Latest issue: April 19, 2018

In the issue

Abstract

Preeclampsia (PE), associates with long-term increased risk for cardiovascular disease in women, suggesting that PE is not an isolated disease of pregnancy. It is not known if increased risk for long-term diseases is due to PE-specific factors or to prepregnancy renal and cardiovascular risk factors. We used a mouse model in which a WT female with normal prepregnancy health develops PE to investigate if preeclampsia causes long-term cardiovascular consequences after pregnancy for mothers and offspring. Mothers exhibited endothelial dysfunction and hypertension after PE and had glomerular injury that not only persisted but deteriorated, leading to fibrosis. Left ventricular (LV) remodeling characterized by increased collagen deposition and MMP-9 expression and enlarged cardiomyocytes were also detected after PE. Increased LV internal wall thickness and mass, increased end diastolic and end systolic volumes, and increased stroke volume were observed after PE in the mothers. Placenta-derived bioactive factors that modulate vascular function, markers of metabolic disease, vasoconstrictor isoprostane-8, and proinflammatory mediators were increased in sera during and after a preeclamptic pregnancy in the mother. Offspring of PE mice developed endothelial dysfunction, hypertension, and signs of metabolic disease. Microglia activation was increased in the neonatal brains after PE, suggesting neurogenic hypertension in offspring. Prevention of placental insufficiency with pravastatin prevented PE-associated cardiovascular complications in both mothers and offspring. In conclusion, factors that develop during PE have long-term, cardiovascular effects in the mother and offspring independent of prepregnancy risk factors.

Authors

Nicola Garrett, Joaquim Pombo, Michelle Umpierrez, James E. Clark, Mark Simmons, Guillermina Girardi

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Abstract

BACKGROUND. Multiple myeloma is usually fatal due to serial relapses that become progressively refractory to therapy. CD19 is typically absent on the dominant multiple myeloma cell population but may be present on minor subsets with unique myeloma-propagating properties. To target myeloma-propagating cells, we clinically evaluated autologous T cells transduced with a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) against CD19 (CTL019). METHODS. Subjects received CTL019 following salvage high-dose melphalan and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). All subjects had relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma and had previously undergone ASCT with less than 1 year progression-free survival (PFS). RESULTS. ASCT + CTL019 was safe and feasible, with most toxicity attributable to ASCT and no severe cytokine release syndrome. Two of 10 subjects exhibited significantly longer PFS after ASCT + CTL019 compared with prior ASCT (479 vs. 181 days; 249 vs. 127 days). Correlates of favorable clinical outcome included peak CTL019 frequency in bone marrow and emergence of humoral and cellular immune responses against the stem-cell antigen Sox2. Ex vivo treatment of primary myeloma samples with a combination of CTL019 and CAR T cells against the plasma cell antigen BCMA reliably inhibited myeloma colony formation in vitro, whereas treatment with either CAR alone inhibited colony formation inconsistently. CONCLUSION. CTL019 may improve duration of response to standard multiple myeloma therapies by targeting and precipitating secondary immune responses against myeloma-propagating cells. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT02135406. FUNDING. Novartis, NIH, Conquer Cancer Foundation.

Authors

Alfred L. Garfall, Edward A. Stadtmauer, Wei-Ting Hwang, Simon F. Lacey, Jan Joseph Melenhorst, Maria Krevvata, Martin P. Carroll, William H. Matsui, Qiuju Wang, Madhav V. Dhodapkar, Kavita Dhodapkar, Rituparna Das, Dan T. Vogl, Brendan M. Weiss, Adam D. Cohen, Patricia A. Mangan, Emily C. Ayers, Selene Nunez-Cruz, Irina Kulikovskaya, Megan M. Davis, Anne Lamontagne, Karen Dengel, Naseem D.S. Kerr, Regina M. Young, Donald L. Siegel, Bruce L. Levine, Michael C. Milone, Marcela V. Maus, Carl H. June

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Abstract

Colon cancer is a complex disease affected by a combination of genetic and epigenetic factors. Here we demonstrate that nardilysin (N-arginine dibasic convertase; NRDC), a metalloendopeptidase of the M16 family, regulates intestinal tumorigenesis via its nuclear functions. NRDC is highly expressed in human colorectal cancers. Deletion of the Nrdc gene in ApcMin mice crucially suppressed intestinal tumor development. In ApcMin mice, epithelial cell–specific deletion of Nrdc recapitulated the tumor suppression observed in Nrdc-null mice. Moreover, epithelial cell–specific overexpression of Nrdc significantly enhanced tumor formation in ApcMin mice. Notably, epithelial NRDC controlled cell apoptosis in a gene dosage–dependent manner. In human colon cancer cells, nuclear NRDC directly associated with HDAC1, and controlled both acetylation and stabilization of p53, with alterations of p53 target apoptotic factors. These findings demonstrate that NRDC is critically involved in intestinal tumorigenesis through its epigenetic regulatory function, and targeting NRDC may lead to a novel prevention or therapeutic strategy against colon cancer.

Authors

Keitaro Kanda, Jiro Sakamoto, Yoshihide Matsumoto, Kozo Ikuta, Norihiro Goto, Yusuke Morita, Mikiko Ohno, Kiyoto Nishi, Koji Eto, Yuto Kimura, Yuki Nakanishi, Kanako Ikegami, Takaaki Yoshikawa, Akihisa Fukuda, Kenji Kawada, Yoshiharu Sakai, Akihiro Ito, Minoru Yoshida, Takeshi Kimura, Tsutomu Chiba, Eiichiro Nishi, Hiroshi Seno

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Abstract

Obesity is a risk factor for osteoarthritis (OA), the greatest cause of disability in the US. The impact of obesity on OA is driven by systemic inflammation, and increased systemic inflammation is now understood to be caused by gut microbiome dysbiosis. Oligofructose, a nondigestible prebiotic fiber, can restore a lean gut microbial community profile in the context of obesity, suggesting a potentially novel approach to treat the OA of obesity. Here, we report that — compared with the lean murine gut — obesity is associated with loss of beneficial Bifidobacteria, while key proinflammatory species gain in abundance. A downstream systemic inflammatory signature culminates with macrophage migration to the synovium and accelerated knee OA. Oligofructose supplementation restores the lean gut microbiome in obese mice, in part, by supporting key commensal microflora, particularly Bifidobacterium pseudolongum. This is associated with reduced inflammation in the colon, circulation, and knee and protection from OA. This observation of a gut microbiome–OA connection sets the stage for discovery of potentially new OA therapeutics involving strategic manipulation of specific microbial species inhabiting the intestinal space.

Authors

Eric M. Schott, Christopher W. Farnsworth, Alex Grier, Jacquelyn A. Lillis, Sarah Soniwala, Gregory H. Dadourian, Richard D. Bell, Madison L. Doolittle, David A. Villani, Hani Awad, John P. Ketz, Fadia Kamal, Cheryl Ackert-Bicknell, John M. Ashton, Steven R. Gill, Robert A. Mooney, Michael J. Zuscik

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Abstract

Angiogenesis, new blood vessel formation from preexisting vessels, is critical for solid tumor growth. As such, there have been efforts to inhibit angiogenesis as a means to obstruct tumor growth. However, antiangiogenic therapy faces major challenges to the selective targeting of tumor-associated-vessels, as current antiangiogenic targets also disrupt steady-state vessels. Here, we demonstrate that the developmentally critical transcription factor Etv2 is selectively upregulated in both human and mouse tumor-associated endothelial cells (TAECs) and is required for tumor angiogenesis. Two-photon imaging revealed that Etv2-deficient tumor-associated vasculature remained similar to that of steady-state vessels. Etv2-deficient TAECs displayed decreased Flk1 (also known as Vegfr2) expression, FLK1 activation, and proliferation. Endothelial tube formation, proliferation, and sprouting response to VEGF, but not to FGF2, was reduced in Etv2-deficient ECs. ROS activated Etv2 expression in ECs, and ROS blockade inhibited Etv2 expression in TAECs in vivo. Systemic administration of Etv2 siRNA nanoparticles potently inhibited tumor growth and angiogenesis without cardiovascular side effects. These studies highlight a link among vascular oxidative stress, Etv2 expression, and VEGF response that is critical for tumor angiogenesis. Targeting the ETV2 pathway might offer a unique opportunity for more selective antiangiogenic therapies.

Authors

Ashraf Ul Kabir, Tae-Jin Lee, Hua Pan, Jeffrey C. Berry, Karen Krchma, Jun Wu, Fang Liu, Hee-Kyoung Kang, Kristina Hinman, Lihua Yang, Samantha Hamilton, Qingyu Zhou, Deborah J. Veis, Robert P. Mecham, Samuel A. Wickline, Mark J. Miller, Kyunghee Choi

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Abstract

Pleomorphic invasive lobular carcinoma (PILC) is an aggressive variant of invasive lobular breast cancer that is associated with poor clinical outcomes. Limited molecular data are available to explain the mechanistic basis for PILC behavior. To address this issue, targeted sequencing was performed to identify molecular alterations that define PILC. This sequencing analysis identified genes that distinguish PILC from classic ILC and invasive ductal carcinoma by the incidence of their genomic changes. In particular, insulin receptor substrate 2 (IRS2) is recurrently mutated in PILC, and pathway analysis reveals a role for the insulin receptor (IR)/insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF1R)/IRS2 signaling pathway in PILC. IRS2 mutations identified in PILC enhance invasion, revealing a role for this signaling adaptor in the aggressive nature of PILC.

Authors

Sha Zhu, B. Marie Ward, Jun Yu, Asia N. Matthew-Onabanjo, Jenny Janusis, Chung-Cheng Hsieh, Keith Tomaszewicz, Lloyd Hutchinson, Lihua Julie Zhu, Dina Kandil, Leslie M. Shaw

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Abstract

Although immune checkpoint inhibitors have resulted in durable clinical benefits in a subset of patients with advanced cancer, some patients who did not respond to initial anti–PD-1 therapy have been found to benefit from the addition of salvage chemotherapy. However, the mechanism responsible for the successful chemoimmunotherapy is not completely understood. Here we show that a subset of circulating CD8+ T cells expressing the chemokine receptor CX3CR1 are able to withstand the toxicity of chemotherapy and are increased in patients with metastatic melanoma who responded to chemoimmunotherapy (paclitaxel and carboplatin plus PD-1 blockade). These CX3CR1+CD8+ T cells have effector memory phenotypes and the ability to efflux chemotherapy drugs via the ABCB1 transporter. In line with clinical observation, our preclinical models identified an optimal sequencing of chemoimmunotherapy that resulted in an increase of CX3CR1+CD8+ T cells. Taken together, we found a subset of PD-1 therapy–responsive CD8+ T cells that were capable of withstanding chemotherapy and executing tumor rejection with their unique abilities of drug efflux (ABCB1), cytolytic activity (granzyme B and perforin), and migration to and retention (CX3CR1 and CD11a) at tumor sites. Future strategies to monitor and increase the frequency of CX3CR1+CD8+ T cells may help to design effective chemoimmunotherapy to overcome cancer resistance to immune checkpoint blockade therapy.

Authors

Yiyi Yan, Siyu Cao, Xin Liu, Susan M. Harrington, Wendy E. Bindeman, Alex A. Adjei, Jin Sung Jang, Jin Jen, Ying Li, Pritha Chanana, Aaron S. Mansfield, Sean S. Park, Svetomir N. Markovic, Roxana S. Dronca, Haidong Dong

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Abstract

Cystic fibrosis–related (CF-related) diabetes (CFRD) is an increasingly common and devastating comorbidity of CF, affecting approximately 35% of adults with CF. However, the underlying causes of CFRD are unclear. Here, we examined cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) islet expression and whether the CFTR participates in islet endocrine cell function using murine models of β cell CFTR deletion and normal and CF human pancreas and islets. Specific deletion of CFTR from murine β cells did not affect β cell function. In human islets, CFTR mRNA was minimally expressed, and CFTR protein and electrical activity were not detected. Isolated CF/CFRD islets demonstrated appropriate insulin and glucagon secretion, with few changes in key islet-regulatory transcripts. Furthermore, approximately 65% of β cell area was lost in CF donors, compounded by pancreatic remodeling and immune infiltration of the islet. These results indicate that CFRD is caused by β cell loss and intraislet inflammation in the setting of a complex pleiotropic disease and not by intrinsic islet dysfunction from CFTR mutation.

Authors

Nathaniel J. Hart, Radhika Aramandla, Gregory Poffenberger, Cody Fayolle, Ariel H. Thames, Austin Bautista, Aliya F. Spigelman, Jenny Aurielle B. Babon, Megan E. DeNicola, Prasanna K. Dadi, William S. Bush, Appakalai N. Balamurugan, Marcela Brissova, Chunhua Dai, Nripesh Prasad, Rita Bottino, David A. Jacobson, Mitchell L. Drumm, Sally C. Kent, Patrick E. MacDonald, Alvin C. Powers

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Abstract

A role for antigen-driven stimulation has been proposed in the pathogenesis of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and multiple myeloma (MM) based largely on the binding properties of monoclonal Ig. However, insights into antigen binding to clonal B cell receptors and in vivo responsiveness of the malignant clone to antigen-mediated stimulation are needed to understand the role of antigenic stimulation in tumor growth. Lysolipid-reactive clonal Ig were detected in Gaucher disease (GD) and some sporadic gammopathies. Here, we show that recombinant Ig (rIg) cloned from sort-purified single tumor cells from lipid-reactive sporadic and GD-associated gammopathy specifically bound lysolipids. Liposome sedimentation and binding assays confirmed specific interaction of lipid-reactive monoclonal Ig with lysolipids. The clonal nature of lysolipid-binding Ig was validated by protein sequencing. Gene expression profiling and cytogenetic analyses from 2 patient cohorts showed enrichment of nonhyperdiploid tumors in lipid-reactive patients. In vivo antigen-mediated stimulation led to an increase in clonal Ig and plasma cells (PCs) in GD gammopathy and also reactivated previously suppressed antigenically related nonclonal PCs. These data support a model wherein antigenic stimulation mediates an initial polyclonal phase, followed by evolution of monoclonal tumors enriched in nonhyperdiploid genomes, responsive to underlying antigen. Targeting underlying antigens may therefore prevent clinical MM.

Authors

Shiny Nair, Joel Sng, Chandra Sekhar Boddupalli, Anja Seckinger, Marta Chesi, Mariateresa Fulciniti, Lin Zhang, Navin Rauniyar, Michael Lopez, Natalia Neparidze, Terri Parker, Nikhil C. Munshi, Rachael Sexton, Bart Barlogie, Robert Orlowski, Leif Bergsagel, Dirk Hose, Richard A. Flavell, Pramod K. Mistry, Eric Meffre, Madhav V. Dhodapkar

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Abstract

Mutations in the gene encoding the protein kinase A (PKA) catalytic subunit α have been found to be responsible for cortisol-producing adenomas (CPAs). In this study, we identified by whole-exome sequencing the somatic mutation p.S54L in the PRKACB gene, encoding the catalytic subunit β (Cβ) of PKA, in a CPA from a patient with severe Cushing syndrome. Bioluminescence resonance energy transfer and surface plasmon resonance assays revealed that the mutation hampers formation of type I holoenzymes and that these holoenzymes were highly sensitive to cAMP. PKA activity, measured both in cell lysates and with recombinant proteins, based on phosphorylation of a synthetic substrate, was higher under basal conditions for the mutant enzyme compared with the WT, while maximal activity was lower. These data suggest that at baseline the PRKACB p.S54L mutant drove the adenoma cells to higher cAMP signaling activity, probably contributing to their autonomous growth. Although the role of PRKACB in tumorigenesis has been suggested, we demonstrated for the first time to our knowledge that a PRKACB mutation can lead to an adrenal tumor. Moreover, this observation describes another mechanism of PKA pathway activation in CPAs and highlights the particular role of residue Ser54 for the function of PKA.

Authors

Stéphanie Espiard, Matthias J. Knape, Kerstin Bathon, Guillaume Assié, Marthe Rizk-Rabin, Simon Faillot, Windy Luscap-Rondof, Daniel Abid, Laurence Guignat, Davide Calebiro, Friedrich W. Herberg, Constantine A. Stratakis, Jérôme Bertherat

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Abstract

Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is an incurable multisystem disease characterized by mTORC1-hyperactive tumors. TSC1/2 mutations also occur in other neoplastic disorders, including lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) and bladder cancer. Whether TSC-associated tumors will respond to immunotherapy is unknown. We report here that the programmed death 1 coinhibitory receptor (PD-1) is upregulated on T cells in renal angiomyolipomas (AML) and pulmonary lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM). In C57BL/6J mice injected with syngeneic TSC2-deficient cells, anti–PD-1 alone decreased 105K tumor growth by 67% (P < 0.0001); the combination of PD-1 and CTLA-4 blockade was even more effective in suppressing tumor growth. Anti–PD-1 induced complete rejection of TSC2-deficient 105K tumors in 37% of mice (P < 0.05). Double blockade of PD-1 and CTLA-4 induced rejection in 62% of mice (P < 0.01). TSC2 reexpression in TSC2-deficient TMKOC cells enhanced antitumor immunity by increasing T cell infiltration and production of IFN-γ/TNF-α by T cells, suggesting that TSC2 and mTORC1 play specific roles in the induction of antitumor immunity. Finally, 1 month of anti–PD-1 blockade reduced renal tumor burden by 53% (P < 0.01) in genetically engineered Tsc2+/– mice. Taken together, these data demonstrate for the first time to our knowledge that checkpoint blockade may have clinical efficacy for TSC and LAM, and possibly other benign tumor syndromes, potentially yielding complete and durable clinical responses.

Authors

Heng-Jia Liu, Patrick H. Lizotte, Heng Du, Maria C. Speranza, Hilaire C. Lam, Spencer Vaughan, Nicola Alesi, Kwok-Kin Wong, Gordon J. Freeman, Arlene H. Sharpe, Elizabeth P. Henske

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Abstract

Malaria remains one of the world’s most significant human infectious diseases and cerebral malaria (CM) is its most deadly complication. CM pathogenesis remains incompletely understood, hindering the development of therapeutics to prevent this lethal complication. Elevated levels of the chemokine CXCL10 are a biomarker for CM, and CXCL10 and its receptor CXCR3 are required for experimental CM (ECM) in mice, but their role has remained unclear. Using multiphoton intravital microscopy, CXCR3 receptor– and ligand–deficient mice and bone marrow chimeric mice, we demonstrate a key role for endothelial cell–produced CXCL10 in inducing the firm adhesion of T cells and preventing their cell detachment from the brain vasculature. Using a CXCL9 and CXCL10 dual-CXCR3-ligand reporter mouse, we found that CXCL10 was strongly induced in the brain endothelium as early as 4 days after infection, while CXCL9 and CXCL10 expression was found in inflammatory monocytes and monocyte-derived DCs within the blood vasculature on day 8. The induction of both CXCL9 and CXCL10 was completely dependent on IFN-γ receptor signaling. These data demonstrate that IFN-γ–induced, endothelium-derived CXCL10 plays a critical role in mediating the T cell–endothelial cell adhesive events that initiate the inflammatory cascade that injures the endothelium and induces the development of ECM.

Authors

Elizabeth W. Sorensen, Jeffrey Lian, Aleksandra J. Ozga, Yoshishige Miyabe, Sophina W. Ji, Shannon K. Bromley, Thorsten R. Mempel, Andrew D. Luster

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Abstract

BACKGROUND. The neuropeptide kisspeptin stimulates luteinizing hormone (LH) secretion in healthy adults but not in adults with idiopathic hypogonadotropic hypogonadism. We hypothesized that, in children presenting with delayed or stalled puberty, kisspeptin would elicit LH secretion in those children found on detailed nighttime neuroendocrine profiling to have evidence of emerging reproductive endocrine function. METHODS. Eleven boys and four girls were admitted overnight to assess LH secretion at baseline, after a single intravenous bolus of kisspeptin, and after a single intravenous bolus of gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH). Subjects then received exogenous pulsatile GnRH for 6 days and returned for a second visit to measure responses to kisspeptin and GnRH after this pituitary “priming.” Responses to kisspeptin and GnRH were also measured in 5 healthy men. RESULTS. Of the 15 children with delayed/stalled puberty, 6 exhibited at least one spontaneous LH pulse overnight; all of these subjects had clear responses to kisspeptin, as did one additional subject. Seven subjects had no response to kisspeptin, and one subject exhibited an intermediate response. In the children who responded to kisspeptin, the responses had features comparable to those of adult men. CONCLUSION. In this first report of kisspeptin administration to pediatric subjects to our knowledge, children with delayed/stalled puberty showed a wide range of responses, with some showing a robust response and others showing little to no response. Further follow-up will determine whether responses to kisspeptin predict future pubertal entry for children with delayed puberty. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01438034 and NCT01952782. FUNDING. NIH Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (R01 HD043341, R01 HD090071, P50 HD028138), NIH National Center for Advancing Translational (UL1 TR001102), NIH National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases (T32 DK007028), the Massachusetts General Hospital Executive Committee on Research Fund for Medical Discovery, Harvard Catalyst, Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (award 2013110), Charles H. Hood Foundation, Robert and Laura Reynolds MGH Research Scholar Program, and Harvard University. These funding sources had no role in the design of this study and did not have any role in conducting the study, analyses, interpretation of the data, or the decision to submit results.

Authors

Yee-Ming Chan, Margaret F. Lippincott, Temitope O. Kusa, Stephanie B. Seminara

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Abstract

BACKGROUND. Sodium glucose cotransporter-2 (SGLT2) inhibitors are the most recently approved class of drugs for type 2 diabetes and provide both glycemic efficacy and cardiovascular risk reduction. A number of safety issues have been identified, including treatment-emergent bone fractures. To understand the overall clinical profile, these safety issues must be balanced against an attractive efficacy profile. Our study was designed to investigate pathophysiological mechanisms mediating treatment-emergent adverse effects on bone health. METHODS. We conducted a single-blind randomized crossover study in hospitalized healthy adults (n = 25) receiving either canagliflozin (300 mg/d) or placebo for 5 days. The primary end-point was the drug-induced change in AUC for plasma intact fibroblast growth factor 23 (FGF23) immunoactivity between 24 and 72 hours. RESULTS. Canagliflozin administration increased placebo-subtracted mean levels of serum phosphorus (+16%), plasma FGF23 (+20%), and plasma parathyroid hormone (PTH) (+25%), while decreasing the level of 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D (–10%). There was substantial interindividual variation in the magnitude of each of these pharmacodynamic responses. The increase in plasma FGF23 was correlated with the increase in serum phosphorus, and the decrease in plasma 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D was correlated with the increase in plasma FGF23. CONCLUSIONS. Canagliflozin induced a prompt increase in serum phosphorus, which triggers downstream changes in FGF23, 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D, and PTH, with potential to exert adverse effects on bone health. These pharmacodynamic data provide a foundation for future research to elucidate pathophysiological mechanisms of adverse effects on bone health, with the objective of devising therapeutic strategies to mitigate the drug-associated fracture risk. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrial.gov (NCT02404870). FUNDING. Supported by the Intramural Program of NIDDK.

Authors

Jenny E. Blau, Viviana Bauman, Ellen M. Conway, Paolo Piaggi, Mary F. Walter, Elizabeth C. Wright, Shanna Bernstein, Amber B. Courville, Michael T. Collins, Kristina I. Rother, Simeon I. Taylor

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Abstract

Exosomes are extracellular vesicles produced by all cells with a remarkable ability to efficiently transfer genetic material, including exogenously loaded siRNA, to cancer cells. Here, we report on a bioreactor-based, large-scale production of clinical-grade exosomes employing good manufacturing practice (GMP) standards. A standard operating procedure was established to generate engineered exosomes with the ability to target oncogenic Kras (iExosomes). The clinical-grade GMP iExosomes were tested in multiple in vitro and in vivo studies to confirm suppression of oncogenic Kras and an increase in the survival of several mouse models with pancreatic cancer. We perform studies to determine the shelf life, biodistribution, toxicology profile, and efficacy in combination with chemotherapy to inform future clinical testing of GMP iExosomes. Collectively, this report illustrates the process and feasibility of generating clinical-grade exosomes for various therapies of human diseases.

Authors

Mayela Mendt, Sushrut Kamerkar, Hikaru Sugimoto, Kathleen M. McAndrews, Chia-Chin Wu, Mihai Gagea, Sujuan Yang, Elena V. Rodriges Blanko, Qian Peng, Xiaoyan Ma, Joseph R. Marszalek, Anirban Maitra, Cassian Yee, Katayoun Rezvani, Elizabeth Shpall, Valerie S. LeBleu, Raghu Kalluri

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Abstract

BACKGROUND. Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is associated with enhanced risk of atherosclerotic cardiovascular disease not explained by Framingham risk score (FRS). Immune dysregulation associated to a distinct subset of lupus proinflammatory neutrophils (low density granulocytes; LDGs) may play key roles in conferring enhanced CV risk. This study assessed if lupus LDGs are associated with in vivo vascular dysfunction and inflammation and coronary plaque. METHODS. SLE subjects and healthy controls underwent multimodal phenotyping of vascular disease by quantifying vascular inflammation (18F-fluorodeoxyglucose–PET/CT [18F-FDG–PET/CT]), arterial dysfunction (EndoPAT and cardio-ankle vascular index), and coronary plaque burden (coronary CT angiography). LDGs were quantified by flow cytometry. Cholesterol efflux capacity was measured in high-density lipoprotein–exposed (HDL-exposed) radioactively labeled cell lines. Whole blood RNA sequencing was performed to assess associations between transcriptomic profiles and vascular phenotype. RESULTS. Vascular inflammation, arterial stiffness, and noncalcified plaque burden (NCB) were increased in SLE compared with controls even after adjustment for traditional risk factors. In SLE, NCB directly associated with LDGs and associated negatively with cholesterol efflux capacity in fully adjusted models. A neutrophil gene signature reflective of the most upregulated genes in lupus LDGs associated with vascular inflammation and NCB. CONCLUSION. Individuals with SLE demonstrate vascular inflammation, arterial dysfunction, and NCB, which may explain the higher reported risk for acute coronary syndromes. The association of LDGs and neutrophil genes with vascular disease supports the hypothesis that distinct neutrophil subsets contribute to vascular damage and unstable coronary plaque in SLE. Results also support previous observations that neutrophils may disrupt HDL function and thereby promote atherogenesis. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00001372 FUNDING. Intramural Research Program NIAMS/NIH (ZIA AR041199) and Lupus Research Institute

Authors

Philip M. Carlucci, Monica M. Purmalek, Amit K. Dey, Yenealem Temesgen-Oyelakin, Simantini Sakhardande, Aditya A. Joshi, Joseph B. Lerman, Alice Fike, Michael Davis, Jonathan H. Chung, Martin P. Playford, Mohammad Naqi, Pragnesh Mistry, Gustavo Gutierrez-Cruz, Stefania Dell’Orso, Faiza Naz, Taufiq Salahuddin, Balaji Natarajan, Zerai Manna, Wanxia L. Tsai, Sarthak Gupta, Peter Grayson, Heather Teague, Marcus Y. Chen, Hong-Wei Sun, Sarfaraz Hasni, Nehal N. Mehta, Mariana J. Kaplan

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Abstract

T cell receptor (TCR) T cell therapy is a promising cancer treatment modality. However, its successful development for epithelial cancers may depend on the identification of high-avidity TCRs directed against tumor-restricted target antigens. The human papillomavirus (HPV) E7 antigen is an attractive therapeutic target that is constitutively expressed by HPV+ cancers but not by healthy tissues. It is unknown if genetically engineered TCR T cells that target E7 can mediate regression of HPV+ cancers. We identified an HPV-16 E7-specific, HLA-A*02:01-restricted TCR from a uterine cervix biopsy from a woman with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. This TCR demonstrated high functional avidity, with CD8 coreceptor–independent tumor targeting. Human T cells transduced to express the TCR specifically recognized and killed HPV-16+ cervical and oropharyngeal cancer cell lines and mediated regression of established HPV-16+ human cervical cancer tumors in a mouse model. These findings support the therapeutic potential of this approach and established the basis for an E7 TCR gene therapy clinical trial in patients with metastatic HPV+ cancers (NCT02858310).

Authors

Benjamin Y. Jin, Tracy E. Campbell, Lindsey M. Draper, Sanja Stevanović, Bianca Weissbrich, Zhiya Yu, Nicholas P. Restifo, Steven A. Rosenberg, Cornelia L. Trimble, Christian S. Hinrichs

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Abstract

Bile acids are signaling molecules that critically control hepatocellular function. Disrupted bile acid homeostasis may be implicated in the pathogenesis of chronic liver diseases. Glutathione is an important antioxidant that protects the liver against oxidative injury. Various forms of liver disease share the common characteristics of reduced cellular glutathione and elevated oxidative stress. This study reports a potentially novel physiological function of bile acids in regulating hepatic sulfur amino acid and glutathione metabolism. We found that bile acids strongly inhibited the cysteine dioxygenase type-1–mediated (CDO1-mediated) cysteine catabolic pathway via a farnesoid X receptor–dependent mechanism. Attenuating this bile acid repressive effect depleted the free cysteine pool and reduced the glutathione concentration in mouse liver. Upon acetaminophen challenge, cholestyramine-fed mice showed impaired hepatic glutathione regeneration capacity and markedly worsened liver injury, which was fully prevented by N-acetylcysteine administration. These effects were recapitulated in CDO1-overexpressing hepatocytes. Findings from this study support the importance of maintaining bile acid homeostasis under physiological and pathophysiological conditions, as altered hepatic bile acid signaling may negatively impact the antioxidant defense mechanism and sensitivity to oxidative injury. Furthermore, this finding provides a possible explanation for the reported mild hepatotoxicity associated with the clinical use of bile acid sequestrants in human patients.

Authors

Yifeng Wang, Jibiao Li, David Matye, Yuxia Zhang, Katie Dennis, Wen-Xing Ding, Tiangang Li

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Abstract

Adiponectin, an adipocyte-derived circulating protein, accumulates in vasculature, heart, and skeletal muscles through interaction with a unique glycosylphosphatidylinositol-anchored cadherin, T-cadherin. Recent studies have demonstrated that such accumulation is essential for adiponectin-mediated cardiovascular protection. Here, we demonstrate that the adiponectin/T-cadherin system enhances exosome biogenesis and secretion, leading to the decrease of cellular ceramides. Adiponectin accumulated inside multivesicular bodies, the site of exosome generation, in cultured cells and in vivo aorta, and also in exosomes in conditioned media and in blood, together with T-cadherin. The systemic level of exosomes in blood was significantly affected by adiponectin or T-cadherin in vivo. Adiponectin increased exosome biogenesis from the cells, dependently on T-cadherin, but not on AdipoR1 or AdipoR2. Such enhancement of exosome release accompanied the reduction of cellular ceramides through ceramide efflux in exosomes. Consistently, the ceramide reduction by adiponectin was found in aortas of WT mice treated with angiotensin II, but not in T-cadherin–knockout mice. Our findings provide insights into adiponectin/T-cadherin–mediated organ protection through exosome biogenesis and secretion.

Authors

Yoshinari Obata, Shunbun Kita, Yoshihisa Koyama, Shiro Fukuda, Hiroaki Takeda, Masatomo Takahashi, Yuya Fujishima, Hirofumi Nagao, Shigeki Masuda, Yoshimitsu Tanaka, Yuto Nakamura, Hitoshi Nishizawa, Tohru Funahashi, Barbara Ranscht, Yoshihiro Izumi, Takeshi Bamba, Eiichiro Fukusaki, Rikinari Hanayama, Shoichi Shimada, Norikazu Maeda, Iichiro Shimomura

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Abstract

Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is an allergic inflammatory esophageal disorder with a complex underlying genetic etiology often associated with other comorbidities. Using whole-exome sequencing (WES) of 63 patients with EoE and 60 unaffected family members and family-based trio analysis, we sought to uncover rare coding variants. WES analysis identified 5 rare, damaging variants in dehydrogenase E1 and transketolase domain–containing 1 (DHTKD1). Rare variant burden analysis revealed an overabundance of putative, potentially damaging DHTKD1 mutations in EoE (P = 0.01). Interestingly, we also identified 7 variants in the DHTKD1 homolog oxoglutarate dehydrogenase-like (OGDHL). Using shRNA-transduced esophageal epithelial cells and/or patient fibroblasts, we further showed that disruption of normal DHTKD1 or OGDHL expression blunts mitochondrial function. Finally, we demonstrated that the loss of DHTKD1 expression increased ROS production and induced the expression of viperin, a gene previously shown to be involved in production of Th2 cytokines in T cells. Viperin had increased expression in esophageal biopsies of EoE patients compared with control individuals and was upregulated by IL-13 in esophageal epithelial cells. These data identify a series of rare genetic variants implicating DHTKD1 and OGDHL in the genetic etiology of EoE and underscore a potential pathogenic role for mitochondrial dysfunction in EoE.

Authors

Joseph D. Sherrill, Kiran KC, Xinjian Wang, Ting Wen, Adam Chamberlin, Emily M. Stucke, Margaret H. Collins, J. Pablo Abonia, Yanyan Peng, Qiang Wu, Philip E. Putnam, Phillip J. Dexheimer, Bruce J. Aronow, Leah C. Kottyan, Kenneth M. Kaufman, John B. Harley, Taosheng Huang, Marc E. Rothenberg

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