Baldrighi et al. report that PLK1 inhibitors can be used to treat models of inflammatory diseases with excessive NLRP3 inflammasome activation. The cover image shows inflammatory macrophages with many NLRP3 signals (green) around the microtubule-organizing center (MTOC; microtubules in red). Under inflammatory insults, PLK1 inhibition can disrupt this microtubule-dependent NLRP3 distribution. Image credit: Yang Li and Xiao Chen.
Peter-James H. Zushin, Souhrid Mukherjee, Joseph C. Wu
Although subsets of patients with lung squamous cell carcinoma (LSCC) benefit from immunotherapy, there are few effective molecularly targeted treatments for LSCC. Fibroblast growth factor receptor (FGFR) inhibitors provide a therapeutic option for patients with LSCC harboring FGFR aberrations, but their therapeutic efficacy has been limited to date. In this issue of the JCI, Malchers et al. identified tail-to-tail rearrangements, either within or near FGFR1, that are associated with FGFR1 dependency and sensitivity to FGFR inhibition in LSCC. These results may help improve the selection of patients with LSCC who are most likely to benefit from treatment with FGFR inhibitors.
Netta Mäkinen, Matthew Meyerson
Macrophages are key mediators of innate immunity whose functional state can be regulated by glucose transporters. Although abundantly expressed in macrophages, the specific function of GLUT3, an isoform of facilitative glucose transporters, has not been clearly established. In this issue of the JCI, Dong-Min Yu and colleagues identify an alternative role for GLUT3 in promoting M2 macrophage polarization. The authors demonstrated that GLUT3 was upregulated upon M2 stimulation and was required for efficient alternative macrophage polarization and function. They further showed that GLUT3-induced M2 polarization was independent of glucose transport and functioned through Ras-mediated regulation of IL-4R endocytosis and IL-4/STAT6 activation. These findings may guide the development of macrophage-targeted treatments.
Peng Zhang, Jason Miska, Amy B. Heimberger
Prashant Rai, Martin Sharpe, Charan K. Ganta, Paul J. Baker, Katrin D. Mayer-Barber, Brian E. Fee, Gregory A. Taylor, Michael B. Fessler
Christoph Strumann, Otavio Ranzani, Jeanne Moor, Reinhard Berner, Nicole Töpfner, Cho-Ming Chao, Matthias B. Moor
Consumption of low dietary potassium, common with ultraprocessed foods, activates the thiazide-sensitive sodium chloride cotransporter (NCC) via the with no (K) lysine kinase/STE20/SPS1-related proline-alanine–rich protein kinase (WNK/SPAK) pathway to induce salt retention and elevate blood pressure (BP). However, it remains unclear how high-potassium “DASH-like” diets (dietary approaches to stop hypertension) inactivate the cotransporter and whether this decreases BP. A transcriptomics screen identified Ppp1Ca, encoding PP1A, as a potassium-upregulated gene, and its negative regulator Ppp1r1a, as a potassium-suppressed gene in the kidney. PP1A directly binds to and dephosphorylates NCC when extracellular potassium is elevated. Using mice genetically engineered to constitutively activate the NCC-regulatory kinase SPAK and thereby eliminate the effects of the WNK/SPAK kinase cascade, we confirmed that PP1A dephosphorylated NCC directly in a potassium-regulated manner. Prior adaptation to a high-potassium diet was required to maximally dephosphorylate NCC and lower BP in constitutively active SPAK mice, and this was associated with potassium-dependent suppression of Ppp1r1a and dephosphorylation of its cognate protein, inhibitory subunit 1 (I1). In conclusion, potassium-dependent activation of PP1A and inhibition of I1 drove NCC dephosphorylation, providing a mechanism to explain how high dietary K+ lowers BP. Shifting signaling of PP1A in favor of activation of WNK/SPAK may provide an improved therapeutic approach for treating salt-sensitive hypertension.
P. Richard Grimm, Anamaria Tatomir, Lena L. Rosenbaek, Bo Young Kim, Dimin Li, Eric J. Delpire, Robert A. Fenton, Paul A. Welling
Unabated activation of the NLR family pyrin domain–containing 3 (NLRP3) inflammasome is linked with the pathogenesis of various inflammatory disorders. Polo-like kinase 1 (PLK1) has been widely studied for its role in mitosis. Here, using both pharmacological and genetic approaches, we demonstrate that PLK1 promoted NLRP3 inflammasome activation at cell interphase. Using an unbiased proximity-dependent biotin identification (Bio-ID) screen for the PLK1 interactome in macrophages, we show an enhanced proximal association of NLRP3 with PLK1 upon NLRP3 inflammasome activation. We further confirmed the interaction between PLK1 and NLRP3 and identified the interacting domains. Mechanistically, we show that PLK1 orchestrated the microtubule-organizing center (MTOC) structure and NLRP3 subcellular positioning upon inflammasome activation. Treatment with a selective PLK1 kinase inhibitor suppressed IL-1β production in in vivo inflammatory models, including LPS-induced endotoxemia and monosodium urate–induced peritonitis in mice. Our results uncover a role of PLK1 in regulating NLRP3 inflammasome activation during interphase and identify pharmacological inhibition of PLK1 as a potential therapeutic strategy for inflammatory diseases with excessive NLRP3 inflammasome activation.
Marta Baldrighi, Christian Doreth, Yang Li, Xiaohui Zhao, Emily Warner, Hannah Chenoweth, Kamal Kishore, Yagnesh Umrania, David-Paul Minde, Sarah Thome, Xian Yu, Yuning Lu, Alice Knapton, James Harrison, Murray Clarke, Eicke Latz, Guillermo de Cárcer, Marcos Malumbres, Bernhard Ryffel, Clare Bryant, Jinping Liu, Kathryn S. Lilley, Ziad Mallat, Xuan Li
CD8+ T cells outnumber CD4+ cells in multiple sclerosis (MS) lesions associated with disease progression, but the pathogenic role and antigenic targets of these clonally expanded effectors are unknown. Based on evidence that demyelination is necessary but not sufficient for disease progression in MS, we previously hypothesized that CNS-infiltrating CD8+ T cells specific for neuronal antigens directly drive the axonal and neuronal injury that leads to cumulative neurologic disability in patients with MS. We now show that demyelination induced expression of MHC class I on neurons and axons and resulted in presentation of a neuron-specific neoantigen (synapsin promoter–driven chicken ovalbumin) to antigen-specific CD8+ T cells (anti-ovalbumin OT-I TCR-transgenic T cells). These neuroantigen-specific effectors surveilled the CNS in the absence of demyelination but were not retained. However, upon induction of demyelination via cuprizone intoxication, neuroantigen-specific CD8+ T cells proliferated, accumulated in the CNS, and damaged neoantigen-expressing neurons and axons. We further report elevated neuronal expression of MHC class I and β2-microglobulin transcripts and protein in gray matter and white matter tracts in tissue from patients with MS. These findings support a pathogenic role for autoreactive anti-axonal and anti-neuronal CD8+ T cells in MS progression.
Benjamin D.S. Clarkson, Ethan M. Grund, Miranda M. Standiford, Kanish Mirchia, Maria S. Westphal, Liz S. Muschler, Charles L. Howe
The metastasis of cancer cells is the main cause of death in patients with gastric cancer (GC). Mounting evidence has demonstrated the vital importance of tumor-associated macrophages in promoting tumor invasion and metastasis; however, the interaction between tumor cells and macrophages in GC is largely unknown. In this study, we demonstrated that cyclase-associated protein 2 (CAP2) was upregulated in GC, especially in cases with lymph node metastasis, and was correlated with a poorer prognosis. The transcription factor JUN directly bound to the promoter region of CAP2 and activated CAP2 transcription. The N-terminal domain of CAP2 bound to the WD5 to WD7 domains of receptor for activated C kinase 1 (RACK1) and induced M2 macrophage polarization by activating the SRC/focal adhesion kinase (FAK)/ERK signaling pathway, which resulted in IL-4 and IL-10 secretion. Polarized M2 macrophages induced premetastatic niche formation and promoted GC metastasis by secreting TGFB1, which created a TGFB1/JUN/CAP2 positive-feedback loop to activate CAP2 expression continuously. Furthermore, we identified salvianolic acid B as an inhibitor of CAP2, which effectively inhibited GC cell invasion capabilities by suppressing the SRC/FAK/ERK signaling pathway. Our data suggest that CAP2, a key molecule mediating the interaction between GC cells and tumor-associated macrophages, may be a promising therapeutic target for suppressing tumor metastasis in GC.
Guohao Zhang, Zhaoxin Gao, Xiangyu Guo, Ranran Ma, Xiaojie Wang, Pan Zhou, Chunlan Li, Zhiyuan Tang, Ruinan Zhao, Peng Gao
Dual-specificity phosphatase 8 (DUSP8) is a MAPK phosphatase that dephosphorylates and inactivates the kinase JNK. DUSP8 is highly expressed in T cells; however, the in vivo role of DUSP8 in T cells remains unclear. Using T cell–specific Dusp8 conditional KO (T-Dusp8 cKO) mice, mass spectrometry analysis, ChIP-Seq, and immune analysis, we found that DUSP8 interacted with Pur-α, stimulated interleukin-9 (IL-9) gene expression, and promoted Th9 differentiation. Mechanistically, DUSP8 dephosphorylated the transcriptional repressor Pur-α upon TGF-β signaling, leading to the nuclear export of Pur-α and subsequent IL-9 transcriptional activation. Furthermore, Il-9 mRNA levels were induced in Pur-α–deficient T cells. In addition, T-Dusp8–cKO mice displayed reduction of IL-9 and Th9-mediated immune responses in the allergic asthma model. Reduction of Il-9 mRNA levels in T cells and allergic responses of T-Dusp8–cKO mice was reversed by Pur-α knockout. Remarkably, DUSP8 protein levels and the DUSP8–Pur-α interaction were indeed increased in the cytoplasm of T cells from people with asthma and patients with atopic dermatitis. Collectively, DUSP8 induces TGF-β–stimulated IL-9 transcription and Th9-induced allergic responses by inhibiting the nuclear translocation of the transcriptional repressor Pur-α. DUSP8 may be a T-cell biomarker and therapeutic target for asthma and atopic dermatitis.
Huai-Chia Chuang, Chia-Hsin Hsueh, Pu-Ming Hsu, Ching-Yi Tsai, Ying-Chun Shih, Hsien-Yi Chiu, Yi-Ming Chen, Wen-Kuang Yu, Ming-Han Chen, Tse-Hua Tan
Solid cancers like pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), a type of pancreatic cancer, frequently exploit nerves for rapid dissemination. This neural invasion (NI) is an independent prognostic factor in PDAC, but insufficiently modeled in genetically engineered mouse models (GEMM) of PDAC. Here, we systematically screened for human-like NI in Europe’s largest repository of GEMM of PDAC, comprising 295 different genotypes. This phenotype screen uncovered 2 GEMMs of PDAC with human-like NI, which are both characterized by pancreas-specific overexpression of transforming growth factor α (TGF-α) and conditional depletion of p53. Mechanistically, cancer-cell-derived TGF-α upregulated CCL2 secretion from sensory neurons, which induced hyperphosphorylation of the cytoskeletal protein paxillin via CCR4 on cancer cells. This activated the cancer migration machinery and filopodia formation toward neurons. Disrupting CCR4 or paxillin activity limited NI and dampened tumor size and tumor innervation. In human PDAC, phospho-paxillin and TGF-α–expression constituted strong prognostic factors. Therefore, we believe that the TGF-α-CCL2-CCR4-p-paxillin axis is a clinically actionable target for constraining NI and tumor progression in PDAC.
Xiaobo Wang, Rouzanna Istvanffy, Linhan Ye, Steffen Teller, Melanie Laschinger, Kalliope N. Diakopoulos, Kıvanç Görgülü, Qiaolin Li, Lei Ren, Carsten Jäger, Katja Steiger, Alexander Muckenhuber, Baiba Vilne, Kaan Çifcibaşı, Carmen Mota Reyes, Ümmügülsüm Yurteri, Maximilian Kießler, Ibrahim Halil Gürçınar, Maya Sugden, Saliha Elif Yıldızhan, Osman Uğur Sezerman, Sümeyye Çilingir, Güldal Süyen, Maximilian Reichert, Roland M. Schmid, Stefanie Bärthel, Rupert Oellinger, Achim Krüger, Roland Rad, Dieter Saur, Hana Algül, Helmut Friess, Marina Lesina, Güralp Onur Ceyhan, Ihsan Ekin Demir
Cronkhite-Canada Syndrome (CCS) is a rare, noninherited polyposis syndrome affecting 1 in every million individuals. Despite over 50 years of CCS cases, the etiopathogenesis and optimal treatment for CCS remains unknown due to the rarity of the disease and lack of model systems. To better understand the etiology of CCS, we generated human intestinal organoids (HIOs) from intestinal stem cells isolated from 2 patients. We discovered that CCS HIOs are highly proliferative and have increased numbers of enteroendocrine cells producing serotonin (also known as 5-hydroxytryptamine or 5HT). These features were also confirmed in patient tissue biopsies. Recombinant 5HT increased proliferation of non-CCS donor HIOs and inhibition of 5HT production in the CCS HIOs resulted in decreased proliferation, suggesting a link between local epithelial 5HT production and control of epithelial stem cell proliferation. This link was confirmed in genetically engineered HIOs with an increased number of enteroendocrine cells. This work provides a new mechanism to explain the pathogenesis of CCS and illustrates the important contribution of HIO cultures to understanding disease etiology and in the identification of novel therapies. Our work demonstrates the principle of using organoids for personalized medicine and sheds light on how intestinal hormones can play a role in intestinal epithelial proliferation.
Victoria Poplaski, Carolyn Bomidi, Amal Kambal, Hoa Nguyen-Phuc, Sara C. Di Rienzi, Heather A. Danhof, Xi-Lei Zeng, Linda A. Feagins, Nan Deng, Eduardo Vilar, Florencia McAllister, Cristian Coarfa, Soyoun Min, Hyun Jung Kim, Richa Shukla, Robert Britton, Mary K. Estes, Sarah E. Blutt
The PI3K/AKT/mTOR pathway is commonly dysregulated in cancer. Rapalogs exhibit modest clinical benefit, likely owing to their lack of effects on 4EBP1. We hypothesized that bi-steric mTORC1-selective inhibitors would have greater potential for clinical benefit than rapalogs in tumors with mTORC1 dysfunction. We assessed this hypothesis in tumor models with high mTORC1 activity both in vitro and in vivo. Bi-steric inhibitors had strong growth inhibition, eliminated phosphorylated 4EBP1, and induced more apoptosis than rapamycin or MLN0128. Multiomics analysis showed extensive effects of the bi-steric inhibitors in comparison with rapamycin. De novo purine synthesis was selectively inhibited by bi-sterics through reduction in JUN and its downstream target PRPS1 and appeared to be the cause of apoptosis. Hence, bi-steric mTORC1-selective inhibitors are a therapeutic strategy to treat tumors driven by mTORC1 hyperactivation.
Heng Du, Yu Chi Yang, Heng-Jia Liu, Min Yuan, John M. Asara, Kwok-Kin Wong, Elizabeth P. Henske, Mallika Singh, David J. Kwiatkowski
The triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cell 1 (TREM1) plays a critical role in development of chronic inflammatory disorders and the inflamed tumor microenvironment (TME) associated with most solid tumors. We examined whether loss of TREM1 signaling can abrogate the immunosuppressive TME and enhance cancer immunity. To investigate the therapeutic potential of TREM1 in cancer, we used mice deficient in Trem1 and developed a novel small molecule TREM1 inhibitor, VJDT. We demonstrated that genetic or pharmacological TREM1 silencing significantly delayed tumor growth in murine melanoma (B16F10) and fibrosarcoma (MCA205) models. Single-cell RNA-Seq combined with functional assays during TREM1 deficiency revealed decreased immunosuppressive capacity of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) accompanied by expansion in cytotoxic CD8+ T cells and increased PD-1 expression. Furthermore, TREM1 inhibition enhanced the antitumorigenic effect of anti-PD-1 treatment, in part, by limiting MDSC frequency and abrogating T cell exhaustion. In patient-derived melanoma xenograft tumors, treatment with VJDT downregulated key oncogenic signaling pathways involved in cell proliferation, migration, and survival. Our work highlights the role of TREM1 in cancer progression, both intrinsically expressed in cancer cells and extrinsically in the TME. Thus, targeting TREM1 to modify an immunosuppressive TME and improve efficacy of immune checkpoint therapy represents what we believe to be a promising therapeutic approach to cancer.
Ashwin Ajith, Kenza Mamouni, Daniel D. Horuzsko, Abu Musa, Amiran K. Dzutsev, Jennifer R. Fang, Ahmed Chadli, Xingguo Zhu, Iryna Lebedyeva, Giorgio Trinchieri, Anatolij Horuzsko
Even when successfully induced, immunological tolerance to solid organs remains vulnerable to inflammatory insults, which can trigger rejection. In a mouse model of cardiac allograft tolerance in which infection with Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) precipitates rejection of previously accepted grafts, we showed that recipient CD4+ TCR75 cells reactive to a donor MHC class I–derived peptide become hypofunctional if the allograft is accepted for more than 3 weeks. Paradoxically, infection-induced transplant rejection was not associated with transcriptional or functional reinvigoration of TCR75 cells. We hypothesized that there is heterogeneity in the level of dysfunction of different allospecific T cells, depending on duration of their cognate antigen expression. Unlike CD4+ TCR75 cells, CD4+ TEa cells specific for a peptide derived from donor MHC class II, an alloantigen whose expression declines after transplantation but remains inducible in settings of inflammation, retained function in tolerant mice and expanded during Lm-induced rejection. Repeated injections of alloantigens drove hypofunction in TEa cells and rendered grafts resistant to Lm-dependent rejection. Our results uncover a functional heterogeneity in allospecific T cells of distinct specificities after tolerance induction and reveal a strategy to defunctionalize a greater repertoire of allospecific T cells, thereby mitigating a critical vulnerability of tolerance.
Christine M. McIntosh, Jennifer B. Allocco, Peter Wang, Michelle L. McKeague, Alexandra Cassano, Ying Wang, Stephen Z. Xie, Grace Hynes, Ricardo Mora-Cartín, Domenic Abbondanza, Luqiu Chen, Husain Sattar, Dengping Yin, Zheng J. Zhang, Anita S. Chong, Maria-Luisa Alegre
Biofilms are structured communities of microbial cells embedded in a self-produced matrix of extracellular polymeric substances. Biofilms are associated with many health issues in humans, including chronic wound infections and tooth decay. Current antimicrobials are often incapable of disrupting the polymeric biofilm matrix and reaching the bacteria within. Alternative approaches are needed. Here, we described a complex structure of a dextran-coated gold-in-gold cage nanoparticle that enabled photoacoustic and photothermal properties for biofilm detection and treatment. Activation of these nanoparticles with a near infrared laser could selectively detect and kill biofilm bacteria with precise spatial control and in a short timeframe. We observed a strong biocidal effect against both Streptococcus mutans and Staphylococcus aureus biofilms in mouse models of oral plaque and wound infections, respectively. These effects were over 100 times greater than those seen with chlorhexidine, a conventional antimicrobial agent. Moreover, this approach did not adversely affect surrounding tissues. We concluded that photothermal ablation using theranostic nanoparticles is a rapid, precise, and nontoxic method to detect and treat biofilm-associated infections.
Maryam Hajfathalian, Christiaan R. de Vries, Jessica C. Hsu, Ahmad Amirshaghaghi, Yuxi C. Dong, Zhi Ren, Yuan Liu, Yue Huang, Yong Li, Simon A.B. Knight, Pallavi Jonnalagadda, Aimen Zlitni, Elizabeth A. Grice, Paul L. Bollyky, Hyun Koo, David P. Cormode
Autoimmune polyendocrine syndrome type 1 (APS-1) is caused by mutations in the autoimmune regulator (AIRE) gene. Most patients present with severe chronic mucocutaneous candidiasis and organ-specific autoimmunity from early childhood, but the clinical picture is highly variable. AIRE is crucial for negative selection of T cells, and scrutiny of different patient mutations has previously highlighted many of its molecular mechanisms. In patients with a milder adult-onset phenotype sharing a mutation in the canonical donor splice site of intron 7 (c.879+1G>A), both the predicted altered splicing pattern with loss of exon 7 (AireEx7–/–) and normal full-length AIRE mRNA were found, indicating leaky rather than abolished mRNA splicing. Analysis of a corresponding mouse model demonstrated that the AireEx7–/– mutant had dramatically impaired transcriptional capacity of tissue-specific antigens in medullary thymic epithelial cells but still retained some ability to induce gene expression compared with the complete loss-of-function AireC313X–/– mutant. Our data illustrate an association between AIRE activity and the severity of autoimmune disease, with implications for more common autoimmune diseases associated with AIRE variants, such as primary adrenal insufficiency, pernicious anemia, type 1 diabetes, and rheumatoid arthritis.
Bergithe Eikeland Oftedal, Amund Holte Berger, Øyvind Bruserud, Yael Goldfarb, Andre Sulen, Lars Breivik, Alexander Hellesen, Shifra Ben-Dor, Rebecca Haffner-Krausz, Per M. Knappskog, Stefan Johansson, Anette S.B. Wolff, Eirik Bratland, Jakub Abramson, Eystein Sverre Husebye
Interplay between energy-storing white adipose cells and thermogenic beige adipocytes contributes to obesity and insulin resistance. Irrespective of specialized niche, adipocytes require the activity of the nuclear receptor PPARγ for proper function. Exposure to cold or adrenergic signaling enriches thermogenic cells though multiple pathways that act synergistically with PPARγ; however, the molecular mechanisms by which PPARγ licenses white adipose tissue to preferentially adopt a thermogenic or white adipose fate in response to dietary cues or thermoneutral conditions are not fully elucidated. Here, we show that a PPARγ/long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) axis integrates canonical and noncanonical thermogenesis to restrain white adipose tissue heat dissipation during thermoneutrality and diet-induced obesity. Pharmacologic inhibition or genetic deletion of the lncRNA Lexis enhances uncoupling protein 1–dependent (UCP1-dependent) and -independent thermogenesis. Adipose-specific deletion of Lexis counteracted diet-induced obesity, improved insulin sensitivity, and enhanced energy expenditure. Single-nuclei transcriptomics revealed that Lexis regulates a distinct population of thermogenic adipocytes. We systematically map Lexis motif preferences and show that it regulates the thermogenic program through the activity of the metabolic GWAS gene and WNT modulator TCF7L2. Collectively, our studies uncover a new mode of crosstalk between PPARγ and WNT that preserves white adipose tissue plasticity.
Zhengyi Zhang, Ya Cui, Vivien Su, Dan Wang, Marcus J. Tol, Lijing Cheng, Xiaohui Wu, Jason Kim, Prashant Rajbhandari, Sicheng Zhang, Wei Li, Peter Tontonoz, Claudio J. Villanueva, Tamer Sallam
The discovery of frequent 8p11-p12 amplifications in squamous cell lung cancer (SQLC) has fueled hopes that FGFR1, located inside this amplicon, might be a therapeutic target. In a clinical trial, only 11% of patients with 8p11 amplification (detected by FISH) responded to FGFR kinase inhibitor treatment. To understand the mechanism of FGFR1 dependency, we performed deep genomic characterization of 52 SQLCs with 8p11-p12 amplification, including 10 tumors obtained from patients who had been treated with FGFR inhibitors. We discovered somatically altered variants of FGFR1 with deletion of exons 1–8 that resulted from intragenic tail-to-tail rearrangements. These ectodomain-deficient FGFR1 variants (ΔEC-FGFR1) were expressed in the affected tumors and were tumorigenic in both in vitro and in vivo models of lung cancer. Mechanistically, breakage-fusion-bridges were the source of 8p11-p12 amplification, resulting from frequent head-to-head and tail-to-tail rearrangements. Generally, tail-to-tail rearrangements within or in close proximity upstream of FGFR1 were associated with FGFR1 dependency. Thus, the genomic events shaping the architecture of the 8p11-p12 amplicon provide a mechanistic explanation for the emergence of FGFR1-driven SQLC. Specifically, we believe that FGFR1 ectodomain–deficient and FGFR1-centered amplifications caused by tail-to-tail rearrangements are a novel somatic genomic event that might be predictive of therapeutically relevant FGFR1 dependency.
Florian Malchers, Lucia Nogova, Martijn H.A. van Attekum, Lukas Maas, Johannes Brägelmann, Christoph Bartenhagen, Luc Girard, Graziella Bosco, Ilona Dahmen, Sebastian Michels, Clare E. Weeden, Andreas H. Scheel, Lydia Meder, Kristina Golfmann, Philipp Schuldt, Janna Siemanowski, Jan Rehker, Sabine Merkelbach-Bruse, Roopika Menon, Oliver Gautschi, Johannes M. Heuckmann, Elisabeth Brambilla, Marie-Liesse Asselin-Labat, Thorsten Persigehl, John D. Minna, Henning Walczak, Roland T. Ullrich, Matthias Fischer, Hans Christian Reinhardt, Jürgen Wolf, Reinhard Büttner, Martin Peifer, Julie George, Roman K. Thomas
Donor-recipient (D-R) mismatches outside of human leukocyte antigens (HLAs) contribute to kidney allograft loss, but the mechanisms remain unclear, specifically for intronic mismatches. We quantified non-HLA mismatches at variant-, gene-, and genome-wide scales from single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) data of D-Rs from 2 well-phenotyped transplant cohorts: Genomics of Chronic Allograft Rejection (GoCAR; n = 385) and Clinical Trials in Organ Transplantation-01/17 (CTOT-01/17; n = 146). Unbiased gene-level screening in GoCAR uncovered the LIMS1 locus as the top-ranked gene where D-R mismatches associated with death-censored graft loss (DCGL). A previously unreported, intronic, LIMS1 haplotype of 30 SNPs independently associated with DCGL in both cohorts. Haplotype mismatches showed a dosage effect, and minor-allele introduction to major-allele-carrying recipients showed greater hazard of DCGL. The LIMS1 haplotype and the previously reported LIMS1 SNP rs893403 are expression quantitative trait loci (eQTL) in immune cells for GCC2 (not LIMS1), which encodes a protein involved in mannose-6-phosphase receptor (M6PR) recycling. Peripheral blood and T cell transcriptome analyses associated the GCC2 gene and LIMS1 SNPs with the TGF-β1/SMAD pathway, suggesting a regulatory effect. In vitro GCC2 modulation impacted M6PR-dependent regulation of active TGF-β1 and downstream signaling in T cells. Together, our data link LIMS1 locus D-R mismatches to DCGL via GCC2 eQTLs that modulate TGF-β1–dependent effects on T cells.
Zeguo Sun, Zhongyang Zhang, Khadija Banu, Ian W. Gibson, Robert B. Colvin, Zhengzi Yi, Weijia Zhang, Bony De Kumar, Anand Reghuvaran, John Pell, Thomas D. Manes, Arjang Djamali, Lorenzo Gallon, Philip J. O’Connell, John Cijiang He, Jordan S. Pober, Peter S. Heeger, Madhav C. Menon
The facilitative GLUT1 and GLUT3 hexose transporters are expressed abundantly in macrophages, but whether they have distinct functions remains unclear. We confirmed that GLUT1 expression increased after M1 polarization stimuli and found that GLUT3 expression increased after M2 stimulation in macrophages. Conditional deletion of Glut3 (LysM-Cre Glut3fl/fl) impaired M2 polarization of bone marrow–derived macrophages. Alternatively activated macrophages from the skin of patients with atopic dermatitis showed increased GLUT3 expression, and a calcipotriol-induced model of atopic dermatitis was rescued in LysM-Cre Glut3fl/fl mice. M2-like macrophages expressed GLUT3 in human wound tissues as assessed by transcriptomics and costaining, and GLUT3 expression was significantly decreased in nonhealing, compared with healing, diabetic foot ulcers. In an excisional wound healing model, LysM-Cre Glut3fl/fl mice showed significantly impaired M2 macrophage polarization and delayed wound healing. GLUT3 promoted IL-4/STAT6 signaling, independently of its glucose transport activity. Unlike plasma membrane–localized GLUT1, GLUT3 was localized primarily to endosomes and was required for the efficient endocytosis of IL-4Rα subunits. GLUT3 interacted directly with GTP-bound RAS in vitro and in vivo through its intracytoplasmic loop domain, and this interaction was required for efficient STAT6 activation and M2 polarization. PAK activation and macropinocytosis were also impaired without GLUT3, suggesting broader roles for GLUT3 in the regulation of endocytosis. Thus, GLUT3 is required for efficient alternative macrophage polarization and function, through a glucose transport–independent, RAS-mediated role in the regulation of endocytosis and IL-4/STAT6 activation.
Dong-Min Yu, Jiawei Zhao, Eunice E. Lee, Dohun Kim, Ruchika Mahapatra, Elysha K. Rose, Zhiwei Zhou, Calvin Hosler, Abdullah El Kurdi, Jun-Yong Choe, E. Dale Abel, Gerta Hoxhaj, Kenneth D. Westover, Raymond J. Cho, Jeffrey B. Cheng, Richard C. Wang
BACKGROUND HIV-1–infected CD4+ T cells contribute to latent reservoir persistence by proliferating while avoiding immune recognition. Integration features of intact proviruses in elite controllers (ECs) and people on long-term therapy suggest that proviruses in specific chromosomal locations can evade immune surveillance. However, direct evidence of this mechanism is missing.METHODS In this case report, we characterized integration sites and full genome sequences of expanded T cell clones in an EC before and after chemoradiation. We identified the cognate peptide of infected clones to investigate cell proliferation and virus production induced by T cell activation, and susceptibility to autologous CD8+ T cells.RESULTS The proviral landscape was dominated by 2 large clones with replication-competent proviruses integrated into zinc finger (ZNF) genes (ZNF470 and ZNF721) in locations previously associated with deeper latency. A third nearly intact provirus, with a stop codon in Pol, was integrated into an intergenic site. Upon stimulation with cognate Gag peptides, infected clones proliferated extensively and produced virus, but the provirus in ZNF721 was 200-fold less inducible. While autologous CD8+ T cells decreased the proliferation of cells carrying the intergenic provirus, they had no effect on cells with the provirus in the ZNF721 gene.CONCLUSIONS We provide direct evidence that upon activation of infected clones by cognate antigen, the lower inducibility of intact proviruses in ZNF genes can result in immune evasion and persistence.FUNDING Office of the NIH Director and National Institute of Dental & Craniofacial Research; NIAID, NIH; Johns Hopkins University Center for AIDS Research.
Filippo Dragoni, Abena K. Kwaa, Caroline C. Traut, Rebecca T. Veenhuis, Bezawit A. Woldemeskel, Angelica Camilo-Contreras, Hayley E. Raymond, Arbor G. Dykema, Eileen P. Scully, Amanda M. Rosecrans, Kellie N. Smith, Frederic D. Bushman, Francesco R. Simonetti, Joel N. Blankson
Multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C) is a rare but life-threatening hyperinflammatory condition induced by infection with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) that causes pediatric COVID-19 (pCOVID-19). The relationship of the systemic tissue injury to the pathophysiology of MIS-C is poorly defined. We leveraged the high sensitivity of epigenomics analyses of plasma cell-free DNA (cfDNA) and plasma cytokine measurements to identify the spectrum of tissue injury and glean mechanistic insights. Compared with pediatric healthy controls (pHCs) and patients with pCOVID-19, patients with MIS-C had higher levels of cfDNA primarily derived from innate immune cells, megakaryocyte-erythroid precursor cells, and nonhematopoietic tissues such as hepatocytes, cardiac myocytes, and kidney cells. Nonhematopoietic tissue cfDNA levels demonstrated significant interindividual variability, consistent with the heterogenous clinical presentation of MIS-C. In contrast, adaptive immune cell–derived cfDNA levels were comparable in MIS-C and pCOVID-19 patients. Indeed, the cfDNA of innate immune cells in patients with MIS-C correlated with the levels of innate immune inflammatory cytokines and nonhematopoietic tissue–derived cfDNA, suggesting a primarily innate immunity–mediated response to account for the multisystem pathology. These data provide insight into the pathogenesis of MIS-C and support the value of cfDNA as a sensitive biomarker to map tissue injury in MIS-C and likely other multiorgan inflammatory conditions.
Temesgen E. Andargie, Katerina Roznik, Neelam Redekar, Tom Hill, Weiqiang Zhou, Zainab Apalara, Hyesik Kong, Oren Gordon, Rohan Meda, Woojin Park, Trevor S. Johnston, Yi Wang, Sheila Brady, Hongkai Ji, Jack A. Yanovski, Moon K. Jang, Clarence M. Lee, Andrew H. Karaba, Andrea L. Cox, Sean Agbor-Enoh