Chronic inflammation is a pathologic feature of neurodegeneration and aging; however, the mechanism regulating this process is not understood. Melatonin, an endogenous free radical scavenger synthesized by neuronal mitochondria, decreases with aging and neurodegeneration. We proposed that insufficient melatonin levels impair mitochondrial homeostasis resulting in mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) release, activation of cytosolic DNA mediated inflammatory response in neurons. We found increased mitochondrial oxidative stress and decreased mitochondrial membrane potential with higher mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) release in brain and primary cerebro-cortical neurons of melatonin deficient aralkylamine N-acetyltransferase (AANAT) knockout mice. Cytosolic mtDNA activated the cGAS/STING/IRF3 pathway, stimulating inflammatory cytokine generation. We found that Huntington's disease mice increased mtDNA release, cGAS activation, and inflammation, all inhibited by exogenous melatonin. Thus, we demonstrated that cytosolic mtDNA activated the inflammatory response in aging and neurodegeneration, a process modulated by melatonin. Furthermore, our data suggest that AANAT knockout mice are a model of accelerated aging.
Abhishek Jauhari, Sergei V. Baranov, Yalikun Suofu, Jinho Kim, Tanisha Singh, Svitlana Yablonska, Fang Li, Xiaomin Wang, Patrick Oberly, M. Beth Minnigh, Samuel M. Poloyac, Diane L. Carlisle, Robert M. Friedlander
Multiple sclerosis (MS) is an inflammatory demyelinating disorder of the CNS. Bile acids are cholesterol metabolites that can signal through receptors on cells throughout the body, including the CNS and immune system. Whether bile acid metabolism is abnormal in MS is unknown. Using global and targeted metabolomic profiling, we identified lower levels of circulating bile acid metabolites in multiple cohorts of adult and pediatric MS patients compared to controls. In white matter lesions from MS brain tissue, we noted the presence of bile acid receptors on immune and glial cells. To mechanistically examine the implications of lower levels of bile acids in MS, we studied the in vitro effects of an endogenous bile acid – tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) on astrocyte and microglial polarization. TUDCA prevented neurotoxic (A1) polarization of astrocytes and pro-inflammatory polarization of microglia in a dose-dependent manner. TUDCA supplementation in experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis reduced severity of disease through its effects on GPBAR1, based on behavioral and pathological measures. We demonstrate that bile acid metabolism is altered in MS; bile acid supplementation prevents polarization of astrocytes and microglia to neurotoxic phenotypes and ameliorates neuropathology in an animal model of MS. These findings identify dysregulated bile acid metabolism as a potential therapeutic target in MS.
Pavan Bhargava, Matthew D. Smith, Leah Mische, Emily P. Harrington, Kathryn C. Fitzgerald, Kyle A. Martin, Sol Kim, Arthur Anthony A. Reyes, Jaime Gonzalez-Cardona, Christina Volsko, Ajai Tripathi, Sonal Singh, Kesava Varanasi, Hannah-Noelle Lord, Keya R. Meyers, Michelle Taylor, Marjan Gharagozloo, Elias S. Sotirchos, Bardia Nourbakhsh, Ranjan Dutta, Ellen Mowry, Emmanuelle Waubant, Peter A. Calabresi
β-cell apoptosis and dedifferentiation are two hotly-debated mechanisms underlying β-cell loss in type 2 diabetes; however, the molecular drivers underlying such events remain largely unclear. Here, we performed a side-by-side comparison of mice carrying β-cell-specific deletion of endoplasmic reticulum (ER)-associated degradation (ERAD) and autophagy. We reported that while autophagy was necessary for β-cell survival, the highly conserved Sel1L-Hrd1 ERAD protein complex was required for the maintenance of β-cell maturation and identity. Using single cell RNA-sequencing, we demonstrated that Sel1L deficiency was not associated with β-cell loss, but rather loss of β-cell identity. Sel1L-Hrd1 ERAD controlled β-cell identity via TGFβ signaling, in part by mediating the degradation of TGFβ receptor 1 (TGFβRI). Inhibition of TGFβ signaling in Sel1L-deficient β-cells augmented the expression of β-cell maturation markers and increased the total insulin content. Our data revealed distinct pathogenic effects of two major proteolytic pathways in β-cells, providing a new framework for therapies targeting distinct mechanisms of protein quality control.
Neha Shrestha, Tongyu Liu, Yewei Ji, Rachel Reinert, Mauricio Torres, Xin Li, Maria Zhang, Chih-Hang Anthony Tang, Chih-Chi Andrew Hu, Chengyang Liu, Ali Naji, Ming Liu, Jiandie D. Lin, Sander Kersten, Peter Arvan, Ling Qi
Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC), the major producers of Type I interferon, are principally recognized as key mediators of antiviral immunity. However, their role in tumor immunity is less clear. Depending on the context, pDC can both promote or suppress antitumor immune responses. In this study, we identified a naturally occurring pDC subset expressing high levels of OX40 (OX40+ pDC) enriched in the tumor microenvironment (TME) of head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. OX40+ pDC were distinguished by a distinct immunostimulatory phenotype, cytolytic function and ability to synergize with conventional dendritic cells (cDC) in generating potent tumor antigen-specific CD8+ T cell responses. Transcriptomically, we found they selectively utilized EIF2 signaling and oxidative phosphorylation pathways. Moreover, depletion of pDC in the murine OX40+ pDC-rich tumor model accelerated tumor growth. Collectively, we present evidence of a pDC subset in the TME that favors antitumor immunity.
Kate O. Poropatich, Donye Dominguez, Wen-Ching Chan, Jorge Andrade, Yuanyuan Zha, Brian D. Wray, Jason Miska, Lei Qin, Lisa E. Cole, Sydney Coates, Urjeet A. Patel, Sandeep Samant, Bin Zhang
Glioblastoma (GBM) contains a subpopulation of cells, GBM stem cells (GSCs), that maintain the bulk tumor and represent a key therapeutic target. Norrin is a Wnt ligand that binds the Frizzled4 (FZD4) receptor to activate canonical Wnt signaling. While Norrin, encoded by NDP, has a well- described role in vascular development, its function in human tumorigenesis is largely unexplored. Here, we show that NDP expression is enriched in neurological cancers, including GBM, and its levels positively correlated with survival in a GBM subtype defined by low expression of ASCL1, a proneural factor. We investigated the function of Norrin and FZD4 in GSCs and found that it mediated opposing tumor-promoting and -suppressive effects on ASCL1lo and ASCL1hi GSCs. Consistent with a potential tumor suppressive effect of Norrin suggested by the tumour outcome data, we found that Norrin signaling through FZD4 inhibited growth in ASCL1lo GSCs. In contrast, in ASCL1hi GSCs Norrin promoted Notch signaling, independently of WNT, to promote tumor progression. Forced ASCL1 expression reversed the tumor suppressive effects of Norrin in ASCL1lo GSCs. Our results identify Norrin as a modulator of human brain cancer progression and reveal an unanticipated Notch mediated function of Norrin in regulating cancer stem cell biology.
Ahmed El-Sehemy, Hayden J. Selvadurai, Arturo Ortin-Martinez, Neno T. Pokrajac, Yasin Mamatjan, Nobuhiko Tachibana, Katherine J. Rowland, Lilian Lee, Nicole I. Park, Kenneth D. Aldape, Peter Dirks, Valerie A. Wallace
Infusion of the broadly neutralizing antibody VRC01 has been evaluated in HIV-1 chronically infected individuals. Here we studied how VRC01 infusions impacted viral rebound after cessation of antiretroviral therapy (ART) in 18 acutely-treated and durably-suppressed individuals. Viral rebound occurred in all individuals, yet VRC01 infusions modestly delayed rebound and participants who showed a faster decay of VRC01 in serum rebounded more rapidly (Rho=0.60, p=0.03). Participants with strains most sensitive to VRC01 or with VRC01 epitope motifs similar to known VRC01-susceptible strains rebounded later (Rho=-0.70, p<0.03). Upon rebound, HIV-1 sequences were indistinguishable from those sampled at diagnosis. Across the cohort, participant derived Env showed different sensitivity to VRC01 neutralization (including two resistant viruses), yet neutralization sensitivity was similar at diagnosis and post-rebound, indicating the lack of selection for VRC01-resistance during treatment interruption.Our results showed that viremia rebounded despite the absence of HIV-1 adaptation to VRC01 and an average VRC01 trough of 221µg/mL. While VRC01 levels were insufficient to prevent a resurgent infection, knowledge that they did not mediate Env mutations in acute-like viruses is relevant for antibody-based strategies in acute infection.
Evan M. Cale, Hongjun Bai, Meera Bose, Michael A. Messina, Donn Colby, Eric Sanders-Buell, Bethany L. Dearlove, Yifan Li, Emily Engeman, Daniel Silas, Anne Marie O’Sullivan, Brendan Mann, Suteeraporn Pinyakorn, Jintana Intasan, Khunthalee Benjapornpong, Carlo Sacdalan, Eugene Kroon, Nittaya Phanuphak, Robert Gramzinski, Sandhya Vasan, Merlin L. Robb, Nelson L. Michael, Rebecca M. Lynch, Robert Bailer, Amélie Pagliuzza, Nicolas Chomont, Amarendra Pegu, Nicole A. Doria-Rose, Lydie Trautmann, Trevor A. Crowell, John Mascola, Jintanat Ananworanich, Sodsai Tovanabutra, Morgane Rolland
In patients with HBV and HCV coinfection, HBV reactivation leading to severe hepatitis has been reported with the use of direct-acting antivirals (DAAs) to treat HCV infection. Here we study the molecular mechanisms behind this viral interaction. In coinfected cell culture and humanized mice, HBV replication was suppressed by HCV coinfection. In vitro, HBV suppression was attenuated when interferon signaling was blocked. In vivo, HBV viremia, after initial suppression by HCV super-infection, rebounded following HCV clearance by DAA treatment that was accompanied by a reduced hepatic interferon response. Using blood samples of coinfected patients, interferon-stimulated gene products including C-X-C motif chemokine 10 (CXCL10) and C-C motif chemokine ligand 5 (CCL5), and alanine aminotransferase (ALT) were identified to have predictive value for HBV reactivation after HCV clearance. Taken together, our data suggest that HBV reactivation is a result of diminished hepatic interferon response following HCV clearance and identifies serologic markers that can predict HBV reactivation in DAA-treated HBV-HCV coinfected persons.
Xiaoming Cheng, Takuro Uchida, Yuchen Xia, Regina Umarova, Chun-Jen Liu, Pei-Jer Chen, Anuj Gaggar, Vithika Suri, Marcus Maximilian Mücke, Johannes Vermehren, Stefan Zeuzem, Yuji Teraoka, Mitsutaka Osawa, Hiroshi Aikata, Keiji Tsuji, Nami Mori, Shuhei Hige, Yoshiyasu Karino, Michio Imamura, Kazuaki Chayama, T. Jake Liang
As there is growing evidence for the tumor microenvironment’s (TME) role in tumorigenesis, we investigated the role of fibroblast-expressed kinases in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC). Using a high-throughput kinome screen combined with 3D invasion assays, we identified fibroblast-expressed PIK3Cδ (f-PIK3Cδ) as a key regulator of progression. Although PIK3Cδ was expressed in primary fibroblasts derived from TNBC patients, it was undetectable in breast cancer cell lines. Genetic and pharmacologic gain- and loss-of functions experiments verified the contribution of f-PIK3Cδ in TNBC cell invasion. Integrated secretomics and transcriptomics analyses revealed a paracrine mechanism via which f-PIK3Cδ confers its pro-tumorigenic effects. Inhibition of f-PIK3Cδ promoted the secretion of factors, including PLGF and BDNF, which led to upregulation of NR4A1 in TNBC cells where it acts as a tumor suppressor. Inhibition of PIK3Cδ in an orthotopic BC mouse model reduced tumor growth only after inoculation with fibroblasts, indicating a role of f-PIK3Cδ in cancer progression. Similar results were observed in the MMTV-PyMT transgenic BC mouse model, along with a decrease on tumor metastasis emphasizing the potential immune-independent effects of PIK3Cδ inhibition. Finally, analysis of BC patient cohorts and TCGA datasets identified f-PIK3Cδ (protein and mRNA levels) as an independent prognostic factor for overall and disease free survival, highlighting it as a therapeutic target for TNBC.
Teresa Gagliano, Kalpit Shah, Sofia Gargani, Liyan Lao, Mansour Alsaleem, Jianing Chen, Vasileios Ntafis, Penghan Huang, Angeliki Ditsiou, Viviana Vella, Kritika Yadav, Kamila Bienkowska, Giulia Bresciani, Kai Kang, Leping Li, Philip Carter, Graeme Benstead-Hume, Timothy O’Hanlon, Michael Dean, Frances M.G. Pearl, Soo Chin Lee, Emad A. Rakha, Andrew R Green, Dimitris L. Kontoyiannis, Erwei Song, Justin Stebbing, Georgios Giamas
As treatment of the early, inflammatory phase of sepsis improves, post-sepsis immunosuppression and secondary infection have increased in importance. How early inflammation drives immunosuppression remains unclear. Although IFNγ typically helps microbial clearance, we found that increased plasma IFNγ in early clinical sepsis was associated with the later development of secondary Candida infection. Consistent with this observation, we found that exogenous IFNγ suppressed macrophage phagocytosis of zymosan in vivo, and antibody blockade of IFNγ after endotoxemia improved survival of secondary candidemia. Transcriptomic analysis of innate lymphocytes during endotoxemia suggested that NKT cells drove IFNγ production by NK cells via mTORC1. Activation of iNKT cells with glycolipid antigen drove immunosuppression. Deletion of iNKT cells in Cd1d-/- mice or inhibition of mTOR by rapamycin reduced immunosuppression and susceptibility to secondary Candida infection. Thus, although rapamycin is typically an immunosuppressive medication, in the context of sepsis, rapamycin has the opposite effect. These results implicated a NKT cell-mTOR-IFNγ axis in immunosuppression following endotoxemia or sepsis. In summary, in vivo iNKT cells activated mTORC1 in NK cells to produce IFNγ , which worsened macrophage phagocytosis, clearance of secondary Candida infection and mortality.
Edy Y. Kim, Hadas Ner-Gaon, Jack Varon, Aidan M. Cullen, Jingyu Guo, Jiyoung Choi, Diana Barragan-Bradford, Angelica Higuera, Mayra Pinilla-Vera, Samuel A.P. Short, Antonio J. Arciniegas-Rubio, Tomoyoshi Tamura, David E. Leaf, Rebecca M. Baron, Tal Shay, Michael B. Brenner
Kallikrein-related peptidase 6 (KLK6) is a secreted serine protease hypothesized to promote inflammation via cleavage of protease-activated receptors (PAR)1 and PAR2. KLK6 levels are elevated in multiple inflammatory and autoimmune conditions, but no definitive role in pathogenesis has been established. Here, we show that skin-targeted overexpression of KLK6 causes generalized, severe psoriasiform dermatitis with spontaneous development of debilitating psoriatic arthritis-like joint disease. The psoriatic skin and joint phenotypes are reversed by normalization of skin KLK6 levels and attenuated following genetic elimination of PAR1 but not PAR2. Conservation of this regulatory pathway was confirmed in human psoriasis using vorapaxar, an FDA-approved PAR1 antagonist, on explanted lesional skin from psoriasis patients. Beyond defining a critical role for KLK6-PAR1 signaling in promoting psoriasis, our results demonstrate that KLK6-PAR1-mediated inflammation in the skin alone is sufficient to drive inflammatory joint disease. Further, we identify PAR1 as a promising cytokine-independent target in therapy of psoriasis and psoriatic arthritis.
Allison C. Billi, Jessica E. Ludwig, Yi Fritz, Richard Rozic, William R. Swindell, Lam C. Tsoi, Dennis Gruszka, Shahla Abdollahi-Roodsaz, Xianying Xing, Doina Diaconu, Ranjitha Uppala, Maya I. Camhi, Philip A. Klenotic, Mrinal K. Sarkar, M. Elaine Husni, Jose U. Scher, Christine McDonald, J. Michelle Kahlenberg, Ronald J. Midura, Johann E. Gudjonsson, Nicole L. Ward
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