Mutations underlie all cancers, and their identification and study are the foundation of cancer biology. We describe what we believe to be a novel approach to mutagenesis and cancer studies based on the DNA polymerase ε (POLE) ultramutator phenotype recently described in human cancers, in which a single amino acid substitution (most commonly P286R) in the proofreading domain results in error-prone DNA replication. We engineered a conditional PoleP286R allele in mice. PoleP286R/+ embryonic fibroblasts exhibited a striking mutator phenotype and immortalized more efficiently. PoleP286R/+ mice were born at Mendelian ratios but rapidly developed lethal cancers of diverse lineages, yielding the most cancer-prone monoallelic model described to date, to our knowledge. Comprehensive whole-genome sequencing analyses showed that the cancers were driven by high base substitution rates in the range of human cancers, overcoming a major limitation of previous murine cancer models. These data establish polymerase-mediated ultramutagenesis as an efficient in vivo approach for the generation of diverse animal cancer models that recapitulate the high mutational loads inherent to human cancers.
Hao-Dong Li, Ileana Cuevas, Musi Zhang, Changzheng Lu, Md Maksudul Alam, Yang-Xin Fu, M. James You, Esra A. Akbay, He Zhang, Diego H. Castrillon
Quantitative abnormalities of the von Willebrand factor–factor VIII (VWF-FVIII) complex associate with inherited bleeding or thrombotic disorders. Receptor-mediated interactions between plasma VWF-FVIII and phagocytic or immune cells can influence their hemostatic and immunogenic activities. Genetic association studies have demonstrated that variants in the STAB2 gene, which encodes the scavenger receptor stabilin-2, associate with plasma levels of VWF-FVIII. However, the mechanistic basis and pathophysiological consequences of this association are unknown. We have demonstrated that stabilin-2–expressing cells bind and internalize human VWF and FVIII in a VWF-dependent manner, and stabilin-2–deficient mice displayed prolonged human VWF-FVIII half-life compared with controls. The stabilin-2 variant p.E2377K significantly decreased stabilin-2 expression and impaired VWF endocytosis in a heterologous expression system, and common STAB2 variants associated with plasma VWF levels in type 1 von Willebrand disease patients. STAB2-deficient mice displayed a decreased immunogenic response to human VWF-FVIII complex, while coinfusion of human VWF-FVIII with the stabilin-2 ligand hyaluronic acid attenuated the immune response to exogenous FVIII. Collectively, these data suggest that stabilin-2 functions as both a clearance and an immunoregulatory receptor for VWF-FVIII, making stabilin-2 a novel molecular target for modification of the half-life of VWF-FVIII and the immune response to VWF-FVIII concentrates.
Laura L. Swystun, Jesse D. Lai, Colleen Notley, Ilinca Georgescu, A. Simonne Paine, Jeff Mewburn, Kate Nesbitt, Kai Schledzewski, Cyrill Géraud, Julia Kzhyshkowska, Sergij Goerdt, Wilma Hopman, Robert R. Montgomery, Paula D. James, David Lillicrap
Cyclin D1 is an oncogene frequently overexpressed in human cancers that has a dual function as cell cycle and transcriptional regulator, although the latter is widely unexplored. Here, we investigated the transcriptional role of cyclin D1 in lymphoid tumor cells with cyclin D1 oncogenic overexpression. Cyclin D1 showed widespread binding to the promoters of most actively transcribed genes, and the promoter occupancy positively correlated with the transcriptional output of targeted genes. Despite this association, the overexpression of cyclin D1 in lymphoid cells led to a global transcriptional downmodulation that was proportional to cyclin D1 levels. This cyclin D1–dependent global transcriptional downregulation was associated with a reduced nascent transcription and an accumulation of promoter-proximal paused RNA polymerase II (Pol II) that colocalized with cyclin D1. Concordantly, cyclin D1 overexpression promoted an increase in the Poll II pausing index. This transcriptional impairment seems to be mediated by the interaction of cyclin D1 with the transcription machinery. In addition, cyclin D1 overexpression sensitized cells to transcription inhibitors, revealing a synthetic lethality interaction that was also observed in primary mantle cell lymphoma cases. This finding of global transcriptional dysregulation expands the known functions of oncogenic cyclin D1 and suggests the therapeutic potential of targeting the transcriptional machinery in cyclin D1–overexpressing tumors.
Robert Albero, Anna Enjuanes, Santiago Demajo, Giancarlo Castellano, Magda Pinyol, Noelia García, Cristina Capdevila, Guillem Clot, Helena Suárez-Cisneros, Mariko Shimada, Kennosuke Karube, Mónica López-Guerra, Dolors Colomer, Sílvia Beà, José Ignacio Martin-Subero, Elías Campo, Pedro Jares
Over 40 years ago, Loeb and colleagues proposed that errors in DNA replication produce a mutator phenotype that is involved in generating the multiple mutations required for tumor development. In this issue of the JCI, Li, Castrillon, and colleagues describe a mouse model containing a single base change in the gene encoding replicative DNA polymerase ε (POLE) that mimics the “ultramutator” phenotype recently reported in many human tumors. Their seminal accomplishment validates Loeb’s hypothesis and the use of mutational signatures to understand the origins and potentially the treatment of human tumors, and it offers an exciting opportunity to further explore the mechanisms responsible for normal DNA replication fidelity and their perturbations.
Thomas A. Kunkel
HIV posttreatment controllers (PTCs) represent a natural model of sustained HIV remission, but they are rare and little is known about their viral reservoir. We obtained 1,450 proviral sequences after near-full-length amplification for 10 PTCs and 16 posttreatment noncontrollers (NCs). Before treatment interruption, the median intact and total reservoir size in PTCs was 7-fold lower than in NCs, but the proportion of intact, defective, and total clonally expanded proviral genomes was not significantly different between the 2 groups. Quantification of total but not intact proviral genome copies predicted sustained HIV remission as 81% of NCs, but none of the PTCs had a total proviral genome greater than 4 copies per million peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). The results highlight the restricted intact and defective HIV reservoir in PTCs and suggest that total proviral genome burden could act as the first biomarker for identifying PTCs. Total and defective but not intact proviral copy numbers correlated with levels of cell-associated HIV RNA, activated NK cell percentages, and both HIV-specific CD4+ and CD8+ responses. These results support the concept that defective HIV genomes can lead to viral antigen production and interact with both the innate and adaptive immune systems.
Radwa Sharaf, Guinevere Q. Lee, Xiaoming Sun, Behzad Etemad, Layla M. Aboukhater, Zixin Hu, Zabrina L. Brumme, Evgenia Aga, Ronald J. Bosch, Ying Wen, Golnaz Namazi, Ce Gao, Edward P. Acosta, Rajesh T. Gandhi, Jeffrey M. Jacobson, Daniel Skiest, David M. Margolis, Ronald Mitsuyasu, Paul Volberding, Elizabeth Connick, Daniel R. Kuritzkes, Michael M. Lederman, Xu G. Yu, Mathias Lichterfeld, Jonathan Z. Li
Biallelic loss-of-function (LOF) mutations of the NCF4 gene, encoding the p40phox subunit of the phagocyte NADPH oxidase, have been described in only 1 patient. We report on 24 p40phox-deficient patients from 12 additional families in 8 countries. These patients display 8 different in-frame or out-of-frame mutations of NCF4 that are homozygous in 11 of the families and compound heterozygous in another. When overexpressed in NB4 neutrophil-like cells and EBV-transformed B cells in vitro, the mutant alleles were found to be LOF, with the exception of the p.R58C and c.120_134del alleles, which were hypomorphic. Particle-induced NADPH oxidase activity was severely impaired in the patients’ neutrophils, whereas PMA-induced dihydrorhodamine-1,2,3 (DHR) oxidation, which is widely used as a diagnostic test for chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), was normal or mildly impaired in the patients. Moreover, the NADPH oxidase activity of EBV-transformed B cells was also severely impaired, whereas that of mononuclear phagocytes was normal. Finally, the killing of Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus hyphae by neutrophils was conserved in these patients, unlike in patients with CGD. The patients suffer from hyperinflammation and peripheral infections, but they do not have any of the invasive bacterial or fungal infections seen in CGD. Inherited p40phox deficiency underlies a distinctive condition, resembling a mild, atypical form of CGD.
Annemarie van de Geer, Alejandro Nieto-Patlán, Douglas B. Kuhns, Anton T.J. Tool, Andrés A. Arias, Matthieu Bouaziz, Martin de Boer, José Luis Franco, Roel P. Gazendam, John L. van Hamme, Michel van Houdt, Karin van Leeuwen, Paul J.H. Verkuijlen, Timo K. van den Berg, Juan F. Alzate, Carlos A. Arango-Franco, Vritika Batura, Andrea R. Bernasconi, Barbara Boardman, Claire Booth, Siobhan O. Burns, Felipe Cabarcas, Nadine Cerf Bensussan, Fabienne Charbit-Henrion, Anniek Corveleyn, Caroline Deswarte, María Esnaola Azcoiti, Dirk Foell, John I. Gallin, Carlos Garcés, Margarida Guedes, Claas H. Hinze, Steven M. Holland, Stephen M. Hughes, Patricio Ibañez, Harry L. Malech, Isabelle Meyts, Marcela Moncada-Velez, Kunihiko Moriya, Esmeralda Neves, Matias Oleastro, Laura Perez, Vimel Rattina, Carmen Oleaga-Quintas, Neil Warner, Aleixo M. Muise, Jeanet Serafín López, Eunice Trindade, Julia Vasconcelos, Séverine Vermeire, Helmut Wittkowski, Austen Worth, Laurent Abel, Mary C. Dinauer, Peter D. Arkwright, Dirk Roos, Jean-Laurent Casanova, Taco W. Kuijpers, Jacinta Bustamante
The t-SNARE protein SNAP23 conventionally functions as a component of the cellular machinery required for intracellular transport vesicle fusion with target membranes and has been implicated in the regulation of fasting glucose levels, BMI, and type 2 diabetes. Surprisingly, we observed that adipocyte-specific KO of SNAP23 in mice resulted in a temporal development of severe generalized lipodystrophy associated with adipose tissue inflammation, insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, liver steatosis, and early death. This resulted from adipocyte cell death associated with an inhibition of macroautophagy and lysosomal degradation of the proapoptotic regulator BAX, with increased BAX activation. BAX colocalized with LC3-positive autophagic vacuoles and was increased upon treatment with lysosome inhibitors. Moreover, BAX deficiency suppressed the lipodystrophic phenotype in the adipocyte-specific SNAP23-KO mice and prevented cell death. In addition, ATG9 deficiency phenocopied SNAP23 deficiency, whereas ATG7 deficiency had no effect on BAX protein levels, BAX activation, or apoptotic cell death. These data demonstrate a role for SNAP23 in the control of macroautophagy and programmed cell death through an ATG9-dependent, but ATG7-independent, pathway regulating BAX protein levels and BAX activation.
Daorong Feng, Dulguun Amgalan, Rajat Singh, Jianwen Wei, Jennifer Wen, Tszki Peter Wei, Timothy E. McGraw, Richard N. Kitsis, Jeffrey E. Pessin
Red blood cells (RBCs) influence rheology, and release ADP, ATP, and nitric oxide, suggesting a role for RBCs in hemostasis and thrombosis. Here, we provide evidence for a significant contribution of RBCs to thrombus formation. Anemic mice showed enhanced occlusion times upon injury of the carotid artery. A small population of RBCs was located to platelet thrombi and enhanced platelet activation by a direct cell contact via the FasL/FasR (CD95) pathway known to induce apoptosis. Activation of platelets in the presence of RBCs led to platelet FasL exposure that activated FasR on RBCs responsible for externalization of phosphatidylserine (PS) on the RBC membrane. Inhibition or genetic deletion of either FasL or FasR resulted in reduced PS exposure of RBCs and platelets, decreased thrombin generation, and reduced thrombus formation in vitro and protection against arterial thrombosis in vivo. Direct cell contacts between platelets and RBCs via FasL/FasR were shown after ligation of the inferior vena cava (IVC) and in surgical specimens of patients after thrombectomy. In a flow restriction model of the IVC, reduced thrombus formation was observed in FasL–/– mice. Taken together, our data reveal a significant contribution of RBCs to thrombosis by the FasL/FasR pathway.
Christoph Klatt, Irena Krüger, Saskia Zey, Kim-Jürgen Krott, Martina Spelleken, Nina Sarah Gowert, Alexander Oberhuber, Lena Pfaff, Wiebke Lückstädt, Kerstin Jurk, Martin Schaller, Hadi Al-Hasani, Jürgen Schrader, Steffen Massberg, Konstantin Stark, Hubert Schelzig, Malte Kelm, Margitta Elvers
RBCs are the most abundant circulating cells in humans and typically comprise 35% to 45% of the blood volume (hematocrit). Anemia is associated with an increase in bleeding, and epidemiological studies have shown an association between an elevated hematocrit and thrombosis. RBCs may contribute to hemostasis and thrombosis via mechanisms that include platelet margination leading to an increase in the near-wall platelet concentration, blood viscosity, thrombin generation, and platelet activation. In this issue of the JCI, Klatt et al. report that binding of the Fas ligand FasL on the surface of platelets to its cognate receptor FasR on the surface of RBCs increases thrombin generation in vitro and thrombosis in mouse models. This represents a new mechanism by which RBCs contribute to thrombosis.
Impaired lymphangiogenesis is a complication of chronic complex diseases, including diabetes. VEGF-C/VEGFR3 signaling promotes lymphangiogenesis, but how this pathway is affected in diabetes remains poorly understood. We previously demonstrated that loss of epsins 1 and 2 in lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) prevented VEGF-C–induced VEGFR3 from endocytosis and degradation. Here, we report that diabetes attenuated VEGF-C–induced lymphangiogenesis in corneal micropocket and Matrigel plug assays in WT mice but not in mice with inducible lymphatic-specific deficiency of epsins 1 and 2 (LEC-iDKO). Consistently, LECs isolated from diabetic LEC-iDKO mice elevated in vitro proliferation, migration, and tube formation in response to VEGF-C over diabetic WT mice. Mechanistically, ROS produced in diabetes induced c-Src–dependent but VEGF-C–independent VEGFR3 phosphorylation, and upregulated epsins through the activation of transcription factor AP-1. Augmented epsins bound to and promoted degradation of newly synthesized VEGFR3 in the Golgi, resulting in reduced availability of VEGFR3 at the cell surface. Preclinically, the loss of lymphatic-specific epsins alleviated insufficient lymphangiogenesis and accelerated the resolution of tail edema in diabetic mice. Collectively, our studies indicate that inhibiting expression of epsins in diabetes protects VEGFR3 against degradation and ameliorates diabetes-triggered inhibition of lymphangiogenesis, thereby providing a novel potential therapeutic strategy to treat diabetic complications.
Hao Wu, H.N. Ashiqur Rahman, Yunzhou Dong, Xiaolei Liu, Yang Lee, Aiyun Wen, Kim H.T. To, Li Xiao, Amy E. Birsner, Lauren Bazinet, Scott Wong, Kai Song, Megan L. Brophy, M. Riaj Mahamud, Baojun Chang, Xiaofeng Cai, Satish Pasula, Sukyoung Kwak, Wenxia Yang, Joyce Bischoff, Jian Xu, Diane R. Bielenberg, J. Brandon Dixon, Robert J. D’Amato, R. Sathish Srinivasan, Hong Chen
Controlling graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) remains a major unmet need in stem cell transplantation, and new, targeted therapies are being actively developed. CD28-CD80/86 costimulation blockade represents a promising strategy, but targeting CD80/CD86 with CTLA4-Ig may be associated with undesired blockade of coinhibitory pathways. In contrast, targeted blockade of CD28 exclusively inhibits T cell costimulation and may more potently prevent GVHD. Here, we investigated FR104, an antagonistic CD28-specific pegylated-Fab′, in the nonhuman primate (NHP) GVHD model and completed a multiparameter interrogation comparing it with CTLA4-Ig, with and without sirolimus, including clinical, histopathologic, flow cytometric, and transcriptomic analyses. We document that FR104 monoprophylaxis and combined prophylaxis with FR104/sirolimus led to enhanced control of effector T cell proliferation and activation compared with the use of CTLA4-Ig or CTLA4-Ig/sirolimus. Importantly, FR104/sirolimus did not lead to a beneficial impact on Treg reconstitution or homeostasis, consistent with control of conventional T cell activation and IL-2 production needed to support Tregs. While FR104/sirolimus had a salutary effect on GVHD-free survival, overall survival was not improved, due to death in the absence of GVHD in several FR104/sirolimus recipients in the setting of sepsis and a paralyzed INF-γ response. These results therefore suggest that effectively deploying CD28 in the clinic will require close scrutiny of both the benefits and risks of extensively abrogating conventional T cell activation after transplant.
Benjamin K. Watkins, Victor Tkachev, Scott N. Furlan, Daniel J. Hunt, Kayla Betz, Alison Yu, Melanie Brown, Nicolas Poirier, Hengqi Betty Zheng, Agne Taraseviciute, Lucrezia Colonna, Caroline Mary, Gilles Blancho, Jean-Paul Soulillou, Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, Prachi Sharma, Anapatricia Garcia, Elizabeth Strobert, Kelly Hamby, Aneesah Garrett, Taylor Deane, Bruce R. Blazar, Bernard Vanhove, Leslie S. Kean
Neutrophil influx into the intestinal lumen is a critical response to infectious agents, but is also associated with severe intestinal damage observed in idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease. The chemoattractant hepoxilin A3, an eicosanoid secreted from intestinal epithelial cells by the apically restricted efflux pump multidrug resistance protein 2 (MRP2), mediates this neutrophil influx. Information about a possible counterbalance pathway that could signal the lack of or resolution of an apical inflammatory signal, however, has yet to be described. We now report a system with such hallmarks. Specifically, we identify endocannabinoids as the first known endogenous substrates of the apically restricted multidrug resistance transporter P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and reveal a mechanism, which we believe is novel, for endocannabinoid secretion into the intestinal lumen. Knockdown or inhibition of P-gp reduced luminal secretion levels of N-acyl ethanolamine–type endocannabinoids, which correlated with increased neutrophil transmigration in vitro and in vivo. Additionally, loss of CB2, the peripheral cannabinoid receptor, led to increased pathology and neutrophil influx in models of acute intestinal inflammation. These results define a key role for epithelial cells in balancing the constitutive secretion of antiinflammatory lipids with the stimulated secretion of proinflammatory lipids via surface efflux pumps in order to control neutrophil infiltration into the intestinal lumen and maintain homeostasis in the healthy intestine.
Rose L. Szabady, Christopher Louissaint, Anneke Lubben, Bailu Xie, Shaun Reeksting, Christine Tuohy, Zachary Demma, Sage E. Foley, Christina S. Faherty, Alejandro Llanos-Chea, Andrew J. Olive, Randall J. Mrsny, Beth A. McCormick
Cancer cell dependence on activated oncogenes is therapeutically targeted, but acquired resistance is virtually unavoidable. Here we show that the treatment of addicted melanoma cells with BRAF inhibitors, and of breast cancer cells with HER2-targeted drugs, led to an adaptive rise in neuropilin-1 (NRP1) expression, which is crucial for the onset of acquired resistance to therapy. Moreover, NRP1 levels dictated the efficacy of MET oncogene inhibitors in addicted stomach and lung carcinoma cells. Mechanistically, NRP1 induced a JNK-dependent signaling cascade leading to the upregulation of alternative effector kinases EGFR or IGF1R, which in turn sustained cancer cell growth and mediated acquired resistance to BRAF, HER2, or MET inhibitors. Notably, the combination with NRP1-interfering molecules improved the efficacy of oncogene-targeted drugs and prevented or even reversed the onset of resistance in cancer cells and tumor models. Our study provides the rationale for targeting the NRP1-dependent upregulation of tyrosine kinases, which are responsible for loss of responsiveness to oncogene-targeted therapies.
Sabrina Rizzolio, Gabriella Cagnoni, Chiara Battistini, Stefano Bonelli, Claudio Isella, Jo A. Van Ginderachter, René Bernards, Federica Di Nicolantonio, Silvia Giordano, Luca Tamagnone
Epithelial cell dysfunction is postulated as an important component in the pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Mutations in the surfactant protein C (SP-C) gene (SFTPC), an alveolar type II (AT2) cell–restricted protein, have been found in sporadic and familial IPF. To causally link these events, we developed a knockin mouse model capable of regulated expression of an IPF-associated isoleucine-to-threonine substitution at codon 73 (I73T) in Sftpc (SP-CI73T). Tamoxifen-treated SP-CI73T cohorts developed rapid increases in SftpcI73T mRNA and misprocessed proSP-CI73T protein accompanied by increased early mortality (days 7–14). This acute phase was marked by diffuse parenchymal lung injury, tissue infiltration by monocytes, polycellular alveolitis, and elevations in bronchoalveolar lavage and AT2 mRNA content of select inflammatory cytokines. Resolution of alveolitis (2–4 weeks), commensurate with a rise in TGF-β1, was followed by aberrant remodeling marked by collagen deposition, AT2 cell hyperplasia, α–smooth muscle actin–positive (α-SMA–positive) cells, and restrictive lung physiology. The translational relevance of the model was supported by detection of multiple IPF biomarkers previously reported in human cohorts. These data provide proof of principle that mutant SP-C expression in vivo causes spontaneous lung fibrosis, strengthening the role of AT2 cell dysfunction as a key upstream driver of IPF pathogenesis.
Shin-Ichi Nureki, Yaniv Tomer, Alessandro Venosa, Jeremy Katzen, Scott J. Russo, Sarita Jamil, Matthew Barrett, Vivian Nguyen, Meghan Kopp, Surafel Mulugeta, Michael F. Beers
Under normal conditions, there is a paucity of neutrophils within the intestinal mucosa; however, these innate immune cells rapidly infiltrate the mucosa in response to infection and are critical for pathogen control. Unfortunately, these cells can cause extensive damage to the intestine if the initial inflammatory influx is not resolved. Factors that promote resolution of inflammation are of great interest, as they have therapeutic potential for limiting uncontrolled inflammatory damage. In this issue of the JCI, Szabady et al. demonstrate that the multidrug resistance transporter P-glycoprotein (P-gp) secretes endocannabinoids into the intestinal lumen that counteract the proinflammatory actions of the eicosanoid hepoxilin A3, which is secreted into the lumen by the efflux pump MRP2 and serves as a potent neutrophil chemoattractant. Moreover, the antiinflammatory actions of P-gp–secreted endocannabinoids were mediated by peripheral cannabinoid receptor CB2 on neutrophils. Together, the results of this study identify an important mechanism by which endogenous endocannabinoids facilitate the resolution of inflammation; this mechanism has potential to be therapeutically exploited.
Andrew S. Neish
Although mutant forms of the gene encoding surfactant protein C (SFTPC) have been linked to interstitial lung disease, the mechanisms by which the most common of these mutations, SFTPCI73T, results in lung fibrosis are uncertain. In this issue of the JCI, Nureki et al. developed a knockin mouse model and showed that SFTPCI73T is expressed by alveolar type II (AT2) epithelial cells in the lungs. These mice developed an age-related fibrotic phenotype when the mutant allele was expressed at low levels and acute lung inflammation/injury followed by lung fibrosis when mutant SFTPCI73T expression was enhanced. This work provides important information regarding the impact of AT2 cell dysfunction on fibrotic remodeling in the lungs.
Timothy S. Blackwell
DNA-damaging chemotherapy and radiation therapy are integrated into the treatment paradigm of the majority of cancer patients. Recently, immunotherapy that targets the immunosuppressive interaction between programmed death 1 (PD-1) and its ligand PD-L1 has been approved for malignancies including non–small cell lung cancer, melanoma, and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. ATR is a DNA damage–signaling kinase activated at damaged replication forks, and ATR kinase inhibitors potentiate the cytotoxicity of DNA-damaging chemotherapies. We show here that the ATR kinase inhibitor AZD6738 combines with conformal radiation therapy to attenuate radiation-induced CD8+ T cell exhaustion and potentiate CD8+ T cell activity in mouse models of Kras-mutant cancer. Mechanistically, AZD6738 blocks radiation-induced PD-L1 upregulation on tumor cells and dramatically decreases the number of tumor-infiltrating Tregs. Remarkably, AZD6738 combines with conformal radiation therapy to generate immunologic memory in complete responder mice. Our work raises the possibility that a single pharmacologic agent may enhance the cytotoxic effects of radiation while concurrently potentiating radiation-induced antitumor immune responses.
Frank P. Vendetti, Pooja Karukonda, David A. Clump, Troy Teo, Ronald Lalonde, Katriana Nugent, Matthew Ballew, Brian F. Kiesel, Jan H. Beumer, Saumendra N. Sarkar, Thomas P. Conrads, Mark J. O’Connor, Robert L. Ferris, Phuoc T. Tran, Greg M. Delgoffe, Christopher J. Bakkenist
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) densely accumulate into tumors and potently suppress antitumor immune responses, promoting tumor development. Targeting MDSCs in tumor immunotherapy has been hampered by lack of understanding of the molecular pathways that govern MDSC differentiation and function. Herein, we identify autophagy as a crucial pathway for MDSC-mediated suppression of antitumor immunity. Specifically, MDSCs in patients with melanoma and mouse melanoma exhibited increased levels of functional autophagy. Ablation of autophagy in myeloid cells markedly delayed tumor growth and endowed antitumor immune responses. Notably, tumor-infiltrating autophagy-deficient monocytic MDSCs (M-MDSCs) demonstrated impaired suppressive activity in vitro and in vivo, whereas transcriptome analysis revealed substantial differences in genes related to lysosomal function. Accordingly, autophagy-deficient M-MDSCs exhibited impaired lysosomal degradation, thereby enhancing surface expression of MHC class II molecules, resulting in efficient activation of tumor-specific CD4+ T cells. Finally, targeting of the membrane-associated RING-CH1 (MARCH1) E3 ubiquitin ligase that mediates the lysosomal degradation of MHC II in M-MDSCs attenuated their suppressive function, and resulted in markedly decreased tumor volume followed by development of a robust antitumor immunity. Collectively, these findings depict autophagy as a molecular target of MDSC-mediated suppression of antitumor immunity.
Themis Alissafi, Aikaterini Hatzioannou, Konstantinos Mintzas, Roza Maria Barouni, Aggelos Banos, Sundary Sormendi, Alexandros Polyzos, Maria Xilouri, Ben Wielockx, Helen Gogas, Panayotis Verginis
Dormant or slow-cycling tumor cells can form a residual chemoresistant reservoir responsible for relapse in patients, years after curative surgery and adjuvant therapy. We have adapted the pulse-chase expression of H2BeGFP for labeling and isolating slow-cycling cancer cells (SCCCs). SCCCs showed cancer initiation potential and enhanced chemoresistance. Cells at this slow-cycling status presented a distinctive nongenetic and cell-autonomous gene expression profile shared across different tumor types. We identified TET2 epigenetic enzyme as a key factor controlling SCCC numbers, survival, and tumor recurrence. 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), generated by TET2 enzymatic activity, labeled the SCCC genome in carcinomas and was a predictive biomarker of relapse and survival in cancer patients. We have shown the enhanced chemoresistance of SCCCs and revealed 5hmC as a biomarker for their clinical identification and TET2 as a potential drug target for SCCC elimination that could extend patients’ survival.
Isabel Puig, Stephan P. Tenbaum, Irene Chicote, Oriol Arqués, Jordi Martínez-Quintanilla, Estefania Cuesta-Borrás, Lorena Ramírez, Pilar Gonzalo, Atenea Soto, Susana Aguilar, Cristina Eguizabal, Ginevra Caratù, Aleix Prat, Guillem Argilés, Stefania Landolfi, Oriol Casanovas, Violeta Serra, Alberto Villanueva, Alicia G. Arroyo, Luigi Terracciano, Paolo Nuciforo, Joan Seoane, Juan A. Recio, Ana Vivancos, Rodrigo Dienstmann, Josep Tabernero, Héctor G. Palmer
Hypoglycemia activates the counterregulatory response (CRR), a neural-endocrine reflex that restores euglycemia. Although effective if occasionally activated, repeated induction of the CRR leads to a decline in responsiveness and prolonged exposure to hypoglycemia. The mechanism underlying this impairment is not known. We found that the reduction in epinephrine release that characterizes a suppressed CRR involves a long-lasting form of sympatho-adrenal synaptic plasticity. Using optogenetically evoked catecholamine release, we show that recurrent hypoglycemia reduced the secretory capacity of mouse adrenal chromaffin cells. Single activation of the CRR increased the adrenal levels of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate-limiting enzyme for catecholamine synthesis, but this was prevented by repeated activation. In contrast, the level of neuropeptide Y (NPY), an adrenal cotransmitter, remained elevated after recurrent hypoglycemia. Inhibition of NPY or Y1 signaling, either transgenically or pharmacologically, prevented the attenuation of both TH expression and epinephrine release. These results indicate that impairment of the CRR involves suppressed activity at the adrenal level. Interfering with the peripheral NPY–dependent negative feedback loop may provide a way to avoid the pathophysiological consequences of recurrent hypoglycemia which are common in the diabetic state.
Yunbing Ma, Qian Wang, Debria Joe, Manqi Wang, Matthew D. Whim