In this issue, McDonald et al. show that human PARP inhibitor drug-target engagement can be visualized in vivo, suggesting future applications in precision diagnostics and as a drug discovery tool. The cover image shows PET imaging of a patient with metastatic triple-negative breast cancer prior to (top left) and 1 week after PARP inhibitor treatment (bottom left); immunofluorescence staining of baseline PARP-1 expression demonstrating heterogeneity of protein expression in areas of similar cellularity.
BACKGROUND. The chemokine system of ligands and receptors is implicated in the progression of Alcohol-associated hepatitis (AH). Finding upstream regulators could lead to novel therapies. MOTHODS. The coordinated expression of chemokines in livers of healthy controls (HC) and patients with AH in two distinct cohorts of patients with various chronic liver diseases. Studies in cultured hepatocytes and in tissue-specific knockouts were used for mechanistic insight into a potential upstream regulator of chemokine expression in AH. RESULTS. Selected C-X-C chemokine members of the Interleukin-8 (IL-8) chemokine family and C-C chemokine CCl20 were highly associated with AH compared to HC, but not in patients with liver diseases of other etiologies (NAFLD or HCV). Our previous studies implicate Macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) as a pleiotropic cytokine/chemokine with the potential to coordinately regulate chemokine expression in AH. LPS-stimulated expression of multiple chemokines in cultured hepatocytes was dependent on MIF. Gao-binge ethanol feeding to mice induced a similar coordinated chemokine expression in livers of wild-type mice; this was prevented in hepatocyte-specific Mif knockout (MifΔHep) mice. CONCLUSIONS. This study demonstrates that patients with AH exhibit a specific, coordinately expressed chemokine signature and hepatocyte-derived MIF might drive this inflammatory response.
Kyle L. Poulsen, Xiude D. Fan, Christopher D. Kibler, Emily Huang, Xiaoqin Wu, Megan R. McMullen, Lin Leng, Richard Bucala, Meritxell Ventura-Cots, Josepmaria Argemi, Ramon Bataller, Laura E. Nagy
Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis (IPF) is characterized by aberrant repair that diminishes lung function via mechanisms that remain poorly understood. C-C chemokine receptor (CCR10) and its ligand, CCL28, were both elevated in IPF compared with normal donors. CCR10 was highly expressed by various cells from IPF lungs, most notably stage-specific embryonic antigen (SSEA)-4+ mesenchymal progenitor cells (MPCs). In vitro, CCL28 promoted the proliferation of CCR10+ MPCs while CRISPR-Cas9-mediated targeting of CCR10 resulted in the death of MPCs. Following the intravenous injection of various cells from IPF lungs into immunodeficient (NSG) mice, human CCR10+ cells initiated and maintained fibrosis in NSG mice. Eph receptor A3 (EphA3) was among the highest expressed receptor tyrosine kinases detected on IPF CCR10+ cells. Ifabotuzumab-targeted killing of EphA3+ cells significantly reduced the numbers of CCR10+ cells and ameliorated pulmonary fibrosis in humanized NSG mice. Thus, human CCR10+ cells promote pulmonary fibrosis and EphA3 mAb-directed elimination of these cells inhibits lung fibrosis.
Miriam S. Hohmann, David M. Habiel, Milena S. Espindola, Guanling Huang, Isabelle Jones, Rohan Narayanan, Ana Lucia Coelho, Justin M. Oldham, Imre Noth, Shwu-Fan Ma, Adrianne Kurkciyan, Jonathan L. McQualter, Gianni Carraro, Barry Stripp, Peter Chen, Dianhua Jiang, Paul W. Noble, William Parks, John Woronicz, Geoffrey Yarranton, Lynne A. Murray, Cory M. Hogaboam
Long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) are increasingly implicated in the pathology of diabetic complications. Here we examined the role of lncRNAs in monocyte dysfunction and inflammation associated with human type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2D). RNA-seq analysis of CD14+ monocytes from patients with T2D versus healthy controls revealed downregulation of anti-inflammatory and anti-proliferative genes along with several lncRNAs, including a novel divergent lncRNA DRAIR (Diabetes Regulated anti-inflammatory RNA) and its nearby gene CPEB2. High glucose and palmitic acid downregulated DRAIR in cultured CD14+ monocytes, whereas anti-inflammatory cytokines and monocyte-to-macrophage differentiation upregulated DRAIR via KLF4 transcription factor. DRAIR overexpression increased anti-inflammatory and macrophage differentiation genes but inhibited pro-inflammatory genes. Conversely, DRAIR knockdown attenuated anti-inflammatory genes, promoted inflammatory responses, and inhibited phagocytosis. DRAIR regulated target gene expression through interaction with chromatin, and inhibition of the repressive epigenetic mark H3K9me2 and its corresponding methyltransferase G9a. Mouse orthologous Drair and Cpeb2 were also downregulated in peritoneal macrophages from T2D db/db mice, and Drair knockdown in non-diabetic mice enhanced pro-inflammatory genes in macrophages. Thus, DRAIR modulates inflammatory phenotype of monocytes/macrophages via epigenetic mechanisms, and its downregulation in T2D may promote chronic inflammation. Augmentation of endogenous lncRNAs like DRAIR could serve as novel anti-inflammatory therapies for diabetic complications.
Marpadga A. Reddy, Vishnu Amaram, Sadhan Das, Vinay Singh Tanwar, Rituparna Ganguly, Mei Wang, Linda Lanting, Linxiao Zhang, Maryam Abdollahi, Zhuo Chen, Xiwei Wu, Sridevi Devaraj, Rama Natarajan
Clinical phenotyping of term and preterm labor is imprecise, and disagreement persists on categorization relative to underlying pathobiology, which remains poorly understood. We performed RNA sequencing (RNA-seq) of 31 specimens of human uterine myometrium from 10 term and 21 preterm cesarean deliveries with rich clinical context information. A molecular signature of 4,814 transcripts stratified myometrial samples into quiescent (Q) and non-quiescent (NQ) phenotypes, independent of gestational age and incision site. Similar stratifications were achieved using expressed genes in Ca2+ signaling and TGF-β pathways. For maximal parsimony, we evaluated the expression of just two Ca2+ transporter genes, ATP2B4 (encoding PMCA4) and ATP2A2 (coding for SERCA2), and found that their ratio reliably distinguished NQ and Q specimens in the current study, and also in two publically available RNA-seq datasets (GSE50599 and GSE80172), with an overall AUC of 0.94. Cross-validation of the ATP2B4/ATP2A2 ratio by qPCR in an expanded cohort (by 11 additional specimens) achieved complete separation (AUC=1.00) of NQ vs. Q specimens. While providing additional insight into the associations between clinical features of term and preterm labor and myometrial gene expression, our study also offers a practical algorithm for unbiased classification of myometrial biopsies by their overall contractile program.
William E. Ackerman IV, Catalin S. Buhimschi, Ali Snedden, Taryn L. Summerfield, Guomao Zhao, Irina A. Buhimschi
The epithelial cell-derived cytokines IL-25, IL-33 and TSLP initiate type 2 inflammation in allergic diseases including asthma. However, the signaling pathway regulating these cytokines expression remains elusive. Since microRNAs are pivotal regulators of gene expression, we profiled microRNA expression in bronchial epithelial brushings from type 2-low and type 2-high asthma patients. MiR-206 was the most highly expressed epithelial microRNA in type 2-high asthma relative to type 2-low asthma but was downregulated in both subsets compared with healthy controls. CD39, an ectonucleotidase degrading ATP, was a target of miR-206 and upregulated in asthma. Allergen-induced acute extracellular ATP accumulation led to miR-206 downregulation and CD39 upregulation in human bronchial epithelial cells, forming a feedback loop to eliminate excessive ATP. Airway ATP levels were markedly elevated and strongly correlated with IL-25 and TSLP expression in asthma patients. Intriguingly, airway miR-206 antagonism increased Cd39 expression, reduced ATP accumulation, suppressed Il-25, Il-33, Tslp expression and group 2 innate lymphoid cell expansion, and alleviated type 2 inflammation in a mouse model of allergic airway inflammation. In contrast, airway miR-206 overexpression had opposite effects. Overall, epithelial miR-206 upregulates airway IL-25, TSLP expression by targeting CD39-extracellular ATP axis, which represents a novel therapeutic target in type 2-high asthma.
Kan Zhang, Yuchen Feng, Yuxia Liang, Wenliang Wu, Chenli Chang, Dian Chen, Shengchong Chen, Jiali Gao, Gongqi Chen, Lingling Yi, Dan Cheng, Guohua Zhen
JCI This Month is a digest of the research, reviews, and other features published each month.