Chin et al. report that blood-derived lysophospholipid transported by Mfsd2a is critical in maintaining liver phospholipid that protects periportal hepatocytes from NAFLD development. This cover image is an artistic rendering of a mouse liver section localizing Mfsd2a specifically in periportal hepatocytes, as shown in green. Cholangiocytes and pericentral hepatocytes are shown in red and pink, respectively. Nuclei are shown in blue. Image credit: Cheen Fei Chin.
In recent years, there has been an explosion of interest in how fibroblasts initiate, sustain, and resolve inflammation across disease states. Fibroblasts contain heterogeneous subsets with diverse functionality. The phenotypes of these populations vary depending on their spatial distribution within the tissue and the immunopathologic cues contributing to disease progression. In addition to their roles in structurally supporting organs and remodeling tissue, fibroblasts mediate critical interactions with diverse immune cells. These interactions have important implications for defining mechanisms of disease and identifying potential therapeutic targets. Fibroblasts in the respiratory tract, in particular, determine the severity and outcome of numerous acute and chronic lung diseases, including asthma, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, acute respiratory distress syndrome, and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis. Here, we review recent studies defining the spatiotemporal identity of the lung-derived fibroblasts and the mechanisms by which these subsets regulate immune responses to insult exposures and highlight past, current, and future therapeutic targets with relevance to fibroblast biology in the context of acute and chronic human respiratory diseases. This perspective highlights the importance of tissue context in defining fibroblast-immune crosstalk and paves the way for identifying therapeutic approaches to benefit patients with acute and chronic pulmonary disorders.
Mohamed A. Ghonim, David F. Boyd, Tim Flerlage, Paul G. Thomas
The lymphatic system (LS) is composed of lymphoid organs and a network of vessels that transport interstitial fluid, antigens, lipids, cholesterol, immune cells, and other materials in the body. Abnormal development or malfunction of the LS has been shown to play a key role in the pathophysiology of many disease states. Thus, improved understanding of the anatomical and molecular characteristics of the LS may provide approaches for disease prevention or treatment. Recent advances harnessing single-cell technologies, clinical imaging, discovery of biomarkers, and computational tools have led to the development of strategies to study the LS. This Review summarizes the outcomes of the NIH workshop entitled “Yet to be Charted: Lymphatic System in Health and Disease,” held in September 2022, with emphasis on major areas for advancement. International experts showcased the current state of knowledge regarding the LS and highlighted remaining challenges and opportunities to advance the field.
Babak J. Mehrara, Andrea J. Radtke, Gwendalyn J. Randolph, Brianna T. Wachter, Patricia Greenwel, Ilsa I. Rovira, Zorina S. Galis, Selen C. Muratoglu
Natalie E. Stevens, Feargal J. Ryan, Nicole L. Messina, Stephen J. Blake, Todd S. Norton, Susie Germano, Jane James, Georgina L. Eden, Yee C. Tee, Miriam A. Lynn, Rochelle Botten, Simone E. Barry, Nigel Curtis, David J. Lynn
BACKGROUND Autoimmune diseases often have strong genetic associations with specific HLA-DR alleles. The synovial lesion in chronic inflammatory forms of arthritis shows marked upregulation of HLA-DR molecules, including in postinfectious Lyme arthritis (LA). However, the identity of HLA-DR–presented peptides, and therefore the reasons for these associations, has frequently remained elusive.METHODS Using immunopeptidomics to detect HLA-DR–presented peptides from synovial tissue, we identified T cell epitopes from 3 extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins in patients with postinfectious LA, identified potential Borreliella burgdorferi–mimic (Bb-mimic) epitopes, and characterized T and B cell responses to these peptides or proteins.RESULTS Of 24 postinfectious LA patients, 58% had CD4+ T cell responses to at least 1 epitope of 3 ECM proteins, fibronectin-1, laminin B2, and/or collagen Vα1, and 17% of 52 such patients had antibody responses to at least 1 of these proteins. Patients with autoreactive T cell responses had significantly increased frequencies of HLA-DRB1*04 or -DRB1*1501 alleles and more prolonged arthritis. When tetramer reagents were loaded with ECM or corresponding Bb-mimic peptides, binding was only with the autoreactive T cells. A high percentage of ECM-autoreactive CD4+ T cells in synovial fluid were T-bet–expressing Th1 cells, a small percentage were RoRγt-expressing Th17 cells, and a minimal percentage were FoxP3-expressing Tregs.CONCLUSION Autoreactive, proinflammatory CD4+ T cells and autoantibodies develop to ECM proteins in a subgroup of postinfectious LA patients who have specific HLA-DR alleles. Rather than the traditional molecular mimicry model, we propose that epitope spreading provides the best explanation for this example of infection-induced autoimmunity.FUNDING Supported by National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases R01-AI101175, R01-AI144365, and F32-AI125764; National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases K01-AR062098 and T32-AR007258; NIH grants P41-GM104603, R24-GM134210, S10-RR020946, S10-OD010724, S10-OD021651, and S10-OD021728; and the G. Harold and Leila Y. Mathers Foundation, the Eshe Fund, and the Lyme Disease and Arthritis Research Fund at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Korawit Kanjana, Klemen Strle, Robert B. Lochhead, Annalisa Pianta, Laura M. Mateyka, Qi Wang, Sheila L. Arvikar, David E. Kling, Cameron A. Deangelo, Lucy Curham, Alan G. Barbour, Catherine E. Costello, James J. Moon, Allen C. Steere
Non–small cell lung cancers that harbor concurrent KRAS and TP53 (KP) mutations are immunologically warm tumors with partial responsiveness to anti–PD-(L)1 blockade; however, most patients observe little or no durable clinical benefit. To identify novel tumor-driven resistance mechanisms, we developed a panel of KP murine lung cancer models with intrinsic resistance to anti–PD-1 and queried differential gene expression between these tumors and anti–PD-1–sensitive tumors. We found that the enzyme autotaxin (ATX), and the metabolite it produces, lysophosphatidic acid (LPA), were significantly upregulated in resistant tumors and that ATX directly modulated antitumor immunity, with its expression negatively correlating with total and effector tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells. Pharmacological inhibition of ATX, or the downstream receptor LPAR5, in combination with anti–PD-1 was sufficient to restore the antitumor immune response and efficaciously control lung tumor growth in multiple KP tumor models. Additionally, ATX was significantly correlated with inflammatory gene signatures, including a CD8+ cytolytic score in multiple lung adenocarcinoma patient data sets, suggesting that an activated tumor-immune microenvironment upregulates ATX and thus provides an opportunity for cotargeting to prevent acquired resistance to anti–PD-1 treatment. These data reveal the ATX/LPA axis as an immunosuppressive pathway that diminishes the immune checkpoint blockade response in lung cancer.
Jessica M. Konen, B. Leticia Rodriguez, Haoyi Wu, Jared J. Fradette, Laura Gibson, Lixia Diao, Jing Wang, Stephanie Schmidt, Ignacio I. Wistuba, Jianjun Zhang, Don L. Gibbons
RNA splicing factor SF3B1 is recurrently mutated in various cancers, particularly in hematologic malignancies. We previously reported that coexpression of Sf3b1 mutation and Atm deletion in B cells, but not either lesion alone, leads to the onset of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) with CLL cells harboring chromosome amplification. However, the exact role of Sf3b1 mutation and Atm deletion in chromosomal instability (CIN) remains unclear. Here, we demonstrated that SF3B1 mutation promotes centromeric R-loop (cen-R-loop) accumulation, leading to increased chromosome oscillation, impaired chromosome segregation, altered spindle architecture, and aneuploidy, which could be alleviated by removal of cen-R-loop and exaggerated by deletion of ATM. Aberrant splicing of key genes involved in R-loop processing underlay augmentation of cen-R-loop, as overexpression of the normal isoform, but not the altered form, mitigated mitotic stress in SF3B1-mutant cells. Our study identifies a critical role of splice variants in linking RNA splicing dysregulation and CIN and highlights cen-R-loop augmentation as a key mechanism for leukemogenesis.
Martina Cusan, Haifeng Shen, Bo Zhang, Aijun Liao, Lu Yang, Meiling Jin, Mike Fernandez, Prajish Iyer, Yiming Wu, Kevyn Hart, Catherine Gutierrez, Sara Nik, Shondra M. Pruett-Miller, Jeremy Stark, Esther A. Obeng, Teresa V. Bowman, Catherine J. Wu, Ren-Jang Lin, Lili Wang
Therapeutic benefit to immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) is currently limited to the subset of cancers thought to possess a sufficient tumor mutational burden (TMB) to allow for the spontaneous recognition of neoantigens (NeoAg) by autologous T cells. We explored whether the response to ICB of an aggressive low-TMB squamous cell tumor could be improved through combination immunotherapy using functionally defined NeoAg as targets for endogenous CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. We found that, whereas vaccination with CD4+ or CD8+ NeoAg alone did not offer prophylactic or therapeutic immunity, vaccines containing NeoAg recognized by both subsets overcame ICB resistance and led to the eradication of large established tumors that contained a subset of PD-L1+ tumor-initiating cancer stem cells (tCSC), provided the relevant epitopes were physically linked. Therapeutic CD4+/CD8+ T cell NeoAg vaccination produced a modified tumor microenvironment (TME) with increased numbers of NeoAg-specific CD8+ T cells existing in progenitor and intermediate exhausted states enabled by combination ICB-mediated intermolecular epitope spreading. We believe that the concepts explored herein should be exploited for the development of more potent personalized cancer vaccines that can expand the range of tumors treatable with ICB.
Joseph S. Dolina, Joey Lee, Spencer E. Brightman, Sara McArdle, Samantha M. Hall, Rukman R. Thota, Karla S. Zavala, Manasa Lanka, Ashmitaa Logandha Ramamoorthy Premlal, Jason A. Greenbaum, Ezra E. W. Cohen, Bjoern Peters, Stephen P. Schoenberger
Recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns can trigger the inositol-requiring enzyme 1 α (IRE1α) arm of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response in innate immune cells. This process maintains ER homeostasis and also coordinates diverse immunomodulatory programs during bacterial and viral infections. However, the role of innate IRE1α signaling in response to fungal pathogens remains elusive. Here, we report that systemic infection with the human opportunistic fungal pathogen Candida albicans induced proinflammatory IRE1α hyperactivation in myeloid cells that led to fatal kidney immunopathology. Mechanistically, simultaneous activation of the TLR/IL-1R adaptor protein MyD88 and the C-type lectin receptor dectin-1 by C. albicans induced NADPH oxidase–driven generation of ROS, which caused ER stress and IRE1α-dependent overexpression of key inflammatory mediators such as IL-1β, IL-6, chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 5 (CCL5), prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), and TNF-α. Selective ablation of IRE1α in leukocytes, or treatment with an IRE1α pharmacological inhibitor, mitigated kidney inflammation and prolonged the survival of mice with systemic C. albicans infection. Therefore, controlling IRE1α hyperactivation may be useful for impeding the immunopathogenic progression of disseminated candidiasis.
Deepika Awasthi, Sahil Chopra, Byuri A. Cho, Alexander Emmanuelli, Tito A. Sandoval, Sung-Min Hwang, Chang-Suk Chae, Camilla Salvagno, Chen Tan, Liliana Vasquez-Urbina, Jose J. Fernandez Rodriguez, Sara F. Santagostino, Takao Iwawaki, E. Alfonso Romero-Sandoval, Mariano Sanchez Crespo, Diana K. Morales, Iliyan D. Iliev, Tobias M. Hohl, Juan R. Cubillos-Ruiz
Red blood cells (RBCs) mediate cardioprotection via nitric oxide–like bioactivity, but the signaling and the identity of any mediator released by the RBCs remains unknown. We investigated whether RBCs exposed to hypoxia release a cardioprotective mediator and explored the nature of this mediator. Perfusion of isolated hearts subjected to ischemia-reperfusion with extracellular supernatant from mouse RBCs exposed to hypoxia resulted in improved postischemic cardiac function and reduced infarct size. Hypoxia increased extracellular export of cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) from mouse RBCs, and exogenous cGMP mimicked the cardioprotection induced by the supernatant. The protection induced by hypoxic RBCs was dependent on RBC-soluble guanylate cyclase and cGMP transport and was sensitive to phosphodiesterase 5 and activated cardiomyocyte protein kinase G. Oral administration of nitrate to mice to increase nitric oxide bioactivity further enhanced the cardioprotective effect of hypoxic RBCs. In a placebo-controlled clinical trial, a clear cardioprotective, soluble guanylate cyclase–dependent effect was induced by RBCs collected from patients randomized to 5 weeks nitrate-rich diet. It is concluded that RBCs generate and export cGMP as a response to hypoxia, mediating cardioprotection via a paracrine effect. This effect can be further augmented by a simple dietary intervention, suggesting preventive and therapeutic opportunities in ischemic heart disease.
Jiangning Yang, Michaela L. Sundqvist, Xiaowei Zheng, Tong Jiao, Aida Collado, Yahor Tratsiakovich, Ali Mahdi, John Tengbom, Evanthia Mergia, Sergiu-Bogdan Catrina, Zhichao Zhou, Mattias Carlström, Takaaki Akaike, Miriam M. Cortese-Krott, Eddie Weitzberg, Jon O. Lundberg, John Pernow
SAP30 is a core subunit of the transcriptional corepressor SIN3 complex, but little is known about its role in gene regulation and human cancer. Here, we show that SAP30 was a nonmutational oncoprotein upregulated in more than 50% of human breast tumors and correlated with unfavorable outcomes in patients with breast cancer. In various breast cancer mouse models, we found that SAP30 promoted tumor growth and metastasis through its interaction with SIN3A/3B. Surprisingly, the canonical gene silencing role was not essential for SAP30’s tumor-promoting actions. SAP30 enhanced chromatin accessibility and RNA polymerase II occupancy at promoters in breast cancer cells, acting as a coactivator for genes involved in cell motility, angiogenesis, and lymphangiogenesis, thereby driving tumor progression. Notably, SAP30 formed a homodimer with 1 subunit binding to SIN3A and another subunit recruiting MLL1 through specific Phe186/200 residues within its transactivation domain. MLL1 was required for SAP30-mediated transcriptional coactivation and breast tumor progression. Collectively, our findings reveal that SAP30 represents a transcriptional dependency in breast cancer.
Lei Bao, Ashwani Kumar, Ming Zhu, Yan Peng, Chao Xing, Jennifer E. Wang, Yingfei Wang, Weibo Luo
In comparison with responses in recurrent glioblastoma (rGBM), the intracranial response of brain metastases (BrM) to immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) is less well studied. Here, we present an integrated single-cell RNA-Seq (scRNA-Seq) study of 19 ICB-naive and 9 ICB-treated BrM samples from our own and published data sets. We compared them with our previously published scRNA-Seq data from rGBM and found that ICB led to more prominent T cell infiltration into BrM than rGBM. These BrM-infiltrating T cells exhibited a tumor-specific phenotype and displayed greater activated/exhausted features. We also used multiplex immunofluorescence and spatial transcriptomics to reveal that ICB reduced a distinct CD206+ macrophage population in the perivascular space, which may modulate T cell entry into BrM. Furthermore, we identified a subset of progenitor exhausted T cells that correlated with longer overall survival in BrM patients. Our study provides a comprehensive immune cellular landscape of ICB’s effect on metastatic brain tumors and offers insights into potential strategies for improving ICB efficacy for brain tumor patients.
Lu Sun, Jenny C. Kienzler, Jeremy G. Reynoso, Alexander Lee, Eileen Shiuan, Shanpeng Li, Jiyoon Kim, Lizhong Ding, Amber J. Monteleone, Geoffrey C. Owens, Joanna J. Phillips, Richard G. Everson, David Nathanson, Timothy F. Cloughesy, Gang Li, Linda M. Liau, Willy Hugo, Won Kim, Robert M. Prins
BACKGROUND Generally, clinical assessment of gonadal testosterone (T) in human physiology is determined using concentrations measured in peripheral blood. Prostatic T exposure is similarly thought to be determined from peripheral T exposure. Despite the fact that androgens drive prostate cancer, peripheral T has had no role in the clinical evaluation or treatment of men with localized prostate cancer.METHODS To assess the role of local androgen delivery in prostate cancer, we obtained blood from the (periprostatic) prostatic dorsal venous complex in 266 men undergoing radical prostatectomy from July 2014 to August 2021 and compared dorsal T (DT) levels with those in circulating peripheral blood (PT) and prostatic tissue. Comprehensive targeted steroid analysis and unbiased metabolomics analyses were performed. The association between the DT/PT ratio and progression-free survival after prostatectomy was assessed.RESULTS Surprisingly, in some men, DT levels were enriched several-fold compared with PT levels. For example, 20% of men had local T concentrations that were at least 2-fold higher than peripheral T concentrations. Isocaproic acid, a byproduct of androgen biosynthesis, and 17-OH-progesterone, a marker of intratesticular T, were also enriched in the dorsal vein of these men, consistent with testicular shunting. Men with enriched DT had higher rates of prostate cancer recurrence. DT/PT concentration ratios predicted worse outcomes even when accounting for known clinical predictors.CONCLUSIONS These data suggest that a large proportion of men have a previously unappreciated exposure to an undiluted and highly concentrated T supply. Elevated periprostatic T exposure was associated with worse clinical outcomes after radical prostatectomy.FUNDING National Cancer Institute (NCI), NIH grants R01CA172382, R01CA236780, R01CA261995, R01CA249279, and R50CA251961; US Army Medical Research and Development Command grants W81XWH2010137 and W81XWH-22-1-0082.
Mohammad Alyamani, Patrick Michael, Daniel Hettel, Lewis Thomas, Scott D. Lundy, Mike Berk, Mona Patel, Jianbo Li, Hooman Rashidi, Jesse K. McKenney, Eric A. Klein, Nima Sharifi
The liver has a high demand for phosphatidylcholine (PC), particularly in overnutrition, where reduced phospholipid levels have been implicated in the development of nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Whether other pathways exist in addition to de novo PC synthesis that contribute to hepatic PC pools remains unknown. Here, we identified the lysophosphatidylcholine (LPC) transporter major facilitator superfamily domain containing 2A (Mfsd2a) as critical for maintaining hepatic phospholipid pools. Hepatic Mfsd2a expression was induced in patients having NAFLD and in mice in response to dietary fat via glucocorticoid receptor action. Mfsd2a liver-specific deficiency in mice (L2aKO) led to a robust nonalcoholic steatohepatitis–like (NASH-like) phenotype within just 2 weeks of dietary fat challenge associated with reduced hepatic phospholipids containing linoleic acid. Reducing dietary choline intake in L2aKO mice exacerbated liver pathology and deficiency of liver phospholipids containing polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs). Treating hepatocytes with LPCs containing oleate and linoleate, two abundant blood-derived LPCs, specifically induced lipid droplet biogenesis and contributed to phospholipid pools, while LPC containing the omega-3 fatty acid docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) promoted lipid droplet formation and suppressed lipogenesis. This study revealed that PUFA-containing LPCs drive hepatic lipid droplet formation, suppress lipogenesis, and sustain hepatic phospholipid pools — processes that are critical for protecting the liver from excess dietary fat.
Cheen Fei Chin, Dwight L.A. Galam, Liang Gao, Bryan C. Tan, Bernice H. Wong, Geok-Lin Chua, Randy Y.J. Loke, Yen Ching Lim, Markus R. Wenk, Miao-Shan Lim, Wei-Qiang Leow, George B.B. Goh, Federico Torta, David L. Silver
HIV-1 persists in a latent reservoir in resting CD4+ T cells despite antiretroviral therapy (ART). The reservoir decays slowly over the first 7 years of ART (t1/2 = 44 months). However, whether decay continues with long-term ART is unclear. Recent integration site studies indicate gradual selection against inducible, intact proviruses, raising speculation that decades of ART might allow treatment interruption without viral rebound. Therefore, we measured the reservoir in 42 people on long-term ART (mean 22 years) using a quantitative viral outgrowth assay. After 7 years of ART, there was no long-term decrease in the frequency of inducible, replication-competent proviruses but rather an increase with an estimated doubling time of 23 years. Another reservoir assay, the intact proviral DNA assay, confirmed that reservoir decay with t1/2 of 44 months did not continue with long-term ART. The lack of decay reflected proliferation of infected cells. Most inducible, replication-competent viruses (79.8%) had env sequences identical to those of other isolates from the same sample. Thus, although integration site analysis indicates changes in reservoir composition, the proliferation of CD4+ T cells counteracts decay, maintaining the frequency of inducible, replication-competent proviruses at roughly constant levels over the long term. These results reinforce the need for lifelong ART.
Natalie F. McMyn, Joseph Varriale, Emily J. Fray, Carolin Zitzmann, Hannah MacLeod, Jun Lai, Anushka Singhal, Milica Moskovljevic, Mauro A. Garcia, Brianna M. Lopez, Vivek Hariharan, Kyle Rhodehouse, Kenneth Lynn, Pablo Tebas, Karam Mounzer, Luis J. Montaner, Erika Benko, Colin Kovacs, Rebecca Hoh, Francesco R. Simonetti, Gregory M. Laird, Steven G. Deeks, Ruy M. Ribeiro, Alan S. Perelson, Robert F. Siliciano, Janet M. Siliciano