In this issue, Zaver et al. report on MEK as a therapeutic target for restoring intercellular adhesion among epidermal keratinocytes and potentially reducing skin blistering in Darier disease. The cover image displays normal human skin stained to highlight proteins critical for epidermal integrity, including the desmosomal cadherin desmoglein 1 (yellow), which is linked to the keratin 10 cytoskeleton (magenta). Nuclei are stained with DAPI (cyan).
Myosin heavy chains encoded by MYH7 and MYH2 are abundant in human skeletal muscle, and important for muscle contraction. However, it is unclear how mutations in these genes disrupt myosin structure and function leading to skeletal muscle myopathies termed myosinopathies. Here, we used multiple approaches to analyse the effects of common MYH7 and MYH2 mutations in the light meromyosin region of myosin (LMM). Analyses of expressed and purified MYH7 and MYH2 LMM mutant proteins combined with in-silico modelling showed that myosin coiled-coil structure and packing of filaments in vitro are commonly disrupted. Using muscle biopsies from patients, and Mant-ATP chase protocols to estimate the proportion of myosin heads that were super-relaxed, together with X-ray diffraction measurements to estimate myosin head order we found that basal myosin ATP consumption was increased and the myosin super-relaxed state was decreased in vivo. In addition, myofibre mechanics experiments to investigate contractile function showed myofibre contractility was not affected. These findings indicate that the structural remodelling associated with LMM mutations induces a pathogenic state in which formation of shutdown heads is impaired, thus increasing myosin head ATP demand in the filaments, rather than affecting contractility. These key findings will help design future therapies for myosinopathies.
Glenn Carrington, Hoi Ting Abbi Hau, Sarah Kosta, Hannah F. Dugdale, Francesco Muntoni, Adele D'Amico, Peter Y. K. Van den Bergh, Norma B. Romero, Edoardo Malfatti, Juan J. Vilchez, Anders Oldfors, Sander Pajusalu, Katrin Õunap, Marta Giralt-Pujol, Edmar Zanoteli, Kenneth S. Campbell, Hiroyuki Iwamoto, Michelle Peckham, Julien Ochala
MTORC1 integrates signaling from the immune microenvironment to regulate T cell activation, differentiation, and function. TSC2 in the tuberous sclerosis complex tightly regulates mTORC1 activation. CD8+ T cells lacking TSC2 have constitutively enhanced mTORC1 activity and generate robust effector T cells; however sustained mTORC1 activation prevents generation of long-lived memory CD8+ T cells. Here we show manipulating TSC2 at Ser1365 potently regulates activated but not basal mTORC1 signaling in CD8+ T cells. Unlike non-stimulated TSC2 knockout cells, CD8+ T cells expressing a phospho-silencing mutant TSC2-S1365A (SA) retain normal basal mTORC1 activity. PKC and T-cell Receptor (TCR) stimulation induces TSC2 S1365 phosphorylation and preventing this with the SA mutation markedly increases mTORC1 activation and T-cell effector function. Consequently, SA CD8+ T cells display greater effector responses while retaining their capacity to become long-lived memory T cells. SA CD8+ T cells also display enhanced effector function under hypoxic and acidic conditions. In murine and human solid-tumor models, CD8+ SA T cells used as adoptive cell therapy display greater anti-tumor immunity than WT CD8+ T cells. These findings reveal an upstream mechanism to regulate mTORC1 activity in T cells. The TSC2-SA mutation enhances both T cell effector function and long-term persistence/memory formation, supporting an approach to engineer better CAR-T cells for treating cancer.
Chirag H. Patel, Yi Dong, Navid Koleini, Xiaoxu Wang, Brittany L. Dunkerly-Eyring, Jiayu Wen, Mark J. Ranek, Laura M. Bartle, Daniel B. Henderson, Jason G. Sagert, David A. Kass, Jonathan D. Powell
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most lethal brain cancer with a dismal prognosis. Stem-like GBM cells (GSCs) are a major driver of GBM propagation and recurrence, thus understanding the molecular mechanisms that promote GSCs may lead to effective therapeutic approaches. Through in vitro clonogenic growth-based assays, we determined mitogenic activities of the ligand molecules that are implicated in neural development. We have identified that Semaphorin 3A (Sema3A), originally known as an axon guidance molecule in the central nervous system, promotes clonogenic growth of GBM cells but not normal neural progenitor cells (NPCs). Mechanistically, Sema3A binds to its receptor Neuropilin-1 (NRP1) and facilitates an interaction between NRP1 and TGF receptor 1 (TGFR1), which in turn leads to activation of canonical TGF signaling in both GSCs and NPCs. TGF signaling enhances self-renewal and survival of GBM tumors through induction of key stem cell factors, but it evokes cytostatic responses in NPCs. Blockage of the Sema3A-NRP1 axis via shRNA-mediated knockdown of Sema3A or NRP1 impeded clonogenic growth and TGF pathway activity in GSCs and inhibited tumor growth in vivo. Taken together, these findings suggest that the Sema3A-NRP1-TGFR1 signaling axis is a critical regulator of GSC propagation and a potential therapeutic target for GBM.
Hye-Min Jeon, Yong Jae Shin, Jaehyun Lee, Nakho Chang, Dong-Hun Woo, Won Jun Lee, Dayna Nguyen, Wonyoung Kang, Hee Jin Cho, Heekyoung Yang, Jin-Ku Lee, Jason K. Sa, Yeri Lee, Donggeon Kim, Benjamin W. Purow, Yeup Yoon, Do-Hyun Nam, Jeongwu Lee
Primary graft dysfunction (PGD) limits clinical benefit after lung transplantation, a life-prolonging therapy for patients with end-stage disease. PGD is the clinical syndrome resulting from pulmonary ischemia-reperfusion injury (IRI), driven by innate immune inflammation. We recently demonstrated a key role for NK cells in the airways of mouse models and human tissue samples of IRI. Here we used 2 mouse models paired with human lung transplant samples to investigate the mechanisms whereby NK cells migrate to the airways to mediate lung injury. We demonstrate that chemokine receptor ligand transcripts and proteins are increased in mouse and human disease. CCR5 ligand transcripts were correlated with NK cell gene signatures independent of NK cell CCR5 ligand secretion. NK cells expressing CCR5 were increased in the lung and airways during IRI and had increased markers of tissue residency and maturation. Allosteric CCR5 drug blockade reduced the migration of NK cells to the site of injury. CCR5 blockade also blunted quantitative measures of experimental IRI. Additionally, in human lung transplant bronchoalveolar lavage samples, we found that CCR5 ligand was associated with increased patient morbidity and that the CCR5 receptor was increased in expression on human NK cells following PGD. These data support a potential mechanism for NK cell migration during lung injury and identify a plausible preventative treatment for PGD.
Jesse Santos, Ping Wang, Avishai Shemesh, Fengchun Liu, Tasha Tsao, Oscar A. Aguilar, Simon J. Cleary, Jonathan P. Singer, Ying Gao, Steven R. Hays, Jeffrey Golden, Lorriana E. Leard, Mary Ellen Kleinhenz, Nicholas A. Kolaitis, Rupal J. Shah, Aida Venado, Jasleen Kukreja, S. Sam Weigt, John A. Belperio, Lewis L. Lanier, Mark R. Looney, John R. Greenland, Daniel R. Calabrese
Postictal apnea is thought to be a major cause of sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP). However, the mechanisms underlying postictal apnea are unknown. To understand causes of postictal apnea, we used a multimodal approach to study brain mechanisms of breathing control in 20 patients (ranging from pediatric to adult) undergoing intracranial electroencephalography (iEEG) for intractable epilepsy. Our results indicate that amygdala seizures can cause postictal apnea. Moreover, we identified a distinct region within the amygdala where electrical stimulation was sufficient to reproduce prolonged breathing loss persisting well beyond the end of stimulation. The persistent apnea was resistant to rising CO2 levels, and air hunger failed to occur, suggesting impaired CO2 chemosensitivity. Using es-fMRI, a novel approach combining electrical stimulation with functional MRI, we found amygdala stimulation altered BOLD activity in the pons/medulla and ventral insula. Together, these findings suggest that seizure activity in a focal subregion of the amygdala is sufficient to suppress breathing and air hunger for prolonged periods of time in the postictal period, likely via brainstem and insula sites involved in chemosensation and interoception. They further provide new insights into SUDEP, may help identify those at greatest risk, and may lead to treatments to prevent SUDEP.
Gail I.S. Harmata, Ariane E. Rhone, Christopher K. Kovach, Sukhbinder Kumar, Md Rakibul Mowla, Rup K. Sainju, Yasunori Nagahama, Hiroyuki Oya, Brian K. Gehlbach, Michael A. Ciliberto, Rashmi N. Mueller, Hiroto Kawasaki, Kyle T.S. Pattinson, Kristina Simonyan, Paul W. Davenport, Matthew A. Howard III, Mitchell Steinschneider, Aubrey C. Chan, George B. Richerson, John A. Wemmie, Brian J. Dlouhy
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