Concise Communication

Abstract

Chronic viral infections are difficult to treat, and new approaches are needed, particularly those aimed at reducing reactivation by enhancing immune responses. Herpes simplex virus (HSV) establishes latency and reactivates frequently, and breakthrough reactivation can occur despite suppressive antiviral therapy. Virus-specific T cells are important to control HSV, and proliferation of activated T cells requires increased metabolism of glutamine. Here, we found that supplementation with oral glutamine reduced virus reactivation in latently HSV-1–infected mice and HSV-2–infected guinea pigs. Transcriptome analysis of trigeminal ganglia from latently HSV-1–infected, glutamine-treated WT mice showed upregulation of several IFN-γ–inducible genes. In contrast to WT mice, supplemental glutamine was ineffective in reducing the rate of HSV-1 reactivation in latently HSV-1–infected IFN-γ–KO mice. Mice treated with glutamine also had higher numbers of HSV-specific IFN-γ–producing CD8 T cells in latently infected ganglia. Thus, glutamine may enhance the IFN-γ–associated immune response and reduce the rate of reactivation of latent virus infection.

Authors

Kening Wang, Yo Hoshino, Kennichi Dowdell, Marta Bosch-Marce, Timothy G. Myers, Mayra Sarmiento, Lesley Pesnicak, Philip R. Krause, Jeffrey I. Cohen

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Abstract

Generation of functional hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) from human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) has been a long-sought-after goal for use in hematopoietic cell production, disease modeling, and eventually transplantation medicine. Homing of HSPCs from bloodstream to bone marrow (BM) is an important aspect of HSPC biology that has remained unaddressed in efforts to derive functional HSPCs from human PSCs. We have therefore examined the BM homing properties of human induced pluripotent stem cell–derived HSPCs (hiPS-HSPCs). We found that they express molecular effectors of BM extravasation, such as the chemokine receptor CXCR4 and the integrin dimer VLA-4, but lack expression of E-selectin ligands that program HSPC trafficking to BM. To overcome this deficiency, we expressed human fucosyltransferase 6 using modified mRNA. Expression of fucosyltransferase 6 resulted in marked increases in levels of cell surface E-selectin ligands. The glycoengineered cells exhibited enhanced tethering and rolling interactions on E-selectin–bearing endothelium under flow conditions in vitro as well as increased BM trafficking and extravasation when transplanted into mice. However, glycoengineered hiPS-HSPCs did not engraft long-term, indicating that additional functional deficiencies exist in these cells. Our results suggest that strategies toward increasing E-selectin ligand expression could be applicable as part of a multifaceted approach to optimize the production of HSPCs from human PSCs.

Authors

Jungmin Lee, Brad Dykstra, Joel A. Spencer, Laurie L. Kenney, Dale L. Greiner, Leonard D. Shultz, Michael A. Brehm, Charles P. Lin, Robert Sackstein, Derrick J. Rossi

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Abstract

Accumulation of amyloid-β (Aβ) protein may cause synapse degeneration and cognitive impairment in Alzheimer’s disease (AD) by reactivating expression of the developmental synapse repressor protein Ephexin5 (also known as ARHGEF15). Here, we have reported that Aβ is sufficient to acutely promote the production of Ephexin5 in mature hippocampal neurons and in mice expressing human amyloid precursor protein (hAPP mice), a model for familial AD that produces high brain levels of Aβ. Ephexin5 expression was highly elevated in the hippocampi of human AD patients, indicating its potential relevance to AD. We also observed elevated Ephexin5 expression in the hippocampi of hAPP mice. Removal of Ephexin5 expression eliminated hippocampal dendritic spine loss and rescued AD-associated behavioral deficits in the hAPP mice. Furthermore, selective reduction of Ephexin5 expression using shRNA in the dentate gyrus of presymptomatic adolescent hAPP mice was sufficient to protect these mice from developing cognitive impairment. Thus, pathological elevation of Ephexin5 expression critically drives Aβ-induced memory impairment, and strategies aimed at reducing Ephexin5 levels may represent an effective approach to treating AD.

Authors

Gabrielle L. Sell, Thomas B. Schaffer, Seth S. Margolis

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Abstract

Diseases caused by gene haploinsufficiency in humans commonly lack a phenotype in mice that are heterozygous for the orthologous factor, impeding the study of complex phenotypes and critically limiting the discovery of therapeutics. Laboratory mice have longer telomeres relative to humans, potentially protecting against age-related disease caused by haploinsufficiency. Here, we demonstrate that telomere shortening in NOTCH1-haploinsufficient mice is sufficient to elicit age-dependent cardiovascular disease involving premature calcification of the aortic valve, a phenotype that closely mimics human disease caused by NOTCH1 haploinsufficiency. Furthermore, progressive telomere shortening correlated with severity of disease, causing cardiac valve and septal disease in the neonate that was similar to the range of valve disease observed within human families. Genes that were dysregulated due to NOTCH1 haploinsufficiency in mice with shortened telomeres were concordant with proosteoblast and proinflammatory gene network alterations in human NOTCH1 heterozygous endothelial cells. These dysregulated genes were enriched for telomere-contacting promoters, suggesting a potential mechanism for telomere-dependent regulation of homeostatic gene expression. These findings reveal a critical role for telomere length in a mouse model of age-dependent human disease and provide an in vivo model in which to test therapeutic candidates targeting the progression of aortic valve disease.

Authors

Christina V. Theodoris, Foteini Mourkioti, Yu Huang, Sanjeev S. Ranade, Lei Liu, Helen M. Blau, Deepak Srivastava

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Abstract

Dowling-Degos disease (DDD) is an autosomal-dominant disorder of skin pigmentation associated with mutations in keratin 5 (KRT5), protein O-fucosyltransferase 1 (POFUT1), or protein O-glucosyltransferase 1 (POGLUT1). Here, we have identified 6 heterozygous truncating mutations in PSENEN, encoding presenilin enhancer protein 2, in 6 unrelated patients and families with DDD in whom mutations in KRT5, POFUT1, and POGLUT1 have been excluded. Further examination revealed that the histopathologic feature of follicular hyperkeratosis distinguished these 6 patients from previously studied individuals with DDD. Knockdown of psenen in zebrafish larvae resulted in a phenotype with scattered pigmentation that mimicked human DDD. In the developing zebrafish larvae, in vivo monitoring of pigment cells suggested that disturbances in melanocyte migration and differentiation underlie the DDD pathogenesis associated with PSENEN. Six of the PSENEN mutation carriers presented with comorbid acne inversa (AI), an inflammatory hair follicle disorder, and had a history of nicotine abuse and/or obesity, which are known trigger factors for AI. Previously, PSENEN mutations were identified in familial AI, and comanifestation of DDD and AI has been reported for decades. The present work suggests that PSENEN mutations can indeed cause a comanifestation of DDD and AI that is likely triggered by predisposing factors for AI. Thus, the present report describes a DDD subphenotype in PSENEN mutation carriers that is associated with increased susceptibility to AI.

Authors

Damian J. Ralser, F. Buket Ü. Basmanav, Aylar Tafazzoli, Jade Wititsuwannakul, Sarah Delker, Sumita Danda, Holger Thiele, Sabrina Wolf, Michélle Busch, Susanne A. Pulimood, Janine Altmüller, Peter Nürnberg, Didier Lacombe, Uwe Hillen, Jörg Wenzel, Jorge Frank, Benjamin Odermatt, Regina C. Betz

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Abstract

Pain is fundamentally unpleasant and induces a negative affective state. The affective component of pain is mediated by circuits that are distinct from those mediating the sensory-discriminative component. Here, we have investigated the role of prostaglandins in the affective dimension of pain using a rodent pain assay based on conditioned place aversion to formalin injection, an inflammatory noxious stimulus. We found that place aversion induced by inflammatory pain depends on prostaglandin E2 that is synthesized by cyclooxygenase 2 in neural cells. Further, mice lacking the prostaglandin E2 receptor EP3 selectively on serotonergic cells or selectively in the area of the dorsal raphe nucleus failed to form an aversion to formalin-induced pain, as did mice lacking the serotonin transporter. Chemogenetic manipulations revealed that EP3 receptor activation elicited conditioned place aversion to pain via inhibition of serotonergic neurons. In contrast to their role in inflammatory pain aversion, EP3 receptors on serotonergic cells were dispensable for acute nociceptive behaviors and for aversion induced by thermal pain or a κ opioid receptor agonist. Collectively, our findings show that prostaglandin-mediated modulation of serotonergic transmission controls the affective component of inflammatory pain.

Authors

Anand Kumar Singh, Joanna Zajdel, Elahe Mirrasekhian, Nader Almoosawi, Isabell Frisch, Anna M. Klawonn, Maarit Jaarola, Michael Fritz, David Engblom

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Abstract

Primary myelofibrosis (PMF) is a clonal hematologic malignancy characterized by BM fibrosis, extramedullary hematopoiesis, circulating CD34+ cells, splenomegaly, and a propensity to evolve to acute myeloid leukemia. Moreover, the spleen and BM of patients harbor atypical, clustered megakaryocytes, which contribute to the disease by secreting profibrotic cytokines. Here, we have revealed that megakaryocytes in PMF show impaired maturation that is associated with reduced GATA1 protein. In investigating the cause of GATA1 downregulation, our gene-expression study revealed the presence of the RPS14-deficient gene signature, which is associated with defective ribosomal protein function and linked to the erythroid lineage in 5q deletion myelodysplastic syndrome. Surprisingly, reduced GATA1 expression and impaired differentiation were limited to megakaryocytes, consistent with a proproliferative effect of a GATA1 deficiency on this lineage. Importantly, expression of GATA1 effectively rescued maturation of PMF megakaryocytes. Together, these results suggest that ribosomal deficiency contributes to impaired megakaryopoiesis in myeloproliferative neoplasms.

Authors

Laure Gilles, Ahmet Dirim Arslan, Christian Marinaccio, Qiang Jeremy Wen, Priyanka Arya, Maureen McNulty, Qiong Yang, Jonathan C. Zhao, Katerina Konstantinoff, Terra Lasho, Animesh Pardanani, Brady Stein, Isabelle Plo, Sriram Sundaravel, Amittha Wickrema, Annarita Migliaccio, Sandeep Gurbuxani, William Vainchenker, Leonidas C. Platanias, Ayalew Tefferi, John D. Crispino

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Abstract

Germline coding mutations in different telomere-related genes have been linked to autosomal-dominant familial pulmonary fibrosis. Individuals with these inherited mutations demonstrate incomplete penetrance of clinical phenotypes affecting the lung, blood, liver, skin, and other organs. Here, we describe the somatic acquisition of promoter mutations in telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) in blood leukocytes of approximately 5% of individuals with inherited loss-of-function coding mutations in TERT or poly(A)-specific ribonuclease (PARN), another gene linked to telomerase function. While these promoter mutations were initially identified as oncogenic drivers of cancer, individuals expressing the mutations have no history of cancer. Neither promoter mutation was found in population-based cohorts of similar or advanced age. The TERT promoter mutations were found more frequently in cis with the WT allele than was the TERT coding sequence mutation. EBV-transformed lymphoblastoid B cell lines (LCLs) derived from subjects with TERT promoter mutations showed increased telomerase expression and activity compared with cell lines from family members with identical coding mutations. TERT promoter mutations resulted in an increased proliferation of LCLs and demonstrated positive selection over time. The persistence and recurrence of noncoding gain-of-function mutations in these cases suggests that telomerase activation is not only safely tolerated but also advantageous for clonal expansion.

Authors

Lindley Maryoung, Yangbo Yue, Ashley Young, Chad A. Newton, Cindy Barba, Nicolai S. C. van Oers, Richard C. Wang, Christine Kim Garcia

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Abstract

Current strategies for HIV-1 eradication require the reactivation of latent HIV-1 in resting CD4+ T cells (rCD4s). Global T cell activation is a well-characterized means of inducing HIV-1 transcription, but is considered too toxic for clinical applications. Here, we have explored a strategy that involves a combination of immune activation and the immunosuppressive mTOR inhibitor rapamycin. In purified rCD4s from HIV-1–infected individuals on antiretroviral therapy, rapamycin treatment downregulated markers of toxicity, including proinflammatory cytokine release and cellular proliferation that were induced after potent T cell activation using αCD3/αCD28 antibodies. Using an ex vivo assay for HIV-1 mRNA, we demonstrated that despite this immunomodulatory effect, rapamycin did not affect HIV-1 gene expression induced by T cell activation in these rCD4s. In contrast, treating activated rCD4s with the immunosuppressant cyclosporin, a calcineurin inhibitor, robustly inhibited HIV-1 reactivation. Importantly, rapamycin treatment did not impair cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) recognition and killing of infected cells. These findings raise the possibility of using rapamycin in conjunction with T cell–activating agents in HIV-1 cure strategies.

Authors

Alyssa R. Martin, Ross A. Pollack, Adam Capoferri, Richard F. Ambinder, Christine M. Durand, Robert F. Siliciano

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Abstract

The BM niche comprises a tightly controlled microenvironment formed by specific tissue and cells that regulates the behavior of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). Here, we have provided a 3D model that is tunable in different BM niche components and useful, both in vitro and in vivo, for studying the maintenance of normal and malignant hematopoiesis. Using scaffolds, we tested the capacity of different stromal cell types to support human HSCs. Scaffolds coated with human mesenchymal stromal cells (hMSCs) proved to be superior in terms of HSC engraftment and long-term maintenance when implanted in vivo. Moreover, we found that hMSC-coated scaffolds can be modulated to form humanized bone tissue, which was also able to support human HSC engraftment. Importantly, hMSC-coated humanized scaffolds were able to support the growth of leukemia patient cells in vivo, including the growth of samples that would not engraft the BM of immunodeficient mice. These results demonstrate that an s.c. implantation approach in a 3D carrier scaffold seeded with stromal cells is an effective in vivo niche model for studying human hematopoiesis. The various niche components of this model can be changed depending on the context to improve the engraftment of nonengrafting acute myeloid leukemia (AML) samples.

Authors

Ander Abarrategi, Katie Foster, Ashley Hamilton, Syed A. Mian, Diana Passaro, John Gribben, Ghulam Mufti, Dominique Bonnet

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