Concise Communication

Abstract

Innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) are enriched at barrier surfaces, including the gastrointestinal tract. While most studies have focused on the balance between pathogenic group 1 ILCs (ILC1s) and protective ILC3s in maintaining gut homeostasis and during chronic intestinal inflammation, such as Crohn’s disease (CD), less is known regarding ILC2s. Using an established murine model of CD-like ileitis, i.e., SAMP1/YitFc (SAMP) strain, we showed that ILC2s, compared to ILC1s and ILC3s, were increased within draining mesenteric lymph nodes and ilea of SAMP vs. AKR (parental control) mice early, during the onset of disease. Gut-derived ILC2s from Crohn’s patients vs. healthy controls were also increased and expand, similar to ILC1s, in greater proportion compared to ILC3s. Importantly, we report that the intracellular bacterial-sensing protein, nucleotide-binding oligomerization domaining-containing protein-2, encoded by NOD2, the first and strongest susceptibility gene identified for CD, promoted ILC2 expansion, which was dramatically reduced in SAMP lacking NOD2 and SAMP raised under germ-free conditions. Furthermore, these effects occurred through a mechanism involving the IL-33/ST2 ligand-receptor pair. Collectively, our results indicate a functional link between NOD2 and ILC2s, regulated by the IL-33/ST2 axis, that mechanistically may contribute to early events leading to CD pathogenesis.

Authors

Carlo De Salvo, Kristine-Ann Buela, Brecht Creyns, Daniele Corridoni, Nitish Rana, Hannah L. Wargo, Chiara Cominelli, Peter G. Delaney, Fabio Cominelli, Alexander Rodriguez-Palacios, Séverine Vermeire, Theresa T. Pizarro

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Abstract

Gene editing holds the potential to correct mutations and cure devastating genetic disorders. The technology has not yet proven efficacious for therapeutic use in central nervous system (CNS) diseases with ubiquitous neuronal defects. Angelman syndrome (AS), a severe neurodevelopmental disorder, is caused by a lack of maternal expression of the UBE3A gene. Due to genomic imprinting, only neurons are affected. One therapeutic approach focuses on the intact paternal UBE3A copy in AS patients that is silenced by an antisense transcript (UBE3A-ATS). We show here that gene editing of Ube3a-ATS in the mouse brain results in the formation of base pair insertions/deletions (indels) in neurons and the subsequent unsilencing of the paternal Ube3a allele in neurons, which partially corrects the behavior phenotype of a murine AS model. This study provides compelling evidence to further investigate editing of the homologous region of the human UBE3A-ATS, since this may provide a lasting therapeutic effect for AS patients.

Authors

Ralf S. Schmid, Xuefeng Deng, Priyalakshmi Panikker, Msema Msackyi, Camilo Breton, James M. Wilson

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Abstract

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.

Authors

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

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Abstract

Propranolol, a pleiotropic β-adrenergic blocker, was anecdotally reported to reduce cerebral cavernous malformations (CCM) in humans. However, propranolol has neither been rigorously evaluated in animal models nor was its mechanism of action in CCM defined. We report that propranolol or its S(-) enantiomer dramatically reduced embryonic venous cavernomas in ccm2 mosaic zebrafish, whereas R-(+)-propranolol, lacking β-antagonism, had no effect. Silencing of β1, but not β2, adrenergic receptor mimicked the beneficial effects of propranolol in a zebrafish CCM model as did a β1-selective antagonist, metoprolol. Thus, propranolol ameliorates cavernous malformations by β1 adrenergic antagonism in zebrafish. Oral propranolol significantly reduced lesion burden in two chronic murine models of the exceptionally aggressive Pdcd10/Ccm3 form of CCM. Propranolol or other β1-selective antagonists may be beneficial in CCM disease.

Authors

Wenqing Li, Robert Shenkar, Matthew R. Detter, Thomas Moore, Christian R. Benavides, Rhonda Lightle, Romuald Girard, Nicholas Hobson, Ying Cao, Yan Li, Erin Griffin, Carol Gallione, Joseph M. Zabramski, Mark H. Ginsberg, Douglas A. Marchuk, Issam A. Awad

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Abstract

The SARS-CoV-2 novel coronavirus global pandemic (COVID-19) has led to millions of cases and hundreds of thousands of deaths globally. While older adults appear at high risk for severe disease, hospitalizations and deaths due to SARS-CoV-2 among children have been relatively rare. Integrating single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) of developing mouse lung with temporally-resolved immunofluorescence in mouse and human lung tissue, we found expression of SARS-CoV-2 Spike protein primer TMPRSS2 was highest in ciliated cells and type I alveolar epithelial cells (AT1), and TMPRSS2 expression increased with aging in mice and humans. Analysis of autopsy tissue from fatal COVID-19 cases detected SARS-CoV-2 RNA most frequently in ciliated and secretory cells in airway epithelium and AT1 cells in peripheral lung. SARS-CoV-2 RNA was highly colocalized in cells expressing TMPRSS2. Together, these data demonstrate the cellular spectrum infected by SARS-CoV-2 in lung epithelium and suggest that developmental regulation of TMPRSS2 may underlie the relative protection of infants and children from severe respiratory illness.

Authors

Bryce A. Schuler, A. Christian Habermann, Erin J. Plosa, Chase J. Taylor, Christopher Jetter, Nicholas M. Negretti, Meghan E. Kapp, John T. Benjamin, Peter Gulleman, David S. Nichols, Lior Z. Braunstein, Alice Hackett, Michael Koval, Susan H. Guttentag, Timothy S. Blackwell, Steven A. Webber, Nicholas E. Banovich, Jonathan A. Kropski, Jennifer M. S. Sucre

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Abstract

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is a risk factor for cancer development. However, the role of DM induced hyperglycemic stress (HG) in the development of blood cancer is poorly understood, largely due to lack of appropriate animal models. Epidemiologic studies show that individuals with DM are more likely to possess higher rate of mutations in genes found in pre-leukemic stem and progenitor cells (pre-LHSC/Ps) including in the epigenetic regulator TET2. TET2-mutant pre-LHSC/Ps require additional hits to evolve into a full-blown leukemia and/or aggressive myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN). Cell intrinsic mutations have been shown to cooperate with Tet2 to promote leukemic transformation. However, the role of extrinsic factors is poorly understood. Utilizing a novel mouse model bearing haploinsufficiency of Tet2, to mimic the human pre-LHSC/P condition and HG stress, in the form of an Ins2Akita/+ mutation, which induces HG and Type-1 DM, we show that the compound mutant mice develop a lethal form of MPN and/or acute myeloid leukemia (AML). RNAseq revealed that this is in part due to upregulation of pro-inflammatory pathways, thereby generating a feedforward loop, including the expression of an anti-apoptotic lncRNA Morrbid. Loss of Morrbid in the compound mutants rescues the lethality and mitigates the development of MPN/AML. Our results describe a novel mouse model for age-dependent AML/MPN and suggest that HG stress acts as an environmental driver for myeloid neoplasm, which could be effectively prevented by reducing the expression of inflammation-related lncRNA Morrbid.

Authors

Zhigang Cai, Xiaoyu Lu, Chi Zhang, Sai Nelanuthala, Fabiola Aguilera, Abigail Hadley, Baskar Ramdas, Fang Fang, Kenneth P. Nephew, Jonathan J. Kotzin, Adam Williams, Jorge Henao-Mejia, Laura S. Haneline, Reuben Kapur

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Abstract

A considerable fraction of B cells recognize SARS-CoV-2 with germline-encoded elements of their B cell receptor resulting in the production of neutralizing and non-neutralizing antibodies. We found that antibody sequences from different discovery cohorts shared biochemical properties and could be retrieved across validation cohorts confirming the stereotyped character of this naive response in COVID-19. While neutralizing antibody sequences were found independently of disease severity in line with serological data, individual non-neutralizing antibody sequences were associated with fatal clinical courses suggesting detrimental effects of these antibodies. We mined 200 immune repertoires of healthy individuals and 500 of patients with blood or solid cancers - all acquired prior to the pandemic - for SARS-CoV-2 antibody sequences. While the largely unmutated B cell rearrangements occurred in a substantial fraction of immune repertoires from young and healthy individuals, these sequences were less likely found in individuals over 60 years of age and in cancer. This reflects B cell repertoire restriction in aging and cancer and may to a certain extent explain the different clinical COVID-19 courses observed in these risk groups. Future studies will have to address if this stereotyped B cell response to SARS-CoV-2 emerging from unmutated antibody rearrangements will create long-lived memory.

Authors

Lisa Paschold, Donjete Simnica, Edith Willscher, Maria J.G.T. Vehreschild, Jochen Dutzmann, Daniel G. Sedding, Christoph Schultheiß, Mascha Binder

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Abstract

Four different endemic coronaviruses (eCoVs) are etiologic agents for the seasonal “common cold,” and these eCoVs share extensive sequence homology with human severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2). Here, we show that individuals with as compared to without a relatively recent documented eCoV were tested at greater frequency for respiratory infections but had similar rate of SARS-CoV-2 acquisition. Importantly, the patients with a previously detected eCoV had less severe coronavirus disease-2019 (COVID-19) illness. Our observations suggest that pre-existing immune responses against endemic human coronaviruses can mitigate disease manifestations from SARS-CoV-2 infection.

Authors

Manish Sagar, Katherine Reifler, Michael Rossi, Nancy S. Miller, Pranay Sinha, Laura White, Joseph P. Mizgerd

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Abstract

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.

Authors

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

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Abstract

Particulate matter < 2.5 micrometers (PM2.5) air pollution is the world’s leading environmental risk factor contributing to mortality through cardiometabolic pathways. In this study, we modeled early life exposure using chow-fed C57BL/6J male mice, exposed to real-world inhaled concentrated PM2.5 (~10 times ambient levels / ~60-120ug/m3) or filtered air over 14 weeks. We investigated PM2.5 effects on phenotype, transcriptome and chromatin accessibility, compared the effects with a prototypical high-fat diet (HFD) stimulus, and examined cessation of exposure on reversibility of phenotype. Exposure to PM2.5 impaired glucose and insulin tolerance, reduced energy expenditure and 18FDG-PET uptake in brown adipose tissue. Multiple differentially expressed gene (DEG) clusters in pathways involving metabolism and circadian rhythm were noted in insulin responsive tissues. Although the magnitude of transcriptional change seen with PM2.5 was lower than HFD, the degree of alteration in chromatin accessibility after PM2.5 exposure was significant. A novel chromatin remodeler SMARCA5 (SWI/SNF complex) was regulated in response to PM2.5 with cessation of exposure associated with reversal of insulin resistance, restoration of chromatin accessibility/nucleosome positioning near transcription start sites (TSS) and exposure induced changes in the transcriptome including SMARCA5, indicating pliable epigenetic control mechanisms following exposure cessation.

Authors

Sanjay Rajagopalan, Bongsoo Park, Rengasamy Palanivel, Vinesh Vinayachandran, Jeffrey A. Deiuliis, Roopesh Singh Gangwar, Lopa M. Das, Jinhu Yin, Youngshim Choi, Sadeer Al-Kindi, Mukesh K. Jain, Kasper D. Hansen, Shyam Biswal

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