Issue published September 22, 2023

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Targeting SERCA2 in organotypic epidermis reveals MEK inhibition as a therapeutic strategy for Darier disease

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).

Review

Abstract

Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is a pediatric-onset neuromuscular disorder caused by insufficient survival motor neuron (SMN) protein. SMN restorative therapies are now approved for the treatment of SMA; however, they are not curative, likely due to a combination of imperfect treatment timing, inadequate SMN augmentation, and failure to optimally target relevant organs. Here, we consider the implications of imperfect treatment administration, focusing specifically on outcomes for skeletal muscle. We examine the evidence that muscle plays a contributing role in driving neuromuscular dysfunction in SMA. Next, we discuss how SMN might regulate the health of myofibers and their progenitors. Finally, we speculate on therapeutic outcomes of failing to raise muscle SMN to healthful levels and present strategies to restore function to this tissue to ensure better treatment results.

Authors

Narendra N. Jha, Jeong-Ki Kim, Yoon-Ra Her, Umrao R. Monani

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Research Articles
Abstract

Acyl-CoA thioesterase 1 (ACOT1) catalyzes the hydrolysis of long-chain acyl-CoAs to free fatty acids and CoA and is typically upregulated in obesity. Whether targeting ACOT1 in the setting of high-fat diet–induced (HFD-induced) obesity would be metabolically beneficial is not known. Here we report that male and female ACOT1KO mice are partially protected from HFD-induced obesity, an effect associated with increased energy expenditure without alterations in physical activity or food intake. In males, ACOT1 deficiency increased mitochondrial uncoupling protein-2 (UCP2) protein abundance while reducing 4-hydroxynonenal, a marker of oxidative stress, in white adipose tissue and liver of HFD-fed mice. Moreover, concurrent knockdown (KD) of UCP2 with ACOT1 in hepatocytes prevented increases in oxygen consumption observed with ACOT1 KD during high lipid loading, suggesting that UCP2-induced uncoupling may increase energy expenditure to attenuate weight gain. Together, these data indicate that targeting ACOT1 may be effective for obesity prevention during caloric excess by increasing energy expenditure.

Authors

Timothy D. Heden, Mallory P. Franklin, Christina Dailey, Mara T. Mashek, Chen Chen, Douglas G. Mashek

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Abstract

Alternative polyadenylation (APA), a posttranscriptional mechanism of gene expression via determination of 3′UTR length, has an emerging role in carcinogenesis. Although abundant APA reprogramming is found in kidney renal clear cell carcinoma (KIRC), which is one of the major malignancies, whether APA functions in KIRC remains unknown. Herein, we found that chromatin modifier MORC2 gained oncogenic potential in KIRC among the genes with APA reprogramming, and moreover, its oncogenic potential was enhanced by 3′UTR shortening through stabilization of MORC2 mRNA. MORC2 was found to function in KIRC by downregulating tumor suppressor DAPK1 via DNA methylation. Mechanistically, MORC2 recruited DNMT3A to facilitate hypermethylation of the DAPK1 promoter, which was strengthened by 3′UTR shortening of MORC2. Furthermore, loss of APA regulator NUDT21, which was induced by DNMT3B-mediated promoter methylation, was identified as responsible for 3′UTR shortening of MORC2 in KIRC. Additionally, NUDT21 was confirmed to act as a tumor suppressor mainly depending on downregulation of MORC2. Finally, we designed an antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) to enhance NUDT21 expression and validated its antitumor effect in vivo and in vitro. This study uncovers the DNMT3B/NUDT21/APA/MORC2/DAPK1 regulatory axis in KIRC, disclosing the role of APA in KIRC and the crosstalk between DNA methylation and APA.

Authors

Yuqin Tan, Tong Zheng, Zijun Su, Min Chen, Suxiang Chen, Rui Zhang, Ruojiao Wang, Ke Li, Ning Na

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Abstract

Patients with triple-negative breast cancer remain at risk for metastatic disease despite treatment. The acquisition of chemoresistance is a major cause of tumor relapse and death, but the mechanisms are far from understood. We have demonstrated that breast cancer cells (BCCs) can engulf mesenchymal stem/stromal cells (MSCs), leading to enhanced dissemination. Here, we show that clinical samples of primary invasive carcinoma and chemoresistant breast cancer metastasis contain a unique hybrid cancer cell population coexpressing pancytokeratin and the MSC marker fibroblast activation protein-α. We show that hybrid cells form in primary tumors and that they promote breast cancer metastasis and chemoresistance. Using single-cell microfluidics and in vivo models, we found that there are polyploid senescent cells within the hybrid cell population that contribute to metastatic dissemination. Our data reveal that Wnt Family Member 5A (WNT5A) plays a crucial role in supporting the chemoresistance properties of hybrid cells. Furthermore, we identified that WNT5A mediates hybrid cell formation through a phagocytosis-like mechanism that requires BCC-derived IL-6 and MSC-derived C-C Motif Chemokine Ligand 2. These findings reveal hybrid cell formation as a mechanism of chemoresistance and suggest that interrupting this mechanism may be a strategy in overcoming breast cancer drug resistance.

Authors

Giuseppina Augimeri, Maria E. Gonzalez, Alessandro Paolì, Ahmad Eido, Yehyun Choi, Boris Burman, Sabra Djomehri, Santhosh Kumar Karthikeyan, Sooryanarayana Varambally, Johanna M. Buschhaus, Yu-Chih Chen, Loredana Mauro, Daniela Bonofiglio, Alexey I. Nesvizhskii, Gary D. Luker, Sebastiano Andò, Euisik Yoon, Celina G. Kleer

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Abstract

Acute lung injury (ALI) and its most severe form, acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS), cause severe endothelial dysfunction in the lung, and vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is elevated in ARDS. We found that the levels of a VEGF-regulated microRNA, microRNA-1 (miR-1), were reduced in the lung endothelium after acute injury. Pulmonary endothelial cell–specific (EC-specific) overexpression of miR-1 protected the lung against cell death and barrier dysfunction in both murine and human models and increased the survival of mice after pneumonia-induced ALI. miR-1 had an intrinsic protective effect in pulmonary and other types of ECs; it inhibited apoptosis and necroptosis pathways and decreased capillary leak by protecting adherens and tight junctions. Comparative gene expression analysis and RISC recruitment assays identified miR-1 targets in the context of injury, including phosphodiesterase 5A (PDE5A), angiopoietin-2 (ANGPT2), CNKSR family member 3 (CNKSR3), and TNF-α–induced protein 2 (TNFAIP2). We validated miR-1–mediated regulation of ANGPT2 in both mouse and human ECs and found that in a 119-patient pneumonia cohort, miR-1 correlated inversely with ANGPT2. These findings illustrate a previously unknown role of miR-1 as a cytoprotective orchestrator of endothelial responses to acute injury with prognostic and therapeutic potential.

Authors

Asawari Korde, Maria Haslip, Prachi Pednekar, Alamzeb Khan, Maurizio Chioccioli, Sameet Mehta, Francesc Lopez-Giraldez, Santos Bermejo, Mauricio Rojas, Charles Dela Cruz, Michael A. Matthay, Jordan S. Pober, Richard W. Pierce, Shervin S. Takyar

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Abstract

Diabetic cardiomyopathy, an increasingly global epidemic and a major cause of heart failure with preserved ejection fraction (HFpEF), is associated with hyperglycemia, insulin resistance, and intracardiomyocyte calcium mishandling. Here we identify that, in db/db mice with type 2 diabetes–induced HFpEF, abnormal remodeling of cardiomyocyte transverse-tubule microdomains occurs with downregulation of the membrane scaffolding protein cardiac bridging integrator 1 (cBIN1). Transduction of cBIN1 by AAV9 gene therapy can restore transverse-tubule microdomains to normalize intracellular distribution of calcium-handling proteins and, surprisingly, glucose transporter 4 (GLUT4). Cardiac proteomics revealed that AAV9-cBIN1 normalized components of calcium handling and GLUT4 translocation machineries. Functional studies further identified that AAV9-cBIN1 normalized insulin-dependent glucose uptake in diabetic cardiomyocytes. Phenotypically, AAV9-cBIN1 rescued cardiac lusitropy, improved exercise intolerance, and ameliorated hyperglycemia in diabetic mice. Restoration of transverse-tubule microdomains can improve cardiac function in the setting of diabetic cardiomyopathy and can also improve systemic glycemic control.

Authors

Jing Li, Bradley Richmond, Ahmad A. Cluntun, Ryan Bia, Maureen A. Walsh, Kikuyo Shaw, J. David Symons, Sarah Franklin, Jared Rutter, Katsuhiko Funai, Robin M. Shaw, TingTing Hong

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Abstract

Lung contusion and gastric aspiration (LC and GA) are major risk factors for developing acute respiratory distress following trauma. Hypoxia from lung injury is mainly regulated by hypoxia-inducible factor 1α (HIF-1α). Published data from our group indicate that HIF-1α regulation in airway epithelial cells (AEC) drives the acute inflammatory response following LC and GA. Metabolomic profiling and metabolic flux of Type II AEC following LC revealed marked increases in glycolytic and TCA intermediates in vivo and in vitro that were HIF-1α dependent. GLUT-1/4 expression was also increased in HIF-1α+/+ mice, suggesting that increased glucose entry may contribute to increased intermediates. Importantly, lactate incubation in vitro on Type II cells did not significantly increase the inflammatory byproduct IL-1β. Contrastingly, succinate had a direct proinflammatory effect on human small AEC by IL-1β generation in vitro. This effect was reversed by dimethylmalonate, suggesting an important role for succinate dehydrogenase in mediating HIF-1α effects. We confirmed the presence of the only known receptor for succinate binding, SUCNR1, on Type II AEC. These results support the hypothesis that succinate drives HIF-1α–mediated airway inflammation following LC. This is the first report to our knowledge of direct proinflammatory activation of succinate in nonimmune cells such as Type II AEC in direct lung injury models.

Authors

Madathilparambil V. Suresh, Sinan Aktay, George Yalamanchili, Sumeet Solanki, Dily Thazhath Sathyarajan, Manikanta Swamy Arnipalli, Subramaniam Pennathur, Krishnan Raghavendran

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Abstract

Given the resurgence of pertussis, several countries have introduced maternal tetanus, diphtheria, and acellular pertussis (aP) vaccination during pregnancy to protect young infants against severe pertussis. Although protective against the disease, the effect of maternal aP vaccination on bacterial colonization of the offspring is unknown. Here, we used a mouse model to demonstrate that maternal aP immunization, either before or during pregnancy, protects pups from lung colonization by Bordetella pertussis. However, maternal aP vaccination resulted in significantly prolonged nasal carriage of B. pertussis by inhibiting the natural recruitment of IL-17–producing resident memory T cells and ensuing neutrophil influx in the nasal tissue, especially of those with proinflammatory and cytotoxic properties. Prolonged nasal carriage after aP vaccination is due to IL-4 signaling, as prolonged nasal carriage is abolished in IL-4Rα–/– mice. The effect of maternal aP vaccination can be transferred transplacentally to the offspring or via breastfeeding and is long-lasting, as it persists into adulthood. Maternal aP vaccination may, thus, augment the B. pertussis reservoir.

Authors

Violaine Dubois, Jonathan Chatagnon, Manon Depessemier, Camille Locht

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Abstract

Denosumab is an anti-RANKL Ab that potently suppresses bone resorption, increases bone mass, and reduces fracture risk. Discontinuation of denosumab causes rapid rebound bone resorption and bone loss, but the molecular mechanisms are unclear. We generated humanized RANKL mice and treated them with denosumab to examine the cellular and molecular conditions associated with rebound resorption. Denosumab potently suppressed both osteoclast and osteoblast numbers in cancellous bone in humanized RANKL mice. The decrease in osteoclast number was not associated with changes in osteoclast progenitors in bone marrow. Long-term, but not short-term, denosumab administration reduced osteoprotegerin (OPG) mRNA in bone. Localization of OPG expression revealed that OPG mRNA is produced by a subpopulation of osteocytes. Long-term denosumab administration reduced osteocyte OPG mRNA, suggesting that OPG expression declines as osteocytes age. Consistent with this, osteocyte expression of OPG was more prevalent near the surface of cortical bone in humans and mice. These results suggest that new osteocytes are an important source of OPG in remodeling bone and that suppression of remodeling reduces OPG abundance by reducing new osteocyte formation. The lack of new osteocytes and the OPG they produce may contribute to rebound resorption after denosumab discontinuation.

Authors

Qiang Fu, Nancy C. Bustamante-Gomez, Humberto Reyes-Pardo, Igor Gubrij, Diana Escalona-Vargas, Jeff D. Thostenson, Michela Palmieri, Joseph J. Goellner, Intawat Nookaew, C. Lowry Barnes, Jeffrey B. Stambough, Elena Ambrogini, Charles A. O’Brien

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Abstract

Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are responsible for tumor progression and recurrence. However, the mechanisms regulating hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) stemness remain unclear. Applying a genome-scale CRISPR knockout screen, we identified that the H3K4 methyltransferase SETD1A and other members of Trithorax group proteins drive cancer stemness in HCC. SET domain containing 1A (SETD1A) was positively correlated with poor clinical outcome in patients with HCC. Combination of SETD1A and serum alpha fetoprotein substantially improved the accuracy of predicting HCC relapse. Mechanistically, SETD1A mediates transcriptional activation of various histone-modifying enzymes, facilitates deposition of trimethylated H3K4 (H3K4me3) and H3K27me3, and activates oncogenic enhancers and super-enhancers, leading to activation of oncogenes and inactivation of tumor suppressor genes simultaneously in liver CSCs. In addition, SETD1A cooperates with polyadenylate-binding protein cytoplasmic 1 to regulate H3K4me3 modification on oncogenes. Our data pinpoint SETD1A as a key epigenetic regulator driving HCC stemness and progression, highlighting the potential of SETD1A as a candidate target for HCC intervention and therapy.

Authors

Jianxu Chen, Zhijie Xu, Hongbin Huang, Yao Tang, Hong Shan, Fei Xiao

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Abstract

IL-15 is under clinical investigation toward the goal of curing HIV infection because of its abilities to reverse HIV latency and enhance immune effector function. However, increased potency through combination with other agents may be needed. 3-Hydroxy-1,2,3-benzotriazin-4(3H)-one (HODHBt) enhances IL-15–mediated latency reversal and NK cell function by increasing STAT5 activation. We hypothesized that HODHBt would also synergize with IL-15, via STAT5, to directly enhance HIV-specific cytotoxic T cell responses. We showed that ex vivo IL-15 + HODHBt treatment markedly enhanced HIV-specific granzyme B–releasing T cell responses in PBMCs from antiretroviral therapy–suppressed (ART-suppressed) donors. We also observed upregulation of antigen processing and presentation in CD4+ T cells and increased surface MHC-I. In ex vivo PBMCs, IL-15 + HODHBt was sufficient to reduce intact proviruses in 1 of 3 ART-suppressed donors. Our findings reveal the potential for second-generation IL-15 studies incorporating HODHBt-like therapeutics. Iterative studies layering on additional latency reversal or other agents are needed to achieve consistent ex vivo reservoir reductions.

Authors

Dennis C. Copertino Jr., Carissa S. Holmberg, Jared Weiler, Adam R. Ward, J. Natalie Howard, Callie Levinger, Alina P.S. Pang, Michael J. Corley, Friederike Dündar, Paul Zumbo, Doron Betel, Rajesh T. Gandhi, Deborah K. McMahon, Ronald J. Bosch, Noemi Linden, Bernard J. Macatangay, Joshua C. Cyktor, Joseph J. Eron, John W. Mellors, Colin Kovacs, Erika Benko, Alberto Bosque, R. Brad Jones, for the AIDS Clinical Trials Group (ACTG) A5321 Team

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Abstract

Glutaminolysis is a hallmark of the activation and metabolic reprogramming of T cells. Isotopic tracer analyses of antigen-activated effector CD8+ T cells revealed that glutamine is the principal carbon source for the biosynthesis of polyamines putrescine, spermidine, and spermine. These metabolites play critical roles in activation-induced T cell proliferation, as well as for the production of hypusine, which is derived from spermidine and is covalently linked to the translation elongation factor eukaryotic translation initiation factor 5A (eIF5A). Here, we demonstrated that the glutamine/polyamine/hypusine axis controlled the expression of CD69, an important regulator of tissue-resident memory T cells (Trm). Inhibition of this circuit augmented the development of Trm cells ex vivo and in vivo in the BM, a well-established niche for Trm cells. Furthermore, blocking the polyamine/hypusine axis augmented CD69 expression as well as IFN-γ and TNF-α production in (a) human CD8+ T cells from peripheral blood and sarcoma tumor infiltrating lymphocytes and (b) human CD8+ CAR-T cells. Collectively, these findings support the notion that the polyamine-hypusine circuit can be exploited to modulate Trm cells for therapeutic benefit.

Authors

Aya G. Elmarsafawi, Rebecca S. Hesterberg, Mario R. Fernandez, Chunying Yang, Lancia N.F. Darville, Min Liu, John M. Koomen, Otto Phanstiel IV, Reginald Atkins, John E. Mullinax, Shari A. Pilon-Thomas, Frederick L. Locke, Pearlie K. Epling-Burnette, John L. Cleveland

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Abstract

BACKGROUND Severe forms of idiopathic nephrotic syndrome (INS) require prolonged immunosuppressive therapies and repeated courses of high-dose glucocorticoids. Mesenchymal stromal cells (MSCs) have promising immunomodulatory properties that may be employed therapeutically to reduce patient exposure to medications and their side effects.METHODS We performed a phase I open-label trial assessing safety and feasibility of autologous bone marrow–derived MSCs (BM-MSCs) in children and young adults with severe forms of steroid-dependent nephrotic syndrome. Following autologous BM-MSC preparation and infusion, oral immunosuppression was tapered. Safety, efficacy, and immunomodulatory effects in vivo were monitored for 12 months.RESULTS Sixteen patients (10 children, 6 adults) were treated. Adverse events were limited and not related to BM-MSC infusions. All patients relapsed during follow-up, but in the 10 treated children, time to first relapse was delayed (P = 0.02) and number of relapses was reduced (P = 0.002) after BM-MSC infusion, compared with the previous 12 months. Cumulative prednisone dose was also reduced at 12 months compared with baseline (P < 0.05). No treatment benefit was observed in adults.In children, despite tapering of immunosuppression, clinical benefit was mirrored by a significant reduction in total CD19+, mature, and memory B cells and an increase in regulatory T cells in vivo up to 3–6 months following BM-MSC infusionCONCLUSION Treatment with autologous BM-MSCs is feasible and safely reduces relapses and immunosuppression at 12 months in children with severe steroid-dependent INS. Immunomodulatory studies suggest that repeating MSC infusions at 3–6 months may sustain benefit.TRIAL REGISTRATION EudraCT 2016-004804-77.FUNDING AIFA Ricerca Indipendente 2016-02364623.

Authors

Marina Vivarelli, Manuela Colucci, Mattia Algeri, Federica Zotta, Francesco Emma, Ines L’Erario, Marco Busutti, Stefano Rota, Chiara Capelli, Martino Introna, Marta Todeschini, Federica Casiraghi, Annalisa Perna, Tobia Peracchi, Andrea De Salvo, Nadia Rubis, Franco Locatelli, Giuseppe Remuzzi, Piero Ruggenenti

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Abstract

Tumor necrosis factor receptor–associated factor 4 (TRAF4) is an important regulator of type 2 responses in the airway; however, the underlying cellular and molecular mechanisms remain elusive. Herein, we generated T cell–specific TRAF4-deficient (CD4-cre Traf4fl/fl) mice and investigated the role of TRAF4 in memory Th2 cells expressing IL-33 receptor (ST2, suppression of tumorigenicity 2) (ST2+ mTh2 cells) in IL-33–mediated type 2 airway inflammation. We found that in vitro–polarized TRAF4-deficient (CD4-cre Traf4fl/fl) ST2+ mTh2 cells exhibited decreased IL-33–induced proliferation as compared with TRAF4-sufficient (Traf4fl/fl) cells. Moreover, CD4-cre Traf4fl/fl mice showed less ST2+ mTh2 cell proliferation and eosinophilic infiltration in the lungs than Traf4fl/fl mice in the preclinical models of IL-33–mediated type 2 airway inflammation. Mechanistically, we discovered that TRAF4 was required for the activation of AKT/mTOR and ERK1/2 signaling pathways as well as the expression of transcription factor Myc and nutrient transporters (Slc2a1, Slc7a1, and Slc7a5), signature genes involved in T cell growth and proliferation, in ST2+ mTh2 cells stimulated by IL-33. Taken together, the current study reveals a role of TRAF4 in ST2+ mTh2 cells in IL-33–mediated type 2 pulmonary inflammation, opening up avenues for the development of new therapeutic strategies.

Authors

Jianxin Xiao, Xing Chen, Weiwei Liu, Wen Qian, Katarzyna Bulek, Lingzi Hong, William Miller-Little, Xiaoxia Li, Caini Liu

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Abstract

Mutation of the ATP2A2 gene encoding sarco-endoplasmic reticulum calcium ATPase 2 (SERCA2) was linked to Darier disease more than 2 decades ago; however, there remain no targeted therapies for this disorder causing recurrent skin blistering and infections. Since Atp2a2-knockout mice do not phenocopy its pathology, we established a human tissue model of Darier disease to elucidate its pathogenesis and identify potential therapies. Leveraging CRISPR/Cas9, we generated human keratinocytes lacking SERCA2, which replicated features of Darier disease, including weakened intercellular adhesion and defective differentiation in organotypic epidermis. To identify pathogenic drivers downstream of SERCA2 depletion, we performed RNA sequencing and proteomics analysis. SERCA2-deficient keratinocytes lacked desmosomal and cytoskeletal proteins required for epidermal integrity and exhibited excess MAPK signaling, which modulates keratinocyte adhesion and differentiation. Immunostaining patient biopsies substantiated these findings, with lesions showing keratin deficiency, cadherin mislocalization, and ERK hyperphosphorylation. Dampening ERK activity with MEK inhibitors rescued adhesive protein expression and restored keratinocyte sheet integrity despite SERCA2 depletion or chemical inhibition. In sum, coupling multiomic analysis with human organotypic epidermis as a preclinical model, we found that SERCA2 haploinsufficiency disrupts critical adhesive components in keratinocytes via ERK signaling and identified MEK inhibition as a treatment strategy for Darier disease.

Authors

Shivam A. Zaver, Mrinal K. Sarkar, Shaun Egolf, Jonathan Zou, Afua Tiwaa, Brian C. Capell, Johann E. Gudjonsson, Cory L. Simpson

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Abstract

Uterine leiomyomas cause heavy menstrual bleeding, anemia, and pregnancy loss in millions of women worldwide. Driver mutations in the transcriptional mediator complex subunit 12 (MED12) gene in uterine myometrial cells initiate 70% of leiomyomas that grow in a progesterone-dependent manner. We showed a distinct chromatin occupancy landscape of MED12 in mutant MED12 (mut-MED12) versus WT-MED12 leiomyomas. Integration of cistromic and transcriptomics data identified tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase (TDO2) as the top mut-MED12 target gene that was significantly upregulated in mut-MED12 leiomyomas when compared with adjacent myometrium and WT-MED12 leiomyomas. TDO2 catalyzes the conversion of tryptophan to kynurenine, an aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AHR) ligand that we confirmed to be significantly elevated in mut-MED12 leiomyomas. Treatment of primary mut-MED12 leiomyoma cells with tryptophan or kynurenine stimulated AHR nuclear translocation, increased proliferation, inhibited apoptosis, and induced AHR-target gene expression, whereas blocking the TDO2/kynurenine/AHR pathway by siRNA or pharmacological treatment abolished these effects. Progesterone receptors regulated the expression of AHR and its target genes. In vivo, TDO2 expression positively correlated with the expression of genes crucial for leiomyoma growth. In summary, activation of the TDO2/kynurenine/AHR pathway selectively in mut-MED12 leiomyomas promoted tumor growth and may inform the future development of targeted treatments and precision medicine.

Authors

Azna Zuberi, Yongchao Huang, Ariel J. Dotts, Helen Wei, John S. Coon V, Shimeng Liu, Takashi Iizuka, Olivia Wu, Olivia Sotos, Priyanka Saini, Debabrata Chakravarti, Thomas G. Boyer, Yang Dai, Serdar E. Bulun, Ping Yin

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Abstract

We previously reported that treatment of mice with 6-gingerol, the most abundant phytochemical in ginger root, leads to phosphodiesterase inhibition that counteracts neutrophil hyperactivity in models of antiphospholipid syndrome (APS) and lupus. Here, we explored the extent to which oral intake of a whole-ginger extract would similarly impact neutrophils in both autoimmune mice and healthy humans. In vitro, a solubilized ginger extract was able to attenuate neutrophil extracellular trap formation (NETosis) by human neutrophils through a mechanism that was dependent upon the cyclic AMP–dependent kinase, protein kinase A. When mice with features of either APS or lupus were administered a ginger extract orally, they demonstrated reduced circulating NETs, as well as the tempering of other disease outcomes, such as large-vein thrombosis (APS) and autoantibody production (lupus). In a pilot clinical trial, which was validated in a second cohort, daily intake of a ginger supplement for 7 days by healthy volunteers boosted neutrophil cAMP, inhibited NETosis in response to disease-relevant stimuli, and reduced circulating plasma NET levels. In summary, this work demonstrates that ginger intake restrains neutrophil hyperactivity in autoimmune mouse models and that ginger consumption by healthy individuals makes their neutrophils more resistant to NETosis.

Authors

Ramadan A. Ali, Valerie C. Minarchick, Miela Zahavi, Christine E. Rysenga, Kristin A. Sturm, Claire K. Hoy, Cyrus Sarosh, Jason S. Knight, M. Kristen Demoruelle

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Abstract

Understanding mucosal antibody responses from SARS-CoV-2 infection and/or vaccination is crucial to develop strategies for longer term immunity, especially against emerging viral variants. We profiled serial paired mucosal and plasma antibodies from COVID-19 vaccinated only vaccinees (vaccinated, uninfected), COVID-19–recovered vaccinees (recovered, vaccinated), and individuals with breakthrough Delta or Omicron BA.2 infections (vaccinated, infected). Saliva from COVID-19–recovered vaccinees displayed improved antibody-neutralizing activity, Fcγ receptor (FcγR) engagement, and IgA levels compared with COVID-19–uninfected vaccinees. Furthermore, repeated mRNA vaccination boosted SARS-CoV-2–specific IgG2 and IgG4 responses in both mucosa biofluids (saliva and tears) and plasma; however, these rises only negatively correlated with FcγR engagement in plasma. IgG and FcγR engagement, but not IgA, responses to breakthrough COVID-19 variants were dampened and narrowed by increased preexisting vaccine-induced immunity against the ancestral strain. Salivary antibodies delayed initiation following breakthrough COVID-19 infection, especially Omicron BA.2, but rose rapidly thereafter. Importantly, salivary antibody FcγR engagements were enhanced following breakthrough infections. Our data highlight how preexisting immunity shapes mucosal SARS-CoV-2–specific antibody responses and has implications for long-term protection from COVID-19.

Authors

Kevin J. Selva, Pradhipa Ramanathan, Ebene R. Haycroft, Arnold Reynaldi, Deborah Cromer, Chee Wah Tan, Lin-Fa Wang, Bruce D. Wines, P. Mark Hogarth, Laura E. Downie, Samantha K. Davis, Ruth A. Purcell, Helen E. Kent, Jennifer A. Juno, Adam K. Wheatley, Miles P. Davenport, Stephen J. Kent, Amy W. Chung

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Abstract

Bystander activation of memory T cells occurs via cytokine signaling alone in the absence of T cell receptor (TCR) signaling and provides a means of amplifying T cell effector responses in an antigen-nonspecific manner. While the role of Programmed Cell Death Protein 1 (PD-1) on antigen-specific T cell responses is extensively characterized, its role in bystander T cell responses is less clear. We examined the role of the PD-1 pathway during human and mouse non–antigen-specific memory T cell bystander activation and observed that PD-1+ T cells demonstrated less activation and proliferation than activated PD-1– populations in vitro. Higher activation and proliferative responses were also observed in the PD-1– memory population in both mice and patients with cancer receiving high-dose IL-2, mirroring the in vitro phenotypes. This inhibitory effect of PD-1 could be reversed by PD-1 blockade in vivo or observed using memory T cells from PD-1–/– mice. Interestingly, increased activation through abrogation of PD-1 signaling in bystander-activated T cells also resulted in increased apoptosis due to activation-induced cell death (AICD) and eventual T cell loss in vivo. These results demonstrate that the PD-1/PD-Ligand 1 (PD-L1) pathway inhibited bystander-activated memory T cell responses but also protected cells from AICD.

Authors

Catherine T. Le, Logan V. Vick, Craig Collins, Cordelia Dunai, Michael K. Sheng, Lam T. Khuat, Isabel Barao, Sean J. Judge, Ethan G. Aguilar, Brendan Curti, Maneesh Dave, Dan L. Longo, Bruce R. Blazar, Robert J. Canter, Arta M. Monjazeb, William J. Murphy

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Abstract

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a systemic autoimmune disease with a dramatic sex bias, affecting 9-times more women than men. Activation of toll-like receptor 7 (TLR7) by self-RNA is a central pathogenic process leading to aberrant production of type-I interferon (IFN) in SLE, but the specific RNA molecules that serve as TLR7 ligands have not been defined. We therefore sought to identify female-specific endogenous RNAs containing canonical TLR7 stimulatory motifs. By leveraging gene expression data and the known sequence specificity of TLR7, we identified the female-specific X-inactive specific transcript (XIST) long non-coding RNA as a uniquely rich source of TLR7 ligands in SLE. XIST RNA stimulated IFNα production by plasmacytoid DCs in a TLR7-dependent manner, and deletion of XIST diminished the ability of whole cellular RNA to activate TLR7. XIST levels were elevated in blood leukocytes from female SLE patients compared to controls, correlated positively with disease activity and the IFN signature, and were enriched in extracellular vesicles released from dying cells in vitro. Importantly, XIST was not IFN-inducible, suggesting that XIST is a driver, rather than a consequence of IFN in SLE. Our work suggests a novel role for XIST RNA as a female-specific danger signal underlying the sex bias in SLE.

Authors

Jonathan D. Crawford, Hong Wang, Daniela Trejo-Zambrano, Raffaello Cimbro, C. Conover Talbot Jr., Mekha A. Thomas, Ashley M. Curran, Alexander A. Girgis, John T. Schroeder, Andrea Fava, Daniel W. Goldman, Michelle Petri, Antony Rosen, Brendan Antiochos, Erika Darrah

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Abstract

Glycolysis is highly enhanced in Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cells; thus, glucose restrictions are imposed on nontumor cells in the PDAC tumor microenvironment (TME). However, little is known about how such glucose competition alters metabolism and confers phenotypic changes in stromal cells in the TME. Here, we report that cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) with restricted glucose availability utilize lactate from glycolysis-enhanced cancer cells as a fuel and exert immunosuppressive activity in the PDAC TME. The expression of lactate dehydrogenase A (LDHA), which regulates lactate production, was a poor prognostic factor for PDAC patients, and LDHA depletion suppressed tumor growth in a CAF-rich murine PDAC model. Coculture of CAFs with PDAC cells revealed that most of the glucose was taken up by the tumor cells and that CAFs consumed lactate via monocarboxylate transporter 1 to enhance proliferation through the TCA cycle. Moreover, lactate-stimulated CAFs upregulated IL6 expression and suppressed cytotoxic immune cell activity synergistically with lactate. Finally, the LDHA inhibitor FX11 reduced tumor growth and improved antitumor immunity in CAF-rich PDAC tumors. Our study provides new insights into crosstalk among tumor cells, CAFs, and immune cells mediated by lactate and offers therapeutic strategies for targeting LDHA enzymatic activity in PDAC cells.

Authors

Fumimasa Kitamura, Takashi Semba, Noriko Yasuda-Yoshihara, Kosuke Yamada, Akiho Nishimura, Juntaro Yamasaki, Osamu Nagano, Tadahito Yasuda, Atsuko Yonemura, Yilin Tong, Huaitao Wang, Takahiko Akiyama, Kazuki Matsumura, Norio Uemura, Rumi Itoyama, Luke Bu, Lingfeng Fu, Xichen Hu, Feng Wei, Kosuke Mima, Katsunori Imai, Hiromitsu Hayashi, Yo-ichi Yamashita, Yuji Miyamoto, Hideo Baba, Takatsugu Ishimoto

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Abstract

A better understanding of the epitopes most relevant for antibody-mediated protection against tuberculosis (TB) remains a major knowledge gap. We have shown that human polyclonal IgG to the Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) surface glycan arabinomannan (AM) and related lipoarabinomannan (LAM) is protective against TB. To investigate the impact of AM epitope recognition and Fc-gamma receptor (FcgR)-binding on antibody functions against Mtb, we isolated a high-affinity human monoclonal antibody (mAb; P1AM25) to AM and show its binding to oligosaccharide (OS) motifs we previously found to be associated with in vitro functions of human polyclonal anti-AM IgG. Human IgG1 P1AM25, but not two other high-affinity human IgG1 anti-AM mAbs reactive with different AM OS motifs, enhanced Mtb phagocytosis by macrophages and reduced intracellular growth in an FcgR-dependent manner. P1AM25 in murine IgG2a, but neither murine IgG1 nor a non-FcgR-binding IgG, given intraperitoneally prior to and after aerosolized Mtb infection was protective in C57BL/6 mice. Moreover, we demonstrate the protective efficacy of human IgG1 P1AM25 in passive transfer with Mtb-infected FcgR-humanized mice. These data enhance our knowledge of the important interplay between both antibody epitope specificity and Fc effector functions in the defense against Mtb and could inform development strategies of vaccines against TB.

Authors

Yanyan Liu, Tingting Chen, Yongqi Zhu, Aisha Furey, Todd L. Lowary, John Chan, Stylianos Bournazos, Jeffrey V. Ravetch, Jacqueline M. Achkar

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Abstract

Abnormal macrophage polarization is generally present in autoimmune diseases. Overwhelming M1 macrophage activation promotes the continuous progression of inflammation, which is one of the vital reasons for the development of autoimmune diseases. However, the underlying mechanism is still unclear. Here we explore the function of RFX1 in macrophage polarization by constructing colitis and lupus-like mouse models. Both in vivo and in vitro experiments confirmed that RFX1 can promote M1 and inhibit M2 macrophage polarization. Besides, we also found that RFX1 promoted DNA demethylation of macrophage polarization-related genes by increasing APOBEC3A/Apobec3 expression. Noteworthily, we identified a potential RFX1 inhibitor, adenosine diphosphate (ADP), providing a potential strategy for treating autoimmune diseases.

Authors

Shuang Yang, Pei Du, Haobo Cui, Meiling Zheng, Wei He, Xiaofei Gao, Zhi Hu, Sujie Jia, Qianjin Lu, Ming Zhao

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Abstract

Aged skin is prone to viral infections, but the mechanisms responsible for this immunosenescent immune risk are unclear. We observed that aged murine and human skin expressed reduced antiviral proteins (AVPs) and circadian regulators including Bmal1 and Clock. Bmal1 and Clock were found to control rhythmic AVP expression in skin and such circadian-control of AVPs was diminished by disruption of immune cell interleukin 27 signaling and deletion of Bmal1/Clock genes in mouse skins, as well as siRNA-mediated knockdown of CLOCK in human primary keratinocytes. We found that treatment of circadian enhancing agents, nobiletin and SR8278, reduced infection of herpes simplex virus 1 (HSV1) in epidermal explants and human keratinocytes in a BMAL1/CLOCK-dependent manner. Circadian enhancing treatment also reversed susceptibility of aging murine skin and human primary keratinocytes to viral infection. These findings reveal an evolutionarily conserved and age-sensitive circadian regulation of cutaneous antiviral immunity, underscoring circadian restoration as an antiviral strategy in aging populations.

Authors

Stephen Kirchner, Vivian Lei, Paul T. Kim, Meera Patel, Jessica L. Shannon, David Corcoran, Dalton Hughes, Diana K. Waters, Kafui Dzirasa, Detlev Erdmann, Jörn Coers, Amanda S. MacLeod, Jennifer Y. Zhang

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