decreased phosphatidylethanolamine; and (d) biogenesis of lipid droplets, with increased size and numbers. Moreover, we detected increased mitochondrial superoxide species production in fibroblasts and mitochondrial respiration impairment in patient muscle biopsy tissues. Our findings shed light on the pathophysiology of HLD18 and broaden our understanding of the role of sphingolipid metabolism in MAM function.
Laura Planas-Serra, Nathalie Launay, Leire Goicoechea, Bénédicte Heron, Cristina Jou, Natalia Juliá-Palacios, Montserrat Ruiz, Stéphane Fourcade, Carlos Casasnovas, Carolina De La Torre, Antoinette Gelot, Maria Marsal, Pablo Loza-Alvarez, Àngels García-Cazorla, Ali Fatemi, Isidre Ferrer, Manel Portero-Otin, Estela Area-Gómez, Aurora Pujol
Spastic paraplegia 50 (SPG50) is an ultrarare childhood-onset neurological disorder caused by biallelic loss-of-function variants in the AP4M1 gene. SPG50 is characterized by progressive spastic paraplegia, global developmental delay, and subsequent intellectual disability, secondary microcephaly, and epilepsy. We preformed preclinical studies evaluating an adeno-associated virus (AAV)/AP4M1 gene therapy for SPG50 and describe in vitro studies that demonstrate transduction of patient-derived fibroblasts with AAV2/AP4M1, resulting in phenotypic rescue. To evaluate efficacy in vivo, Ap4m1-KO mice were intrathecally (i.t.) injected with 5 × 1011, 2.5 × 1011, or 1.25 × 1011 vector genome (vg) doses of AAV9/AP4M1 at P7–P10 or P90. Age- and dose-dependent effects were observed, with early intervention and higher doses achieving the best therapeutic benefits. In parallel, three toxicology studies in WT mice, rats, and nonhuman primates (NHPs) demonstrated that AAV9/AP4M1 had an acceptable safety profile up to a target human dose of 1 × 1015 vg. Of note, similar degrees of minimal-to-mild dorsal root ganglia (DRG) toxicity were observed in both rats and NHPs, supporting the use of rats to monitor DRG toxicity in future i.t. AAV studies. These preclinical results identify an acceptably safe and efficacious dose of i.t.-administered AAV9/AP4M1, supporting an investigational gene transfer clinical trial to treat SPG50.
Xin Chen, Thomas Dong, Yuhui Hu, Raffaella De Pace, Rafael Mattera, Kathrin Eberhardt, Marvin Ziegler, Terry Pirovolakis, Mustafa Sahin, Juan S. Bonifacino, Darius Ebrahimi-Fakhari, Steven J. Gray
Neural differentiation, synaptic transmission, and action potential propagation depend on membrane sphingolipids, whose metabolism is tightly regulated. Mutations in the ceramide transporter CERT (CERT1), which is involved in sphingolipid biosynthesis, are associated with intellectual disability, but the pathogenic mechanism remains obscure. Here, we characterize 31 individuals with de novo missense variants in CERT1. Several variants fall into a previously uncharacterized dimeric helical domain that enables CERT homeostatic inactivation, without which sphingolipid production goes unchecked. The clinical severity reflects the degree to which CERT autoregulation is disrupted, and inhibiting CERT pharmacologically corrects morphological and motor abnormalities in a Drosophila model of the disease, which we call ceramide transporter (CerTra) syndrome. These findings uncover a central role for CERT autoregulation in the control of sphingolipid biosynthetic flux, provide unexpected insight into the structural organization of CERT, and suggest a possible therapeutic approach for patients with CerTra syndrome.
Charlotte Gehin, Museer A. Lone, Winston Lee, Laura Capolupo, Sylvia Ho, Adekemi M. Adeyemi, Erica H. Gerkes, Alexander P.A. Stegmann, Estrella López-Martín, Eva Bermejo-Sánchez, Beatriz Martínez-Delgado, Christiane Zweier, Cornelia Kraus, Bernt Popp, Vincent Strehlow, Daniel Gräfe, Ina Knerr, Eppie R. Jones, Stefano Zamuner, Luciano A. Abriata, Vidya Kunnathully, Brandon E. Moeller, Anthony Vocat, Samuel Rommelaere, Jean-Philippe Bocquete, Evelyne Ruchti, Greta Limoni, Marine Van Campenhoudt, Samuel Bourgeat, Petra Henklein, Christian Gilissen, Bregje W. van Bon, Rolph Pfundt, Marjolein H. Willemsen, Jolanda H. Schieving, Emanuela Leonardi, Fiorenza Soli, Alessandra Murgia, Hui Guo, Qiumeng Zhang, Kun Xia, Christina R. Fagerberg, Christoph P. Beier, Martin J. Larsen, Irene Valenzuela, Paula Fernández-Álvarez, Shiyi Xiong, Robert Śmigiel, Vanesa López-González, Lluís Armengol, Manuela Morleo, Angelo Selicorni, Annalaura Torella, Moira Blyth, Nicola S. Cooper, Valerie Wilson, Renske Oegema, Yvan Herenger, Aurore Garde, Ange-Line Bruel, Frederic Tran Mau-Them, Alexis B.R. Maddocks, Jennifer M. Bain, Musadiq A. Bhat, Gregory Costain, Peter Kannu, Ashish Marwaha, Neena L. Champaigne, Michael J. Friez, Ellen B. Richardson, Vykuntaraju K. Gowda, Varunvenkat M. Srinivasan, Yask Gupta, Tze Y. Lim, Simone Sanna-Cherchi, Bruno Lemaitre, Toshiyuki Yamaji, Kentaro Hanada, John E. Burke, Ana Marjia Jakšić, Brian D. McCabe, Paolo De Los Rios, Thorsten Hornemann, Giovanni D’Angelo, Vincenzo A. Gennarino
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is a neurodegenerative disorder characterized by the gradual loss of midbrain dopaminergic neurons in association with aggregation of α-synuclein. Oxidative damage has been widely implicated in this disease, though the mechanisms involved remain elusive. Here, we demonstrated that preferential accumulation of peroxidized phospholipids and loss of the antioxidant enzyme glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4) were responsible for vulnerability of midbrain dopaminergic neurons and progressive motor dysfunctions in a mouse model of PD. We also established a mechanism wherein iron-induced dopamine oxidation modified GPX4, thereby rendering it amenable to degradation via the ubiquitin-proteasome pathway. In conclusion, this study unraveled what we believe to be a novel pathway for dopaminergic neuron degeneration during PD pathogenesis, driven by dopamine-induced loss of antioxidant GPX4 activity.
Jie Sun, Xiao-Min Lin, Dan-Hua Lu, Meng Wang, Kun Li, Sheng-Rong Li, Zheng-Qiu Li, Cheng-Jun Zhu, Zhi-Min Zhang, Chang-Yu Yan, Ming-Hai Pan, Hai-Biao Gong, Jing-Cheng Feng, Yun-Feng Cao, Feng Huang, Wan-Yang Sun, Hiroshi Kurihara, Yi-Fang Li, Wen-Jun Duan, Gen-Long Jiao, Li Zhang, Rong-Rong He
Background Refractory CMV viremia and disease are associated with significant morbidity and mortality in recipients of hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HCT).Methods In phase I/II trials, we treated 67 subjects for CMV viremia or disease arising after HCT with adoptive transfer of banked, third-party, CMVpp65-sensitized T cells (CMVpp65-VSTs). All were evaluable for toxicity and 59 for response. Evaluable subjects had CMV disease or persisting viremia that had failed at least 2 weeks of induction therapy with a median of 3 antiviral drugs; 84.7% had more than 3 of 11 high-risk features. CMVpp65-VSTs were specific for 1 to 3 CMVpp65 epitopes, presented by a limited set of HLA class I or II alleles, and were selected based on high-resolution HLA matching at 2 of 10 HLA alleles and matching for subject and subject’s HCT donor for 1 or more alleles through which the CMVpp65-VSTs were restricted.Results T cell infusions were well tolerated. Of 59 subjects evaluable for response, 38 (64%) achieved complete or durable partial responses.Conclusions Recipients responding to CMVpp65VSTs experienced an improved overall survival. Of the risk factors evaluated, transplant type, recipient CD4+ and CD8+ T cell levels prior to adoptive therapy, and the HLA restriction of CMVpp65-VSTs infused each significantly affected responses. In addition, CMVpp65-specific T cells of HCT donor or recipient origin contributed to the durability of both complete and partial responses.Trial Registration NCT00674648; NCT01646645; NCT02136797 (NIH).Funding NIH (P01 CA23766, R21 CA162002 and P30 CA008748); Aubrey Fund; Claire Tow Foundation; Major Family Foundation; “Rick” Eisemann Pediatric Research Fund; Banbury Foundation; Edith Robertson Foundation; Larry Smead Foundation.
Susan E. Prockop, Aisha Hasan, Ekaterina Doubrovina, Parastoo B. Dahi, Irene Rodriguez-Sanchez, Michael Curry, Audrey Mauguen, Genovefa A. Papanicolaou, Yiqi Su, JinJuan Yao, Maria Arcila, Farid Boulad, Hugo Castro-Malaspina, Christina Cho, Kevin J. Curran, Sergio Giralt, Nancy A. Kernan, Guenther Koehne, Ann Jakubowski, Esperanza Papadopoulos, Miguel-Angel Perales, Ioannis Politikos, Keith Price, Annamalai Selvakumar, Craig S. Sauter, Roni Tamari, Teresa Vizconde, James W. Young, Richard J. O’Reilly
Inactivation of the RB1 tumor suppressor gene is common in several types of therapy-resistant cancers, including metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer, and predicts poor clinical outcomes. Effective therapeutic strategies against RB1-deficient cancers remain elusive. Here, we showed that RB1 loss/E2F activation sensitized cancer cells to ferroptosis, a form of regulated cell death driven by iron-dependent lipid peroxidation, by upregulating expression of ACSL4 and enriching ACSL4-dependent arachidonic acid–containing phospholipids, which are key components of ferroptosis execution. ACSL4 appeared to be a direct E2F target gene and was critical to RB1 loss–induced sensitization to ferroptosis. Importantly, using cell line–derived xenografts and genetically engineered tumor models, we demonstrated that induction of ferroptosis in vivo by JKE-1674, a highly selective and stable GPX4 inhibitor, blocked RB1-deficient prostate tumor growth and metastasis and led to improved survival of the mice. Thus, our findings uncover an RB/E2F/ACSL4 molecular axis that governs ferroptosis and also suggest a promising approach for the treatment of RB1-deficient malignancies.
Mu-En Wang, Jiaqi Chen, Yi Lu, Alyssa R. Bawcom, Jinjin Wu, Jianhong Ou, John M. Asara, Andrew J. Armstrong, Qianben Wang, Lei Li, Yuzhuo Wang, Jiaoti Huang, Ming Chen
Childhood neuroblastomas exhibit plasticity between an undifferentiated neural crest–like mesenchymal cell state and a more differentiated sympathetic adrenergic cell state. These cell states are governed by autoregulatory transcriptional loops called core regulatory circuitries (CRCs), which drive the early development of sympathetic neuronal progenitors from migratory neural crest cells during embryogenesis. The adrenergic cell identity of neuroblastoma requires LMO1 as a transcriptional cofactor. Both LMO1 expression levels and the risk of developing neuroblastoma in children are associated with a single nucleotide polymorphism, G/T, that affects a GATA motif in the first intron of LMO1. Here, we showed that WT zebrafish with the GATA genotype developed adrenergic neuroblastoma, while knock-in of the protective TATA allele at this locus reduced the penetrance of MYCN-driven tumors, which were restricted to the mesenchymal cell state. Whole genome sequencing of childhood neuroblastomas demonstrated that TATA/TATA tumors also exhibited a mesenchymal cell state and were low risk at diagnosis. Thus, conversion of the regulatory GATA to a TATA allele in the first intron of LMO1 reduced the neuroblastoma-initiation rate by preventing formation of the adrenergic cell state. This mechanism was conserved over 400 million years of evolution, separating zebrafish and humans.
Nina Weichert-Leahey, Hui Shi, Ting Tao, Derek A. Oldridge, Adam D. Durbin, Brian J. Abraham, Mark W. Zimmerman, Shizhen Zhu, Andrew C. Wood, Deepak Reyon, J. Keith Joung, Richard A. Young, Sharon J. Diskin, John M. Maris, A. Thomas Look
Background Maintaining durable immunity following vaccination represents a major challenge, but whether mRNA booster vaccination improves durability is unknown.Methods We measured antibody responses in 55 healthy adults, who received a booster dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna vaccine against SARS-CoV-2 and calculated the half-life of the antibody titers. We also measured memory B and T cell responses in a subset of 28 participants. In 13 volunteers who received a second booster vaccine, we measured serum antibody titers and memory B and T cell responses.Results The booster (third immunization) dose at 6 to 10 months increased the half-life of the serum–neutralizing antibody (nAb) titers to 76 days from 56 to 66 days after the primary 2-dose vaccination. A second booster dose (fourth immunization) a year after the primary vaccination further increased the half-life to 88 days. However, despite this modestly improved durability in nAb responses against the ancestral (WA.1) strain, there was a loss of neutralization capacity against the Omicron subvariants BA.2.75.2, BQ.1.1, and XBB.1.5 (48-, 71-, and 66-fold drop in titers, respectively, relative to the WA.1 strain). Although only 45% to 65% of participants demonstrated a detectable nAb titer against the newer variants after the booster (third dose), the response declined to below the detection limit in almost all individuals by 6 months. In contrast, booster vaccination induced antigen-specific memory B and T cells that persisted for at least 6 months.Conclusion The durability of serum antibody responses improves only marginally following booster immunizations with the Pfizer-BioNTech or Moderna mRNA vaccines.
Prabhu S. Arunachalam, Lilin Lai, Hady Samaha, Yupeng Feng, Mengyun Hu, Harold Sai-yin Hui, Bushra Wali, Madison Ellis, Meredith E. Davis-Gardner, Christopher Huerta, Kareem Bechnak, Sarah Bechnak, Matthew Lee, Matthew B. Litvack, Cecilia Losada, Alba Grifoni, Alessandro Sette, Veronika I. Zarnitsyna, Nadine Rouphael, Mehul S. Suthar, Bali Pulendran
Background Lung infections are among the most consequential manifestations of cystic fibrosis (CF) and are associated with reduced lung function and shortened survival. Drugs called CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) modulators improve activity of dysfunctional CFTR channels, which is the physiological defect causing CF. However, it is unclear how improved CFTR activity affects CF lung infections.Methods We performed a prospective, multicenter, observational study to measure the effect of the newest and most effective CFTR modulator, elexacaftor/tezacaftor/ivacaftor (ETI), on CF lung infections. We studied sputum from 236 people with CF during their first 6 months of ETI using bacterial cultures, PCR, and sequencing.Results Mean sputum densities of Staphylococcus aureus, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, Stenotrophomonas maltophilia, Achromobacter spp., and Burkholderia spp. decreased by 2–3 log10 CFU/mL after 1 month of ETI. However, most participants remained culture positive for the pathogens cultured from their sputum before starting ETI. In those becoming culture negative after ETI, the pathogens present before treatment were often still detectable by PCR months after sputum converted to culture negative. Sequence-based analyses confirmed large reductions in CF pathogen genera, but other bacteria detected in sputum were largely unchanged. ETI treatment increased average sputum bacterial diversity and produced consistent shifts in sputum bacterial composition. However, these changes were caused by ETI-mediated decreases in CF pathogen abundance rather than changes in other bacteria.Conclusions Treatment with the most effective CFTR modulator currently available produced large and rapid reductions in traditional CF pathogens in sputum, but most participants remain infected with the pathogens present before modulator treatment.Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04038047.Funding The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the NIH.
David P. Nichols, Sarah J. Morgan, Michelle Skalland, Anh T. Vo, Jill M. Van Dalfsen, Sachinkumar B.P. Singh, Wendy Ni, Lucas R. Hoffman, Kailee McGeer, Sonya L. Heltshe, John P. Clancy, Steven M. Rowe, Peter Jorth, Pradeep K. Singh, the PROMISE-Micro Study Group
Jaebeom Cho, Hye-Young Min, Ho Jin Lee, Seung Yeob Hyun, Jeong Yeon Sim, Myungkyung Noh, Su Jung Hwang, Shin-Hyung Park, Hye-Jin Boo, Hyo-Jong Lee, Sungyoul Hong, Rang-Woon Park, Young Kee Shin, Mien-Chie Hung, Ho-Young Lee