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 studied 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 (IFN) signaling was blocked. In vivo, HBV viremia, after initial suppression by HCV superinfection, rebounded following HCV clearance by DAA treatment that was accompanied by a reduced hepatic IFN response. Using blood samples of coinfected patients, IFN-stimulated gene products including C-X-C motif chemokine 10 (CXCL10), 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 IFN response following HCV clearance and identify 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 M. 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
Single-nucleotide polymorphisms and locus amplification link the NF-κB transcription factor c-Rel to human autoimmune diseases and B cell lymphomas, respectively. However, the functional consequences of enhanced c-Rel levels remain enigmatic. Here, we overexpressed c-Rel specifically in mouse B cells from BAC-transgenic gene loci and demonstrate that c-Rel protein levels linearly dictated expansion of germinal center B (GCB) cells and isotype-switched plasma cells. c-Rel expression in B cells of otherwise c-Rel–deficient mice fully rescued terminal B cell differentiation, underscoring its critical B cell–intrinsic roles. Unexpectedly, in GCB cells transcription-independent regulation produced the highest c-Rel protein levels among B cell subsets. In c-Rel–overexpressing GCB cells this caused enhanced nuclear translocation, a profoundly altered transcriptional program, and increased proliferation. Finally, we provide a link between c-Rel gain and autoimmunity by showing that c-Rel overexpression in B cells caused autoantibody production and renal immune complex deposition.
Maike Kober-Hasslacher, Hyunju Oh-Strauß, Dilip Kumar, Valeria Soberon, Carina Diehl, Maciej Lech, Thomas Engleitner, Eslam Katab, Vanesa Fernández-Sáiz, Guido Piontek, Hongwei Li, Björn Menze, Christoph Ziegenhain, Wolfgang Enard, Roland Rad, Jan P. Böttcher, Hans-Joachim Anders, Martina Rudelius, Marc Schmidt-Supprian
Despite widespread use of taxanes, mechanisms of action and resistance in vivo remain to be established, and there is no way of predicting who will respond to therapy. This study examined prostate cancer (PCa) xenografts and patient samples to identify in vivo mechanisms of taxane action and resistance. Docetaxel drug-target engagement was assessed by confocal anti-tubulin immunofluorescence to quantify microtubule bundling in interphase cells and aberrant mitoses. Tumor biopsies from metastatic PCa patients obtained 2 to 5 days after their first dose of docetaxel or cabazitaxel were processed to assess microtubule bundling, which correlated with clinical response. Microtubule bundling was evident in PCa xenografts 2 to 3 days after docetaxel treatment but was decreased or lost with acquired resistance. Biopsies after treatment with leuprolide plus docetaxel showed extensive microtubule bundling as did biopsies obtained 2 to 3 days after initiation of docetaxel or cabazitaxel in 2 patients with castration-resistant PCa with clinical responses. In contrast, microtubule bundling in biopsies 2 to 3 days after the first dose of docetaxel was markedly lower in 4 nonresponding patients. These findings indicate that taxanes target both mitotic and interphase cells in vivo and that resistance is through mechanisms that impair drug-target engagement. Moreover, the findings suggest that microtubule bundling after initial taxane treatment may be a predictive biomarker for clinical response.
Ada Gjyrezi, Fang Xie, Olga Voznesensky, Prateek Khanna, Carla Calagua, Yang Bai, Justin Kung, Jim Wu, Eva Corey, Bruce Montgomery, Sandrine Mace, Diego A. Gianolio, Glenn J. Bubley, Steven P. Balk, Paraskevi Giannakakou, Rupal S. Bhatt
Phosphoglycerate dehydrogenase (PHGDH), the first rate-limiting enzyme of serine synthesis, is frequently overexpressed in human cancer. PHGDH overexpression activates serine synthesis to promote cancer progression. Currently, PHGDH regulation in normal cells and cancer is not well understood. Parkin, an E3 ubiquitin ligase involved in Parkinson’s disease, is a tumor suppressor. Parkin expression is frequently downregulated in many types of cancer, and its tumor-suppressive mechanism is poorly defined. Here, we show that PHGDH is a substrate for Parkin-mediated ubiquitination and degradation. Parkin interacted with PHGDH and ubiquitinated PHGDH at lysine 330, leading to PHGDH degradation to suppress serine synthesis. Parkin deficiency in cancer cells stabilized PHGDH and activated serine synthesis to promote cell proliferation and tumorigenesis, which was largely abolished by targeting PHGDH with RNA interference, CRISPR/Cas9 KO, or small-molecule PHGDH inhibitors. Furthermore, Parkin expression was inversely correlated with PHGDH expression in human breast cancer and lung cancer. Our results revealed PHGDH ubiquitination by Parkin as a crucial mechanism for PHGDH regulation that contributes to the tumor-suppressive function of Parkin and identified Parkin downregulation as a critical mechanism underlying PHGDH overexpression in cancer.
Juan Liu, Cen Zhang, Hao Wu, Xiao-Xin Sun, Yanchen Li, Shan Huang, Xuetian Yue, Shou-En Lu, Zhiyuan Shen, Xiaoyang Su, Eileen White, Bruce G. Haffty, Wenwei Hu, Zhaohui Feng
Glioblastoma multiforme (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 Frizzled class receptor 4 (FZD4) to activate canonical Wnt signaling. Although 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-suppressive and -promoting effects on ASCL1lo and ASCL1hi GSCs. Consistent with a potential tumor-suppressive effect of Norrin suggested by the tumor 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. This study identifies an unanticipated role of Norrin in human brain cancer progression. In addition, we provide preclinical evidence suggesting Norrin and canonical Wnt signaling as potential therapeutic targets for GBM subtype–restricted cancer stem cells.
Ahmed El-Sehemy, Hayden Selvadurai, Arturo Ortin-Martinez, Neno Pokrajac, Yasin Mamatjan, Nobuhiko Tachibana, Katherine Rowland, Lilian Lee, Nicole Park, Kenneth Aldape, Peter Dirks, Valerie A. Wallace
As there is growing evidence for the tumor microenvironment’s 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 cancer progression. Although PIK3Cδ was expressed in primary fibroblasts derived from TNBC patients, it was barely detectable in breast cancer (BC) cell lines. Genetic and pharmacological gain- and loss-of-function 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 protumorigenic effects. Inhibition of f-PIK3Cδ promoted the secretion of factors, including PLGF and BDNF, that 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 in tumor metastasis, emphasizing the potential immune-independent effects of PIK3Cδ inhibition. Finally, analysis of BC patient cohorts and TCGA data sets 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
Neutrophil accumulation is associated with lung pathology during active tuberculosis (ATB). However, the molecular mechanism or mechanisms by which neutrophils accumulate in the lung and contribute to TB immunopathology are not fully delineated. Using the well-established mouse model of TB, our new data provide evidence that the alarmin S100A8/A9 mediates neutrophil accumulation during progression to chronic TB. Depletion of neutrophils or S100A8/A9 deficiency resulted in improved Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) control during chronic but not acute TB. Mechanistically, we demonstrate that, following Mtb infection, S100A8/A9 expression is required for upregulation of the integrin molecule CD11b specifically on neutrophils, mediating their accumulation during chronic TB disease. These findings are further substantiated by increased expression of S100A8 and S100A9 mRNA in whole blood in human TB progressors when compared with nonprogressors and rapidly decreased S100A8/A9 protein levels in the serum upon TB treatment. Furthermore, we demonstrate that S100A8/A9 serum levels along with chemokines are useful in distinguishing between ATB and asymptomatic Mtb-infected latent individuals. Thus, our results support targeting S100A8/A9 pathways as host-directed therapy for TB.
Ninecia R. Scott, Rosemary V. Swanson, Noor Al-Hammadi, Racquel Domingo-Gonzalez, Javier Rangel-Moreno, Belinda A. Kriel, Allison N. Bucsan, Shibali Das, Mushtaq Ahmed, Smriti Mehra, Puthayalai Treerat, Alfredo Cruz-Lagunas, Luis Jimenez-Alvarez, Marcela Muñoz-Torrico, Karen Bobadilla-Lozoya, Thomas Vogl, Gerhard Walzl, Nelita du Plessis, Deepak Kaushal, Thomas J. Scriba, Joaquín Zúñiga, Shabaana A. Khader
PD-1 expression is a hallmark of both early antigen-specific T cell activation and later chronic stimulation, suggesting key roles in both naive T cell priming and memory T cell responses. Although significant similarities exist between T cells and NK cells, there are critical differences in their biology and functions reflecting their respective adaptive and innate immune effector functions. Expression of PD-1 on NK cells is controversial despite rapid incorporation into clinical cancer trials. Our objective was to stringently and comprehensively assess expression of PD-1 on both mouse and human NK cells under multiple conditions and using a variety of readouts. We evaluated NK cells from primary human tumor samples, after ex vivo culturing, and from multiple mouse tumor and viral models using flow cytometry, quantitative reverse-transcriptase PCR (qRT-PCR), and RNA-Seq for PD-1 expression. We demonstrate that, under multiple conditions, human and mouse NK cells consistently lack PD-1 expression despite the marked upregulation of other activation/regulatory markers, such as TIGIT. This was in marked contrast to T cells, which were far more prominent within all tumors and expressed PD-1. These data have important implications when attempting to discern NK from T cell effects and to determine whether PD-1 targeting can be expected to have direct effects on NK cell functions.
Sean J. Judge, Cordelia Dunai, Ethan G. Aguilar, Sarah C. Vick, Ian R. Sturgill, Lam T. Khuat, Kevin M. Stoffel, Jonathan Van Dyke, Dan L. Longo, Morgan A. Darrow, Stephen K. Anderson, Bruce R. Blazar, Arta M. Monjazeb, Jonathan S. Serody, Robert J. Canter, William J. Murphy
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 IFN-γ typically helps microbial clearance, we found that increased plasma IFN-γ in early clinical sepsis was associated with the later development of secondary Candida infection. Consistent with this observation, we found that exogenous IFN-γ suppressed macrophage phagocytosis of zymosan in vivo, and antibody blockade of IFN-γ after endotoxemia improved survival of secondary candidemia. Transcriptomic analysis of innate lymphocytes during endotoxemia suggested that NKT cells drove IFN-γ production by NK cells via mTORC1. Activation of invariant NKT (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 an NKT cell/mTOR/IFN-γ axis in immunosuppression following endotoxemia or sepsis. In summary, in vivo iNKT cells activated mTORC1 in NK cells to produce IFN-γ, 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 Arciniegas-Rubio, Tomoyoshi Tamura, David E. Leaf, Rebecca M. Baron, Tal Shay, Michael B. Brenner
Mycobacterium tuberculosis (M. tuberculosis) has coevolved with humans for millennia and developed multiple mechanisms to evade host immunity. Restoring host immunity in order to improve outcomes and potentially shorten existing therapy will require identification of the full complement by which host immunity is inhibited. Perturbation of host DNA methylation is a mechanism induced by chronic infections such as HIV, HPV, lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), and schistosomiasis to evade host immunity. Here, we evaluated the DNA methylation status of patients with tuberculosis (TB) and their asymptomatic household contacts and found that the patients with TB have DNA hypermethylation of the IL-2/STAT5, TNF/NF-κB, and IFN-γ signaling pathways. We performed methylation-sensitive restriction enzyme–quantitative PCR (MSRE-qPCR) and observed that multiple genes of the IL-12/IFN-γ signaling pathway (IL12B, IL12RB2, TYK2, IFNGR1, JAK1, and JAK2) were hypermethylated in patients with TB. The DNA hypermethylation of these pathways was associated with decreased immune responsiveness with decreased mitogen-induced upregulation of IFN-γ, TNF, IL-6, CXCL9, CXCL10, and IL-1β production. The DNA hypermethylation of the IL-12/IFN-γ pathway was associated with decreased IFN-γ–induced gene expression and decreased IL-12–inducible upregulation of IFN-γ. This study demonstrates that immune cells from patients with TB are characterized by DNA hypermethylation of genes critical to mycobacterial immunity resulting in decreased mycobacteria-specific and nonspecific immune responsiveness.
Andrew R. DiNardo, Kimal Rajapakshe, Tomoki Nishiguchi, Sandra L. Grimm, Godwin Mtetwa, Qiniso Dlamini, Jaqueline Kahari, Sanjana Mahapatra, Alexander Kay, Gugu Maphalala, Emily M. Mace, George Makedonas, Jeffrey D. Cirillo, Mihai G. Netea, Reinout van Crevel, Cristian Coarfa, Anna M. Mandalakas
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