Issue published June 10, 2024

Go to section:
Adipsin and adipocyte-derived C3aR1 regulate thermogenic fat in a sex-dependent fashion

Ma et al. report that the alternative complement pathway, via adipsin and C3aR1, regulate adipocyte metabolism in a sex-dependent fashion. Image credit: ALIOUI MA/Shutterstock.

Research Articles
Abstract

Activation of brown adipose tissue (BAT) thermogenesis increases energy expenditure and alleviates obesity. Here we discover that histone methyltransferase suppressor of variegation 4–20 homolog 2 (Suv420h2) expression parallels that of Ucp1 in brown and beige adipocytes and that Suv420h2 knockdown significantly reduces — whereas Suv420h2 overexpression significantly increases — Ucp1 levels in brown adipocytes. Suv420h2 knockout (H2KO) mice exhibit impaired cold-induced thermogenesis and are prone to diet-induced obesity. In contrast, mice with specific overexpression of Suv420h2 in adipocytes display enhanced cold-induced thermogenesis and are resistant to diet-induced obesity. Further study shows that Suv420h2 catalyzes H4K20 trimethylation at eukaryotic translation initiation factor 4E-binding protein 1 (4e-bp1) promoter, leading to downregulated expression of 4e-bp1, a negative regulator of the translation initiation complex. This in turn upregulates PGC1α protein levels, and this upregulation is associated with increased expression of thermogenic program. We conclude that Suv420h2 is a key regulator of brown/beige adipocyte development and thermogenesis.

Authors

Xin Cui, Qiang Cao, Fenfen Li, Jia Jing, Zhixue Liu, Xiaosong Yang, Gary J. Schwartz, Liqing Yu, Huidong Shi, Hang Shi, Bingzhong Xue

×

Abstract

Clinical trials delivering high doses of adeno-associated viruses (AAVs) expressing truncated dystrophin molecules (microdystrophins) are underway for Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD). We examined the efficiency and efficacy of this strategy with 4 microdystrophin constructs (3 in clinical trials and a variant of the largest clinical construct), in a severe mouse model of DMD, using AAV doses comparable with those in clinical trials. We achieved high levels of microdystrophin expression in striated muscles with cardiac expression approximately 10-fold higher than that observed in skeletal muscle. Significant, albeit incomplete, correction of skeletal muscle disease was observed. Surprisingly, a lethal acceleration of cardiac disease occurred with 2 of the microdystrophins. The detrimental cardiac effect appears to be caused by variable competition (dependent on microdystrophin design and expression level) between microdystrophin and utrophin at the cardiomyocyte membrane. There may also be a contribution from an overloading of protein degradation. The significance of these observations for patients currently being treated with AAV-microdystrophin therapies is unclear since the levels of expression being achieved in the DMD hearts are unknown. However, these findings suggest that microdystrophin treatments need to avoid excessively high levels of expression in the heart and that cardiac function should be carefully monitored in these patients.

Authors

Cora C. Hart, Young il Lee, Jun Xie, Guangping Gao, Brian L. Lin, David W. Hammers, H. Lee Sweeney

×

Abstract

A systems analysis was conducted to determine the potential molecular mechanisms underlying differential immunogenicity and protective efficacy results of a clinical trial of the radiation-attenuated whole-sporozoite PfSPZ vaccine in African infants. Innate immune activation and myeloid signatures at prevaccination baseline correlated with protection from P. falciparum parasitemia in placebo controls. These same signatures were associated with susceptibility to parasitemia among infants who received the highest and most protective PfSPZ vaccine dose. Machine learning identified spliceosome, proteosome, and resting DC signatures as prevaccination features predictive of protection after highest-dose PfSPZ vaccination, whereas baseline circumsporozoite protein–specific (CSP-specific) IgG predicted nonprotection. Prevaccination innate inflammatory and myeloid signatures were associated with higher sporozoite-specific IgG Ab response but undetectable PfSPZ-specific CD8+ T cell responses after vaccination. Consistent with these human data, innate stimulation in vivo conferred protection against infection by sporozoite injection in malaria-naive mice while diminishing the CD8+ T cell response to radiation-attenuated sporozoites. These data suggest a dichotomous role of innate stimulation for malaria protection and induction of protective immunity by whole-sporozoite malaria vaccines. The uncoupling of vaccine-induced protective immunity achieved by Abs from more protective CD8+ T cell responses suggests that PfSPZ vaccine efficacy in malaria-endemic settings may be constrained by opposing antigen presentation pathways.

Authors

Leetah Senkpeil, Jyoti Bhardwaj, Morgan R. Little, Prasida Holla, Aditi Upadhye, Elizabeth M. Fusco, Phillip A. Swanson II, Ryan E. Wiegand, Michael D. Macklin, Kevin Bi, Barbara J. Flynn, Ayako Yamamoto, Erik L. Gaskin, D. Noah Sather, Adrian L. Oblak, Edward Simpson, Hongyu Gao, W. Nicholas Haining, Kathleen B. Yates, Xiaowen Liu, Tooba Murshedkar, Thomas L. Richie, B. Kim Lee Sim, Kephas Otieno, Simon Kariuki, Xiaoling Xuei, Yunlong Liu, Rafael B. Polidoro, Stephen L. Hoffman, Martina Oneko, Laura C. Steinhardt, Nathan W. Schmidt, Robert A. Seder, Tuan M. Tran

×

Abstract

Lactate elevation is a well-characterized biomarker of mitochondrial dysfunction, but its role in diabetic kidney disease (DKD) is not well defined. Urine lactate was measured in patients with type 2 diabetes (T2D) in 3 cohorts (HUNT3, SMART2D, CRIC). Urine and plasma lactate were measured during euglycemic and hyperglycemic clamps in participants with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Patients in the HUNT3 cohort with DKD had elevated urine lactate levels compared with age- and sex-matched controls. In patients in the SMART2D and CRIC cohorts, the third tertile of urine lactate/creatinine was associated with more rapid estimated glomerular filtration rate decline, relative to first tertile. Patients with T1D demonstrated a strong association between glucose and lactate in both plasma and urine. Glucose-stimulated lactate likely derives in part from proximal tubular cells, since lactate production was attenuated with sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibition in kidney sections and in SGLT2-deficient mice. Several glycolytic genes were elevated in human diabetic proximal tubules. Lactate levels above 2.5 mM potently inhibited mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation in human proximal tubule (HK2) cells. We conclude that increased lactate production under diabetic conditions can contribute to mitochondrial dysfunction and become a feed-forward component to DKD pathogenesis.

Authors

Manjula Darshi, Luxcia Kugathasan, Soumya Maity, Vikas S. Sridhar, Roman Fernandez, Christine P. Limonte, Brian I. Grajeda, Afaf Saliba, Guanshi Zhang, Viktor R. Drel, Jiwan J. Kim, Richard Montellano, Jana Tumova, Daniel Montemayor, Zhu Wang, Jian-Jun Liu, Jiexun Wang, Bruce A. Perkins, Yuliya Lytvyn, Loki Natarajan, Su Chi Lim, Harold Feldman, Robert Toto, John R. Sedor, Jiten Patel, Sushrut S. Waikar, Julia Brown, Yahya Osman, Jiang He, Jing Chen, W. Brian Reeves, Ian H. de Boer, Sourav Roy, Volker Vallon, Stein Hallan, Jonathan A.L. Gelfond, David Z.I. Cherney, Kumar Sharma, for the Kidney Precision Medicine Project, and the CRIC Study Investigators

×

Abstract

TANGO2-deficiency disorder (TDD) is an autosomal-recessive genetic disease caused by biallelic loss-of-function variants in the TANGO2 gene. TDD-associated cardiac arrhythmias are recalcitrant to standard antiarrhythmic medications and constitute the leading cause of death. Disease modeling for TDD has been primarily carried out using human dermal fibroblast and, more recently, in Drosophila by multiple research groups. No human cardiomyocyte system has been reported, which greatly hinders the investigation and understanding of TDD-associated arrhythmias. Here, we established potentially novel patient-derived induced pluripotent stem cell differentiated cardiomyocyte (iPSC-CM) models that recapitulate key electrophysiological abnormalities in TDD. These electrophysiological abnormalities were rescued in iPSC-CMs with either adenoviral expression of WT-TANGO2 or correction of the pathogenic variant using CRISPR editing. Our natural history study in patients with TDD suggests that the intake of multivitamin/B complex greatly diminished the risk of cardiac crises in patients with TDD. In agreement with the clinical findings, we demonstrated that high-dose folate (vitamin B9) virtually abolishes arrhythmias in TDD iPSC-CMs and that folate’s effect was blocked by the dihydrofolate reductase inhibitor methotrexate, supporting the need for intracellular folate to mediate antiarrhythmic effects. In summary, data from TDD iPSC-CM models together with clinical observations support the use of B vitamins to mitigate cardiac crises in patients with TDD, providing potentially life-saving treatment strategies during life-threatening events.

Authors

Weiyi Xu, Yingqiong Cao, Sara B. Stephens, Maria Jose Arredondo, Yifan Chen, William Perez, Liang Sun, Andy C. Yu, Jean J. Kim, Seema R. Lalani, Na Li, Frank T. Horrigan, Francisco Altamirano, Xander H.T. Wehrens, Christina Y. Miyake, Lilei Zhang

×

Abstract

In rheumatoid arthritis, inflammatory mediators extravasate from blood into joints via gaps between endothelial cells (ECs), but the contribution of ECs is not known. Sphingosine 1-phosphate receptor 1 (S1PR1), widely expressed on ECs, maintains the vascular barrier. Here, we assessed the contribution of vascular integrity and EC S1PR1 signaling to joint damage in mice exposed to serum-induced arthritis (SIA). EC-specific deletion of S1PR1 or pharmacological blockade of S1PR1 promoted vascular leak and amplified SIA, whereas overexpression of EC S1PR1 or treatment with an S1PR1 agonist delayed SIA. Blockade of EC S1PR1 induced membrane metalloproteinase-dependent cleavage of vascular endothelial cadherin (VE-cadherin), a principal adhesion molecule that maintains EC junctional integrity. We identified a disintegrin and a metalloproteinase domain 10 (ADAM10) as the principal VE-cadherin “sheddase.” Mice expressing a stabilized VE-cadherin construct had decreased extravascular VE-cadherin and vascular leakage in response to S1PR1 blockade, and they were protected from SIA. Importantly, patients with active rheumatoid arthritis had decreased circulating S1P and microvascular expression of S1PR1, suggesting a dysregulated S1P/S1PR1 axis favoring vascular permeability and vulnerability. We present a model in which EC S1PR1 signaling maintains homeostatic vascular barrier function by limiting VE-cadherin shedding mediated by ADAM10 and suggest this signaling axis as a therapeutic target in inflammatory arthritis.

Authors

Nathalie Burg, Ryan Malpass, Linda Alex, Miles Tran, Eric Englebrecht, Andrew Kuo, Tania Pannelini, Margaret Minett, Kalana Athukorala, Tilla Worgall, Heather J. Faust, Susan Goodman, Bella Mehta, Michael Brenner, Dietmar Vestweber, Kevin Wei, Carl Blobel, Timothy Hla, Jane E. Salmon

×

Abstract

Glycogen storage disease type III (GSDIII) is a rare metabolic disorder due to glycogen debranching enzyme (GDE) deficiency. Reduced GDE activity leads to pathological glycogen accumulation responsible for impaired hepatic metabolism and muscle weakness. To date, there is no curative treatment for GSDIII. We previously reported that 2 distinct dual AAV vectors encoding for GDE were needed to correct liver and muscle in a GSDIII mouse model. Here, we evaluated the efficacy of rapamycin in combination with AAV gene therapy. Simultaneous treatment with rapamycin and a potentially novel dual AAV vector expressing GDE in the liver and muscle resulted in a synergic effect demonstrated at biochemical and functional levels. Transcriptomic analysis confirmed synergy and suggested a putative mechanism based on the correction of lysosomal impairment. In GSDIII mice livers, dual AAV gene therapy combined with rapamycin reduced the effect of the immune response to AAV observed in this disease model. These data provide proof of concept of an approach exploiting the combination of gene therapy and rapamycin to improve efficacy and safety and to support clinical translation.

Authors

Louisa Jauze, Mallaury Vie, Quentin Miagoux, Lucille Rossiaud, Patrice Vidal, Valle Montalvo-Romeral, Hanadi Saliba, Margot Jarrige, Helene Polveche, Justine Nozi, Pierre-Romain Le Brun, Luca Bocchialini, Amandine Francois, Jérémie Cosette, Jérémy Rouillon, Fanny Collaud, Fanny Bordier, Emilie Bertil-Froidevaux, Christophe Georger, Laetitia van Wittenberghe, Adeline Miranda, Nathalie F. Daniele, David-Alexandre Gross, Lucile Hoch, Xavier Nissan, Giuseppe Ronzitti

×

Abstract

Portal hypertension (PHTN) is a severe complication of liver cirrhosis and is associated with intrahepatic sinusoidal remodeling induced by sinusoidal resistance and angiogenesis. Collagen type IV (COL4), a major component of basement membrane, forms in liver sinusoids upon chronic liver injury. However, the role, cellular source, and expression regulation of COL4 in liver diseases are unknown. Here, we examined how COL4 is produced and how it regulates sinusoidal remodeling in fibrosis and PHTN. Human cirrhotic liver sample RNA sequencing showed increased COL4 expression, which was further verified via immunofluorescence staining. Single-cell RNA sequencing identified liver sinusoidal endothelial cells (LSECs) as the predominant source of COL4 upregulation in mouse fibrotic liver. In addition, COL4 was upregulated in a TNF-α/NF-κB–dependent manner through an epigenetic mechanism in LSECs in vitro. Indeed, by utilizing a CRISPRi-dCas9-KRAB epigenome-editing approach, epigenetic repression of the enhancer-promoter interaction showed silencing of COL4 gene expression. LSEC-specific COL4 gene mutation or repression in vivo abrogated sinusoidal resistance and angiogenesis, which thereby alleviated sinusoidal remodeling and PHTN. Our findings reveal that LSECs promote sinusoidal remodeling and PHTN during liver fibrosis through COL4 deposition.

Authors

Can Gan, Usman Yaqoob, Jianwen Lu, Man Xie, Abid Anwar, Nidhi Jalan-Sakrikar, Sofia Jerez, Tejasav S. Sehrawat, Amaia Navarro-Corcuera, Enis Kostallari, Nawras W. Habash, Sheng Cao, Vijay H. Shah

×

Abstract

Monogenic diabetes is a gateway to precision medicine through molecular mechanistic insight. Hepatocyte nuclear factor 1A (HNF-1A) and HNF-4A are transcription factors that engage in crossregulatory gene transcription networks to maintain glucose-stimulated insulin secretion in pancreatic β cells. Variants in the HNF1A and HNF4A genes are associated with maturity-onset diabetes of the young (MODY). Here, we explored 4 variants in the P2-HNF4A promoter region: 3 in the HNF-1A binding site and 1 close to the site, which were identified in 63 individuals from 21 families of different MODY disease registries across Europe. Our goal was to study the disease causality for these variants and to investigate diabetes mechanisms on the molecular level. We solved a crystal structure of HNF-1A bound to the P2-HNF4A promoter and established a set of techniques to probe HNF-1A binding and transcriptional activity toward different promoter variants. We used isothermal titration calorimetry, biolayer interferometry, x-ray crystallography, and transactivation assays, which revealed changes in HNF-1A binding or transcriptional activities for all 4 P2-HNF4A variants. Our results suggest distinct disease mechanisms of the promoter variants, which can be correlated with clinical phenotype, such as age of diagnosis of diabetes, and be important tools for clinical utility in precision medicine.

Authors

Laura Kind, Janne Molnes, Erling Tjora, Arne Raasakka, Matti Myllykoski, Kevin Colclough, Cécile Saint-Martin, Caroline Adelfalk, Petra Dusatkova, Stepanka Pruhova, Camilla Valtonen-André, Christine Bellanné-Chantelot, Thomas Arnesen, Petri Kursula, Pål Rasmus Njølstad

×

Abstract

The transcription factor SRY-related HMG box 9 (Sox9) is essential for chondrogenesis. Mutations in and around SOX9 cause campomelic dysplasia (CD) characterized by skeletal malformations. Although the function of Sox9 in this context is well studied, the mechanisms that regulate Sox9 expression in chondrocytes remain to be elucidated. Here, we have used genome-wide profiling to identify 2 Sox9 enhancers located in a proximal breakpoint cluster responsible for CD. Enhancer activity of E308 (located 308 kb 5′ upstream) and E160 (located 160 kb 5′ upstream) correlated with Sox9 expression levels, and both enhancers showed a synergistic effect in vitro. While single deletions in mice had no apparent effect, simultaneous deletion of both E308 and E160 caused a dwarf phenotype, concomitant with a reduction of Sox9 expression in chondrocytes. Moreover, bone morphogenetic protein 2–dependent chondrocyte differentiation of limb bud mesenchymal cells was severely attenuated in E308/E160 deletion mice. Finally, we found that an open chromatin region upstream of the Sox9 gene was reorganized in the E308/E160 deletion mice to partially compensate for the loss of E308 and E160. In conclusion, our findings reveal a mechanism of Sox9 gene regulation in chondrocytes that might aid in our understanding of the pathophysiology of skeletal disorders.

Authors

Sachi Ichiyama-Kobayashi, Kenji Hata, Kanta Wakamori, Yoshifumi Takahata, Tomohiko Murakami, Hitomi Yamanaka, Hiroshi Takano, Ryoji Yao, Narikazu Uzawa, Riko Nishimura

×

Abstract

Human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection in infants infected in utero can lead to a variety of neurodevelopmental disorders. However, mechanisms underlying altered neurodevelopment in infected infants remain poorly understood. We have previously described a murine model of congenital HCMV infection in which murine CMV (MCMV) spreads hematogenously and establishes a focal infection in all regions of the brain of newborn mice, including the cerebellum. Infection resulted in disruption of cerebellar cortical development characterized by reduced cerebellar size and foliation. This disruption was associated with altered cell cycle progression of the granule cell precursors (GCPs), which are the progenitors that give rise to granule cells (GCs), the most abundant neurons in the cerebellum. In the current study, we have demonstrated that MCMV infection leads to prolonged GCP cell cycle, premature exit from the cell cycle, and reduced numbers of GCs resulting in cerebellar hypoplasia. Treatment with TNF-α neutralizing antibody partially normalized the cell cycle alterations of GCPs and altered cerebellar morphogenesis induced by MCMV infection. Collectively, our results argue that virus-induced inflammation altered the cell cycle of GCPs resulting in a reduced numbers of GCs and cerebellar cortical hypoplasia, thus providing a potential mechanism for altered neurodevelopment in fetuses infected with HCMV.

Authors

Cathy Yea Won Sung, Mao Li, Stipan Jonjic, Veronica Sanchez, William J. Britt

×

Abstract

Astrocyte activation is a common feature of neurodegenerative diseases. However, the ways in which dying neurons influence the activity of astrocytes is poorly understood. Receptor interacting protein kinase-3 (RIPK3) signaling has recently been described as a key regulator of neuroinflammation, but whether this kinase mediates astrocytic responsiveness to neuronal death has not yet been studied. Here, we used the 1-methyl-4-phenyl-1, 2, 3, 6-tetrahydropyridine model of Parkinson’s disease to show that activation of astrocytic RIPK3 drives dopaminergic cell death and axon damage. Transcriptomic profiling revealed that astrocytic RIPK3 promoted gene expression associated with neuroinflammation and movement disorders, and this coincided with significant engagement of damage-associated molecular pattern signaling. In mechanistic experiments, we showed that factors released from dying neurons signaled through receptor for advanced glycation endproducts to induce astrocytic RIPK3 signaling, which conferred inflammatory and neurotoxic functional activity. These findings highlight a mechanism of neuron-glia crosstalk in which neuronal death perpetuates further neurodegeneration by engaging inflammatory astrocyte activation via RIPK3.

Authors

Nydia P. Chang, Evan M. DaPrano, Marissa Lindman, Irving Estevez, Tsui-Wen Chou, Wesley R. Evans, Marialaina Nissenbaum, Micheal McCourt, Diego Alzate, Colm Atkins, Alexander W. Kusnecov, Rafiq Huda, Brian P. Daniels

×

Abstract

Progressive pulmonary fibrosis (PPF), defined as the worsening of various interstitial lung diseases (ILDs), currently lacks useful biomarkers. To identify novel biomarkers for early detection of patients at risk of PPF, we performed a proteomic analysis of serum extracellular vesicles (EVs). Notably, the identified candidate biomarkers were enriched for lung-derived proteins participating in fibrosis-related pathways. Among them, pulmonary surfactant-associated protein B (SFTPB) in serum EVs could predict ILD progression better than the known biomarkers, serum KL-6 and SP-D, and it was identified as an independent prognostic factor from ILD-gender-age-physiology index. Subsequently, the utility of SFTPB for predicting ILD progression was evaluated further in 2 cohorts using serum EVs and serum, respectively, suggesting that SFTPB in serum EVs but not in serum was helpful. Among SFTPB forms, pro-SFTPB levels were increased in both serum EVs and lungs of patients with PPF compared with those of the control. Consistently, in a mouse model, the levels of pro-SFTPB, primarily originating from alveolar epithelial type 2 cells, were increased similarly in serum EVs and lungs, reflecting pro-fibrotic changes in the lungs, as supported by single-cell RNA sequencing. SFTPB, especially its pro-form, in serum EVs could serve as a biomarker for predicting ILD progression.

Authors

Takatoshi Enomoto, Yuya Shirai, Yoshito Takeda, Ryuya Edahiro, Shigeyuki Shichino, Mana Nakayama, Miho Takahashi-Itoh, Yoshimi Noda, Yuichi Adachi, Takahiro Kawasaki, Taro Koba, Yu Futami, Moto Yaga, Yuki Hosono, Hanako Yoshimura, Saori Amiya, Reina Hara, Makoto Yamamoto, Daisuke Nakatsubo, Yasuhiko Suga, Maiko Naito, Kentaro Masuhiro, Haruhiko Hirata, Kota Iwahori, Izumi Nagatomo, Kotaro Miyake, Shohei Koyama, Kiyoharu Fukushima, Takayuki Shiroyama, Yujiro Naito, Shinji Futami, Yayoi Natsume-Kitatani, Satoshi Nojima, Masahiro Yanagawa, Yasushi Shintani, Mari Nogami-Itoh, Kenji Mizuguchi, Jun Adachi, Takeshi Tomonaga, Yoshikazu Inoue, Atsushi Kumanogoh

×

Abstract

Thermogenesis in beige/brown adipose tissues can be leveraged to combat metabolic disorders such as type 2 diabetes and obesity. The complement system plays pleiotropic roles in metabolic homeostasis and organismal energy balance with canonical effects on immune cells and noncanonical effects on nonimmune cells. The adipsin/C3a/C3a receptor 1 (C3aR1) pathway stimulates insulin secretion and sustains pancreatic β cell mass. However, its role in adipose thermogenesis has not been defined. Here, we show that male Adipsin/Cfd-knockout mice exhibited increased energy expenditure and white adipose tissue (WAT) browning. In addition, male adipocyte-specific C3aR1-knockout mice exhibited enhanced WAT thermogenesis and increased respiration. In stark contrast, female adipocyte-specific C3aR1-knockout mice displayed decreased brown fat thermogenesis and were cold intolerant. Female mice expressed lower levels of Adipsin in thermogenic adipocytes and adipose tissues than males. C3aR1 was also lower in female subcutaneous adipose tissue than in males. Collectively, these results reveal sexual dimorphism in the adipsin/C3a/C3aR1 axis in regulating adipose thermogenesis and defense against cold stress. Our findings establish a potentially new role of the alternative complement pathway in adaptive thermogenesis and highlight sex-specific considerations in potential therapeutic targets for metabolic diseases.

Authors

Lunkun Ma, Ankit Gilani, Alfonso Rubio-Navarro, Eric Cortada, Ang Li, Shannon M. Reilly, Liling Tang, James C. Lo

×
Retraction
Corrigendum
Abstract

Authors

Konrad T. Sawicki, Hongyan Ning, Norrina B. Allen, Mercedes R. Carnethon, Amisha Wallia, James D. Otvos, Issam Ben-Sahra, Elizabeth M. McNally, Janet K. Snell-Bergeon, John T. Wilkins

×

In-Press Preview - More

Abstract

TTK (MPS1) spindle assembly checkpoint kinase is an emerging cancer target. This preclinical study explored the anti-tumor mechanism of TTK inhibitor OSU13 to define a strategy for clinical development. We observed prominent anti-tumor activity of OSU13 in melanoma, colon, and breast cancer cells, melanoma patient-derived organoids, and mice bearing colon tumors associated with G2 cell cycle arrest, senescence, and apoptosis. OSU13-treated cells displayed DNA damage and micronuclei that triggered the cytosolic DNA-sensing cGAS-STING pathway. STING was required for the induction of several proteins involved in T cell recruitment and activity. Tumors from OSU13-treated mice showed an increased proportion of T and NK cells and evidence of PD-1/PD-L1 immune checkpoint activation. Combining a low-toxicity dose of OSU13 with anti-PD1 checkpoint blockade resulted in prominent STING- and CD8 T cell-dependent tumor inhibition and improved survival. These findings provide a rationale for utilizing TTK inhibitors in combination with immunotherapy in STING-proficient tumors.

Authors

Vijaya Bharti, Amrendra Kumar, Yinchong Wang, Nikhil Roychowdhury, Daniel de Lima Bellan, Beimnet B. Kassaye, Reese Watkins, Marina Capece, Catherine G. Chung, Gerard Hilinski, Anna E. Vilgelm

×

Abstract

Pathological deposition and crosslinking of collagen type I by activated myofibroblasts drives progressive tissue fibrosis. Therapies that inhibit collagen synthesis have potential as anti-fibrotic agents. We identify the collagen chaperone cyclophilin B as a major cellular target of the natural product sanglifehrin A (SfA) using photo-affinity labeling and chemical proteomics. Mechanistically, SfA inhibits and induces the secretion of cyclophilin B from the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) and prevents TGF-β1–activated myofibroblasts from synthesizing and secreting collagen type I in vitro, without inducing ER stress, affecting collagen type I mRNA transcription, myofibroblast migration, contractility, or TGF-β1 signaling. In vivo, SfA induced cyclophilin B secretion in preclinical models of fibrosis, thereby inhibiting collagen synthesis from fibrotic fibroblasts and mitigating the development of lung and skin fibrosis in mice. Ex vivo, SfA induces cyclophilin B secretion and inhibits collagen type I secretion from fibrotic human lung fibroblasts and samples from patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Taken together, we provide chemical, molecular, functional, and translational evidence for demonstrating direct anti-fibrotic activities of SfA in preclinical and human ex vivo fibrotic models. Our results identify the cellular target of SfA, the collagen chaperone cyclophilin B, as a mechanistic target for the treatment of organ fibrosis.

Authors

Hope A. Flaxman, Maria-Anna Chrysovergi, Hongwei Han, Farah Kabir, Rachael T. Lister, Chia-Fu Chang, Robert Yvon, Katharine E. Black, Andreas Weigert, Rajkumar Savai, Alejandro Egea-Zorrilla, Ana Pardo-Saganta, David Lagares, Christina M. Woo

×

Abstract

Men who have sex with men (MSM) with HIV are at high risk for squamous intraepithelial lesion (SIL) and anal cancer. Identifying local immunological mechanisms involved in the development of anal dysplasia could aid treatment and diagnostics. Here we studied 111 anal biopsies obtained from 101 MSM with HIV, who participated in an anal screening program. We first assessed multiple immune subsets by flow cytometry, in addition to histological examination, in a discovery cohort (n = 54). Selected molecules were further evaluated by immunohistochemistry in a validation cohort (n = 47). Pathological samples were characterized by the presence of Resident Memory T cells with low expression of CD103 and by changes in Natural Killer cell subsets, affecting residency and activation. Furthermore, potentially immune suppressive subsets, including CD15+CD16+ mature neutrophils, gradually increased as the anal lesion progressed. Immunohistochemistry confirmed the association between the presence of CD15 in the epithelium and SIL diagnosis, with a sensitivity of 80% and specificity of 71% (AUC 0.762) for the correlation with high-grade SIL. A complex immunological environment with imbalanced proportions of resident effectors and immune suppressive subsets characterizes pathological samples. Neutrophil infiltration, determined by CD15 staining, may represent a valuable pathological marker associated with the grade of dysplasia.

Authors

Joaquín Burgos, Aleix Benítez-Martínez, Cristina Mancebo-Pérez, Nuria Massana, Antonio Astorga-Gamaza, Josep Castellvi, Stefania Landolfi, Adrià Curran, Jorge N. Garcia-Perez, Vicenç Falcó, María J. Buzón, Meritxell Genescà

×

Abstract

Diabetes mellitus (DM) is an independent risk factor for atrial fibrillation (AF). The mechanisms underlying DM-associated AF are unclear. AF and DM are both related to inflammation. We investigated whether DM-associated inflammation contributed to AF risk. Mice were fed with high fat diet to induce type II DM and were subjected to IL-1β antibodies, macrophage depletion by Clodronate liposomes, a mitochondrial antioxidant (mitoTEMPO), or a cardiac ryanodine receptor (RyR2) stabilizer (S107). All tests were performed at 36-38 weeks of age. DM mice presented with increased AF inducibility, enhanced mitochondrial reactive oxygen species (mitoROS) generation, and activated innate immunity in the atria as evidenced by enhanced monocyte chemoattractant protein-1 (MCP-1) expression, macrophage infiltration, and IL-1β levels. Signs of aberrant RyR2 Ca2+ leak were observed in the atria of DM mice. IL-1β neutralization, macrophage depletion, mitoTEMPO, and S107 significantly ameliorated the AF vulnerability in DM mice. Atrial overexpression of MCP-1 increased AF occurrence in normal mice through the same mechanistic signaling cascade as observed in DM mice. In conclusion, macrophage-mediated IL-1β contributed to DM-associated AF risk through mitoROS modulation of RyR2 Ca2+ leak.

Authors

Xiaoxu Zhou, Hong Liu, Feng Feng, Gyeoung-Jin Kang, Man Liu, Yugene Guo, Samuel C. Dudley Jr.

×

Abstract

Loss-of-function mutations of the gene encoding the trafficking protein particle complex subunit 9 (trappc9) cause autosomal recessive intellectual disability and obesity by unknown mechanisms. Genome-wide analysis links trappc9 to non-alcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD). Trappc9-deficient mice have been shown to appear overweight shortly after weaning. Here, we analyzed serum biochemistry and histology of adipose and liver tissues to determine the incidence of obesity and NAFLD in trappc9-deficient mice and combined transcriptomic and proteomic analyses, pharmacological studies, and biochemical and histological examinations of postmortem mouse brains to unveil mechanisms involved. We found that trappc9-deficient mice presented with systemic glucose homeostatic disturbance, obesity and NAFLD, which were relieved upon chronic treatment combining dopamine receptor D2 (DRD2) agonist quinpirole and DRD1 antagonist SCH23390. Blood glucose homeostasis in trappc9-deficient mice was restored upon administrating quinpirole alone. RNA-sequencing analysis of DRD2-containing neurons and proteomic study of brain synaptosomes revealed signs of impaired neurotransmitter secretion in trappc9-deficient mice. Biochemical and histological studies of mouse brains showed that trappc9-deficient mice synthesized dopamine normally, but their dopamine-secreting neurons had a lower abundance of structures for releasing dopamine in the striatum. Our study suggests that trappc9 loss-of-function causes obesity and NAFLD by constraining dopamine synapse formation.

Authors

Yan Li, Usman Muhammad, Ellen Sapp, Yuting Ke, Zejian Wang, Adel Boudi, Marian DiFiglia, Xueyi Li

×