Therapy-induced neuroendocrine prostate cancer (t-NEPC) is a highly aggressive subtype of prostate cancer with poor patient survival. Emerging evidence indicates that t-NEPC can develop when prostate adenocarcinoma cells acquire cancer stem-like cell signaling in the presence of androgen receptor inhibition, followed by redifferentiation toward neuroendocrine lineage and subsequent t-NEPC progression. Whether the stem-like signaling is controlled by the core pluripotency stem cell genes (e.g., LIN28 and SOX2) remains unknown. Here, we report that the transcription of the LIN28B isoform and SOX2 were co-upregulated in t-NEPC patient tumors, patient-derived xenografts, transgenic mice, and cell models. Immunohistochemistry validated that LIN28B and SOX2 protein expression were elevated in t-NEPC patient biopsies. Using prostate adenocarcinoma and t-NEPC cell models, we demonstrated that LIN28B induced a stem-like gene network, neuroendocrine biomarkers, and neuroendocrine cell morphology. LIN28B depletion by CRISPR inhibited t-NEPC tumorigenesis and xenograft growth. These LIN28B functions were mediated mainly through the suppression of let-7 miRNA expression, resulting in de-repression of the transcription factor HMGA2 and HMGA2-mediated SOX2 expression. This study revealed a mechanism by which t-NEPC can develop through the LIN28B/let-7/SOX2 axis that regulates a cancer cell stem-like gene network, highlighting LIN28B as a potential therapeutic target in t-NEPC.
Jessica Lovnicki, Yu Gan, Tingting Feng, Yinan Li, Ning Xie, Chia-Hao Ho, Ahn R. Lee, Xufeng Chen, Lucia Nappi, Bo Han, Ladan Fazli, Jiaoti Huang, Martin E. Gleave, Xuesen Dong
The congenital sideroblastic anemias (CSAs) can be caused by primary defects in mitochondrial iron-sulfur (Fe-S) cluster biogenesis. HSCB (heat shock cognate B), which encodes a mitochondrial cochaperone, also known as HSC20 (heat shock cognate protein 20), is the partner of mitochondrial heat shock protein A9 (HSPA9). Together with glutaredoxin 5 (GLRX5), HSCB and HSPA9 facilitate the transfer of nascent 2-iron, 2-sulfur clusters to recipient mitochondrial proteins. Mutations in both HSPA9 and GLRX5 have previously been associated with CSA. Therefore, we hypothesized that mutations in HSCB could also cause CSA. We screened patients with genetically undefined CSA and identified a frameshift mutation and a rare promoter variant in HSCB in a female patient with non-syndromic CSA. We found that HSCB expression was decreased in patient-derived fibroblasts and K562 erythroleukemia cells engineered to have the patient-specific promoter variant. Furthermore, gene knockdown and deletion experiments performed in K562 cells, zebrafish, and mice demonstrate that loss of HSCB results in impaired Fe-S cluster biogenesis, a defect in RBC hemoglobinization, and the development of siderocytes and more broadly perturbs hematopoiesis in vivo. These results further affirm the involvement of Fe-S cluster biogenesis in erythropoiesis and hematopoiesis and define HSCB as a CSA gene.
Andrew Crispin, Chaoshe Guo, Caiyong Chen, Dean R. Campagna, Paul J. Schmidt, Daniel Lichtenstein, Chang Cao, Anoop K. Sendamarai, Gordon J. Hildick-Smith, Nicholas C. Huston, Jeanne Boudreaux, Sylvia S. Bottomley, Matthew M. Heeney, Barry H. Paw, Mark D. Fleming, Sarah Ducamp
In the mammalian heart, the left ventricle (LV) rapidly becomes more dominant in size and function over the right ventricle (RV) after birth. The molecular regulators responsible for this chamber-specific differential growth are largely unknown. We found that cardiomyocytes in the neonatal mouse RV had lower proliferation, more apoptosis, and a smaller average size compared with the LV. This chamber-specific growth pattern was associated with a selective activation of p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) activity in the RV and simultaneous inactivation in the LV. Cardiomyocyte-specific deletion of both the Mapk14 and Mapk11 genes in mice resulted in loss of p38 MAPK expression and activity in the neonatal heart. Inactivation of p38 activity led to a marked increase in cardiomyocyte proliferation and hypertrophy but diminished cardiomyocyte apoptosis, specifically in the RV. Consequently, the p38-inactivated hearts showed RV-specific enlargement postnatally, progressing to pulmonary hypertension and right heart failure at the adult stage. Chamber-specific p38 activity was associated with differential expression of dual-specific phosphatases (DUSPs) in neonatal hearts, including DUSP26. Unbiased transcriptome analysis revealed that IRE1α/XBP1–mediated gene regulation contributed to p38 MAPK–dependent regulation of neonatal cardiomyocyte proliferation and binucleation. These findings establish an obligatory role of DUSP/p38/IRE1α signaling in cardiomyocytes for chamber-specific growth in the postnatal heart.
Tomohiro Yokota, Jin Li, Jijun Huang, Zhaojun Xiong, Qing Zhang, Tracey Chan, Yichen Ding, Christoph Rau, Kevin Sung, Shuxun Ren, Rajan Kulkarni, Tzung Hsiai, Xinshu Xiao, Marlin Touma, Susumu Minamisawa, Yibin Wang
Dengue virus (DENV) infection requires cholesterol as a proviral factor, although statin treatment did not show antiviral efficacy in patients with dengue. Here, we show that DENV infection manipulated cholesterol metabolism in cells residing in low-oxygen microenvironments (hypoxia) such as in the liver, spleen, and lymph nodes. DENV infection induced expression of proprotein convertase subtilisin/kexin type 9 (PCSK9), which reduces low-density lipoprotein receptor (LDLR) recycling and hence cholesterol uptake. We found that, whereas LDLR uptake would have distributed cholesterol throughout the various cell compartments, de novo cholesterol synthesis enriched this lipid in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). With cholesterol enrichment in the ER, ER-resident STING and type I IFN (IFN) activation was repressed during DENV infection. Our in vitro findings were further supported by the detection of elevated plasma PCSK9 levels in patients with dengue with high viremia and increased severity of plasma leakage. Our findings therefore suggest that PCSK9 plays a hitherto unrecognized role in dengue pathogenesis and that PCSK9 inhibitors could be a suitable host-directed treatment for patients with dengue.
Esther Shuyi Gan, Hwee Cheng Tan, Duyen Huynh Thi Le, Trieu Trung Huynh, Bridget Wills, Nabil G. Seidah, Eng Eong Ooi, Sophie Yacoub
Immunotherapeutic strategies are increasingly important in neuro-oncology, and the elucidation of escape mechanisms that lead to treatment resistance is crucial. We investigated the impact of immune pressure on the clonal dynamics and immune escape signature by comparing glioma growth in immunocompetent versus immunodeficient mice. Glioma-bearing WT and Pd-1–/– mice survived significantly longer than immunodeficient Pfp–/– Rag2–/– mice. While tumors in Pfp–/– Rag2–/– mice were highly polyclonal, immunoedited tumors in WT and Pd-1–/– mice displayed reduced clonality with emergence of immune escape clones. Tumor cells in WT mice were distinguished by an IFN-γ–mediated response signature with upregulation of genes involved in immunosuppression. Tumor-infiltrating stromal cells, which include macrophages/microglia, contributed even more strongly to the immunosuppressive signature than the actual tumor cells. The identified murine immune escape signature was reflected in human patients and correlated with poor survival. In conclusion, immune pressure profoundly shapes the clonal composition and gene regulation in malignant gliomas.
Cecile L. Maire, Malte Mohme, Michael Bockmayr, Krystian D. Fita, Kristoffer Riecken, Daniela Börnigen, Malik Alawi, Antonio Failla, Katharina Kolbe, Svenja Zapf, Mareike Holz, Katrin Neumann, Lasse Dührsen, Tobias Lange, Boris Fehse, Manfred Westphal, Katrin Lamszus
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) is the causative agent for coronavirus 2019 (COVID-19) pneumonia. Little is known about the kinetics, tissue distribution, cross-reactivity, and neutralization antibody response in patients with COVID-19. Two groups of patients with RT-PCR–confirmed COVID-19 were enrolled in this study: 12 severely ill patients in intensive care units who needed mechanical ventilation and 11 mildly ill patients in isolation wards. Serial clinical samples were collected for laboratory detection. Results showed that most of the severely ill patients had viral shedding in a variety of tissues for 20–40 days after onset of disease (8/12, 66.7%), while the majority of mildly ill patients had viral shedding restricted to the respiratory tract and had no detectable virus RNA 10 days after onset (9/11, 81.8%). Mildly ill patients showed significantly lower IgM response compared with that of the severe group. IgG responses were detected in most patients in both the severe and mild groups at 9 days after onset, and remained at a high level throughout the study. Antibodies cross-reactive to SARS-CoV and SARS-CoV-2 were detected in patients with COVID-19 but not in patients with MERS. High levels of neutralizing antibodies were induced after about 10 days after onset in both severely and mildly ill patients which were higher in the severe group. SARS-CoV-2 pseudotype neutralization test and focus reduction neutralization test with authentic virus showed consistent results. Sera from patients with COVID-19 inhibited SARS-CoV-2 entry. Sera from convalescent patients with SARS or Middle East respiratory syndrome (MERS) did not. Anti–SARS-CoV-2 S and N IgG levels exhibited a moderate correlation with neutralization titers in patients’ plasma. This study improves our understanding of immune response in humans after SARS-CoV-2 infection.
Yanqun Wang, Lu Zhang, Ling Sang, Feng Ye, Shicong Ruan, Bei Zhong, Tie Song, Abeer N. Alshukairi, Rongchang Chen, Zhaoyong Zhang, Mian Gan, Airu Zhu, Yongbo Huang, Ling Luo, Chris Ka Pun Mok, Manal M. Al Gethamy, Haitao Tan, Zhengtu Li, Xiaofang Huang, Fang Li, Jing Sun, Yanjun Zhang, Liyan Wen, Yuming Li, Zhao Chen, Zhen Zhuang, Jianfen Zhuo, Chunke Chen, Lijun Kuang, Junxiang Wang, Huibin Lv, Yongliang Jiang, Min Li, Yimin Lin, Ying Deng, Lan Tang, Jieling Liang, Jicheng Huang, Stanley Perlman, Nanshan Zhong, Jingxian Zhao, J.S. Malik Peiris, Yimin Li, Jincun Zhao
Pediatric and adult high-grade gliomas (HGGs) frequently harbor PDGFRA alterations. We hypothesized that cotreatment with everolimus may improve the efficacy of dasatinib in PDGFRα-driven glioma through combinatorial synergism and increased tumor accumulation of dasatinib. We performed dose-response, synergism, P-glycoprotein inhibition, and pharmacokinetic studies in in vitro and in vivo human and mouse models of HGG. Six patients with recurrent PDGFRα-driven glioma were treated with dasatinib and everolimus. We found that dasatinib effectively inhibited the proliferation of mouse and human primary HGG cells with a variety of PDGFRA alterations. Dasatinib exhibited synergy with everolimus in the treatment of HGG cells at low nanomolar concentrations of both agents, with a reduction in mTOR signaling that persisted after dasatinib treatment alone. Prolonged exposure to everolimus significantly improved the CNS retention of dasatinib and extended the survival of PPK tumor–bearing mice (mutant TP53, mutant PDGFRA, H3K27M). Six pediatric patients with glioma tolerated this combination without significant adverse events, and 4 patients with recurrent disease (n = 4) had a median overall survival of 8.5 months. Our results show that the efficacy of dasatinib treatment of PDGFRα-driven HGG was enhanced with everolimus and suggest a promising route for improving targeted therapy for this patient population.
Zachary Miklja, Viveka Nand Yadav, Rodrigo T. Cartaxo, Ruby Siada, Chase C. Thomas, Jessica R. Cummings, Brendan Mullan, Stefanie Stallard, Alyssa Paul, Amy K. Bruzek, Kyle Wierzbicki, Tao Yang, Taylor Garcia, Ian Wolfe, Marcia Leonard, Patricia L. Robertson, Hugh J.L. Garton, Daniel R. Wahl, Hemant Parmar, Jann N. Sarkaria, Cassie Kline, Sabine Mueller, Theodore Nicolaides, Chana Glasser, Sarah E.S. Leary, Sriram Venneti, Chandan Kumar-Sinha, Arul M. Chinnaiyan, Rajen Mody, Manjunath P. Pai, Timothy N. Phoenix, Bernard L. Marini, Carl Koschmann
Human natural killer cell deficiency (NKD) arises from inborn errors of immunity that lead to impaired NK cell development, function, or both. Through the understanding of the biological perturbations in individuals with NKD, requirements for the generation of terminally mature functional innate effector cells can be elucidated. Here, we report a cause of NKD resulting from compound heterozygous mutations in minichromosomal maintenance complex member 10 (MCM10) that impaired NK cell maturation in a child with fatal susceptibility to CMV. MCM10 has not been previously associated with monogenic disease and plays a critical role in the activation and function of the eukaryotic DNA replisome. Through evaluation of patient primary fibroblasts, modeling patient mutations in fibroblast cell lines, and MCM10 knockdown in human NK cell lines, we have shown that loss of MCM10 function leads to impaired cell cycle progression and induction of DNA damage–response pathways. By modeling MCM10 deficiency in primary NK cell precursors, including patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cells, we further demonstrated that MCM10 is required for NK cell terminal maturation and acquisition of immunological system function. Together, these data define MCM10 as an NKD gene and provide biological insight into the requirement for the DNA replisome in human NK cell maturation and function.
Emily M. Mace, Silke Paust, Matilde I. Conte, Ryan M. Baxley, Megan M. Schmit, Sagar L. Patil, Nicole C. Guilz, Malini Mukherjee, Ashley E. Pezzi, Jolanta Chmielowiec, Swetha Tatineni, Ivan K. Chinn, Zeynep Coban Akdemir, Shalini N. Jhangiani, Donna M. Muzny, Asbjørg Stray-Pedersen, Rachel E. Bradley, Mo Moody, Philip P. Connor, Adrian G. Heaps, Colin Steward, Pinaki P. Banerjee, Richard A. Gibbs, Malgorzata Borowiak, James R. Lupski, Stephen Jolles, Anja K. Bielinsky, Jordan S. Orange
Beclin 2 plays a critical role in metabolic regulation and obesity, but its functions in innate immune signaling and cancer development remain largely unknown. Here, we identified Beclin 2 as a critical negative regulator of inflammation and lymphoma development. Mice with homozygous ablation of BCL2-interacting protein 2 (Becn2) developed splenomegaly and lymphadenopathy and markedly increased ERK1/2 and NF-κB signaling for proinflammatory cytokine production. Beclin 2 targeted the key signaling kinases MEKK3 and TAK1 for degradation through an ATG9A-dependent, but ATG16L/Beclin 1/LC3–independent, autophagic pathway. Mechanistically, Beclin 2 recruited MEKK3 or TAK1 through ATG9A to form a complex (Beclin 2-ATG9A-MEKK3) on ATG9A+ vesicles upon ULK1 activation. Beclin 2 further interacted with STX5 and STX6 to promote the fusion of MEKK3- or TAK1-associated ATG9A+ vesicles to phagophores for subsequent degradation. Importantly, Becn2-deficient mice had a markedly increased incidence of lymphoma development, with persistent STAT3 activation. Myeloid-specific ablation of MEKK3 (Map3k3) completely rescued the phenotypes (splenomegaly, higher amounts of proinflammatory cytokines, and cancer incidence) of Becn2-deficient mice. Hence, our findings have identified an important role of Beclin 2 in the negative regulation of innate immune signaling and tumor development through an ATG9A-dependent, but ATG16L/Beclin 1/LC3–independent, autophagic pathway, thus providing a potential target for the treatment of inflammatory diseases and cancer.
Motao Zhu, Guangtong Deng, Peng Tan, Changsheng Xing, Cuiping Guan, Chongming Jiang, Yinlong Zhang, Bo Ning, Chaoran Li, Bingnan Yin, Kaifu Chen, Yuliang Zhao, Helen Y. Wang, Beth Levine, Guangjun Nie, Rong-Fu Wang
Essential tremor is a common brain disorder affecting millions of people, yet the neuronal mechanisms underlying this prevalent disease remain elusive. Here, we showed that conditional deletion of synaptotagmin-2, the fastest Ca2+ sensor for synaptic neurotransmitter release, from parvalbumin neurons in mice caused an action tremor syndrome resembling the core symptom of essential tremor patients. Combining brain region–specific and cell type–specific genetic manipulation methods, we found that deletion of synaptotagmin-2 from excitatory parvalbumin-positive neurons in cerebellar nuclei was sufficient to generate an action tremor. The synaptotagmin-2 deletion converted synchronous into asynchronous neurotransmitter release in projections from cerebellar nuclei neurons onto gigantocellular reticular nucleus neurons, which might produce an action tremor by causing signal oscillations during movement. The tremor was rescued by completely blocking synaptic transmission with tetanus toxin in cerebellar nuclei, which also reversed the tremor phenotype in the traditional harmaline-induced essential tremor model. Using a promising animal model for action tremor, our results thus characterized a synaptic circuit mechanism that may underlie the prevalent essential tremor disorder.
Mu Zhou, Maxwell D. Melin, Wei Xu, Thomas C. Südhof
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