Current strategies aimed to cure HIV infection are based on combined efforts to reactivate the virus from latency and improve immune effector cell function to clear infected cells. These strategies are primarily focused on CD8+ T cells and approaches are challenging due to insufficient HIV antigen production from infected cells and poor HIV-specific CD8+ T cells. γδ T cells represent a unique subset of effector T cells that can traffic to tissues, and selectively target cancer or virally infected cells without requiring MHC presentation. We analyzed whether γδ T cells represent a complementary/alternative immunotherapeutic approach towards HIV cure strategies. γδ T cells from HIV-infected virologically suppressed donors were expanded with bisphosphonate pamidronate (PAM) and cells were used in autologous cellular systems ex vivo. These cells (a) are potent cytotoxic effectors able to efficiently inhibit HIV replication ex vivo, (b) degranulate in the presence of autologous infected CD4+ T cells, and (c) specifically clear latently infected cells after latency reversal with vorinostat. This is the first proof of concept to our knowledge showing that γδ T cells target and clear autologous HIV reservoirs upon latency reversal. Our results open potentially new insights into the immunotherapeutic use of γδ T cells for current interventions in HIV eradication strategies.
Carolina Garrido, Matthew L. Clohosey, Chloe P. Whitworth, Michael Hudgens, David M. Margolis, Natalia Soriano-Sarabia
Loss of the NF1 tumor suppressor gene causes the autosomal dominant condition, neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). Children and adults with NF1 suffer from pathologies including benign and malignant tumors to cognitive deficits, seizures, growth abnormalities, and peripheral neuropathies. NF1 encodes neurofibromin, a Ras-GTPase activating protein, and NF1 mutations result in hyperactivated Ras signaling in patients. Existing NF1 mutant mice mimic individual aspects of NF1, but none comprehensively models the disease. We describe a potentially novel Yucatan miniswine model bearing a heterozygotic mutation in NF1 (exon 42 deletion) orthologous to a mutation found in NF1 patients. NF1+/ex42del miniswine phenocopy the wide range of manifestations seen in NF1 patients, including café au lait spots, neurofibromas, axillary freckling, and neurological defects in learning and memory. Molecular analyses verified reduced neurofibromin expression in swine NF1+/ex42del fibroblasts, as well as hyperactivation of Ras, as measured by increased expression of its downstream effectors, phosphorylated ERK1/2, SIAH, and the checkpoint regulators p53 and p21. Consistent with altered pain signaling in NF1, dysregulation of calcium and sodium channels was observed in dorsal root ganglia expressing mutant NF1. Thus, these NF1+/ex42del miniswine recapitulate the disease and provide a unique, much-needed tool to advance the study and treatment of NF1.
Katherine A. White, Vicki J. Swier, Jacob T. Cain, Jordan L. Kohlmeyer, David K. Meyerholz, Munir R. Tanas, Johanna Uthoff, Emily Hammond, Hua Li, Frank A. Rohret, Adam Goeken, Chun-Hung Chan, Mariah R. Leidinger, Shaikamjad Umesalma, Margaret R. Wallace, Rebecca D. Dodd, Karin Panzer, Amy H. Tang, Benjamin W. Darbro, Aubin Moutal, Song Cai, Wennan Li, Shreya S. Bellampalli, Rajesh Khanna, Christopher S. Rogers, Jessica C. Sieren, Dawn E. Quelle, Jill M. Weimer
Data from clinical trials for hemophilia B using adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors have demonstrated decreased transgenic coagulation factor IX (hFIX) expression 6–10 weeks after administration of a high vector dose. While it is likely that capsid-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes eliminate vector-transduced hepatocytes, thereby resulting in decreased hFIX, this observation is not intuitively consistent with restored hFIX levels following prednisone application. Although the innate immune response is immediately activated following AAV vector infection via TLR pathways, no studies exist regarding the role of the innate immune response at later time points after AAV vector transduction. Herein, activation of the innate immune response in cell lines, primary human hepatocytes, and hepatocytes in a human chimeric mouse model was observed at later time points following AAV vector transduction. Mechanistic analysis demonstrated that the double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) sensor MDA5 was necessary for innate immune response activation and that transient knockdown of MDA5, or MAVS, decreased IFN-β expression while increasing transgene production in AAV-transduced cells. These results both highlight the role of the dsRNA-triggered innate immune response in therapeutic transgene expression at later time points following AAV transduction and facilitate the execution of effective strategies to block the dsRNA innate immune response in future clinical trials.
Wenwei Shao, Lauriel F. Earley, Zheng Chai, Xiaojing Chen, Junjiang Sun, Ting He, Meng Deng, Matthew L. Hirsch, Jenny Ting, R. Jude Samulski, Chengwen Li
Liver damage is typically inferred from serum measurements of cytoplasmic liver enzymes. DNA molecules released from dying hepatocytes are an alternative biomarker, unexplored so far, potentially allowing for quantitative assessment of liver cell death. Here we describe a method for detecting acute hepatocyte death, based on quantification of circulating, cell-free DNA (cfDNA) fragments carrying hepatocyte-specific methylation patterns. We identified 3 genomic loci that are unmethylated specifically in hepatocytes, and used bisulfite conversion, PCR, and massively parallel sequencing to quantify the concentration of hepatocyte-derived DNA in mixed samples. Healthy donors had, on average, 30 hepatocyte genomes/ml plasma, reflective of basal cell turnover in the liver. We identified elevations of hepatocyte cfDNA in patients shortly after liver transplantation, during acute rejection of an established liver transplant, and also in healthy individuals after partial hepatectomy. Furthermore, patients with sepsis had high levels of hepatocyte cfDNA, which correlated with levels of liver enzymes aspartate aminotransferase (AST) and alanine aminotransferase (ALT). Duchenne muscular dystrophy patients, in which elevated AST and ALT derive from damaged muscle rather than liver, did not have elevated hepatocyte cfDNA. We conclude that measurements of hepatocyte-derived cfDNA can provide specific and sensitive information on hepatocyte death, for monitoring human liver dynamics, disease, and toxicity.
Roni Lehmann-Werman, Judith Magenheim, Joshua Moss, Daniel Neiman, Ofri Abraham, Sheina Piyanzin, Hai Zemmour, Ilana Fox, Talya Dor, Markus Grompe, Giora Landesberg, Bao-Li Loza, Abraham Shaked, Kim Olthoff, Benjamin Glaser, Ruth Shemer, Yuval Dor
Despite the discovery of key pattern recognition receptors and CD4+ T cell subsets in laboratory mice, there is ongoing discussion of the value of murine models to reflect human disease. Pneumocystis is an AIDS-defining illness, in which risk of infection is inversely correlated with peripheral CD4+ T cell counts. Due to medical advances in the control of HIV, the current epidemiology of Pneumocystis infection is predominantly due to primary human immunodeficiencies and immunosuppressive therapies. To this end, we found that every human genetic immunodeficiency associated with Pneumocystis infection that has been tested in mice recapitulated susceptibility. For example, humans with a loss-of-function IL21R mutation are severely immunocompromised. We found that IL-21R, in addition to CD4+ T cell intrinsic STAT3 signaling, were required for generating protective antifungal class-switched antibody responses, as well as effector T cell–mediated protection. Furthermore, CD4+ T cell intrinsic IL-21R/STAT3 signaling was required for CD4+ T cell effector responses, including IL-22 production. Recombinant IL-22 administration to Il21r–/– mice induced the expression of a fungicidal peptide, cathelicidin antimicrobial peptide, which showed in vitro fungicidal activity. In conclusion, SPF laboratory mice faithfully replicate many aspects of human primary immunodeficiency and provide useful tools to understand the generation and nature of effector CD4+ T cell immunity.
Waleed Elsegeiny, Mingquan Zheng, Taylor Eddens, Richard L. Gallo, Guixiang Dai, Giraldina Trevejo-Nunez, Patricia Castillo, Kara Kracinovsky, Hillary Cleveland, William Horne, Jonathan Franks, Derek Pociask, Mark Pilarski, John F. Alcorn, Kong Chen, Jay K. Kolls
The gut-liver axis is of clinical importance as a potential therapeutic target in a wide range of liver diseases; however, the mechanisms underlying interactions between microbial products and immune responses in the liver remain unknown. In this study, we demonstrated that IL-10–producing macrophages contribute to immune tolerance in the inflamed liver under intestinal barrier disruption in a murine tandem model of dextran sulfate sodium (DSS) colitis and concanavalin A (Con A) hepatitis. Intestinal barrier disruption protected mice from subsequent liver injury, and the severity of colitis directly affected susceptibility to such injury. The protective effect of DSS–Con A was canceled in gut-sterilized mice, suggesting that gut microbiota play a substantial role in this process. Altered gut microbiota and their metabolites, along with a disrupted intestinal barrier, directly gave rise to immunological permissiveness in the inflamed liver. We identified 1-methylnicotinamide (1-MNA) as a candidate metabolite capable of suppressing liver injury with the potential to induce IL-10–producing macrophages. Consistently, expression of nicotinamide N-methyltransferase, which converts nicotinamide to 1-MNA, was upregulated in the liver of DSS–Con A mice, and this effect was abrogated by gut sterilization. Collectively, our results provide a mechanistic insight into the regulation of immunological balance in the liver via the gut-liver axis.
Nobuhito Taniki, Nobuhiro Nakamoto, Po-Sung Chu, Yohei Mikami, Takeru Amiya, Toshiaki Teratani, Takahiro Suzuki, Tomoya Tsukimi, Shinji Fukuda, Akihiro Yamaguchi, Shunsuke Shiba, Rei Miyake, Tadashi Katayama, Hirotoshi Ebinuma, Takanori Kanai
In hemolytic diseases, such as sickle cell disease (SCD), intravascular hemolysis results in the release of hemoglobin, heme, and heme-loaded membrane microvesicles in the bloodstream. Intravascular hemolysis is thus associated with inflammation and organ injury. Complement system can be activated by heme in vitro. We investigated the mechanisms by which hemolysis and red blood cell (RBC) degradation products trigger complement activation in vivo. In kidney biopsies of SCD nephropathy patients and a mouse model with SCD, we detected tissue deposits of complement C3 and C5b-9. Moreover, drug-induced intravascular hemolysis or injection of heme or hemoglobin in mice triggered C3 deposition, primarily in kidneys. Renal injury markers (Kim-1, NGAL) were attenuated in C3–/– hemolytic mice. RBC degradation products, such as heme-loaded microvesicles and heme, induced alternative and terminal complement pathway activation in sera and on endothelial surfaces, in contrast to hemoglobin. Heme triggered rapid P selectin, C3aR, and C5aR expression and downregulated CD46 on endothelial cells. Importantly, complement deposition was attenuated in vivo and in vitro by heme scavenger hemopexin. In conclusion, we demonstrate that intravascular hemolysis triggers complement activation in vivo, encouraging further studies on its role in SCD nephropathy. Conversely, heme inhibition using hemopexin may provide a novel therapeutic opportunity to limit complement activation in hemolytic diseases.
Nicolas S. Merle, Anne Grunenwald, Helena Rajaratnam, Viviane Gnemmi, Marie Frimat, Marie-Lucile Figueres, Samantha Knockaert, Sanah Bouzekri, Dominique Charue, Remi Noe, Tania Robe-Rybkine, Marie Le-Hoang, Nathan Brinkman, Thomas Gentinetta, Monika Edler, Sara Petrillo, Emanuela Tolosano, Sylvia Miescher, Sylvain Le Jeune, Pascal Houillier, Sophie Chauvet, Marion Rabant, Jordan D. Dimitrov, Veronique Fremeaux-Bacchi, Olivier P. Blanc-Brude, Lubka T. Roumenina
Inflammation accompanies heart failure and is a mediator of cardiac fibrosis. CaMKIIδ plays an essential role in adverse remodeling and decompensation to heart failure. We postulated that inflammation is the mechanism by which CaMKIIδ contributes to adverse remodeling in response to nonischemic interventions. We demonstrate that deletion of CaMKIIδ in the cardiomyocyte (CKO) significantly attenuates activation of NF-κB, expression of inflammatory chemokines and cytokines, and macrophage accumulation induced by angiotensin II (Ang II) infusion. The inflammasome was activated by Ang II, and this response was also diminished in CKO mice. These events occurred prior to any evidence of Ang II–induced cell death. In addition, CaMKII-dependent inflammatory gene expression and inflammasome priming were observed as early as the third hour of infusion, a time point at which macrophage recruitment was not evident. Inhibition of either the inflammasome or monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP1) signaling attenuated macrophage accumulation, and these interventions, like cardiomyocyte CaMKIIδ deletion, diminished the fibrotic response to Ang II. Thus, activation of CaMKIIδ in the cardiomyocyte represents what we believe to be a novel mechanism for initiating inflammasome activation and an inflammatory gene program that leads to macrophage recruitment and ultimately to development of fibrosis.
Andrew Willeford, Takeshi Suetomi, Audrey Nickle, Hal M. Hoffman, Shigeki Miyamoto, Joan Heller Brown
IgG antibodies are abundantly present in the vasculature but to a much lesser extent in mucosal tissues. This contrasts with antibodies of the IgA and IgM isotype that are present at high concentration in mucosal secretions due to active delivery by the polymeric Ig receptor (pIgR). IgG is the preferred isotype for therapeutic mAb development due to its long serum half-life and robust Fc-mediated effector function, and it is utilized to treat a diverse array of diseases with antigen targets located in the vasculature, serosa, and mucosa. As therapeutic IgG antibodies targeting the luminal side of mucosal tissue lack an active transport delivery mechanism, we sought to generate IgG antibodies that could be transported via pIgR, similarly to dimeric IgA and pentameric IgM. We show that an anti–Pseudomonas aeruginosa IgG fused with pIgR-binding peptides gained the ability to transcytose and be secreted via pIgR. Consistent with these results, pIgR-binding IgG antibodies exhibit enhanced localization to the bronchoalveolar space when compared with the parental IgG antibody. Furthermore, pIgR-binding mAbs maintained Fc-mediated functional activity and promoted enhanced survival compared with the parental mAb in a P. aeruginosa acute pneumonia model. Our results suggest that increasing IgG accumulation at mucosal surfaces by pIgR-mediated active transport can improve the efficacy of therapeutic mAbs that act at these sites.
M. Jack Borrok, Antonio DiGiandomenico, Nurten Beyaz, Gabriela M. Marchetti, Arnita S. Barnes, Kristen J. Lekstrom, Sandrina S. Phipps, Michael P. McCarthy, Herren Wu, William F. Dall’Acqua, Ping Tsui, Ruchi Gupta
Pathologic glomerular epithelial cell (GEC) hyperplasia is characteristic of both rapidly progressive glomerulonephritis (RPGN) and subtypes of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). Although initial podocyte injury resulting in activation of STAT3 signals GEC proliferation in both diseases, mechanisms regulating this are unknown. Here, we show that the loss of Krüppel-like factor 4 (KLF4), a zinc-finger transcription factor, enhances GEC proliferation in both RPGN and FSGS due to dysregulated STAT3 signaling. We observed that podocyte-specific knockdown of Klf4 (C57BL/6J) increased STAT3 signaling and exacerbated crescent formation after nephrotoxic serum treatment. Interestingly, podocyte-specific knockdown of Klf4 in the FVB/N background alone was sufficient to activate STAT3 signaling, resulting in FSGS with extracapillary proliferation, as well as renal failure and reduced survival. In cultured podocytes, loss of KLF4 resulted in STAT3 activation and cell-cycle reentry, leading to mitotic catastrophe. This triggered IL-6 release into the supernatant, which activated STAT3 signaling in parietal epithelial cells. Conversely, either restoration of KLF4 expression or inhibition of STAT3 signaling improved survival in KLF4-knockdown podocytes. Finally, human kidney biopsy specimens with RPGN exhibited reduced KLF4 expression with a concomitant increase in phospho-STAT3 expression as compared with controls. Collectively, these results suggest the essential role of KLF4/STAT3 signaling in podocyte injury and its regulation of aberrant GEC proliferation.
Chelsea C. Estrada, Praharshasai Paladugu, Yiqing Guo, Jesse Pace, Monica P. Revelo, David J. Salant, Stuart J. Shankland, Vivette D. D’Agati, Anita Mehrotra, Stephanie Cardona, Agnieszka B. Bialkowska, Vincent W. Yang, John C. He, Sandeep K. Mallipattu
Androgen excess predisposes women to type 2 diabetes (T2D), but the mechanism of this is poorly understood. We report that female mice fed a Western diet and exposed to chronic androgen excess using dihydrotestosterone (DHT) exhibit hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance associated with secondary pancreatic β cell failure, leading to hyperglycemia. These abnormalities are not observed in mice lacking the androgen receptor (AR) in β cells and partially in neurons of the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH) as well as in mice lacking AR selectively in neurons. Accordingly, i.c.v. infusion of DHT produces hyperinsulinemia and insulin resistance in female WT mice. We observe that acute DHT produces insulin hypersecretion in response to glucose in cultured female mouse and human pancreatic islets in an AR-dependent manner via a cAMP- and mTOR-dependent pathway. Acute DHT exposure increases mitochondrial respiration and oxygen consumption in female cultured islets. As a result, chronic DHT exposure in vivo promotes islet oxidative damage and susceptibility to additional stress induced by streptozotocin via AR in β cells. This study suggests that excess androgen predisposes female mice to T2D following AR activation in neurons, producing peripheral insulin resistance, and in pancreatic β cells, promoting insulin hypersecretion, oxidative injury, and secondary β cell failure.
Guadalupe Navarro, Camille Allard, Jamie J. Morford, Weiwei Xu, Suhuan Liu, Adrien J.R. Molinas, Sierra M. Butcher, Nicholas H.F. Fine, Manuel Blandino-Rosano, Venkata N. Sure, Sangho Yu, Rui Zhang, Heike Münzberg, David A. Jacobson, Prasad V. Katakam, David J. Hodson, Ernesto Bernal-Mizrachi, Andrea Zsombok, Franck Mauvais-Jarvis
AMPK activated protein kinase (AMPK), a master regulator of energy homeostasis, is activated in response to an energy shortage imposed by physical activity and caloric restriction. We here report on the identification of PAN-AMPK activator O304, which — in diet-induced obese mice — increased glucose uptake in skeletal muscle, reduced β cell stress, and promoted β cell rest. Accordingly, O304 reduced fasting plasma glucose levels and homeostasis model assessment of insulin resistance (HOMA-IR) in a proof-of-concept phase IIa clinical trial in type 2 diabetes (T2D) patients on Metformin. T2D is associated with devastating micro- and macrovascular complications, and O304 improved peripheral microvascular perfusion and reduced blood pressure both in animals and T2D patients. Moreover, like exercise, O304 activated AMPK in the heart, increased cardiac glucose uptake, reduced cardiac glycogen levels, and improved left ventricular stroke volume in mice, but it did not increase heart weight in mice or rats. Thus, O304 exhibits a great potential as a novel drug to treat T2D and associated cardiovascular complications.
Pär Steneberg, Emma Lindahl, Ulf Dahl, Emmelie Lidh, Jurate Straseviciene, Fredrik Backlund, Elisabet Kjellkvist, Eva Berggren, Ingela Lundberg, Ingela Bergqvist, Madelene Ericsson, Björn Eriksson, Kajsa Linde, Jacob Westman, Thomas Edlund, Helena Edlund
While several molecular targets are under consideration, mechanistic underpinnings of the transition from uncomplicated nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) to nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) remain unresolved. Here we apply multiscale chemical profiling technologies to mouse models of deranged hepatic ketogenesis to uncover potential NAFLD driver signatures. Use of stable-isotope tracers, quantitatively tracked by nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectroscopy, supported previous observations that livers of wild-type mice maintained long term on a high-fat diet (HFD) exhibit a marked increase in hepatic energy charge. Fed-state ketogenesis rates increased nearly 3-fold in livers of HFD-fed mice, a greater proportionate increase than that observed for tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle flux, but both of these contributors to overall hepatic energy homeostasis fueled markedly increased hepatic glucose production (HGP). Thus, to selectively determine the role of the ketogenic conduit on HGP and oxidative hepatic fluxes, we studied a ketogenesis-insufficient mouse model generated by knockdown of the mitochondrial isoform of 3-hydroxymethylglutaryl-CoA synthase (HMGCS2). In response to ketogenic insufficiency, TCA cycle flux in the fed state doubled and HGP increased more than 60%, sourced by a 3-fold increase in glycogenolysis. Finally, high-resolution untargeted metabolomics and shotgun lipidomics performed using ketogenesis-insufficient livers in the fed state revealed accumulation of bis(monoacylglycero)phosphates, which also accumulated in livers of other models commonly used to study NAFLD. In summary, natural and interventional variations in ketogenesis in the fed state strongly influence hepatic energy homeostasis, glucose metabolism, and the lipidome. Importantly, HGP remains tightly linked to overall hepatic energy charge, which includes both terminal fat oxidation through the TCA cycle and partial oxidation via ketogenesis.
D. André d’Avignon, Patrycja Puchalska, Baris Ercal, YingJu Chang, Shannon E. Martin, Mark J. Graham, Gary J. Patti, Xianlin Han, Peter A. Crawford
Mucin 1 (MUC1) is a heterodimeric protein that is aberrantly overexpressed on the surface of diverse human carcinomas and is an attractive target for the development of mAb-based therapeutics. However, attempts at targeting the shed MUC1 N-terminal subunit have been unsuccessful. We report here the generation of mAb 3D1 against the nonshed oncogenic MUC1 C-terminal (MUC1-C) subunit. We show that mAb 3D1 binds with low nM affinity to the MUC1-C extracellular domain at the restricted α3 helix. mAb 3D1 reactivity is selective for MUC1-C–expressing human cancer cell lines and primary cancer cells. Internalization of mAb 3D1 into cancer cells further supported the conjugation of mAb 3D1 to monomethyl auristatin E (MMAE). The mAb 3D1-MMAE antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) (a) kills MUC1-C–positive cells in vitro, (b) is nontoxic in MUC1-transgenic (MUC1.Tg) mice, and (c) is active against human HCC827 lung tumor xenografts. Humanized mAb (humAb) 3D1 conjugated to MMAE also exhibited antitumor activity in (a) MUC1.Tg mice harboring syngeneic MC-38/MUC1 tumors, (b) nude mice bearing human ZR-75-1 breast tumors, and (c) NCG mice engrafted with a patient-derived triple-negative breast cancer. These findings and the absence of associated toxicities support clinical development of humAb 3D1-MMAE ADCs as a therapeutic for the many cancers with MUC1-C overexpression.
Govind Panchamoorthy, Caining Jin, Deepak Raina, Ajit Bharti, Masaaki Yamamoto, Dennis Adeebge, Qing Zhao, Roderick Bronson, Shirley Jiang, Linjing Li, Yozo Suzuki, Ashujit Tagde, P. Peter Ghoroghchian, Kwok-Kin Wong, Surender Kharbanda, Donald Kufe
Generation of homogeneous populations of subtype-specific cardiomyocytes (CMs) derived from human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and their comprehensive phenotyping is crucial for a better understanding of the subtype-related disease mechanisms and as tools for the development of chamber-specific drugs. The goals of this study were to apply a simple and efficient method for differentiation of iPSCs into defined functional CM subtypes in feeder-free conditions and to obtain a comprehensive understanding of the molecular, cell biological, and functional properties of atrial and ventricular iPSC-CMs on both the single-cell and engineered heart muscle (EHM) level. By a stage-specific activation of retinoic acid signaling in monolayer-based and well-defined culture, we showed that cardiac progenitors can be directed towards a highly homogeneous population of atrial CMs. By combining the transcriptome and proteome profiling of the iPSC-CM subtypes with functional characterizations via optical action potential and calcium imaging, and with contractile analyses in EHM, we demonstrated that atrial and ventricular iPSC-CMs and -EHM highly correspond to the atrial and ventricular heart muscle, respectively. This study provides a comprehensive understanding of the molecular and functional identities characteristic of atrial and ventricular iPSC-CMs and -EHM and supports their suitability in disease modeling and chamber-specific drug screening.
Lukas Cyganek, Malte Tiburcy, Karolina Sekeres, Kathleen Gerstenberg, Hanibal Bohnenberger, Christof Lenz, Sarah Henze, Michael Stauske, Gabriela Salinas, Wolfram-Hubertus Zimmermann, Gerd Hasenfuss, Kaomei Guan
Adenosine-to-inosine (A-to-I) RNA editing, a process mediated by adenosine deaminases that act on the RNA (ADAR) gene family, is a recently discovered epigenetic modification dysregulated in human cancers. However, the clinical significance and the functional role of RNA editing in colorectal cancer (CRC) remain unclear. We have systematically and comprehensively investigated the significance of the expression status of ADAR1 and of the RNA editing levels of antizyme inhibitor 1 (AZIN1), one of the most frequently edited genes in cancers, in 392 colorectal tissues from multiple independent CRC patient cohorts. Both ADAR1 expression and AZIN1 RNA editing levels were significantly elevated in CRC tissues when compared with corresponding normal mucosa. High levels of AZIN1 RNA editing emerged as a prognostic factor for overall survival and disease-free survival and were an independent risk factor for lymph node and distant metastasis. Furthermore, elevated AZIN1 editing identified high-risk stage II CRC patients. Mechanistically, edited AZIN1 enhances stemness and appears to drive the metastatic processes. We have demonstrated that edited AZIN1 functions as an oncogene and a potential therapeutic target in CRC. Moreover, AZIN1 RNA editing status could be used as a clinically relevant prognostic indicator in CRC patients.
Kunitoshi Shigeyasu, Yoshinaga Okugawa, Shusuke Toden, Jinsei Miyoshi, Yuji Toiyama, Takeshi Nagasaka, Naoki Takahashi, Masato Kusunoki, Tetsuji Takayama, Yasuhide Yamada, Toshiyoshi Fujiwara, Leilei Chen, Ajay Goel
BACKGROUND. Prader-Willi syndrome (PWS) is a genetic neurodevelopmental disorder of life-threatening hyperphagia, obesity, intellectual deficits, compulsivity, and other behavioral problems. The efficacy and safety of i.n. carbetocin, an oxytocin analog, was evaluated in a prospective, randomized, double-blinded trial in adolescents with PWS. METHODS. Eligible patients aged 10–18 years with genetically confirmed PWS were randomized (1:1) to i.n. carbetocin or placebo 3 times daily for 14 days. The primary efficacy endpoint was change in parent/caregiver-rated Hyperphagia in PWS Questionnaire–Responsiveness (HPWSQ-R) total score. Secondary efficacy endpoints included HPWSQ-R behavior, drive, and severity domains; clinician-rated HPWSQ; Children’s Yale-Brown Obsessive-Compulsive Severity Scale; food domain of the Reiss Profile; and Clinical Global Impression–Improvement scale. Endpoints were assessed using analysis of covariance. Relationship between primary and secondary endpoints was assessed using Pearson correlation coefficients. Safety was assessed throughout the study. RESULTS. Demographics and clinical characteristics were similar between treatment groups (carbetocin, n = 17; placebo, n = 20). Patients receiving carbetocin had statistically significant reductions in HPWSQ-R total score at study end (–15.6) versus patients receiving placebo (–8.9; P = 0.029); several secondary efficacy endpoints also demonstrated significant differences (P < 0.05). Treatment effects for the primary and secondary endpoints were highly correlated (P ≤ 0.0001). Incidence of adverse events (AEs) was similar between treatment groups. CONCLUSION. I.n. carbetocin was well tolerated and improved hyperphagia and behavioral symptoms of PWS. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01968187 FUNDING. The study was funded by Ferring Pharmaceuticals. Recruitment was aided by ongoing work in PWS performed through Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development grant U54 HD083211.
Elisabeth M. Dykens, Jennifer Miller, Moris Angulo, Elizabeth Roof, Michael Reidy, Hind T. Hatoum, Richard Willey, Guy Bolton, Paul Korner