The emergence of drug-resistant fungi has prompted an urgent threat alert from the Centers for Disease Control. Biofilm assembly by these pathogens further impairs effective therapy. We recently identifed an antifungal, turbinmicin, that inhibits the fungal vesicle-mediated trafficking pathway and demonstrates broad-spectrum activity against planktonically growing fungi. During biofilm growth, vesicles with unique features play a critical role in the delivery of the biofilm extracellular matrix components. As these components are largely responsible for the drug resistance associated with biofilm growth, we explored the utility of turbinmicin in the biofilm setting. We found that turbinmicin disrupts extracellular vesicle delivery during biofilm growth, and this impairs the subsequent assembly of the biofilm matrix. We demonstrated that elimination of the extracellular matrix renders the drug-resistant biofilm communities susceptible to fungal killing by turbinmicin. Furthermore, the addition of turbinmicin to otherwise ineffective antifungal therapy potentiated the activity of these drugs. The underlying role of vesicles explains this dramatic activity and was supported by phenotype reversal with the addition of exogenous biofilm extracellular vesicles. This striking capacity to cripple biofilm assembly mechanisms reveals a new approach to eradicating biofilms and sheds light on turbinmicin as a promising anti-biofilm drug.
Miao Zhao, Fan Zhang, Robert Zarnowski, Kenneth J. Barns, Ryley Jones, Jen L. Fossen, Hiram Sanchez, Scott R. Rajski, Anjon Audhya, Tim S. Bugni, David R. Andes
Androgen receptor (AR) nuclear localization is necessary for its activation as a transcription factor. Defining the mechanisms regulating AR nuclear localization in androgen-sensitive cells, and how these mechanisms are dysregulated in castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC) cells are fundamentally important and clinically relevant. According to the classical model of AR intracellular trafficking, androgens induce AR nuclear import and androgen withdrawal causes AR nuclear export. The present study led to an updated model that AR could be imported in the absence of androgens, ubiquitinated, and degraded in the nucleus. Androgen withdrawal caused nuclear AR degradation but not export. In comparison to their parental androgen-sensitive LNCaP prostate cancer cells, castration-resistant C4-2 cells exhibited reduced nuclear AR polyubiquitination and increased nuclear AR level. We previously identified 3-(4-chlorophenyl)-6,7-dihydro-5H-pyrrolo[1,2-a]imidazole (CPPI) in a high throughput screen for its inhibition of androgen-independent AR nuclear localization in CRPC cells. The current study showed that CPPI was a novel competitive AR antagonist capable of enhancing AR interaction with its E3 ligase MDM2, and degradation of AR in the nuclei of CRPC cells. Also, CPPI blocked androgen-independent AR nuclear import. Overall, these findings suggest the feasibility of targeting androgen-independent AR nuclear import and stabilization, two necessary steps leading to AR nuclear localization and activation in CRPC cells, with small molecule inhibitors.
Shidong Lv, Qiong Song, Guang Chen, Erdong Cheng, Wei Chen, Ryan Cole, Zeyu Wu, Laura E. Pascal, Ke Wang, Peter Wipf, Joel B. Nelson, Qiang Wei, Wenhua Huang, Zhou Wang
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) are synthesized by neurons and glia and released into the extracellular space, where they act as modulators of neuroplasticity and neuroinflammatory agents. Development of epilepsy (epileptogenesis) is associated with increased expression of MMPs and therefore they may represent potential therapeutic drug targets. Using qPCR and immunohistochemistry, we studied the expression of MMPs and their endogenous inhibitors TIMPs, in patients with status epilepticus (SE) or temporal lobe epilepsy (TLE), and in a rat TLE model. Furthermore, we tested the MMP2/9 inhibitor IPR-179 in the rapid kindling rat model and in the intrahippocampal kainic-acid mouse model.In both human and experimental epilepsy, MMP and TIMP expression was persistently dysregulated in the hippocampus compared to controls. IPR-179 treatment reduced seizure severity in the rapid kindling model and reduced the number of spontaneous seizures in the kainic-acid model (during and up to 7 weeks after delivery) without side effects while improving cognitive behavior. Moreover, our data suggest that IPR-179 prevented an MMP2/9-dependent switch-off normally restraining network excitability during the activity period. Since increased MMP expression is a prominent hallmark of the human epileptogenic brain and the MMP inhibitor IPR-179 has antiseizure and antiepileptogenic effects in rodent epilepsy models and attenuates seizure-induced cognitive decline, it deserves further investigation in clinical trials.
Diede W.M. Broekaart, Alexandra Bertran, Shaobo Jia, Anatoly Korotkov, Oleg Senkov, Anika Bongaarts, James D. Mills, Jasper Joris Anink, Jesus Seco-Moral, Johannes Baaijen, Sander Idema, Elodie Chabrol, Albert Becker, Wytse Wadman, Teresa Tarrago, Jan A. Gorter, Eleonora Aronica, Roger Prades, Alexander Dityatev, Erwin A. van Vliet
T cell exclusion causes resistance to cancer immunotherapies via immune checkpoint blockade (ICB). Myeloid cells contribute to resistance by expressing signal regulatory protein-α (SIRPα), an inhibitory membrane receptor that interacts with ubiquitous receptor CD47 to control macrophage phagocytosis in the tumor microenvironment. Although CD47/SIRPα-targeting drugs have been assessed in preclinical models, the therapeutic benefit of selectively blocking SIRPα, and not SIRPγ/CD47, in humans remains unknown. We report a potent synergy between selective SIRPα blockade and ICB in increasing memory T cell responses and reverting exclusion in syngeneic and orthotopic tumor models. Selective SIRPα blockade stimulated tumor nest T cell recruitment by restoring murine and human macrophage chemokine secretion and increased anti-tumor T cell responses by promoting tumor-antigen crosspresentation by dendritic cells. However, nonselective SIRPα/SIRPγ blockade targeting CD47 impaired human T cell activation, proliferation, and endothelial transmigration. Selective SIRPα inhibition opens an attractive avenue to overcoming ICB resistance in patients with elevated myeloid cell infiltration in solid tumors.
Vanessa Gauttier, Sabrina Pengam, Justine Durand, Kevin Biteau, Caroline Mary, Aurore Morello, Mélanie Néel, Georgia Porto, Géraldine Teppaz, Virginie Thepenier, Richard Danger, Nicolas Vince, Emmanuelle Wilhelm, Isabelle Girault, Riad Abes, Catherine Ruiz, Charlène Trilleaud, Kerry-Leigh Ralph, E. Sergio Trombetta, Alexandra Garcia, Virginie Vignard, Bernard Martinet, Alexandre Glémain, Sarah Bruneau, Fabienne Haspot, Safa Dehmani, Pierre Duplouye, Masayuki Miyasaka, Nathalie Labarrière, David Laplaud, Stéphanie Le Bas-Bernardet, Christophe Blanquart, Véronique Catros, Pierre-Antoine Gouraud, Isabelle Archambeaud, Hélène Aublé, Sylvie Metairie, Jean-François Mosnier, Dominique Costantini, Gilles Blancho, Sophie Conchon, Bernard Vanhove, Nicolas Poirier
Heterotopic ossification (HO) is pathological bone formation characterized by ossification within muscle, tendons, or other soft tissues. However, the cells of origin and mechanisms involved in the pathogenesis of HO remain elusive. Here we show that deletion of Suppressor of fused (Sufu) in Cathepsin K-Cre-expressing (Ctsk-Cre-expressing) cells resulted in spontaneous and progressive ligament, tendon, and periarticular ossification. Lineage tracing studies and cell functional analysis demonstrated that Ctsk-Cre could label a subpopulation of tendon-derived progenitor cells (TDPCs) marked by tendon marker Scleraxis (Scx). Ctsk+Scx+ TDPCs are enriched for tendon stem cell markers and show the highest self-renewal capacity and differentiation potential. Sufu deficiency caused enhanced chondrogenic and osteogenic differentiation of Ctsk-Cre-expressing tendon-derived cells via upregulating Hedgehog (Hh) signaling. Furthermore, pharmacological intervention of hedgehog signaling using JQ1 suppressed the development of HO. Thus, our results display that Cathepsin K-Cre labels a subpopulation of TDPCs contributing to HO and their cell fate changes are driven by activation of Hh signaling.
Heng Feng, Wenhui Xing, Yujiao Han, Jun Sun, Mingxiang Kong, Bo Gao, Yang Yang, Zi Yin, Xiao Chen, Yun Zhao, Qing Bi, Weiguo Zou
Desmoglein 3 chimeric autoantibody receptor T-cells (DSG3-CAART) expressing the pemphigus vulgaris (PV) autoantigen DSG3, fused to CD137-CD3ζ signaling domains, represent a precision cellular immunotherapy approach for antigen-specific B-cell depletion. Here, we present definitive preclinical studies enabling a first-in-human trial of DSG3-CAART for mucosal PV. DSG3-CAART specifically lysed human anti-DSG3 B-cells from PV patients and demonstrated activity consistent with a threshold dose in vivo, resulting in decreased target cell burden, decreased serum and tissue-bound autoantibodies, and increased DSG3-CAART engraftment. In a PV active immune model with physiologic anti-DSG3 IgG levels, DSG3-CAART inhibited antibody responses against pathogenic DSG3 epitopes and autoantibody binding to epithelial tissues, leading to clinical and histologic resolution of blisters. DSG3 autoantibodies stimulate DSG3-CAART IFNγ secretion and homotypic clustering, consistent with an activated phenotype. Toxicology screens using primary human cells and high-throughput membrane proteome arrays did not identify off-target cytotoxic interactions. These preclinical data guided the trial design for DSG3-CAART and may help inform CAART preclinical development for other antibody-mediated diseases.
Jinmin Lee, Daniel K. Lundgren, Xuming Mao, Silvio Manfredo-Vieira, Selene Nunez-Cruz, Erik F. Williams, Charles-Antoine Assenmacher, Enrico Radaelli, Sangwook Oh, Baomei Wang, Christoph T. Ellebrecht, Joseph A. Fraietta, Michael C. Miloneǂ, Aimee S. Payne
Globoid cell leukodystrophy (GLD; Krabbe disease) is a progressive, incurable neurodegenerative disease caused by deficient activity of the hydrolytic enzyme galactosylceramidase (GALC). The ensuing cytotoxic accumulation of psychosine results in diffuse central and peripheral nervous system (CNS, PNS) demyelination. Presymptomatic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is the only treatment for infantile-onset GLD; however, clinical outcomes of HSCT recipients often remain poor, and procedure-related morbidity is high. There are no effective therapies for symptomatic patients. Herein, we demonstrate in the naturally occurring canine model of GLD that presymptomatic monotherapy with intrathecal AAV9 encoding canine GALC administered into the cisterna magna increased GALC enzyme activity, normalized psychosine concentration, improved myelination, and attenuated inflammation in both the CNS and PNS. Moreover, AAV-mediated therapy successfully prevented clinical neurological dysfunction, allowing treated dogs to live beyond 2.5 years of age, more than 7 times longer than untreated dogs. Furthermore, we found that a 5-fold lower dose resulted in an attenuated form of disease, indicating that sufficient dosing is critical. Finally, postsymptomatic therapy with high-dose AAV9 also significantly extended lifespan, signifying a treatment option for patients for whom HSCT is not applicable. If translatable to patients, these findings would improve the outcomes of patients treated either pre- or postsymptomatically.
Allison M. Bradbury, Jessica H. Bagel, Duc Nguyen, Erik A. Lykken, Jill Pesayco Salvador, Xuntian Jiang, Gary P. Swain, Charles A. Assenmacher, Ian J. Hendricks, Keiko Miyadera, Rebecka S. Hess, Arielle Ostrager, Patricia ODonnell, Mark S. Sands, Daniel S. Ory, G. Diane Shelton, Ernesto R. Bongarzone, Steven J. Gray, Charles H. Vite
Although the immune response within draining lymph nodes (DLNs) has been studied for decades, how their stromal compartment contributes to this process remains to be fully explored. Here, we show that donor mast cells were prominent activators of collagen I deposition by fibroblastic reticular cells (FRCs) in DLNs shortly following transplantation. Serial analysis of the DLN indicated that the LN stroma did not return to its baseline microarchitecture following organ rejection and that the DLN contained significant fibrosis following repetitive organ transplants. Using several FRC conditional-knockout mice, we show that induction of senescence in the FRCs of the DLN resulted in massive production of collagen I and a proinflammatory milieu within the DLN. Stimulation of herpes virus entry mediator (HVEM) on FRCs by its ligand LIGHT contributed chiefly to the induction of senescence in FRCs and overproduction of collagen I. Systemic administration of ex vivo–expanded FRCs to mice decreased DLN fibrosis and strengthened the effect of anti-CD40L in prolonging heart allograft survival. These data demonstrate that the transformation of FRCs into proinflammatory myofibroblasts is critically important for the maintenance of a proinflammatory milieu within a fibrotic DLN.
Xiaofei Li, Jing Zhao, Vivek Kasinath, Mayuko Uehara, Liwei Jiang, Naima Banouni, Martina M. McGrath, Takaharu Ichimura, Paolo Fiorina, Dario R. Lemos, Su Ryon Shin, Carl F. Ware, Jonathan S. Bromberg, Reza Abdi
Despite effective antiretroviral therapy, HIV-1-nfected cells continue to produce viral antigens and induce chronic immune exhaustion. We propose to identify HIV-1-suppressing agents which can inhibit HIV-1 reactivation and reduce HIV-1-induced immune activation. Using a novel dual reporter system and a high-throughput drug screen, we identified FDA-approved drugs which can suppress HIV-1 reactivation in both cell line models and CD4+ T cells from virally suppressed, HIV-1-infected individuals. We identified 11 cellular pathways required for HIV-1 reactivation as druggable targets. Using differential expression analysis, gene set enrichment analysis and exon-intron landscape analysis, we examined the impact of drug treatment on the cellular environment at a genome-wide level. We identified a new function of a JAK inhibitor filgotinib which suppresses HIV-1 splicing. First, filgotinib preferentially suppresses spliced HIV-1 RNA transcription. Second, filgotinib suppresses HIV-1-driven aberrant cancer-related gene expression at the integration site. Third, we found that filgotinib suppresses HIV-1 transcription by inhibiting T cell activation and by modulating RNA splicing. Finally, we found that filgotinib treatment reduces the proliferation of HIV-1-infected cells. Overall, the combination of a drug screen and transcriptome analysis provides systemic understanding of cellular targets required for HIV-1 reactivation and drug candidates that may reduce HIV-1-related immune activation.
Yang-Hui Jimmy Yeh, Katharine M. Jenike, Rachela M. Calvi, Jennifer Chiarella, Rebecca Hoh, Steven G. Deeks, Ya-Chi Ho
Cachexia, a devastating wasting syndrome characterized by severe weight loss with specific losses of muscle and adipose tissue, is driven by reduced food intake, increased energy expenditure, excess catabolism, and inflammation. Cachexia is associated with poor prognosis and high mortality, and frequently occurs in patients with cancer, chronic kidney disease, infection, and many other illnesses. There is no effective treatment for this condition. Hypothalamic melanocortins have a potent and long-lasting inhibitory effect on feeding and anabolism, and pathophysiological processes increase melanocortin signaling tone leading to anorexia, metabolic changes, and eventual cachexia. We utilized three rat models of anorexia and cachexia (LPS, methylcholanthrene sarcoma, and 5/6 subtotal nephrectomy) to evaluate efficacy of TCMCB07, a synthetic antagonist of the melanocortin-4 receptor. Our data show that peripheral treatment of TCMCB07 with intraperitoneal, subcutaneous, and oral administration increased food intake and body weight, and preserved fat mass and lean mass during cachexia and LPS-induced anorexia. Furthermore, administration of TCMCB07 diminished hypothalamic inflammatory gene expression in cancer cachexia. These results suggest that peripheral TCMCB07 treatment effectively inhibits central melanocortin signaling and therefore stimulates appetite and enhances anabolism, indicating that TCMCB07 is a promising drug candidate to treat cachexia.
Xinxia Zhu, Michael F. Callahan, Kenneth A. Gruber, Marek Szumowski, Daniel L. Marks
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