Multiple sclerosis (MS) is a progressive inflammatory-demyelinating disease of the central nervous system. Increasing evidence suggests that vulnerable neurons in MS exhibit fatal metabolic exhaustion over time, a phenomenon hypothesized to be caused by chronic hyperexcitability. Axonal Kv7 (outward rectifying) and oligodendroglial Kir4.1 (inward rectifying) potassium channels have important roles in regulating neuronal excitability at and around nodes of Ranvier. Here, we studied the spatial and functional relationship between neuronal Kv7 and oligodendroglial Kir4.1 channels and assessed the transcriptional and functional signatures of cortical and retinal projection neurons under physiological and inflammatory-demyelinating conditions. We found that both channels became dysregulated in MS and experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) with Kir4.1 channels being chronically downregulated and Kv7 channel subunits being transiently upregulated during inflammatory demyelination. Further, we observed that pharmacological Kv7 channel opening with retigabine reduced neuronal hyperexcitability in human and EAE neurons, improved clinical EAE signs and rescued neuronal pathology in oligodendrocyte-Kir4.1-deficient mice. In summary, our findings indicate that neuron-oligodendrocyte compensatory interactions promote resilience through Kv7 and Kir4.1 channels and suggest pharmacological activation of nodal Kv7 channels as a neuroprotective strategy against inflammatory demyelination.
Hannah Kapell, Luca Fazio, Julia Dyckow, Sophia Schwarz, Andrés Cruz-Herranz, Christina Mayer, Joaquin Campos, Elisa D´Este, Wiebke Möbius, Christian Cordano, Anne-Katrin Pröbstel, Marjan Gharagozloo, Amel Zulji, Venu Narayanan Naik, Anna-Katharina Delank, Manuela Cerina, Thomas Müntefering, Celia Lerma-Martin, Jana K. Sonner, Jung H. Sin, Paul Disse, Nicole Rychlik, Khalida Sabeur, Manideep Chavali, Rajneesh Srivastava, Matthias Heidenreich, Kathryn C. Fitzgerald, Guiscard Seebohm, Christine Stadelmann, Bernhard Hemmer, Michael Platten, Thomas J. Jentsch, Maren Engelhardt, Thomas Budde, Klaus-Armin Nave, Peter A. Calabresi, Manuel A. Friese, Ari J. Green, Claudio Acuna, David H. Rowitch, Sven G. Meuth, Lucas Schirmer
The non-essential amino acid asparagine can only be synthesized de novo by the enzymatic activity of asparagine synthetase (ASNS). While ASNS and asparagine have been implicated in the response to numerous metabolic stressors in cultured cells, the in vivo relevance of this enzyme in stress-related pathways remains unexplored. Here, we found ASNS to be expressed in pericentral hepatocytes, a population of hepatic cells specialized in xenobiotic detoxification. ASNS expression was strongly enhanced in two models of acute liver injury: carbon tetrachloride (CCl4) and acetaminophen (APAP). We found that mice with hepatocyte-specific Asns deletion (Asnshep-/-) were more prone to pericentral liver damage than their control (Asnshep+/+) littermates after toxin exposure. This phenotype could be reverted by intravenous administration of asparagine. Unexpectedly, the stress-induced upregulation of ASNS involved an ATF4-independent, non-canonical pathway mediated by the nuclear receptor, liver receptor homolog 1 (LRH-1; NR5A2). Altogether, our data indicate that the induction of the asparagine-producing enzyme ASNS acts as an adaptive mechanism to constrain the necrotic wave that follows toxin administration and provide proof of concept that intravenous delivery of asparagine can dampen hepatotoxin-induced pericentral hepatocellular death.
Yu Sun, Hadrien Demagny, Adrien Faure, Francesca Pontanari, Antoine Jalil, Nadia Bresciani, Ece Yildiz, Melanie Korbelius, Alessia Perino, Kristina Schoonjans
BACKGROUND. Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an aggressive neuroendocrine (NE) skin cancer caused by severe UV-induced mutations or expression of Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) large and small T antigens (LT and ST). Despite deep genetic differences between MCPyV-positive and -negative subtypes, current clinical diagnostic markers are indistinguishable between subtypes and the expression profile of MCC tumors is unexplored. METHODS. Here we leveraged bulk and single-cell RNA sequencing of patient-derived tumor biopsies and cell lines to explore the underlying transcriptional diversity of MCC. RESULTS. Strikingly, MCC samples could be separated into transcriptional subtypes that were independent of MCPyV status. Instead, we observed an inverse correlation between a NE gene signature and the Hippo pathway transcription factors Yes1-associated transcriptional regulator (YAP1) and WW domain containing transcriptional regulator (WWTR1). This inverse correlation was present at the transcript and protein levels in the tumor biopsies as well as in established and patient-derived cell lines. Mechanistically, expression of YAP1 or WWTR1 in a MCPyV-positive MCC cell line induced cell-cycle arrest at least in part through TEAD-dependent transcriptional repression of MCPyV LT. CONCLUSION. These findings describe previously unrecognized heterogeneity in NE gene expression within MCC and support the model that YAP1/WWTR1 silencing is essential for the development of MCPyV-positive MCC. FUNDING. US Public Health Service grants R35CA232128, P01CA203655, and P30CA06516.
Thomas C. Frost, Ashley K. Gartin, Mofei Liu, Jingwei Cheng, Harita Dharaneeswaran, Derin B. Keskin, Catherine J. Wu, Anita Giobbie-Hurder, Manisha Thakuria, James A. DeCaprio
BACKGROUND. Relatlimab+nivolumab (anti-LAG3+anti-PD1) has been approved by FDA as a 1st-line therapy in stage III/IV melanoma, but its detailed effect on the immune system is unknown. METHODS. We evaluated blood samples from 40 immunotherapy-naïve or prior immunotherapy-refractory patients with metastatic melanoma treated with anti-LAG3+anti-PD1 in a phase I trial (NCT01968109) using single-cell RNA and T cell receptor (TCR) sequencing (scRNA+TCRαβ-seq) combined with other multiomics profiling. RESULTS. The highest LAG3 expression was noted in NK cells, regulatory T cells (Tregs), and CD8+ T cells, and these cell populations underwent the most significant changes during the treatment. Adaptive NK cells were enriched in responders and underwent profound transcriptomic changes during the therapy resulting in an active phenotype. LAG3+ Tregs expanded but based on the transcriptome profile became metabolically silent during the treatment. Lastly, higher baseline TCR clonality was observed in responding patients, and their expanding CD8+ T cell clones gained more cytotoxic and NK-like phenotype. CONCLUSION. Anti-LAG3+anti-PD1 therapy has profound effects on NK cells and Tregs in addition to CD8+ T cells. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01968109) FUNDING. Cancer Foundation Finland, Sigrid Juselius Foundation, Signe and Ane Gyllenberg Foundation, Relander Foundation, State funding for university-level health research in Finland, a Helsinki Institute of Life Sciences Fellow grant, Academy of Finland, and an investigator-initiated research grant from BMS.
Jani Huuhtanen, Henna H.E. Kasanen, Katriina Peltola, Tapio Lönnberg, Virpi Glumoff, Oscar Brück, Olli Dufva, Karita Peltonen, Johanna Vikkula, Emmi Jokinen, Mette Ilander, Moon Hee Lee, Siru Mäkelä, Marta Nyakas, Bin Li, Micaela Hernberg, Petri Bono, Harri Lähdesmäki, Anna Kreutzman, Satu Mustjoki
Myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) are characterized by the activated JAK2-STAT pathway. Pleckstrin-2 (Plek2) is a downstream target of the JAK2-STAT pathway and overexpressed in patients with MPNs. We previously revealed that Plek2 plays critical roles in the pathogenesis of JAK2 mutated MPNs. The non-essential roles of Plek2 under physiologic conditions makes it an ideal target for MPN therapy. Here we identified first-in-class Plek2 inhibitors through an in silico high-throughput screening and cell-based assays followed by the synthesis of analogs. The Plek2 specific small molecule inhibitors showed potent inhibitory effects on cell proliferation. Mechanistically, Plek2 interacts with and enhances the activity of Akt through the recruitment of downstream effector proteins. The Plek2 signaling complex also includes Hsp72 that protects Akt from degradation. These functions were blocked by Plek2 inhibitors via their direct binding to Plek2 DEP domain. The role of Plek2 in activating the Akt signaling was further confirmed in vivo using a hematopoietic specific Pten knockout mouse model. We next tested Plek2 inhibitors alone or in combination with an Akt inhibitor in various MPN mouse models, which showed significant therapeutic efficacies similar to the genetic depletion of Plek2. The Plek2 inhibitor was also effective in reducing proliferation of CD34 positive cells from MPN patients. Our studies reveal a Plek2-Akt complex that drives cell proliferation and can be targeted by a new class of anti-proliferative compounds for MPN therapy.
Xu Han, Yang Mei, Rama K. Mishra, Honghao Bi, Atul D. Jain, Gary E. Schiltz, Baobing Zhao, Madina Sukhanova, Pan Wang, Arabela A. Grigorescu, Patricia C. Weber, John J. Piwinski, Miguel A. Prado, Joao A. Paulo, Len Stephens, Karen E. Anderson, Charles S. Abrams, Jing Yang, Peng Ji
BACKGROUND. The fungus Aspergillus fumigatus causes a variety of clinical phenotypes in patients with cystic fibrosis (pwCF). T-helper (Th) cells orchestrate immune responses against fungi, but the types of A. fumigatus-specific Th-cells in pwCF and their contribution to protective immunity or inflammation remain poorly characterized. METHODS. We used antigen-reactive T cell enrichment (ARTE) to investigate fungus-reactive Th cells in peripheral blood of pwCF and healthy controls. RESULTS. We show that clonally expanded, high-avidity A. fumigatus-specific effector Th-cells develop in pwCF, which are absent in healthy donors. Individual patients were characterized by distinct Th1, Th2, or Th17 dominated responses that remained stable over years. These different Th subsets target different A. fumigatus proteins, indicating that differential antigen uptake and presentation directs Th-cell subset development. Patients with allergic bronchopulmonary aspergillosis (ABPA) are characterized by high frequencies of Th2-cells that cross-recognize various filamentous fungi. CONCLUSION. Our data highlight the development of heterogenous Th responses targeting different protein fractions of a single fungal pathogen and identify the development of multispecies cross-reactive Th2-cells as a potential risk factor for ABPA. FUNDING. This research was supported by grants from the German Research Foundation (DFG) under Germany’s Excellence Strategy - EXC 2167-390884018 “Precision Medicine in Chronic Inflammation”, EXC 2051-390713860 “Balance of the Microverse”; the Oskar Helene Heim Stiftung; the Christiane Herzog Stiftung, Stuttgart, Germany; the Mukoviszidose Institut gGmbH, Bonn, the research and development arm of the German Cystic Fibrosis Association Mukoviszidose e.V; the German Federal Ministry of Education and Science (BMBF) InfectControl 2020 Projects AnDiPath, BMBF 03ZZ0838A+B.
Carsten Schwarz, Patience Eschenhagen, Henrijette Schmidt, Thordis Hohnstein, Christina Iwert, Claudia Grehn, Jobst Roehmel, Eva Steinke, Mirjam Stahl, Laura Lozza, Ekaterina Tikhonova, Elisa Rosati, Ulrik Stervbo, Nina Babel, Jochen G. Mainz, Hilmar Wisplinghoff, Frank Ebel, Lei-Jie Jia, Matthew G. Blango, Peter Hortschansky, Sascha Brunke, Bernhard Hube, Axel A. Brakhage, Olaf Kniemeyer, Alexander Scheffold, Petra Bacher
Tick bites have been shown to transmit a novel form of severe food allergy, the galactose-α-1,3-galactose (α-Gal) syndrome (AGS). Cellular responses to α-Gal in AGS patients have to date not been thoroughly scrutinized. Therefore, we investigated T and B cell proliferation, activation and cytokine profiles in response to tick protein extract (TE) and α-Gal-free TE in AGS patients and healthy controls. T and B cells from both patients and controls proliferated in response to TE, but significantly more in the patients. B cell proliferation, but not T cell proliferation, in AGS patients was reduced by removing α-Gal from the TE. In addition, TE induced a clear Th2 cytokine profile in AGS patients. Expression of CD23 by B cells correlated only to T cell proliferation. However, both B cell proliferation and CD23 expression were reduced when CD40L and IL-4 were blocked. A large proportion of the IgG1 and IgE antibodies binding TE in AGS patients were directed against the α-Gal epitope. We have for the first time investigated T and B cell responses to α-Gal carrying tick proteins in AGS patients, which will be essential for the understanding of the immune response against an allergenic carbohydrate transmitted by ticks.
Danijela Apostolovic, Jeanette Grundström, Mensiena B. Gea Kiewiet, Marija Perusko, Carl Hamsten, Maria H. Starkhammar, Staffan Paulie, Marianne van Hage
Microglia, resident macrophages of the central nervous system (CNS), are essential to brain development, homeostasis, and disease. Microglial activation and proliferation are hallmarks of many CNS diseases including neuropathic pain. However, molecular mechanisms that govern the spinal neuro-immune axis in the setting of neuropathic pain remain incompletely understood. Here we show that genetic ablation or pharmacological blockade of transient receptor potential vanilloid type 4 (TRPV4) markedly attenuated neuropathic pain-like behaviors in a mouse model of spared nerve injury. Mechanistically, microglia-expressed TRPV4 mediated microglial activation and proliferation and promoted functional and structural plasticity of excitatory spinal neurons through releasing lipocalin-2. Our results suggest that microglial TRPV4 channels reside at the center of the neuro-immune axis in the spinal cord that transforms peripheral nerve injury into central sensitization and neuropathic pain, thereby identifying TRPV4 as a promising new target for the treatment of chronic pain.
Xueming Hu, Lixia Du, Shenbin Liu, Zhou Lan, Kaikai Zang, Jing Feng, Yonghui Zhao, Xingliang Yang, Zili Xie, Peter L. Wang, Aaron M. Ver Heul, Lvyi Chen, Vijay K. Samineni, Yan-Qing Wang, Kory J. Lavine, Robert W. Gereau, Gregory F. Wu, Hongzhen Hu
Treatment options for Alcohol Use Disorders (AUD) have minimally advanced since 2004, while the annual deaths and economic toll have increased alarmingly. Phosphodiesterase type 4 (PDE4) is associated with alcohol and nicotine dependence. PDE4 inhibitors were identified as a potential AUD treatment using a novel bioinformatics approach. We prioritized a newer PDE4 inhibitor, apremilast, as ideal for repurposing, (i.e. FDA approved for psoriasis, low incidence of adverse events, excellent safety profile), and tested it using multiple animal strains and models, as well as in a human Phase IIa study. We found that apremilast reduced binge-like alcohol intake and behavioral measures of alcohol motivation in mouse models of genetic risk for drinking to intoxication. Apremilast also reduced excessive alcohol drinking in models for stress-facilitated drinking and alcohol dependence. Using site-directed drug infusions and electrophysiology, we uncovered that apremilast may act to lessen drinking in mice by increasing neural activity in the nucleus accumbens, a key brain region in the regulation of alcohol intake. Importantly, apremilast (90 mg/d) reduced excessive drinking in non-treatment seeking individuals with AUD in a double blind, placebo-controlled study. These results demonstrate that apremilast suppresses excessive alcohol drinking across the spectrum of AUD severity.
Kolter B. Grigsby, Regina A. Mangieri, Amanda J. Roberts, Marcelo F. Lopez, Evan J. Firsick, Kayla G. Townsley, Alan Beneze, Jessica Bess, Toby K. Eisenstein, Joseph J. Meissler, John M. Light, Jenny Miller, Susan Quello, Farhad Shadan, Michael H. Skinner, Heather C. Aziz, Pamela Metten, Richard A. Morissett, John C. Crabbe, Marisa Roberto, Howard C. Becker, Barbara J. Mason, Angela R. Ozburn
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) is caused by insufficient insulin secretion from pancreatic β-cells. To identify candidates contributing to T2D pathophysiology, we studied human pancreatic islets from ~300 individuals. We found 395 differentially expressed genes (DEGs) in islets from individuals with T2D, including, to our knowledge, novel (OPRD1, PAX5, TET1) and previously identified (CHL1, GLRA1, IAPP) candidates. A third of the identified islet expression changes may predispose to diabetes, as they associated with HbA1c in individuals not previously diagnosed with T2D. Most DEGs were expressed in human β-cells based on single-cell RNA-sequencing data. Additionally, DEGs displayed alterations in open chromatin and associated with T2D-SNPs. Mouse knock-out strains demonstrated that T2D-associated candidates regulate glucose homeostasis and body composition in vivo. Functional validation showed that mimicking T2D-associated changes for OPRD1, PAX5, and SLC2A2 impaired insulin secretion. Impairments in Pax5-overexpressing β-cells were due to severe mitochondrial dysfunction. Finally, we discovered PAX5 as a potential transcriptional regulator of many T2D-associated DEGs in human islets. Overall, we identified molecular alterations in human pancreatic islets contributing to β-cell dysfunction in T2D pathophysiology.
Karl Bacos, Alexander Perfilyev, Alexandros Karagiannopoulos, Elaine Cowan, Jones K. Ofori, Ludivine Bertonnier-Brouty, Tina Rönn, Andreas Lindqvist, Cheng Luan, Sabrina Ruhrmann, Mtakai Ngara, Åsa Nilsson, Sevda Gheibi, Claire L. Lyons, Jens O. Lagerstedt, Mohammad Barghouth, Jonathan L.S. Esguerra, Petr Volkov, Malin Fex, Hindrik Mulder, Nils Wierup, Ulrika Krus, Isabella Artner, Lena Eliasson, Rashmi B. Prasad, Luis Rodrigo Cataldo, Charlotte Ling
Christian Lacks Lino Cardenas, Lauren C. Briere, David A. Sweetser, Mark E. Lindsay, Patricia L. Musolino
The alternative sigma factor RpoS in Borrelia burgdorferi (Bb), the Lyme disease pathogen, is responsible for programmatic positive and negative gene regulation essential for the spirochete’s dual-host enzootic cycle. RpoS is expressed during tick-to-mammal transmission and throughout mammalian infection. Although the mammalian-phase RpoS regulon is well described, its counterpart during the transmission blood meal is unknown. Here, we used Bb-specific transcript enrichment by TBDCapSeq to compare the transcriptomes of wild-type and ΔrpoS Bb in engorged nymphs and following mammalian host-adaptation within dialysis membrane chambers. TBDCapSeq revealed dramatic changes in the contours of the RpoS regulon within ticks and mammals and further confirmed that RpoS-mediated repression is specific to the mammalian-phase of Bb’s enzootic cycle. We also provide evidence that RpoS-dependent gene regulation, including repression of tick-phase genes, is required for persistence in mice. Comparative transcriptomics of engineered Bb strains revealed that BosR, a non-canonical Fur family regulator, and the c-di-GMP effector PlzA reciprocally regulate RpoS function. BosR is required for RpoS-mediated transcription activation and repression in addition to its well-defined role promoting RpoN-dependent transcription of rpoS. During transmission, liganded-PlzA antagonizes RpoS-mediated repression, presumably acting through BosR.
André A. Grassmann, Rafal Tokarz, Caroline Golino, Melissa A. McLain, Ashley M. Groshong, Justin D. Radolf, Melissa J. Caimano
Anil Dangi, Irma Husain, Collin Z. Jordan, Shuangjin Yu, Xunrong Luo
BACKGROUND. To date, only limited data is available on the mechanisms of protection against colonization with Bordetella pertussis in humans. METHODS. In this study, the cellular responses to Bordetella pertussis challenge were monitored longitudinally using high-dimensional EuroFlow-based flow cytometry, allowing quantitative detection of >250 different immune cell subsets in the blood of 15 healthy donors. RESULTS. Participants who were protected against colonization showed different early cellular responses compared to colonized participants. Especially prominent for colonization-protected participants were the early expansion of (CD36-) non classical monocytes at day 1 (d1), Natural Killer cells (d3), follicular T helper cells (d1-d3) and plasma cells (d3). Plasma cell expansion at d3 correlated negatively with the CFU load at d7 and d9 post-challenge. Increased plasma cell maturation at d11-14 was found in participants with seroconversion. CONCLUSION. These early cellular immune responses following experimental infection can now be further characterized and potentially linked to an efficient mucosal immune response, preventing colonization. Ultimately, their presence may be used to evaluate whether new Bordetella pertussis vaccine candidates are protective against Bordetella pertussis colonization, e.g., by bacterial challenge post-vaccination. TRIAL REGISTRATION. NCT03751514. FUNDING. This study is part of the PERISCOPE Project, which has received funding from the Innovative Medicines Initiative 2 Joint Undertaking under grant agreement No 115910. The flow cytometric studies were supported by the EuroFlow Consortium.
Annieck M. Diks, Hans de Graaf, Cristina Teodosio, Rick J. Groenland, Bas de Mooij, Muktar Ibrahim, Alison R. Hill, Robert C. Read, Jacques J.M. van Dongen, Magdalena A. Berkowska
Mutations of G protein coupled receptors (GPCRs) cause various human diseases, but the mechanistic details are limited. Here we establish p.E303K in the gene encoding the endothelin receptor type A (ETAR/EDNRA) as a recurrent mutation causing Mandibulofacial dysostosis with alopecia (MFDA), with craniofacial changes similar to those caused by p.Y129F. Mouse models carrying either of these missense mutations exhibit a partial maxillary-to-mandibular transformation, which is rescued by deleting the ligand endothelin 3 (ET3/EDN3). Pharmacological experiments confirmed the causative ETAR mutations as gain-of-function, dependent on ET3. To elucidate how an amino acid substitution far from the ligand binding site can increase ligand affinity, we used molecular dynamics (MD) simulations. E303 is located at the intracellular end of transmembrane domain 6, and its replacement by a lysine increases flexibility of this portion of the helix, thus favoring G-protein binding and leading to G-protein-mediated enhancement of agonist affinity. The Y129F mutation located under the ligand binding pocket reduces the sodium-water network, thereby affecting the extracellular portion of helices in favor of ET3 binding. These findings provide insight into the pathogenesis of MFDA and into allosteric mechanisms regulating GPCR function, that may provide the basis for drug design targeting GPCRs.
Yukiko Kurihara, Toru Ekimoto, Christopher T. Gordon, Yasunobu Uchijima, Ryo Sugiyama, Taro Kitazawa, Akiyasu Iwase, Risa Kotani, Rieko Asai, Véronique Pingault, Mitsunori Ikeguchi, Jeanne Amiel, Hiroki Kurihara
The molecular mechanisms of sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors (SGLT2i) remain incompletely understood. Single-cell RNA sequencing and morphometric data were collected from research kidney biopsies donated by young persons with type 2 diabetes (T2D), aged 12-21 years, and healthy controls (HC). Participants with T2D were obese, had higher estimated glomerular filtration rates, mesangial and glomerular volumes than HC. Ten T2D participants had been prescribed SGLT2i (T2Di(+)) and 6 not (T2Di(-)). Transcriptional profiles showed SGLT2 expression exclusively in the proximal tubular (PT) cluster with highest expression in T2Di(-). However, transcriptional alterations with SGLT2i treatment were seen across nephron segments, particularly in the distal nephron. SGLT2i treatment was associated with suppression of transcripts in the glycolysis, gluconeogenesis, tricarboxylic acid cycle pathways in PT, but enhanced in thick ascending limb. Transcripts in the energy sensitive mammalian target of rapamycin complex1 (mTORC1) signaling pathway returned towards HC levels in all tubular segments in T2Di(+), consistent with a diabetes mouse model treated with SGLT2i. Decreased levels of phosphorylated S6 protein in proximal and distal tubules in T2Di(+) confirmed changes in mTORC1 pathway activity. We propose that SGLT2i treatment benefits the kidneys by mitigating diabetes-induced metabolic perturbations via suppression of mTORC1 signaling in kidney tubules.
Jennifer A. Schaub, Fadhl M. AlAkwaa, Phillip J. McCown, Abhijit S. Naik, Viji Nair, Sean Eddy, Rajasree Menon, Edgar A. Otto, Dawit Demeke, John Hartman, Damian Fermin, Christopher O'Connor, Lalita Subramanian, Markus Bitzer, Roger Harned, Patricia Ladd, Laura Pyle, Subramaniam Pennathur, Ken Inoki, Jeffrey B. Hodgin, Frank C. Brosius, Robert G. Nelson, Matthias Kretzler, Petter Bjornstad
Diabetic nephropathy (DN) is a polygenic disorder with few risk variants showing robust replication in large-scale genome-wide association studies. To understand the role of DNA methylation, it is important to have the prevailing genomic view to distinguish key sequence elements that influence gene expression. This is particularly challenging for DN because genome wide methylation patterns are poorly defined. While methylation is known to alter gene expression the importance of this causal relationship is obscured by array-based technologies since coverage outside promoter regions is low. To overcome these challenges, we performed methylation sequencing using leukocytes derived from participants of the Finnish Diabetic Nephropathy (FinnDiane) type 1 diabetes (T1D) study (n=39) that was subsequently replicated in a larger validation cohort (n=296). Gene body related regions made up >60% of the methylation differences and emphasised the importance of methylation sequencing. We observe differentially methylated genes associated with DN (DDN) in three independent T1D registries originating from Denmark (n=445), Hong Kong (n=107) and Thailand (n=130). Reduced DNA methylation at CTCF and Pol2B sites were tightly connected with DN pathways that include insulin signalling, lipid metabolism and fibrosis. To define the pathophysiological significance of these population findings, methylation indices were assessed in human renal cells such as podocytes and proximal convoluted tubules. The expression of core genes was associated with reduced methylation, elevated CTCF and Pol2B binding and the activation of insulin signalling phosphoproteins in hyperglycaemic cells. These experimental observations also closely parallel methylation-mediated regulation in human macrophage and vascular endothelial cells.
Ishant Khurana, Harikrishnan Kaipananickal, Scott Maxwell, Sørine Birkelund, Anna Syreeni, Carol Forsblom, Jun Okabe, Mark Ziemann, Antony Kaspi, Haloom Rafehi, Anne Jørgensen, Keith Al-Hasani, Merlin C. Thomas, Guozhi Jiang, Andrea O.Y. Luk, Heung Man Lee, Yu Huang, Yotsapon Thewjitcharoen, Soontaree Nakasatien, Thep Himathongkam, Christopher Fogarty, Rachel Njeim, Assaad Eid, Tine Willum Hansen, Nete Tofte, Evy Connie Ottesen, Ronald C.W. Ma, Juliana C.N. Chan, Mark Emmanuel Cooper, Peter Rossing, Per-Henrik Groop, Assam El-Osta
SIPRα on macrophages binds with CD47 to resist pro-engulfment signals, but how the downstream signal of SIPRα controls tumor-infiltrating macrophages (TIMs) is still poorly clarified. Here we reported that the CD47/SIRPα axis requires the deneddylation of tyrosine phosphatase SHP2. Mechanistically, SHP2 is constitutively neddylated on K358 and K364 sites, thus its auto-inhibited conformation is maintained. In response to CD47-liganded SIRPα, SHP2 is deneddylated by SENP8, which leads to the dephosphorylation of relevant substrates at the phagocytic cup and subsequent inhibition of macrophage phagocytosis. Furthermore, neddylation inactivated myeloid-SHP2 and greatly boosted the efficacy of colorectal cancer (CRC) immunotherapy. Importantly, we observed that the supplementation with SHP2 allosteric inhibitors sensitized the immune treatment-resistant CRC to immunotherapy. Our results emphasized that the CRC subtype which is unresponsive to immunotherapy relies on SIRPαhiSHP2hiNEDD8lo TIMs, and highlighted the need to further combine the strategy of SHP2 targeting in colorectal cancer therapy.
Yiqing Li, Hui Zhou, Pan Liu, Dandan Lv, Yichun Shi, Bufu Tang, Jiaqi Xu, Tingting Zhong, Wangting Xu, Jie Zhang, Jianying Zhou, Kejing Ying, Yongchao Zhao, YI Sun, Zhinong Jiang, Hongqiang Cheng, Xue Zhang, Yue-Hai Ke
The role of tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) along with the regulatory mechanisms underlying distinct macrophage activation states remain poorly understood in prostate cancer (PCa). Herein, we reported that PCa growth in macrophage-specific Ubc9 deficient mice is substantially suppressed compared to their wild-type littermates, an effect partially ascribed to the augmented CD8+ T cell response. Biochemical and molecular analyses revealed that the signal transducer and activator of transcription 4 (STAT4) is a crucial UBC9-mediated SUMOylation target, with lysine residue 350 (K350) as the major modification site. Site-directed mutation of STAT4 (K350R) enhanced its nuclear translocation and stability, thereby facilitating the proinflammatory activation of macrophages. Importantly, administration of UBC9 inhibitor, 2-D08, promoted the antitumor effect of TAMs and increased the expression of PD-1 on CD8+ T cells, supporting a synergistic antitumor efficacy once it combined with the immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) therapy. Together, our results demonstrated that ablation of UBC9 could reverse the immunosuppressive phenotype of TAMs via promoting STAT4 mediated macrophage activation and macrophage-CD8+ T cell crosstalk, which provides valuable insights to halt the pathogenic process of tumorigenesis.
Jun Xiao, Fei Sun, Ya-Nan Wang, Bo Liu, Peng Zhou, Fa-Xi Wang, Hai-Feng Zhou, Yue Ge, Tian-Tian Yue, Jia-Hui Luo, Chun-Liang Yang, Shan-Jie Rong, Ze-Zhong Xiong, Sheng Ma, Qi Zhang, Yang Xun, Chun-Guang Yang, Yang Luan, Shao-Gang Wang, Cong-Yi Wang, Zhi-Hua Wang
Aberrant immune responses to resident microbes promote inflammatory bowel disease and other chronic inflammatory conditions. However, how microbiota-specific immunity is controlled in mucosal tissues remains poorly understood. Here, we find that mice lacking epithelial expression of microbiota-sensitive histone deacetylase 3 (HDAC3) exhibit increased accumulation of commensal-specific CD4+ T cells in the intestine, provoking the hypothesis that epithelial HDAC3 may instruct local microbiota-specific immunity. Consistent with this, microbiota-specific CD4+ T cells and epithelial HDAC3 expression were concurrently induced following early-life microbiota colonization. Further, epithelial-intrinsic ablation of HDAC3 decreased commensal-specific Tregs, increased commensal-specific Th17 cells, and promoted T cell-driven colitis. Mechanistically, HDAC3 was essential for NFκB-dependent regulation of epithelial MHC class II (MHCII). Epithelial-intrinsic MHCII dampened local accumulation of commensal-specific Th17 cells in adult mice, and protected against microbiota-triggered inflammation. Remarkably, HDAC3 enabled the microbiota to induce MHCII on epithelial cells and limit the number of commensal-specific T cells in the intestine. Collectively, these data reveal a central role for an epithelial histone deacetylase in directing the dynamic balance of tissue-intrinsic CD4+ T cell subsets that recognize commensal microbes and control inflammation.
Emily M. Eshleman, Tzu-Yu Shao, Vivienne Woo, Taylor Rice, Laura Engleman, Bailey J. Didriksen, Jordan Whitt, David B. Haslam, Sing Sing Way, Theresa Alenghat