Immune checkpoint therapies have shown tremendous promise in cancer therapy. However, tools to assess their target engagement, and hence ability to predict their efficacy, have been lacking. Here, we show that target engagement and tumor residence kinetics of antibody therapeutics targeting the programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1) can be quantified non-invasively. In computational docking studies, we observed that PD-L1-targeted antibodies (atezolizumab, avelumab, durvalumab) and a high affinity PD-L1 binding peptide, WL12, have common interaction sites on PD-L1. Using the peptide radiotracer [64Cu]WL12 in vivo, we employed positron emission tomography (PET) imaging and biodistribution studies, in multiple xenograft models and demonstrated that variable PD-L1 expression and its saturation by atezolizumab, avelumab, and durvalumab can be quantified independent of biophysical properties and pharmacokinetics of antibodies. Next, we used [64Cu]WL12 to evaluate the impact of time and dose on free fraction of tumor PD-L1 levels during treatment. These quantitative measures enabled, by mathematical modeling, prediction of antibody doses needed to achieve therapeutically effective occupancy (defined as >90%). Thus, we show that peptide-based PET is a promising tool for optimizing dose and therapeutic regimens employing PD-L1 checkpoint antibodies, and can be used for improving therapeutic efficacy.
Dhiraj Kumar, Ala Lisok, Elyes Dahmane, Matthew D. McCoy, Sagar Shelake, Samit Chatterjee, Viola Allaj, Polina Sysa-Shah, Bryan Wharram, Wojciech G. Lesniak, Ellen Tully, Edward Gabrielson, Elizabeth M. Jaffee, John T. Poirier, Charles M. Rudin, Jogarao V.S. Gobburu, Martin G. Pomper, Sridhar Nimmagadda
Macrophages perform key functions in tissue homeostasis that are influenced by the local tissue environment. Within the tumor microenvironment tumor associated macrophages can be altered to acquire properties that enhance tumor growth. Here, we found lactate, a metabolite found in high concentration within the anaerobic tumor environment, activated mTORC1 that subsequently suppressed TFEB-mediated expression of a macrophage-specific vacuolar ATPase subunit ATP6V0d2. Atp6v0d2-/- mice were more susceptible to tumor growth with enhanced HIF-2α-mediated VEGF production in macrophages that display a more protumoral phenotype. We found that ATP6V0d2 targeted HIF-2α but not HIF-1α for lysosome-mediated degradation. Blockade of HIF-2α transcriptional activity reversed the susceptibility of Atp6v0d2-/- mice to tumor development. Furthermore, in a cohort of patients with lung adenocarcinoma, expression of ATP6V0d2 and HIF-2α was positively and negatively correlated with survival respectively, suggesting a critical role of the macrophage lactate-ATP6V0d2-HIF-2α axis in maintaining tumor growth in human patients. Together, our results highlight the ability of tumor cells to modify the function of tumor-infiltrating macrophages to optimize the microenvironment for tumor growth.
Na Liu, Jing Luo, Dong Kuang, Sanpeng Xu, Yaqi Duan, Yu Xia, Zhengping Wei, Xiuxiu Xie, Bingjiao Yin, Fang Chen, Shunqun Luo, Huicheng Liu, Jing Wang, Kan Jiang, Feili Gong, Zhao-hui Tang, Xiang Cheng, Huabin Li, Zhuoya Li, Arian Laurence, Guoping Wang, Xiang-Ping Yang
Ca2+ channel β-subunit interactions with pore-forming α-subunits are long-thought to be obligatory for channel trafficking to the cell surface and for tuning of basal biophysical properties in many tissues. Unexpectedly, we demonstrate that transgenic expression of mutant cardiac α1C subunits lacking capacity to bind CaVβ because of alanine-substitutions of three conserved residues — Y467, W470, and I471 in the α-interaction domain of rabbit α1C — can traffic to the sarcolemma in adult cardiomyocytes in vivo and sustain normal excitation-contraction coupling. However, these β-less Ca2+ channels cannot be stimulated by β-adrenergic pathway agonists, and thus adrenergic-augmentation of contractility is markedly impaired in isolated cardiomyocytes and in hearts. Similarly, viral-mediated expression of a β-subunit-sequestering-peptide sharply curtailed β-adrenergic stimulation of wild-type Ca2+ channels, identifying an approach to specifically modulate β-adrenergic regulation of cardiac contractility. Our data demonstrate that β subunits are required for β-adrenergic regulation of CaV1.2 channels and positive inotropy in the heart, but are dispensable for CaV1.2 trafficking to the adult cardiomyocyte cell surface, and for basal function and excitation-contraction coupling.
Lin Yang, Alexander Katchman, Jared S. Kushner, Alexander Kushnir, Sergey I. Zakharov, Bi-xing Chen, Zunaira Shuja, Prakash Subramanyam, Guoxia Liu, Arianne Papa, Daniel D. Roybal, Geoffrey S. Pitt, Henry M. Colecraft, Steven O. Marx
Current thalassemia gene therapy protocols require the collection of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs), in vitro culture, lentivirus vector transduction, and retransplantation into myelo-ablated patients. Because of cost and technical complexity, it is unlikely that such protocols will be applicable in developing countries where the greatest demand for a beta-thalassemia therapy lies. We have developed a simple in vivo HSPC gene therapy approach that involved HSPC mobilization and an intravenous injection of integrating HDAd5/35++ vectors. Transduced HSPCs homed back to the bone marrow where they persisted long-term. HDAd5/35++ vectors for in vivo gene therapy of thalassemia had a unique capsid that targeted primitive HSPCs through human CD46, a relatively safe SB100X transposase-based integration machinery, a micro-LCR driven gamma-globin gene and, a MGMT(P140K) system that allowed for increasing the therapeutic effect by short-term treatment with low-dose O6BG/BCNU. We showed in “healthy” human CD46 transgenic mice and in a mouse model of thalassemia intermedia that our in vivo approach resulted in stable gamma-globin expression in the majority of circulating red blood cells. The high marking frequency was maintained in secondary recipients. In the thalassemia model, a near complete phenotypic correction was achieved. The treatment was well tolerated. This cost-efficient and “portable” approach could permit a broader clinical application of thalassemia gene therapy.
Hongjie Wang, Aphrodite Georgakopoulou, Nikoletta Psatha, Chang Li, Chrysi Capsali, Himanshu Bhusan Samal, Achilles Anagnostopoulos, Anja Ehrhardt, Zsuzsanna Izsvák, Thalia Papayannopoulou, Evangelia Yannaki, André Lieber
Hutchinson-Gilford progeria syndrome (HGPS) is a premature aging disorder characterized by accelerated cardiovascular disease with extensive fibrosis. It is caused by a mutation in LMNA leading to expression of truncated prelamin A (progerin) in the nucleus. To investigate the contribution of the endothelium to cardiovascular HGPS pathology, we generated an endothelium-specific HGPS mouse model with selective endothelial progerin expression. Transgenic mice develop interstitial myocardial and perivascular fibrosis and left ventricular hypertrophy associated with diastolic dysfunction and premature death. Endothelial cells show impaired shear stress response and reduced levels of endothelial nitric oxide synthase (eNOS) and NO. On the molecular level, progerin impairs nucleocytoskeletal coupling in endothelial cells through changes in mechanoresponsive components at the nuclear envelope, increased F-/G-actin ratios and deregulation of mechanoresponsive myocardin-related transcription factor-A (MRTFA). MRTFA binds to the Nos3 promoter reducing eNOS expression, thereby mediating a pro-fibrotic paracrine response in fibroblasts. MRTFA inhibition rescues eNOS levels and ameliorates the pro-fibrotic effect of endothelial cells in vitro. Although this murine model lacks the key anatomical feature of vascular smooth muscle cell loss seen in HGPS patients, our data show that progerin-induced impairment of mechanosignaling in endothelial cells contributes to excessive fibrosis and cardiovascular disease in HGPS patients.
Selma Osmanagic-Myers, Attila Kiss, Christina Manakanatas, Ouafa Hamza, Franziska Sedlmayer, Petra L. Szabo, Irmgard Fischer, Petra Fichtinger, Bruno K. Podesser, Maria Eriksson, Roland Foisner
Despite showing success in treating melanoma and haematological malignancies, adoptive cell therapy (ACT) has generated only limited effects in solid tumors. This is, in part, due to a lack of specific antigen targets, poor trafficking/infiltration and immunosuppression in the tumor microenvironment. In this study, we combined ACT with oncolytic virus vaccines (OVV) to drive expansion and tumor infiltration of transferred antigen-specific T cells, and demonstrated that the combination is highly potent for the eradication of established solid tumors. Consistent with other successful immunotherapies, this approach elicited severe autoimmune consequence when the antigen targeted was a self-protein. However, modulation of IFNα/β signaling, either by functional blockade or rational choice of an OVV backbone, ameliorated autoimmune side effects without compromising antitumor efficacy. Our study uncovers a pathogenic role for IFNα/β in facilitating autoimmune toxicity during cancer immunotherapy and offers a safe and powerful combinatorial regimen with immediate translational applications.
Scott R. Walsh, Donald Bastin, Lan Chen, Andrew Nguyen, Christopher J. Storbeck, Charles Lefebvre, David Stojdl, Jonathan L. Bramson, John C. Bell, Yonghong Wan
X-linked dominant incontinentia pigmenti (IP) and X-linked recessive anhidrotic ectodermal dysplasia with immunodeficiency (EDA-ID) are caused by loss-of-function and hypomorphic NEMO mutations, respectively. We describe a European mother with mild IP and a Japanese mother without IP, whose three boys with EDA-ID died of immunodeficiency. We identify the same private variant in an intron of IKBKG/NEMO, IVS4+866 C>T, which was inherited from and occurred de novo in the European and Japanese mothers, respectively. This mutation creates a new splicing donor site, giving rise to a 44-nucleotide pseudo-exon generating a frameshift. Its leakiness accounts for NF-κB activation being impaired, but not abolished in the boys’ cells. However, aberrant splicing rates differ between cell types, with WT NEMO mRNA and protein levels ranging from barely detectable in leukocytes to residual amounts in iPSC-derived macrophages, and higher levels in fibroblasts and iPSC-derived neuronal precursor cells. Finally, SRSF6 binds to the pseudo-exon, facilitating its inclusion. Moreover, SRSF6 knockdown or CLK inhibition restores WT NEMO expression and function in mutant cells. A recurrent deep intronic splicing mutation in IKBKG/NEMO underlies a purely quantitative NEMO defect in males that is most severe in leukocytes and can be rescued by the inhibition of SRSF6 or CLK.
Bertrand Boisson, Yoshitaka Honda, Masahiko Ajiro, Jacinta Bustamante, Matthieu Bendavid, Andrew R. Gennery, Yuri Kawasaki, Jose Ichishima, Mitsujiro Osawa, Hiroshi Nihira, Takeshi Shiba, Takayuki Tanaka, Maya Chrabieh, Benedetta Bigio, Hong Hur, Yuval Itan, Yupu Liang, Satoshi Okada, Kazushi Izawa, Ryuta Nishikomori, Osamu Ohara, Toshio Heike, Laurent Abel, Anne Puel, Megumu K. Saito, Jean-Laurent Casanova, Masatoshi Hagiwara, Takahiro Yasumi
Hereditary angioedema (HAE) is an autosomal dominant disease characterized by recurrent edema attacks associated with morbidity and mortality. HAE results from variations in the SERPING1 gene encoding C1 inhibitor (C1INH), a serine protease inhibitor (serpin). Reduced plasma levels of C1INH lead to enhanced activation of the contact system triggering high levels of bradykinin and increased vascular permeability, but the cellular mechanisms leading to low C1INH levels (20-30% of normal) in heterozygous HAE type I patients remain obscure. Here, we showed that C1INH encoded by a subset of HAE-causing SERPING1 alleles affected secretion of normal C1INH protein in a dominant negative fashion by triggering formation of protein-protein interactions between normal and mutant C1INH leading to creation of larger intracellular C1INH aggregates that were trapped in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). Notably, intracellular aggregation of C1INH and ER abnormality were observed in fibroblasts from a heterozygous carrier of a dominant negative SERPING1 gene variant, but the condition was ameliorated by viral delivery of the SERPING1 gene. Collectively, our data link abnormal accumulation of serpins, a hallmark of serpinopathies, with dominant negative disease mechanisms affecting C1INH plasma levels in HAE type I patients and may pave the way for new treatments of HAE.
Didde Haslund, Laura Barrett Ryø, Sara Seidelin Majidi, Iben Kløvgaard Rose, Kristian Alsbjerg Skipper, Tue Fryland, Anja Bille Bohn, Claus Koch, Martin K. Thomsen, Yaseelan Palarasah, Thomas J. Corydon, Anette Bygum, Lene N. Nejsum, Jacob Giehm Mikkelsen
The negatively charged sugar sialic acid (Sia) occupies the outermost position in the bulk of cell surface glycans. Lack of sialylated glycans due to genetic ablation of the Sia activating enzyme CMP-sialic acid synthase (CMAS) resulted in embryonic lethality around day 9.5 post coitum (E9.5) in mice. Developmental failure was caused by complement activation on trophoblasts in Cmas-/- implants accompanied by infiltration of maternal neutrophils at the fetal-maternal interface, intrauterine growth restriction, impaired placental development and a thickened Reichert’s membrane. This phenotype, which shared features with complement-recepter-1 related protein Y (Crry) depletion, was rescued in E8.5 Cmas-/- mice upon injection of cobra venom factor resulting in exhaustion of the maternal complement component C3. Here we show that Sia is dispensable for early development of the embryo proper, but pivotal for fetal-maternal immune homeostasis during pregnancy, i.e. for protecting the allograft implant against attack by the maternal innate immune system. Finally, embryos devoid of cell surface sialylation suffered from malnutrition due to inadequate placentation as secondary effect.
Markus Abeln, Iris Albers, Ulrike Peters-Bernard, Kerstin Flächsig-Schulz, Elina Kats, Andreas Kispert, Stephen Tomlinson, Rita Gerardy-Schahn, Anja Münster-Kühnel, Birgit Weinhold
BACKGROUND. Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD) is a heterogeneous smoking-related disease characterized by airway obstruction and inflammation. This inflammation may persist even after smoking cessation and responds variably to corticosteroids. Personalizing treatment to biologically similar “molecular phenotypes” may improve therapeutic efficacy in COPD. IL-17A is involved in neutrophilic inflammation and corticosteroid resistance, and thus may be particularly important in a COPD molecular phenotype. METHODS. We generated a gene expression signature of IL-17A response in bronchial airway epithelial brushings (“BAE”) from smokers with and without COPD (n = 238), and validated it using data from two randomized trials of IL-17 blockade in psoriasis. This IL-17 signature was related to clinical and pathologic characteristics in two additional human studies of COPD: (1) SPIROMICS (n = 47), which included former and current smokers with COPD, and (2) GLUCOLD (n = 79), in which COPD participants were randomized to placebo or corticosteroids. RESULTS. The IL-17 signature was associated with an inflammatory profile characteristic of an IL-17 response, including increased airway neutrophils and macrophages. In SPIROMICS the signature was associated with increased airway obstruction and functional small airway disease on quantitative chest CT. In GLUCOLD the signature was associated with decreased response to corticosteroids, irrespective of airway eosinophilic or Type 2 inflammation. CONCLUSION. These data suggest that a gene signature of IL-17 airway epithelial response distinguishes a biologically, radiographically, and clinically distinct COPD subgroup that may benefit from personalized therapy. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01969344. FUNDING. Primary support from NIH/NHLBI. For others see below.
Stephanie A. Christenson, Maarten van den Berge, Alen Faiz, Kai Imkamp, Nirav Bhakta, Luke R. Bonser, Lorna T. Zlock, Igor Z. Barjaktarevic, R. Graham Barr, Eugene R. Bleecker, Richard C. Boucher, Russell P. Bowler, Alejandro P. Comellas, Jeffrey L. Curtis, MeiLan K. Han, Nadia N. Hansel, Pieter S. Hiemstra, Robert J. Kaner, Jerry A. Krishnan, Fernando J. Martinez, Wanda K. O'Neal, Robert Paine III, Wim Timens, J. Michael Wells, Avrum Spira, David J. Erle, Prescott G. Woodruff
Aldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (ALDH2) is a mitochondrial enzyme detoxifying acetaldehyde and endogenous lipid aldehydes; previous studies suggest a protective role of ALDH2 against cardiovascular disease (CVD). Around 40% of East Asians carrying a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) ALDH2 rs671 have increased incidences of CVD. However, the role of ALDH2 in CVD beyond alcohol consumption remains poorly defined. Here we report that ALDH2/LDLR DKO mice have decreased atherosclerosis compared to LDLR KO mice, whereas ALDH2/APOpoE DKO have increased atherosclerosis, suggesting an unexpected interaction of ALDH2 with LDLR. Further studies demonstrate that in the absence of LDLR, AMPK phosphorylates ALDH2 at threonine 356 and enables its nuclear translocation. Nuclear ALDH2 interacts with HDAC3 and represses transcription of a lysosomal proton pump protein ATP6Vv0Ee2, critical for maintaining lysosomal function, autophagy and degradation of oxLDL. Interestingly, an interaction of cytosolic LDLR C-terminus with AMPK blocks ALDH2 phosphorylation and subsequent nuclear translocation, whereas ALDH2 rs671 mutant in human macrophages attenuates this interaction, which releases ALDH2 to nucleus to suppress ATP6Vv0Ee2 expression, resulting in increased foam cells due to impaired lysosomal function. Our studies reveal a novel role of ALDH2 and LDLR in atherosclerosis and provide a molecular mechanism by which ALDH2 rs671 SNP increases CVD.
Shanshan Zhong, Luxiao Li, Yu-Lei Zhang, Lili Zhang, Jianhong Lu, Shuyuan Guo, Ningning Liang, Jing Ge, Mingjiang Zhu, Yongzhen Tao, Yun-Cheng Wu, Huiyong Yin
Notch signaling regulates differentiation of the pancreatic endocrine lineage during embryogenesis, but the role of Notch in mature β cells is unclear. We found that islets derived from lean mice show modest β cell Notch activity, which increases in obesity and in response to high glucose. This response appeared maladaptive, as mice with β cell-specific deficient Notch transcriptional activity (β-Rbpj, β-DNMAML) showed improved glucose tolerance when subjected to high-fat diet feeding. Conversely, mice with β cell-specific expression of constitutively-active Notch1 (β-NICD) had a progressive loss of β cell maturity, due to proteasomal degradation of MafA, leading to impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion and glucose intolerance with aging or obesity. Surprisingly, Notch-active β cells had increased proliferative capacity, leading to increased but dysfunctional β cell mass. These studies demonstrate a dynamic role for Notch in developed β cells to simultaneously regulate β cell function and proliferation.
Alberto Bartolome, Changyu Zhu, Lori Sussel, Utpal B. Pajvani
Replicative immortality is a hallmark of cancer governed by telomere maintenance. About 90% of human cancers maintain their telomeres by activating telomerase, driven by transcriptional upregulation of telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT). Although TERT promoter mutations (TPMs) are a major cancer-associated genetic mechanism of TERT upregulation, many cancers exhibit TERT upregulation without TPMs. In this study, we described TERT Hypermethylated Oncological Region (THOR), a 433-bp genomic region encompassing 52 CpG sites located immediately upstream of the TERT core promoter, as a cancer-associated epigenetic mechanism of TERT upregulation. Unmethylated THOR repressed TERT promoter activity regardless of TPMs status, and hypermethylation of THOR counteracted this repressive function. THOR methylation analysis in 1,352 human tumors revealed frequent (>45%) cancer-associated DNA hypermethylation in 9 of 11 (82%) tumor types screened. Additionally, THOR hypermethylation — either independently or along with TPMs — accounted for how approximately 90% of human cancers can aberrantly activate telomerase. Thus, we propose THOR hypermethylation as a prevalent telomerase activating mechanism in cancer that can act independently or in conjunction with TPMs, further supporting the utility of THOR hypermethylation as a prognostic biomarker.
Donghyun D. Lee, Ricardo Leão, Martin Komosa, Marco Gallo, Cindy H. Zhang, Tatiana Lipman, Marc Remke, Abolfazl Heidari, Nuno Miguel Nunes, Joana D. Apolónio, Ramon Andrade De Mello, João Dias, David Huntsman, Thomas Hermanns, Peter J. Wild, Robert Vanner, Gelareh Zadeh, Jason Karamchandani, Sunit Das, Michael D. Taylor, Cynthia E. Hawkins, Jonathan D. Wasserman, Arnaldo Figueiredo, Robert J. Hamilton, Mark D. Minden, Khalida Wani, Bill Diplas, Hai Yan, Kenneth Aldape, Mohammad R. Akbari, Arnavaz Danesh, Trevor J. Pugh, Peter B. Dirks, Pedro Castelo-Branco, Uri Tabori
Levothyroxine (LT4) is a form of thyroid hormone used to treat hypothyroidism. In the brain, T4 is converted to the active form T3 by the type 2 deiodinase (D2). Thus, it is intriguing that carriers of the Thr92Ala polymorphism in the D2 gene (DIO2) exhibit clinical improvement when liothyronine (LT3) is added to LT4 therapy. Here we report that D2 is a cargo protein in endoplasmic reticulum Golgi intermediary compartment (ERGIC) vesicles, recycling between ER and Golgi. The Thr92 to Ala substitution (Ala92-D2) caused ER stress and activated the unfolded protein response (UPR); Ala92-D2 accumulated in the trans-Golgi and generated less T3, all of which was restored by eliminating ER stress with the chemical chaperone 4-phenyl butyric acid (4-PBA). An Ala92-Dio2 polymorphism-carrying mouse exhibited UPR and hypothyroidism in distinct brain areas. The mouse refrained from physical activity, slept more and required additional time to memorize objects. Enhancing T3 signaling in the brain with LT3 improved cognition, whereas restoring proteostasis with 4-PBA eliminated the Ala92-Dio2 phenotype. In contrast, primary hypothyroidism intensified the Ala92-Dio2 phenotype, with only partial response to LT4 therapy. Disruption of cellular proteostasis and reduced Ala92-D2 activity may explain the failure of LT4 therapy in carriers of Thr92Ala-DIO2.
Sungro Jo, Tatiana L. Fonseca, Barbara M.L. Da Costa Bocco, Gustavo W. Fernandes, Elizabeth A. McAninch, Anaysa P. Bolin, Rodrigo R. Da Conceição, Joao Pedro W.S. De Castro, Daniele L. Ignacio, Péter Egri, Dorottya Németh, Csaba Fekete, Maria Martha Bernardi, Victoria D. Leitch, Naila S. Mannan, Katharine F. Curry, Natalie C. Butterfield, J.H. Duncan Bassett, Graham R. Williams, Balázs Gereben, Miriam O. Ribeiro, Antonio C. Bianco
Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder in which epilepsy is common (~90%) and often refractory to antiepileptics. AS is caused by mutation of the maternal allele encoding the ubiquitin protein ligase E3A (UBE3A), but it is unclear how this genetic insult confers vulnerability to seizure development and progression (i.e., epileptogenesis). Here we implemented the flurothyl kindling and retest paradigm in AS model mice to assess epileptogenesis and to gain mechanistic insights owed to loss of maternal Ube3a. AS model mice kindled similarly to wildtype mice, but they displayed a markedly increased sensitivity to flurothyl-, kainic acid-, and hyperthermia-induced seizures measured a month later during retest. Pathological characterization revealed enhanced deposition of perineuronal nets in dentate gyrus of hippocampus of AS mice in the absence of overt neuronal loss or mossy fiber sprouting. This pro-epileptogenic phenotype resulted from Ube3a deletion in GABAergic but not glutamatergic neurons, and it was rescued by pancellular reinstatement of Ube3a at postnatal day 21 (P21), but not during adulthood. Our results suggest that epileptogenic susceptibility in AS patients is a consequence of the dysfunctional development of GABAergic circuits, which may be amenable to therapies leveraging juvenile reinstatement of UBE3A.
Bin Gu, Kelly E. Carstens, Matthew C. Judson, Katherine A. Dalton, Marie Rougié, Ellen P. Clark, Serena M. Dudek, Benjamin D. Philpot
Iron-related disorders are among the most prevalent diseases worldwide. Systemic iron homeostasis requires hepcidin, a hepatic-derived hormone that controls iron mobilization through its molecular target, ferroportin (FPN), the only known mammalian iron exporter. This pathway is perturbed in diseases that cause iron overload. Additionally, intestinal HIF-2α is essential for the local absorptive response to systemic iron deficiency and iron overload. Our data demonstrate a hetero-tissue crosstalk mechanism, where liver hepcidin regulated intestinal HIF-2α in iron deficiency, anemia, and iron overload. We show that FPN controlled cell autonomous iron efflux to regulate the activity of iron-dependent, intestinal prolyl hydroxylase domain enzymes to stabilize HIF-2α. Pharmacological blockade of HIF-2α using a clinically relevant and highly specific inhibitor successfully treated iron overload in a mouse model. These findings demonstrate a molecular link between liver hepcidin and intestinal HIF-2α that controls physiological iron uptake and drives iron hyperabsorption during iron overload.
Andrew J. Schwartz, Nupur K. Das, Sadeesh K. Ramakrishnan, Chesta Jain, Mladen Jurkovic, Jun Wu, Elizabeta Nemeth, Samira Lakhal-Littleton, Justin A. Colacino, Yatrik M. Shah
The loss of insulin-secreting β cells is characteristic among Type I and Type II diabetes. Stimulating proliferation to expand sources of β cells for transplantation remains a challenge because adult β cells do not proliferate readily. The cell cycle inhibitor p57 has been shown to control cell division in human β cells. Expression of p57 is regulated by the DNA methylation status of the Imprinting Control Region 2 (ICR2), which is commonly hypomethylated in Beckwith Wiedemann-Syndrome patients who exhibit massive β cell proliferation. We hypothesized that targeted demethylation of the ICR2 using a transcription activator-like effector protein fused to the catalytic domain of TET1 (ICR2-TET1) would repress p57 expression and promote cell proliferation. We report here that overexpression of ICR2-TET1 in human fibroblasts reduces p57 expression levels and increases proliferation. Furthermore, human islets overexpressing ICR2-TET1 exhibit repression of p57 with concomitant upregulation of Ki-67 while maintaining glucose-sensing functionality. When transplanted into diabetic, immunodeficient mice, the epigenetically edited islets show increased β cell replication compared to control islets. These findings demonstrate that epigenetic editing is a promising tool for inducing β cell proliferation, which may one day alleviate the scarcity of transplantable β cells for the treatment of diabetes.
Kristy Ou, Ming Yu, Nicholas G. Moss, Yue J. Wang, Amber W. Wang, Son C. Nguyen, Connie Jiang, Eseye Feleke, Vasumathi Kameswaran, Eric F. Joyce, Ali Naji, Benjamin Glaser, Dana Avrahami, Klaus H. Kaestner
BACKGROUND. Liquid biopsies have demonstrated that the constitutively active androgen receptor splice variant-7 (AR-V7) associates with reduced response and overall survival (OS) from endocrine therapies in castration resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). However, these studies provide little information pertaining to AR-V7 expression in prostate cancer (PC) tissue. METHODS. Following generation and validation of a novel AR-V7 antibody for immunohistochemistry, AR-V7 protein expression was determined for 358 primary prostate samples and 293 metastatic biopsies. Associations with disease progression, full length AR (AR-FL) expression, response to therapy, and gene expression was determined. RESULTS. We demonstrated that AR-V7 protein is rarely expressed (<1%) in primary PC but is frequently detected (75% of cases) following androgen deprivation therapy, with further significant (P = 0.020) increase in expression following abiraterone acetate or enzalutamide therapy. In CRPC, AR-V7 expression is predominantly (94% of cases) nuclear and correlates with AR-FL expression (P ≤ 0.001) and AR copy number (P = 0.026). However, dissociation of expression was observed suggesting mRNA splicing remains crucial for AR-V7 generation. AR-V7 expression was heterogeneous between different metastases from a patient although AR-V7 expression was similar within a metastasis. Moreover, AR-V7 expression correlated with a unique 59-gene signature in CRPC, including HOXB13, a critical co-regulator of AR-V7 function. Finally, AR-V7 negative disease associated with better PSA responses (100% vs 54%; P = 0.03) and OS (74.3 vs 25.2mo, HR 0.23 [0.07-0.79], P = 0.02) from endocrine therapies (pre-chemotherapy). CONCLUSION. This study provides impetus to develop therapies that abrogate AR-V7 signaling to improve our understanding of AR-V7 biology, and to confirm its clinical significance.
Adam Sharp, Ilsa Coleman, Wei Yuan, Cynthia Sprenger, David Dolling, Daniel Nava Rodrigues, Joshua W. Russo, Ines Figueiredo, Claudia Bertan, George Seed, Ruth Riisnaes, Takuma Uo, Antje Neeb, Jonathan Welti, Colm Morrissey, Suzanne Carreira, Jun Luo, Peter S. Nelson, Steven P. Balk, Lawrence D. True, Johann De Bono, Stephen R. Plymate
The pathogenesis of ischemic diseases remains unclear. Here we demonstrate the induction of microRNA-668 (mir-668) in ischemic acute kidney injury (AKI) in human patients, mice, and renal tubular cells. The induction was HIF-1dependant as HIF-1-deficiency in cells and kidney proximal tubules attenuated mir-668 expression. We further identified a functional HIF-1 binding site in mir-668 gene promoter. Anti-mir-668 increased apoptosis in renal tubular cells and enhanced ischemic AKI in mice, whereas mir-668 mimic was protective. Mechanistically, anti-mir-668 induced mitochondrial fragmentation, whereas mir-668 blocked mitochondrial fragmentation during hypoxia. We analyzed mir-668 target genes through immunoprecipitation of microRNA-induced silencing complexes followed by RNA deep sequencing and identified 124 protein-coding genes as likely targets of mir-668. Among these genes, only Mitochondrial Protein 18 KDa (MTP18) has been implicated in mitochondrial dynamics. In renal cells and mouse kidneys, mir-668 mimic suppressed MTP18, whereas anti-mir-668 increased MTP18 expression. Luciferase microRNA target reporter assay further verified MTP18 as a direct target of mir-668. In renal tubular cells, knockdown of MTP18 suppressed mitochondrial fragmentation and apoptosis. Together, the results suggest that mir-668 is induced via HIF-1 in ischemic AKI and, upon induction, mir-668 represses MTP18 to preserve mitochondrial dynamics for renal tubular cell survival and kidney protection.
Qingqing Wei, Haipeng Sun, Shuwei Song, Yong Liu, Pengyuan Liu, Man J. Livingston, Jianwen Wang, Mingyu Liang, Qing-Sheng Mi, Yuqing Huo, N. Stanley Nahman, Changlin Mei, Zheng Dong
Mutations in CDCA7 and HELLS that respectively encode a CXXC-type zinc finger protein and a SNF2 family chromatin remodeler cause immunodeficiency, centromeric instability, facial anomalies (ICF) syndrome type 3 and 4, respectively. Here, we demonstrate that classical non-homologous end joining (C-NHEJ) proteins Ku80 and Ku70, as well as HELLS coimmunoprecipitated with CDCA7. The coimmunoprecipitation of the repair proteins was sensitive to nuclease treatment and an ICF3 mutation in CDCA7 that impairs its chromatin binding. The functional importance of these interactions was strongly suggested by the compromised C-NHEJ activity and significant delay in Ku80 accumulation at DNA damage sites in CDCA7 and HELLS deficient HEK293 cells. Consistent with the repair defect, these cells displayed increased apoptosis, abnormal chromosome segregation, aneuploidy, centrosome amplification, and significant accumulation of γH2AX signals. Although less prominent, cells mutated for the other ICF genes DNMT3B and ZBTB24 (responsible for ICF type 1 and 2, respectively) showed similar defects. Importantly, lymphoblastoid cells from ICF patients shared the same changes detected in the mutant HEK293 cells to varying degrees. Although the C-NHEJ defect alone did not cause CG hypomethylation, CDCA7 and HELLS are involved in maintaining CG methylation at centromeric and pericentromeric repeats. The defect in C-NHEJ may account for some common features of ICF cells, including centromeric instability, abnormal chromosome segregation, and apoptosis.
Motoko Unoki, Hironori Funabiki, Guillaume Velasco, Claire Francastel, Hiroyuki Sasaki