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Background: Weeks after SARS-CoV-2 infection or exposure, some children develop a severe, life-threatening illness called Multisystem Inflammatory Syndrome in Children (MIS-C). Gastrointestinal symptoms are common in MIS-C patients and severe hyperinflammatory response ensues with potential for cardiac complications. The cause of MIS-C has not previously been identified. Methods: Here, we analyzed biospecimens from 100 children: 19 children with MIS-C, 26 with acute COVID-19, and 55 controls. Stool was assessed for SARS-CoV-2 by RT-PCR and plasma was assessed for markers of breakdown of mucosal barrier integrity, including zonulin. Ultrasensitive antigen detection was used to probe for SARS-CoV-2 antigenemia in plasma, and immune responses were characterized. As proof of concept, we treated a MIS-C patient with larazotide, a zonulin antagonist, and monitored impact on antigenemia and clinical response. Results: We showed that in MIS-C, prolonged presence of SARS-CoV-2 in the GI tract leads to release of zonulin, a biomarker of intestinal permeability, with subsequent trafficking of SARS-CoV-2 antigens into the bloodstream, leading to hyperinflammation. The MIS-C patient treated with larazotide displayed a coinciding decrease in plasma SARS-CoV-2 Spike antigen levels, inflammatory markers, and a resultant clinical improvement above that achieved with currently available treatments. Conclusion: These mechanistic data of MIS-C pathogenesis provide insight into targets for diagnosing, treating, and preventing MIS-C, which are urgently needed for this increasingly common severe COVID-19-related disease in children.
Lael M. Yonker, Tal Gilboa, Alana F. Ogata, Yasmeen Senussi, Roey Lazarovits, Brittany P. Boribong, Yannic C. Bartsch, Maggie Loiselle, Magali Noval Rivas, Rebecca A. Porritt, Rosiane Lima, Jameson P. Davis, Eva J. Farkas, Madeleine D. Burns, Nicola Young, Vinay S. Mahajan, Soroush Hajizadeh, Xcanda I. Herrera Lopez, Johannes Kreuzer, Robert Morris, Enid E. Martinez, Isaac Han, Kettner Griswold Jr., Nicholas C. Barry, David B. Thompson, George Church, Andrea G. Edlow, Wilhelm Haas, Shiv Pillai, Moshe Arditi, Galit Alter, David R. Walt, Alessio Fasano
Total views: 8186
BACKGROUND. The significant risks posed to mothers and fetuses by COVID-19 in pregnancy have sparked a worldwide debate surrounding the pros and cons of antenatal SARS-CoV-2 inoculation, as we lack sufficient evidence regarding vaccine effectiveness in pregnant women and their offspring. We aimed to provide substantial evidence for the effect of BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine versus native infection on maternal humoral, as well as transplacentally acquired fetal immune response, potentially providing newborn protection. METHODS. A multicenter study where parturients presenting for delivery were recruited at 8 medical centers across Israel and assigned to three study groups: vaccinated (n=86); PCR confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infected during pregnancy (n=65), and unvaccinated non-infected controls (n=62). Maternal and fetal blood samples were collected from parturients prior to delivery and from the umbilical cord following delivery, respectively. Sera IgG and IgM titers were measured using Milliplex MAP SARS-CoV-2 Antigen Panel (for S1, S2, RBD and N). RESULTS. BNT162b2 mRNA vaccine elicits strong maternal humoral IgG response (Anti-S and RBD) that crosses the placenta barrier and approaches maternal titers in the fetus within 15 days following the first dose. Maternal to neonatal anti-COVID-19 antibodies ratio did not differ when comparing sensitization (vaccine vs. infection). IgG transfer rate was significantly lower for third-trimester as compared to second trimester infection. Lastly, fetal IgM response was detected in 5 neonates, all in the infected group. CONCLUSIONS. Antenatal BNT162b2 mRNA vaccination induces a robust maternal humoral response that effectively transfers to the fetus, supporting the role of vaccination during pregnancy. FUNDING. Israel Science Foundation KillCorona grant 3777/19 (to MN, MK, SY, AM). Research grant from the Weizmann Institute Fondazione Henry Krenter (to MN).
Ofer Beharier, Romina Plitman Mayo, Tal Raz, Kira Nahum Sacks, Letizia Schreiber, Yael Suissa-Cohen, Rony Chen, Rachel Gomez-Tolub, Eran Hadar, Rinat Gabbay-Benziv, Yuval Jaffe Moshkovich, Tal Biron-Shental, Gil Shechter-Maor, Sivan Farladansky-Gershnabel, Hen Yitzhak Sela, Hedi Benyamini-Raischer, Nitzan D. Sela, Debra Goldman-Wohl, Ziv Shulman, Ariel Many, Haim Barr, Simcha Yagel, Michal Neeman, Michal Kovo
Total views: 7264
BACKGROUND Molecular characterization of prostate cancer (PCa) has revealed distinct subclasses based on underlying genomic alterations occurring early in the natural history of the disease. However, how these early alterations influence subsequent molecular events and the course of the disease over its long natural history remains unclear.METHODS We explored the molecular and clinical progression of different genomic subtypes of PCa using distinct tumor lineage models based on human genomic and transcriptomic data. We developed transcriptional classifiers, and defined “early” and “late” categories of molecular subclasses from 8,158 PCa patients. Molecular subclasses were correlated with clinical outcomes and pathologic characteristics using Kaplan-Meier and logistic regression analyses.RESULTS We identified PTEN and CHD1 alterations as subtype-specific late progression events specifically in ERG-overexpressing (ERG+) and SPOP-mutant tumors, respectively, and 2 distinct progression models consisting of ERG/PTEN (normal to ERG+ to PTEN-deleted) and SPOP/CHD1 (normal to SPOP-mutated to CHD1-deleted) with shared early tumorigenesis but distinct pathways toward progression. We found that within ERG+ and SPOP-mutant subtypes, late events were associated with worse prognosis. Importantly, the clinical and pathologic features associated with distinct late events at radical prostatectomy were strikingly different; PTEN deletions were associated with increased locoregional stage, while CHD1 deletions were only associated with increased grade, despite equivalent metastatic potential.CONCLUSION These findings suggest a paradigm in which specific subtypes of PCa follow distinct pathways of progression, at both the molecular and clinical levels. Therefore, the interpretation of common clinical parameters such as locoregional tumor stage may be influenced by the underlying tumor lineage, and potentially influence management decisions.FUNDING Prostate Cancer Foundation, National Cancer Institute, Urology Care Foundation, Damon Runyon Cancer Research Foundation, US Department of Defense, and the AIRC Foundation.
Deli Liu, Michael A. Augello, Ivana Grbesa, Davide Prandi, Yang Liu, Jonathan E. Shoag, R. Jeffrey Karnes, Bruce J. Trock, Eric A. Klein, Robert B. Den, Francesca Demichelis, Elai Davicioni, Andrea Sboner, Christopher E. Barbieri
Total views: 2635
Recent studies have shown T cell cross-recognition of SARS-CoV-2 and common cold coronavirus spike proteins. However, the effect of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines on T cell responses to common cold coronaviruses (CCCs) remains unknown. In this study, we analyzed CD4+ T cell responses to spike peptides from SARS-CoV-2 and 3 CCCs (HCoV-229E, HCoV-NL63, and HCoV-OC43) before and after study participants received Pfizer-BioNTech (BNT162b2) or Moderna (mRNA-1273) mRNA-based COVID-19 vaccines. Vaccine recipients showed broad T cell responses to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, and we identified 23 distinct targeted peptides in 9 participants, including 1 peptide that was targeted in 6 individuals. Only 4 of these 23 targeted peptides would potentially be affected by mutations in the UK (B.1.1.7) and South African (B.1.351) variants, and CD4+ T cells from vaccine recipients recognized the 2 variant spike proteins as effectively as they recognized the spike protein from the ancestral virus. Interestingly, we observed a 3-fold increase in the CD4+ T cell responses to HCoV-NL63 spike peptides after vaccination. Our results suggest that T cell responses elicited or enhanced by SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccines may be able to control SARS-CoV-2 variants and lead to cross-protection against some endemic coronaviruses.
Bezawit A. Woldemeskel, Caroline C. Garliss, Joel N. Blankson
Total views: 2437
Skeletal muscle wasting is commonly associated with chronic kidney disease (CKD), resulting in increased morbidity and mortality. However, the link between kidney and muscle function remains poorly understood. Here, we took a complementary interorgan approach to investigate skeletal muscle wasting in CKD. We identified increased production and elevated blood levels of soluble pro-cachectic factors, including activin A, directly linking experimental and human CKD to skeletal muscle wasting programs. Single-cell sequencing data identified the expression of activin A in specific kidney cell populations of fibroblasts and cells of the juxtaglomerular apparatus. We propose that persistent and increased kidney production of pro-cachectic factors, combined with a lack of kidney clearance, facilitates a vicious kidney/muscle signaling cycle, leading to exacerbated blood accumulation and, thereby, skeletal muscle wasting. Systemic pharmacological blockade of activin A using soluble activin receptor type IIB ligand trap as well as muscle-specific adeno-associated virus–mediated downregulation of its receptor ACVR2A/B prevented muscle wasting in different mouse models of experimental CKD, suggesting that activin A is a key factor in CKD-induced cachexia. In summary, we uncovered a crosstalk between kidney and muscle and propose modulation of activin signaling as a potential therapeutic strategy for skeletal muscle wasting in CKD.
Francesca Solagna, Caterina Tezze, Maja T. Lindenmeyer, Shun Lu, Guochao Wu, Shuya Liu, Yu Zhao, Robert Mitchell, Charlotte Meyer, Saleh Omairi, Temel Kilic, Andrea Paolini, Olli Ritvos, Arja Pasternack, Antonios Matsakas, Dominik Kylies, Julian Schulze zur Wiesch, Jan-Eric Turner, Nicola Wanner, Viji Nair, Felix Eichinger, Rajasree Menon, Ina V. Martin, Barbara M. Klinkhammer, Elion Hoxha, Clemens D. Cohen, Pierre-Louis Tharaux, Peter Boor, Tammo Ostendorf, Matthias Kretzler, Marco Sandri, Oliver Kretz, Victor G. Puelles, Ketan Patel, Tobias B. Huber
Total views: 2281
Genome-wide association studies (GWAS) for kidney function identified hundreds of risk regions; however, the causal variants, target genes, cell types, and disease mechanisms remain poorly understood. Here, we performed transcriptome-wide association studies (TWAS), summary Mendelian randomization, and MetaXcan to identify genes whose expression mediates the genotype effect on the phenotype. Our analyses identified Dachshund homolog 1 (DACH1), a cell-fate determination factor. GWAS risk variant was associated with lower DACH1 expression in human kidney tubules. Human and mouse kidney single-cell open chromatin data (snATAC-Seq) prioritized estimated glomerular filtration rate (eGFR) GWAS variants located on an intronic regulatory region in distal convoluted tubule cells. CRISPR-Cas9–mediated gene editing confirmed the role of risk variants in regulating DACH1 expression. Mice with tubule-specific Dach1 deletion developed more severe renal fibrosis both in folic acid and diabetic kidney injury models. Mice with tubule-specific Dach1 overexpression were protected from folic acid nephropathy. Single-cell RNA sequencing, chromatin immunoprecipitation, and functional analysis indicated that DACH1 controls the expression of cell cycle and myeloid chemotactic factors, contributing to macrophage infiltration and fibrosis development. In summary, integration of GWAS, TWAS, single-cell epigenome, expression analyses, gene editing, and functional validation in different mouse kidney disease models identified DACH1 as a kidney disease risk gene.
Tomohito Doke, Shizheng Huang, Chengxiang Qiu, Hongbo Liu, Yuting Guan, Hailong Hu, Ziyuan Ma, Junnan Wu, Zhen Miao, Xin Sheng, Jianfu Zhou, Aili Cao, Jianhua Li, Lewis Kaufman, Adriana Hung, Christopher D. Brown, Richard Pestell, Katalin Susztak
Total views: 2251
Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF) may exert tumor-promoting and tumor-suppressive functions, but the mechanisms underlying these opposing effects remain elusive. Here, we sought to understand these potentially opposing functions by interrogating functional relationships among CAF subtypes, their mediators, desmoplasia, and tumor growth in a wide range of tumor types metastasizing to the liver, the most common organ site for metastasis. Depletion of hepatic stellate cells (HSC), which represented the main source of CAF in mice and patients in our study, or depletion of all CAF decreased tumor growth and mortality in desmoplastic colorectal and pancreatic metastasis but not in nondesmoplastic metastatic tumors. Single-cell RNA-Seq in conjunction with CellPhoneDB ligand-receptor analysis, as well as studies in immune cell–depleted and HSC-selective knockout mice, uncovered direct CAF-tumor interactions as a tumor-promoting mechanism, mediated by myofibroblastic CAF–secreted (myCAF-secreted) hyaluronan and inflammatory CAF–secreted (iCAF-secreted) HGF. These effects were opposed by myCAF-expressed type I collagen, which suppressed tumor growth by mechanically restraining tumor spread, overriding its own stiffness-induced mechanosignals. In summary, mechanical restriction by type I collagen opposes the overall tumor-promoting effects of CAF, thus providing a mechanistic explanation for their dual functions in cancer. Therapeutic targeting of tumor-promoting CAF mediators while preserving type I collagen may convert CAF from tumor promoting to tumor restricting.
Sonakshi Bhattacharjee, Florian Hamberger, Aashreya Ravichandra, Maximilian Miller, Ajay Nair, Silvia Affo, Aveline Filliol, LiKang Chin, Thomas M. Savage, Deqi Yin, Naita Maren Wirsik, Adam Mehal, Nicholas Arpaia, Ekihiro Seki, Matthias Mack, Di Zhu, Peter A. Sims, Raghu Kalluri, Ben Z. Stanger, Kenneth P. Olive, Thomas Schmidt, Rebecca G. Wells, Ingmar Mederacke, Robert F. Schwabe
Total views: 2240
A recent report found that rare predicted loss-of-function (pLOF) variants across 13 candidate genes in TLR3- and IRF7-dependent type I IFN pathways explain up to 3.5% of severe COVID-19 cases. We performed whole-exome or whole-genome sequencing of 1,934 COVID-19 cases (713 with severe and 1,221 with mild disease) and 15,251 ancestry-matched population controls across four independent COVID-19 biobanks. We then tested if rare pLOF variants in these 13 genes were associated with severe COVID-19. We identified only one rare pLOF mutation across these genes amongst 713 cases with severe COVID-19 and observed no enrichment of pLOFs in severe cases compared to population controls or mild COVID-19 cases. We find no evidence of association of rare loss-of-function variants in the proposed 13 candidate genes with severe COVID-19 outcomes.
Gundula Povysil, Guillaume Butler-Laporte, Ning Shang, Chen Wang, Atlas Khan, Manal Alaamery, Tomoko Nakanishi, Sirui Zhou, Vincenzo Forgetta, Robert J. M. Eveleigh, Mathieu Bourgey, Naveed Aziz, Steven J.M. Jones, Bartha Knoppers, Stephen W. Scherer, Lisa J. Strug, Pierre Lepage, Jiannis Ragoussis, Guillaume Bourque, Jahad Alghamdi, Nora Aljawini, Nour Albesher, Hani M. Al-Afghani, Bader Alghamdi, Mansour S. Almutair, Ebrahim Sabri Mahmoud, Leen Abu-Safieh, Hadeel El Bardisy, Fawz S. Al Harthi, Abdulraheem Alshareef, Bandar Ali Suliman, Saleh A. Alqahtani, Abdulaziz Almalik, May M. Alrashed, Salam Massadeh, Vincent Mooser, Mark Lathrop, Mohamed Fawzy, Yaseen M. Arabi, Hamdi Mbarek, Chadi Saad, Wadha Al-Muftah, Junghyun Jung, Serghei Mangul, Radja Badji, Asma Al Thani, Said I. Ismail, Ali G. Gharavi, Malak S. Abedalthagafi, J Brent Richards, David B. Goldstein, Krzysztof Kiryluk
Total views: 2097
Stimulation of TAM (TYRO3, AXL, and MERTK) receptor tyrosine kinases promotes tumor progression through numerous cellular mechanisms. TAM cognate ligands GAS6 and PROS1 (for TYRO3 and MERTK) are secreted by host immune cells, an interaction which may support tumor progression. Here, we revealed an unexpected antimetastatic role for myeloid-derived PROS1: suppressing metastatic potential in lung and breast tumor models. Pros1 deletion in myeloid cells led to increased lung metastasis, independent of primary tumor infiltration. PROS1-cKO bone marrow–derived macrophages (BMDMs) led to elevated TNF-α, IL-6, Nos2, and IL-10 via modulation of the Socs3/NF-κB pathway. Conditioned medium from cKO BMDMs enhanced EMT, ERK, AKT, and STAT3 activation within tumor cells and promoted IL-10–dependent invasion and survival. Macrophages isolated from metastatic lungs modulated T cell proliferation and function, as well as expression of costimulatory molecules on DCs in a PROS1-dependent manner. Inhibition of MERTK kinase activity blocked PROS1-mediated suppression of TNF-α and IL-6 but not IL-10. Overall, using lung and breast cancer models, we identified the PROS1/MERTK axis within BMDMs as a potent regulator of adaptive immune responses with a potential to suppress metastatic seeding and revealed IL-10 regulation by PROS1 to deviate from that of TNF-α and IL-6.
Avi Maimon, Victor Levi-Yahid, Kerem Ben-Meir, Amit Halpern, Ziv Talmi, Shivam Priya, Gabriel Mizraji, Shani Mistriel-Zerbib, Michael Berger, Michal Baniyash, Sonja Loges, Tal Burstyn-Cohen
Total views: 2067
Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 4J (CMT4J) is caused by recessive, loss-of-function mutations in FIG4, encoding a phosphoinositol(3,5)P2-phosphatase. CMT4J patients have both neuron loss and demyelination in the peripheral nervous system, with vacuolization indicative of endosome/lysosome trafficking defects. Although the disease is highly variable, the onset is often in childhood and FIG4 mutations can dramatically shorten life span. There is currently no treatment for CMT4J. Here, we present the results of preclinical studies testing a gene-therapy approach to restoring FIG4 expression. A mouse model of CMT4J, the Fig4–pale tremor (plt) allele, was dosed with a single-stranded adeno-associated virus serotype 9 (AAV9) to deliver a codon-optimized human FIG4 sequence. Untreated, Fig4plt/plt mice have a median survival of approximately 5 weeks. When treated with the AAV9-FIG4 vector at P1 or P4, mice survived at least 1 year, with largely normal gross motor performance and little sign of neuropathy by neurophysiological or histopathological evaluation. When mice were treated at P7 or P11, life span was still significantly prolonged and peripheral nerve function was improved, but rescue was less complete. No unanticipated adverse effects were observed. Therefore, AAV9-mediated delivery of FIG4 is a well-tolerated and efficacious strategy in a mouse model of CMT4J.
Maximiliano Presa, Rachel M. Bailey, Crystal Davis, Tara Murphy, Jenn Cook, Randy Walls, Hannah Wilpan, Laurent Bogdanik, Guy M. Lenk, Robert W. Burgess, Steven J. Gray, Cathleen Lutz
Total views: 1900
Given the crucial role of the gastrointestinal tract and associated organs in handling nutrient assimilation and metabolism, it has long been known that its communication with the brain is important for the control of ingestive behavior and body weight regulation. It is also clear that gut-brain communication is bidirectional and utilizes both rapid neural and slower humoral mechanisms and pathways. However, progress in understanding these mechanisms and leveraging them for the treatment of obesity and metabolic disease has been hindered by the enormous dimension of the gut mucosa, the complexity of the signaling systems, and lack of specific tools. With the ascent of modern neurobiological technology, our understanding of the role of vagal afferents in gut-brain communication has begun to change. The first function-specific populations of vagal afferents providing nutritional feedback as well as feed-forward signals have been identified with genetics-guided methodology, and it is hoped that extension of the methodology to other neural communication pathways will follow soon. Currently, efficient clinical leveraging of gut-brain communication to treat obesity and metabolic disease is limited to a few gut hormones, but a more complete understanding of function-specific and projection-specific neuronal populations should make it possible to develop selective and more effective neuromodulation approaches.
Hans-Rudolf Berthoud, Vance L. Albaugh, Winfried L. Neuhuber
Total views: 2123
The gut microbiota has the capacity to affect host appetite via intestinal satiety pathways, as well as complex feeding behaviors. In this Review, we highlight recent evidence that the gut microbiota can modulate food preference across model organisms. We discuss effects of the gut microbiota on the vagus nerve and brain regions including the hypothalamus, mesolimbic system, and prefrontal cortex, which play key roles in regulating feeding behavior. Crosstalk between commensal bacteria and the central and peripheral nervous systems is associated with alterations in signaling of neurotransmitters and neuropeptides such as dopamine, brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF), and glucagon-like peptide-1 (GLP-1). We further consider areas for future research on mechanisms by which gut microbes may influence feeding behavior involving these neural pathways. Understanding roles for the gut microbiota in feeding regulation will be important for informing therapeutic strategies to treat metabolic and eating disorders.
Kristie B. Yu, Elaine Y. Hsiao
Total views: 1939
In recent decades, cancer research has expanded exponentially beyond the study of abnormally dividing cells to include complex and extensive heterotypic interactions between cancer and noncancer cells that constitute the tumor microenvironment (TME). Modulation of stromal, immune, and endothelial cells by cancer cells promotes proliferation, survival, and metabolic changes that support tumor growth and metastasis. Recent evidence demonstrates that tumors can recruit peripheral nerves to the TME, leading to enhanced tumor growth in a range of cancer models through distinct mechanisms. This process, termed tumor innervation, is associated with an aggressive tumor phenotype and correlates with poor prognosis in clinical studies. Therefore, the peripheral nervous system may play an underrecognized role in cancer development, harboring targetable pathways that warrant investigation. To date, nerves have been implicated in driving proliferation, invasion, metastasis, and immune evasion through locally delivered neurotransmitters. However, emerging evidence suggests that cell-cell communication via exosomes induces tumor innervation, and thus exosomes may also mediate neural regulation of the TME. In this Review, seminal studies establishing tumor innervation are discussed, and known and putative signaling mechanisms between peripheral nerves and components of the TME are explored as a means to identify potential opportunities for therapeutic intervention.
Stefan M. Gysler, Ronny Drapkin
Total views: 1850
First administered to a human subject as a tuberculosis (TB) vaccine on July 18, 1921, Bacillus Calmette-Guérin (BCG) has a long history of use for the prevention of TB and later the immunotherapy of bladder cancer. For TB prevention, BCG is given to infants born globally across over 180 countries and has been in use since the late 1920s. With about 352 million BCG doses procured annually and tens of billions of doses having been administered over the past century, it is estimated to be the most widely used vaccine in human history. While its roles for TB prevention and bladder cancer immunotherapy are widely appreciated, over the past century, BCG has been also studied for nontraditional purposes, which include (a) prevention of viral infections and nontuberculous mycobacterial infections, (b) cancer immunotherapy aside from bladder cancer, and (c) immunologic diseases, including multiple sclerosis, type 1 diabetes, and atopic diseases. The basis for these heterologous effects lies in the ability of BCG to alter immunologic set points via heterologous T cell immunity, as well as epigenetic and metabolomic changes in innate immune cells, a process called “trained immunity.” In this Review, we provide an overview of what is known regarding the trained immunity mechanism of heterologous protection, and we describe the current knowledge base for these nontraditional uses of BCG.
Alok K. Singh, Mihai G. Netea, William R. Bishai
Total views: 1635
The immunoprevention of cancer and cancer recurrence is an important area of concern for the scientific community and society as a whole. Researchers have been working for decades to develop vaccines with the potential to alleviate these health care and economic burdens. So far, vaccines have made more progress in preventing cancer than in eliminating already established cancer. In particular, vaccines targeting oncogenic viruses, such as the human papillomavirus and the hepatitis B virus, are exceptional examples of successful prevention of virus-associated cancers, such as cervical cancer and hepatocellular carcinoma. Cancer-preventive vaccines targeting nonviral antigens, such as tumor-associated antigens and neoantigens, are also being extensively tested. Here, we review the currently approved preventive cancer vaccines; discuss the challenges in this field by covering ongoing preclinical and clinical human trials in various cancers; and address various issues related to maximizing cancer vaccine benefit.
Tomohiro Enokida, Alvaro Moreira, Nina Bhardwaj
Total views: 1569
Iron plays an important role in mammalian physiological processes. It is a critical component for the function of many proteins, including enzymes that require heme and iron-sulfur clusters. However, excess iron is also detrimental because of its ability to catalyze the formation of reactive oxygen species. As a result, cellular and systemic iron levels are tightly regulated to prevent oxidative damage. Iron deficiency can lead to a number of pathological conditions, the most prominent being anemia. Iron deficiency should be corrected to improve adult patients’ symptoms and to facilitate normal growth during fetal development and childhood. However, inappropriate use of intravenous iron in chronic conditions, such as cancer and heart failure, in the absence of clear iron deficiency can lead to unwanted side effects. Thus, this form of therapy should be reserved for certain patients who cannot tolerate oral iron and need rapid iron replenishment. Here, we will review cellular and systemic iron homeostasis and will discuss complications of iron deficiency.
Navid Koleini, Jason S. Shapiro, Justin Geier, Hossein Ardehali
Total views: 1422
Since the discovery of myostatin (MSTN; also known as GDF-8) as a critical regulator of skeletal muscle mass in 1997, there has been an extensive effort directed at understanding the cellular and physiological mechanisms underlying MSTN activity, with the long-term goal of developing strategies and agents capable of blocking MSTN signaling to treat patients with muscle loss. Considerable progress has been made in elucidating key components of this regulatory system, and in parallel with this effort has been the development of numerous biologics that have been tested in clinical trials for a wide range of indications, including muscular dystrophy, sporadic inclusion body myositis, spinal muscular atrophy, cachexia, muscle loss due to aging or following falls, obesity, and type 2 diabetes. Here, I review what is known about the MSTN regulatory system and the current state of efforts to target this pathway for clinical applications.
Total views: 1385
The gastrointestinal tract comprises a complex ecosystem with extensive opportunities for functional interactions between neoplastic epithelial cells and stromal, immune, neuronal, glial, and other cell types, as well as microorganisms and metabolites within the gut lumen. In this Review, we focus on interactions between gastrointestinal cancers and elements of the central and enteric nervous systems. This previously understudied but rapidly emerging area of investigation has blossomed in recent years, particularly with respect to improved understanding of neural contributions to the development and progression of esophageal, gastric, pancreatic, and colon neoplasia. Cancer neuroscience offers great promise to advance our understanding of how neural-cancer interactions promote alimentary tract neoplasia. The resulting mechanistic insights can be leveraged to identify diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers, and to develop novel therapeutic interventions.
Alyssa Schledwitz, Guofeng Xie, Jean-Pierre Raufman
Total views: 1300
A small percentage of people living with HIV-1 can control viral replication without antiretroviral therapy (ART). These patients are called elite controllers (ECs) if they are able to maintain viral suppression without initiating ART and posttreatment controllers (PTCs) if they control HIV replication after ART has been discontinued. Both types of controllers may serve as a model of a functional cure for HIV-1 but the mechanisms responsible for viral control have not been fully elucidated. In this review, we highlight key lessons that have been learned so far in the study of ECs and PTCs and their implications for HIV cure research.
Jonathan Z. Li, Joel N. Blankson
Total views: 1194
Tumor metastasis is a singularly important determinant of survival in most cancers. Historically, radiation therapy (RT) directed at a primary tumor mass was associated infrequently with remission of metastasis outside the field of irradiation. This away-from-target or “abscopal effect” received fringe attention because of its rarity. With the advent of immunotherapy, there are now increasing reports of abscopal effects upon RT in combination with immune checkpoint inhibition. This sparked investigation into underlying mechanisms and clinical trials aimed at enhancement of this effect. While these studies clearly attribute the abscopal effect to an antitumor immune response, the initial molecular triggers for its onset and specificity remain enigmatic. Here, we propose that DNA damage–induced inflammation coupled with neoantigen generation is essential during this intriguing phenomenon of systemic tumor regression and discuss the implications of this model for treatment aimed at triggering the abscopal effect in metastatic cancer.
Timothy P. Lippert, Roger A. Greenberg
Total views: 1035