ARID1A, a component of the chromatin-remodeling complex SWI/SNF, is one of the most frequently mutated genes in human cancer. We sought to develop rational combination therapy to potentiate the efficacy of immune checkpoint blockade in ARID1A-deficient tumors. In a proteomic analysis of a data set from The Cancer Genomic Atlas, we found enhanced expression of Chk2, a DNA damage checkpoint kinase, in ARID1A-mutated/deficient tumors. Surprisingly, we found that ARID1A targets the nonchromatin substrate Chk2 for ubiquitination. Loss of ARID1A increased the Chk2 level through modulating autoubiquitination of the E3-ligase RNF8 and thereby reducing RNF8-mediated Chk2 degradation. Inhibition of the ATM/Chk2 DNA damage checkpoint axis led to replication stress and accumulation of cytosolic DNA, which subsequently activated the DNA sensor STING-mediated innate immune response in ARID1A-deficient tumors. As expected, tumors with mutation or low expression of both ARID1A and ATM/Chk2 exhibited increased tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and were associated with longer patient survival. Notably, an ATM inhibitor selectively potentiated the efficacy of immune checkpoint blockade in ARID1A-depleted tumors but not in WT tumors. Together, these results suggest that ARID1A’s targeting of the nonchromatin substrate Chk2 for ubiquitination makes it possible to selectively modulate cancer cell–intrinsic innate immunity to enhance the antitumor activity of immune checkpoint blockade.
Lulu Wang, Lin Yang, Chen Wang, Wei Zhao, Zhenlin Ju, Wei Zhang, Jianfeng Shen, Yang Peng, Clemens An, Yen T. Luu, Shumei Song, Timothy A. Yap, Jaffer A. Ajani, Gordon B. Mills, Xuetong Shen, Guang Peng
BACKGROUND. Serological assays are of critical importance to investigate correlates of response and protection in COVID-19, to define previous exposure to SARS-CoV-2 in populations and to verify the development of an adaptive immune response in infected individuals. METHODS. We studied 509 confirmed COVID-19 patients from the San Raffaele Hospital of Milan and 480 pre-pandemic organ donor sera collected in 2010-2012. Using fluid-phase luciferase immune precipitation (LIPS) assays, we characterized IgG, IgM, IgA antibodies to the spike Receptor Binding Domain (RBD), S1+S2, nucleocapsid, and ORF6 to 10 of SARS-CoV-2, to the HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-HKU1 betacoronaviruses spike S2, and the H1N1Ca2009 flu virus hemagglutinin. Sequential samples at 1 and 3 months post-hospital discharge were also tested in 95 patients for SARS-CoV-2 RBD antibodies. RESULTS. Antibodies developed rapidly against multiple SARS-CoV-2 antigens in 95% of patients by 4 weeks post-symptoms onset and IgG to the RBD increased until the 3rd month of follow-up. We observed a major synchronous expansion of antibodies to the HCoV-OC43 and HCoV-HKU1 spike S2. A likely co-infection with influenza was neither linked to a more severe presentation of the disease nor to a worse outcome. Of the measured antibody responses positivity for IgG against the SARS-CoV-2 spike RBD was predictive of survival. CONCLUSIONS. The measurement of antibodies to selected epitopes of SARS-CoV-2 antigens can offer a more accurate assessment of the humoral response in patients and its impact on survival. The presence of partially cross-reactive antibodies with other betacoronoviruses is likely to impact on serological assay specificity and interpretation.
Massimiliano Secchi, Elena Bazzigaluppi, Cristina Brigatti, Ilaria Marzinotto, Cristina Tresoldi, Patrizia Rovere-Querini, Andrea Poli, Antonella Castagna, Gabriella Scarlatti, Alberto Zangrillo, Fabio Ciceri, Lorenzo Piemonti, Vito Lampasona
Protection of the brain from viral infections involves the type I interferon (IFN-I) system, defects in which renders humans susceptible to herpes simplex encephalitis (HSE). However, excessive cerebral IFN-I levels leads to pathologies, suggesting the need for tight regulation of responses. Based on data from mouse models, human HSE cases, and primary cell culture systems, we here show that microglia and other immune cells undergo apoptosis in the HSV-1-infected brain through a mechanism dependent on the cyclic GMP-AMP synthase (cGAS) - stimulator of interferon genes (STING) pathway, but independent of IFN-I. HSV-1 infection of microglia induced cGAS-dependent apoptosis at high viral doses, while lower viral doses led to IFN-I responses. Importantly, inhibition of caspase activity prevented microglial cell death and augmented IFN-I responses. Accordingly, HSV-1-infected organotypic brain slices, or mice treated with caspase inhibitor, exhibited lower viral load and improved outcome of infection. Collectively, we identify an activation-induced apoptosis program in brain immune cells which down-modulates local immune responses.
Line S. Reinert, Ahmad S. Rashidi, Diana N. Tran, Georgios Katzilieris-Petras, Astrid K. Hvidt, Mette Gohr, Stefanie Fruhwürth, Chiranjeevi Bodda, Martin K. Thomsen, Mikkel H. Vendelbo, Ahmad Raza Khan, Brian Hansen, Petra Bergström, Lotta Agholme, Trine H. Mogensen, Maria H. Christensen, Jens R. Nyengaard, Ganes C. Sen, Henrik Zetterberg, Georges M.G.M. Verjans, Soren R. Paluden
Immune evasion is a pivotal event in tumor progression. To eliminate human cancer cells, current immune checkpoint therapy is set to boost the CD8+ T cell-mediated cytotoxicity. However, this action is eventually dependent on the efficient recognition of tumor-specific antigens via T cell receptors. One primary mechanism by which tumor cells evade immune surveillance is to downregulate their antigen presentation. Little progress has been made towards harnessing potential therapeutic targets for enhancing antigen presentation on the tumor cell. Here, we identified MAL2 as a key player that determines the turnover of the antigen-loaded MHC-I complex and reduces the antigen presentation on tumor cells. MAL2 promotes the endocytosis of tumor antigens via direct interaction with the MHC-I complex and endosome-associated RAB proteins. In preclinical models, depletion of MAL2 in breast tumor cells profoundly enhanced the cytotoxicity of tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells and suppressed breast tumor growth, suggesting that MAL2 is a potential therapeutic target for breast cancer immunotherapy.
Yuanzhang Fang, Lifei Wang, Changlin Wan, Yifan Sun, Kevin Van der Jeught, Zhuolong Zhou, Tianhan Dong, Ka Man So, Tao Yu, Yujing Li, Haniyeh Eyvani, Austyn Colter, Edward Dong, Sha Cao, Jin Wang, Bryan P. Schneider, George Sandusky, Yunlong Liu, Chi Zhang, Xiongbin Lu, Xinna Zhang
BACKGROUND. The T cell responses to the common cold coronaviruses have not been well characterized. Pre-existing T cell immunity to SARS-CoV-2 has been reported, and a recent study suggested that this was due to cross-recognition of the novel coronavirus by T cells specific for the common cold coronaviruses. METHODS. We used the ELISpot assay to characterize the T cell responses against peptide pools derived from the spike protein of three common cold coronaviruses (HCoV-229E, HCoV-NL63, and HCoV-OC43) and SARS-CoV-2 in 21 healthy donors who were seronegative for SARS-CoV-2 and had no known exposure to the virus. An in vitro expansion culture assay was also used to analyze memory T cell responses. RESULTS. We found responses to the spike protein of the three common cold coronaviruses in many donors. We then focused on HCoV-NL63 and demonstrated broad T cell responses to the spike protein and identified 22 targeted peptides. Interestingly, only one subject had a significant response to SARS-CoV-2 spike or nucleocapsid protein in the ELISpot assay. In vitro expansion studies suggested that T cells specific for the HCoV-NL63 spike protein in this subject could also recognize SARS-CoV-2 spike protein peptide pools. CONCLUSIONS. Healthy donors have circulating T cells specific for the spike proteins of HCoV-NL63, HCoV-229E, and HCoV-OC43. T cell responses to SARS-CoV-2 spike and nucleocapsid proteins were present in only one subject and were potentially the result of cross-recognition by T cells specific for the common cold coronaviruses. Further studies are needed to determine whether this influences COVID-19 outcomes.
Bezawit A. Woldemeskel, Abena K. Kwaa, Caroline C. Garliss, Oliver Laeyendecker, Stuart C. Ray, Joel N. Blankson
The aorta and the large conductive arteries are immunoprivileged tissues and are protected against inflammatory attack. A breakdown of the immunoprivilege leads to autoimmune vasculitis, such as giant cell arteritis (GCA), in which CD8+ T regulatory (Treg) cells fail to contain CD4+ T cells and macrophages, resulting in the formation of tissue-destructive granulomatous lesions. Here, we report that the molecular defect of malfunctioning CD8+ Treg cells lies in aberrant NOTCH4 signaling that deviates endosomal trafficking and minimizes exosome production. By transcriptionally controlling the profile of RAB GTPases, NOTCH4 signaling restricted membrane translocation and vesicular secretion of the enzyme NADPH oxidase 2 (NOX2). Specifically, NOTCH4hiCD8+ Treg cells increased RAB5A and RAB11A expression and suppressed RAB7A, culminating in the accumulation of early and recycling endosomes and trapping of NOX2 in an intracellular, non-secretory compartment. RAB7AloCD8+ Treg cells failed in the surface translocation and the exosomal release of NOX2. NOTCH4hi RAB5Ahi RAB7Alo RAB11Ahi CD8+ Treg cells left adaptive immunity unopposed, enabling a breakdown in tissue tolerance and aggressive vessel wall inflammation. Inhibiting NOTCH4 signaling corrected the defect and protected arteries from inflammatory insult. The study implicates NOTCH4-dependent transcriptional control of RAB proteins and intracellular vesicle trafficking in autoimmune disease and in vascular inflammation.
Ke Jin, Zhenke Wen, Bowen Wu, Hui Zhang, Jingtao Qiu, Yanan Wang, Kenneth J. Warrington, Gerald Berry, Jörg J. Goronzy, Cornelia M. Weyand
Inborn errors of TLR3-dependent IFN-α/β- and -λ-mediated immunity in the central nervous system (CNS) can underlie herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV-1) encephalitis (HSE). The respective contributions of IFN-α/β and -λ are unknown. We report a child homozygous for a genomic deletion of the entire coding sequence and part of the 3’UTR of the last exon of IFNAR1, who died from HSE at the age of two years. An older cousin died following vaccination against measles, mumps and rubella at 12 months of age, and another 17-year-old cousin homozygous for the same variant has had other, less severe viral illnesses. The encoded IFNAR1 protein is expressed on the cell surface but is truncated and cannot interact with the tyrosine kinase TYK2. The patient’s fibroblasts and EBV-B cells did not respond to IFN-α2b or IFN-β, in terms of STAT1, STAT2 and STAT3 phosphorylation, or the genome-wide induction of IFN-stimulated genes. The patient’s fibroblasts were susceptible to viruses, including HSV-1, even in the presence of exogenous IFN-α2b or IFN-β. HSE is therefore a consequence of inherited complete IFNAR1 deficiency. This viral disease occurred in natural conditions, unlike those previously reported in other patients with IFNAR1 or IFNAR2 deficiency. This experiment of Nature indicates that IFN-α/β are essential for anti-HSV-1 immunity in the CNS.
Paul Bastard, Jeremy Manry, Jie Chen, Jérémie Rosain, Yoann Seeleuthner, Omar AbuZaitun, Lazaro Lorenzo, Taushif Khan, Mary Hasek, Nicholas Hernandez, Benedetta Bigio, Peng Zhang, Romain Lévy, Shai Shrot, Eduardo J. Garcia Reino, Yoon Seung Lee, Soraya Boucherit, Mélodie Aubart, Rik Gijsbers, Vivien Béziat, Zhi Li, Sandra Pellegrini, Isabelle Meyts, Flore Rozenberg, Nico Marr, Bertrand Boisson, Aurélie Cobat, Jacinta Bustamante, Qian Zhang, Emmanuelle Jouanguy, Laurent Abel, Raz Somech, Jean-Laurent Casanova, Shen-Ying Zhang
Senescent cells (SnCs) are implicated in the pathogenesis of age-related diseases including osteoarthritis (OA), in part via expression of a senescence-associated secretory phenotype (SASP) that includes immunologically relevant factors and cytokines. In a model of posttraumatic OA (PTOA), anterior cruciate ligament transection (ACLT) induced a type 17 immune response in the articular compartment and draining inguinal lymph nodes (LNs) that paralleled expression of the senescence marker p16INK4a (Cdkn2a) and p21 (Cdkn1a). Innate lymphoid cells, γδ+ T cells, and CD4+ T cells contributed to IL-17 expression. Intra-articular injection of IL-17–neutralizing antibody reduced joint degeneration and decreased expression of the senescence marker Cdkn1a. Local and systemic senolysis was required to attenuate tissue damage in aged animals and was associated with decreased IL-17 and increased IL-4 expression in the articular joint and draining LNs. In vitro, we found that Th17 cells induced senescence in fibroblasts and that SnCs skewed naive T cells toward Th17 or Th1, depending on the presence of TGF-β. The SASP profile of the inflammation-induced SnCs included altered Wnt signaling, tissue remodeling, and cell-cycle pathways not previously implicated in senescence. These findings provide molecular targets and mechanisms for senescence induction and therapeutic strategies to support tissue healing in an aged environment.
Heather J. Faust, Hong Zhang, Jin Han, Matthew T. Wolf, Ok Hee Jeon, Kaitlyn Sadtler, Alexis N. Peña, Liam Chung, David R. Maestas Jr., Ada J. Tam, Drew M. Pardoll, Judith Campisi, Franck Housseau, Daohong Zhou, Clifton O. Bingham III, Jennifer H. Elisseeff
Late-onset inflammatory toxicities resembling hemophagocytic lymphohistiocytosis (HLH) or macrophage activation syndrome (MAS) occur after chimeric antigen receptor T cell (CAR T cell) infusion and represent a therapeutic challenge. Given the established link between perforin deficiency and primary HLH, we investigated the role of perforin in anti-CD19 CAR T cell efficacy and HLH-like toxicities in a syngeneic murine model. Perforin contributed to both CD8+ and CD4+ CAR T cell cytotoxicity but was not required for in vitro or in vivo leukemia clearance. Upon CAR-mediated in vitro activation, perforin-deficient CAR T cells produced higher amounts of proinflammatory cytokines compared with WT CAR T cells. Following in vivo clearance of leukemia, perforin-deficient CAR T cells reexpanded, resulting in splenomegaly with disruption of normal splenic architecture and the presence of hemophagocytes, which are findings reminiscent of HLH. Notably, a substantial fraction of patients who received anti-CD22 CAR T cells also experienced biphasic inflammation, with the second phase occurring after the resolution of cytokine release syndrome, resembling clinical manifestations of HLH. Elevated inflammatory cytokines such as IL-1β and IL-18 and concurrent late CAR T cell expansion characterized the HLH-like syndromes occurring in the murine model and in humans. Thus, a murine model of perforin-deficient CAR T cells recapitulated late-onset inflammatory toxicities occurring in human CAR T cell recipients, providing therapeutically relevant mechanistic insights.
Kazusa Ishii, Marie Pouzolles, Christopher D. Chien, Rebecca A. Erwin-Cohen, M. Eric Kohler, Haiying Qin, Haiyan Lei, Skyler Kuhn, Amanda K. Ombrello, Alina Dulau-Florea, Michael A. Eckhaus, Haneen Shalabi, Bonnie Yates, Daniel A. Lichtenstein, Valérie S. Zimmermann, Taisuke Kondo, Jack F. Shern, Howard A. Young, Naomi Taylor, Nirali N. Shah, Terry J. Fry
The newly emerged severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) highlights the urgent need for assays that detect protective levels of neutralizing antibodies. We studied the relationship between anti-spike ectodomain (ECD), anti-receptor binding domain (RBD) IgG titers, and SARS-CoV-2 virus neutralization (VN) titers generated by two in vitro assays using convalescent plasma samples from 68 COVID-19 patients. We report a strong positive correlation between both plasma anti-RBD and anti-ECD IgG titers and in vitro VN titer. The probability of a VN titer ≥160, the FDA-recommended level for convalescent plasma used for COVID-19 treatment, was ≥80% when anti-RBD or anti-ECD titers were ≥1:1350. Of all donors, 37% lacked VN titers ≥160. Dyspnea, hospitalization, and disease severity were significantly associated with higher VN titer. Frequent donation of convalescent plasma did not significantly decrease VN or IgG titers. Analysis of 2,814 asymptomatic adults found 73 individuals with anti-ECD IgG titers of ≥1:50 and strong positive correlation with anti-RBD and VN titers. Fourteen of these individuals had VN titers ≥1:160, all of which had anti-RBD titer ≥1:1350. We conclude that anti-RBD or anti-ECD IgG titers can serve as a surrogate for VN titers to identify suitable plasma donors. Plasma anti-RBD or anti-ECD titers of ≥1:1350 may provide critical information about protection against COVID-19 disease.
Eric Salazar, Suresh V. Kuchipudi, Paul A. Christensen, Todd Eagar, Xin Yi, Picheng Zhao, Zhicheng Jin, S. Wesley Long, Randall J. Olsen, Jian Chen, Brian Castillo, Christopher Leveque, Dalton Towers, Jason J. Lavinder, Jimmy Gollihar, Jose A. Cardona, Gregory C. Ippolito, Ruth H. Nissly, Ian Bird, Denver Greenawalt, Randall M. Rossi, Abhinay Gontu, Sreenidhi Srinivasan, Indira Poojary, Isabella M. Cattadori, Peter Hudson, Nicole M. Josleyn, Laura Prugar, Kathleen E. Huie, Andrew S. Herbert, David W. Bernard, John M. Dye, Vivek Kapur, James M. Musser