The respiratory tract surface is protected from inhaled pathogens by a secreted layer of mucus rich in mucin glycoproteins. Abnormal mucus accumulation is a cardinal feature of chronic respiratory diseases, but the relationship between mucus and pathogens during exacerbations is poorly understood. We identified elevations in airway mucin 5AC (MUC5AC) and MUC5B concentrations during spontaneous and experimentally induced chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) exacerbations. MUC5AC was more sensitive to changes in expression during exacerbation and was therefore more predictably associated with viral load, inflammation, symptom severity, decrements in lung function, and secondary bacterial infections. MUC5AC was functionally related to inflammation, as Muc5ac-deficient (Muc5ac–/–) mice had attenuated RV-induced (RV-induced) airway inflammation, and exogenous MUC5AC glycoprotein administration augmented inflammatory responses and increased the release of extracellular adenosine triphosphate (ATP) in mice and human airway epithelial cell cultures. Hydrolysis of ATP suppressed MUC5AC augmentation of RV-induced inflammation in mice. Therapeutic suppression of mucin production using an EGFR antagonist ameliorated immunopathology in a mouse COPD exacerbation model. The coordinated virus induction of MUC5AC and MUC5B expression suggests that non-Th2 mechanisms trigger mucin hypersecretion during exacerbations. Our data identified a proinflammatory role for MUC5AC during viral infection and suggest that MUC5AC inhibition may ameliorate COPD exacerbations.
Aran Singanayagam, Joseph Footitt, Matthias Marczynski, Giorgia Radicioni, Michael T. Cross, Lydia J. Finney, Maria-Belen Trujillo-Torralbo, Maria Calderazzo, Jie Zhu, Julia Aniscenko, Thomas B. Clarke, Philip L. Molyneaux, Nathan W. Bartlett, Miriam F. Moffatt, William O. Cookson, Jadwiga Wedzicha, Christopher M. Evans, Richard C. Boucher, Mehmet Kesimer, Oliver Lieleg, Patrick Mallia, Sebastian L. Johnston
The causative role of inflammation in hypertension-related cardiovascular diseases is evident and calls for development of specific immunomodulatory therapies. We tested the therapeutic efficacy and mechanisms of action of developmental endothelial locus-1 (DEL-1), an endogenous antiinflammatory factor, in angiotensin II– (ANGII–) and deoxycorticosterone acetate–salt–induced (DOCA-salt–induced) cardiovascular organ damage and hypertension. By using mice with endothelial overexpression of DEL-1 (EC-Del1 mice) and performing preventive and interventional studies by injecting recombinant DEL-1 in mice, we showed that DEL-1 improved endothelial function and abrogated aortic adventitial fibrosis, medial thickening, and loss of elastin. DEL-1 also protected the mice from cardiac concentric hypertrophy and interstitial and perivascular coronary fibrosis and improved left ventricular function and myocardial coronary perfusion. DEL-1 prevented aortic stiffness and abolished the progression of hypertension. Mechanistically, DEL-1 acted by inhibiting αvβ3 integrin–dependent activation of pro-MMP2 in mice and in human isolated aorta. Moreover, DEL-1 stabilized αvβ3 integrin–dependent CD25+FoxP3+ Treg numbers and IL-10 levels, which were associated with decreased recruitment of inflammatory cells and reduced production of proinflammatory cytokines in cardiovascular organs. The demonstrated effects and immune-modulating mechanisms of DEL-1 in abrogation of cardiovascular remodeling and progression of hypertension identify DEL-1 as a potential therapeutic factor.
Theresa Failer, Michael Amponsah-Offeh, Aleš Neuwirth, Ioannis Kourtzelis, Pallavi Subramanian, Peter Mirtschink, Mirko Peitzsch, Klaus Matschke, Sems M. Tugtekin, Tetsuhiro Kajikawa, Xiaofei Li, Anne Steglich, Florian Gembardt, Annika C. Wegner, Christian Hugo, George Hajishengallis, Triantafyllos Chavakis, Andreas Deussen, Vladimir Todorov, Irakli Kopaliani
Host defense and inflammation are regulated by the NF-κB essential modulator (NEMO), a scaffolding protein with a broad immune cell and tissue expression profile. Hypomorphic mutations in inhibitor of NF-κB kinase regulatory subunit gamma (IKBKG) encoding NEMO typically present with immunodeficiency. Here, we characterized a pediatric autoinflammatory syndrome in 3 unrelated male patients with distinct X-linked IKBKG germline mutations that led to overexpression of a NEMO protein isoform lacking the domain encoded by exon 5 (NEMO-Δex5). This isoform failed to associate with TANK binding kinase 1 (TBK1), and dermal fibroblasts from affected patients activated NF-κB in response to TNF but not TLR3 or RIG-I–like receptor (RLR) stimulation when isoform levels were high. By contrast, T cells, monocytes, and macrophages that expressed NEMO-Δex5 exhibited increased NF-κB activation and IFN production, and blood cells from these patients expressed a strong IFN and NF-κB transcriptional signature. Immune cells and TNF-stimulated dermal fibroblasts upregulated the inducible IKK protein (IKKi) that was stabilized by NEMO-Δex5, promoting type I IFN induction and antiviral responses. These data revealed how IKBKG mutations that lead to alternative splicing of skipping exon 5 cause a clinical phenotype we have named NEMO deleted exon 5 autoinflammatory syndrome (NDAS), distinct from the immune deficiency syndrome resulting from loss-of-function IKBKG mutations.
Younglang Lee, Alex W. Wessel, Jiazhi Xu, Julia G. Reinke, Eries Lee, Somin M. Kim, Amy P. Hsu, Jevgenia Zilberman-Rudenko, Sha Cao, Clinton Enos, Stephen R. Brooks, Zuoming Deng, Bin Lin, Adriana A. de Jesus, Daniel N. Hupalo, Daniela G.P. Piotto, Maria T. Terreri, Victoria R. Dimitriades, Clifton L. Dalgard, Steven M. Holland, Raphaela Goldbach-Mansky, Richard M. Siegel, Eric P. Hanson
Germline mutations that activate genes in the canonical RAS/MAPK signaling pathway are responsible for rare human developmental disorders known as RASopathies. Here, we analyzed the molecular determinants of Costello syndrome (CS) using a mouse model expressing HRAS p.G12S, patient skin fibroblasts, hiPSC-derived human cardiomyocytes, a HRAS p.G12V zebrafish model, and human fibroblasts expressing lentiviral constructs carrying HRAS p.G12S or HRAS p.G12A mutations. The findings revealed alteration of mitochondrial proteostasis and defective oxidative phosphorylation in the heart and skeletal muscle of CS mice that were also found in the cell models of the disease. The underpinning mechanisms involved the inhibition of the AMPK signaling pathway by mutant forms of HRAS, leading to alteration of mitochondrial proteostasis and bioenergetics. Pharmacological activation of mitochondrial bioenergetics and quality control restored organelle function in HRAS p.G12A and p.G12S cell models, reduced left ventricle hypertrophy in CS mice, and diminished the occurrence of developmental defects in the CS zebrafish model. Collectively, these findings highlight the importance of mitochondrial proteostasis and bioenergetics in the pathophysiology of RASopathies and suggest that patients with CS may benefit from treatment with mitochondrial modulators.
Laetitia Dard, Christophe Hubert, Pauline Esteves, Wendy Blanchard, Ghina Bou About, Lyla Baldasseroni, Elodie Dumon, Chloe Angelini, Mégane Delourme, Véronique Guyonnet-Dupérat, Stéphane Claverol, Laura Fontenille, Karima Kissa, Pierre-Emmanuel Séguéla, Jean-Benoît Thambo, Lévy Nicolas, Yann Herault, Nadège Bellance, Nivea Dias Amoedo, Frédérique Magdinier, Tania Sorg, Didier Lacombe, Rodrigue Rossignol
A sarcomere is the contractile unit of the myofibril in striated muscles such as cardiac and skeletal muscles. The assembly of sarcomeres depends on multiple molecules that serve as raw materials and participate in the assembly process. However, the mechanism of this critical assembly process remains largely unknown. Here, we found that the cell fate determinant Numb and its homolog Numblike regulated sarcomere assembly and maintenance in striated muscles. We discovered that Numb and Numblike are sarcomeric molecules that were gradually confined to the Z-disc during striated muscle development. Conditional knockout of Numb and Numblike severely compromised sarcomere assembly and its integrity and thus caused organelle dysfunction. Notably, we identified that Numb and Numblike served as sarcomeric α-Actin–binding proteins (ABPs) and shared a conserved domain that can bind to the barbed end of sarcomeric α-Actin. In vitro fluorometric α-Actin polymerization assay showed that Numb and Numblike also played a role in the sarcomeric α-Actin polymerization process. Last, we demonstrate that Numb and Numblike regulate sarcomeric α-Actinin–dependent (ACTN-dependent) Z-disc consolidation in the sarcomere assembly and maintenance. In summary, our studies show that Numb and its homolog Numblike regulate sarcomere assembly and maintenance in striated muscles, and demonstrate a molecular mechanism by which Numb/Numblike, sarcomeric α-Actin, and ACTN cooperate to control thin filament formation and Z-disc consolidation.
Baolei Wang, Min Yang, Shujuan Li
BACKGROUND Fasting and NAD+-boosting compounds, including NAD+ precursor nicotinamide riboside (NR), confer antiinflammatory effects. However, the underlying mechanisms and therapeutic potential are incompletely defined.METHODS We explored the underlying biology in myeloid cells from healthy volunteers following in vivo placebo or NR administration and subsequently tested the findings in vitro in monocytes extracted from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE).RESULTS RNA-Seq of unstimulated and LPS-activated monocytes implicated NR in the regulation of autophagy and type I IFN signaling. In primary monocytes, NR blunted LPS-induced IFN-β production, and genetic or pharmacological disruption of autophagy phenocopied this effect. Given that NAD+ is a coenzyme in oxidoreductive reactions, metabolomics was performed and identified that NR increased the inosine level. Inosine supplementation similarly blunted autophagy and IFN-β release. Finally, because SLE exhibits type I IFN dysregulation, we assessed the NR effect on monocytes from patients with SLE and found that NR reduced autophagy and IFN-β release.CONCLUSION We conclude that NR, in an NAD+-dependent manner and in part via inosine signaling, mediated suppression of autophagy and attenuated type I IFN in myeloid cells, and we identified NR as a potential adjunct for SLE management.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov registration numbers NCT02812238, NCT00001846, and NCT00001372.FUNDING This work was supported by the NHLBI and NIAMS Intramural Research divisions.
Jing Wu, Komudi Singh, Amy Lin, Allison M. Meadows, Kaiyuan Wu, Vivian Shing, Maximilian Bley, Shahin Hassanzadeh, Rebecca D. Huffstutler, Mark S. Schmidt, Luz P. Blanco, Rong Tian, Charles Brenner, Mehdi Pirooznia, Mariana J. Kaplan, Michael N. Sack
T cell polyfunctionality is a hallmark of protective immunity against pathogens and cancer, yet the molecular mechanism governing it remains mostly elusive. We found that canonical Wnt agonists inhibited human memory CD8+ T cell differentiation while simultaneously promoting the generation of highly polyfunctional cells. Downstream effects of Wnt activation persisted after removal of the drug, and T cells remained polyfunctional following subsequent cell division, indicating the effect is epigenetically regulated. Wnt activation induced a gene expression pattern that is enriched with stem cell–specific gene signatures and upregulation of protein arginine methyltransferase 1 (PRMT1), a known epigenetic regulator. PRMT1+CD8+ T cells are associated with enhanced polyfunctionality, especially the ability to produce IL-2. In contrast, inhibition of PRMT1 ameliorated the effects of Wnt on polyfunctionality. Chromatin immunoprecipitation revealed that H4R3me2a, a permissive transcription marker mediated by PRMT1, increased at the IL-2 promoter loci following Wnt activation. In vivo, Wnt-treated T cells exhibited superior polyfunctionality and persistence. When applied to cytomegalovirus (CMV) donor–seropositive, recipient-seronegative patients (D+/R–) lung transplant patient samples, Wnt activation enhanced CMV-specific T cell polyfunctionality, which is important in controlling CMV diseases. These findings reveal a molecular mechanism governing T cell polyfunctionality and identify PRMT1 as a potential target for T cell immunotherapy.
Bo-Yi Sung, Yi-Hsin Lin, Qiongman Kong, Pali D. Shah, Joan Glick Bieler, Scott Palmer, Kent J. Weinhold, Hong-Ru Chang, Hailiang Huang, Robin K. Avery, Jonathan Schneck, Yen-Ling Chiu
Clearance of dying cells by efferocytosis is necessary for cardiac repair after myocardial infarction (MI). Recent reports have suggested a protective role for vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGFC) during acute cardiac lymphangiogenesis after MI. Here, we report that defective efferocytosis by macrophages after experimental MI led to a reduction in cardiac lymphangiogenesis and Vegfc expression. Cell-intrinsic evidence for efferocytic induction of Vegfc was revealed after adding apoptotic cells to cultured primary macrophages, which subsequently triggered Vegfc transcription and VEGFC secretion. Similarly, cardiac macrophages elevated Vegfc expression levels after MI, and mice deficient for myeloid Vegfc exhibited impaired ventricular contractility, adverse tissue remodeling, and reduced lymphangiogenesis. These results were observed in mouse models of permanent coronary occlusion and clinically relevant ischemia and reperfusion. Interestingly, myeloid Vegfc deficiency also led to increases in acute infarct size, prior to the amplitude of the acute cardiac lymphangiogenesis response. RNA-Seq and cardiac flow cytometry revealed that myeloid Vegfc deficiency was also characterized by a defective inflammatory response, and macrophage-produced VEGFC was directly effective at suppressing proinflammatory macrophage activation. Taken together, our findings indicate that cardiac macrophages promote healing through the promotion of myocardial lymphangiogenesis and the suppression of inflammatory cytokines.
Kristofor E. Glinton, Wanshu Ma, Connor Lantz, Lubov S. Grigoryeva, Matthew DeBerge, Xiaolei Liu, Maria Febbraio, Mark Kahn, Guillermo Oliver, Edward B. Thorp
Dysregulation of Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling contributes to the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. Here, we provide genetic evidence that tankyrase, a member of the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) family, negatively regulates TLR2 signaling. We show that mice lacking tankyrase in myeloid cells developed severe systemic inflammation with high serum inflammatory cytokine levels. We provide mechanistic evidence that tankyrase deficiency resulted in tyrosine phosphorylation and activation of TLR2 and show that phosphorylation of tyrosine 647 within the TIR domain by SRC and SYK kinases was critical for TLR2 stabilization and signaling. Last, we show that the elevated cytokine production and inflammation observed in mice lacking tankyrase in myeloid cells were dependent on the adaptor protein 3BP2, which is required for SRC and SYK activation. These data demonstrate that tankyrase provides a checkpoint on the TLR-mediated innate immune response.
Yoshinori Matsumoto, Ioannis D. Dimitriou, Jose La Rose, Melissa Lim, Susan Camilleri, Napoleon Law, Hibret A. Adissu, Jiefei Tong, Michael F. Moran, Andrzej Chruscinski, Fang He, Yosuke Asano, Takayuki Katsuyama, Ken-ei Sada, Jun Wada, Robert Rottapel
Efficient sarcolemmal repair is required for muscle cell survival, with deficits in this process leading to muscle degeneration. Lack of the sarcolemmal protein dysferlin impairs sarcolemmal repair by reducing secretion of the enzyme acid sphingomyelinase (ASM), and causes limb girdle muscular dystrophy 2B (LGMD2B). The large size of the dysferlin gene poses a challenge for LGMD2B gene therapy efforts aimed at restoring dysferlin expression in skeletal muscle fibers. Here, we present an alternative gene therapy approach targeting reduced ASM secretion, the consequence of dysferlin deficit. We showed that the bulk endocytic ability is compromised in LGMD2B patient cells, which was addressed by extracellularly treating cells with ASM. Expression of secreted human ASM (hASM) using a liver-specific adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector restored membrane repair capacity of patient cells to healthy levels. A single in vivo dose of hASM-AAV in the LGMD2B mouse model restored myofiber repair capacity, enabling efficient recovery of myofibers from focal or lengthening contraction–induced injury. hASM-AAV treatment was safe, attenuated fibro-fatty muscle degeneration, increased myofiber size, and restored muscle strength, similar to dysferlin gene therapy. These findings elucidate the role of ASM in dysferlin-mediated plasma membrane repair and to our knowledge offer the first non–muscle-targeted gene therapy for LGMD2B.
Daniel C. Bittel, Sen Chandra Sreetama, Goutam Chandra, Robin Ziegler, Kanneboyina Nagaraju, Jack H. Van der Meulen, Jyoti K. Jaiswal
Ulcerating skin lesions are manifestations of human ISG15 deficiency, a type I interferonopathy. However, chronic inflammation may not be their exclusive cause. We describe two siblings with recurrent skin ulcers that healed with scar formation upon corticosteroid treatment. Both had a homozygous nonsense mutation in the ISG15 gene, leading to unstable ISG15 protein lacking the functional domain. We characterized ISG15–/– dermal fibroblasts, HaCaT keratinocytes, and human induced pluripotent stem cell–derived vascular endothelial cells. ISG15-deficient cells exhibited the expected hyperinflammatory phenotype, but also dysregulated expression of molecules critical for connective tissue and epidermis integrity, including reduced collagens and adhesion molecules, but increased matrix metalloproteinases. ISG15–/– fibroblasts exhibited elevated ROS levels and reduced ROS scavenger expression. As opposed to hyperinflammation, defective collagen and integrin synthesis was not rescued by conjugation-deficient ISG15. Cell migration was retarded in ISG15–/– fibroblasts and HaCaT keratinocytes, but normalized under ruxolitinib treatment. Desmosome density was reduced in an ISG15–/– 3D epidermis model. Additionally, there were loose architecture and reduced collagen and desmoglein expression, which could be reversed by treatment with ruxolitinib/doxycycline/TGF-β1. These results reveal critical roles of ISG15 in maintaining cell migration and epidermis and connective tissue homeostasis, whereby the latter likely requires its conjugation to yet unidentified targets.
Muhammad Nasir Hayat Malik, Syed Fakhar-ul-Hassnain Waqas, Jana Zeitvogel, Jingyuan Cheng, Robert Geffers, Zeinab Abu-Elbaha Gouda, Ahmed Mahrous Elsaman, Ahmed R. Radwan, Matthias Schefzyk, Peter Braubach, Bernd Auber, Ruth Olmer, Mathias Müsken, Lennart M. Roesner, Gisa Gerold, Sven Schuchardt, Sylvia Merkert, Ulrich Martin, Felix Meissner, Thomas Werfel, Frank Pessler
Piezo1 forms mechanically activated nonselective cation channels that contribute to endothelial response to fluid flow. Here we reveal an important role in the control of capillary density. Conditional endothelial cell–specific deletion of Piezo1 in adult mice depressed physical performance. Muscle microvascular endothelial cell apoptosis and capillary rarefaction were evident and sufficient to account for the effect on performance. There was selective upregulation of thrombospondin-2 (TSP2), an inducer of endothelial cell apoptosis, with no effect on TSP1, a related important player in muscle physiology. TSP2 was poorly expressed in muscle endothelial cells but robustly expressed in muscle pericytes, in which nitric oxide (NO) repressed the Tsp2 gene without an effect on Tsp1. In endothelial cells, Piezo1 was required for normal expression of endothelial NO synthase. The data suggest an endothelial cell–pericyte partnership of muscle in which endothelial Piezo1 senses blood flow to sustain capillary density and thereby maintain physical capability.
Fiona Bartoli, Marjolaine Debant, Eulashini Chuntharpursat-Bon, Elizabeth L. Evans, Katie E. Musialowski, Gregory Parsonage, Lara C. Morley, T. Simon Futers, Piruthivi Sukumar, T. Scott Bowen, Mark T. Kearney, Laeticia Lichtenstein, Lee D. Roberts, David J. Beech
Cancer stem-like cells (CSLCs) acquire enhanced immune checkpoint responses to evade immune cell killing and promote tumor progression. Here we showed that signal regulatory protein γ (SIRPγ) determined CSLC properties and immune evasiveness in a small population of lung adenocarcinoma (LUAD) cancer cells. A SIRPγhi population displayed CSLC properties and transmitted the immune escape signal through sustaining CD47 expression in both SIRPγhi and SIRPγlo/– tumor cells. SIRPγ bridged MST1 and PP2A to facilitate MST1 dephosphorylation, resulting in Hippo/YAP activation and leading to cytokine release by CSLCs, which stimulated CD47 expression in LUAD cells and consequently inhibited tumor cell phagocytosis. SIRPγ promoted tumor growth and metastasis in vivo through YAP signaling. Notably, SIRPγ targeting with genetic SIRPγ knockdown or a SIRPγ-neutralizing antibody inhibited CSLC phenotypes and elicited phagocytosis that suppressed tumor growth in vivo. SIRPG was upregulated in human LUAD and its overexpression predicted poor survival outcome. Thus, SIRPγhi cells serve as CSLCs and tumor immune checkpoint–initiating cells, propagating the immune escape signal to the entire cancer cell population. Our study identifies Hippo/YAP signaling as the first mechanism by which SIRPγ is engaged and reveals that targeting SIRPγ represents an immune- and CSLC-targeting strategy for lung cancer therapy.
Chuan Xu, Guoxiang Jin, Hong Wu, Wei Cui, Yu-Hui Wang, Rajesh Kumar Manne, Guihua Wang, Weina Zhang, Xian Zhang, Fei Han, Zhen Cai, Bo-Syong Pan, Che-Chia Hsu, Yiqiang Liu, Anmei Zhang, Jie Long, Hongbo Zou, Shuang Wang, Xiaodan Ma, Jinling Duan, Bin Wang, Weihui Liu, Haitao Lan, Qing Xiong, Gang Xue, Zhongzhu Chen, Zhigang Xu, Mark E. Furth, Sarah Haigh Molina, Yong Lu, Dan Xie, Xiu-Wu Bian, Hui-Kuan Lin
As life expectancy continues to increase, clinicians are challenged by age-related renal impairment that involves podocyte senescence and glomerulosclerosis. There is now compelling evidence that lithium has a potent antiaging activity that ameliorates brain aging and increases longevity in Drosophila and Caenorhabditis elegans. As the major molecular target of lithium action and a multitasking protein kinase recently implicated in a variety of renal diseases, glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) is overexpressed and hyperactive with age in glomerular podocytes, correlating with functional and histological signs of kidney aging. Moreover, podocyte-specific ablation of GSK3β substantially attenuated podocyte senescence and glomerular aging in mice. Mechanistically, key mediators of senescence signaling, such as p16INK4A and p53, contain high numbers of GSK3β consensus motifs, physically interact with GSK3β, and act as its putative substrates. In addition, therapeutic targeting of GSK3β by microdose lithium later in life reduced senescence signaling and delayed kidney aging in mice. Furthermore, in psychiatric patients, lithium carbonate therapy inhibited GSK3β activity and mitigated senescence signaling in urinary exfoliated podocytes and was associated with preservation of kidney function. Thus, GSK3β appears to play a key role in podocyte senescence by modulating senescence signaling and may be an actionable senostatic target to delay kidney aging.
Yudong Fang, Bohan Chen, Zhangsuo Liu, Athena Y. Gong, William T. Gunning, Yan Ge, Deepak Malhotra, Amira F. Gohara, Lance D. Dworkin, Rujun Gong
New approaches for the management of glioblastoma (GBM) are an urgent and unmet clinical need. Here, we illustrate that the efficacy of radiotherapy for GBM is strikingly potentiated by concomitant therapy with the arginine-depleting agent ADI-PEG20 in a non-arginine-auxotrophic cellular background (argininosuccinate synthetase 1 positive). Moreover, this combination led to durable and complete radiological and pathological response, with extended disease-free survival in an orthotopic immune-competent model of GBM, with no significant toxicity. ADI-PEG20 not only enhanced the cellular sensitivity of argininosuccinate synthetase 1–positive GBM to ionizing radiation by elevated production of nitric oxide (˙NO) and hence generation of cytotoxic peroxynitrites, but also promoted glioma-associated macrophage/microglial infiltration into tumors and turned their classical antiinflammatory (protumor) phenotype into a proinflammatory (antitumor) phenotype. Our results provide an effective, well-tolerated, and simple strategy to improve GBM treatment that merits consideration for early evaluation in clinical trials.
Nabil Hajji, Juan Garcia-Revilla, Manuel Sarmiento Soto, Richard Perryman, Jake Symington, Chad C. Quarles, Deborah R. Healey, Yijie Guo, Manuel Luis Orta-Vázquez, Santiago Mateos-Cordero, Khalid Shah, John Bomalaski, Giulio Anichini, Andreas G. Tzakos, Timothy Crook, Kevin O’Neill, Adrienne C. Scheck, Jose Luis Venero, Nelofer Syed
Chronic kidney disease (CKD) imposes a strong and independent risk for peripheral artery disease (PAD). While solutes retained in CKD patients (uremic solutes) inflict vascular damage, their role in PAD remains elusive. Here, we show that the dietary tryptophan-derived uremic solutes including indoxyl sulfate (IS) and kynurenine (Kyn) at concentrations corresponding to those in CKD patients suppress β-catenin in several cell types, including microvascular endothelial cells (ECs), inhibiting Wnt activity and proangiogenic Wnt targets in ECs. Mechanistic probing revealed that these uremic solutes downregulated β-catenin in a manner dependent on serine 33 in its degron motif and through the aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR). Hindlimb ischemia in adenine-induced CKD and IS solute–specific mouse models showed diminished β-catenin and VEGF-A in the capillaries and reduced capillary density, which correlated inversely with blood levels of IS and Kyn and AHR activity in ECs. An AHR inhibitor treatment normalized postischemic angiogenic response in CKD mice to a non-CKD level. In a prospective cohort of PAD patients, plasma levels of tryptophan metabolites and plasma’s AHR-inducing activity in ECs significantly increased the risk of future adverse limb events. This work uncovers the tryptophan metabolite/AHR/β-catenin axis as a mediator of microvascular rarefaction in CKD patients and demonstrates its targetability for PAD in CKD models.
Nkiruka V. Arinze, Wenqing Yin, Saran Lotfollahzadeh, Marc Arthur Napoleon, Sean Richards, Joshua A. Walker, Mostafa Belghasem, Jonathan D. Ravid, Mohamed Hassan Kamel, Stephen A. Whelan, Norman Lee, Jeffrey J. Siracuse, Stephan Anderson, Alik Farber, David Sherr, Jean Francis, Naomi M. Hamburg, Nader Rahimi, Vipul C. Chitalia
Obstructive arterial diseases, including supravalvular aortic stenosis (SVAS), atherosclerosis, and restenosis, share 2 important features: an abnormal or disrupted elastic lamellae structure and excessive smooth muscle cells (SMCs). However, the relationship between these pathological features is poorly delineated. SVAS is caused by heterozygous loss-of-function, hypomorphic, or deletion mutations in the elastin gene (ELN), and SVAS patients and elastin-mutant mice display increased arterial wall cellularity and luminal obstructions. Pharmacological treatments for SVAS are lacking, as the underlying pathobiology is inadequately defined. Herein, using human aortic vascular cells, mouse models, and aortic samples and SMCs derived from induced pluripotent stem cells of ELN-deficient patients, we demonstrated that elastin insufficiency induced epigenetic changes, upregulating the NOTCH pathway in SMCs. Specifically, reduced elastin increased levels of γ-secretase, activated NOTCH3 intracellular domain, and downstream genes. Notch3 deletion or pharmacological inhibition of γ-secretase attenuated aortic hypermuscularization and stenosis in Eln–/– mutants. Eln–/– mice expressed higher levels of NOTCH ligand JAGGED1 (JAG1) in aortic SMCs and endothelial cells (ECs). Finally, Jag1 deletion in SMCs, but not ECs, mitigated the hypermuscular and stenotic phenotype in the aorta of Eln–/– mice. Our findings reveal that NOTCH3 pathway upregulation induced pathological aortic SMC accumulation during elastin insufficiency and provide potential therapeutic targets for SVAS.
Jui M. Dave, Raja Chakraborty, Aglaia Ntokou, Junichi Saito, Fatima Z. Saddouk, Zhonghui Feng, Ashish Misra, George Tellides, Robert K. Riemer, Zsolt Urban, Caroline Kinnear, James Ellis, Seema Mital, Robert Mecham, Kathleen A. Martin, Daniel M. Greif
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and lethal primary malignant brain tumor, containing GBM stem cells (GSCs) that contribute to therapeutic resistance and relapse. Exposing potential GSC vulnerabilities may provide therapeutic strategies against GBM. Here, we interrogated the role of adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing mediated by adenosine deaminase acting on RNA 1 (ADAR1) in GSCs and found that both ADAR1 and global RNA editomes were elevated in GSCs compared with normal neural stem cells. ADAR1 inactivation or blocking of the upstream JAK/STAT pathway through TYK2 inhibition impaired GSC self-renewal and stemness. Downstream of ADAR1, RNA editing of the 3′-UTR of GM2A, a key ganglioside catabolism activator, proved to be critical, as interference with ganglioside catabolism and disruption of ADAR1 showed a similar functional impact on GSCs. These findings reveal that RNA editing links ganglioside catabolism to GSC self-renewal and stemness, exposing a potential vulnerability of GBM for therapeutic intervention.
Li Jiang, Yajing Hao, Changwei Shao, Qiulian Wu, Briana C. Prager, Ryan C. Gimple, Gabriele Sulli, Leo J.Y. Kim, Guoxin Zhang, Zhixin Qiu, Zhe Zhu, Xiang-Dong Fu, Jeremy N. Rich
Natural killer (NK) cells are innate immune cells that are critical to the body’s antitumor and antimetastatic defense. As such, novel therapies are being developed to utilize NK cells as part of a next generation of immunotherapies to treat patients with metastatic disease. Therefore, it is essential for us to examine how metastatic cancer cells and NK cells interact with each other throughout the metastatic cascade. In this Review, we highlight the recent body of work that has begun to answer these questions. We explore how the unique biology of cancer cells at each stage of metastasis alters fundamental NK cell biology, including how cancer cells can evade immunosurveillance and co-opt NK cells into cells that promote metastasis. We also discuss the translational potential of this knowledge.
Isaac S. Chan, Andrew J. Ewald
Genetic variants at the SORT1 locus in humans, which cause increased SORT1 expression in the liver, are significantly associated with reduced plasma levels of LDL cholesterol and apolipoprotein B (apoB). However, the role of hepatic sortilin remains controversial, as genetic deletion of sortilin in mice has resulted in variable and conflicting effects on apoB secretion. Here, we found that Sort1-KO mice on a chow diet and several Sort1-deficient hepatocyte lines displayed no difference in apoB secretion. When these models were challenged with high-fat diet or ER stress, the loss of Sort1 expression resulted in a significant increase in apoB-100 secretion. Sort1-overexpression studies yielded reciprocal results. Importantly, carriers of SORT1 variant with diabetes had larger decreases in plasma apoB, TG, and VLDL and LDL particle number as compared with people without diabetes with the same variants. We conclude that, under basal nonstressed conditions, loss of sortilin has little effect on hepatocyte apoB secretion, whereas, in the setting of lipid loading or ER stress, sortilin deficiency leads to increased apoB secretion. These results are consistent with the directionality of effect in human genetics studies and suggest that, under stress conditions, hepatic sortilin directs apoB toward lysosomal degradation rather than secretion, potentially serving as a quality control step in the apoB secretion pathway in hepatocytes.
Donna M. Conlon, Carolin V. Schneider, Yi-An Ko, Amrith Rodrigues, Kathy Guo, Nicholas J. Hand, Daniel J. Rader
It has been revealed that 2′3′-cyclic-GMP-AMP (cGAMP), a second messenger that activates the antiviral stimulator of IFN genes (STING), elicits an antitumoral immune response. Since cGAMP cannot cross the cell membrane, it is not clear how intracellular STING has been activated by extracellular cGAMP until SLC19A1 was identified as an importer to transport extracellular cGAMP into the cytosol. However, SLC19A1-deficient cells also sense extracellular cGAMP, suggesting the presence of mechanisms other than the facilitating transporters for STING sensing extracellular cGAMP. Here, using immunoprecipitation, immunofluorescence, and flow cytometry, we identified an alternatively spliced STING isoform, plasmatic membrane STING (pmSTING), that localized in the plasma membrane with its C-terminus outside the cell, due to a lack of 1 transmembrane domain in its N-terminus compared with canonical STING. Further studies showed that extracellular cGAMP not only promoted the dimerization of pmSTING and interaction of pmSTING with TANK-binding kinase 1 (TBK1) and IFN regulatory factor 3 (IRF3), but also enhanced the phosphorylation of TBK1 and IRF3 and the production of IFN in pmSTING-transfected cells. Additionally, we also identified similar pmSTING isoforms in other species including human. This study suggests a conserved role for pmSTING in sensing extracellular cGAMP and provides insight into the role of cGAMP as an immunotransmitter.
Xiaobo Li, Yuanyuan Zhu, Xiao Zhang, Xiang An, Mingjiao Weng, Jiaqi Shi, Song Wang, Caiqi Liu, Shengnan Luo, Tongsen Zheng
Desmoglein 1 (Dsg1) is a cadherin restricted to stratified tissues of terrestrial vertebrates, which serve as essential physical and immune barriers. Dsg1 loss-of-function mutations in humans result in skin lesions and multiple allergies, and isolated patient keratinocytes exhibit increased proallergic cytokine expression. However, the mechanism by which genetic deficiency of Dsg1 causes chronic inflammation is unknown. To determine the systemic response to Dsg1 loss, we deleted the 3 tandem Dsg1 genes in mice. Whole transcriptome analysis of embryonic Dsg1–/– skin showed a delay in expression of adhesion/differentiation/keratinization genes at E17.5, a subset of which recovered or increased by E18.5. Comparing epidermal transcriptomes from Dsg1-deficient mice and humans revealed a shared IL-17–skewed inflammatory signature. Although the impaired intercellular adhesion observed in Dsg1–/– mice resembles that resulting from anti-Dsg1 pemphigus foliaceus antibodies, pemphigus skin lesions exhibit a weaker IL-17 signature. Consistent with the clinical importance of these findings, treatment of 2 Dsg1-deficient patients with an IL-12/IL-23 antagonist originally developed for psoriasis resulted in improvement of skin lesions. Thus, beyond impairing the physical barrier, loss of Dsg1 function through gene mutation results in a psoriatic-like inflammatory signature before birth, and treatment with a targeted therapy significantly improved skin lesions in patients.
Lisa M. Godsel, Quinn R. Roth-Carter, Jennifer L. Koetsier, Lam C. Tsoi, Amber L. Huffine, Joshua A. Broussard, Gillian N. Fitz, Sarah M. Lloyd, Junghun Kweon, Hope E. Burks, Marihan Hegazy, Saki Amagai, Paul W. Harms, Xianying Xing, Joseph Kirma, Jodi L. Johnson, Gloria Urciuoli, Lynn T. Doglio, William R. Swindell, Rajeshwar Awatramani, Eli Sprecher, Xiaomin Bao, Eran Cohen-Barak, Caterina Missero, Johann E. Gudjonsson, Kathleen J. Green
Background To reduce the treatment burden for patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nvAMD), emerging therapies targeting vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) are being designed to extend the interval between treatments, thereby minimizing the number of intraocular injections. However, which patients will benefit from longer-acting agents is not clear.Methods Eyes with nvAMD (n = 122) underwent 3 consecutive monthly injections with currently available anti-VEGF therapies, followed by a treat-and-extend protocol. Patients who remained quiescent 12 weeks from their prior treatment entered a treatment pause and were switched to pro re nata (PRN) treatment (based on vision, clinical exam, and/or imaging studies). Proteomic analysis was performed on aqueous fluid to identify proteins that correlate with patients’ response to treatment.Results At the end of 1 year, 38 of 122 eyes (31%) entered a treatment pause (≥30 weeks). Conversely, 21 of 122 eyes (17%) failed extension and required monthly treatment at the end of year 1. Proteomic analysis of aqueous fluid identified proteins that correlated with patients’ response to treatment, including proteins previously implicated in AMD pathogenesis. Interestingly, apolipoprotein-B100 (ApoB100), a principal component of drusen implicated in the progression of nonneovascular AMD, was increased in treated patients who required less frequent injections. ApoB100 expression was higher in AMD eyes compared with controls but was lower in eyes that develop choroidal neovascularization (CNV), consistent with a protective role. Accordingly, mice overexpressing ApoB100 were partially protected from laser-induced CNV.Funding This work was supported by the National Eye Institute, National Institutes of Health grants R01EY029750, R01EY025705, and R01 EY27961; the Research to Prevent Blindness, Inc.; the Alcon Research Institute; and Johns Hopkins University through the Robert Bond Welch and Branna and Irving Sisenwein professorships in ophthalmology.Conclusion Aqueous biomarkers could help identify patients with nvAMD who may not require or benefit from long-term treatment with anti-VEGF therapy.
Xuan Cao, Jaron Castillo Sanchez, Aumreetam Dinabandhu, Chuanyu Guo, Tapan P. Patel, Zhiyong Yang, Ming-Wen Hu, Lijun Chen, Yuefan Wang, Danyal Malik, Kathleen Jee, Yassine J. Daoud, James T. Handa, Hui Zhang, Jiang Qian, Silvia Montaner, Akrit Sodhi
Therapeutics targeting osteoclasts are commonly used treatments for bone metastasis; however, whether and how osteoclasts regulate premetastatic niche and bone tropism are largely unknown. In this study, we report that osteoclast precursors (OPs) can function as a premetastatic niche component that facilitates breast cancer (BCa) bone metastasis at early stages. At the molecular level, unbiased GPCR ligand/agonist screening in BCa cells suggested that R-spondin 2 (RSPO2) and RANKL, through interaction with their receptor LGR4, promoted osteoclastic premetastatic niche formation and enhanced BCa bone metastasis. This was achieved by RSPO2/RANKL-LGR4 signal modulating the WNT inhibitor DKK1 through Gαq and β-catenin signaling. DKK1 directly facilitated OP recruitment through suppression of its receptor LDL receptor–related protein 5 (LRP5) but not LRP6, upregulating Rnasek expression via inhibition of canonical WNT signaling. In clinical samples, RSPO2, LGR4, and DKK1 expression showed a positive correlation with BCa bone metastasis. Furthermore, soluble LGR4 extracellular domain (ECD) protein, acting as a decoy receptor for RSPO2 and RANKL, significantly alleviated bone metastasis and osteolytic lesions in a mouse bone metastasis model. These findings provide unique insights into the functional role of OPs as key components of the premetastatic niche for BCa bone metastasis and identify RSPO2/RANKL-LGR4 signaling as a promising target for inhibiting BCa bone metastasis.
Zhiying Yue, Xin Niu, Zengjin Yuan, Qin Qin, Wenhao Jiang, Liang He, Jingduo Gao, Yi Ding, Yanxi Liu, Ziwei Xu, Zhenxi Li, Zhengfeng Yang, Rong Li, Xiwen Xue, Yankun Gao, Fei Yue, Xiang H.-F. Zhang, Guohong Hu, Yi Wang, Yi Li, Geng Chen, Stefan Siwko, Alison Gartland, Ning Wang, Jianru Xiao, Mingyao Liu, Jian Luo
Bitter taste receptors (taste 2 receptors, TAS2Rs) serve as warning sensors in the lingual system against the ingestion of potentially poisonous food. Here, we investigated the functional role of TAS2Rs in the human gut and focused on their potential to trigger an additional host defense pathway in the intestine. Human jejunal crypts, especially those from individuals with obesity, responded to bitter agonists by inducing the release of antimicrobial peptides (α-defensin 5 and regenerating islet–derived protein 3 α [REG3A]) but also regulated the expression of other innate immune factors (mucins, chemokines) that affected E. coli growth. We found that the effect of aloin on E. coli growth and on the release of the mucus glycoprotein CLCA1, identified via proteomics, was affected by TAS2R43 deletion polymorphisms and thus confirmed a role for TAS2R43. RNA-Seq revealed that denatonium benzoate induced an NRF2-mediated nutrient stress response and an unfolded protein response that increased the expression of the mitokine GDF15 but also ADM2 and LDLR, genes that are involved in anorectic signaling and lipid homeostasis. In conclusion, TAS2Rs in the intestine constitute a promising target for treating diseases that involve disturbances in the innate immune system and body weight control. TAS2R polymorphisms may be valuable genetic markers to predict therapeutic responses.
Kathrin I. Liszt, Qiaoling Wang, Mona Farhadipour, Anneleen Segers, Theo Thijs, Linda Nys, Ellen Deleus, Bart Van der Schueren, Christopher Gerner, Benjamin Neuditschko, Laurens J. Ceulemans, Matthias Lannoo, Jan Tack, Inge Depoortere
Bin/amphiphysin/Rvs (BAR) domains are positively charged crescent-shaped modules that mediate curvature of negatively charged lipid membranes during remodeling processes. The BAR domain proteins PICK1, ICA69, and the arfaptins have recently been demonstrated to coordinate the budding and formation of immature secretory granules (ISGs) at the trans-Golgi network. Here, we identify 4 coding variants in the PICK1 gene from a whole-exome screening of Danish patients with diabetes that each involve a change in positively charged residues in the PICK1 BAR domain. All 4 coding variants failed to rescue insulin content in INS-1E cells upon knock down of endogenous PICK1. Moreover, 2 variants showed dominant-negative properties. In vitro assays addressing BAR domain function suggested that the coding variants compromised BAR domain function but increased the capacity to cause fission of liposomes. Live confocal microscopy and super-resolution microscopy further revealed that PICK1 resides transiently on ISGs before egress via vesicular budding events. Interestingly, this egress of PICK1 was accelerated in the coding variants. We propose that PICK1 assists in or complements the removal of excess membrane and generic membrane trafficking proteins, and possibly also insulin, from ISGs during the maturation process; and that the coding variants may cause premature budding, possibly explaining their dominant-negative function.
Rita C. Andersen, Jan H. Schmidt, Joscha Rombach, Matthew D. Lycas, Nikolaj R. Christensen, Viktor K. Lund, Donnie S. Stapleton, Signe S. Pedersen, Mathias A. Olsen, Mikkel Stoklund, Gith Noes-Holt, Tommas T.E. Nielsen, Mark P. Keller, Anna M. Jansen, Rasmus Herlo, Massimo Pietropaolo, Jens B. Simonsen, Ole Kjærulff, Birgitte Holst, Alan D. Attie, Ulrik Gether, Kenneth L. Madsen
Autophagy selectively degrades aggregation-prone misfolded proteins caused by defective cellular proteostasis. However, the complexity of autophagy may prevent the full appreciation of how its modulation could be used as a therapeutic strategy in disease management. Here, we define a molecular pathway through which recombinant IL-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1Ra, anakinra) affects cellular proteostasis independently from the IL-1 receptor (IL-1R1). Anakinra promoted H2O2-driven autophagy through a xenobiotic sensing pathway involving the aryl hydrocarbon receptor that, activated through the indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase 1-kynurenine pathway, transcriptionally activated NADPH oxidase 4 independent of the IL-1R1. By coupling the mitochondrial redox balance to autophagy, anakinra improved the dysregulated proteostasis network in murine and human cystic fibrosis. We anticipate that anakinra may represent a therapeutic option in addition to its IL-1R1–dependent antiinflammatory properties by acting at the intersection of mitochondrial oxidative stress and autophagy with the capacity to restore conditions in which defective proteostasis leads to human disease.
Frank L. van de Veerdonk, Giorgia Renga, Marilena Pariano, Marina M. Bellet, Giuseppe Servillo, Francesca Fallarino, Antonella De Luca, Rossana G. Iannitti, Danilo Piobbico, Marco Gargaro, Giorgia Manni, Fiorella D’Onofrio, Claudia Stincardini, Luigi Sforna, Monica Borghi, Marilena Castelli, Stefania Pieroni, Vasileios Oikonomou, Valeria R. Villella, Matteo Puccetti, Stefano Giovagnoli, Roberta Galarini, Carolina Barola, Luigi Maiuri, Maria Agnese Della Fazia, Barbara Cellini, Vincenzo Nicola Talesa, Charles A. Dinarello, Claudio Costantini, Luigina Romani
Oligodendrocytes are the primary target of demyelinating disorders, and progressive neurodegenerative changes may evolve in the CNS. DNA damage and oxidative stress are considered key pathogenic events, but the underlying molecular mechanisms remain unclear. Moreover, animal models do not fully recapitulate human diseases, complicating the path to effective treatments. Here we report that mice with cell-autonomous deletion of the nuclear COP9 signalosome component CSN5 (JAB1) in oligodendrocytes develop DNA damage and defective DNA repair in myelinating glial cells. Interestingly, oligodendrocytes lacking JAB1 expression underwent a senescence-like phenotype that fostered chronic inflammation and oxidative stress. These mutants developed progressive CNS demyelination, microglia inflammation, and neurodegeneration, with severe motor deficits and premature death. Notably, blocking microglia inflammation did not prevent neurodegeneration, whereas the deletion of p21CIP1 but not p16INK4a pathway ameliorated the disease. We suggest that senescence is key to sustaining neurodegeneration in demyelinating disorders and may be considered a potential therapeutic target.
Cristina Rivellini, Emanuela Porrello, Giorgia Dina, Simona Mrakic-Sposta, Alessandra Vezzoli, Marco Bacigaluppi, Giorgia Serena Gullotta, Linda Chaabane, Letizia Leocani, Silvia Marenna, Emanuela Colombo, Cinthia Farina, Jia Newcombe, Klaus-Armin Nave, Ruggero Pardi, Angelo Quattrini, Stefano C. Previtali
PRAME is a prominent member of the cancer testis antigen family of proteins, which triggers autologous T cell–mediated immune responses. Integrative genomic analysis in diffuse large B cell lymphoma (DLBCL) uncovered recurrent and highly focal deletions of 22q11.22, including the PRAME gene, which were associated with poor outcome. PRAME-deleted tumors showed cytotoxic T cell immune escape and were associated with cold tumor microenvironments. In addition, PRAME downmodulation was strongly associated with somatic EZH2 Y641 mutations in DLBCL. In turn, PRC2-regulated genes were repressed in isogenic PRAME-KO lymphoma cell lines, and PRAME was found to directly interact with EZH2 as a negative regulator. EZH2 inhibition with EPZ-6438 abrogated these extrinsic and intrinsic effects, leading to PRAME expression and microenvironment restoration in vivo. Our data highlight multiple functions of PRAME during lymphomagenesis and provide a preclinical rationale for synergistic therapies combining epigenetic reprogramming with PRAME-targeted therapies.
Katsuyoshi Takata, Lauren C. Chong, Daisuke Ennishi, Tomohiro Aoki, Michael Yu Li, Avinash Thakur, Shannon Healy, Elena Viganò, Tao Dao, Daniel Kwon, Gerben Duns, Julie S. Nielsen, Susana Ben-Neriah, Ethan Tse, Stacy S. Hung, Merrill Boyle, Sung Soo Mun, Christopher M. Bourne, Bruce Woolcock, Adèle Telenius, Makoto Kishida, Shinya Rai, Allen W. Zhang, Ali Bashashati, Saeed Saberi, Gianluca D’Antonio, Brad H. Nelson, Sohrab P. Shah, Pamela A. Hoodless, Ari M. Melnick, Randy D. Gascoyne, Joseph M. Connors, David A. Scheinberg, Wendy Béguelin, David W. Scott, Christian Steidl
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), the most common liver disease, has become a silent worldwide pandemic. The incidence of NAFLD correlates with the rise in obesity, type 2 diabetes, and metabolic syndrome. A hallmark featureof NAFLD is excessive hepatic fat accumulation or steatosis, due to dysregulated hepatic fat metabolism, which can progress to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH), fibrosis, and cirrhosis. Currently, there are no approved pharmacotherapies to treat this disease. Here, we have found that activation of the kisspeptin 1 receptor (KISS1R) signaling pathway has therapeutic effects in NAFLD. Using high-fat diet–fed mice, we demonstrated that a deletion of hepatic Kiss1r exacerbated hepatic steatosis. In contrast, enhanced stimulation of KISS1R protected against steatosis in wild-type C57BL/6J mice and decreased fibrosis using a diet-induced mouse model of NASH. Mechanistically, we found that hepatic KISS1R signaling activates the master energy regulator, AMPK, to thereby decrease lipogenesis and progression to NASH. In patients with NAFLD and in high-fat diet–fed mice, hepatic KISS1/KISS1R expression and plasma kisspeptin levels were elevated, suggesting a compensatory mechanism to reduce triglyceride synthesis. These findings establish KISS1R as a therapeutic target to treat NASH.
Stephania Guzman, Magdalena Dragan, Hyokjoon Kwon, Vanessa de Oliveira, Shivani Rao, Vrushank Bhatt, Katarzyna M. Kalemba, Ankit Shah, Vinod K. Rustgi, He Wang, Paul R. Bech, Ali Abbara, Chioma Izzi-Engbeaya, Pinelopi Manousou, Jessie Y. Guo, Grace L. Guo, Sally Radovick, Waljit S. Dhillo, Fredric E. Wondisford, Andy V. Babwah, Moshmi Bhattacharya
BACKGROUND Major depressive disorder (MDD) and posttraumatic stress disorder (PTSD) are highly comorbid and exhibit strong correlations with one another. We aimed to investigate mechanisms of underlying relationships between PTSD and 3 kinds of depressive phenotypes, namely, MDD, depressed affect (DAF), and depression (DEP, including both MDD and the broad definition of depression).METHODS Genetic correlations between PTSD and the depressive phenotypes were tested using linkage disequilibrium score regression. Polygenic overlap analysis was used to estimate shared and trait-specific causal variants across a pair of traits. Causal relationships between PTSD and the depressive phenotypes were investigated using Mendelian randomization. Shared genomic loci between PTSD and MDD were identified using cross-trait meta-analysis.RESULTS Genetic correlations of PTSD with the depressive phenotypes were in the range of 0.71–0.80. The estimated numbers of causal variants were 14,565, 12,965, 10,565, and 4,986 for MDD, DEP, DAF, and PTSD, respectively. In each case, causal variants contributing to PTSD were completely or largely covered by causal variants defining each of the depressive phenotypes. Mendelian randomization analysis indicated that the genetically determined depressive phenotypes confer a causal effect on PTSD (b = 0.21–0.31). Notably, genetically determined PTSD confers a causal effect on DEP (b = 0.14) and DAF (b = 0.15), but not MDD. Cross-trait meta-analysis of MDD and PTSD identified 47 genomic loci, including 29 loci shared between PTSD and MDD.CONCLUSION Evidence from shared genetics suggests that PTSD is a subtype of MDD. This study provides support to the efforts in reducing diagnostic heterogeneity in psychiatric nosology.FUNDING The National Key Research and Development Program of China and the National Natural Science Foundation of China.
Fuquan Zhang, Shuquan Rao, Hongbao Cao, Xiangrong Zhang, Qiang Wang, Yong Xu, Jing Sun, Chun Wang, Jiu Chen, Xijia Xu, Ning Zhang, Lin Tian, Jianmin Yuan, Guoqiang Wang, Lei Cai, Mingqing Xu, Ancha Baranova
Tertiary lymphoid tissues (TLTs) facilitate local T and B cell interactions in chronically inflamed organs. However, the cells and molecular pathways that govern TLT formation are poorly defined. Here, we identified TNF superfamily CD153/CD30 signaling between 2 unique age-dependent lymphocyte subpopulations, CD153+PD-1+CD4+ senescence-associated T (SAT) cells and CD30+T-bet+ age-associated B cells (ABCs), as a driver for TLT expansion. SAT cells, which produced ABC-inducing factors IL-21 and IFN-γ, and ABCs progressively accumulated within TLTs in aged kidneys after injury. Notably, in kidney injury models, CD153 or CD30 deficiency impaired functional SAT cell induction, which resulted in reduced ABC numbers and attenuated TLT formation with improved inflammation, fibrosis, and renal function. Attenuated TLT formation after transplantation of CD153-deficient bone marrow further supported the importance of CD153 in immune cells. Clonal analysis revealed that SAT cells and ABCs in the kidneys arose from both local differentiation and recruitment from the spleen. In the synovium of aged rheumatoid arthritis patients, T peripheral helper/T follicular helper cells and ABCs also expressed CD153 and CD30, respectively. Together, our data reveal a previously unappreciated function of CD153/CD30 signaling in TLT formation and propose targeting the CD153/CD30 signaling pathway as a therapeutic target for slowing kidney disease progression.
Yuki Sato, Akiko Oguchi, Yuji Fukushima, Kyoko Masuda, Naoya Toriu, Keisuke Taniguchi, Takahisa Yoshikawa, Xiaotong Cui, Makiko Kondo, Takeshi Hosoi, Shota Komidori, Yoko Shimizu, Harumi Fujita, Li Jiang, Yingyi Kong, Takashi Yamanashi, Jun Seita, Takuya Yamamoto, Shinya Toyokuni, Yoko Hamazaki, Masakazu Hattori, Yasunobu Yoshikai, Peter Boor, Jürgen Floege, Hiroshi Kawamoto, Yasuhiro Murakawa, Nagahiro Minato, Motoko Yanagita
Inborn errors of nucleic acid metabolism often cause aberrant activation of nucleic acid sensing pathways, leading to autoimmune or autoinflammatory diseases. The SKIV2L RNA exosome is cytoplasmic RNA degradation machinery that was thought to be essential for preventing the self-RNA–mediated interferon (IFN) response. Here, we demonstrate the physiological function of SKIV2L in mammals. We found that Skiv2l deficiency in mice disrupted epidermal and T cell homeostasis in a cell-intrinsic manner independently of IFN. Skiv2l-deficient mice developed skin inflammation and hair abnormality, which were also observed in a SKIV2L-deficient patient. Epidermis-specific deletion of Skiv2l caused hyperproliferation of keratinocytes and disrupted epidermal stratification, leading to impaired skin barrier with no appreciable IFN activation. Moreover, Skiv2l-deficient T cells were chronically hyperactivated and these T cells attacked lesional skin as well as hair follicles. Mechanistically, SKIV2L loss activated the mTORC1 pathway in both keratinocytes and T cells. Both systemic and topical rapamycin treatment of Skiv2l-deficient mice ameliorated epidermal hyperplasia and skin inflammation. Together, we demonstrate that mTORC1, a classical nutrient sensor, also senses cytoplasmic RNA quality control failure and drives autoinflammatory disease. We also propose SKIV2L-associated trichohepatoenteric syndrome (THES) as a new mTORopathy for which sirolimus may be a promising therapy.
Kun Yang, Jie Han, Mayumi Asada, Jennifer G. Gill, Jason Y. Park, Meghana N. Sathe, Jyothsna Gattineni, Tracey Wright, Christian A. Wysocki, M. Teresa de la Morena, Luis A. Garza, Nan Yan
Multiple beneficial cardiovascular effects of HDL depend on sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P). S1P associates with HDL by binding to apolipoprotein M (ApoM). Insulin resistance is a major driver of dyslipidemia and cardiovascular risk. However, the mechanisms linking alterations in insulin signaling with plasma lipoprotein metabolism are incompletely understood. The insulin-repressible FoxO transcription factors mediate key effects of hepatic insulin action on glucose and lipoprotein metabolism. This work tested whether hepatic insulin signaling regulates HDL-S1P and aimed to identify the underlying molecular mechanisms. We report that insulin-resistant, nondiabetic individuals had decreased HDL-S1P levels, but no change in total plasma S1P. This also occurred in insulin-resistant db/db mice, which had low ApoM and a specific reduction of S1P in the HDL fraction, with no change in total plasma S1P levels. Using mice lacking hepatic FoxOs (L-FoxO1,3,4), we found that hepatic FoxOs were required for ApoM expression. Total plasma S1P levels were similar to those in controls, but S1P was nearly absent from HDL and was instead increased in the lipoprotein-depleted plasma fraction. This phenotype was restored to normal by rescuing ApoM in L-FoxO1,3,4 mice. Our findings show that insulin resistance in humans and mice is associated with decreased HDL-associated S1P. Our study shows that hepatic FoxO transcription factors are regulators of the ApoM/S1P pathway.
María Concepción Izquierdo, Niroshan Shanmugarajah, Samuel X. Lee, Michael J. Kraakman, Marit Westerterp, Takumi Kitamoto, Michael Harris, Joshua R. Cook, Galina A. Gusarova, Kendra Zhong, Elijah Marbuary, InSug O-Sullivan, Nikolaus Rasmus, Stefania Camastra, Terry G. Unterman, Ele Ferrannini, Barry E. Hurwitz, Rebecca A. Haeusler
Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis type 7 (CLN7) disease is a lysosomal storage disease caused by mutations in the facilitator superfamily domain containing 8 (MFSD8) gene, which encodes a membrane-bound lysosomal protein, MFSD8. To test the effectiveness and safety of adeno-associated viral (AAV) gene therapy, an in vitro study demonstrated that AAV2/MFSD8 dose dependently rescued lysosomal function in fibroblasts from a CLN7 patient. An in vivo efficacy study using intrathecal administration of AAV9/MFSD8 to Mfsd8– /– mice at P7–P10 or P120 with high or low dose led to clear age- and dose-dependent effects. A high dose of AAV9/MFSD8 at P7–P10 resulted in widespread MFSD8 mRNA expression, tendency of amelioration of subunit c of mitochondrial ATP synthase accumulation and glial fibrillary acidic protein immunoreactivity, normalization of impaired behaviors, doubled median life span, and extended normal body weight gain. In vivo safety studies in rodents concluded that intrathecal administration of AAV9/MFSD8 was safe and well tolerated. In summary, these results demonstrated that the AAV9/MFSD8 vector is both effective and safe in preclinical models.
Xin Chen, Thomas Dong, Yuhui Hu, Frances C. Shaffo, Nandkishore R. Belur, Joseph R. Mazzulli, Steven J. Gray
Sortilin has been positively correlated with vascular disorders in humans. No study has yet evaluated the possible direct effect of sortilin on vascular function. We used pharmacological and genetic approaches coupled with study of murine and human samples to unravel the mechanisms recruited by sortilin in the vascular system. Sortilin induced endothelial dysfunction of mesenteric arteries through NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2) isoform activation, dysfunction that was prevented by knockdown of acid sphingomyelinase (ASMase) or sphingosine kinase 1. In vivo, recombinant sortilin administration induced arterial hypertension in WT mice. In contrast, genetic deletion of sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 3 (S1P3) and gp91phox/NOX2 resulted in preservation of endothelial function and blood pressure homeostasis after 14 days of systemic sortilin administration. Translating these research findings into the clinical setting, we detected elevated sortilin levels in hypertensive patients with endothelial dysfunction. Furthermore, in a population-based cohort of 270 subjects, we showed increased plasma ASMase activity and increased plasma levels of sortilin, S1P, and soluble NOX2-derived peptide (sNOX2-dp) in hypertensive subjects, and the increase was more pronounced in hypertensive subjects with uncontrolled blood pressure. Our studies reveal what we believe is a previously unrecognized role of sortilin in the impairment of vascular function and in blood pressure homeostasis and suggest the potential of sortilin and its mediators as biomarkers for the prediction of vascular dysfunction and high blood pressure.
Paola Di Pietro, Albino Carrizzo, Eduardo Sommella, Marco Oliveti, Licia Iacoviello, Augusto Di Castelnuovo, Fausto Acernese, Antonio Damato, Massimiliano De Lucia, Fabrizio Merciai, Paola Iesu, Eleonora Venturini, Raffaele Izzo, Valentina Trimarco, Michele Ciccarelli, Giuseppe Giugliano, Roberto Carnevale, Vittoria Cammisotto, Serena Migliarino, Nicola Virtuoso, Andrea Strianese, Viviana Izzo, Pietro Campiglia, Elena Ciaglia, Bodo Levkau, Annibale A. Puca, Carmine Vecchione
Background Care management of Parkinson’s disease (PD) patients currently remains symptomatic, mainly because diagnosis relying on the expression of the cardinal motor symptoms is made too late. Earlier detection of PD therefore represents a key step for developing therapies able to delay or slow down its progression.Methods We investigated metabolic markers in 3 different animal models of PD, mimicking different phases of the disease assessed by behavioral and histological evaluation, and in 3 cohorts of de novo PD patients and matched controls (n = 129). Serum and brain tissue samples were analyzed by nuclear magnetic resonance spectroscopy and data submitted to advanced multivariate statistics.Results Our translational strategy reveals common metabolic dysregulations in serum of the different animal models and PD patients. Some of them were mirrored in the tissue samples, possibly reflecting pathophysiological mechanisms associated with PD development. Interestingly, some metabolic dysregulations appeared before motor symptom emergence and could represent early biomarkers of PD. Finally, we built a composite biomarker with a combination of 6 metabolites. This biomarker discriminated animals mimicking PD from controls, even from the first, nonmotor signs and, very interestingly, also discriminated PD patients from healthy subjects.Conclusion From our translational study, which included 3 animal models and 3 de novo PD patient cohorts, we propose a promising biomarker exhibiting a high accuracy for de novo PD diagnosis that may possibly predict early PD development, before motor symptoms appear.Funding French National Research Agency (ANR), DOPALCOMP, Institut National de la Santé et de la Recherche Médicale, Université Grenoble Alpes, Association France Parkinson.
David Mallet, Thibault Dufourd, Mélina Decourt, Carole Carcenac, Paola Bossù, Laure Verlin, Pierre-Olivier Fernagut, Marianne Benoit-Marand, Gianfranco Spalletta, Emmanuel L. Barbier, Sebastien Carnicella, Véronique Sgambato, Florence Fauvelle, Sabrina Boulet
Y-box–binding protein 1 (YB-1) is a multifunctional RNA binding protein involved in virtually every step of RNA metabolism. However, the functions and mechanisms of YB-1 in one of the most aggressive cancers, glioblastoma, are not well understood. In this study, we found that YB-1 protein was markedly overexpressed in glioblastoma and acted as a critical activator of both mTORC1 and mTORC2 signaling. Mechanistically, YB-1 bound the 5′UTR of CCT4 mRNA to promote the translation of CCT4, a component of the CCT chaperone complex, that in turn activated the mTOR signaling pathway by promoting mLST8 folding. In addition, YB-1 autoregulated its own translation by binding to its 5′UTR, leading to sustained activation of mTOR signaling. In patients with glioblastoma, high protein expression of YB-1 correlated with increased expression of CCT4 and mLST8 and activated mTOR signaling. Importantly, the administration of RNA decoys specifically targeting YB-1 in a mouse xenograft model resulted in slower tumor growth and better survival. Taken together, these findings uncover a disrupted proteostasis pathway involving a YB-1/CCT4/mLST8/mTOR axis in promoting glioblastoma growth, suggesting that YB-1 is a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of glioblastoma.
Jin-Zhu Wang, Hong Zhu, Pu You, Hui Liu, Wei-Kang Wang, Xiaojuan Fan, Yun Yang, Keren Xu, Yingfeng Zhu, Qunyi Li, Ping Wu, Chao Peng, Catherine C.L. Wong, Kaicheng Li, Yufeng Shi, Nu Zhang, Xiuxing Wang, Rong Zeng, Ying Huang, Liusong Yang, Zefeng Wang, Jingyi Hui
Human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) hold great promise for the treatment of various human diseases. However, their therapeutic benefits and mechanisms for treating corneal endothelial dysfunction remain undefined. Here, we developed a therapeutic regimen consisting of the combination of hPSC-derived corneal endothelial precursors (CEPs) with nicotinamide (NAM) for effective treatment of corneal endothelial dysfunction. In rabbit and nonhuman primate models, intracameral injection of CEPs and NAM achieved long-term recovery of corneal clarity and thickness, similar with the therapeutic outcome of cultured human corneal endothelial cells (CECs). The transplanted human CEPs exhibited structural and functional integration with host resident CECs. However, the long-term recovery relied on the stimulation of endogenous endothelial regeneration in rabbits, but predominantly on the replacing function of transplanted cells during the 3-year follow-up in nonhuman primates, which resemble human corneal endothelium with limited regenerative capacity. Mechanistically, NAM ensured in vivo proper maturation of transplanted CEPs into functional CECs by preventing premature senescence and endothelial-mesenchymal transition within the TGF-β–enriched aqueous humor. Together, we provide compelling experimental evidence and mechanistic insights of simultaneous delivery of CEPs and NAM as a potential approach for treating corneal endothelial dysfunction.
Zongyi Li, Haoyun Duan, Yanni Jia, Can Zhao, Wenjing Li, Xin Wang, Yajie Gong, Chunxiao Dong, Bochao Ma, Shengqian Dou, Bin Zhang, Dongfang Li, Yihai Cao, Lixin Xie, Qingjun Zhou, Weiyun Shi
Repair of the infarcted heart requires TGF-β/Smad3 signaling in cardiac myofibroblasts. However, TGF-β–driven myofibroblast activation needs to be tightly regulated in order to prevent excessive fibrosis and adverse remodeling that may precipitate heart failure. We hypothesized that induction of the inhibitory Smad, Smad7, may restrain infarct myofibroblast activation, and we examined the molecular mechanisms of Smad7 actions. In a mouse model of nonreperfused infarction, Smad3 activation triggered Smad7 synthesis in α-SMA+ infarct myofibroblasts, but not in α-SMA–PDGFRα+ fibroblasts. Myofibroblast-specific Smad7 loss increased heart failure–related mortality, worsened dysfunction, and accentuated fibrosis in the infarct border zone and in the papillary muscles. Smad7 attenuated myofibroblast activation and reduced synthesis of structural and matricellular extracellular matrix proteins. Smad7 effects on TGF-β cascades involved deactivation of Smad2/3 and non-Smad pathways, without any effects on TGF-β receptor activity. Unbiased transcriptomic and proteomic analysis identified receptor tyrosine kinase signaling as a major target of Smad7. Smad7 interacted with ErbB2 in a TGF-β–independent manner and restrained ErbB1/ErbB2 activation, suppressing fibroblast expression of fibrogenic proteases, integrins, and CD44. Smad7 induction in myofibroblasts serves as an endogenous TGF-β–induced negative feedback mechanism that inhibits postinfarction fibrosis by restraining Smad-dependent and Smad-independent TGF-β responses, and by suppressing TGF-β–independent fibrogenic actions of ErbB2.
Claudio Humeres, Arti V. Shinde, Anis Hanna, Linda Alex, Silvia C. Hernández, Ruoshui Li, Bijun Chen, Simon J. Conway, Nikolaos G. Frangogiannis
It is widely recognized that inflammation plays a critical role in cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. However, clinical trials targeting cytokines have shown equivocal effects, indicating the need for a deeper understanding of the precise role of inflammation and inflammatory cells in heart failure. Leukocytes from human subjects and a rodent model of heart failure were characterized by a marked reduction in expression of Klf2 mRNA. Using a mouse model of angiotensin II–induced nonischemic cardiac dysfunction, we showed that neutrophils played an essential role in the pathogenesis and progression of heart failure. Mechanistically, chronic angiotensin II infusion activated a neutrophil KLF2/NETosis pathway that triggered sporadic thrombosis in small myocardial vessels, leading to myocardial hypoxia, cell death, and hypertrophy. Conversely, targeting neutrophils, neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), or thrombosis ameliorated these pathological changes and preserved cardiac dysfunction. KLF2 regulated neutrophil activation in response to angiotensin II at the molecular level, partly through crosstalk with HIF1 signaling. Taken together, our data implicate neutrophil-mediated immunothrombotic dysregulation as a critical pathogenic mechanism leading to cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure. This neutrophil KLF2-NETosis-thrombosis mechanism underlying chronic heart failure can be exploited for therapeutic gain by therapies targeting neutrophils, NETosis, or thrombosis.
Xinmiao Tang, Peiwei Wang, Rongli Zhang, Ippei Watanabe, Eugene Chang, Vinesh Vinayachandran, Lalitha Nayak, Stephanie Lapping, Sarah Liao, Annmarie Madera, David R. Sweet, Jiemeng Luo, Jinsong Fei, Hyun-Woo Jeong, Ralf H. Adams, Teng Zhang, Xudong Liao, Mukesh K. Jain
The glomerular filtration barrier (GFB) produces primary urine and is composed of a fenestrated endothelium, a glomerular basement membrane (GBM), podocytes, and a slit diaphragm. Impairment of the GFB leads to albuminuria and microhematuria. The GBM is generated via secreted proteins from both endothelial cells and podocytes and is supposed to majorly contribute to filtration selectivity. While genetic mutations or variations of GBM components have been recently proposed to be a common cause of glomerular diseases, pathways modifying and stabilizing the GBM remain incompletely understood. Here, we identified prolyl 3-hydroxylase 2 (P3H2) as a regulator of the GBM in an a cohort of patients with albuminuria. P3H2 hydroxylates the 3′ of prolines in collagen IV subchains in the endoplasmic reticulum. Characterization of a P3h2ΔPod mouse line revealed that the absence of P3H2 protein in podocytes induced a thin basement membrane nephropathy (TBMN) phenotype with a thinner GBM than that in WT mice and the development of microhematuria and microalbuminuria over time. Mechanistically, differential quantitative proteomics of the GBM identified a significant decrease in the abundance of collagen IV subchains and their interaction partners in P3h2ΔPod mice. To our knowledge, P3H2 protein is the first identified GBM modifier, and loss or mutation of P3H2 causes TBMN and focal segmental glomerulosclerosis in mice and humans.
Hande Aypek, Christoph Krisp, Shun Lu, Shuya Liu, Dominik Kylies, Oliver Kretz, Guochao Wu, Manuela Moritz, Kerstin Amann, Kerstin Benz, Ping Tong, Zheng-mao Hu, Sulaiman M. Alsulaiman, Arif O. Khan, Maik Grohmann, Timo Wagner, Janina Müller-Deile, Hartmut Schlüter, Victor G. Puelles, Carsten Bergmann, Tobias B. Huber, Florian Grahammer
Despite being the first homolog of the bacterial RecQ helicase to be identified in humans, the function of RECQL1 remains poorly characterized. Furthermore, unlike other members of the human RECQ family of helicases, mutations in RECQL1 have not been associated with a genetic disease. Here, we identify 2 families with a genome instability disorder that we have named RECON (RECql ONe) syndrome, caused by biallelic mutations in the RECQL gene. The affected individuals had short stature, progeroid facial features, a hypoplastic nose, xeroderma, and skin photosensitivity and were homozygous for the same missense mutation in RECQL1 (p.Ala459Ser), located within its zinc binding domain. Biochemical analysis of the mutant RECQL1 protein revealed that the p.A459S missense mutation compromised its ATPase, helicase, and fork restoration activity, while its capacity to promote single-strand DNA annealing was largely unaffected. At the cellular level, this mutation in RECQL1 gave rise to a defect in the ability to repair DNA damage induced by exposure to topoisomerase poisons and a failure of DNA replication to progress efficiently in the presence of abortive topoisomerase lesions. Taken together, RECQL1 is the fourth member of the RecQ family of helicases to be associated with a human genome instability disorder.
Bassam Abu-Libdeh, Satpal S. Jhujh, Srijita Dhar, Joshua A. Sommers, Arindam Datta, Gabriel M.C. Longo, Laura J. Grange, John J. Reynolds, Sophie L. Cooke, Gavin S. McNee, Robert Hollingworth, Beth L. Woodward, Anil N. Ganesh, Stephen J. Smerdon, Claudia M. Nicolae, Karina Durlacher-Betzer, Vered Molho-Pessach, Abdulsalam Abu-Libdeh, Vardiella Meiner, George-Lucian Moldovan, Vassilis Roukos, Tamar Harel, Robert M. Brosh Jr., Grant S. Stewart
T cells are central to the pathogenesis of lupus nephritis (LN), a common complication of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). CD6 and its ligand, activated leukocyte cell adhesion molecule (ALCAM), are involved in T cell activation and trafficking. Previously, we showed that soluble ALCAM is increased in urine (uALCAM) of patients with LN, suggesting that this pathway contributes to disease. To investigate, uALCAM was examined in 1038 patients with SLE and LN from 5 ethnically diverse cohorts; CD6 and ALCAM expression was assessed in LN kidney cells; and disease contribution was tested via antibody blockade of CD6 in murine models of SLE and acute glomerulonephritis. Extended cohort analysis offered resounding validation of uALCAM as a biomarker that distinguishes active renal involvement in SLE, irrespective of ethnicity. ALCAM was expressed by renal structural cells whereas CD6 expression was exclusive to T cells, with elevated numbers of CD6+ and ALCAM+ cells in patients with LN. CD6 blockade in models of spontaneous lupus and immune-complex glomerulonephritis revealed significant decreases in immune cells, inflammatory markers, and disease measures. Our data demonstrate the contribution of the CD6/ALCAM pathway to LN and SLE, supporting its use as a disease biomarker and therapeutic target.
Samantha A. Chalmers, Rajalakshmy Ayilam Ramachandran, Sayra J. Garcia, Evan Der, Leal Herlitz, Jeanette Ampudia, Dalena Chu, Nicole Jordan, Ting Zhang, Ioannis Parodis, Iva Gunnarsson, Huihua Ding, Nan Shen, Michelle Petri, Chi Chiu Mok, Ramesh Saxena, Krishna R. Polu, Stephen Connelly, Cherie T. Ng, Chandra Mohan, Chaim Putterman
Trained immunity refers to the long-lasting memory traits of innate immunity. Recent studies have shown that trained immunity is orchestrated by sustained changes in epigenetic marks and metabolic pathways, leading to an altered transcriptional response to a second challenge. However, the potential heterogeneity of trained-immunity induction in innate immune cells has not been explored. In this study, we demonstrate cellular transcriptional programs in response to 4 different inducers of trained immunity in monocyte populations at single-cell resolution. Specifically, we identified 3 monocyte subpopulations upon the induction of trained immunity, and replicated these findings in an in vivo study. In addition, we found gene signatures consistent with these functional programs in patients with ulcerative colitis, sepsis, and COVID-19, suggesting the impact of trained-immunity programs in immune-mediated diseases.
Bowen Zhang, Simone J.C.F.M Moorlag, Jorge Dominguez-Andres, Özlem Bulut, Gizem Kilic, Zhaoli Liu, Reinout van Crevel, Cheng-Jian Xu, Leo A.B. Joosten, Mihai G. Netea, Yang Li
Gastric carcinogenesis is mediated by complex interactions among Helicobacter pylori, host, and environmental factors. Here, we demonstrate that H. pylori augmented gastric injury in INS-GAS mice under iron-deficient conditions. Mechanistically, these phenotypes were not driven by alterations in the gastric microbiota; however, discovery-based and targeted metabolomics revealed that bile acids were significantly altered in H. pylori–infected mice with iron deficiency, with significant upregulation of deoxycholic acid (DCA), a carcinogenic bile acid. The severity of gastric injury was further augmented when H. pylori–infected mice were treated with DCA, and, in vitro, DCA increased translocation of the H. pylori oncoprotein CagA into host cells. Conversely, bile acid sequestration attenuated H. pylori–induced injury under conditions of iron deficiency. To translate these findings to human populations, we evaluated the association between bile acid sequestrant use and gastric cancer risk in a large human cohort. Among 416,885 individuals, a significant dose-dependent reduction in risk was associated with cumulative bile acid sequestrant use. Further, expression of the bile acid receptor transmembrane G protein–coupled bile acid receptor 5 (TGR5) paralleled the severity of carcinogenic lesions in humans. These data demonstrate that increased H. pylori–induced injury within the context of iron deficiency is tightly linked to altered bile acid metabolism, which may promote gastric carcinogenesis.
Jennifer M. Noto, M. Blanca Piazuelo, Shailja C. Shah, Judith Romero-Gallo, Jessica L. Hart, Chao Di, James D. Carmichael, Alberto G. Delgado, Alese E. Halvorson, Robert A. Greevy, Lydia E. Wroblewski, Ayushi Sharma, Annabelle B. Newton, Margaret M. Allaman, Keith T. Wilson, M. Kay Washington, M. Wade Calcutt, Kevin L. Schey, Bethany P. Cummings, Charles R. Flynn, Joseph P. Zackular, Richard M. Peek Jr.
Immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) therapy has shifted the paradigm for cancer treatment. However, the majority of patients lack effective responses because of the emergence of immune-refractory tumors that disrupt the amplification of antitumor immunity. Therefore, the identification of clinically available targets that restrict antitumor immunity is required to develop potential combination therapies. Here, using transcriptomic data on patients with cancer treated with programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) therapy and newly established mouse preclinical anti–PD-1 therapy–refractory models, we identified NANOG as a factor restricting the amplification of the antitumor immunity cycle, thereby contributing to the immune-refractory feature of the tumor microenvironment (TME). Mechanistically, NANOG induced insufficient T cell infiltration and resistance to CTL-mediated killing via the histone deacetylase 1–dependent (HDAC1-dependent) regulation of CXCL10 and MCL1, respectively. Importantly, HDAC1 inhibition using an actionable agent sensitized NANOGhi immune-refractory tumors to PD-1 blockade by reinvigorating the antitumor immunity cycle. Thus, our findings implicate the NANOG/HDAC1 axis as a central molecular target for controlling immune-refractory tumors and provide a rationale for combining HDAC inhibitors to reverse the refractoriness of tumors to ICB therapy.
Se Jin Oh, Hyo-Jung Lee, Kwon-Ho Song, Suyeon Kim, Eunho Cho, Jaeyoon Lee, Marcus W. Bosenberg, Tae Woo Kim
Cellular senescence plays an important role in human diseases, including osteoporosis and osteoarthritis. Senescent cells (SCs) produce the senescence-associated secretory phenotype to affect the function of neighboring cells and SCs themselves. Delayed fracture healing is common in the elderly and is accompanied by reduced mesenchymal progenitor cells (MPCs). However, the contribution of cellular senescence to fracture healing in the aged has not to our knowledge been studied. Here, we used C57BL/6J 4-month-old young and 20-month-old aged mice and demonstrated a rapid increase in SCs in the fracture callus of aged mice. The senolytic drugs dasatinib plus quercetin enhanced fracture healing in aged mice. Aged callus SCs inhibited the growth and proliferation of callus-derived MPCs (CaMPCs) and expressed high levels of TGF-β1. TGF-β–neutralizing Ab prevented the inhibitory effects of aged callus SCs on CaMPCs and promoted fracture healing in aged mice, which was associated with increased CaMPCs and proliferating cells. Thus, fracture triggered a significant cellular senescence in the callus cells of aged mice, which inhibited MPCs by expressing TGF-β1. Short-term administration of dasatinib plus quercetin depleted callus SCs and accelerated fracture healing in aged mice. Senolytic drugs represent a promising therapy, while TGF-β1 signaling is a molecular mechanism for fractures in the elderly via SCs.
Jiatong Liu, Jun Zhang, Xi Lin, Brendan F. Boyce, Hengwei Zhang, Lianping Xing
Inherited germline mutations in the breast cancer gene 1 (BRCA1) or BRCA2 genes (herein BRCA1/2) greatly increase the risk of breast and ovarian cancer, presumably by elevating somatic mutational errors as a consequence of deficient DNA repair. However, this has never been directly demonstrated by a comprehensive analysis of the somatic mutational landscape of primary, noncancer, mammary epithelial cells of women diagnosed with pathogenic BRCA1/2 germline mutations. Here, we used an accurate, single-cell whole-genome sequencing approach to first show that telomerized primary mammary epithelial cells heterozygous for a highly penetrant BRCA1 variant displayed a robustly elevated mutation frequency as compared with their isogenic control cells. We then demonstrated a small but statistically significant increase in mutation frequency in mammary epithelial cells isolated from the breast of BRCA1/2 mutation carriers as compared with those obtained from age-matched controls with no genetically increased risk for breast cancer.
Shixiang Sun, Kristina Brazhnik, Moonsook Lee, Alexander Y. Maslov, Yi Zhang, Zhenqiu Huang, Susan Klugman, Ben H. Park, Jan Vijg, Cristina Montagna
The reality of life in modern times is that our internal circadian rhythms are often out of alignment with the light/dark cycle of the external environment. This is known as circadian disruption, and a wealth of epidemiological evidence shows that it is associated with an increased risk for cardiovascular disease. Cardiovascular disease remains the top cause of death in the United States, and kidney disease in particular is a tremendous public health burden that contributes to cardiovascular deaths. There is an urgent need for new treatments for kidney disease; circadian rhythm–based therapies may be of potential benefit. The goal of this Review is to summarize the existing data that demonstrate a connection between circadian rhythm disruption and renal impairment in humans. Specifically, we will focus on chronic kidney disease, lupus nephritis, hypertension, and aging. Importantly, the relationship between circadian dysfunction and pathophysiology is thought to be bidirectional. Here we discuss the gaps in our knowledge of the mechanisms underlying circadian dysfunction in diseases of the kidney. Finally, we provide a brief overview of potential circadian rhythm–based interventions that could provide benefit in renal disease.
Rajesh Mohandas, Lauren G. Douma, Yogesh Scindia, Michelle L. Gumz
Passive stiffness of the heart is determined largely by extracellular matrix and titin, which functions as a molecular spring within sarcomeres. Titin stiffening is associated with the development of diastolic dysfunction (DD), while augmented titin compliance appears to impair systolic performance in dilated cardiomyopathy. We found that myofibril stiffness was elevated in mice lacking histone deacetylase 6 (HDAC6). Cultured adult murine ventricular myocytes treated with a selective HDAC6 inhibitor also exhibited increased myofibril stiffness. Conversely, HDAC6 overexpression in cardiomyocytes led to decreased myofibril stiffness, as did ex vivo treatment of mouse, rat, and human myofibrils with recombinant HDAC6. Modulation of myofibril stiffness by HDAC6 was dependent on 282 amino acids encompassing a portion of the PEVK element of titin. HDAC6 colocalized with Z-disks, and proteomics analysis suggested that HDAC6 functions as a sarcomeric protein deacetylase. Finally, increased myofibril stiffness in HDAC6-deficient mice was associated with exacerbated DD in response to hypertension or aging. These findings define a role for a deacetylase in the control of myofibril function and myocardial passive stiffness, suggest that reversible acetylation alters titin compliance, and reveal the potential of targeting HDAC6 to manipulate the elastic properties of the heart to treat cardiac diseases.
Ying-Hsi Lin, Jennifer L. Major, Tim Liebner, Zaynab Hourani, Joshua G. Travers, Sara A. Wennersten, Korey R. Haefner, Maria A. Cavasin, Cortney E. Wilson, Mark Y. Jeong, Yu Han, Michael Gotthardt, Scott K. Ferguson, Amrut V. Ambardekar, Maggie P.Y. Lam, Chunaram Choudhary, Henk L. Granzier, Kathleen C. Woulfe, Timothy A. McKinsey
Vaccination affords protection from disease by activating pathogen-specific immune cells and facilitating the development of persistent immunologic memory toward the vaccine-specific pathogen. Current vaccine regimens are often based on the efficiency of the acute immune response, and not necessarily on the generation of memory cells, in part because the mechanisms underlying the development of efficient immune memory remain incompletely understood. This Review describes recent advances in defining memory T cell metabolism and how metabolism of these cells might be altered in patients affected by mitochondrial diseases or metabolic syndrome, who show higher susceptibility to recurrent infections and higher rates of vaccine failure. It discusses how this new understanding could add to the way we think about immunologic memory, vaccine development, and cancer immunotherapy.
Mauro Corrado, Erika L. Pearce
Macrophages exposed to inflammatory stimuli including LPS undergo metabolic reprogramming to facilitate macrophage effector function. This metabolic reprogramming supports phagocytic function, cytokine release, and ROS production that are critical to protective inflammatory responses. The Krebs cycle is a central metabolic pathway within all mammalian cell types. In activated macrophages, distinct breaks in the Krebs cycle regulate macrophage effector function through the accumulation of several metabolites that were recently shown to have signaling roles in immunity. One metabolite that accumulates in macrophages because of the disturbance in the Krebs cycle is itaconate, which is derived from cis-aconitate by the enzyme cis-aconitate decarboxylase (ACOD1), encoded by immunoresponsive gene 1 (Irg1). This Review focuses on itaconate’s emergence as a key immunometabolite with diverse roles in immunity and inflammation. These roles include inhibition of succinate dehydrogenase (which controls levels of succinate, a metabolite with multiple roles in inflammation), inhibition of glycolysis at multiple levels (which will limit inflammation), activation of the antiinflammatory transcription factors Nrf2 and ATF3, and inhibition of the NLRP3 inflammasome. Itaconate and its derivatives have antiinflammatory effects in preclinical models of sepsis, viral infections, psoriasis, gout, ischemia/reperfusion injury, and pulmonary fibrosis, pointing to possible itaconate-based therapeutics for a range of inflammatory diseases. This intriguing metabolite continues to yield fascinating insights into the role of metabolic reprogramming in host defense and inflammation.
Christian G. Peace, Luke A.J. O’Neill
As cancers progress, they produce a local environment that acts to redirect, paralyze, exhaust, or otherwise evade immune detection and destruction. The tumor microenvironment (TME) has long been characterized as a metabolic desert, depleted of essential nutrients such as glucose, oxygen, and amino acids, that starves infiltrating immune cells and renders them dysfunctional. While not incorrect, this perspective is only half the picture. The TME is not a metabolic vacuum, only consuming essential nutrients and never producing by-products. Rather, the by-products of depleted nutrients, “toxic” metabolites in the TME such as lactic acid, kynurenine, ROS, and adenosine, play an important role in shaping immune cell function and cannot be overlooked in cancer immunotherapy. Moreover, while the metabolic landscape is distinct, it is not unique, as these toxic metabolites are encountered in non-tumor tissues, where they evolutionarily shape immune cells and their response. In this Review, we discuss how depletion of essential nutrients and production of toxic metabolites shape the immune response within the TME and how toxic metabolites can be targeted to improve current cancer immunotherapies.
McLane J. Watson, Greg M. Delgoffe
Metabolic inhibitors have been used in oncology for decades, dating back to antimetabolites developed in the 1940s. In the past 25 years, there has been increased recognition of metabolic derangements in tumor cells leading to a resurgence of interest in targeting metabolism. More recently there has been recognition that drugs targeting tumor metabolism also affect the often acidic, hypoxic, immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME) and non-tumor cell populations within it, including immune cells. Here we review small-molecule metabolic inhibitors currently in clinical development for oncology applications. For each agent, we evaluate the preclinical studies demonstrating antitumor and TME effects and review ongoing clinical trials. The goal of this Review is to provide an overview of the landscape of metabolic inhibitors in clinical development for oncology.
Kathryn M. Lemberg, Sadakatali S. Gori, Takashi Tsukamoto, Rana Rais, Barbara S. Slusher
Suppressing inflammation has been the primary focus of therapies in autoimmune rheumatic diseases (AIRDs), including rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. However, conventional therapies with low target specificity can have effects on cell metabolism that are less predictable. A key example is lipid metabolism; current therapies can improve or exacerbate dyslipidemia. Many conventional drugs also require in vivo metabolism for their conversion into therapeutically beneficial products; however, drug metabolism often involves the additional formation of toxic by-products, and rates of drug metabolism can be heterogeneous between patients. New therapeutic technologies and research have highlighted alternative metabolic pathways that can be more specifically targeted to reduce inflammation but also to prevent undesirable off-target metabolic consequences of conventional antiinflammatory therapies. This Review highlights the role of lipid metabolism in inflammation and in the mechanisms of action of AIRD therapeutics. Opportunities for cotherapies targeting lipid metabolism that could reduce immunometabolic complications and potential increased cardiovascular disease risk in patients with AIRDs are discussed.
George Robinson, Ines Pineda-Torra, Coziana Ciurtin, Elizabeth C. Jury
Cardiovascular diseases remain the leading cause of death worldwide, with pathological fibrotic remodeling mediated by activated cardiac myofibroblasts representing a unifying theme across etiologies. Despite the profound contributions of myocardial fibrosis to cardiac dysfunction and heart failure, there currently exist limited clinical interventions that effectively target the cardiac fibroblast and its role in fibrotic tissue deposition. Exploration of novel strategies designed to mitigate or reverse myofibroblast activation and cardiac fibrosis will likely yield powerful therapeutic approaches for the treatment of multiple diseases of the heart, including heart failure with preserved or reduced ejection fraction, acute coronary syndrome, and cardiovascular disease linked to type 2 diabetes. In this Review, we provide an overview of classical regulators of cardiac fibrosis and highlight emerging, next-generation epigenetic regulatory targets that have the potential to revolutionize treatment of the expanding cardiovascular disease patient population.
Joshua G. Travers, Charles A. Tharp, Marcello Rubino, Timothy A. McKinsey
The rapid invention of genome-editing technologies over the past decade, which has already been transformative for biomedical research, has raised the tantalizing prospect of an entirely new therapeutic modality. Whereas the treatment of chronic cardiovascular diseases has heretofore entailed the use of chronic therapies that typically must be taken repeatedly and frequently for the remainder of the lifetime, genome editing will enable the development of “one-and-done” therapies with durable effects. This Review summarizes the variety of available genome-editing approaches, including nuclease editing, base editing, epigenome editing, and prime editing; illustrates how these various approaches could be implemented as novel therapies for cardiovascular diseases; and outlines a path from technology development to preclinical studies to clinical trials. Although this Review focuses on PCSK9 as an instructive example of the various genome-editing approaches under active investigation, the lessons learned will be broadly applicable to the treatment of a variety of diseases.
Obesity has reached epidemic proportions and is a major contributor to insulin resistance (IR) and type 2 diabetes (T2D). Importantly, IR and T2D substantially increase the risk of cardiovascular (CV) disease. Although there are successful approaches to maintain glycemic control, there continue to be increased CV morbidity and mortality associated with metabolic disease. Therefore, there is an urgent need to understand the cellular and molecular processes that underlie cardiometabolic changes that occur during obesity so that optimal medical therapies can be designed to attenuate or prevent the sequelae of this disease. The vascular endothelium is in constant contact with the circulating milieu; thus, it is not surprising that obesity-driven elevations in lipids, glucose, and proinflammatory mediators induce endothelial dysfunction, vascular inflammation, and vascular remodeling in all segments of the vasculature. As cardiometabolic disease progresses, so do pathological changes in the entire vascular network, which can feed forward to exacerbate disease progression. Recent cellular and molecular data have implicated the vasculature as an initiating and instigating factor in the development of several cardiometabolic diseases. This Review discusses these findings in the context of atherosclerosis, IR and T2D, and heart failure with preserved ejection fraction. In addition, novel strategies to therapeutically target the vasculature to lessen cardiometabolic disease burden are introduced.
Nabil E. Boutagy, Abhishek K. Singh, William C. Sessa
Myosin modulators are a novel class of pharmaceutical agents that are being developed to treat patients with a range of cardiomyopathies. The therapeutic goal of these drugs is to target cardiac myosins directly to modulate contractility and cardiac power output to alleviate symptoms that lead to heart failure and arrhythmias, without altering calcium signaling. In this Review, we discuss two classes of drugs that have been developed to either activate (omecamtiv mecarbil) or inhibit (mavacamten) cardiac contractility by binding to β-cardiac myosin (MYH7). We discuss progress in understanding the mechanisms by which the drugs alter myosin mechanochemistry, and we provide an appraisal of the results from clinical trials of these drugs, with consideration for the importance of disease heterogeneity and genetic etiology for predicting treatment benefit.
Sharlene M. Day, Jil C. Tardiff, E. Michael Ostap
Despite the success of LDL-lowering drugs in reducing cardiovascular disease (CVD), there remains a large burden of residual disease due in part to persistent dyslipidemia characterized by elevated levels of triglyceride-rich lipoproteins (TRLs) and reduced levels of HDL. This form of dyslipidemia is increasing globally as a result of the rising prevalence of obesity and metabolic syndrome. Accumulating evidence suggests that impaired hepatic clearance of cholesterol-rich TRL remnants leads to their accumulation in arteries, promoting foam cell formation and inflammation. Low levels of HDL may associate with reduced cholesterol efflux from foam cells, aggravating atherosclerosis. While fibrates and fish oils reduce TRL, they have not been uniformly successful in reducing CVD, and there is a large unmet need for new approaches to reduce remnants and CVD. Rare genetic variants that lower triglyceride levels via activation of lipolysis and associate with reduced CVD suggest new approaches to treating dyslipidemia. Apolipoprotein C3 (APOC3) and angiopoietin-like 3 (ANGPTL3) have emerged as targets for inhibition by antibody, antisense, or RNAi approaches. Inhibition of either molecule lowers TRL but respectively raises or lowers HDL levels. Large clinical trials of such agents in patients with high CVD risk and elevated levels of TRL will be required to demonstrate efficacy of these approaches.
Alan R. Tall, David G. Thomas, Ainara G. Gonzalez-Cabodevilla, Ira J. Goldberg
The tumor microenvironment (TME) is reprogrammed by cancer cells and participates in all stages of tumor progression. The contribution of stromal cells to the reprogramming of the TME is not well understood. Here, we provide evidence of the role of the cytokine oncostatin M (OSM) as central node for multicellular interactions between immune and nonimmune stromal cells and the epithelial cancer cell compartment. OSM receptor (OSMR) deletion in a multistage breast cancer model halted tumor progression. We ascribed causality to the stromal function of the OSM axis by demonstrating reduced tumor burden of syngeneic tumors implanted in mice lacking OSMR. Single-cell and bioinformatic analysis of murine and human breast tumors revealed that OSM expression was restricted to myeloid cells, whereas OSMR was detected predominantly in fibroblasts and, to a lower extent, cancer cells. Myeloid-derived OSM reprogrammed fibroblasts to a more contractile and tumorigenic phenotype and elicited the secretion of VEGF and proinflammatory chemokines CXCL1 and CXCL16, leading to increased myeloid cell recruitment. Collectively, our data support the notion that the stromal OSM/OSMR axis reprograms the immune and nonimmune microenvironment and plays a key role in breast cancer progression.
Angela M. Araujo, Andrea Abaurrea, Peio Azcoaga, Joanna I. López-Velazco, Sara Manzano, Javier Rodriguez, Ricardo Rezola, Leire Egia-Mendikute, Fátima Valdés-Mora, Juana M. Flores, Liam Jenkins, Laura Pulido, Iñaki Osorio-Querejeta, Patricia Fernández-Nogueira, Nicola Ferrari, Cristina Viera, Natalia Martín-Martín, Alexandar Tzankov, Serenella Eppenberger-Castori, Isabel Alvarez-Lopez, Ander Urruticoechea, Paloma Bragado, Nicholas Coleman, Asís Palazón, Arkaitz Carracedo, David Gallego-Ortega, Fernando Calvo, Clare M. Isacke, María M. Caffarel, Charles H. Lawrie
Brown adipose tissue (BAT), a crucial heat-generating organ, regulates whole-body energy metabolism by mediating thermogenesis. BAT inflammation is implicated in the pathogenesis of mitochondrial dysfunction and impaired thermogenesis. However, the link between BAT inflammation and systematic metabolism remains unclear. Herein, we use mice with BAT deficiency of thioredoxin-2 (TRX2), a protein that scavenges mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (ROS), to evaluate the impact of BAT inflammation on metabolism and thermogenesis and its underlying mechanism. Our results show that BAT-specific TRX2 ablation improves systematic metabolic performance via enhancing lipid uptake, which protects mice from diet-induced obesity, hypertriglyceridemia, and insulin resistance. TRX2 deficiency impairs adaptive thermogenesis by suppressing fatty acid oxidation. Mechanistically, loss of TRX2 induces excessive mitochondrial ROS, mitochondrial integrity disruption, and cytosolic release of mitochondrial DNA, which in turn activate aberrant innate immune responses in BAT, including the cGAS/STING and the NLRP3 inflammasome pathways. We identify NLRP3 as a key converging point, as its inhibition reverses both the thermogenesis defect and the metabolic benefits seen under nutrient overload in BAT-specific Trx2-deficient mice. In conclusion, we identify TRX2 as a critical hub integrating oxidative stress, inflammation, and lipid metabolism in BAT, uncovering an adaptive mechanism underlying the link between BAT inflammation and systematic metabolism.
Yanrui Huang, Jenny H. Zhou, Haifeng Zhang, Alberto Canfran-Duque, Abhishek K. Singh, Rachel J. Perry, Gerald I. Shulman, Carlos Fernandez-Hernando, Wang Min
Mushroom spine loss and calcium dyshomeostasis are early hallmark events of age-related neurodegeneration, such as Alzheimer’s disease (AD), that are connected with neuronal hyperactivity in early pathology of cognitive brain areas. However, it remains elusive how these key events are triggered at the molecular level for the neuronal abnormality that occurs at the initial stage of disease. Here, we identify downregulated miR-339-5p and its upregulated target protein, neuronatin (Nnat), in cortex neurons from the presenilin-1 M146V knockin (PSEN1-M146V KI) mouse model of familial AD (FAD). Inhibition of miR-339-5p or overexpression of Nnat recapitulates spine loss and endoplasmic reticulum calcium overload in cortical neurons with the PSEN1 mutation. Conversely, either overexpression of miR-339-5p or knockdown of Nnat restores spine morphogenesis and calcium homeostasis. We used fiber photometry recording during the object-cognitive process to further demonstrate that the PSEN1 mutant causes defective habituation in neuronal reaction in the retrosplenial cortex and that this can be rescued by restoring the miR-339-5p/Nnat pathway. Our findings thus reveal crucial roles of the miR-339-5p/Nnat pathway in FAD that may serve as potential diagnostic and therapeutic targets for early pathogenesis.
Hao-Yu Zou, Lin Guo, Bei Zhang, Si Chen, Xin-Rong Wu, Xian-Dong Liu, Xin-Yu Xu, Bin-Yin Li, Shengdi Chen, Nan-Jie Xu, Suya Sun
Tumor Treating Fields (TTFields), an approved therapy for glioblastoma (GBM) and malignant mesothelioma, employ noninvasive application of low-intensity, intermediate-frequency, alternating electric fields to disrupt the mitotic spindle, leading to chromosome missegregation and apoptosis. Emerging evidence suggests that TTFields may also induce inflammation. However, the mechanism underlying this property and whether it can be harnessed therapeutically are unclear. Here, we report that TTFields induced focal disruption of the nuclear envelope, leading to cytosolic release of large micronuclei clusters that intensely recruited and activated 2 major DNA sensors — cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) and absent in melanoma 2 (AIM2) — and their cognate cGAS/stimulator of interferon genes (STING) and AIM2/caspase 1 inflammasomes to produce proinflammatory cytokines, type 1 interferons (T1IFNs), and T1IFN-responsive genes. In syngeneic murine GBM models, TTFields-treated GBM cells induced antitumor memory immunity and a cure rate of 42% to 66% in a STING- and AIM2-dependent manner. Using single-cell and bulk RNA sequencing of peripheral blood mononuclear cells, we detected robust post-TTFields activation of adaptive immunity in patients with GBM via a T1IFN-based trajectory and identified a gene panel signature of TTFields effects on T cell activation and clonal expansion. Collectively, these studies defined a therapeutic strategy using TTFields as cancer immunotherapy in GBM and potentially other solid tumors.
Dongjiang Chen, Son B. Le, Tarun E. Hutchinson, Anda-Alexandra Calinescu, Mathew Sebastian, Dan Jin, Tianyi Liu, Ashley Ghiaseddin, Maryam Rahman, David D. Tran
In chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the B cell receptor (BCR) plays a critical role in disease development and progression, as indicated by the therapeutic efficacy of drugs blocking BCR signaling. However, the mechanism(s) underlying BCR responsiveness are not completely defined. Selective engagement of membrane IgM or IgD on CLL cells, each coexpressed by more than 90% of cases, leads to distinct signaling events. Since both IgM and IgD carry the same antigen-binding domains, the divergent actions of the receptors are attributed to differences in immunoglobulin (Ig) structure or the outcome of signal transduction. We showed that IgM, not IgD, level and organization associated with CLL-cell birth rate and the type and consequences of BCR signaling in humans and mice. The latter IgM-driven effects were abrogated when BCR signaling was inhibited. Collectively, these studies demonstrated a critical, selective role for IgM in BCR signaling and B cell fate decisions, possibly opening new avenues for CLL therapy.
Andrea N. Mazzarello, Eva Gentner-Göbel, Marcus Dühren-von Minden, Tatyana N. Tarasenko, Antonella Nicolò, Gerardo Ferrer, Stefano Vergani, Yun Liu, Davide Bagnara, Kanti R. Rai, Jan A. Burger, Peter J. McGuire, Palash C. Maity, Hassan Jumaa, Nicholas Chiorazzi
Gastrointestinal motility disorders involve alterations to the structure and/or function of the enteric nervous system (ENS) but the causal mechanisms remain unresolved in most cases. Homeostasis and disease in the ENS are processes that are regulated by enteric glia. Signaling mediated through type I lysophosphatidic acid receptors (LPAR1) has recently emerged as an important mechanism that contributes to disease, in part, through effects on peripheral glial survival and function. Enteric glia express LPAR1 but its role in ENS function and motility disorders is unknown. We used a combination of genetic, immunohistochemical, calcium imaging, and in vivo pharmacological approaches to investigate the role of LPAR1 in enteric glia. LPAR1 was enriched in enteric glia in mice and humans and LPA stimulated intracellular calcium responses in enteric glia, subsequently recruiting activity in a subpopulation of myenteric neurons. Blocking LPAR1 in vivo with AM966 attenuated gastrointestinal motility in mice and produced marked enteric neuro- and gliopathy. Samples from humans with chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction (CIPO), a severe motility disorder, showed reduced glial LPAR1 expression in the colon and ileum. These data suggest that enteric glial LPAR1 signaling regulates gastrointestinal motility through enteric glia and could contribute to severe motility disorders in humans such as CIPO.
Mohammad M. Ahmadzai, Jonathon L. McClain, Christine Dharshika, Luisa Seguella, Fiorella Giancola, Roberto De Giorgio, Brian D. Gulbransen
Cancer metastasis is the cause of the majority of cancer-related deaths. In this study, we demonstrated that no expression or low expression of ATP11B in conjunction with high expression of PTDSS2, which was negatively regulated by BRCA1, markedly accelerates tumor metastasis. Further analysis revealed that cells with low ATP11B expression and high PTDSS2 expression (ATP11BloPTDSS2hi cells) were associated with poor prognosis and enhanced metastasis in breast cancer patients in general. Mechanistically, an ATP11BloPTDSS2hi phenotype was associated with increased levels of nonapoptotic phosphatidylserine (PS) on the outer leaflet of the cell membrane. This PS increase serves as a global immunosuppressive signal to promote breast cancer metastasis through an enriched tumor microenvironment with the accumulation of myeloid-derived suppressor cells and reduced activity of cytotoxic T cells. The metastatic processes associated with ATP11BloPTDSS2hi cancer cells can be effectively overcome by changing the expression phenotype to ATP11BhiPTDSS2lo through a combination of anti-PS antibody with either paclitaxel or docetaxel. Thus, blocking the ATP11BloPTDSS2hi axis provides a new selective therapeutic strategy to prevent metastasis in breast cancer patients.
Jun Xu, Sek Man Su, Xin Zhang, Un In Chan, Ragini Adhav, Xiaodong Shu, Jianlin Liu, Jianjie Li, Lihua Mo, Yuqing Wang, Tingting An, Josh Haipeng Lei, Kai Miao, Chu-Xia Deng, Xiaoling Xu
The chromosomal t(4;14) (p16;q32) translocation drives high expression of histone methyltransferase nuclear SET domain–containing 2 (NSD2) and plays vital roles in multiple myeloma (MM) evolution and progression. However, the mechanisms of NSD2-driven epigenomic alterations in chemoresistance to proteasome inhibitors (PIs) are not fully understood. Using a CRISPR/Cas9 sgRNA library in a bone marrow–bearing MM model, we found that hepatoma-derived growth factor 2 (HRP2) was a suppressor of chemoresistance to PIs and that its downregulation correlated with a poor response and worse outcomes in the clinic. We observed suppression of HRP2 in bortezomib-resistant MM cells, and knockdown of HRP2 induced a marked tolerance to PIs. Moreover, knockdown of HRP2 augmented H3K27me3 levels, consequentially intensifying transcriptome alterations promoting cell survival and restriction of ER stress. Mechanistically, HRP2 recognized H3K36me2 and recruited the histone demethylase MYC-induced nuclear antigen (MINA) to remove H3K27me3. Tazemetostat, a highly selective epigenetic inhibitor that reduces H3K27me3 levels, synergistically sensitized the anti-MM effects of bortezomib both in vitro and in vivo. Collectively, these results provide a better understanding of the origin of chemoresistance in patients with MM with the t(4;14) translocation and a rationale for managing patients with MM who have different genomic backgrounds.
Jingjing Wang, Xu Zhu, Lin Dang, Hongmei Jiang, Ying Xie, Xin Li, Jing Guo, Yixuan Wang, Ziyi Peng, Mengqi Wang, Jingya Wang, Sheng Wang, Qian Li, Yafei Wang, Qiang Wang, Lingqun Ye, Lirong Zhang, Zhiqiang Liu
People living with HIV (PLWH) who are immune nonresponders (INRs) are at greater risk of comorbidity and mortality than are immune responders (IRs) who restore their CD4+ T cell count after antiretroviral therapy (ART). INRs have low CD4+ T cell counts (<350 c/μL), heightened systemic inflammation, and increased CD4+ T cell cycling (Ki67+). Here, we report the findings that memory CD4+ T cells and plasma samples of INRs from several cohorts are enriched in gut-derived bacterial solutes p-cresol sulfate (PCS) and indoxyl sulfate (IS) that both negatively correlated with CD4+ T cell counts. In vitro PCS or IS blocked CD4+ T cell proliferation, induced apoptosis, and diminished the expression of mitochondrial proteins. Electron microscopy imaging revealed perturbations of mitochondrial networks similar to those found in INRs following incubation of healthy memory CD4+ T cells with PCS. Using bacterial 16S rDNA, INR stool samples were found enriched in proteolytic bacterial genera that metabolize tyrosine and phenylalanine to produce PCS. We propose that toxic solutes from the gut bacterial flora may impair CD4+ T cell recovery during ART and may contribute to CD4+ T cell lymphopenia characteristic of INRs.
Brian Ferrari, Amanda Cabral Da Silva, Ken H. Liu, Evgeniya V. Saidakova, Larisa B. Korolevskaya, Konstantin V. Shmagel, Carey Shive, Gabriela Pacheco Sanchez, Mauricio Retuerto, Ashish Arunkumar Sharma, Khader Ghneim, Laura Noel-Romas, Benigno Rodriguez, Mahmoud A. Ghannoum, Peter P. Hunt, Steven G. Deeks, Adam D. Burgener, Dean P. Jones, Mirela A. Dobre, Vincent C. Marconi, Rafick-Pierre Sekaly, Souheil-Antoine Younes
Various populations of cells are recruited to the heart after cardiac injury, but little is known about whether cardiomyocytes directly regulate heart repair. Using a murine model of ischemic cardiac injury, we demonstrate that cardiomyocytes play a pivotal role in heart repair by regulating nucleotide metabolism and fates of nonmyocytes. Cardiac injury induced the expression of the ectonucleotidase ectonucleotide pyrophosphatase/phosphodiesterase 1 (ENPP1), which hydrolyzes extracellular ATP to form AMP. In response to AMP, cardiomyocytes released adenine and specific ribonucleosides that disrupted pyrimidine biosynthesis at the orotidine monophosphate (OMP) synthesis step and induced genotoxic stress and p53-mediated cell death of cycling nonmyocytes. As nonmyocytes are critical for heart repair, we showed that rescue of pyrimidine biosynthesis by administration of uridine or by genetic targeting of the ENPP1/AMP pathway enhanced repair after cardiac injury. We identified ENPP1 inhibitors using small molecule screening and showed that systemic administration of an ENPP1 inhibitor after heart injury rescued pyrimidine biosynthesis in nonmyocyte cells and augmented cardiac repair and postinfarct heart function. These observations demonstrate that the cardiac muscle cell regulates pyrimidine metabolism in nonmuscle cells by releasing adenine and specific nucleosides after heart injury and provide insight into how intercellular regulation of pyrimidine biosynthesis can be targeted and monitored for augmenting tissue repair.
Shen Li, Tomohiro Yokota, Ping Wang, Johanna ten Hoeve, Feiyang Ma, Thuc M. Le, Evan R. Abt, Yonggang Zhou, Rimao Wu, Maxine Nanthavongdouangsy, Abraham Rodriguez, Yijie Wang, Yen-Ju Lin, Hayato Muranaka, Mark Sharpley, Demetrios T. Braddock, Vicky E. MacRae, Utpal Banerjee, Pei-Yu Chiou, Marcus Seldin, Dian Huang, Michael Teitell, Ilya Gertsman, Michael Jung, Steven J. Bensinger, Robert Damoiseaux, Kym Faull, Matteo Pellegrini, Aldons J. Lusis, Thomas G. Graeber, Caius G. Radu, Arjun Deb
Cerebral autosomal dominant arteriopathy, subcortical infarcts, and leukoencephalopathy (CADASIL) is the most common monogenic form of small vessel disease characterized by migraine with aura, leukoaraiosis, strokes, and dementia. CADASIL mutations cause cerebrovascular dysfunction in both animal models and humans. Here, we showed that 2 different human CADASIL mutations (Notch3 R90C or R169C) worsen ischemic stroke outcomes in transgenic mice; this was explained by the higher blood flow threshold to maintain tissue viability compared with that in wild type (WT) mice. Both mutants developed larger infarcts and worse neurological deficits compared with WT mice, regardless of age or sex after filament middle cerebral artery occlusion. However, full-field laser speckle flowmetry during distal middle cerebral artery occlusion showed comparable perfusion deficits in mutants and their respective WT controls. Circle of Willis anatomy and pial collateralization also did not differ among the genotypes. In contrast, mutants had a higher cerebral blood flow threshold, below which infarction ensued, suggesting increased sensitivity of brain tissue to ischemia. Electrophysiological recordings revealed a 1.5- to 2-fold higher frequency of peri-infarct spreading depolarizations in CADASIL mutants. Higher extracellular K+ elevations during spreading depolarizations in the mutants implicated a defect in extracellular K+ clearance. Altogether, these data reveal a mechanism of enhanced vulnerability to ischemic injury linked to abnormal extracellular ion homeostasis and susceptibility to ischemic depolarizations in CADASIL.
Fumiaki Oka, Jeong Hyun Lee, Izumi Yuzawa, Mei Li, Daniel von Bornstaedt, Katharina Eikermann-Haerter, Tao Qin, David Y. Chung, Homa Sadeghian, Jessica L. Seidel, Takahiko Imai, Doga Vuralli, Rosangela M. Platt, Mark T. Nelson, Anne Joutel, Sava Sakadzic, Cenk Ayata
Glucocorticoid steroids are commonly prescribed for many inflammatory conditions, but chronic daily use produces adverse effects, including muscle wasting and weakness. In contrast, shorter glucocorticoid pulses may improve athletic performance, although the mechanisms remain unclear. Muscle is sexually dimorphic and comparatively little is known about how male and female muscles respond to glucocorticoids. We investigated the impact of once-weekly glucocorticoid exposure on skeletal muscle performance comparing male and female mice. One month of once-weekly glucocorticoid dosing improved muscle specific force in both males and females. Transcriptomic profiling of isolated myofibers identified a striking sexually dimorphic response to weekly glucocorticoids. Male myofibers had increased expression of genes in the IGF1/PI3K pathway and calcium handling, while female myofibers had profound upregulation of lipid metabolism genes. Muscles from weekly prednisone–treated males had improved calcium handling, while comparably treated female muscles had reduced intramuscular triglycerides. Consistent with altered lipid metabolism, weekly prednisone–treated female mice had greater endurance relative to controls. Using chromatin immunoprecipitation, we defined a sexually dimorphic chromatin landscape after weekly prednisone. These results demonstrate that weekly glucocorticoid exposure elicits distinct pathways in males versus females, resulting in enhanced performance.
Isabella M. Salamone, Mattia Quattrocelli, David Y. Barefield, Patrick G. Page, Ibrahim Tahtah, Michele Hadhazy, Garima Tomar, Elizabeth M. McNally
Eltrombopag, an FDA-approved non-peptidyl thrombopoietin receptor agonist, is clinically used for the treatment of aplastic anemia, a disease characterized by hematopoietic stem cell failure and pancytopenia, to improve platelet counts and stem cell function. Eltrombopag treatment results in a durable trilineage hematopoietic expansion in patients. Some of the eltrombopag hematopoietic activity has been attributed to its off-target effects, including iron chelation properties. However, the mechanism of action for its full spectrum of clinical effects is still poorly understood. Here, we report that eltrombopag bound to the TET2 catalytic domain and inhibited its dioxygenase activity, which was independent of its role as an iron chelator. The DNA demethylating enzyme TET2, essential for hematopoietic stem cell differentiation and lineage commitment, is frequently mutated in myeloid malignancies. Eltrombopag treatment expanded TET2-proficient normal hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells, in part because of its ability to mimic loss of TET2 with simultaneous thrombopoietin receptor activation. On the contrary, TET inhibition in TET2 mutant malignant myeloid cells prevented neoplastic clonal evolution in vitro and in vivo. This mechanism of action may offer a restorative therapeutic index and provide a scientific rationale to treat selected patients with TET2 mutant–associated or TET deficiency–associated myeloid malignancies.
Yihong Guan, Metis Hasipek, Dongxu Jiang, Anand D. Tiwari, Dale R. Grabowski, Simona Pagliuca, Sunisa Kongkiatkamon, Bhumika Patel, Salendra Singh, Yvonne Parker, Thomas LaFramboise, Daniel Lindner, Mikkael A. Sekeres, Omar Y. Mian, Yogen Saunthararajah, Jaroslaw P. Maciejewski, Babal K. Jha
Vast numbers of differentially expressed genes and perturbed networks have been identified in Alzheimer’s disease (AD), however, neither disease nor brain region specificity of these transcriptome alterations has been explored. Using RNA-Seq data from 231 temporal cortex and 224 cerebellum samples from patients with AD and progressive supranuclear palsy (PSP), a tauopathy, we identified a striking correlation in the directionality and magnitude of gene expression changes between these 2 neurodegenerative proteinopathies. Further, the transcriptomic changes in AD and PSP brains ware highly conserved between the temporal and cerebellar cortices, indicating that highly similar transcriptional changes occur in pathologically affected and grossly less affected, albeit functionally connected, areas of the brain. Shared up- or downregulated genes in AD and PSP are enriched in biological pathways. Many of these genes also have concordant protein changes and evidence of epigenetic control. These conserved transcriptomic alterations of 2 distinct proteinopathies in brain regions with and without significant gross neuropathology have broad implications. AD and other neurodegenerative diseases are likely characterized by common disease or compensatory pathways with widespread perturbations in the whole brain. These findings can be leveraged to develop multifaceted therapies and biomarkers that address these common, complex, and ubiquitous molecular alterations in neurodegenerative diseases.
Xue Wang, Mariet Allen, Özkan İş, Joseph S. Reddy, Frederick Q. Tutor-New, Monica Castanedes Casey, Minerva M. Carrasquillo, Stephanie R. Oatman, Yuhao Min, Yan W. Asmann, Cory Funk, Thuy Nguyen, Charlotte C.G. Ho, Kimberly G. Malphrus, Nicholas T. Seyfried, Allan I. Levey, Steven G. Younkin, Melissa E. Murray, Dennis W. Dickson, Nathan D. Price, Todd E. Golde, Nilüfer Ertekin-Taner
Vascular calcification (VC) is regarded as an important pathological change lacking effective treatment and associated with high mortality. Sirtuin 6 (SIRT6) is a member of the Sirtuin family, a class III histone deacetylase and a key epigenetic regulator. SIRT6 has a protective role in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD). However, the exact role and molecular mechanism of SIRT6 in VC in patients with CKD remain unclear. Here, we demonstrated that SIRT6 was markedly downregulated in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) and in the radial artery tissue of patients with CKD with VC. SIRT6-transgenic (SIRT6-Tg) mice showed alleviated VC, while vascular smooth muscle cell–specific (VSMC-specific) SIRT6 knocked-down mice showed severe VC in CKD. SIRT6 suppressed the osteogenic transdifferentiation of VSMCs via regulation of runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2). Coimmunoprecipitation (co-IP) and immunoprecipitation (IP) assays confirmed that SIRT6 bound to Runx2. Moreover, Runx2 was deacetylated by SIRT6 and further promoted nuclear export via exportin 1 (XPO1), which in turn caused degradation of Runx2 through the ubiquitin-proteasome system. These results demonstrated that SIRT6 prevented VC by suppressing the osteogenic transdifferentiation of VSMCs, and as such targeting SIRT6 may be an appealing therapeutic target for VC in CKD.
Wenxin Li, Weijing Feng, Xiaoyan Su, Dongling Luo, Zhibing Li, Yongqiao Zhou, Yongjun Zhu, Mengbi Zhang, Jie Chen, Baohua Liu, Hui Huang
Infection with SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, causes mild to moderate disease in most patients but carries a risk of morbidity and mortality. Seriously affected individuals manifest disorders of hemostasis and a cytokine storm, but it is not understood how these manifestations of severe COVID-19 are linked. Here, we showed that the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein engaged the CD42b receptor to activate platelets via 2 distinct signaling pathways and promoted platelet-monocyte communication through the engagement of P selectin/PGSL-1 and CD40L/CD40, which led to proinflammatory cytokine production by monocytes. These results explain why hypercoagulation, monocyte activation, and a cytokine storm are correlated in patients severely affected by COVID-19 and suggest a potential target for therapeutic intervention.
Tianyang Li, Yang Yang, Yongqi Li, Zhengmin Wang, Faxiang Ma, Runqi Luo, Xiaoming Xu, Guo Zhou, Jianhua Wang, Junqi Niu, Guoyue Lv, Ian N. Crispe, Zhengkun Tu
BACKGROUND The temporal clustering of a cancer diagnosis with dermatomyositis (DM) onset is strikingly associated with autoantibodies against transcriptional intermediary factor 1-γ (TIF1-γ). Nevertheless, many patients with anti–TIF1-γ antibodies never develop cancer. We investigated whether additional autoantibodies are found in anti–TIF1-γ–positive patients without cancer.METHODS Using a proteomic approach, we defined 10 previously undescribed autoantibody specificities in 5 index anti–TIF1-γ–positive DM patients without cancer. These were subsequently examined in discovery (n = 110) and validation (n = 142) cohorts of DM patients with anti–TIF1-γ autoantibodies.RESULTS We identified 10 potentially novel autoantibodies in anti–TIF1-γ–positive DM patients, 6 with frequencies ranging from 3% to 32% in 2 independent DM cohorts. Autoantibodies recognizing cell division cycle and apoptosis regulator protein 1 (CCAR1) were the most frequent, and were significantly negatively associated with contemporaneous cancer (discovery cohort OR 0.27 [95% CI 0.7–1.00], P = 0.050; validation cohort OR 0.13 [95% CI 0.03–0.59], P = 0.008). When cancer did emerge, it occurred significantly later in anti-CCAR1–positive compared with anti-CCAR1–negative patients (median time from DM onset 4.3 vs. 0.85 years, respectively; P = 0.006). Cancers that emerged were more likely to be localized (89% of anti-CCAR1–positive cancers presenting at stage 0 or 1 compared with 42% of patients without anti-CCAR1 antibodies, P = 0.02). As the number of additional autoantibody specificities increased in anti–TIF1-γ–positive DM patients, the frequency of cancer decreased (P < 0.001).CONCLUSION As the diversity of immune responses in anti–TIF1-γ DM patients increases, the likelihood of cancer emerging decreases. Our findings have important relevance for cancer risk stratification in DM patients and for understanding natural immune regulation of cancer in humans.TRIAL REGISTRATION Not applicable.FUNDING SOURCES The NIH, the Donald B. and Dorothy L. Stabler Foundation, and the Huayi and Siuling Zhang Discovery Fund.
David F. Fiorentino, Christopher A. Mecoli, Matthew C. Rosen, Lorinda S. Chung, Lisa Christopher-Stine, Antony Rosen, Livia Casciola-Rosen
Macrophages are highly heterogeneous immune cells that fulfill tissue-specific functions. Tissue-derived signals play a critical role in determining macrophage heterogeneity. However, these signals remain largely unknown. The BMP receptor activin receptor–like kinase 1 (ALK1) is well known for its role in blood vessel formation; however, its role within the immune system has never been revealed to our knowledge. Here, we found that BMP9/BMP10/ALK1 signaling controlled the identity and self-renewal of Kupffer cells (KCs) through a Smad4-dependent pathway. In contrast, ALK1 was dispensable for the maintenance of macrophages located in the lung, kidney, spleen, and brain. Following ALK1 deletion, KCs were lost over time and were replaced by monocyte-derived macrophages. These hepatic macrophages showed significantly reduced expression of the complement receptor VSIG4 and alterations in immune zonation and morphology, which is important for the tissue-specialized function of KCs. Furthermore, we found that this signaling pathway was important for KC-mediated Listeria monocytogenes capture, as the loss of ALK1 and Smad4 led to a failure of bacterial capture and overwhelming disseminated infections. Thus, ALK1 signaling instructs a tissue-specific phenotype that allows KCs to protect the host from systemic bacterial dissemination.
Dianyuan Zhao, Fengjiao Yang, Yang Wang, Site Li, Yang Li, Fei Hou, Wenting Yang, Di Liu, Yuandong Tao, Qian Li, Jing Wang, Fuchu He, Li Tang
BACKGROUND Neoantigen-driven recognition and T cell–mediated killing contribute to tumor clearance following adoptive cell therapy (ACT) with tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). Yet how diversity, frequency, and persistence of expanded neoepitope-specific CD8+ T cells derived from TIL infusion products affect patient outcome is not fully determined.METHODS Using barcoded pMHC multimers, we provide a comprehensive mapping of CD8+ T cells recognizing neoepitopes in TIL infusion products and blood samples from 26 metastatic melanoma patients who received ACT.RESULTS We identified 106 neoepitopes within TIL infusion products corresponding to 1.8% of all predicted neoepitopes. We observed neoepitope-specific recognition to be virtually devoid in TIL infusion products given to patients with progressive disease outcome. Moreover, we found that the frequency of neoepitope-specific CD8+ T cells in TIL infusion products correlated with increased survival and that neoepitope-specific CD8+ T cells shared with the infusion product in posttreatment blood samples were unique to responders of TIL-ACT. Finally, we found that a transcriptional signature for lymphocyte activity within the tumor microenvironment was associated with a higher frequency of neoepitope-specific CD8+ T cells in the infusion product.CONCLUSIONS These data support previous case studies of neoepitope-specific CD8+ T cells in melanoma and indicate that successful TIL-ACT is associated with an expansion of neoepitope-specific CD8+ T cells.FUNDING NEYE Foundation; European Research Council; Lundbeck Foundation Fellowship; Carlsberg Foundation.
Nikolaj Pagh Kristensen, Christina Heeke, Siri A. Tvingsholm, Annie Borch, Arianna Draghi, Michael D. Crowther, Ibel Carri, Kamilla K. Munk, Jeppe Sejerø Holm, Anne-Mette Bjerregaard, Amalie Kai Bentzen, Andrea M. Marquard, Zoltan Szallasi, Nicholas McGranahan, Rikke Andersen, Morten Nielsen, Göran B. Jönsson, Marco Donia, Inge Marie Svane, Sine Reker Hadrup
The heart utilizes multiple adaptive mechanisms to maintain pump function. Compensatory cardiac hypertrophy reduces wall stress and oxygen consumption, thereby protecting the heart against acute blood pressure elevation. The nuclear effector of the Hippo pathway, Yes-associated protein 1 (YAP), is activated and mediates compensatory cardiac hypertrophy in response to acute pressure overload (PO). In this study, YAP promoted glycolysis by upregulating glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1), which in turn caused accumulation of intermediates and metabolites of the glycolytic, auxiliary, and anaplerotic pathways during acute PO. Cardiac hypertrophy was inhibited and heart failure was exacerbated in mice with YAP haploinsufficiency in the presence of acute PO. However, normalization of GLUT1 rescued the detrimental phenotype. PO induced the accumulation of glycolytic metabolites, including l-serine, l-aspartate, and malate, in a YAP-dependent manner, thereby promoting cardiac hypertrophy. YAP upregulated the GLUT1 gene through interaction with TEA domain family member 1 (TEAD1) and HIF-1α in cardiomyocytes. Thus, YAP induces compensatory cardiac hypertrophy through activation of the Warburg effect.
Toshihide Kashihara, Risa Mukai, Shin-ichi Oka, Peiyong Zhai, Yasuki Nakada, Zhi Yang, Wataru Mizushima, Tsutomu Nakahara, Junco S. Warren, Maha Abdellatif, Junichi Sadoshima
Food allergy affects an estimated 8% of children in the United States. Oral immunotherapy (OIT) is a recently approved treatment, with outcomes ranging from sustained tolerance to food allergens to no apparent benefit. The immunological underpinnings that influence clinical outcomes of OIT remain largely unresolved. Using single-cell RNA-Seq and paired T cell receptor α/β (TCRα/β) sequencing, we assessed the transcriptomes of CD154+ and CD137+ peanut-reactive T helper (Th) cells from 12 patients with peanut allergy longitudinally throughout OIT. We observed expanded populations of cells expressing Th1, Th2, and Th17 signatures that further separated into 6 clonally distinct subsets. Four of these subsets demonstrated a convergence of TCR sequences, suggesting antigen-driven T cell fates. Over the course of OIT, we observed suppression of Th2 and Th1 gene signatures in effector clonotypes but not T follicular helper–like (Tfh-like) clonotypes. Positive outcomes were associated with stronger suppression of Th2 signatures in Th2A-like cells, while treatment failure was associated with the expression of baseline inflammatory gene signatures that were present in Th1 and Th17 cell populations and unmodulated by OIT. These results demonstrate that differential clinical responses to OIT are associated with both preexisting characteristics of peanut-reactive CD4+ T cells and suppression of a subset of Th2 cells.
Brinda Monian, Ang A. Tu, Bert Ruiter, Duncan M. Morgan, Patrick M. Petrossian, Neal P. Smith, Todd M. Gierahn, Julia H. Ginder, Wayne G. Shreffler, J. Christopher Love
Functional gastrointestinal disorders (FGIDs) have prominent sex differences in incidence, symptoms, and treatment response that are not well understood. Androgens are steroid hormones present at much higher levels in males than females and could be involved in these differences. In adults with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS), a FGID that affects 5% to 10% of the population worldwide, we found that free testosterone levels were lower than those in healthy controls and inversely correlated with symptom severity. To determine how this diminished androgen signaling could contribute to bowel dysfunction, we depleted gonadal androgens in adult mice and found that this caused a profound deficit in gastrointestinal transit. Restoring a single androgen hormone was sufficient to rescue this deficit, suggesting that circulating androgens are essential for normal bowel motility in vivo. To determine the site of action, we probed androgen receptor expression in the intestine and discovered, unexpectedly, that a large subset of enteric neurons became androgen-responsive upon puberty. Androgen signaling to these neurons was required for normal colonic motility in adult mice. Taken together, these observations establish a role for gonadal androgens in the neural regulation of bowel function and link altered androgen levels with a common digestive disorder.
Daniella Rastelli, Ariel Robinson, Valentina N. Lagomarsino, Lynley T. Matthews, Rafla Hassan, Kristina Perez, William Dan, Peter D. Yim, Madison Mixer, Aleksandra Prochera, Amy Shepherd, Liang Sun, Kathryn Hall, Sarah Ballou, Anthony Lembo, Judy Nee, Meenakshi Rao
A combination of anti–CTLA-4 plus anti–PD-1/PD-L1 is the most effective cancer immunotherapy but causes high incidence of immune-related adverse events (irAEs). Here we report that targeting of HIF-1α suppressed PD-L1 expression on tumor cells and tumor-infiltrating myeloid cells, but unexpectedly induced PD-L1 in normal tissues by an IFN-γ–dependent mechanism. Targeting the HIF-1α/PD-L1 axis in tumor cells reactivated tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and caused tumor rejection. The HIF-1α inhibitor echinomycin potentiated the cancer immunotherapeutic effects of anti–CTLA-4 therapy, with efficacy comparable to that of anti–CTLA-4 plus anti–PD-1 antibodies. However, while anti–PD-1 exacerbated irAEs triggered by ipilimumab, echinomycin protected mice against irAEs by increasing PD-L1 levels in normal tissues. Our data suggest that targeting HIF-1α fortifies the immune tolerance function of the PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint in normal tissues but abrogates its immune evasion function in the tumor microenvironment to achieve safer and more effective immunotherapy.
Christopher M. Bailey, Yan Liu, Mingyue Liu, Xuexiang Du, Martin Devenport, Pan Zheng, Yang Liu, Yin Wang
Early initiation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in acute HIV infection (AHI) is effective at limiting seeding of the HIV viral reservoir, but little is known about how the resultant decreased antigen load affects long-term Ab development after ART. We report here that Env-specific plasma antibody (Ab) levels and Ab-dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) increased during the first 24 weeks of ART and correlated with Ab levels persisting after 48 weeks of ART. Participants treated in AHI stage 1 had lower Env-specific Ab levels and ADCC activity on ART than did those treated later. Importantly, participants who initiated ART after peak viremia in AHI developed elevated cross-clade ADCC responses that were detectable 1 year after ART initiation, even though clinically undetectable viremia was reached by 24 weeks. These data suggest that there is more germinal center (GC) activity in the later stages of AHI and that Ab development continues in the absence of detectable viremia during the first year of suppressive ART. The development of therapeutic interventions that can enhance earlier development of GCs in AHI and Abs after ART initiation could provide important protection against the viral reservoir that is seeded in individuals treated early in the disease.
Julie L. Mitchell, Justin Pollara, Kenneth Dietze, R. Whitney Edwards, Junsuke Nohara, Kombo F. N’guessan, Michelle Zemil, Supranee Buranapraditkun, Hiroshi Takata, Yifan Li, Roshell Muir, Eugene Kroon, Suteeraporn Pinyakorn, Shalini Jha, Sopark Manasnayakorn, Suthat Chottanapund, Pattarawat Thantiworasit, Peeriya Prueksakaew, Nisakorn Ratnaratorn, Bessara Nuntapinit, Lawrence Fox, Sodsai Tovanabutra, Dominic Paquin-Proulx, Lindsay Wieczorek, Victoria R. Polonis, Frank Maldarelli, Elias K. Haddad, Praphan Phanuphak, Carlo P. Sacdalan, Morgane Rolland, Nittaya Phanuphak, Jintanat Ananworanich, Sandhya Vasan, Guido Ferrari, Lydie Trautmann, on behalf of the RV254 and RV304 Study Groups
Although negative selection of developing B cells in the periphery is well described, yet poorly understood, evidence of naive B cell positive selection remains elusive. Using 2 humanized mouse models, we demonstrate that there was strong skewing of the expressed immunoglobulin repertoire upon transit into the peripheral naive B cell pool. This positive selection of expanded naive B cells in humanized mice resembled that observed in healthy human donors and was independent of autologous thymic tissue. In contrast, negative selection of autoreactive B cells required thymus-derived Tregs and MHC class II–restricted self-antigen presentation by B cells. Indeed, both defective MHC class II expression on B cells of patients with rare bare lymphocyte syndrome and prevention of self-antigen presentation via HLA-DM inhibition in humanized mice resulted in the production of autoreactive naive B cells. These latter observations suggest that Tregs repressed autoreactive naive B cells continuously produced by the bone marrow. Thus, a model emerged, in which both positive and negative selection shaped the human naive B cell repertoire and that each process was mediated by fundamentally different molecular and cellular mechanisms.
Jeff W. Chen, Jean-Nicolas Schickel, Nikolaos Tsakiris, Joel Sng, Florent Arbogast, Delphine Bouis, Daniele Parisi, Ruchi Gera, Joshua M. Boeckers, Fabien R. Delmotte, Margaret Veselits, Catharina Schuetz, Eva-Maria Jacobsen, Carsten Posovszky, Ansgar S. Schulz, Klaus Schwarz, Marcus R. Clark, Laurence Menard, Eric Meffre
SMAD4, a mediator of TGF-β signaling, plays an important role in T cells to prevent inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). However, the precise mechanisms underlying this control remain elusive. Using both genetic and epigenetic approaches, we revealed an unexpected mechanism by which SMAD4 prevents naive CD8+ T cells from becoming pathogenic for the gut. Prior to the engagement of the TGF-β receptor, SMAD4 restrains the epigenetic, transcriptional, and functional landscape of the TGF-β signature in naive CD8+ T cells. Mechanistically, prior to TGF-β signaling, SMAD4 binds to promoters and enhancers of several TGF-β target genes, and by regulating histone deacetylation, suppresses their expression. Consequently, regardless of a TGF-β signal, SMAD4 limits the expression of TGF-β negative feedback loop genes, such as Smad7 and Ski, and likely conditions CD8+ T cells for the immunoregulatory effects of TGF-β. In addition, SMAD4 ablation conferred naive CD8+ T cells with both a superior survival capacity, by enhancing their response to IL-7, as well as an enhanced capacity to be retained within the intestinal epithelium, by promoting the expression of Itgae, which encodes the integrin CD103. Accumulation, epithelial retention, and escape from TGF-β control elicited chronic microbiota-driven CD8+ T cell activation in the gut. Hence, in a TGF-β–independent manner, SMAD4 imprints a program that preconditions naive CD8+ T cell fate, preventing IBD.
Ramdane Igalouzene, Hector Hernandez-Vargas, Nicolas Benech, Alexandre Guyennon, David Bauché, Célia Barrachina, Emeric Dubois, Julien C. Marie, Saïdi M’Homa Soudja
Propranolol and atenolol, current therapies for problematic infantile hemangioma (IH), are composed of R(+) and S(–) enantiomers: the R(+) enantiomer is largely devoid of beta blocker activity. We investigated the effect of R(+) enantiomers of propranolol and atenolol on the formation of IH-like blood vessels from hemangioma stem cells (HemSCs) in a murine xenograft model. Both R(+) enantiomers inhibited HemSC vessel formation in vivo. In vitro, similar to R(+) propranolol, both atenolol and its R(+) enantiomer inhibited HemSC to endothelial cell differentiation. As our previous work implicated the transcription factor sex-determining region Y (SRY) box transcription factor 18 (SOX18) in propranolol-mediated inhibition of HemSC to endothelial differentiation, we tested in parallel a known SOX18 small-molecule inhibitor (Sm4) and show that this compound inhibited HemSC vessel formation in vivo with efficacy similar to that seen with the R(+) enantiomers. We next examined how R(+) propranolol alters SOX18 transcriptional activity. Using a suite of biochemical, biophysical, and quantitative molecular imaging assays, we show that R(+) propranolol directly interfered with SOX18 target gene trans-activation, disrupted SOX18-chromatin binding dynamics, and reduced SOX18 dimer formation. We propose that the R(+) enantiomers of widely used beta blockers could be repurposed to increase the efficiency of current IH treatment and lower adverse associated side effects.
Caroline T. Seebauer, Matthew S. Graus, Lan Huang, Alex McCann, Jill Wylie-Sears, Frank Fontaine, Tara Karnezis, David Zurakowski, Steven J. Staffa, Frédéric Meunier, John B. Mulliken, Joyce Bischoff, Mathias Francois
Severe glomerular injury ultimately leads to tubulointerstitial fibrosis that determines patient outcome, but the immunological molecules connecting these processes remain undetermined. The present study addressed whether V-domain Ig suppressor of T cell activation (VISTA), constitutively expressed in kidney macrophages, plays a protective role in tubulointerstitial fibrotic transformation after acute antibody-mediated glomerulonephritis. After acute glomerular injury using nephrotoxic serum, tubules in the VISTA-deficient (Vsir–/–) kidney suffered more damage than those in WT kidneys. When interstitial immune cells were examined, the contact frequency of macrophages with infiltrated T cells increased and the immunometabolic features of T cells changed to showing high oxidative phosphorylation and fatty acid metabolism and overproduction of IFN-γ. The Vsir–/– parenchymal tissue cells responded to this altered milieu of interstitial immune cells as more IL-9 was produced, which augmented tubulointerstitial fibrosis. Blocking antibodies against IFN-γ and IL-9 protected the above pathological process in VISTA-depleted conditions. In human samples with acute glomerular injury (e.g., antineutrophil cytoplasmic autoantibody vasculitis), high VISTA expression in tubulointerstitial immune cells was associated with low tubulointerstitial fibrosis and good prognosis. Therefore, VISTA is a sentinel protein expressed in kidney macrophages that prevents tubulointerstitial fibrosis via the IFN-γ/IL-9 axis after acute antibody-mediated glomerular injury.
Min-Gang Kim, Donghwan Yun, Chae Lin Kang, Minki Hong, Juhyeon Hwang, Kyung Chul Moon, Chang Wook Jeong, Cheol Kwak, Dong Ki Kim, Kook-Hwan Oh, Kwon Wook Joo, Yon Su Kim, Dong-Sup Lee, Seung Seok Han
BACKGROUND Long-term prognosis of WHO grade II low-grade gliomas (LGGs) is poor, with a high risk of recurrence and malignant transformation into high-grade gliomas. Given the relatively intact immune system of patients with LGGs and the slow tumor growth rate, vaccines are an attractive treatment strategy.METHODS We conducted a pilot study to evaluate the safety and immunological effects of vaccination with GBM6-AD, lysate of an allogeneic glioblastoma stem cell line, with poly-ICLC in patients with LGGs. Patients were randomized to receive the vaccines before surgery (arm 1) or not (arm 2) and all patients received adjuvant vaccines. Coprimary outcomes were to evaluate safety and immune response in the tumor.RESULTS A total of 17 eligible patients were enrolled — 9 in arm 1 and 8 in arm 2. This regimen was well tolerated with no regimen-limiting toxicity. Neoadjuvant vaccination induced upregulation of type-1 cytokines and chemokines and increased activated CD8+ T cells in peripheral blood. Single-cell RNA/T cell receptor sequencing detected CD8+ T cell clones that expanded with effector phenotype and migrated into the tumor microenvironment (TME) in response to neoadjuvant vaccination. Mass cytometric analyses detected increased tissue resident–like CD8+ T cells with effector memory phenotype in the TME after the neoadjuvant vaccination.CONCLUSION The regimen induced effector CD8+ T cell response in peripheral blood and enabled vaccine-reactive CD8+ T cells to migrate into the TME. Further refinements of the regimen may have to be integrated into future strategies.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02549833.FUNDING NIH (1R35NS105068, 1R21CA233856), Dabbiere Foundation, Parker Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, and Daiichi Sankyo Foundation of Life Science.
Hirokazu Ogino, Jennie W. Taylor, Takahide Nejo, David Gibson, Payal B. Watchmaker, Kaori Okada, Atsuro Saijo, Meghan R. Tedesco, Anny Shai, Cynthia M. Wong, Jane E. Rabbitt, Michael R. Olin, Christopher L. Moertel, Yasuhiko Nishioka, Andres M. Salazar, Annette M. Molinaro, Joanna J. Phillips, Nicholas A. Butowski, Jennifer L. Clarke, Nancy Ann Oberheim Bush, Shawn L. Hervey-Jumper, Philip Theodosopoulos, Susan M. Chang, Mitchel S. Berger, Hideho Okada
Acute myocardial infarction (AMI) induces blood leukocytosis, which correlates inversely with patient survival. The molecular mechanisms leading to leukocytosis in the infarcted heart remain poorly understood. Using an AMI mouse model, we identified gasdermin D (GSDMD) in activated leukocytes early in AMI. We demonstrated that GSDMD is required for enhanced early mobilization of neutrophils to the infarcted heart. Loss of GSDMD resulted in attenuated IL-1β release from neutrophils and subsequent decreased neutrophils and monocytes in the infarcted heart. Knockout of GSDMD in mice significantly reduced infarct size, improved cardiac function, and increased post-AMI survival. Through a series of bone marrow transplantation studies and leukocyte depletion experiments, we further clarified that excessive bone marrow–derived and GSDMD-dependent early neutrophil production and mobilization (24 hours after AMI) contributed to the detrimental immunopathology after AMI. Pharmacological inhibition of GSDMD also conferred cardioprotection after AMI through a reduction in scar size and enhancement of heart function. Our study provides mechanistic insights into molecular regulation of neutrophil generation and mobilization after AMI, and supports GSDMD as a new target for improved ventricular remodeling and reduced heart failure after AMI.
Kai Jiang, Zizhuo Tu, Kun Chen, Yue Xu, Feng Chen, Sheng Xu, Tingting Shi, Jie Qian, Lan Shen, John Hwa, Dandan Wang, Yaozu Xiang
The loss function of cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM) genes leads to most CCM lesions characterized by enlarged leaking vascular lesions in the brain. Although we previously showed that NOGOB receptor (NGBR) knockout in endothelial cells (ECs) results in cerebrovascular lesions in the mouse embryo, the molecular mechanism by which NGBR regulates CCM1/2 expression has not been elucidated. Here, we show that genetic depletion of Ngbr in ECs at both postnatal and adult stages results in CCM1/2 expression deficiency and cerebrovascular lesions such as enlarged vessels, blood-brain-barrier hyperpermeability, and cerebral hemorrhage. To reveal the molecular mechanism, we used RNA-sequencing analysis to examine changes in the transcriptome. Surprisingly, we found that the acetyltransferase HBO1 and histone acetylation were downregulated in NGBR-deficient ECs. The mechanistic studies elucidated that NGBR is required for maintaining the expression of CCM1/2 in ECs via HBO1-mediated histone acetylation. ChIP-qPCR data further demonstrated that loss of NGBR impairs the binding of HBO1 and acetylated histone H4K5 and H4K12 on the promotor of the CCM1 and CCM2 genes. Our findings on epigenetic regulation of CCM1 and CCM2 that is modulated by NGBR and HBO1-mediated histone H4 acetylation provide a perspective on the pathogenesis of sporadic CCMs.
Zhi Fang, Xiaoran Sun, Xiang Wang, Ji Ma, Thomas Palaia, Ujala Rana, Benjamin Miao, Louis Ragolia, Wenquan Hu, Qing Robert Miao
Understanding the regulatory programs enabling cancer stem cells (CSCs) to self-renew and drive tumorigenicity could identify new treatments. Through comparative chromatin-state and gene expression analyses in ovarian CSCs versus non-CSCs, we identified FOXK2 as a highly expressed stemness-specific transcription factor in ovarian cancer. Its genetic depletion diminished stemness features and reduced tumor initiation capacity. Our mechanistic studies highlight that FOXK2 directly regulated IRE1α (encoded by ERN1) expression, a key sensor for the unfolded protein response (UPR). Chromatin immunoprecipitation and sequencing revealed that FOXK2 bound to an intronic regulatory element of ERN1. Blocking FOXK2 from binding to this enhancer by using a catalytically inactive CRISPR/Cas9 (dCas9) diminished IRE1α transcription. At the molecular level, FOXK2-driven upregulation of IRE1α led to alternative XBP1 splicing and activation of stemness pathways, while genetic or pharmacological blockade of this sensor of the UPR inhibited ovarian CSCs. Collectively, these data establish what we believe is a new function for FOXK2 as a key transcriptional regulator of CSCs and a mediator of the UPR, providing insight into potentially targetable new pathways in CSCs.
Yaqi Zhang, Yinu Wang, Guangyuan Zhao, Edward J. Tanner, Mazhar Adli, Daniela Matei
Altered redox biology challenges all cells, with compensatory responses often determining a cell’s fate. When 15 lipoxygenase 1 (15LO1), a lipid-peroxidizing enzyme abundant in asthmatic human airway epithelial cells (HAECs), binds phosphatidylethanolamine-binding protein 1 (PEBP1), hydroperoxy-phospholipids, which drive ferroptotic cell death, are generated. Peroxidases, including glutathione peroxidase 4 (GPX4), metabolize hydroperoxy-phospholipids to hydroxy derivatives to prevent ferroptotic death, but consume reduced glutathione (GSH). The cystine transporter SLC7A11 critically restores/maintains intracellular GSH. We hypothesized that high 15LO1, PEBP1, and GPX4 activity drives abnormal asthmatic redox biology, evidenced by lower bronchoalveolar lavage (BAL) fluid and intraepithelial cell GSH:oxidized GSH (GSSG) ratios, to enhance type 2 (T2) inflammatory responses. GSH, GSSG (enzymatic assays), 15LO1, GPX4, SLC7A11, and T2 biomarkers (Western blot and RNA-Seq) were measured in asthmatic and healthy control (HC) cells and fluids, with siRNA knockdown as appropriate. GSSG was higher and GSH:GSSG lower in asthmatic compared with HC BAL fluid, while intracellular GSH was lower in asthma. In vitro, a T2 cytokine (IL-13) induced 15LO1 generation of hydroperoxy-phospholipids, which lowered intracellular GSH and increased extracellular GSSG. Lowering GSH further by inhibiting SLC7A11 enhanced T2 inflammatory protein expression and ferroptosis. Ex vivo, redox imbalances corresponded to 15LO1 and SLC7A11 expression, T2 biomarkers, and worsened clinical outcomes. Thus, 15LO1 pathway–induced redox biology perturbations worsen T2 inflammation and asthma control, supporting 15LO1 as a therapeutic target.
Tadao Nagasaki, Alexander J. Schuyler, Jinming Zhao, Svetlana N. Samovich, Kazuhiro Yamada, Yanhan Deng, Scott P. Ginebaugh, Stephanie A. Christenson, Prescott G. Woodruff, John V. Fahy, John B. Trudeau, Detcho Stoyanovsky, Anuradha Ray, Yulia Y. Tyurina, Valerian E. Kagan, Sally E. Wenzel
The gut microbiome shapes local and systemic immunity. The liver is presumed to be a protected sterile site. As such, a hepatic microbiome has not been examined. Here, we showed a liver microbiome in mice and humans that is distinct from that of the gut and is enriched in Proteobacteria. It undergoes dynamic alterations with age and is influenced by the environment and host physiology. Fecal microbial transfer experiments revealed that the liver microbiome is populated from the gut in a highly selective manner. Hepatic immunity is dependent on the microbiome, specifically the bacteroidetes species. Targeting bacteroidetes with oral antibiotics reduced hepatic immune cells by approximately 90%, prevented antigen-presenting cell (APC) maturation, and mitigated adaptive immunity. Mechanistically, our findings are consistent with presentation of bacteroidetes-derived glycosphingolipids to NKT cells promoting CCL5 signaling, which drives hepatic leukocyte expansion and activation, among other possible host-microbe interactions. Collectively, we reveal a microbial/glycosphingolipid/NKT/CCL5 axis that underlies hepatic immunity.
Joshua C. Leinwand, Bidisha Paul, Ruonan Chen, Fangxi Xu, Maria A. Sierra, Madan M. Paluru, Sumant Nanduri, Carolina G. Alcantara, Sorin A.A. Shadaloey, Fan Yang, Salma A. Adam, Qianhao Li, Michelle Bandel, Inderdeep Gakhal, Lara Appiah, Yuqi Guo, Mridula Vardhan, Zia Flaminio, Emilie R. Grodman, Ari Mermelstein, Wei Wang, Brian Diskin, Berk Aykut, Mohammad Khan, Gregor Werba, Smruti Pushalkar, Mia McKinstry, Zachary Kluger, Jaimie J. Park, Brandon Hsieh, Kristen Dancel-Manning, Feng-Xia Liang, James S. Park, Anjana Saxena, Xin Li, Neil D. Theise, Deepak Saxena, George Miller
Mice with experimental nerve damage can display long‑lasting neuropathic pain behavior. We show here that 4 months and later after nerve injury, male but not female mice displayed telomere length (TL) reduction and p53‑mediated cellular senescence in the spinal cord, resulting in maintenance of pain and associated with decreased lifespan. Nerve injury increased the number of p53‑positive spinal cord neurons, astrocytes, and microglia, but only in microglia was the increase male‑specific, matching a robust sex specificity of TL reduction in this cell type, which has been previously implicated in male‑specific pain processing. Pain hypersensitivity was reversed by repeated intrathecal administration of a p53‑specific senolytic peptide, only in male mice and only many months after injury. Analysis of UK Biobank data revealed sex-specific relevance of this pathway in humans, featuring male‑specific genetic association of the human p53 locus (TP53) with chronic pain and a male-specific effect of chronic pain on mortality. Our findings demonstrate the existence of a biological mechanism maintaining pain behavior, at least in males, occurring much later than the time span of virtually all extant preclinical studies.
Arjun Muralidharan, Susana G. Sotocinal, Noosha Yousefpour, Nur Akkurt, Lucas V. Lima, Shannon Tansley, Marc Parisien, Chengyang Wang, Jean-Sebastien Austin, Boram Ham, Gabrielle M.G.S. Dutra, Philippe Rousseau, Sioui Maldonado-Bouchard, Teleri Clark, Sarah F. Rosen, Mariam R. Majeed, Olivia Silva, Rachel Nejade, Xinyu Li, Stephania Donayre Pimentel, Christopher S. Nielsen, G. Gregory Neely, Chantal Autexier, Luda Diatchenko, Alfredo Ribeiro-da-Silva, Jeffrey S. Mogil
Memory B cells (MBCs) can provide a recall response able to supplement waning antibodies (Abs) with an affinity-matured response better able to neutralize variant viruses. We studied a cohort of elderly care home residents and younger staff (median age of 87 years and 56 years, respectively), who had survived COVID-19 outbreaks with only mild or asymptomatic infection. The cohort was selected because of its high proportion of individuals who had lost neutralizing antibodies (nAbs), thus allowing us to specifically investigate the reserve immunity from SARS-CoV-2–specific MBCs in this setting. Class-switched spike and receptor-binding domain (RBD) tetramer–binding MBCs persisted 5 months after mild or asymptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection, irrespective of age. The majority of spike- and RBD-specific MBCs had a classical phenotype, but we found that activated MBCs, indicating possible ongoing antigenic stimulation or inflammation, were expanded in the elderly group. Spike- and RBD-specific MBCs remained detectable in the majority of individuals who had lost nAbs, although at lower frequencies and with a reduced IgG/IgA isotype ratio. Functional spike-, S1 subunit of the spike protein– (S1-), and RBD-specific recall was also detectable by enzyme-linked immune absorbent spot (ELISPOT) assay in some individuals who had lost nAbs, but was significantly impaired in the elderly. Our findings demonstrate that a reserve of SARS-CoV-2–specific MBCs persists beyond the loss of nAbs but highlight the need for careful monitoring of functional defects in spike- and RBD-specific B cell immunity in the elderly.
Anna Jeffery-Smith, Alice R. Burton, Sabela Lens, Chloe Rees-Spear, Jessica Davies, Monika Patel, Robin Gopal, Luke Muir, Felicity Aiano, Katie J. Doores, J. Yimmy Chow, Shamez N. Ladhani, Maria Zambon, Laura E. McCoy, Mala K. Maini
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an aggressive neuroendocrine skin cancer that frequently carries an integrated Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) genome and expresses viral transforming antigens (TAgs). MCC tumor cells also express signature genes detected in skin-resident, postmitotic Merkel cells, including atonal bHLH transcription factor 1 (ATOH1), which is required for Merkel cell development from epidermal progenitors. We now report the use of in vivo cellular reprogramming, using ATOH1, to drive MCC development from murine epidermis. We generated mice that conditionally expressed MCPyV TAgs and ATOH1 in epidermal cells, yielding microscopic collections of proliferating MCC-like cells arising from hair follicles. Immunostaining of these nascent tumors revealed p53 accumulation and apoptosis, and targeted deletion of transformation related protein 53 (Trp53) led to development of gross skin tumors with classic MCC histology and marker expression. Global transcriptome analysis confirmed the close similarity of mouse and human MCCs, and hierarchical clustering showed conserved upregulation of signature genes. Our data establish that expression of MCPyV TAgs in ATOH1-reprogrammed epidermal cells and their neuroendocrine progeny initiates hair follicle–derived MCC tumorigenesis in adult mice. Moreover, progression to full-blown MCC in this model requires loss of p53, mimicking the functional inhibition of p53 reported in human MCPyV-positive MCCs.
Monique E. Verhaegen, Paul W. Harms, Julia J. Van Goor, Jacob Arche, Matthew T. Patrick, Dawn Wilbert, Haley Zabawa, Marina Grachtchouk, Chia-Jen Liu, Kevin Hu, Michael C. Kelly, Ping Chen, Thomas L. Saunders, Stephan Weidinger, Li-Jyun Syu, John S. Runge, Johann E. Gudjonsson, Sunny Y. Wong, Isaac Brownell, Marcin Cieslik, Aaron M. Udager, Arul M. Chinnaiyan, Lam C. Tsoi, Andrzej A. Dlugosz
We investigated the interplay between genetics and oral peanut protein exposure in the determination of the immunological response to peanut using the targeted intervention in the LEAP clinical trial. We identified an association between peanut-specific IgG4 and HLA-DQA1*01:02 that was only observed in the presence of sustained oral peanut protein exposure. The association between IgG4 and HLA-DQA1*01:02 was driven by IgG4 specific for the Ara h 2 component. Once peanut consumption ceased, the association between IgG4-specific Ara h 2 and HLA-DQA1*01:02 was attenuated. The association was validated by observing expanded IgG4-specific epitopes in people who carried HLA-DQA1*01:02. Notably, we confirmed the previously reported associations with HLA-DQA1*01:02 and peanut allergy risk in the absence of oral peanut protein exposure. Interaction between HLA and presence or absence of exposure to peanut in an allergen- and epitope-specific manner implicates a mechanism of antigen recognition that is fundamental to driving immune responses related to allergy risk or protection.
Kanika Kanchan, Stepan Grinek, Henry T. Bahnson, Ingo Ruczinski, Gautam Shankar, David Larson, George Du Toit, Kathleen C. Barnes, Hugh A. Sampson, Mayte Suarez-Farinas, Gideon Lack, Gerald T. Nepom, Karen Cerosaletti, Rasika A. Mathias
Down syndrome (DS), or trisomy 21, is one of the critical risk factors for early-onset Alzheimer’s disease (AD), implicating key roles for chromosome 21–encoded genes in the pathogenesis of AD. We previously identified a role for the deubiquitinase USP25, encoded on chromosome 21, in regulating microglial homeostasis in the AD brain; however, whether USP25 affects amyloid pathology remains unknown. Here, by crossing 5×FAD AD and Dp16 DS mice, we observed that trisomy 21 exacerbated amyloid pathology in the 5×FAD brain. Moreover, bacterial artificial chromosome (BAC) transgene–mediated USP25 overexpression increased amyloid deposition in the 5×FAD mouse brain, whereas genetic deletion of Usp25 reduced amyloid deposition. Furthermore, our results demonstrate that USP25 promoted β cleavage of APP and Aβ generation by reducing the ubiquitination and lysosomal degradation of both APP and BACE1. Importantly, pharmacological inhibition of USP25 ameliorated amyloid pathology in the 5×FAD mouse brain. In summary, we identified the DS-related gene USP25 as a critical regulator of AD pathology, and our data suggest that USP25 serves as a potential pharmacological target for AD drug development.
Qiuyang Zheng, Beibei Song, Guilin Li, Fang Cai, Meiling Wu, Yingjun Zhao, LuLin Jiang, Tiantian Guo, Mingyu Shen, Huan Hou, Ying Zhou, Yini Zhao, Anjie Di, Lishan Zhang, Fanwei Zeng, Xiu-Fang Zhang, Hong Luo, Xian Zhang, Hongfeng Zhang, Zhiping Zeng, Timothy Y. Huang, Chen Dong, Hong Qing, Yun Zhang, Qing Zhang, Xu Wang, Yili Wu, Huaxi Xu, Weihong Song, Xin Wang
Proper myelination of axons is crucial for normal sensory, motor, and cognitive function. Abnormal myelination is seen in brain disorders such as major depressive disorder (MDD), but the molecular mechanisms connecting demyelination with the pathobiology remain largely unknown. We observed demyelination and synaptic deficits in mice exposed to either chronic, unpredictable mild stress (CUMS) or LPS, 2 paradigms for inducing depression-like states. Pharmacological restoration of myelination normalized both synaptic deficits and depression-related behaviors. Furthermore, we found increased ephrin A4 receptor (EphA4) expression in the excitatory neurons of mice subjected to CUMS, and shRNA knockdown of EphA4 prevented demyelination and depression-like behaviors. These animal data are consistent with the decrease in myelin basic protein and the increase in EphA4 levels we observed in postmortem brain samples from patients with MDD. Our results provide insights into the etiology of depressive symptoms in some patients and suggest that inhibition of EphA4 or the promotion of myelination could be a promising strategy for treating depression.
Yuan Li, Ping Su, Yuxiang Chen, Jing Nie, Ti-Fei Yuan, Albert H.C. Wong, Fang Liu
Mutations in TGF-β–activated kinase 1 binding protein 2 (TAB2) have been implicated in the pathogenesis of dilated cardiomyopathy and/or congenital heart disease in humans, but the underlying mechanisms are currently unknown. Here, we identified an indispensable role for TAB2 in regulating myocardial homeostasis and remodeling by suppressing receptor-interacting protein kinase 1 (RIPK1) activation and RIPK1-dependent apoptosis and necroptosis. Cardiomyocyte-specific deletion of Tab2 in mice triggered dilated cardiomyopathy with massive apoptotic and necroptotic cell death. Moreover, Tab2-deficient mice were also predisposed to myocardial injury and adverse remodeling after pathological stress. In cardiomyocytes, deletion of TAB2 but not its close homolog TAB3 promoted TNF-α–induced apoptosis and necroptosis, which was rescued by forced activation of TAK1 or inhibition of RIPK1 kinase activity. Mechanistically, TAB2 critically mediates RIPK1 phosphorylation at Ser321 via a TAK1-dependent mechanism, which prevents RIPK1 kinase activation and the formation of RIPK1-FADD-caspase-8 apoptotic complex or RIPK1-RIPK3 necroptotic complex. Strikingly, genetic inactivation of RIPK1 with Ripk1-K45A knockin effectively rescued cardiac remodeling and dysfunction in Tab2-deficient mice. Together, these data demonstrated that TAB2 is a key regulator of myocardial homeostasis and remodeling by suppressing RIPK1-dependent apoptosis and necroptosis. Our results also suggest that targeting RIPK1-mediated cell death signaling may represent a promising therapeutic strategy for TAB2 deficiency–induced dilated cardiomyopathy.
Haifeng Yin, Xiaoyun Guo, Yi Chen, Yachang Zeng, Xiaoliang Mo, Siqi Hong, Hui He, Jing Li, Rachel Steinmetz, Qinghang Liu
Pericytes (PCs) are abundant yet remain the most enigmatic and ill-defined cell population in the heart. Here, we investigated whether PCs can be reprogrammed to aid neovascularization. Primary PCs from human and mouse hearts acquired cytoskeletal proteins typical of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) upon exclusion of EGF/bFGF, which signal through ERK1/2, or upon exposure to the MEK inhibitor PD0325901. Differentiated PCs became more proangiogenic, more responsive to vasoactive agents, and insensitive to chemoattractants. RNA sequencing revealed transcripts marking the PD0325901-induced transition into proangiogenic, stationary VSMC-like cells, including the unique expression of 2 angiogenesis-related markers, aquaporin 1 (AQP1) and cellular retinoic acid–binding protein 2 (CRABP2), which were further verified at the protein level. This enabled us to trace PCs during in vivo studies. In mice, implantation of Matrigel plugs containing human PCs plus PD0325901 promoted the formation of αSMA+ neovessels compared with PC only. Two-week oral administration of PD0325901 to mice increased the heart arteriolar density, total vascular area, arteriole coverage by PDGFRβ+AQP1+CRABP2+ PCs, and myocardial perfusion. Short-duration PD0325901 treatment of mice after myocardial infarction enhanced the peri-infarct vascularization, reduced the scar, and improved systolic function. In conclusion, myocardial PCs have intrinsic plasticity that can be pharmacologically modulated to promote reparative vascularization of the ischemic heart.
Elisa Avolio, Rajesh Katare, Anita C. Thomas, Andrea Caporali, Daryl Schwenke, Michele Carrabba, Marco Meloni, Massimo Caputo, Paolo Madeddu
The trace element iron affects immune responses and vaccination, but knowledge of its role in autoimmune diseases is limited. Expansion of pathogenic T cells, especially T follicular helper (Tfh) cells, has great significance to systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) pathogenesis. Here, we show an important role of iron in regulation of pathogenic T cell differentiation in SLE. We found that iron overload promoted Tfh cell expansion, proinflammatory cytokine secretion, and autoantibody production in lupus-prone mice. Mice treated with a high-iron diet exhibited an increased proportion of Tfh cell and antigen-specific GC response. Iron supplementation contributed to Tfh cell differentiation. In contrast, iron chelation inhibited Tfh cell differentiation. We demonstrated that the miR-21/BDH2 axis drove iron accumulation during Tfh cell differentiation and further promoted Fe2+-dependent TET enzyme activity and BCL6 gene demethylation. Thus, maintaining iron homeostasis might be critical for eliminating pathogenic Th cells and might help improve the management of patients with SLE.
Xiaofei Gao, Yang Song, Jiali Wu, Shuang Lu, Xiaoli Min, Limin Liu, Longyuan Hu, Meiling Zheng, Pei Du, Yaqin Yu, Hai Long, Haijing Wu, Sujie Jia, Di Yu, Qianjin Lu, Ming Zhao
As blood transitions from steady laminar flow (S-flow) in healthy arteries to disturbed flow (D-flow) in aneurysmal arteries, platelets are subjected to external forces. Biomechanical platelet activation is incompletely understood and is a potential mechanism behind antiplatelet medication resistance. Although it has been demonstrated that antiplatelet drugs suppress the growth of abdominal aortic aneurysms (AAA) in patients, we found that a certain degree of platelet reactivity persisted in spite of aspirin therapy, urging us to consider additional antiplatelet therapeutic targets. Transcriptomic profiling of platelets from patients with AAA revealed upregulation of a signal transduction pathway common to olfactory receptors, and this was explored as a mediator of AAA progression. Healthy platelets subjected to D-flow ex vivo, platelets from patients with AAA, and platelets in murine models of AAA demonstrated increased membrane olfactory receptor 2L13 (OR2L13) expression. A drug screen identified a molecule activating platelet OR2L13, which limited both biochemical and biomechanical platelet activation as well as AAA growth. This observation was further supported by selective deletion of the OR2L13 ortholog in a murine model of AAA that accelerated aortic aneurysm growth and rupture. These studies revealed that olfactory receptors regulate platelet activation in AAA and aneurysmal progression through platelet-derived mediators of aortic remodeling.
Craig N. Morrell, Doran Mix, Anu Aggarwal, Rohan Bhandari, Matthew Godwin, Phillip Owens III, Sean P. Lyden, Adam Doyle, Krystin Krauel, Matthew T. Rondina, Amy Mohan, Charles J. Lowenstein, Sharon Shim, Shaun Stauffer, Vara Prasad Josyula, Sara K. Ture, David I. Yule, Larry E. Wagner III, John M. Ashton, Ayman Elbadawi, Scott J. Cameron
Activated SUMOylation is a hallmark of cancer. Starting from a targeted screening for SUMO-regulated immune evasion mechanisms, we identified an evolutionarily conserved function of activated SUMOylation, which attenuated the immunogenicity of tumor cells. Activated SUMOylation allowed cancer cells to evade CD8+ T cell–mediated immunosurveillance by suppressing the MHC class I (MHC-I) antigen-processing and presentation machinery (APM). Loss of the MHC-I APM is a frequent cause of resistance to cancer immunotherapies, and the pharmacological inhibition of SUMOylation (SUMOi) resulted in reduced activity of the transcriptional repressor scaffold attachment factor B (SAFB) and induction of the MHC-I APM. Consequently, SUMOi enhanced the presentation of antigens and the susceptibility of tumor cells to CD8+ T cell–mediated killing. Importantly, SUMOi also triggered the activation of CD8+ T cells and thereby drove a feed-forward loop amplifying the specific antitumor immune response. In summary, we showed that activated SUMOylation allowed tumor cells to evade antitumor immunosurveillance, and we have expanded the understanding of SUMOi as a rational therapeutic strategy for enhancing the efficacy of cancer immunotherapies.
Uta M. Demel, Marlitt Böger, Schayan Yousefian, Corinna Grunert, Le Zhang, Paul W. Hotz, Adrian Gottschlich, Hazal Köse, Konstandina Isaakidis, Dominik Vonficht, Florian Grünschläger, Elena Rohleder, Kristina Wagner, Judith Dönig, Veronika Igl, Bernadette Brzezicha, Francis Baumgartner, Stefan Habringer, Jens Löber, Björn Chapuy, Carl Weidinger, Sebastian Kobold, Simon Haas, Antonia B. Busse, Stefan Müller, Matthias Wirth, Markus Schick, Ulrich Keller
Obesity-associated complications are causing increasing morbidity and mortality worldwide. Expansion of adipose tissue in obesity leads to a state of low-grade chronic inflammation and dysregulated metabolism, resulting in insulin resistance and metabolic syndrome. Adipose tissue macrophages (ATMs) accumulate in obesity and are a source of proinflammatory cytokines that further aggravate adipocyte dysfunction. Macrophages are rich sources of cyclooxygenase (COX), the rate limiting enzyme for prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) production. When mice were fed a high-fat diet (HFD), ATMs increased expression of COX-2. Selective myeloid cell COX-2 deletion resulted in increased monocyte recruitment and proliferation of ATMs, leading to increased proinflammatory ATMs with decreased phagocytic ability. There were increased weight gain and adiposity, decreased peripheral insulin sensitivity and glucose utilization, increased adipose tissue inflammation and fibrosis, and abnormal adipose tissue angiogenesis. HFD pair-feeding led to similar increases in body weight, but mice with selective myeloid cell COX-2 still exhibited decreased peripheral insulin sensitivity and glucose utilization. Selective myeloid deletion of the macrophage PGE2 receptor subtype, EP4, produced a similar phenotype, and a selective EP4 agonist ameliorated the metabolic abnormalities seen with ATM COX-2 deletion. Therefore, these studies demonstrated that an ATM COX-2/PGE2/EP4 axis plays an important role in inhibiting adipose tissue dysfunction.
Yu Pan, Shirong Cao, Jiaqi Tang, Juan P. Arroyo, Andrew S. Terker, Yinqiu Wang, Aolei Niu, Xiaofeng Fan, Suwan Wang, Yahua Zhang, Ming Jiang, David H. Wasserman, Ming-Zhi Zhang, Raymond C. Harris
SMAD3 plays a central role in cancer metastasis, and its hyperactivation is linked to poor cancer outcomes. Thus, it is critical to understand the upstream signaling pathways that govern SMAD3 activation. Here, we report that SMAD3 underwent methylation at K53 and K333 (K53/K333) by EZH2, a process crucial for cell membrane recruitment, phosphorylation, and activation of SMAD3 upon TGFB1 stimulation. Mechanistically, EZH2-triggered SMAD3 methylation facilitated SMAD3 interaction with its cellular membrane localization molecule (SARA), which in turn sustained SMAD3 phosphorylation by the TGFB receptor. Pathologically, increased expression of EZH2 expression resulted in the accumulation of SMAD3 methylation to facilitate SMAD3 activation. EZH2-mediated SMAD3 K53/K333 methylation was upregulated and correlated with SMAD3 hyperactivation in breast cancer, promoted tumor metastasis, and was predictive of poor survival outcomes. We used 2 TAT peptides to abrogate SMAD3 methylation and therapeutically inhibit cancer metastasis. Collectively, these findings reveal the complicated layers involved in the regulation of SMAD3 activation coordinated by EZH2-mediated SMAD3 K53/K333 methylation to drive cancer metastasis.
Changsheng Huang, Fuqing Hu, Da Song, Xuling Sun, Anyi Liu, Qi Wu, Xiaowei She, Yaqi Chen, Lisheng Chen, Fayong Hu, Feng Xu, Xuelai Luo, Yongdong Feng, Xiangping Yang, Junbo Hu, Guihua Wang
A close association with its vertebrate and tick hosts allows Borrelia burgdorferi, the bacterium responsible for Lyme disease, to eliminate many metabolic pathways and instead scavenge key nutrients from the host. A lipid-defined culture medium was developed to demonstrate that exogenous lipids are an essential nutrient of B. burgdorferi, which can accumulate intact phospholipids from its environment to support growth. Antibody responses to host phospholipids were studied in mice and humans using an antiphospholipid ELISA. Several of these environmentally acquired phospholipids including phosphatidylserine and phosphatidic acid, as well as borrelial phosphatidylcholine, are the targets of antibodies that arose early in infection in the mouse model. Patients with acute infections demonstrated antibody responses to the same lipids. The elevation of antiphospholipid antibodies predicted early infection with better sensitivity than did the standardized 2-tier tests currently used in diagnosis. Sera obtained from patients with Lyme disease before and after antibiotic therapy showed declining antiphospholipid titers after treatment. Further study will be required to determine whether these antibodies have utility in early diagnosis of Lyme disease, tracking of the response to therapy, and diagnosis of reinfection, areas in which current standardized tests are inadequate.
Peter J. Gwynne, Luke H. Clendenen, Siu-Ping Turk, Adriana R. Marques, Linden T. Hu
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) causes an enormous burden of disease worldwide. As a central aspect of its pathogenesis, M. tuberculosis grows in macrophages, and host and microbe influence each other’s metabolism. To define the metabolic impact of M. tuberculosis infection, we performed global metabolic profiling of M. tuberculosis–infected macrophages. M. tuberculosis induced metabolic hallmarks of inflammatory macrophages and a prominent signature of cholesterol metabolism. We found that infected macrophages accumulate cholestenone, a mycobacterial-derived, oxidized derivative of cholesterol. We demonstrated that the accumulation of cholestenone in infected macrophages depended on the M. tuberculosis enzyme 3β-hydroxysteroid dehydrogenase (3β-Hsd) and correlated with pathogen burden. Because cholestenone is not a substantial human metabolite, we hypothesized it might be diagnostic of M. tuberculosis infection in clinical samples. Indeed, in 2 geographically distinct cohorts, sputum cholestenone levels distinguished subjects with tuberculosis (TB) from TB-negative controls who presented with TB-like symptoms. We also found country-specific detection of cholestenone in plasma samples from M. tuberculosis–infected subjects. While cholestenone was previously thought to be an intermediate required for cholesterol degradation by M. tuberculosis, we found that M. tuberculosis can utilize cholesterol for growth without making cholestenone. Thus, the accumulation of cholestenone in clinical samples suggests it has an alternative role in pathogenesis and could be a clinically useful biomarker of TB infection.
Pallavi Chandra, Héloise Coullon, Mansi Agarwal, Charles W. Goss, Jennifer A. Philips
BACKGROUND Currently, there is no disease-specific therapy for osteogenesis imperfecta (OI). Preclinical studies demonstrate that excessive TGF-β signaling is a pathogenic mechanism in OI. Here, we evaluated TGF-β signaling in children with OI and conducted a phase I clinical trial of TGF-β inhibition in adults with OI.METHODS Histology and RNA-Seq were performed on bones obtained from children. Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment assay, gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA), and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) were used to identify dysregulated pathways. Reverse-phase protein array, Western blot, and IHC were performed to evaluate protein expression. A phase I study of fresolimumab, a TGF-β neutralizing antibody, was conducted in 8 adults with OI. Safety and effects on bone remodeling markers and lumbar spine areal bone mineral density (LS aBMD) were assessed.RESULTS OI bone demonstrated woven structure, increased osteocytes, high turnover, and reduced maturation. SMAD phosphorylation was the most significantly upregulated GO molecular event. GSEA identified the TGF-β pathway as the top activated signaling pathway, and IPA showed that TGF-β1 was the most significant activated upstream regulator mediating the global changes identified in OI bone. Treatment with fresolimumab was well-tolerated and associated with increases in LS aBMD in participants with OI type IV, whereas participants with OI type III and VIII had unchanged or decreased LS aBMD.CONCLUSION Increased TGF-β signaling is a driver pathogenic mechanism in OI. Anti–TGF-β therapy could be a potential disease-specific therapy, with dose-dependent effects on bone mass and turnover.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03064074.FUNDING Brittle Bone Disorders Consortium (U54AR068069), Clinical Translational Core of Baylor College of Medicine Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (P50HD103555) from National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, USDA/ARS (cooperative agreement 58-6250-6-001), and Sanofi Genzyme.
I-Wen Song, Sandesh C.S. Nagamani, Dianne Nguyen, Ingo Grafe, Vernon Reid Sutton, Francis H. Gannon, Elda Munivez, Ming-Ming Jiang, Alyssa Tran, Maegen Wallace, Paul Esposito, Salma Musaad, Elizabeth Strudthoff, Sharon McGuire, Michele Thornton, Vinitha Shenava, Scott Rosenfeld, Shixia Huang, Roman Shypailo, Eric Orwoll, Brendan Lee
BMP6 is a central cytokine in the induction of Sjögren’s syndrome–associated (SS-associated) secretory hypofunction. However, the upstream initiation leading to the production of this cytokine in SS is unknown. In this study, RNA ISH on salivary gland sections taken from patients with SS indicated monocytic lineage cells as a cellular source of BMP6. RNA-Seq data on human salivary glands suggested that TLR4 signaling was an upstream regulator of BMP6, which was confirmed by in vitro cell assays and single-cell transcriptomics of human PBMCs. Further investigation showed that HSP70 was an endogenous natural TLR4 ligand that stimulated BMP6 expression in SS. Release of HSP70 from epithelial cells could be triggered by overexpression of lysosome-associated membrane protein 3 (LAMP3), a protein also associated with SS in several transcriptome studies. In vitro studies supported the idea that HSP70 was released as a result of lysosomal exocytosis initiated by LAMP3 expression, and reverse transcription PCR on RNA from minor salivary glands of patients with SS confirmed a positive correlation between BMP6 and LAMP3 expression. BMP6 expression could be experimentally induced in mice by overexpression of LAMP3, which developed an SS-like phenotype. The newly identified LAMP3/HSP70/BMP6 axis provided an etiological model for SS gland dysfunction and autoimmunity.
Ying-Qian Mo, Hiroyuki Nakamura, Tsutomu Tanaka, Toshio Odani, Paola Perez, Youngmi Ji, Benjamin N. French, Thomas J.F. Pranzatelli, Drew G. Michael, Hongen Yin, Susan S. Chow, Maryam Khalaj, Sandra A. Afione, Changyu Zheng, Fabiola Reis Oliveira, Ana Carolina F. Motta, Alfredo Ribeiro-Silva, Eduardo M. Rocha, Cuong Q. Nguyen, Masayuki Noguchi, Tatsuya Atsumi, Blake M. Warner, John A. Chiorini
Patients with heart failure (HF) have augmented vascular tone, which increases cardiac workload, impairing ventricular output and promoting further myocardial dysfunction. The molecular mechanisms underlying the maladaptive vascular responses observed in HF are not fully understood. Vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) control vasoconstriction via a Ca2+-dependent process, in which the type 1 inositol 1,4,5-trisphosphate receptor (IP3R1) on the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) plays a major role. To dissect the mechanistic contribution of intracellular Ca2+ release to the increased vascular tone observed in HF, we analyzed the remodeling of IP3R1 in aortic tissues from patients with HF and from controls. VSMC IP3R1 channels from patients with HF and HF mice were hyperphosphorylated by both serine and tyrosine kinases. VSMCs isolated from IP3R1VSMC–/– mice exhibited blunted Ca2+ responses to angiotensin II (ATII) and norepinephrine compared with control VSMCs. IP3R1VSMC–/– mice displayed significantly reduced responses to ATII, both in vivo and ex vivo. HF IP3R1VSMC–/– mice developed significantly less afterload compared with HF IP3R1fl/fl mice and exhibited significantly attenuated progression toward decompensated HF and reduced interstitial fibrosis. Ca2+-dependent phosphorylation of the MLC by MLCK activated VSMC contraction. MLC phosphorylation was markedly increased in VSMCs from patients with HF and HF mice but reduced in VSMCs from HF IP3R1VSMC–/– mice and HF WT mice treated with ML-7. Taken together, our data indicate that VSMC IP3R1 is a major effector of increased vascular tone, which contributes to increased cardiac afterload and decompensation in HF.
Haikel Dridi, Gaetano Santulli, Jessica Gambardella, Stanislovas S. Jankauskas, Qi Yuan, Jingyi Yang, Steven Reiken, Xujun Wang, Anetta Wronska, Xiaoping Liu, Alain Lacampagne, Andrew R. Marks
T cell immunoglobulin mucin domain-containing protein 3 (Tim-3) negatively regulates innate and adaptive immunity in cancer. To identify the mechanisms of Tim-3 in cancer immunity, we evaluated the effects of Tim-3 blockade in human and mouse melanoma. Here, we show that human programmed cell death 1–positive (PD-1+) Tim-3+CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) upregulate phosphatidylserine (PS), a receptor for Tim-3, and acquire cell surface myeloid markers from antigen-presenting cells (APCs) through transfer of membrane fragments called trogocytosis. Tim-3 blockade acted on Tim-3+ APCs in a PS-dependent fashion to disrupt the trogocytosis of activated tumor antigen–specific CD8+ T cells and PD-1+Tim-3+ CD8+ TILs isolated from patients with melanoma. Tim-3 and PD-1 blockades cooperated to disrupt trogocytosis of CD8+ TILs in 2 melanoma mouse models, decreasing tumor burden and prolonging survival. Deleting Tim-3 in dendritic cells but not in CD8+ T cells impeded the trogocytosis of CD8+ TILs in vivo. Trogocytosed CD8+ T cells presented tumor peptide–major histocompatibility complexes and became the target of fratricide T cell killing, which was reversed by Tim-3 blockade. Our findings have uncovered a mechanism Tim-3 uses to limit antitumor immunity.
Ornella Pagliano, Robert M. Morrison, Joe-Marc Chauvin, Hridesh Banerjee, Diwakar Davar, Quanquan Ding, Tokiyoshi Tanegashima, Wentao Gao, Saranya R. Chakka, Richelle DeBlasio, Ava Lowin, Kevin Kara, Mignane Ka, Bochra Zidi, Rada Amin, Itay Raphael, Shuowen Zhang, Simon C. Watkins, Cindy Sander, John M. Kirkwood, Marcus Bosenberg, Ana C. Anderson, Vijay K. Kuchroo, Lawrence P. Kane, Alan J. Korman, Arvind Rajpal, Sean M. West, Minhua Han, Christine Bee, Xiaodi Deng, Xiao Min Schebye, Pavel Strop, Hassane M. Zarour
Background Bacterial vaginosis (BV) causes genital inflammation and increases HIV risk, whereas a vaginal microbiota dominated by Lactobacillus species is associated with immune quiescence and relative HIV protection. BV treatment reduces genital inflammation, but it is unclear whether this reduction is driven by a decrease in BV-associated bacteria or an increase in Lactobacillus species.METHODS To evaluate the short-term effect of standard BV treatment on genital immunology and the vaginal microbiota, vaginal swabs were collected immediately before and after metronidazole treatment for BV and analyzed with multiplex ELISA, metagenomic sequencing, and quantitative PCR.RESULTS Topical metronidazole treatment rapidly reduced vaginal levels of proinflammatory cytokines, chemokines, and soluble immune markers of epithelial barrier disruption. Although the vaginal microbiota shifted to dominance by L. iners or L. jensenii, this proportional shift was primarily driven by a 2 to 4 log10–fold reduction in BV-associated bacteria absolute abundance. BV treatment induced no change in the absolute abundance of L. crispatus or L. iners and only minor (<1 log10–fold) increases in L. gasseri and L. jensenii that were not independently associated with reduced inflammation in multivariable models.CONCLUSION The genital immune benefits that are associated with Lactobacillus dominance after BV treatment were not directly attributable to an absolute increase in lactobacilli, but rather to the loss of BV-associated bacteria.Trial REGISTRATION Participants were recruited as part of a randomized controlled trial (ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02766023) from 2016 to 2019.FUNDING Canadian Institutes of Health Research (PJT-156123) and the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (HHSN2722013000141 and HHSN27200007).
Eric Armstrong, Anke Hemmerling, Steve Miller, Kerianne E. Burke, Sara J. Newmann, Sheldon R. Morris, Hilary Reno, Sanja Huibner, Maria Kulikova, Rachel Liu, Emily D. Crawford, Gloria R. Castañeda, Nico Nagelkerke, Bryan Coburn, Craig R. Cohen, Rupert Kaul
Studies using the nonhuman primate model of Mycobacterium tuberculosis/simian immunodeficiency virus coinfection have revealed protective CD4+ T cell–independent immune responses that suppress latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) reactivation. In particular, chronic immune activation rather than the mere depletion of CD4+ T cells correlates with reactivation due to SIV coinfection. Here, we administered combinatorial antiretroviral therapy (cART) 2 weeks after SIV coinfection to study whether restoration of CD4+ T cell immunity occurred more broadly, and whether this prevented reactivation of LTBI compared to cART initiated 4 weeks after SIV. Earlier initiation of cART enhanced survival, led to better control of viral replication, and reduced immune activation in the periphery and lung vasculature, thereby reducing the rate of SIV-induced reactivation. We observed robust CD8+ T effector memory responses and significantly reduced macrophage turnover in the lung tissue. However, skewed CD4+ T effector memory responses persisted and new TB lesions formed after SIV coinfection. Thus, reactivation of LTBI is governed by very early events of SIV infection. Timing of cART is critical in mitigating chronic immune activation. The potential novelty of these findings mainly relates to the development of a robust animal model of human M. tuberculosis/HIV coinfection that allows the testing of underlying mechanisms.
Riti Sharan, Shashank R. Ganatra, Allison N. Bucsan, Journey Cole, Dhiraj K. Singh, Xavier Alvarez, Maya Gough, Cynthia Alvarez, Alyssa Blakley, Justin Ferdin, Rajesh Thippeshappa, Bindu Singh, Ruby Escobedo, Vinay Shivanna, Edward J. Dick Jr., Shannan Hall-Ursone, Shabaana A. Khader, Smriti Mehra, Jyothi Rengarajan, Deepak Kaushal
Macrophages constitute a major immune component in tumor tissues, but how these cells adapt to and survive in the nutrient-depleted and lactic acid–induced acidic tumor microenvironments is not yet fully understood. Here, we found that levels of carbonic anhydrase XII (CA12) expression were significantly and selectively upregulated on macrophages in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Transient glycolytic activation of peritumoral monocytes induced sustained expression of CA12 on tumor-infiltrating macrophages via autocrine cytokines and HIF1α pathways. On the one hand, CA12 mediated the survival of macrophages in relatively acidic tumor microenvironments, while on the other hand, it induced macrophage production of large amounts of C-C motif chemokine ligand 8 (CCL8), which enhanced cancer cell epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and facilitated tumor metastasis. Consistently, the accumulation of CA12+ macrophages in tumor tissues was associated with increased tumor metastatic potential and reduced survival of patients with HCC. Selective targeting of tumor-infiltrating macrophages with a CA12 inhibitor reduced tumor growth in mice and was sufficient to synergistically enhance the therapeutic efficacy of immune-checkpoint blockade. We suggest that CA12 activity is a previously unappreciated mechanism regulating the accumulation and functions of macrophages in tumor microenvironments and therefore represents a selective vulnerability that could be exploited in future designs for antitumor immunotherapeutic strategies.
Wan-Ru Ning, Da Jiang, Xing-Chen Liu, Yu-Fan Huang, Zhi-Peng Peng, Ze-Zhou Jiang, Tiebang Kang, Shi-Mei Zhuang, Yan Wu, Limin Zheng
The relevance of molecular mechanisms governing mitochondrial proteostasis to the differentiation and function of hematopoietic and immune cells is largely elusive. Through dissection of the network of proteins related to HCLS1-associated protein X-1, we defined a potentially novel functional CLPB/HAX1/(PRKD2)/HSP27 axis with critical importance for the differentiation of neutrophil granulocytes and, thus, elucidated molecular and metabolic mechanisms underlying congenital neutropenia in patients with HAX1 deficiency as well as bi- and monoallelic mutations in CLPB. As shown by stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture (SILAC) proteomics, CLPB and HAX1 control the balance of mitochondrial protein synthesis and persistence crucial for proper mitochondrial function. Impaired mitochondrial protein dynamics are associated with decreased abundance of the serine-threonine kinase PRKD2 and HSP27 phosphorylated on serines 78 and 82. Cellular defects in HAX1–/– cells can be functionally reconstituted by HSP27. Thus, mitochondrial proteostasis emerges as a critical molecular and metabolic mechanism governing the differentiation and function of neutrophil granulocytes.
Yanxin Fan, Marta Murgia, Monika I. Linder, Yoko Mizoguchi, Cong Wang, Marcin Łyszkiewicz, Natalia Ziȩtara, Yanshan Liu, Stephanie Frenz, Gabriela Sciuccati, Armando Partida-Gaytan, Zahra Alizadeh, Nima Rezaei, Peter Rehling, Sven Dennerlein, Matthias Mann, Christoph Klein
The bone marrow (BM) microenvironment regulates acute myeloid leukemia (AML) initiation, proliferation, and chemotherapy resistance. Following cancer cell death, a growing body of evidence suggests an important role for remaining apoptotic debris in regulating the immunologic response to and growth of solid tumors. Here, we investigated the role of macrophage LC3–associated phagocytosis (LAP) within the BM microenvironment of AML. Depletion of BM macrophages (BMMs) increased AML growth in vivo. We show that LAP is the predominate method of BMM phagocytosis of dead and dying cells in the AML microenvironment. Targeted inhibition of LAP led to the accumulation of apoptotic cells (ACs) and apoptotic bodies (ABs), resulting in accelerated leukemia growth. Mechanistically, LAP of AML-derived ABs by BMMs resulted in stimulator of IFN genes (STING) pathway activation. We found that AML-derived mitochondrial damage–associated molecular patterns were processed by BMMs via LAP. Moreover, depletion of mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) in AML-derived ABs showed that it was this mtDNA that was responsible for the induction of STING signaling in BMMs. Phenotypically, we found that STING activation suppressed AML growth through a mechanism related to increased phagocytosis. In summary, we report that macrophage LAP of apoptotic debris in the AML BM microenvironment suppressed tumor growth.
Jamie A. Moore, Jayna J. Mistry, Charlotte Hellmich, Rebecca H. Horton, Edyta E. Wojtowicz, Aisha Jibril, Matthew Jefferson, Thomas Wileman, Naiara Beraza, Kristian M. Bowles, Stuart A. Rushworth
IFN-γ–stimulated MHC class I (MHC-I) antigen presentation underlies the core of antitumor immunity. However, sustained IFN-γ signaling also enhances the programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) checkpoint pathway to dampen antitumor immunity. It remains unclear how these opposing effects of IFN-γ are regulated. Here, we report that loss of the histone dimethyltransferase WHSC1 impaired the antitumor effect of IFN-γ signaling by transcriptional downregulation of the MHC-I machinery without affecting PD-L1 expression in colorectal cancer (CRC) cells. Whsc1 loss promoted tumorigenesis via a non-cell-autonomous mechanism in an Apcmin/+ mouse model, CRC organoids, and xenografts. Mechanistically, we found that the IFN-γ/STAT1 signaling axis stimulated WHSC1 expression and, in turn, that WHSC1 directly interacted with NLRC5 to promote MHC-I gene expression, but not that of PD-L1. Concordantly, silencing Whsc1 diminished MHC-I levels, impaired antitumor immunity, and blunted the effect of immune checkpoint blockade. Patient cohort analysis revealed that WHSC1 expression positively correlated with enhanced MHC-I expression, tumor-infiltrating T cells, and favorable disease outcomes. Together, our findings establish a tumor-suppressive function of WHSC1 that relays IFN-γ signaling to promote antigen presentation on CRC cells and provide a rationale for boosting WHSC1 activity in immunotherapy.
Jiale Ren, Ni Li, Siyu Pei, Yannan Lian, Li Li, Yuchong Peng, Qiuli Liu, Jiacheng Guo, Xuege Wang, Ying Han, Guoying Zhang, Hanling Wang, Yaqi Li, Jun Jiang, Qintong Li, Minjia Tan, Junjie Peng, Guohong Hu, Yichuan Xiao, Xiong Li, Moubin Lin, Jun Qin
BACKGROUND Severe coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is associated with a dysregulated immune response, which can result in cytokine-release syndrome and acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS). Patients with COVID-19–associated ARDS have elevated free serum levels of the cytokine lymphotoxin-like inducible protein that competes with glycoprotein D for herpesvirus entry on T cells (LIGHT; also known as TNFSF14). Such patients may benefit from LIGHT-neutralization therapy.METHODS This randomized, double-blind, multicenter, proof-of-concept trial enrolled adults hospitalized with COVID-19–associated pneumonia and mild to moderate ARDS. Patients received standard of care plus a single dose of a human LIGHT–neutralizing antibody (CERC-002) or placebo. The primary endpoint was the proportion of patients receiving CERC-002 who remained alive and free of respiratory failure through day 28. Safety was assessed via adverse event monitoring.RESULTS For most of the 83 enrolled patients, standard of care included systemic corticosteroids (88.0%) or remdesivir (57.8%). A higher proportion of patients remained alive and free of respiratory failure through day 28 after receiving CERC-002 (83.9%) versus placebo (64.5%; P = 0.044), including in patients 60 years of age or older (76.5% vs. 47.1%, respectively; P = 0.042). Mortality rates were 7.7% (CERC-002) and 14.3% (placebo) on day 28 and 10.8% and 22.5%, respectively, on day 60. Treatment-emergent adverse events were less frequent with CERC-002 than placebo.CONCLUSION For patients with COVID-19–associated ARDS, adding CERC-002 to standard-of-care treatment reduces LIGHT levels and might reduce the risk of respiratory failure and death.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04412057.FUNDING Avalo Therapeutics.
David S. Perlin, Garry A. Neil, Colleen Anderson, Inbal Zafir-Lavie, Shane Raines, Carl F. Ware, H. Jeffrey Wilkins
CD8+ T cell longevity regulated by metabolic activity plays important roles in cancer immunotherapy. Although in vitro–polarized, transferred IL-9–secreting CD8+ Tc9 (cytotoxic T lymphocyte subset 9) cells exert greater persistence and antitumor efficacy than Tc1 cells, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Here, we show that tumor-infiltrating Tc9 cells display significantly lower lipid peroxidation than Tc1 cells in several mouse models, which is strongly correlated with their persistence. Using RNA-sequence and functional validation, we found that Tc9 cells exhibited unique lipid metabolic programs. Tc9 cell–derived IL-9 activated STAT3, upregulated fatty acid oxidation and mitochondrial activity, and rendered Tc9 cells with reduced lipid peroxidation and resistance to tumor- or ROS-induced ferroptosis in the tumor microenvironment. IL-9 signaling deficiency, inhibiting STAT3, or fatty acid oxidation increased lipid peroxidation and ferroptosis of Tc9 cells, resulting in impaired longevity and antitumor ability. Similarly, human Tc9 cells also exhibited lower lipid peroxidation than Tc1 cells and tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells expressed lower IL9 and higher lipid peroxidation– and ferroptosis-related genes than circulating CD8+ T cells in patients with melanoma. This study indicates that lipid peroxidation regulates Tc9 cell longevity and antitumor effects via the IL-9/STAT3/fatty acid oxidation pathway and regulating T cell lipid peroxidation can be used to enhance T cell–based immunotherapy in human cancer.
Liuling Xiao, Xingzhe Ma, Lingqun Ye, Pan Su, Wei Xiong, Enguang Bi, Qiang Wang, Miao Xian, Maojie Yang, Jianfei Qian, Qing Yi
Mantle cell lymphoma (MCL) is a phenotypically and genetically heterogeneous malignancy in which the genetic alterations determining clinical indications are not fully understood. Here, we performed a comprehensive whole-exome sequencing analysis of 152 primary samples derived from 134 MCL patients, including longitudinal samples from 16 patients and matched RNA-Seq data from 48 samples. We classified MCL into 4 robust clusters (C1–C4). C1 featured mutated immunoglobulin heavy variable (IGHV), CCND1 mutation, amp(11q13), and active B cell receptor (BCR) signaling. C2 was enriched with del(11q)/ATM mutations and upregulation of NF-κB and DNA repair pathways. C3 was characterized by mutations in SP140, NOTCH1, and NSD2, with downregulation of BCR signaling and MYC targets. C4 harbored del(17p)/TP53 mutations, del(13q), and del(9p), and active MYC pathway and hyperproliferation signatures. Patients in these 4 clusters had distinct outcomes (5-year overall survival [OS] rates for C1–C4 were 100%, 56.7%, 48.7%, and 14.2%, respectively). We also inferred the temporal order of genetic events and studied clonal evolution of 16 patients before treatment and at progression/relapse. Eleven of these samples showed drastic clonal evolution that was associated with inferior survival, while the other samples showed modest or no evolution. Our study thus identifies genetic subsets that clinically define this malignancy and delineates clonal evolution patterns and their impact on clinical outcomes.
Shuhua Yi, Yuting Yan, Meiling Jin, Supriyo Bhattacharya, Yi Wang, Yiming Wu, Lu Yang, Eva Gine, Guillem Clot, Lu Chen, Ying Yu, Dehui Zou, Jun Wang, An T. Phan, Rui Cui, Fei Li, Qi Sun, Qiongli Zhai, Tingyu Wang, Zhen Yu, Lanting Liu, Wei Liu, Rui Lyv, Weiwei Sui, Wenyang Huang, Wenjie Xiong, Huijun Wang, Chengwen Li, Zhijian Xiao, Mu Hao, Jianxiang Wang, Tao Cheng, Silvia Bea, Alex F. Herrera, Alexey Danilov, Elias Campo, Vu N. Ngo, Lugui Qiu, Lili Wang
The dysregulation of energy homeostasis in obesity involves multihormone resistance. Although leptin and insulin resistance have been well characterized, catecholamine resistance remains largely unexplored. Murine β3-adrenergic receptor expression in adipocytes is orders of magnitude higher compared with that of other isoforms. While resistant to classical desensitization pathways, its mRNA (Adrb3) and protein expression are dramatically downregulated after ligand exposure (homologous desensitization). β3-Adrenergic receptor downregulation also occurs after high-fat diet feeding, concurrent with catecholamine resistance and elevated inflammation. This downregulation is recapitulated in vitro by TNF-α treatment (heterologous desensitization). Both homologous and heterologous desensitization of Adrb3 were triggered by induction of the pseudokinase TRIB1 downstream of the EPAC/RAP2A/PI-PLC pathway. TRIB1 in turn degraded the primary transcriptional activator of Adrb3, CEBPα. EPAC/RAP inhibition enhanced catecholamine-stimulated lipolysis and energy expenditure in obese mice. Moreover, adipose tissue expression of genes in this pathway correlated with body weight extremes in a cohort of genetically diverse mice and with BMI in 2 independent cohorts of humans. These data implicate a signaling axis that may explain reduced hormone-stimulated lipolysis in obesity and resistance to therapeutic interventions with β3-adrenergic receptor agonists.
Joseph M. Valentine, Maryam Ahmadian, Omer Keinan, Mohammad Abu-Odeh, Peng Zhao, Xin Zhou, Mark P. Keller, Hui Gao, Ruth T. Yu, Christopher Liddle, Michael Downes, Jin Zhang, Aldons J. Lusis, Alan D. Attie, Ronald M. Evans, Mikael Rydén, Alan R. Saltiel
Women have higher prevalence of asthma compared with men. In asthma, allergic airway inflammation is initiated by IL-33 signaling through ST2, leading to increased IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13 production and eosinophil infiltration. Foxp3+ Tregs suppress and ST2+ Tregs promote allergic airway inflammation. Clinical studies showed that the androgen dehydroepiandrosterone (DHEA) reduced asthma symptoms in patients, and mouse studies showed that androgen receptor (AR) signaling decreased allergic airway inflammation. Yet the impact of AR signaling on lung Tregs remains unclear. Using AR-deficient and Foxp3 fate-mapping mice, we determined that AR signaling increased Treg suppression during Alternaria extract (Alt Ext; allergen) challenge by stabilizing Foxp3+ Tregs and limiting the number of ST2+ ex-Tregs and IL-13+ Th2 cells and ex-Tregs. AR signaling also decreased Alt Ext–induced ST2+ Tregs in mice by limiting expression of Gata2, a transcription factor for ST2, and by decreasing Alt Ext–induced IL-33 production from murine airway epithelial cells. We confirmed our findings in human cells where 5α-dihydrotestosterone (DHT), an androgen, decreased IL-33–induced ST2 expression in lung Tregs and decreased Alt Ext–induced IL-33 secretion in human bronchial epithelial cells. Our findings showed that AR signaling stabilized Treg suppressive function, providing a mechanism for the sex difference in asthma.
Vivek D. Gandhi, Jacqueline-Yvonne Cephus, Allison E. Norlander, Nowrin U. Chowdhury, Jian Zhang, Zachary J. Ceneviva, Elie Tannous, Vasiliy V. Polosukhin, Nathan D. Putz, Nancy Wickersham, Amrit Singh, Lorraine B. Ware, Julie A. Bastarache, Ciara M. Shaver, Hong Wei Chu, R. Stokes Peebles Jr., Dawn C. Newcomb
The synthesis of serine from glucose is a key metabolic pathway supporting cellular proliferation in healthy and malignant cells. Despite this, the role that this aspect of metabolism plays in germinal center biology and pathology is not known. Here, we performed a comprehensive characterization of the role of the serine synthesis pathway in germinal center B cells and lymphomas derived from these cells. We demonstrate that upregulation of a functional serine synthesis pathway is a metabolic hallmark of B cell activation and the germinal center reaction. Inhibition of phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH), the first and rate-limiting enzyme in this pathway, led to defective germinal formation and impaired high-affinity antibody production. In addition, overexpression of enzymes involved in serine synthesis was a characteristic of germinal center B cell–derived lymphomas, with high levels of expression being predictive of reduced overall survival in diffuse large B cell lymphoma. Inhibition of PHGDH induced apoptosis in lymphoma cells, reducing disease progression. These findings establish PHGDH as a critical player in humoral immunity and a clinically relevant target in lymphoma.
Annalisa D’Avola, Nathalie Legrave, Mylène Tajan, Probir Chakravarty, Ryan L. Shearer, Hamish W. King, Katarina Kluckova, Eric C. Cheung, Andrew J. Clear, Arief S. Gunawan, Lingling Zhang, Louisa K. James, James I. MacRae, John G. Gribben, Dinis P. Calado, Karen H. Vousden, John C. Riches
Emerging studies have focused on ways to treat cancers by modulating T cell activation. However, whether B cell receptor signaling in the tumor microenvironment (TME) can be harnessed for immunotherapy is unclear. Here, we report that an Asia-specific variant of human IgG1 containing a Gly396 to Arg396 substitution (hIgG1-G396R) conferred improved survival of patients with colorectal cancer (CRC). Mice with knockin of the murine functional homolog mIgG2c-G400R recapitulated the alleviated tumorigenesis and progression in murine colon carcinoma models. Immune profiling of the TME revealed broad mobilizations of IgG1+ plasma cells, CD8+ T cells, CD103+ DCs, and active tertiary lymphoid structure formation, suggesting an effective antitumor microenvironment in hIgG1-G396R CRC patients. Mechanistically, this variant potentiated tumor-associated antigen–specific (TAA-specific) plasma cell differentiation and thus antibody production. These elevated TAA-specific IgG2c antibodies in turn efficiently boosted the antibody-dependent tumor cell phagocytosis and TAA presentation to effector CD8+ T cells. Notably, adoptive transfer of TAA-specific class-switched memory B cells harboring this variant exhibited therapeutic efficacy in murine tumor models, indicating their clinical potential. All these results prompted a prospective investigation of hIgG1-G396R in patients with CRC as a biomarker for clinical prognosis and demonstrated that manipulating the functionality of IgG1+ memory B cells in tumors could improve immunotherapy outcomes.
Bing Yang, Zhen Zhang, Xiangjun Chen, Xu-Yan Wang, Shishang Qin, Liaoqi Du, Changjiang Yang, Liyu Zhu, Wenbo Sun, Yongjie Zhu, Qinwen Zheng, Shidong Zhao, Quan Wang, Long Zhao, Yilin Lin, Jinghe Huang, Fan Wu, Lu Lu, Fei Wang, Wenjie Zheng, Xiao-Hua Zhou, Xiaozhen Zhao, Ziye Wang, Sun Xiao-Lin, Yingjiang Ye, Shan Wang, Zhanguo Li, Hai Qi, Zemin Zhang, Dong-Ming Kuang, Lei Zhang, Zhanlong Shen, Wanli Liu
PD-1 signaling on T cells is the major pathway that limits T cell immunity, but the efficacy of anti–PD-1 therapy has been limited to a small proportion of patients with advanced cancers. We fortuitously observed that anti–PD-1 therapy depends on IL-2 signaling, which raises the possibility that a lack of IL-2 limits anti–PD-1–induced effector T cell expansion. To selectively deliver IL-2 to PD-1+CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs), we engineered a low-affinity IL-2 paired with anti–PD-1 (PD-1–laIL-2), which reduced affinity to peripheral Treg cells but enhanced avidity to PD-1+CD8+ TILs. PD-1–laIL-2 exerted better tumor control and lower toxicity than single or mixed treatments. Mechanistically, PD-1–laIL-2 could effectively expand dysfunctional and tumor-specific CD8+ T cells. Furthermore, we discovered that presumably dysfunctional PD-1+TIM3+ TILs are the dominant tumor-specific T cells responding to PD-1–laIL-2. Collectively, these results highlight that PD-1–laIL-2 can target and reactivate tumor-specific TILs for tumor regression as a unique strategy with stronger efficacy and lower toxicity.
Zhenhua Ren, Anli Zhang, Zhichen Sun, Yong Liang, Jianfeng Ye, Jian Qiao, Bo Li, Yang-Xin Fu
Blood vessel abnormalization alters cancer cell metabolism and promotes cancer dissemination and metastasis. However, the biological features of the abnormalized blood vessels that facilitate cancer progression and whether they can be targeted therapeutically have not been fully investigated. Here, we found that an axon guidance molecule, fibronectin leucine-rich transmembrane protein 2 (FLRT2), is expressed preferentially in abnormalized vessels of advanced colorectal cancers in humans and that its expression correlates negatively with long-term survival. Endothelial cell–specific deletion of Flrt2 in mice selectively pruned abnormalized vessels, resulting in a unique metabolic state termed “oxygen-glucose uncoupling,” which suppressed tumor metastasis. Moreover, Flrt2 deletion caused an increase in the number of mature vessels, resulting in a significant increase in the antitumor effects of immune checkpoint blockers. Mechanistically, we found that FLRT2 forms noncanonical interendothelial adhesions that safeguard against oxidative stress through homophilic binding. Together, our results demonstrated the existence of tumor-specific interendothelial adhesions that enable abnormalized vessels to facilitate cancer aggressiveness. Targeting this type of adhesion complex could be a safe and effective therapeutic option to suppress cancer progression.
Tomofumi Ando, Ikue Tai-Nagara, Yuki Sugiura, Dai Kusumoto, Koji Okabayashi, Yasuaki Kido, Kohji Sato, Hideyuki Saya, Sutip Navankasattusas, Dean Y. Li, Makoto Suematsu, Yuko Kitagawa, Elena Seiradake, Satoru Yamagishi, Yoshiaki Kubota
Mutations in Dyrk1b are associated with metabolic syndrome and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease in humans. Our investigations showed that DYRK1B levels are increased in the liver of patients with nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) and in mice fed with a high-fat, high-sucrose diet. Increasing Dyrk1b levels in the mouse liver enhanced de novo lipogenesis (DNL), fatty acid uptake, and triacylglycerol secretion and caused NASH and hyperlipidemia. Conversely, knockdown of Dyrk1b was protective against high-calorie-induced hepatic steatosis and fibrosis and hyperlipidemia. Mechanistically, Dyrk1b increased DNL by activating mTORC2 in a kinase-independent fashion. Accordingly, the Dyrk1b-induced NASH was fully rescued when mTORC2 was genetically disrupted. The elevated DNL was associated with increased plasma membrane sn-1,2-diacylglyerol levels and increased PKCε-mediated IRKT1150 phosphorylation, which resulted in impaired activation of hepatic insulin signaling and reduced hepatic glycogen storage. These findings provide insights into the mechanisms that underlie Dyrk1b-induced hepatic lipogenesis and hepatic insulin resistance and identify Dyrk1b as a therapeutic target for NASH and insulin resistance in the liver.
Neha Bhat, Anand Narayanan, Mohsen Fathzadeh, Mario Kahn, Dongyan Zhang, Leigh Goedeke, Arpita Neogi, Rebecca L. Cardone, Richard G. Kibbey, Carlos Fernandez-Hernando, Henry N. Ginsberg, Dhanpat Jain, Gerald I. Shulman, Arya Mani
Through their ability to regulate gene expression in most organs, glucocorticoid (GC) hormones influence numerous physiological processes and are therefore key regulators of organismal homeostasis. In bone, GC hormones inhibit expression of the hormone Osteocalcin for poorly understood reasons. Here, we show that in a classical endocrine feedback loop, osteocalcin in return enhanced the biosynthesis of GC as well as mineralocorticoid hormones (adrenal steroidogenesis) in rodents and primates. Conversely, inactivation of osteocalcin signaling in adrenal glands significantly impaired adrenal growth and steroidogenesis in mice. Embryo-made osteocalcin was necessary for normal Sf1 expression in fetal adrenal cells and adrenal cell steroidogenic differentiation and therefore determined the number of steroidogenic cells present in the adrenal glands of adult animals. Embryonic, not postnatal, osteocalcin also governed adrenal growth, adrenal steroidogenesis, blood pressure, electrolyte equilibrium, and the rise in circulating corticosterone levels during the acute stress response in adult offspring. This osteocalcin-dependent regulation of adrenal development and steroidogenesis occurred even in the absence of a functional hypothalamus/pituitary/adrenal axis and explains why osteocalcin administration during pregnancy promoted adrenal growth and steroidogenesis and improved the survival of adrenocorticotropic hormone signaling–deficient animals. This study reveals that a bone-derived embryonic hormone influences lifelong adrenal functions and organismal homeostasis in the mouse.
Vijay K. Yadav, Julian M. Berger, Parminder Singh, Perumal Nagarajan, Gerard Karsenty
Platelets have a wide range of functions including critical roles in hemostasis, thrombosis, and immunity. We hypothesized that during acute inflammation, such as in life-threatening sepsis, there are fundamental changes in the sites of platelet production and phenotypes of resultant platelets. Here, we showed during sepsis that the spleen was a major site of megakaryopoiesis and platelet production. Sepsis provoked an adrenergic-dependent mobilization of megakaryocyte-erythrocyte progenitors (MEPs) from the bone marrow to the spleen, where IL-3 induced their differentiation into megakaryocytes (MKs). In the spleen, immune-skewed MKs produced a CD40 ligandhi platelet population with potent immunomodulatory functions. Transfusions of post-sepsis platelets enriched from splenic production enhanced immune responses and reduced overall mortality in sepsis-challenged animals. These findings identify a spleen-derived protective platelet population that may be broadly immunomodulatory in acute inflammatory states such as sepsis.
Colin Valet, Mélia Magnen, Longhui Qiu, Simon J. Cleary, Kristin M. Wang, Serena Ranucci, Elodie Grockowiak, Rafik Boudra, Catharina Conrad, Yurim Seo, Daniel R. Calabrese, John R. Greenland, Andrew D. Leavitt, Emmanuelle Passegué, Simón Méndez-Ferrer, Filip K. Swirski, Mark R. Looney
Background It is unclear how excess adiposity and insulin resistance affect β cell function, insulin secretion, and insulin clearance in people with obesity.Methods We used a hyperinsulinemic-euglycemic clamp procedure and a modified oral glucose tolerance test to evaluate the interrelationships among obesity, insulin sensitivity, insulin kinetics, and glycemic status in 5 groups of individuals: normoglycemic lean and obese individuals with (a) normal fasting glucose and normal glucose tolerance (Ob-NFG-NGT), (b) NFG and impaired glucose tolerance (Ob-NFG-IGT), (c) impaired fasting glucose and IGT (Ob-IFG-IGT), or (d) type 2 diabetes (Ob-T2D).Results Glucose-stimulated insulin secretion (GSIS), an assessment of β cell function, was greater in the Ob-NFG-NGT and Ob-NFG-IGT groups than in the lean group, even when insulin sensitivity was matched in the obese and lean groups. Insulin sensitivity, not GSIS, was decreased in the Ob-NFG-IGT group compared with the Ob-NFG-NGT group, whereas GSIS, not insulin sensitivity, was decreased in the Ob-IFG-IGT and Ob-T2D groups compared with the Ob-NFG-NGT and Ob-NFG-IGT groups. Insulin clearance was directly related to insulin sensitivity and inversely related to the postprandial increase in insulin secretion and plasma insulin concentration.Conclusion Increased adiposity per se, not insulin resistance, enhanced insulin secretion in people with obesity. The obesity-induced increase in insulin secretion, in conjunction with a decrease in insulin clearance, sufficiently raised the plasma insulin concentrations needed to maintain normoglycemia in individuals with moderate, but not severe, insulin resistance. A deterioration in β cell function, not a decrease in insulin sensitivity, was a determinant of IFG and ultimately leads to T2D.CLINICAL TRIALS REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02706262, NCT04131166, and NCT01977560.FUNDING NIH (P30 DK056341, P30 DK020579, and UL1 TR000448); American Diabetes Association (1-18-ICTS-119); Longer Life Foundation; Pershing Square Foundation; and Washington University-Centene ARCH Personalized Medicine Initiative (P19-00559).
Bettina Mittendorfer, Bruce W. Patterson, Gordon I. Smith, Mihoko Yoshino, Samuel Klein
De novo and acquired resistance are major impediments to the efficacy of conventional and targeted cancer therapy. In unselected gastric cancer (GC) patients with advanced disease, trials combining chemotherapy and an anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody have been largely unsuccessful. In an effort to identify biomarkers of resistance so as to better select patients for such trials, we screened the secretome of chemotherapy-treated human GC cell lines. We found that levels of CGA, the α-subunit of glycoprotein hormones, were markedly increased in the conditioned media of chemoresistant GC cells, and CGA immunoreactivity was enhanced in GC tissues that progressed on chemotherapy. CGA levels in plasma increased in GC patients who received chemotherapy, and this increase was correlated with reduced responsiveness to chemotherapy and poor survival. Mechanistically, secreted CGA was found to bind to EGFR and activate EGFR signaling, thereby conferring a survival advantage to GC cells. N-glycosylation of CGA at Asn52 and Asn78 is required for its stability, secretion, and interaction with EGFR. GATA2 was found to activate CGA transcription, whose increase, in turn, induced the expression and phosphorylation of GATA2 in an EGFR-dependent manner, forming a positive feedback circuit that was initiated by GATA2 autoregulation upon sublethal exposure to chemotherapy. Based on this circuit, combination strategies involving anti-EGFR therapies or targeting CGA with microRNAs (miR-708-3p and miR-761) restored chemotherapy sensitivity. These findings identify a clinically actionable CGA/EGFR/GATA2 circuit and highlight CGA as a predictive biomarker and therapeutic target in chemoresistant GC.
Tianyu Cao, Yuanyuan Lu, Qi Wang, Hongqiang Qin, Hongwei Li, Hao Guo, Minghui Ge, Sarah E. Glass, Bhuminder Singh, Wenyao Zhang, Jiaqiang Dong, Feng Du, Airong Qian, Ye Tian, Xin Wang, Cunxi Li, Kaichun Wu, Daiming Fan, Yongzhan Nie, Robert J. Coffey, Xiaodi Zhao
Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are associated with significant alterations in the bone marrow microenvironment that include decreased expression of key niche factors and myelofibrosis. Here, we explored the contribution of TGF-β to these alterations by abrogating TGF-β signaling in bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells. Loss of TGF-β signaling in Osx-Cre–targeted MSCs prevented the development of myelofibrosis in both MPLW515L and Jak2V617F models of MPNs. In contrast, despite the absence of myelofibrosis, loss of TGF-β signaling in mesenchymal stromal cells did not rescue the defective hematopoietic niche induced by MPLW515L, as evidenced by decreased bone marrow cellularity, hematopoietic stem/progenitor cell number, and Cxcl12 and Kitlg expression, and the presence of splenic extramedullary hematopoiesis. Induction of myelofibrosis by MPLW515L was intact in Osx-Cre Smad4fl/fl recipients, demonstrating that SMAD4-independent TGF-β signaling mediates the myelofibrosis phenotype. Indeed, treatment with a c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) inhibitor prevented the development of myelofibrosis induced by MPLW515L. Together, these data show that JNK-dependent TGF-β signaling in mesenchymal stromal cells is responsible for the development of myelofibrosis but not hematopoietic niche disruption in MPNs, suggesting that the signals that regulate niche gene expression in bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells are distinct from those that induce a fibrogenic program.
Juo-Chin Yao, Karolyn A. Oetjen, Tianjiao Wang, Haoliang Xu, Grazia Abou-Ezzi, Joseph R. Krambs, Salil Uttarwar, Eric J. Duncavage, Daniel C. Link
Pericyte-mediated capillary constriction decreases cerebral blood flow in stroke after an occluded artery is unblocked. The determinants of pericyte tone are poorly understood. We show that a small rise in cytoplasmic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) in pericytes activated chloride efflux through the Ca2+-gated anion channel TMEM16A, thus depolarizing the cell and opening voltage-gated calcium channels. This mechanism strongly amplified the pericyte [Ca2+]i rise and capillary constriction evoked by contractile agonists and ischemia. In a rodent stroke model, TMEM16A inhibition slowed the ischemia-evoked pericyte [Ca2+]i rise, capillary constriction, and pericyte death; reduced neutrophil stalling; and improved cerebrovascular reperfusion. Genetic analysis implicated altered TMEM16A expression in poor patient recovery from ischemic stroke. Thus, pericyte TMEM16A is a crucial regulator of cerebral capillary function and a potential therapeutic target for stroke and possibly other disorders of impaired microvascular flow, such as Alzheimer’s disease and vascular dementia.
Nils Korte, Zeki Ilkan, Claire L. Pearson, Thomas Pfeiffer, Prabhav Singhal, Jason R. Rock, Huma Sethi, Dipender Gill, David Attwell, Paolo Tammaro
Subendothelial macrophage internalization of modified lipids and foam cell formation are hallmarks of atherosclerosis. Deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) are involved in various cellular activities; however, their role in foam cell formation is not fully understood. Here, using a loss-of-function lipid accumulation screening, we identified ubiquitin-specific peptidase 9 X-linked (USP9X) as a factor that suppressed lipid uptake in macrophages. We found that USP9X expression in lesional macrophages was reduced during atherosclerosis development in both humans and rodents. Atherosclerotic lesions from macrophage USP9X-deficient mice showed increased macrophage infiltration, lipid deposition, and necrotic core content than control apolipoprotein E–KO (Apoe–/–) mice. Additionally, loss-of-function USP9X exacerbated lipid uptake, foam cell formation, and inflammatory responses in macrophages. Mechanistically, the class A1 scavenger receptor (SR-A1) was identified as a USP9X substrate that removed the K63 polyubiquitin chain at the K27 site. Genetic or pharmacological inhibition of USP9X increased SR-A1 cell surface internalization after binding of oxidized LDL (ox-LDL). The K27R mutation of SR-A1 dramatically attenuated basal and USP9X knockdown–induced ox-LDL uptake. Moreover, blocking binding of USP9X to SR-A1 with a cell-penetrating peptide exacerbated foam cell formation and atherosclerosis. In this study, we identified macrophage USP9X as a beneficial regulator of atherosclerosis and revealed the specific mechanisms for the development of potential therapeutic strategies for atherosclerosis.
Biqing Wang, Xuening Tang, Liu Yao, Yuxin Wang, Zhipeng Chen, Mengqi Li, Naishi Wu, Dawei Wu, Xiangchen Dai, Hongfeng Jiang, Ding Ai
Background Noninvasive assessment of metabolic processes that sustain regeneration of human retinal visual pigments (visual cycle) is essential to improve ophthalmic diagnostics and to accelerate development of new treatments to counter retinal diseases. Fluorescent vitamin A derivatives, which are the chemical intermediates of these processes, are highly sensitive to UV light; thus, safe analyses of these processes in humans are currently beyond the reach of even the most modern ocular imaging modalities.Methods We present a compact, 2-photon-excited fluorescence scanning laser ophthalmoscope and spectrally resolved images of the human retina based on 2-photon excitation (TPE) with near-infrared light. A custom Er:fiber laser with integrated pulse selection, along with intelligent postprocessing of data, enables excitation with low laser power and precise measurement of weak signals.Results We demonstrate spectrally resolved TPE fundus images of human subjects. Comparison of TPE data between human and mouse models of retinal diseases revealed similarity with mouse models that rapidly accumulate bisretinoid condensation products. Thus, visual cycle intermediates and toxic byproducts of this metabolic pathway can be measured and quantified by TPE imaging.Conclusion Our work establishes a TPE instrument and measurement method for noninvasive metabolic assessment of the human retina. This approach opens the possibility for monitoring eye diseases in the earliest stages before structural damage to the retina occurs.Funding NIH, Research to Prevent Blindness, Foundation for Polish Science, European Regional Development Fund, Polish National Agency for Academic Exchange, and Polish Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
Jakub Boguslawski, Grazyna Palczewska, Slawomir Tomczewski, Jadwiga Milkiewicz, Piotr Kasprzycki, Dorota Stachowiak, Katarzyna Komar, Marcin J. Marzejon, Bartosz L. Sikorski, Arkadiusz Hudzikowski, Aleksander Głuszek, Zbigniew Łaszczych, Karol Karnowski, Grzegorz Soboń, Krzysztof Palczewski, Maciej Wojtkowski
Ischemic stroke prompts a strong inflammatory response, which is associated with exacerbated outcomes. In this study, we investigated mechanistic regulators of neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation in stroke and whether they contribute to stroke outcomes. NET-forming neutrophils were found throughout brain tissue of ischemic stroke patients, and elevated plasma NET biomarkers correlated with worse stroke outcomes. Additionally, we observed increased plasma and platelet surface–expressed high-mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) in stroke patients. Mechanistically, platelets were identified as the critical source of HMGB1 that caused NETs in the acute phase of stroke. Depletion of platelets or platelet-specific knockout of HMGB1 significantly reduced plasma HMGB1 and NET levels after stroke, and greatly improved stroke outcomes. We subsequently investigated the therapeutic potential of neonatal NET-inhibitory factor (nNIF) in stroke. Mice treated with nNIF had smaller brain infarcts, improved long-term neurological and motor function, and enhanced survival after stroke. nNIF specifically blocked NET formation without affecting neutrophil recruitment after stroke. Importantly, nNIF also improved stroke outcomes in diabetic and aged mice and was still effective when given 1 hour after stroke onset. These results support a pathological role for NETs in ischemic stroke and warrant further investigation of nNIF for stroke therapy.
Frederik Denorme, Irina Portier, John L. Rustad, Mark J. Cody, Claudia V. de Araujo, Chieko Hoki, Matthew D. Alexander, Ramesh Grandhi, Mitchell R. Dyer, Matthew D. Neal, Jennifer J. Majersik, Christian C. Yost, Robert A. Campbell
Background Responses to conventional donor lymphocyte infusion for postallogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) relapse are typically poor. Natural killer (NK) cell–based therapy is a promising modality to treat post-HCT relapse.Methods We initiated this ongoing phase I trial of adoptively transferred cytokine-induced memory-like (CIML) NK cells in patients with myeloid malignancies who relapsed after haploidentical HCT. All patients received a donor-derived NK cell dose of 5 to 10 million cells/kg after lymphodepleting chemotherapy, followed by systemic IL-2 for 7 doses. High-resolution profiling with mass cytometry and single-cell RNA sequencing characterized the expanding and persistent NK cell subpopulations in a longitudinal manner after infusion.Results In the first 6 enrolled patients on the trial, infusion of CIML NK cells led to a rapid 10- to 50-fold in vivo expansion that was sustained over months. The infusion was well tolerated, with fever and pancytopenia as the most common adverse events. Expansion of NK cells was distinct from IL-2 effects on endogenous post-HCT NK cells, and not dependent on CMV viremia. Immunophenotypic and transcriptional profiling revealed a dynamic evolution of the activated CIML NK cell phenotype, superimposed on the natural variation in donor NK cell repertoires.Conclusion Given their rapid expansion and long-term persistence in an immune-compatible environment, CIML NK cells serve as a promising platform for the treatment of posttransplant relapse of myeloid disease. Further characterization of their unique in vivo biology and interaction with both T cells and tumor targets will lead to improvements in cell-based immunotherapies.Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov NCT04024761.Funding Dunkin’ Donuts, NIH/National Cancer Institute, and the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.
Roman M. Shapiro, Grace C. Birch, Guangan Hu, Juliana Vergara Cadavid, Sarah Nikiforow, Joanna Baginska, Alaa K. Ali, Mubin Tarannum, Michal Sheffer, Yasmin Z. Abdulhamid, Benedetta Rambaldi, Yohei Arihara, Carol Reynolds, Max S. Halpern, Scott J. Rodig, Nicole Cullen, Jacquelyn O. Wolff, Kathleen L. Pfaff, Andrew A. Lane, R. Coleman Lindsley, Corey S. Cutler, Joseph H. Antin, Vincent T. Ho, John Koreth, Mahasweta Gooptu, Haesook T. Kim, Karl-Johan Malmberg, Catherine J. Wu, Jianzhu Chen, Robert J. Soiffer, Jerome Ritz, Rizwan Romee
Despite long-term antiretroviral therapy (ART), HIV-1 persists within a reservoir of CD4+ T cells that contribute to viral rebound if treatment is interrupted. Identifying the cellular populations that contribute to the HIV-1 reservoir and understanding the mechanisms of viral persistence are necessary to achieve an effective cure. In this regard, through Full-Length Individual Proviral Sequencing, we observed that the HIV-1 proviral landscape was different and changed with time on ART across naive and memory CD4+ T cell subsets isolated from 24 participants. We found that the proportion of genetically intact HIV-1 proviruses was higher and persisted over time in effector memory CD4+ T cells when compared with naive, central, and transitional memory CD4+ T cells. Interestingly, we found that escape mutations remained stable over time within effector memory T cells during therapy. Finally, we provided evidence that Nef plays a role in the persistence of genetically intact HIV-1. These findings posit effector memory T cells as a key component of the HIV-1 reservoir and suggest Nef as an attractive therapeutic target.
Gabriel Duette, Bonnie Hiener, Hannah Morgan, Fernando G. Mazur, Vennila Mathivanan, Bethany A. Horsburgh, Katie Fisher, Orion Tong, Eunok Lee, Haelee Ahn, Ansari Shaik, Rémi Fromentin, Rebecca Hoh, Charline Bacchus-Souffan, Najla Nasr, Anthony L. Cunningham, Peter W. Hunt, Nicolas Chomont, Stuart G. Turville, Steven G. Deeks, Anthony D. Kelleher, Timothy E. Schlub, Sarah Palmer
Pregnancy is associated with substantial physiological changes of the heart, and disruptions in these processes can lead to peripartum cardiomyopathy (PPCM). The molecular processes that cause physiological and pathological changes in the heart during pregnancy are not well characterized. Here, we show that mTORc1 was activated in pregnancy to facilitate cardiac enlargement that was reversed after delivery in mice. mTORc1 activation in pregnancy was negatively regulated by the mRNA-destabilizing protein ZFP36L2 through its degradation of Mdm2 mRNA and P53 stabilization, leading to increased SESN2 and REDD1 expression. This pathway impeded uncontrolled cardiomyocyte hypertrophy during pregnancy, and mice with cardiac-specific Zfp36l2 deletion developed rapid cardiac dysfunction after delivery, while prenatal treatment of these mice with rapamycin improved postpartum cardiac function. Collectively, these data provide what we believe to be a novel pathway for the regulation of mTORc1 through mRNA stabilization of a P53 ubiquitin ligase. This pathway was critical for normal cardiac growth during pregnancy, and its reduction led to PPCM-like adverse remodeling in mice.
Hidemichi Kouzu, Yuki Tatekoshi, Hsiang-Chun Chang, Jason S. Shapiro, Warren A. McGee, Adam De Jesus, Issam Ben-Sahra, Zoltan Arany, Jonathan Leor, Chunlei Chen, Perry J. Blackshear, Hossein Ardehali
Deregulated Wnt/β-catenin signaling is one of the main genetic alterations in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Comprehensive genomic analyses have revealed that gain-of-function mutation of CTNNB1, which encodes β-catenin, and loss-of-function mutation of AXIN1 occur in approximately 35% of human HCC samples. Human HCCs with activation of the Wnt/β-catenin pathway demonstrate unique gene expression patterns and pathological features. Activated Wnt/β-catenin synergizes with multiple signaling cascades to drive HCC formation, and it functions through its downstream effectors. Therefore, strategies targeting Wnt/β-catenin have been pursued as possible therapeutics against HCC. Here, we review the genetic alterations and oncogenic roles of aberrant Wnt/β-catenin signaling during hepatocarcinogenesis. In addition, we discuss the implication of this pathway in HCC diagnosis, classification, and personalized treatment.
Chuanrui Xu, Zhong Xu, Yi Zhang, Matthias Evert, Diego F. Calvisi, Xin Chen
Extracellular proteolysis is frequently dysregulated in disease and can generate proteoforms with unique neoepitopes not found in healthy tissue. Here, we demonstrate that Abs that selectively recognize a proteolytic neoepitope on CUB domain containing protein 1 (CDCP1) could enable more effective and safer treatments for solid tumors. CDCP1 is highly overexpressed in RAS-driven cancers, and its ectodomain is cleaved by extracellular proteases. Biochemical, biophysical, and structural characterization revealed that the 2 cleaved fragments of CDCP1 remain tightly associated with minimal proteolysis-induced conformational change. Using differential phage display, we generated recombinant Abs that are exquisitely selective to cleaved CDCP1 with no detectable binding to the uncleaved form. These Abs potently targeted cleaved CDCP1-expressing cancer cells as an Ab-drug conjugate, an Ab-radionuclide conjugate, and a bispecific T cell engager. In a syngeneic pancreatic tumor model, these cleaved-specific Abs showed tumor-specific localization and antitumor activity with superior safety profiles compared with a pan-CDCP1 approach. Targeting proteolytic neoepitopes could provide an orthogonal “AND” gate for improving the therapeutic index.
Shion A. Lim, Jie Zhou, Alexander J. Martinko, Yung-Hua Wang, Ekaterina V. Filippova, Veronica Steri, Donghui Wang, Soumya G. Remesh, Jia Liu, Byron Hann, Anthony A. Kossiakoff, Michael J. Evans, Kevin K. Leung, James A. Wells
Although immobility is a common cause of muscle atrophy, the mechanism underlying this causality is unclear. We here show that Krüppel-like factor 15 (KLF15) and IL-6 are upregulated in skeletal muscle of limb-immobilized mice and that mice with KLF15 deficiency in skeletal muscle or with systemic IL-6 deficiency are protected from immobility-induced muscle atrophy. A newly developed Ca2+ bioimaging revealed that the cytosolic Ca2+ concentration ([Ca2+]i) of skeletal muscle is reduced to below the basal level by immobilization, which is associated with the downregulation of Piezo1. Acute disruption of Piezo1 in skeletal muscle induced Klf15 and Il6 expression as well as muscle atrophy, which was prevented by antibodies against IL-6. A role for the Piezo1/KLF15/IL-6 axis in immobility-induced muscle atrophy was validated in human samples. Our results thus uncover a paradigm for Ca2+ signaling in that a decrease in [Ca2+]i from the basal level triggers a defined biological event.
Yu Hirata, Kazuhiro Nomura, Daisuke Kato, Yoshihisa Tachibana, Takahiro Niikura, Kana Uchiyama, Tetsuya Hosooka, Tomoaki Fukui, Keisuke Oe, Ryosuke Kuroda, Yuji Hara, Takahiro Adachi, Koji Shibasaki, Hiroaki Wake, Wataru Ogawa
BACKGROUND It is unclear whether the level of serum hepatitis B virus (HBV) DNA at baseline affects the on-treatment risk of hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) in hepatitis B e antigen–positive (HBeAg-positive), noncirrhotic patients with chronic hepatitis B (CHB).METHODS We conducted a multicenter cohort study including 2073 entecavir- or tenofovir-treated, HBeAg-positive, noncirrhotic adult CHB patients with baseline HBV DNA levels of 5.00 log10 IU/mL or higher at 3 centers in South Korea between January 2007 and December 2016. We evaluated the on-treatment incidence rate of HCC according to baseline HBV DNA levels.RESULTS During a median 5.7 years of continuous antiviral treatment, 47 patients developed HCC (0.39 per 100 person-years). By Kaplan-Meier analysis, the risk of HCC was lowest in patients with baseline HBV DNA levels of 8.00 log10 IU/mL or higher, increased incrementally with decreasing viral load, and was highest in those with HBV DNA levels of 5.00–5.99 log10 IU/mL (P < 0.001). By multivariable analysis, the baseline HBV DNA level was an independent factor that was inversely associated with HCC risk. Compared with HBV DNA levels of 8.00 log10 IU/mL or higher, the adjusted HRs for HCC risk with HBV DNA levels of 7.00–7.99 log10 IU/mL, 6.00–6.99 log10 IU/mL, or 5.00–5.99 log10 IU/mL were 2.48 (P = 0.03), 3.69 (P = 0.002), and 6.10 (P < 0.001), respectively.CONCLUSION On-treatment HCC risk increased incrementally with decreasing baseline HBV DNA levels in the range of 5.00 log10 IU/mL or higher in HBeAg-positive, noncirrhotic adult patients with CHB. Early initiation of antiviral treatment when the viral load is high (≥8.00 log10 IU/mL) may maintain the lowest risk of HCC for those patients.FUNDING Patient-Centered Clinical Research Coordinating Center (PACEN) (grant no. HC20C0062) of the National Evidence-based Healthcare Collaborating Agency; National R&D Program for Cancer Control through the National Cancer Center (grant no. HA21C0110), Ministry of Health and Welfare, South Korea.
Won-Mook Choi, Gi-Ae Kim, Jonggi Choi, Seungbong Han, Young-Suk Lim
Cellular senescence is a fundamental aging mechanism that is currently the focus of considerable interest as a pathway that could be targeted to ameliorate aging across multiple tissues, including the skeleton. There is now substantial evidence that senescent cells accumulate in the bone microenvironment with aging and that targeting these cells prevents age-related bone loss, at least in mice. Cellular senescence also plays important roles in mediating the skeletal fragility associated with diabetes mellitus, radiation, and chemotherapy. As such, there are ongoing efforts to develop “senolytic” drugs that kill senescent cells by targeting key survival mechanisms in these cells without affecting normal cells. Because senescent cells accumulate across tissues with aging, senolytics offer the attractive possibility of treating multiple age-related comorbidities simultaneously.
Sundeep Khosla, Joshua N. Farr, David G. Monroe
Glutamate is the predominant excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS). Excitatory amino acid transporters (EAATs) regulate extracellular glutamate by transporting it into cells, mostly glia, to terminate neurotransmission and to avoid neurotoxicity. EAATs are also chloride (Cl–) channels, but the physiological role of Cl– conductance through EAATs is poorly understood. Mutations of human EAAT1 (hEAAT1) have been identified in patients with episodic ataxia type 6 (EA6). One mutation showed increased Cl– channel activity and decreased glutamate transport, but the relative contributions of each function of hEAAT1 to mechanisms underlying the pathology of EA6 remain unclear. Here we investigated the effects of 5 additional EA6-related mutations on hEAAT1 function in Xenopus laevis oocytes, and on CNS function in a Drosophila melanogaster model of locomotor behavior. Our results indicate that mutations resulting in decreased hEAAT1 Cl– channel activity but with functional glutamate transport can also contribute to the pathology of EA6, highlighting the importance of Cl– homeostasis in glial cells for proper CNS function. We also identified what we believe is a novel mechanism involving an ectopic sodium (Na+) leak conductance in glial cells. Together, these results strongly support the idea that EA6 is primarily an ion channelopathy of CNS glia.
Qianyi Wu, Azman Akhter, Shashank Pant, Eunjoo Cho, Jin Xin Zhu, Alastair Garner, Tomoko Ohyama, Emad Tajkhorshid, Donald J. van Meyel, Renae M. Ryan
Rare genetic disorders, when considered together, are relatively common. Despite advancements in genetics and genomics technologies as well as increased understanding of genomic function and dysfunction, many genetic diseases continue to be difficult to diagnose. The goal of this Review is to increase the familiarity of genetic testing strategies for non-genetics providers. As genetic testing is increasingly used in primary care, many subspecialty clinics, and various inpatient settings, it is important that non-genetics providers have a fundamental understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of various genetic testing strategies as well as develop an ability to interpret genetic testing results. We provide background on commonly used genetic testing approaches, give examples of phenotypes in which the various genetic testing approaches are used, describe types of genetic and genomic variations, cover challenges in variant identification, provide examples in which next-generation sequencing (NGS) failed to uncover the variant responsible for a disease, and discuss opportunities for continued improvement in the application of NGS clinically. As genetic testing becomes increasingly a part of all areas of medicine, familiarity with genetic testing approaches and result interpretation is vital to decrease the burden of undiagnosed disease.
Bryce A. Schuler, Erica T. Nelson, Mary Koziura, Joy D. Cogan, Rizwan Hamid, John A. Phillips III
Targeted therapies have come to play an increasingly important role in cancer therapy over the past two decades. This success has been made possible in large part by technological advances in sequencing, which have greatly advanced our understanding of the mutational landscape of human cancer and the genetic drivers present in individual tumors. We are rapidly discovering a growing number of mutations that occur in targetable pathways, and thus tumor genetic testing has become an important component in the choice of appropriate therapies. Targeted therapy has dramatically transformed treatment outcomes and disease prognosis in some settings, whereas in other oncologic contexts, targeted approaches have yet to demonstrate considerable clinical efficacy. In this Review, we summarize the current knowledge of targetable mutations that occur in a range of cancers, including hematologic malignancies and solid tumors such as non–small cell lung cancer and breast cancer. We outline seminal examples of druggable mutations and targeting modalities and address the clinical and research challenges that must be overcome to maximize therapeutic benefit.
Michael R. Waarts, Aaron J. Stonestrom, Young C. Park, Ross L. Levine
Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology has advanced our understanding of the human microbiome by allowing for the discovery and characterization of unculturable microbes with prediction of their function. Key NGS methods include 16S rRNA gene sequencing, shotgun metagenomic sequencing, and RNA sequencing. The choice of which NGS methodology to pursue for a given purpose is often unclear for clinicians and researchers. In this Review, we describe the fundamentals of NGS, with a focus on 16S rRNA and shotgun metagenomic sequencing. We also discuss pros and cons of each methodology as well as important concepts in data variability, study design, and clinical metadata collection. We further present examples of how NGS studies of the human microbiome have advanced our understanding of human disease pathophysiology across diverse clinical contexts, including the development of diagnostics and therapeutics. Finally, we share insights as to how NGS might further be integrated into and advance microbiome research and clinical care in the coming years.
Caroline R. Wensel, Jennifer L. Pluznick, Steven L. Salzberg, Cynthia L. Sears
Exposure to addictive substances impairs flexible decision making. Cognitive flexibility is mediated by striatal cholinergic interneurons (CINs). However, how chronic alcohol drinking alters cognitive flexibility through CINs remains unclear. Here, we report that chronic alcohol consumption and withdrawal impaired reversal of instrumental learning. Chronic alcohol consumption and withdrawal also caused a long-lasting (21 days) reduction of excitatory thalamic inputs onto CINs and reduced pause responses of CINs in the dorsomedial striatum (DMS). CINs are known to inhibit glutamatergic transmission in dopamine D1 receptor–expressing medium spiny neurons (D1-MSNs) but facilitate this transmission in D2-MSNs, which may contribute to flexible behavior. We discovered that chronic alcohol drinking impaired CIN-mediated inhibition in D1-MSNs and facilitation in D2-MSNs. Importantly, in vivo optogenetic induction of long-term potentiation of thalamostriatal transmission in DMS CINs rescued alcohol-induced reversal learning deficits. These results demonstrate that chronic alcohol drinking reduces thalamic excitation of DMS CINs, compromising their regulation of glutamatergic transmission in MSNs, which may contribute to alcohol-induced impairment of cognitive flexibility. These findings provide a neural mechanism underlying inflexible drinking in alcohol use disorder.
Tengfei Ma, Zhenbo Huang, Xueyi Xie, Yifeng Cheng, Xiaowen Zhuang, Matthew J. Childs, Himanshu Gangal, Xuehua Wang, Laura N. Smith, Rachel J. Smith, Yubin Zhou, Jun Wang
Many SARS-CoV-2 neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) lose potency against variants of concern. In this study, we developed 2 strategies to produce mutation-resistant antibodies. First, a yeast library expressing mutant receptor binding domains (RBDs) of the spike protein was utilized to screen for potent nAbs that are least susceptible to viral escape. Among the candidate antibodies, P5-22 displayed ultrahigh potency for virus neutralization as well as an outstanding mutation resistance profile. Additionally, P14-44 and P15-16 were recognized as mutation-resistant antibodies with broad betacoronavirus neutralization properties. P15-16 has only 1 binding hotspot, which is K378 in the RBD of SARS-CoV-2. The crystal structure of the P5-22, P14-44, and RBD ternary complex clarified the unique mechanisms that underlie the excellent mutation resistance profiles of these antibodies. Secondly, polymeric IgG enhanced antibody avidity by eliminating P5-22’s only hotspot, residue F486 in the RBD, thereby potently blocking cell entry by mutant viruses. Structural and functional analyses of antibodies screened using both potency assays and the yeast RBD library revealed rare, ultrapotent, mutation-resistant nAbs against SARS-CoV-2.
Jia Zou, Li Li, Peiyi Zheng, Wenhua Liang, Siyi Hu, Shuaixiang Zhou, Yanqun Wang, Jincun Zhao, Daopeng Yuan, Lu Liu, Dongdong Wu, Mengqiu Xu, Fangfang Zhang, Mengzhu Zhu, Zhihai Wu, Xiaochao Cao, Meng Ni, Xiaomin Ling, Yue Wu, Zhihui Kuang, Moyan Hu, Jianfeng Li, Xue Li, Xiling Guo, Tianmin Xu, Haiping Jiang, Changshou Gao, Michael Yu, Junjian Liu, Nanshan Zhong, Jianfeng Zhou, Jian-an Huang, Tengchuan Jin, Jianxing He
Anti-TNF antibodies are effective for treating patients with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but many patients fail to respond to anti-TNF therapy, highlighting the importance of TNF-independent disease. We previously demonstrated that acute deletion of 2 IBD susceptibility genes, A20 (Tnfaip3) and Abin-1 (Tnip1), in intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) sensitized mice to both TNF-dependent and TNF-independent death. Here we show that TNF-independent IEC death after A20 and Abin-1 deletion was rescued by germ-free derivation or deletion of MyD88, while deletion of Trif provided only partial protection. Combined deletion of Ripk3 and Casp8, which inhibits both apoptotic and necroptotic death, completely protected against death after acute deletion of A20 and Abin-1 in IECs. A20- and Abin-1–deficient IECs were sensitized to TNF-independent, TNFR1-mediated death in response to lymphotoxin α (LTα) homotrimers. Blockade of LTα in vivo reduced weight loss and improved survival when combined with partial deletion of MyD88. Biopsies of inflamed colon mucosa from patients with IBD exhibited increased LTA and IL1B expression, including a subset of patients with active colitis on anti-TNF therapy. These data show that microbial signals, MyD88, and LTα all contribute to TNF-independent intestinal injury.
Iulia Rusu, Elvira Mennillo, Jared L. Bain, Zhongmei Li, Xiaofei Sun, Kimberly M. Ly, Yenny Y. Rosli, Mohammad Naser, Zunqiu Wang, Rommel Advincula, Philip Achacoso, Ling Shao, Bahram Razani, Ophir D. Klein, Alexander Marson, Jessie A. Turnbaugh, Peter J. Turnbaugh, Barbara A. Malynn, Averil Ma, Michael G. Kattah
Variants in the UNC45A cochaperone have been recently associated with a syndrome combining diarrhea, cholestasis, deafness, and bone fragility. Yet the mechanism underlying intestinal failure in UNC45A deficiency remains unclear. Here, biallelic variants in UNC45A were identified by next-generation sequencing in 6 patients with congenital diarrhea. Corroborating in silico prediction, variants either abolished UNC45A expression or altered protein conformation. Myosin VB was identified by mass spectrometry as client of the UNC45A chaperone and was found misfolded in UNC45AKO Caco-2 cells. In keeping with impaired myosin VB function, UNC45AKO Caco-2 cells showed abnormal epithelial morphogenesis that was restored by full-length UNC45A, but not by mutant alleles. Patients and UNC45AKO 3D organoids displayed altered luminal development and microvillus inclusions, while 2D cultures revealed Rab11 and apical transporter mislocalization as well as sparse and disorganized microvilli. All those features resembled the subcellular abnormalities observed in duodenal biopsies from patients with microvillus inclusion disease. Finally, microvillus inclusions and shortened microvilli were evidenced in enterocytes from unc45a-deficient zebrafish. Taken together, our results provide evidence that UNC45A plays an essential role in epithelial morphogenesis through its cochaperone function of myosin VB and that UNC45A loss causes a variant of microvillus inclusion disease.
Rémi Duclaux-Loras, Corinne Lebreton, Jérémy Berthelet, Fabienne Charbit-Henrion, Ophelie Nicolle, Céline Revenu de Courtils, Stephanie Waich, Taras Valovka, Anis Khiat, Marion Rabant, Caroline Racine, Ida Chiara Guerrera, Júlia Baptista, Maxime M. Mahe, Michael W. Hess, Béatrice Durel, Nathalie Lefort, Céline Banal, Mélanie Parisot, Cecile Talbotec, Florence Lacaille, Emmanuelle Ecochard-Dugelay, Arzu Meltem Demir, Georg F. Vogel, Laurence Faivre, Astor Rodrigues, Darren Fowler, Andreas R. Janecke, Thomas Müller, Lukas A. Huber, Fernando Rodrigues-Lima, Frank M. Ruemmele, Holm H. Uhlig, Filippo Del Bene, Grégoire Michaux, Nadine Cerf-Bensussan, Marianna Parlato
Prostate cancer exerts a greater toll on African American men than on White men of European descent (hereafter referred to as European American men): the disparity in incidence and mortality is greater than that of any other common cancer. The disproportionate impact of prostate cancer on Black men has been attributed to the genetics of African ancestry, to diet and lifestyle risk factors, and to unequal access to quality health care. In this Review, all of these influences are considered in the context of the evolving understanding that chronic or recurrent inflammatory processes drive prostatic carcinogenesis. Studies of inherited susceptibility highlight the contributions of genes involved in prostate cell and tissue repair (BRCA1/2, ATM) and regeneration (HOXB13 and MYC). Social determinants of health appear to accentuate these genetic influences by fueling prostate inflammation and associated cell and genome damage. Molecular characterization of the prostate cancers that arise in Black versus White men further implicates this inflammatory microenvironment in disease behavior. Yet, when Black and White men with similar grade and stage of prostate cancer are treated equally, they exhibit equivalent outcomes. The central role of prostate inflammation in prostate cancer development and progression augments the impact of the social determinants of health on disease pathogenesis. And, when coupled with poorer access to high-quality treatment, these inequities result in a disparate burden of prostate cancer on African American men.
William G. Nelson, Otis W. Brawley, William B. Isaacs, Elizabeth A. Platz, Srinivasan Yegnasubramanian, Karen S. Sfanos, Tamara L. Lotan, Angelo M. De Marzo
BACKGROUND The heterogeneity of tinnitus is thought to underlie the lack of objective diagnostic measures.METHODS Longitudinal data from 20,349 participants of the Swedish Longitudinal Occupational Survey of Health (SLOSH) cohort from 2008 to 2018 were used to understand the dynamics of transition between occasional and constant tinnitus. The second part of the study included electrophysiological data from 405 participants of the Swedish Tinnitus Outreach Project (STOP) cohort.RESULTS We determined that with increasing frequency of the occasional perception of self-reported tinnitus, the odds of reporting constant tinnitus after 2 years increases from 5.62 (95% CI, 4.83–6.55) for previous tinnitus (sometimes) to 29.74 (4.82–6.55) for previous tinnitus (often). When previous tinnitus was reported to be constant, the odds of reporting it as constant after 2 years rose to 603.02 (524.74–692.98), suggesting that once transitioned to constant tinnitus, the likelihood of tinnitus to persist was much greater. Auditory brain stem responses (ABRs) from subjects reporting nontinnitus (controls), occasional tinnitus, and constant tinnitus show that wave V latency increased in constant tinnitus when compared with occasional tinnitus or nontinnitus. The ABR from occasional tinnitus was indistinguishable from that of the nontinnitus controls.CONCLUSIONS Our results support the hypothesis that the transition from occasional to constant tinnitus is accompanied by neuronal changes in the midbrain leading to a persisting tinnitus, which is then less likely to remit.FUNDING This study was supported by the GENDER-Net Co-Plus Fund (GNP-182), the European Union’s Horizon 2020 grants no. 848261 (Unification of Treatments and Interventions for Tinnitus [UNITI]) and no. 722046 (European School for Interdisciplinary Tinnitus Research [ESIT]).
Niklas K. Edvall, Golbarg Mehraei, Martin Claeson, Andra Lazar, Jan Bulla, Constanze Leineweber, Inger Uhlén, Barbara Canlon, Christopher R. Cederroth
Dysfunction of protein trafficking has been intensively associated with neurological diseases, including neurodegeneration, but whether and how protein transport contributes to oligodendrocyte (OL) maturation and myelin repair in white matter injury remains unclear. ER-to-Golgi trafficking of newly synthesized proteins is mediated by coat protein complex II (COPII). Here, we demonstrate that the COPII component Sec13 was essential for OL differentiation and postnatal myelination. Ablation of Sec13 in the OL lineage prevented OPC differentiation and inhibited myelination and remyelination after demyelinating injury in the central nervous system (CNS), while improving protein trafficking by tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) or ectopic expression of COPII components accelerated myelination. COPII components were upregulated in OL lineage cells after demyelinating injury. Loss of Sec13 altered the secretome of OLs and inhibited the secretion of pleiotrophin (PTN), which was found to function as an autocrine factor to promote OL differentiation and myelin repair. These data suggest that Sec13-dependent protein transport is essential for OL differentiation and that Sec13-mediated PTN autocrine signaling is required for proper myelination and remyelination.
Zhixiong Liu, Minbiao Yan, Wanying Lei, Rencai Jiang, Wenxiu Dai, Jialin Chen, Chaomeng Wang, Li Li, Mei Wu, Ximing Nian, Daopeng Li, Di Sun, Xiaoqi Lv, Chaoying Wang, Changchuan Xie, Luming Yao, Caiming Wu, Jin Hu, Naian Xiao, Wei Mo, Zhanxiang Wang, Liang Zhang
The importance of the microbiota in the development of colorectal cancer (CRC) is increasingly evident, but identifying specific microbial features that influence CRC initiation and progression remains a central task for investigators. Studies determining the microbial mechanisms that directly contribute to CRC development or progression are revealing bacterial factors such as toxins that contribute to colorectal carcinogenesis. However, even when investigators have identified bacteria that express toxins, questions remain about the host determinants of a toxin’s cancer-potentiating effects. For other cancer-correlating bacteria that lack toxins, the challenge is to define cancer-relevant virulence factors. Herein, we evaluate three CRC-correlating bacteria, colibactin-producing Escherichia coli, enterotoxigenic Bacteroides fragilis, and Fusobacterium nucleatum, for their virulence features relevant to CRC. We also consider the beneficial bioactivity of gut microbes by highlighting a microbial metabolite that may enhance CRC antitumor immunity. In doing so, we aim to elucidate unique and shared mechanisms underlying the microbiota’s contributions to CRC and to accelerate investigation from target validation to CRC therapeutic discovery.
Slater L. Clay, Diogo Fonseca-Pereira, Wendy S. Garrett
Collagens in the extracellular matrix (ECM) provide a physical barrier to tumor immune infiltration, while also acting as a ligand for immune inhibitory receptors. Transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) is a key contributor to shaping the ECM by stimulating the production and remodeling of collagens. TGF-β activation signatures and collagen-rich environments have both been associated with T cell exclusion and lack of responses to immunotherapy. Here, we describe the effect of targeting collagens that signal through the inhibitory leukocyte-associated immunoglobulin-like receptor-1 (LAIR-1) in combination with blockade of TGF-β and programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1). This approach remodeled the tumor collagenous matrix, enhanced tumor infiltration and activation of CD8+ T cells, and repolarized suppressive macrophage populations, resulting in high cure rates and long-term tumor-specific protection across murine models of colon and mammary carcinoma. The results highlight the advantage of direct targeting of ECM components in combination with immune checkpoint blockade therapy.
Lucas A. Horn, Paul L. Chariou, Sofia R. Gameiro, Haiyan Qin, Masafumi Iida, Kristen Fousek, Thomas J. Meyer, Margaret Cam, Dallas Flies, Solomon Langermann, Jeffrey Schlom, Claudia Palena
The functional integrity of CD8+ T cells is tightly coupled to metabolic reprogramming, but how oxidative stress directs CD8+ T cell metabolic fitness in the tumor microenvironment (TME) remains elusive. Here, we report that SUMO-specific protease 7 (SENP7) senses oxidative stress to maintain the CD8+ T cell metabolic state and antitumor functions. SENP7-deficient CD8+ T cells exhibited decreased glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation, resulting in attenuated proliferation in vitro and dampened antitumor functions in vivo. Mechanistically, CD8+ T cell–derived ROS triggered cytosolic SENP7–mediated PTEN deSUMOylation, thereby promoting PTEN degradation and preventing PTEN-dependent metabolic defects. Importantly, lowering T cell–intrinsic ROS restricted SENP7 cytosolic translocation and repressed CD8+ T cell metabolic and functional activity in human colorectal cancer samples. Our findings reveal that SENP7, as an oxidative stress sensor, sustains CD8+ T cell metabolic fitness and effector functions and unveil an oxidative stress–sensing machinery in tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells.
Zhongqiu Wu, Haiyan Huang, Qiaoqiao Han, Zhilin Hu, Xiao-Lu Teng, Rui Ding, Youqiong Ye, Xiaoyan Yu, Ren Zhao, Zhengting Wang, Qiang Zou
Interleukin-10 (IL-10) is an immunosuppressive cytokine that signals through STAT3 to regulate T follicular helper (Tfh) cell differentiation and germinal center formation. In SIV-infected macaques, levels of IL-10 in plasma and lymph nodes (LNs) were induced by infection and not normalized with antiretroviral therapy (ART). During chronic infection, plasma IL-10 and transcriptomic signatures of IL-10 signaling were correlated with the cell-associated SIV-DNA content within LN CD4+ memory subsets, including Tfh cells, and predicted the frequency of CD4+ Tfh cells and their cell-associated SIV-DNA content during ART, respectively. In ART-treated rhesus macaques, cells harboring SIV-DNA by DNAscope were preferentially found in the LN B cell follicle in proximity to IL-10. Finally, we demonstrated that the in vivo neutralization of soluble IL-10 in ART-treated, SIV-infected macaques reduced B cell follicle maintenance and, by extension, LN memory CD4+ T cells, including Tfh cells and those expressing PD-1 and CTLA-4. Thus, these data support a role for IL-10 in maintaining a pool of target cells in lymphoid tissue that serve as a niche for viral persistence. Targeting IL-10 signaling to impair CD4+ T cell survival and improve antiviral immune responses may represent a novel approach to limit viral persistence in ART-suppressed people living with HIV.
Justin Harper, Susan P. Ribeiro, Chi Ngai Chan, Malika Aid, Claire Deleage, Luca Micci, Maria Pino, Barbara Cervasi, Gopalan Raghunathan, Eric Rimmer, Gulesi Ayanoglu, Guoxin Wu, Neeta Shenvi, Richard J.O. Barnard, Gregory Q. Del Prete, Kathleen Busman-Sahay, Guido Silvestri, Deanna A. Kulpa, Steven E. Bosinger, Kirk A. Easley, Bonnie J. Howell, Dan Gorman, Daria J. Hazuda, Jacob D. Estes, Rafick-Pierre Sekaly, Mirko Paiardini
Peanut oral immunotherapy (OIT) was recently approved by the US FDA. However, not all patients respond to OIT, and there is a high likelihood of regaining sensitization to peanuts after cessation of treatment. It is important, therefore, to identify biomarkers that impact and predict OIT outcomes. In this issue of the JCI, Monian, Tu, and colleagues describe distinct subsets of peanut-reactive CD4+ Th cell phenotypes and gene signatures with relevance to OIT outcomes using single-cell RNA-Seq and paired T cell receptor (TCR) α/β sequencing. The insights obtained will inform the development of therapeutics that target these Th cell phenotypes or deplete peanut-specific Th2 cells to achieve sustained nonresponsiveness in food allergy.
Shijie Cao, Cathryn R. Nagler
George Kunos, Tony Jourdan, Joseph Tam
In hypertrophied and failing hearts, fuel metabolism is reprogrammed to increase glucose metabolism, especially glycolysis. This metabolic shift favors biosynthetic function at the expense of ATP production. Mechanisms responsible for the switch are poorly understood. We found that inhibitory factor 1 of the mitochondrial FoF1-ATP synthase (ATPIF1), a protein known to inhibit ATP hydrolysis by the reverse function of ATP synthase during ischemia, was significantly upregulated in pathological cardiac hypertrophy induced by pressure overload, myocardial infarction, or α-adrenergic stimulation. Chemical cross-linking mass spectrometry analysis of hearts hypertrophied by pressure overload suggested that increased expression of ATPIF1 promoted the formation of FoF1-ATP synthase nonproductive tetramer. Using ATPIF1 gain- and loss-of-function cell models, we demonstrated that stalled electron flow due to impaired ATP synthase activity triggered mitochondrial ROS generation, which stabilized HIF1α, leading to transcriptional activation of glycolysis. Cardiac-specific deletion of ATPIF1 in mice prevented the metabolic switch and protected against the pathological remodeling during chronic stress. These results uncover a function of ATPIF1 in nonischemic hearts, which gives FoF1-ATP synthase a critical role in metabolic rewiring during the pathological remodeling of the heart.
Bo Zhou, Arianne Caudal, Xiaoting Tang, Juan D. Chavez, Timothy S. McMillen, Andrew Keller, Outi Villet, Mingyue Zhao, Yaxin Liu, Julia Ritterhoff, Pei Wang, Stephen C. Kolwicz Jr., Wang Wang, James E. Bruce, Rong Tian
Sophie Lotersztajn, Ariane Mallat
The striatin-interacting phosphatase and kinase (STRIPAK) complexes integrate extracellular stimuli that result in intracellular activities. Previously, we discovered that STRIPAK is a key machinery responsible for loss of the Hippo tumor suppressor signal in cancer. Here, we identified the Hippo-STRIPAK complex as an essential player in the control of DNA double-stranded break (DSB) repair and genomic stability. Specifically, we found that the mammalian STE20-like protein kinases 1 and 2 (MST1/2), independent of classical Hippo signaling, directly phosphorylated zinc finger MYND type–containing 8 (ZMYND8) and hence resulted in the suppression of DNA repair in the nucleus. In response to genotoxic stress, the cyclic GMP-AMP synthase/stimulator of IFN genes (cGAS/STING) pathway was determined to relay nuclear DNA damage signals to the dynamic assembly of Hippo-STRIPAK via TANK-binding kinase 1–induced (TBK1-induced) structural stabilization of the suppressor of IKBKE 1– sarcolemma membrane–associated protein (SIKE1-SLMAP) arm. As such, we found that STRIPAK-mediated MST1/2 inactivation increased the DSB repair capacity of cancer cells and endowed these cells with resistance to radio- and chemotherapy and poly(ADP-ribose)polymerase (PARP) inhibition. Importantly, targeting the STRIPAK assembly with each of 3 distinct peptide inhibitors efficiently recovered the kinase activity of MST1/2 to suppress DNA repair and resensitize cancer cells to PARP inhibitors in both animal- and patient-derived tumor models. Overall, our findings not only uncover what we believe to be a previously unrecognized role for STRIPAK in modulating DSB repair but also provide translational implications of cotargeting STRIPAK and PARP for a new type of synthetic lethality anticancer therapy.
Liwei An, Zhifa Cao, Pingping Nie, Hui Zhang, Zhenzhu Tong, Fan Chen, Yang Tang, Yi Han, Wenjia Wang, Zhangting Zhao, Qingya Zhao, Yuqin Yang, Yuanzhi Xu, Gemin Fang, Lei Shi, Huixiong Xu, Haiqing Ma, Shi Jiao, Zhaocai Zhou
BACKGROUND Presbyosmia, or aging-related olfactory loss, occurs in a majority of humans over age 65 years, yet remains poorly understood, with no specific treatment options. The olfactory epithelium (OE) is the peripheral organ for olfaction and is subject to acquired damage, suggesting a likely site of pathology in aging. Adult stem cells reconstitute the neuroepithelium in response to cell loss under normal conditions. In aged OE, patches of respiratory-like metaplasia have been observed histologically, consistent with a failure in normal neuroepithelial homeostasis.Methods Accordingly, we have focused on identifying cellular and molecular changes in presbyosmic OE. The study combined psychophysical testing with olfactory mucosa biopsy analysis, single-cell RNA-Sequencing (scRNA-Seq), and culture studies.Results We identified evidence for inflammation-associated changes in the OE stem cells of presbyosmic patients. The presbyosmic basal stem cells exhibited increased expression of genes involved in response to cytokines or stress or the regulation of proliferation and differentiation. Using a culture model, we found that cytokine exposure drove increased TP63, a transcription factor acting to prevent OE stem cell differentiation.Conclusions Our data suggest aging-related inflammatory changes in OE stem cells may contribute to presbyosmia via the disruption of normal epithelial homeostasis. OE stem cells may represent a therapeutic target for restoration of olfaction.Funding NIH grants DC018371, NS121067, DC016224; Office of Physician-Scientist Development, Burroughs-Wellcome Fund Research Fellowship for Medical Students Award, Duke University School of Medicine.
Allison D. Oliva, Rupali Gupta, Khalil Issa, Ralph Abi Hachem, David W. Jang, Sebastian A. Wellford, E. Ashley Moseman, Hiroaki Matsunami, Bradley J. Goldstein
BACKGROUND The KRAS proto-oncogene is among the most frequently mutated genes in cancer, yet for 40 years it remained an elusive therapeutic target. Recently, allosteric inhibitors that covalently bind to KRAS G12C mutations have been approved for use in lung adenocarcinomas. Although responses are observed, they are often short-lived, thus making in-depth characterization of the mechanisms of resistance of paramount importance.METHODS Here, we present a rapid-autopsy case of a patient who had a KRASG12C-mutant lung adenocarcinoma who initially responded to a KRAS G12C inhibitor but then rapidly developed resistance. Using deep-RNA and whole-exome sequencing comparing pretreatment, posttreatment, and matched normal tissues, we uncover numerous mechanisms of resistance to direct KRAS inhibition.RESULTS In addition to decreased KRAS G12C–mutant allele frequency in refractory tumors, we also found reactivation of the MAPK pathway despite no new mutations in KRAS or its downstream mediators. Tumor cell–intrinsic and non–cell autonomous mechanisms included increased complement activation, coagulation, and tumor angiogenesis, and several lines of evidence of immunologic evasion.CONCLUSION Together, our findings reveal numerous mechanisms of resistance to current KRAS G12C inhibitors through enrichment of clonal populations, KRAS-independent downstream signaling, and diverse remodeling of the tumor microenvironment.FUNDING Richard and Fran Duley, Jimmy and Kay Mann, the NIH, and the North Carolina Biotechnology Center.
Yihsuan S. Tsai, Mark G. Woodcock, Salma H. Azam, Leigh B. Thorne, Krishna L. Kanchi, Joel S. Parker, Benjamin G. Vincent, Chad V. Pecot
The rising incidence of food allergy in children underscores the importance of environmental exposures; however, genetic factors play a major role. How the environment and genetics interact to cause food allergy remains unclear. The landmark Learning Early About Peanut Allergy (LEAP) clinical trial established that early peanut introduction protects high-risk infants, consistent with the tolerizing effects of gut exposure. In this issue of the JCI, Kanchan et al. leveraged the LEAP trial data to examine molecular genetic mechanisms of early sensitization. A previously identified HLA risk allele for peanut allergy (DQA1*01:02) was associated with peanut-specific IgG4 levels in consumers. Notably, IgG4 antibodies likely provide protection by reducing the binding of allergen to IgE. The association of the same allele with peanut allergy in avoiders while potentially conferring protection in consumers reinforces the need to integrate genetic information toward a personalized therapeutic strategy for the best outcome in addressing food allergies.
Monali Manohar, Kari Christine Nadeau, Maya Kasowski
A disequilibrium between immunosuppressive Tregs and inflammatory IL-17–producing Th17 cells is a hallmark of autoimmune diseases, including multiple sclerosis (MS). However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the Treg and Th17 imbalance in CNS autoimmunity remain largely unclear. Identifying the factors that drive this imbalance is of high clinical interest. Here, we report a major disease-promoting role for microRNA-92a (miR-92a) in CNS autoimmunity. miR-92a was elevated in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), and its loss attenuated EAE. Mechanistically, miR-92a mediated EAE susceptibility in a T cell–intrinsic manner by restricting Treg induction and suppressive capacity, while supporting Th17 responses, by directly repressing the transcription factor Foxo1. Although miR-92a did not directly alter Th1 differentiation, it appeared to indirectly promote Th1 cells by inhibiting Treg responses. Correspondingly, miR-92a inhibitor therapy ameliorated EAE by concomitantly boosting Treg responses and dampening inflammatory T cell responses. Analogous to our findings in mice, miR-92a was elevated in CD4+ T cells from patients with MS, and miR-92a silencing in patients’ T cells promoted Treg development but limited Th17 differentiation. Together, our results demonstrate that miR-92a drives CNS autoimmunity by sustaining the Treg/Th17 imbalance and implicate miR-92a as a potential therapeutic target for MS.
Mai Fujiwara, Radhika Raheja, Lucien P. Garo, Amrendra K. Ajay, Ryoko Kadowaki-Saga, Sukrut H. Karandikar, Galina Gabriely, Rajesh Krishnan, Vanessa Beynon, Anu Paul, Amee Patel, Shrishti Saxena, Dan Hu, Brian C. Healy, Tanuja Chitnis, Roopali Gandhi, Howard L. Weiner, Gopal Murugaiyan
The gut microbiome is at the center of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) pathogenesis and disease activity. While this has mainly been studied in the context of the bacterial microbiome, recent advances have provided tools for the study of host genetics and metagenomics of host-fungal interaction. Through these tools, strong evidence has emerged linking certain fungal taxa, such as Candida and Malassezia, with cellular and molecular pathways of IBD disease biology. Mouse models and human fecal microbial transplant also suggest that some disease-participatory bacteria and fungi may act not via the host directly, but via their fungal-bacterial ecologic interactions. We hope that these insights, and the study design and multi-omics strategies used to develop them, will facilitate the inclusion of the fungal community in basic and translational IBD research.
David M. Underhill, Jonathan Braun
Tuberculous meningitis (TB meningitis) is the most severe form of tuberculosis (TB), requiring 12 months of multidrug treatment for cure, and is associated with high morbidity and mortality. High-dose rifampin (35 mg/kg/d) is safe and improves the bactericidal activity of the standard-dose (10 mg/kg/d) rifampin-containing TB regimen in pulmonary TB. However, there are conflicting clinical data regarding its benefit for TB meningitis, where outcomes may also be associated with intracerebral inflammation. We conducted cross-species studies in mice and rabbits, demonstrating that an intensified high-dose rifampin-containing regimen has significantly improved bactericidal activity for TB meningitis over the first-line, standard-dose rifampin regimen, without an increase in intracerebral inflammation. Positron emission tomography in live animals demonstrated spatially compartmentalized, lesion-specific pathology, with postmortem analyses showing discordant brain tissue and cerebrospinal fluid rifampin levels and inflammatory markers. Longitudinal multimodal imaging in the same cohort of animals during TB treatment as well as imaging studies in two cohorts of TB patients demonstrated that spatiotemporal changes in localized blood-brain barrier disruption in TB meningitis are an important driver of rifampin brain exposure. These data provide unique insights into the mechanisms underlying high-dose rifampin in TB meningitis with important implications for developing new antibiotic treatments for infections.
Camilo A. Ruiz-Bedoya, Filipa Mota, Elizabeth W. Tucker, Farina J. Mahmud, Maria I. Reyes-Mantilla, Clara Erice, Melissa Bahr, Kelly Flavahan, Patricia de Jesus, John Kim, Catherine A. Foss, Charles A. Peloquin, Dima A. Hammoud, Alvaro A. Ordonez, Carlos A. Pardo, Sanjay K. Jain
Background Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is a neurogenetic syndrome due to loss-of-function mutations in TSC2 or TSC1, characterized by tumors at multiple body sites, including facial angiofibroma (FAF). Here, an ultrasensitive assessment of the extent and range of UV-induced mutations in TSC facial skin was performed.Methods A multiplex high-sensitivity PCR assay (MHPA) was developed, enabling mutation detection at extremely low (<0.1%) variant allele frequencies (VAFs).Results MHPA assays were developed for both TSC2 and TP53, and applied to 81 samples, including 66 skin biopsies. UV-induced second-hit mutation causing inactivation of TSC2 was pervasive in TSC facial skin with an average of 4.8 mutations per 2-mm biopsy at median VAF 0.08%, generating more than 150,000 incipient facial tumors (subclinical “micro-FAFs”) in the average TSC subject. The MHPA analysis also led to the identification of a refined UV-related indel signature and a recurrent complex mutation pattern, consisting of both a single-nucleotide or dinucleotide variant and a 1- to 9-nucleotide deletion, in cis.Conclusion TSC facial skin can be viewed as harboring a patchwork of clonal fibroblast proliferations (micro-FAFs) with indolent growth, a small proportion of which develop into clinically observable FAF. Our observations also expand the spectrum of UV-related mutation signatures.Funding This work was supported by the TSC Alliance; the Engles Family Fund for Research in TSC and LAM; and the NIH, National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute (U01HL131022-04 and Intramural Research Program).
Katarzyna Klonowska, Joannes M. Grevelink, Krinio Giannikou, Barbara A. Ogorek, Zachary T. Herbert, Aaron R. Thorner, Thomas N. Darling, Joel Moss, David J. Kwiatkowski
Patients with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) have increased vascular disease. While protein-bound molecules that escape hemodialysis may contribute to uremic toxicity, specific contributing toxins remain ambiguous. In this issue of the JCI, Arinze et al. explore the role of tryptophan metabolites in chronic kidney disease–associated (CKD-associated) peripheral arterial disease. The authors used mouse and zebrafish models to show that circulating indoxyl sulfate (IS) blocked endothelial Wnt signaling, which impaired angiogenesis. Plasma levels of IS and other tryptophan metabolites correlated with adverse peripheral vascular disease events in humans. These findings suggest that lowering IS may benefit individuals with CKD and ESKD.
Anders H. Berg, Sanjeev Kumar, S. Ananth Karumanchi
IL-4– and IL-13–driven epithelial cell expression of 15 lipoxygenase 1 (15LO1) is a consistent feature of eosinophil-dominated asthma known as type 2–high (T2-high) asthma. The abundant soluble products of arachidonic acid (AA) metabolized by 15LO1 reflect a high level of enzymatic activity in asthma and chronic rhinosinusitis. However, the precise role of 15LO1 and its products in disease pathogenesis remains enigmatic. In this issue of the JCI, Nagasaki and colleagues demonstrate a role for 15LO1 in controlling redox balance and epithelial homeostasis in T2-high asthma by metabolizing AA that is esterified to membrane phospholipids. The findings may pave the way toward the development of 15LO1 inhibitors as asthma treatments.
Joshua A. Boyce
Kidney function decreases with age and may soon limit millions of lives as the proportion of the population over 70 years of age increases. Glycogen synthase kinase 3β (GSK3β) is involved with metabolism and may have a role in kidney senescence, positioning it as a target for complications from chronic kidney disease. However, different studies suggest GSK3 has contrasting effects. In this issue of the JCI, Fang et al. explored the function of GSK3β and the interplay with lithium using human tissue and mouse models. Notably, GSK3β was overexpressed and activated in aging mice, and depleting GSK3β reduced senescence and glomerular aging. In this Commentary, we explore the similarities and differences between Fang et al. and previous findings by Hurcombe et al. These findings should prompt further study of lithium and other GSK3β inhibitors as a means of extending glomerular function in individuals with chronic kidney disease.
Jordan A. Kreidberg, Valerie A. Schumacher
Arthur M. Albuquerque, Carolina B. Santolia, Ashish Verma
Dermatomyositis is an idiopathic inflammatory myopathy with a highly heterogeneous disease course. Although there is a known increase in cancer risk surrounding the time of dermatomyositis diagnosis, the mechanisms driving this increased risk are not well understood. Further, there are no current standardized cancer screening guidelines for dermatomyositis patients. In this issue of the JCI, Fiorentino, Mecoli, et al. discovered additional autoantibodies in patients with dermatomyositis and anti–TIF1-γ autoantibodies, a known risk factor for malignancy. They observed a decreased cancer risk with an increasing number of autoantibodies. Importantly, these findings indicate that more detailed autoantibody phenotyping at diagnosis might better predict cancer risk and also suggest that diversity and kinetics of the host immune response might influence cancer development.
Jessica L. Turnier, J. Michelle Kahlenberg
BACKGROUND Curative gene therapies for sickle cell disease (SCD) are currently undergoing clinical evaluation. The occurrence of myeloid malignancies in these trials has prompted safety concerns. Individuals with SCD are predisposed to myeloid malignancies, but the underlying causes remain undefined. Clonal hematopoiesis (CH) is a premalignant condition that also confers significant predisposition to myeloid cancers. While it has been speculated that CH may play a role in SCD-associated cancer predisposition, limited data addressing this issue have been reported.METHODS Here, we leveraged 74,190 whole-genome sequences to robustly study CH in SCD. Somatic mutation calling methods were used to assess CH in all samples and comparisons between individuals with and without SCD were performed.RESULTS While we had sufficient power to detect a greater than 2-fold increased rate of CH, we found no detectable variation in rate or clone properties between individuals affected by SCD and controls. The rate of CH in individuals with SCD was unaltered by hydroxyurea use.CONCLUSIONS We did not observe an increased risk for acquiring detectable CH in SCD, at least as measured by whole-genome sequencing. These results should help guide ongoing efforts and further studies that seek to better define the risk factors underlying myeloid malignancy predisposition in SCD and help ensure that curative therapies can be more safely applied.FUNDING New York Stem Cell Foundation and the NIH.
L. Alexander Liggett, Liam D. Cato, Joshua S. Weinstock, Yingze Zhang, S. Mehdi Nouraie, Mark T. Gladwin, Melanie E. Garrett, Allison Ashley-Koch, Marilyn J. Telen, Brian Custer, Shannon Kelly, Carla L. Dinardo, Ester C. Sabino, Paula Loureiro, Anna B. Carneiro-Proietti, Cláudia Maximo, NHLBI Trans-Omics for Precision Medicine (TOPMed) Consortium, Alexander P. Reiner, Gonçalo R. Abecasis, David A. Williams, Pradeep Natarajan, Alexander G. Bick, Vijay G. Sankaran
Proliferation of latently infected CD4+ T cells with replication-competent proviruses is an important mechanism contributing to HIV persistence during antiretroviral therapy (ART). One approach to targeting this latent cell expansion is to inhibit mTOR, a regulatory kinase involved with cell growth, metabolism, and proliferation. Here, we determined the effects of chronic mTOR inhibition with rapamycin with or without T cell activation in SIV-infected rhesus macaques (RMs) on ART. Rapamycin perturbed the expression of multiple genes and signaling pathways important for cellular proliferation and substantially decreased the frequency of proliferating CD4+ memory T cells (TM cells) in blood and tissues. However, levels of cell-associated SIV DNA and SIV RNA were not markedly different between rapamycin-treated RMs and controls during ART. T cell activation with an anti-CD3LALA antibody induced increases in SIV RNA in plasma of RMs on rapamycin, consistent with SIV production. However, upon ART cessation, both rapamycin and CD3LALA–treated and control-treated RMs rebounded in less than 12 days, with no difference in the time to viral rebound or post-ART viral load set points. These results indicate that, while rapamycin can decrease the proliferation of CD4+ TM cells, chronic mTOR inhibition alone or in combination with T cell activation was not sufficient to disrupt the stability of the SIV reservoir.
Benjamin D. Varco-Merth, William Brantley, Alejandra Marenco, Derick D. Duell, Devin N. Fachko, Brian Richardson, Kathleen Busman-Sahay, Danica Shao, Walter Flores, Kathleen Engelman, Yoshinori Fukazawa, Scott W. Wong, Rebecca L. Skalsky, Jeremy Smedley, Michael K. Axthelm, Jeffrey D. Lifson, Jacob D. Estes, Paul T. Edlefsen, Louis J. Picker, Cheryl M.A. Cameron, Timothy J. Henrich, Afam A. Okoye
Recent studies have shown that vaccinated individuals harbor T cells that can cross-recognize SARS-CoV-2 and endemic human common cold coronaviruses. However, it is still unknown whether CD4+ T cells from vaccinated individuals recognize peptides from bat coronaviruses that may have the potential of causing future pandemics. In this study, we identified a SARS-CoV-2 spike protein epitope (S815-827) that is conserved in coronaviruses from different genera and subgenera, including SARS-CoV, MERS-CoV, multiple bat coronaviruses, and a feline coronavirus. Our results showed that S815-827 was recognized by 42% of vaccinated participants in our study who received the Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2) or Moderna (mRNA-1273) COVID-19 vaccines. Using T cell expansion and T cell receptor sequencing assays, we demonstrated that S815-827-reactive CD4+ T cells from the majority of responders cross-recognized homologous peptides from at least 6 other diverse coronaviruses. Our results support the hypothesis that the current mRNA vaccines elicit T cell responses that can cross-recognize bat coronaviruses and thus might induce some protection against potential zoonotic outbreaks. Furthermore, our data provide important insights that inform the development of T cell–based pan-coronavirus vaccine strategies.
Bezawit A. Woldemeskel, Arbor G. Dykema, Caroline C. Garliss, Saphira Cherfils, Kellie N. Smith, Joel N. Blankson
Loss-of-function mutations in SKIV2L underlie trichohepatoenteric syndrome (THES2), a rare inborn error of immunity characterized by diarrhea, skin lesions, brittle hair, and immunodeficiency. SKIV2L is part of a multiprotein complex required for exosome-mediated RNA surveillance through RNA decay. In this issue of the JCI, Yang et al. delineate a mechanism underlying autoinflammatory skin disease in Skiv2l-deficient mice. Thus, a lack of SKIV2L activates mTORC1 signaling in keratinocytes and T cells, impeding skin barrier integrity and T cell homeostasis. Interestingly, treatment with the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin improves skin symptoms in Skiv2l-deficient mice, suggesting a possible therapeutic avenue for patients with THES2.
Min Ae Lee-Kirsch
Background Myotonic dystrophy type 1 (DM1) is a complex life-limiting neuromuscular disorder characterized by severe skeletal muscle atrophy, weakness, and cardiorespiratory defects. Exercised DM1 mice exhibit numerous physiological benefits that are underpinned by reduced CUG foci and improved alternative splicing. However, the efficacy of physical activity in patients is unknown.Methods Eleven genetically diagnosed DM1 patients were recruited to examine the extent to which 12 weeks of cycling can recuperate clinical and physiological metrics. Furthermore, we studied the underlying molecular mechanisms through which exercise elicits benefits in skeletal muscle of DM1 patients.RESULTS DM1 was associated with impaired muscle function, fitness, and lung capacity. Cycling evoked several clinical, physical, and metabolic advantages in DM1 patients. We highlight that exercise-induced molecular and cellular alterations in patients do not conform with previously published data in murine models and propose a significant role of mitochondrial function in DM1 pathology. Finally, we discovered a subset of small nucleolar RNAs (snoRNAs) that correlated to indicators of disease severity.Conclusion With no available cures, our data support the efficacy of exercise as a primary intervention to partially mitigate the clinical progression of DM1. Additionally, we provide evidence for the involvement of snoRNAs and other noncoding RNAs in DM1 pathophysiology.Trial registration This trial was approved by the HiREB committee (no. 7901) and registered under ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT04187482).Funding Neil and Leanne Petroff. Canadian Institutes of Health Research Foundation (no. 143325).
Andrew I. Mikhail, Peter L. Nagy, Katherine Manta, Nicholas Rouse, Alexander Manta, Sean Y. Ng, Michael F. Nagy, Paul Smith, Jian-Qiang Lu, Joshua P. Nederveen, Vladimir Ljubicic, Mark A. Tarnopolsky
The COVID-19 pandemic has elevated mRNA vaccines to global recognition due to their unprecedented success rate in protecting against a deadly virus. This international success is underscored by the remarkable versatility, favorable immunogenicity, and overall safety of the mRNA platform in diverse populations. Although mRNA vaccines have been studied in preclinical models and patients with cancer for almost three decades, development has been slow. The recent technological advances responsible for the COVID-19 vaccines have potential implications for successfully adapting this vaccine platform for cancer therapeutics. Here we discuss the lessons learned along with the chemical, biologic, and immunologic adaptations needed to optimize mRNA technology to successfully treat cancers.
Amanda L. Huff, Elizabeth M. Jaffee, Neeha Zaidi
BACKGROUND Multiple islet autoantibodies (AAbs) predict the development of type 1 diabetes (T1D) and hyperglycemia within 10 years. By contrast, T1D develops in only approximately 15% of individuals who are positive for single AAbs (generally against glutamic acid decarboxylase [GADA]); hence, the single GADA+ state may represent an early stage of T1D.METHODS Here, we functionally, histologically, and molecularly phenotyped human islets from nondiabetic GADA+ and T1D donors.RESULTS Similar to the few remaining β cells in the T1D islets, GADA+ donor islets demonstrated a preserved insulin secretory response. By contrast, α cell glucagon secretion was dysregulated in both GADA+ and T1D islets, with impaired glucose suppression of glucagon secretion. Single-cell RNA-Seq of GADA+ α cells revealed distinct abnormalities in glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation pathways and a marked downregulation of cAMP-dependent protein kinase inhibitor β (PKIB), providing a molecular basis for the loss of glucose suppression and the increased effect of 3-isobutyl-1-methylxanthine (IBMX) observed in GADA+ donor islets.CONCLUSION We found that α cell dysfunction was present during the early stages of islet autoimmunity at a time when β cell mass was still normal, raising important questions about the role of early α cell dysfunction in the progression of T1D.FUNDING This work was supported by grants from the NIH (3UC4DK112217-01S1, U01DK123594-02, UC4DK112217, UC4DK112232, U01DK123716, and P30 DK019525) and the Vanderbilt Diabetes Research and Training Center (DK20593).
Nicolai M. Doliba, Andrea V. Rozo, Jeffrey Roman, Wei Qin, Daniel Traum, Long Gao, Jinping Liu, Elisabetta Manduchi, Chengyang Liu, Maria L. Golson, Golnaz Vahedi, Ali Naji, Franz M. Matschinsky, Mark A. Atkinson, Alvin C. Powers, Marcela Brissova, Klaus H. Kaestner, Doris A. Stoffers, for the HPAP Consortium
Simeng Wang, Qingzhang Zhu, Guosheng Liang, Tania Franks, Magalie Boucher, Kendra K. Bence, Mingjian Lu, Carlos M. Castorena, Shangang Zhao, Joel K. Elmquist, Philipp E. Scherer, Jay D. Horton
Vascular calcification (VC) causes cardiovascular morbidity and mortality in patients with chronic kidney disease (CKD), particularly those with end-stage kidney disease (ESKD) on maintenance dialysis treatment. Although many mechanisms have been proposed, their detailed effects remain incompletely understood. In this issue of the JCI, Li et al. examined the molecular mechanism of the protective role of SIRT6 in VC in patients with CKD. Using in vitro and animal models of CKD, the authors demonstrated that SIRT6 prevents VC by suppressing the osteogenic transdifferentiation of vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs). Mechanistically, SIRT6 bound and deacetylated the runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2), a key transcription factor for osteogenic differentiation, promoting its nuclear export for proteasome degradation. These studies provide a pathway in the pathogenesis of VC and justify investigating SIRT6 as a potential target in CKD.
Mohamed G. Atta
Food addiction is characterized by a loss of behavioral control over food intake and is associated with obesity and other eating disorders. The mechanisms underlying this behavioral disorder are largely unknown. We aimed to investigate the changes in miRNA expression promoted by food addiction in animals and humans and their involvement in the mechanisms underlying the behavioral hallmarks of this disorder. We found sharp similitudes between miRNA signatures in the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) of our animal cohort and circulating miRNA levels in our human cohort, which allowed us to identify several miRNAs of potential interest in the development of this disorder. Tough decoy (TuD) inhibition of miRNA-29c-3p in the mouse mPFC promoted persistence of the response and enhanced vulnerability to developing food addiction, whereas miRNA-665-3p inhibition promoted compulsion-like behavior and also enhanced food addiction vulnerability. In contrast, we found that miRNA-137-3p inhibition in the mPFC did not lead to the development of food addiction. Therefore, miRNA-29c-3p and miRNA-665-3p could be acting as protective factors with regard to food addiction. We believe the elucidation of these epigenetic mechanisms will lead to advances toward identifying innovative biomarkers and possible future interventions for food addiction and related disorders based on the strategies now available to modify miRNA activity and expression.
Alejandra García-Blanco, Laura Domingo-Rodriguez, Judit Cabana-Domínguez, Noèlia Fernández-Castillo, Laura Pineda-Cirera, Jordi Mayneris-Perxachs, Aurelijus Burokas, Jose Espinosa-Carrasco, Silvia Arboleya, Jessica Latorre, Catherine Stanton, Bru Cormand, Jose-Manuel Fernández-Real, Elena Martín-García, Rafael Maldonado
Cardiac wound healing following ischemic injury requires a well-described spatiotemporal progression of events involving multiple cell types and cell-cell interactions. While cellular crosstalk among immune cell, endothelial cell, and fibroblast populations is known to regulate these progressive phases, the role of cardiac myocytes in controlling the wound-healing program is unclear. In this issue of the JCI, Li et al. describe a mechanism of cellular crosstalk between cardiac myocytes and fibroblasts that disrupts nonmyocyte cell function and worsens wound healing outcomes following myocardial infarction (MI). This tour de force study used an arsenal of multidisciplinary approaches to identify a central role for the ectonucleotidase ENPP1 in this process. These findings have clear therapeutic implications, as the authors identified a small molecular inhibitor of ENPP1 that improved post-MI outcomes in mice. These exciting data provide impactful mechanistic information that advance the field’s understanding of cardiac repair and remodeling.
Logan R.J. Bailey, Jennifer Davis
About 6 million adults in the United States have heart failure, and the mortality five years after diagnosis remains high at approximately 50%. Incomplete understanding of disease pathogenesis limits therapeutics, especially in the case of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction, a condition commonly associated with cardiac hypertrophy. Neutrophils, the most abundant leukocyte in blood, have functions beyond antimicrobial activity and participate in both sterile inflammation and disease; however, their role in nonischemic cardiac hypertrophy and heart failure is underexplored. In this issue of the JCI, Tang et al. show that neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation contributes to cardiac hypertrophy and dysfunction in a mouse model of angiotensin II–induced cardiomyopathy, and that Krüppel-like factor 2 (KLF2) functions in neutrophils to oppose this process. Whether a neutrophil-centered strategy may benefit patients with cardiac hypertrophy and failure deserves further investigation.
Dario F. Riascos-Bernal, Nicholas E.S. Sibinga
Targeted monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapies show great promise for the treatment of transplant rejection and autoimmune diseases by inducing more specific immunomodulatory effects than broadly immunosuppressive drugs routinely used. We recently described the therapeutic advantage of targeting CD45RC, expressed at high levels by conventional T (Tconv) cells (CD45RChi), their precursors, and terminally differentiated T (TEMRA) cells, but not by regulatory T cells (Tregs; CD45RClo/–). We demonstrated efficacy of anti-CD45RC mAb treatment in transplantation, but its potential has not been examined in autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune polyendocrinopathy–candidiasis–ectodermal dystrophy (APECED) is a rare genetic syndrome caused by loss-of-function mutations of autoimmune regulator (AIRE), a key central tolerance mediator, leading to abnormal autoreactive T cell responses and autoantibody production. Herein, we show that, in a rat model of APECED syndrome, anti-CD45RC mAb was effective for both prevention and treatment of autoimmune manifestations and inhibited autoantibody development. Anti-CD45RC mAb intervention depleted CD45RChi T cells, inhibited CD45RChi B cells, and restored the Treg/Tconv cell ratio and the altered Treg transcriptomic profile. In APECED patients, CD45RC was significantly increased in peripheral blood T cells, and lesioned organs from APECED patients were infiltrated by CD45RChi cells. Our observations highlight the potential role for CD45RChi cells in the pathogenesis of experimental and human APECED syndrome and the potential of anti-CD45RC antibody treatment.
Marine Besnard, Céline Sérazin, Jason Ossart, Anne Moreau, Nadège Vimond, Léa Flippe, Hanna Sein, Grace A. Smith, Stefania Pittaluga, Elise M.N. Ferré, Claire Usal, Ignacio Anegon, Annamari Ranki, Michail S. Lionakis, Pärt Peterson, Carole Guillonneau
Many neurodegenerative disorders are caused by abnormal accumulation of misfolded proteins. In spinocerebellar ataxia type 1 (SCA1), accumulation of polyglutamine-expanded (polyQ-expanded) ataxin-1 (ATXN1) causes neuronal toxicity. Lowering total ATXN1, especially the polyQ-expanded form, alleviates disease phenotypes in mice, but the molecular mechanism by which the mutant ATXN1 is specifically modulated is not understood. Here, we identified 22 mutant ATXN1 regulators by performing a cross-species screen of 7787 and 2144 genes in human cells and Drosophila eyes, respectively. Among them, transglutaminase 5 (TG5) preferentially regulated mutant ATXN1 over the WT protein. TG enzymes catalyzed cross-linking of ATXN1 in a polyQ-length–dependent manner, thereby preferentially modulating mutant ATXN1 stability and oligomerization. Perturbing Tg in Drosophila SCA1 models modulated mutant ATXN1 toxicity. Moreover, TG5 was enriched in the nuclei of SCA1-affected neurons and colocalized with nuclear ATXN1 inclusions in brain tissue from patients with SCA1. Our work provides a molecular insight into SCA1 pathogenesis and an opportunity for allele-specific targeting for neurodegenerative disorders.
Won-Seok Lee, Ismael Al-Ramahi, Hyun-Hwan Jeong, Youjin Jang, Tao Lin, Carolyn J. Adamski, Laura A. Lavery, Smruti Rath, Ronald Richman, Vitaliy V. Bondar, Elizabeth Alcala, Jean-Pierre Revelli, Harry T. Orr, Zhandong Liu, Juan Botas, Huda Y. Zoghbi
Sortilin is a glycoprotein mainly known for its role as a trafficking molecule directing proteins to specific secretory or endocytic compartments of the cell. Its actual contribution to essential hypertension has remained hitherto elusive. Combining top-notch in vivo, ex vivo, and in vitro approaches to clinical investigations, Di Pietro et al. explored the signaling pathway evoked by sortilin in endothelial cells and report on such exploration in this issue of the JCI. The researchers identified circulating sortilin as a biomarker associated with high blood pressure. Mechanistically, they demonstrate that sortilin altered sphingolipid/ceramide homeostasis, initiating a signaling cascade that, from sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P), leads to the augmented production of reactive oxygen species. Herein, we discuss the main implications of these findings, and we anticipate some of the potential avenues of investigation prompted by this discovery, which could eventually lead to treatments for cardiometabolic disorders.
Fahimeh Varzideh, Stanislovas S. Jankauskas, Urna Kansakar, Pasquale Mone, Jessica Gambardella, Gaetano Santulli
IL-2 is a pleiotropic cytokine. In this issue of the JCI, Ren et al. report on the development of a low-affinity IL-2 paired with anti–PD-1 (PD-1–laIL-2) that reactivates intratumoral CD8+ T cells, but not CD4+ Treg cells. PD-1–laIL-2 treatment synergized with anti–PD-L1 therapy to overcome tumor resistance to immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) in tumor-bearing mice. Rejection of rechallenged tumors following PD-1–laIL-2 therapy demonstrated the establishment of a potent T cell memory response. Furthermore, PD-1–laIL-2 therapy manifested no obvious toxicity. These findings suggest the potential of PD-1–laIL-2 therapy in treating patients with cancer.
Erin A. Holcomb, Weiping Zou
Shilong Li, Pei Wang, Li Li
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a major cause of cancer mortality worldwide and available therapies, including immunotherapies, are ineffective for many patients. HCC is characterized by intratumoral hypoxia, and increased expression of hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α) in diagnostic biopsies is associated with patient mortality. Here we report the development of 32-134D, a low-molecular-weight compound that effectively inhibits gene expression mediated by HIF-1 and HIF-2 in HCC cells, and blocks human and mouse HCC tumor growth. In immunocompetent mice bearing Hepa1-6 HCC tumors, addition of 32-134D to anti-PD1 therapy increased the rate of tumor eradication from 25% to 67%. Treated mice showed no changes in appearance, behavior, body weight, hemoglobin, or hematocrit. Compound 32-134D altered the expression of a large battery of genes encoding proteins that mediate angiogenesis, glycolytic metabolism, and responses to innate and adaptive immunity. This altered gene expression led to significant changes in the tumor immune microenvironment, including a decreased percentage of tumor-associated macrophages and myeloid-derived suppressor cells, which mediate immune evasion, and an increased percentage of CD8+ T cells and natural killer cells, which mediate antitumor immunity. Taken together, these preclinical findings suggest that combining 32-134D with immune checkpoint blockade may represent a breakthrough therapy for HCC.
Shaima Salman, David J. Meyers, Elizabeth E. Wicks, Sophia N. Lee, Emmanuel Datan, Aline M. Thomas, Nicole M. Anders, Yousang Hwang, Yajing Lyu, Yongkang Yang, Walter Jackson III, Dominic Dordai, Michelle A. Rudek, Gregg L. Semenza
Propranolol is a nonselective β-adrenergic receptor (AR) blocker that has been the first-line therapy for problematic infantile hemangioma (IH), the most frequent childhood vascular tumor. Although IHs are benign and eventually regress spontaneously, at least 15% of patients require treatment. Despite the extensive use of propranolol for IH treatment, its mode of action remains unclear. In this issue of the JCI, Seebauer et al. investigated the cellular and molecular consequences of propranolol treatment on IH vascular tumor formation in a murine model of IH. The efficacy of propranolol was independent of its β-AR blocker activity and was attributable to the direct targeting of the transcription factor SOX18, which, in turn, reduced hemangioma blood vessel formation. We believe these results will guide clinical translation for the use of more efficient and safer therapies for IH and possibly for other vascular anomalies in which SOX18 plays a role.
Sandra Schrenk, Elisa Boscolo
KRAS G12C inhibitors such as sotorasib and adagrasib are often effective in KRAS G12C–driven non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. However, acquired resistance limits long-term patient survival. In this issue of the JCI, Tsai et al. present a comprehensive genetic analysis of multiple tumors with acquired sotorasib resistance obtained through an autopsy of a patient with KRAS G12C–mutant NSCLC. This analysis of pre- and posttreatment tumors uncovered cancer cell–intrinsic and –extrinsic features of resistance, including reactivation of KRAS-mediated signaling, reprogramming of metabolism, epithelial-mesenchymal transition, and tumor microenvironment changes. This elegant study demonstrates the multifaceted nature of KRAS G12C inhibitor clinical resistance and potential avenues to overcome resistance.
Tadashi Manabe, Trever G. Bivona
During blood vessel disease, vascular smooth muscle cell (VSMC) expansion and interaction with the matrix trigger changes in gene expression and phenotype. In this issue of the JCI, Dave et al. discover a signaling network that drives VSMC expansion and vascular obstruction caused by elastin insufficiency. Using a combination of gene-targeted mice, tissues and cells from patients with Williams-Beuren syndrome, and targeting of elastin in human VSMCs, the authors identified VSMC-derived NOTCH3 signaling as a critical mediator of aortic hypermuscularization and loss of vascular patency. NOTCH3-specific therapies or therapies that target downstream molecular pathways may provide opportunities to minimize VSMC growth and treat cardiovascular disease with minimal side effects.
Kimberly Malka, Lucy Liaw
Cardiovascular disease (CVD) accounts for almost half of all deaths related to non-communicable disease worldwide, making it the single largest global cause of mortality. Although the risk factors for coronary artery disease — the most common cause of CVD — are well known and include hypertension, high cholesterol, age, and genetics, CVDs are now recognized as chronic inflammatory conditions. Arterial blockages, known as atherosclerosis, develop due to excess cholesterol accumulating within the arterial wall, creating a perpetually inflammatory state. The normally quiescent intimal layer of the vessel wall becomes laden with inflammatory cells, which alters the surrounding endothelial, smooth muscle, and extracellular matrix components to propagate disease. Macrophages, which can be either tissue resident or monocyte derived, are a key player in atherosclerotic disease progression and regression, and the understanding of their functions and origins continues to evolve with the use of deep phenotyping methodologies. This Review outlines how macrophages interact with each layer of the developing atherosclerotic plaque and discusses new concepts that are challenging our previous views on how macrophages function and our evolving understanding of the contribution of macrophages to disease.
Leah I. Susser, Katey J. Rayner
Background Although recent epidemiological data suggest that pneumococci may contribute to the risk of SARS-CoV-2 disease, cases of coinfection with Streptococcus pneumoniae in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during hospitalization have been reported infrequently. This apparent contradiction may be explained by interactions of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and pneumococci in the upper airway, resulting in the escape of SARS-CoV-2 from protective host immune responses.Methods Here, we investigated the relationship of these 2 respiratory pathogens in 2 distinct cohorts of health care workers with asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection identified by systematic screening and patients with moderate to severe disease who presented to the hospital. We assessed the effect of coinfection on host antibody, cellular, and inflammatory responses to the virus.Results In both cohorts, pneumococcal colonization was associated with diminished antiviral immune responses, which primarily affected mucosal IgA levels among individuals with mild or asymptomatic infection and cellular memory responses in infected patients.Conclusion Our findings suggest that S. pneumoniae impair host immunity to SARS-CoV-2 and raise the question of whether pneumococcal carriage also enables immune escape of other respiratory viruses and facilitates reinfection.Trial registration ISRCTN89159899 (FASTER study) and ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03502291 (LAIV study).
Elena Mitsi, Jesús Reiné, Britta C. Urban, Carla Solórzano, Elissavet Nikolaou, Angela D. Hyder-Wright, Sherin Pojar, Ashleigh Howard, Lisa Hitchins, Sharon Glynn, Madlen C. Farrar, Konstantinos Liatsikos, Andrea M. Collins, Naomi F. Walker, Helen C. Hill, Esther L. German, Katerina S. Cheliotis, Rachel L. Byrne, Christopher T. Williams, Ana I. Cubas-Atienzar, Tom E. Fletcher, Emily R. Adams, Simon J. Draper, David Pulido, Rohini Beavon, Christian Theilacker, Elizabeth Begier, Luis Jodar, Bradford D. Gessner, Daniela M. Ferreira
Lauren Herl Martens, Jiasheng Zhang, Sami J. Barmada, Ping Zhou, Sherry Kamiya, Binggui Sun, Sang-Won Min, Li Gan, Steven Finkbeiner, Eric J. Huang, Robert V. Farese Jr
A challenge in cancer treatment is targeting cancer cells while sparing normal cells. Thus, identifying cancer-specific neoepitopes is an active research area. Neoepitopes are generated by the accumulation of mutations; however, deadly cancer types, including pancreatic cancer, have a low mutational burden and, consequently, a paucity of neoantigens. In this issue of the JCI, Lim, Zhou, and colleagues describe a neoepitope generated upon proteolytic cleavage of the transmembrane CUB domain containing protein 1 (CDCP1). CDCP1 is overexpressed in cancer and portends a worse prognosis; previous attempts to target CDCP1 reduced cancer growth, but adversely affected the host. Here, the authors generated an antibody that specifically targeted cleaved CDCP1 (c-CDCP1) and developed a drug conjugate, a vector for radioactive ions, and a mediator of T cell activation. The therapeutics inhibited pancreatic cancer cell growth in vitro and in vivo. Exploiting proteolytic cleavage-derived neoantigens opens an attractive way for specifically targeting cancer cells.
Katelyn L. Donahue, Marina Pasca di Magliano
Osteocalcin is a hormone produced in bones by osteoblasts during bone formation. Numerous studies have demonstrated that adrenal gland–derived glucocorticoids inhibit osteocalcin production, which can ultimately cause deleterious bones loss. This loss establishes a unidirectional endocrine relationship between the adrenal glands and bone, however, whether osteocalcin reciprocally regulates glucocorticoid secretion remains unclear. In this issue of the JCI, Yadav and colleagues address how bone-derived osteocalcin influences adrenal organogenesis and function. Using a large variety of animal models, the authors established that embryonic osteocalcin signaling, specifically through the GPR158 receptor, regulates postnatal adrenal steroid concentrations throughout life. This work has translational potential, and we await future investigations that determine whether modulating osteocalcin levels could promote endogenous adrenocortical function in adrenocortical hypoplasia and glucocorticoid deficiency.
Typhanie Dumontet, Gary D. Hammer
Latency reversal strategies for HIV cure using inhibitor of apoptosis protein (IAP) antagonists (IAPi) induce unprecedented levels of latent reservoir expression without immunotoxicity during suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART). However, full targeting of the reservoir may require combinatorial approaches. A Jurkat latency model screen for IAPi combination partners demonstrated synergistic latency reversal with bromodomain (BD) and extraterminal domain protein inhibitors (BETi). Mechanistic investigations using CRISPR-CAS9 and single-cell RNA-Seq informed comprehensive ex vivo evaluations of IAPi plus pan-BET, bD-selective BET, or selective BET isoform targeting in CD4+ T cells from ART-suppressed donors. IAPi+BETi treatment resulted in striking induction of cell-associated HIV gag RNA, but lesser induction of fully elongated and tat-rev RNA compared with T cell activation–positive controls. IAPi+BETi resulted in HIV protein induction in bulk cultures of CD4+ T cells using an ultrasensitive p24 assay, but did not result in enhanced viral outgrowth frequency using a standard quantitative viral outgrowth assay. This study defines HIV transcriptional elongation and splicing as important barriers to latent HIV protein expression following latency reversal, delineates the roles of BET proteins and their BDs in HIV latency, and provides a rationale for exploration of IAPi+BETi in animal models of HIV latency.
Shane D. Falcinelli, Jackson J. Peterson, Anne-Marie W. Turner, David Irlbeck, Jenna Read, Samuel L.M. Raines, Katherine S. James, Cameron Sutton, Anthony Sanchez, Ann Emery, Gavin Sampey, Robert Ferris, Brigitte Allard, Simon Ghofrani, Jennifer L. Kirchherr, Caroline Baker, JoAnn D. Kuruc, Cynthia L. Gay, Lindsey I. James, Guoxin Wu, Paul Zuck, Inmaculada Rioja, Rebecca C. Furze, Rab K. Prinjha, Bonnie J. Howell, Ronald Swanstrom, Edward P. Browne, Brian D. Strahl, Richard M. Dunham, Nancie M. Archin, David M. Margolis
Eddie C.Y. Wang, Ceri A. Fielding, Richard J. Stanton
Hui-Hua Li, Monte S. Willis, Pamela Lockyer, Nathaniel Miller, Holly McDonough, David J. Glass, Cam Patterson
A major goal of SARS-CoV-2 vaccination is the induction of neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) capable of blocking infection by preventing interaction of the SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein with ACE2 on target cells. Cocktails of monoclonal nAbs can reduce the risk of severe disease if administered early in infection. However, multiple variants of concern (VOCs) have arisen during the pandemic that may escape from nAbs. In this issue of the JCI, Jia Zou, Li Li, and colleagues used yeast display libraries to identify mAbs that bind to Spike proteins with a vast array of single amino acid substitutions. The authors identified mutation-resistant monoclonal nAbs for potential use as therapeutics. Multimerization further improved the potency of selected nAbs. These findings suggest a way forward in development of better nAb cocktails. However, the emergence of the highly mutated omicron (B.1.1.529) variant heightens the importance of finding effective anti–SARS-CoV-2 nAb therapeutics despite rapid viral evolution.
Ranjeet Singh Mahla, Lynn B. Dustin
Macrophages within the bone marrow (BM) microenvironment take on unexpected roles in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) as reported by Moore and colleagues in this issue of the JCI. In contrast to solid tumors, where tumor-associated macrophages frequently assume an immunosuppressive phenotype that promotes tumor progression, this study revealed that BM macrophages repressed leukemia expansion in AML through a pathway called LC3-associated phagocytosis (LAP). After phagocytosis of dead and dying leukemic cells, including the mitochondria within the leukemic blasts, mitochondrial DNA activated stimulator of IFN genes (STING), leading to inflammatory signals that enhanced phagocytosis and restrained leukemic cell expansion. These findings unveil the modulation of macrophage-mediated phagocytosis via LAP as a potential therapeutic strategy directed at the BM microenvironment in AML.
William Brian Dalton, Gabriel Ghiaur, Linda M.S. Resar
GPIHBP1, an endothelial cell (EC) protein, captures lipoprotein lipase (LPL) within the interstitial spaces (where it is secreted by myocytes and adipocytes) and transports it across ECs to its site of action in the capillary lumen. GPIHBP1’s 3-fingered LU domain is required for LPL binding, but the function of its acidic domain (AD) has remained unclear. We created mutant mice lacking the AD and found severe hypertriglyceridemia. As expected, the mutant GPIHBP1 retained the capacity to bind LPL. Unexpectedly, however, most of the GPIHBP1 and LPL in the mutant mice was located on the abluminal surface of ECs (explaining the hypertriglyceridemia). The GPIHBP1-bound LPL was trapped on the abluminal surface of ECs by electrostatic interactions between the large basic patch on the surface of LPL and negatively charged heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) on the surface of ECs. GPIHBP1 trafficking across ECs in the mutant mice was normalized by disrupting LPL-HSPG electrostatic interactions with either heparin or an AD peptide. Thus, GPIHBP1’s AD plays a crucial function in plasma triglyceride metabolism; it sheathes LPL’s basic patch on the abluminal surface of ECs, thereby preventing LPL-HSPG interactions and freeing GPIHBP1-LPL complexes to move across ECs to the capillary lumen.
Wenxin Song, Anne P. Beigneux, Anne-Marie L. Winther, Kristian K. Kristensen, Anne L. Grønnemose, Ye Yang, Yiping Tu, Priscilla Munguia, Jazmin Morales, Hyesoo Jung, Pieter J. de Jong, Cris J. Jung, Kazuya Miyashita, Takao Kimura, Katsuyuki Nakajima, Masami Murakami, Gabriel Birrane, Haibo Jiang, Peter Tontonoz, Michael Ploug, Loren G. Fong, Stephen G. Young
Virus-specific CD8+ T cells play a central role in HIV-1 natural controllers to maintain suppressed viremia in the absence of antiretroviral therapy. These cells display a memory program that confers them stemness properties, high survival, polyfunctionality, proliferative capacity, metabolic plasticity, and antiviral potential. The development and maintenance of such qualities by memory CD8+ T cells appear crucial to achieving natural HIV-1 control. Here, we show that targeting the signaling pathways Wnt/transcription factor T cell factor 1 (Wnt/TCF-1) and mTORC through GSK3 inhibition to reprogram HIV-specific CD8+ T cells from noncontrollers promoted functional capacities associated with natural control of infection. Features of such reprogrammed cells included enrichment in TCF-1+ less-differentiated subsets, a superior response to antigen, enhanced survival, polyfunctionality, metabolic plasticity, less mTORC1 dependency, an improved response to γ-chain cytokines, and a stronger HIV-suppressive capacity. Thus, such CD8+ T cell reprogramming, combined with other available immunomodulators, might represent a promising strategy for adoptive cell therapy in the search for an HIV-1 cure.
Federico Perdomo-Celis, Caroline Passaes, Valérie Monceaux, Stevenn Volant, Faroudy Boufassa, Pierre de Truchis, Morgane Marcou, Katia Bourdic, Laurence Weiss, Corinne Jung, Christine Bourgeois, Cécile Goujard, Laurence Meyer, Michaela Müller-Trutwin, Olivier Lambotte, Asier Sáez-Cirión
RASopathies are a family of rare autosomal dominant disorders that affect the canonical Ras/MAPK signaling pathway and manifest as neurodevelopmental systemic syndromes, including Costello syndrome (CS). In this issue of the JCI, Dard et al. describe the molecular determinants of CS using a myriad of genetically modified models, including mice expressing HRAS p.G12S, patient-derived skin fibroblasts, hiPSC-derived human cardiomyocytes, an HRAS p.G12V zebrafish model, and human lentivirally induced fibroblasts overexpressing HRAS p.G12S or HRAS p.G12A. Mitochondrial proteostasis and oxidative phosphorylation were altered in CS, and inhibition of the AMPK signaling pathway mediated bioenergetic changes. Importantly, the pharmacological induction of this pathway restored cardiac function and reduced the developmental defects associated with CS. These findings identify a role for altered bioenergetics and provide insights into more effective treatment strategies for patients with RASopathies.
Maria I. Kontaridis, Saravanakkumar Chennappan
Cardiomyocyte hypertrophy is an integral part of cardiac remodeling that occurs under physiological or pathological stresses. It can lead to heart failure in a pathological form or oppose functional deterioration in a compensatory one. The mechanisms underlying an adaptive outcome of hypertrophy are ill defined. In this issue of the JCI, Kashihara et al. explored the role of the Yes-associated protein 1 (YAP) transcription factor in the heart, using cell culturing and mouse models. YAP activity was found to be associated with changes in genes of the glycolytic and auxiliary pathways under stress. Notably, YAP upregulated glucose transporter 1 (GLUT1), and inhibition of GLUT1 blocked YAP-induced hypertrophy but worsened heart function. These findings suggest that YAP is a regulator of metabolic reprogramming in the heart during compensatory hypertrophy. This insight may help in the development of future therapies for heart failure.
Chen Gao, Yibin Wang
Tumor-infiltrating B cells exert antitumor effects by producing antibodies against tumor-associated antigens. Conversely, B cells may promote tumors through the production of factors that dampen antitumor immunity. In this issue of the JCI, Bing Yang, Zhen Zhang, et al. investigated the roles of B cell receptor (BCR) signaling in antitumor immunity, focusing on the role of an Asia-specific variant of human immunoglobulin G1 (IgG1) containing a Gly396 to Arg396 substitution (hIgG1-G396R) in colorectal cancer (CRC). Epidemiological analysis revealed an association between hIgG1-G396R and progression-free survival in CRC. Human samples and mouse models of CRC showed plasma cells, as opposed to B cells, infiltrating the tumor microenvironment. Notably, patients with the hIgG1-G396R variant had increased CD8+ T cells, dendritic cells, and tertiary lymphoid structure density. These findings indicate that the hIgG1-G396R variant represses tumorigenesis by enhancing B cell responses, and suggest that modulating BCR signaling could improve the efficacy of immunotherapy in cancer.
Jian Ye, Peter P. Lee
Replication of SARS-CoV-2 in the human population is defined by distributions of mutants that are present at different frequencies within the infected host and can be detected by ultra-deep sequencing techniques. In this study, we examined the SARS-CoV-2 mutant spectra of amplicons from the spike-coding (S-coding) region of 5 nasopharyngeal isolates derived from patients with vaccine breakthrough. Interestingly, all patients became infected with the Alpha variant, but amino acid substitutions that correspond to the Delta Plus, Iota, and Omicron variants were present in the mutant spectra of the resident virus. Deep sequencing analysis of SARS-CoV-2 from patients with vaccine breakthrough revealed a rich reservoir of mutant types and may also identify tolerated substitutions that can be represented in epidemiologically dominant variants.
Brenda Martínez-González, Lucía Vázquez-Sirvent, María E. Soria, Pablo Mínguez, Llanos Salar-Vidal, Carlos García-Crespo, Isabel Gallego, Ana I. de Ávila, Carlos Llorens, Beatriz Soriano, Ricardo Ramos-Ruiz, Jaime Esteban, Ricardo Fernandez-Roblas, Ignacio Gadea, Carmen Ayuso, Javier Ruíz-Hornillos, Concepción Pérez-Jorge, Esteban Domingo, Celia Perales
Background The Delta and Omicron variants of SARS-CoV-2 are currently responsible for breakthrough infections due to waning immunity. We report phase I/II trial results of UB-612, a multitope subunit vaccine containing S1-RBD-sFc protein and rationally designed promiscuous peptides representing sarbecovirus conserved helper T cell and cytotoxic T lymphocyte epitopes on the nucleocapsid (N), membrane (M), and spike (S2) proteins.Method We conducted a phase I primary 2-dose (28 days apart) trial of 10, 30, or 100 μg UB-612 in 60 healthy young adults 20 to 55 years old, and 50 of them were boosted with 100 μg of UB-612 approximately 7 to 9 months after the second dose. A separate placebo-controlled and randomized phase II study was conducted with 2 doses of 100 μg of UB-612 (n = 3,875, 18–85 years old). We evaluated interim safety and immunogenicity of phase I until 14 days after the third (booster) dose and of phase II until 28 days after the second dose.Results No vaccine-related serious adverse events were recorded. The most common solicited adverse events were injection site pain and fatigue, mostly mild and transient. In both trials, UB-612 elicited respective neutralizing antibody titers similar to a panel of human convalescent sera. The most striking findings were long-lasting virus-neutralizing antibodies and broad T cell immunity against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern (VoCs), including Delta and Omicron, and a strong booster-recalled memory immunity with high cross-reactive neutralizing titers against the Delta and Omicron VoCs.Conclusion UB-612 has presented a favorable safety profile, potent booster effect against VoCs, and long-lasting B and broad T cell immunity that warrants further development for both primary immunization and heterologous boosting of other COVID-19 vaccines.Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT04545749, NCT04773067, and NCT04967742.Funding UBI Asia, Vaxxinity Inc., and Taiwan Centers for Disease Control, Ministry of Health and Welfare.
Chang Yi Wang, Kao-Pin Hwang, Hui-Kai Kuo, Wen-Jiun Peng, Yea-Huei Shen, Be-Sheng Kuo, Juin-Hua Huang, Hope Liu, Yu-Hsin Ho, Feng Lin, Shuang Ding, Zhi Liu, Huan-Ting Wu, Ching-Tai Huang, Yuarn-Jang Lee, Ming-Che Liu, Yi-Ching Yang, Po-Liang Lu, Hung-Chin Tsai, Chen-Hsiang Lee, Zhi-Yuan Shi, Chun-Eng Liu, Chun-Hsing Liao, Feng-Yee Chang, Hsiang-Cheng Chen, Fu-Der Wang, Kuo-Liang Hou, Jennifer Cheng, Min-Sheng Wang, Ya-Ting Yang, Han-Chen Chiu, Ming-Han Jiang, Hao-Yu Shih, Hsuan-Yu Shen, Po-Yen Chang, Yu-Rou Lan, Chi-Tian Chen, Yi-Ling Lin, Jian-Jong Liang, Chun-Che Liao, Yu-Chi Chou, Mary Kate Morris, Carl V. Hanson, Farshad Guirakhoo, Michael Hellerstein, Hui-Jing Yu, Chwan-Chuen King, Tracy Kemp, D. Gray Heppner, Thomas P. Monath
CLN7 Batten disease, also known as variant late infantile neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis type 7 (vLINCL7), is an ultra-rare form of Batten disease that presents early in life with severe neurological symptoms, including visual deficits, motor problems, and frequent seizures. There is high unmet need for disease-modifying therapies, as no existing treatment can halt progression or prevent premature death. In this issue of the JCI, Chen et al. present an AAV gene therapy for CLN7 that shows marked benefit in a mouse model of CLN7 Batten disease, paving the way for a phase I trial. The candidate gene therapy shows benefit for histopathology, behavioral abnormalities, and survival in mice and offers an acceptable safety profile in both mice and rats. Questions remain regarding dose, scaling, and timing of administration for patients, but this work is a substantial step forward for a very challenging disease.
Jon J. Brudvig, Jill M. Weimer
BACKGROUND Hyaluronan (HA), an extracellular matrix glycosaminoglycan, has been implicated in the pathophysiology of COVID-19 infection, pulmonary hypertension, pulmonary fibrosis, and other diseases, but is not targeted by any approved drugs. We asked whether hymecromone (4-methylumbelliferone [4-MU]), an oral drug approved in Europe for biliary spasm treatment that also inhibits HA in vitro and in animal models, could be repurposed as an inhibitor of HA synthesis in humans.METHODS We conducted an open-label, single-center, dose-response study of hymecromone in healthy adults. Subjects received hymecromone at 1200 (n = 8), 2400 (n = 9), or 3600 (n = 9) mg/d divided into 3 doses daily, administered orally for 4 days. We assessed safety and tolerability of hymecromone and analyzed HA, 4-MU, and 4-methylumbelliferyl glucuronide (4-MUG; the main metabolite of 4-MU) concentrations in sputum and serum.RESULTS Hymecromone was well tolerated up to doses of 3600 mg/d. Both sputum and serum drug concentrations increased in a dose-dependent manner, indicating that higher doses lead to greater exposures. Across all dose arms combined, we observed a significant decrease in sputum HA from baseline after 4 days of treatment. We also observed a decrease in serum HA. Additionally, higher baseline sputum HA levels were associated with a greater decrease in sputum HA.CONCLUSION After 4 days of exposure to oral hymecromone, healthy human subjects experienced a significant reduction in sputum HA levels, indicating this oral therapy may have potential in pulmonary diseases where HA is implicated in pathogenesis.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02780752.FUNDING Stanford Medicine Catalyst, Stanford SPARK, Stanford Innovative Medicines Accelerator program, NIH training grants 5T32AI052073-14 and T32HL129970.
Joelle I. Rosser, Nadine Nagy, Riya Goel, Gernot Kaber, Sally Demirdjian, Jamie Saxena, Jennifer B. Bollyky, Adam R. Frymoyer, Ana E. Pacheco-Navarro, Elizabeth B. Burgener, Jayakumar Rajadas, Zhe Wang, Olga Arbach, Colleen E. Dunn, Anissa Kalinowski, Carlos E. Milla, Paul L. Bollyky
BACKGROUND Immunization against SARS-CoV-2, the causative agent of COVID-19, occurs via natural infection or vaccination. However, it is currently unknown how long infection- or vaccination-induced immunological memory will last.METHODS We performed a longitudinal evaluation of immunological memory to SARS-CoV-2 up to 1 year after infection and following mRNA vaccination in naive individuals and individuals recovered from COVID-19 infection.RESULTS We found that memory cells are still detectable 8 months after vaccination, while antibody levels decline significantly, especially in naive individuals. We also found that a booster injection is efficacious in reactivating immunological memory to spike protein in naive individuals, whereas it was ineffective in previously SARS-CoV-2–infected individuals. Finally, we observed a similar kinetics of decay of humoral and cellular immunity to SARS-CoV-2 up to 1 year following natural infection in a cohort of unvaccinated individuals.CONCLUSION Short-term persistence of humoral immunity, together with the reduced neutralization capacity versus the currently prevailing SARS-CoV-2 variants, may account for reinfections and breakthrough infections. Long-lived memory B and CD4+ T cells may protect from severe disease development. In naive individuals, a booster dose restored optimal anti-spike immunity, whereas the needs for vaccinated individuals who have recovered from COVID-19 have yet to be defined.FUNDING This study was supported by funds to the Department of Experimental and Clinical Medicine, University of Florence (Project Excellence Departments 2018–2022), the University of Florence (project RICTD2122), the Italian Ministry of Health (COVID-2020-12371849), and the region of Tuscany (TagSARS CoV 2).
Alessio Mazzoni, Anna Vanni, Michele Spinicci, Giulia Lamacchia, Seble Tekle Kiros, Arianna Rocca, Manuela Capone, Nicoletta Di Lauria, Lorenzo Salvati, Alberto Carnasciali, Elisabetta Mantengoli, Parham Farahvachi, Lorenzo Zammarchi, Filippo Lagi, Maria Grazia Colao, Francesco Liotta, Lorenzo Cosmi, Laura Maggi, Alessandro Bartoloni, Gian Maria Rossolini, Francesco Annunziato
Wan-Chen Hsieh, Shih-Yu Chen
Sickle cell disease (SCD) is associated with an increased risk of vascular-occlusive events and of leukemia. Clonal hematopoiesis (CH) may increase both risks. In turn, physiologic abnormalities in SCD may modify the incidence and/or distribution of genetic alterations in CH. In a recent issue of the JCI, Liggett et al. found no difference in CH rate between individuals with versus without SCD. Here we contextualize this report and discuss the complex interplay between CH and SCD with particular attention to consequences for emerging gene therapies. We further consider the limitations in our current understanding of these topics that must be addressed in order to optimize therapeutic strategies for SCD.
Aaron J. Stonestrom, Ross L. Levine
Lyme disease is the most common tick-borne disease in North America and Europe, however, current biomarkers inconsistently detect the disease. In this issue of the JCI, Gwynne et al. revealed how the Lyme disease agent Borrelia burgdorferi relies on host lipids for growth. The authors used a murine model to show that B. burgdorferi infection led to the production of antibodies against phospholipids, possibly as a consequence of incorporation into the spirochete membrane. Antibodies were induced against phosphatidic acid, phosphatidylcholine, and phosphatidylserine. Notably, no antibodies against cardiolipin were found, distinguishing Lyme disease from syphilis and some other diseases. Sera samples from patients with Lyme disease suggested that these antibodies may help diagnose B. burgdorferi infection and that antibody titers may effectively indicate the response to treatment. These findings suggest that B. burgdorferi–induced anti-lipid antibodies, in conjunction with a careful clinical assessment, may aid in the diagnosis of Lyme disease.
Gunjan Arora, Thomas Hart, Erol Fikrig
As the curtain draws on the 5-year term of the JCI editorial board at Johns Hopkins, I am filled with gratitude and would like to extend a warm ayekoo (Ghanaian salutation meaning “well done”) to our editors, staff, reviewers, and scientists for supporting the Journal. I am delighted to welcome the next JCI Editor in Chief, Elizabeth McNally — the first woman to lead the JCI since it was founded almost a century ago — and her team from Northwestern University.
Rexford S. Ahima
Cardiovascular diseases are a leading cause of mortality and disability worldwide. Hypertension, a major risk factor for these diseases, remains difficult to treat despite numerous drugs being available. In this issue of the JCI, Failer et al. show that the endogenous antiinflammatory agent developmental endothelial locus-1 (DEL-1) decreased blood pressure and cardiac and aortic hypertrophy in mouse models of hypertension through reduction in αvβ3 integrin–dependent metalloproteinase activity and immune cell recruitment, leading to reduced production of proinflammatory cytokines in cardiovascular tissues. This study offers an alternative in the treatment of hypertension-mediated organ damage through the immunomodulatory effect of DEL-1.
Autosomal dominant disorders present unique challenges, as therapeutics must often distinguish between healthy and diseased alleles while maintaining high efficiency, specificity, and safety. For this task, CRISPR/Cas remains particularly promising. Various CRISPR/Cas systems, like homology-directed repair, base editors, and prime editors, have been demonstrated to selectively edit mutant alleles either by incorporating these mutations into sgRNA sequences (near the protospacer-adjacent motif [“near the PAM”]) or by targeting a novel PAM generated by the mutation (“in the PAM”). However, these probability-based designs are not always assured, necessitating generalized, mutation-agnostic strategies like ablate-and-replace and single-nucleotide polymorphism editing. Here, we detail recent advancements in CRISPR therapeutics to treat a wide range of autosomal dominant disorders and discuss how they are altering the landscape for future therapies.
Salvatore Marco Caruso, Peter M.J. Quinn, Bruna Lopes da Costa, Stephen H. Tsang
Peter C. Butler, Edwin A.M. Gale
The mechanisms that explain mitochondrial dysfunction in aging and healthspan continue to be studied, but one element has been unexplored: microproteins. Small open reading frames in circular mitochondria DNA can encode multiple microproteins, called mitochondria-derived peptides (MDPs). Currently, eight MDPs have been published: humanin, MOTS-c, and SHLPs 1–6. This Review describes recent advances in microprotein discovery with a focus on MDPs. It discusses what is currently known about MDPs in aging and how this new understanding could add to the way we understand age-related diseases including type 2 diabetes, cancer, and neurodegenerative diseases at the genomic, proteomic, and drug-development levels.
Brendan Miller, Su-Jeong Kim, Hiroshi Kumagai, Kelvin Yen, Pinchas Cohen
Alzheimer’s disease and related dementias (ADRD) are among the top contributors to disability and mortality in later life. As with many chronic conditions, aging is the single most influential factor in the development of ADRD. Even among older adults who remain free of dementia throughout their lives, cognitive decline and neurodegenerative changes are appreciable with advancing age, suggesting shared pathophysiological mechanisms. In this Review, we provide an overview of changes in cognition, brain morphology, and neuropathological protein accumulation across the lifespan in humans, with complementary and mechanistic evidence from animal models. Next, we highlight selected aging processes that are differentially regulated in neurodegenerative disease, including aberrant autophagy, mitochondrial dysfunction, cellular senescence, epigenetic changes, cerebrovascular dysfunction, inflammation, and lipid dysregulation. We summarize research across clinical and translational studies to link biological aging processes to underlying ADRD pathogenesis. Targeting fundamental processes underlying biological aging may represent a yet relatively unexplored avenue to attenuate both age-related cognitive decline and ADRD. Collaboration across the fields of geroscience and neuroscience, coupled with the development of new translational animal models that more closely align with human disease processes, is necessary to advance novel therapeutic discovery in this realm.
Mitzi M. Gonzales, Valentina R. Garbarino, Erin Pollet, Juan P. Palavicini, Dean L. Kellogg Jr., Ellen Kraig, Miranda E. Orr
Although the memory capacity of innate immune cells, termed trained immunity (TI), is a conserved evolutionary trait, the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved are incompletely understood. One fundamental question is whether the induction of TI generates a homogeneous or heterogeneous population of trained cells. In this issue of the JCI, Zhang, Moorlag, and colleagues tackle this question by combining an in vitro model system of TI with single-cell RNA sequencing. The induction of TI in human monocytes resulted in three populations with distinct transcriptomic profiles. Interestingly, the presence of lymphocytes in the microenvironment of monocytes substantially impacted TI. The authors also identified a similar population of monocytes in various human diseases or in individuals vaccinated with bacillus Calmette-Guérin. These insights warrant in-depth analysis of TI in responsive versus nonresponsive immune cells and suggest that modulating TI may provide a strategy for treating infections and inflammatory diseases.
Erwan Pernet, Renaud Prevel, Maziar Divangahi
The prevalence of metabolic syndrome continues to increase globally and heightens the risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Insulin resistance is a core pathophysiologic mechanism that causes abnormal carbohydrate metabolism and atherogenic changes in circulating lipoprotein quantity and function. In particular, dysfunctional HDL is postulated to contribute to CVD risk in part via loss of HDL-associated sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P). In this issue of the JCI, Izquierdo et al. demonstrate that HDL from humans with insulin resistance contained lower levels of S1P. Apolipoprotein M (ApoM), a protein constituent of HDL that binds S1P and controls bioavailability was decreased in insulin-resistant db/db mice. Gain- and loss-of-function mouse models implicated the forkhead box O transcription factors (FoxO1,3,4) in the regulation of both ApoM and HDL-associated S1P. These data have important implications for potential FoxO-based therapies designed to treat lipid and carbohydrate abnormalities associated with human metabolic disease and CVD.
MacRae F. Linton, Patricia G. Yancey, Zoe M. Leuthner, Jonathan D. Brown
Colin J. Worby, Benjamin S. Olson, Karen W. Dodson, Ashlee M. Earl, Scott J. Hultgren