In this issue of JCI Insight, Newman et al. used lineage tracing in murine models of cardiovascular disease to evaluate the effect of radiation on smooth muscle cells (SMCs) and whether SMC-specific defects exacerbate disease phenotypes. The cover image shows a distinct lack of SMC (green cells) investment in a neointimal lesion of a mouse that received radiation prior to vascular injury.
Molecular targeted therapy heralded a new era for the treatment of patients with oncogene-driven advanced-stage non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Molecular testing at the time of diagnosis guides therapy selection, and targeted therapies in patients with activating mutations in EGFR, BRAF, and rearrangements in anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK) and ROS1 have become part of routine care. These therapies have extended the median survival from a mere few months to greater than 3 years for patients with stage 4 disease. However, despite the initial success, these treatments are eventually met with molecular resistance. Selective pressure leads to cellular adaption to maintain cancer growth, making resistance complex and the treatment challenging. This review focuses on recent advances in targeted therapy, mechanisms of resistance, and therapeutic strategies to overcome resistance in patients with lung cancer.
Suchita Pakkala, Suresh S. Ramalingam
Little is known about the biological function of histone deacetylase 11 (HDAC11), which is the lone class IV HDAC. Here, we demonstrate that deletion of HDAC11 in mice stimulates brown adipose tissue (BAT) formation and beiging of white adipose tissue (WAT). Consequently, HDAC11-deficient mice exhibit enhanced thermogenic potential and, in response to high-fat feeding, attenuated obesity, improved insulin sensitivity, and reduced hepatic steatosis. Ex vivo and cell-based assays revealed that HDAC11 catalytic activity suppresses the BAT transcriptional program, in both the basal state and in response to β-adrenergic receptor signaling, through a mechanism that is dependent on physical association with BRD2, a bromodomain and extraterminal (BET) acetyl-histone-binding protein. These findings define an epigenetic pathway for the regulation of energy homeostasis and suggest the potential for HDAC11-selective inhibitors for the treatment of obesity and diabetes.
Rushita A. Bagchi, Bradley S. Ferguson, Matthew S. Stratton, Tianjing Hu, Maria A. Cavasin, Lei Sun, Ying-Hsi Lin, Dianxin Liu, Pilar Londono, Kunhua Song, Maria F. Pino, Lauren M. Sparks, Steven R. Smith, Philipp E. Scherer, Sheila Collins, Edward Seto, Timothy A. McKinsey
Severe lung inflammation and alveolar hemorrhage can be life-threatening in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) patients if not treated early and aggressively. Neutrophil influx is the driver key of this pathology, but little is known regarding the molecular events regulating this recruitment. Here, we uncover a role for IL-16/mir-125a in this pathology and show not only that IL-16 is a target for miR-125a but that reduced miR-125a expression in SLE patients associates with lung involvement. Furthermore, in the pristane model of acute “SLE-like” lung inflammation and alveolar hemorrhage, we observed reduced pulmonary miR-125a and enhanced IL-16 expression. Neutrophil infiltration was markedly reduced in the peritoneal lavage of pristane-treated IL-16–deficient mice and elevated following i.n. delivery of IL-16. Moreover, a miR-125a mimic reduced pristane-induced IL-16 expression and neutrophil recruitment and rescued lung pathology. Mechanistically, IL-16 acts directly on the pulmonary epithelium and markedly enhances neutrophil chemoattractant expression both in vitro and in vivo, while the miR-125a mimic can prevent this. Our results reveal a role for miR-125a/IL-16 in regulating lung inflammation and suggest this axis may be a therapeutic target for management of acute lung injury in SLE.
Siobhan Smith, Pei Wen Wu, Jane J. Seo, Thilini Fernando, Mengyao Jin, Jorge Contreras, Erica N. Montano, Joan Ní Gabhann, Kyle Cunningham, Amro Widaa, Eoghan M. McCarthy, Eamonn S. Molloy, Grainne Kearns, Conor C. Murphy, Weiping Kong, Harry Björkbacka, Hardy Kornfeld, Lindsy Forbess, Swamy Venuturupalli, Mariko Ishimori, Daniel Wallace, Michael H. Weisman, Caroline A. Jefferies
BACKGROUND. The duration and patterns of β cell dysfunction during type 1 diabetes (T1D) development have not been fully defined. METHODS. Metabolic measures derived from oral glucose tolerance tests (OGTTs) were compared between autoantibody-positive (aAb+) individuals followed in the TrialNet Pathway to Prevention study who developed diabetes after 5 or more years or less than 5 years of longitudinal follow-up (Progressors≥5, n = 75; Progressors<5, n = 474) and 144 aAb-negative (aAb–) relatives. RESULTS. Mean age at study entry was 15.0 ± 12.6 years for Progressors≥5; 12.0 ± 9.1 for Progressors<5; and 16.3 ± 10.4 for aAb– relatives. At baseline, Progressors≥5 already exhibited significantly lower fasting C-peptide (P < 0.01), C-peptide AUC (P < 0.001), and early C-peptide responses (30- to 0-minute C-peptide; P < 0.001) compared with aAb– relatives, while 2-hour glucose (P = 0.03), glucose AUC (<0.001), and Index60 (<0.001) were all higher. Despite significant baseline impairment, metabolic measures in Progressors≥5 were relatively stable until 2 years prior to T1D diagnosis, when there was accelerated C-peptide decline and rising glycemia from 2 years until diabetes diagnosis. Remarkably, patterns of progression within 3 years of diagnosis were nearly identical between Progressors≥5 and Progressors<5. CONCLUSION. These data provide insight into the chronicity of β cell dysfunction in T1D and indicate that β cell dysfunction may precede diabetes diagnosis by more than 5 years in a subset of aAb+ individuals. Even among individuals with varying lengths of aAb positivity, our findings indicate that patterns of metabolic decline are uniform within the last 3 years of progression to T1D. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Clinicaltrials.gov NCT00097292. FUNDING. The Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet Study Group is a clinical trials network currently funded by the NIH through the National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases, the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, and The Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development and the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation.
Carmella Evans-Molina, Emily K. Sims, Linda A. DiMeglio, Heba M. Ismail, Andrea K. Steck, Jerry P. Palmer, Jeffrey P. Krischer, Susan Geyer, Ping Xu, Jay M. Sosenko, the Type 1 Diabetes TrialNet Study Group
With more than 150,000 deaths per year in the US alone, lung cancer has the highest number of deaths for any cancer. These poor outcomes reflect a lack of treatment for the most common form of lung cancer, non–small cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC). Lung adenocarcinoma (ADC) is the most prevalent subtype of NSCLC, with the main oncogenic drivers being KRAS and epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). Whereas EGFR blockade has led to some success in lung ADC, effective KRAS inhibition is lacking. KRAS-mutant ADCs are characterized by high levels of gel-forming mucin expression, with the highest mucin levels corresponding to worse prognoses. Despite these well-recognized associations, little is known about roles for individual gel-forming mucins in ADC development causatively. We hypothesized that MUC5AC/Muc5ac, a mucin gene known to be commonly expressed in NSCLC, is crucial in KRAS/Kras-driven lung ADC. We found that MUC5AC was a significant determinant of poor prognosis, especially in patients with KRAS-mutant tumors. In addition, by using mice with lung ADC induced chemically with urethane or transgenically by mutant-Kras expression, we observed significantly reduced tumor development in animals lacking Muc5ac compared with controls. Collectively, these results provide strong support for MUC5AC as a potential therapeutic target for lung ADC, a disease with few effective treatments.
Alison K. Bauer, Misha Umer, Vanessa L. Richardson, Amber M. Cumpian, Anna Q. Harder, Nasim Khosravi, Zoulikha Azzegagh, Naoko M. Hara, Camille Ehre, Maedeh Mohebnasab, Mauricio S. Caetano, Daniel T. Merrick, Adrie van Bokhoven, Ignacio I. Wistuba, Humam Kadara, Burton F. Dickey, Kalpana Velmurugan, Patrick R. Mann, Xian Lu, Anna E. Barón, Christopher M. Evans, Seyed Javad Moghaddam
The long-term adverse effects of radiotherapy on cardiovascular disease are well documented. However, the underlying mechanisms responsible for this increased risk are poorly understood. Previous studies using rigorous smooth muscle cell (SMC) lineage tracing have shown abundant SMC investment into atherosclerotic lesions, where SMCs contribute to the formation of a protective fibrous cap. Studies herein tested whether radiation impairs protective adaptive SMC responses during vascular disease. To do this, we exposed SMC lineage tracing (Myh11-ERT2Cre YFP+) mice to lethal radiation (1,200 cGy) followed by bone marrow transplantation prior to atherosclerosis development or vessel injury. Surprisingly, following irradiation, we observed a complete loss of SMC investment in 100% of brachiocephalic artery (BCA), carotid artery, and aortic arch lesions. Importantly, this was associated with a decrease in multiple indices of atherosclerotic lesion stability within the BCA. Interestingly, we observed anatomic heterogeneity, as SMCs accumulated normally into lesions of the aortic root and abdominal aorta, suggesting that SMC sensitivity to lethal irradiation occurs in blood vessels of neural crest origin. Taken together, these results reveal an undefined and unintended variable in previous studies using lethal irradiation and may help explain why patients exposed to radiation have increased risk for cardiovascular disease.
Alexandra A.C. Newman, Richard A. Baylis, Daniel L. Hess, Steven D. Griffith, Laura S. Shankman, Olga A. Cherepanova, Gary K. Owens
Cantu syndrome (CS) is characterized by multiple vascular and cardiac abnormalities including vascular dilation and tortuosity, systemic hypotension, and cardiomegaly. The disorder is caused by gain-of-function (GOF) mutations in genes encoding pore-forming (Kir6.1, KCNJ8) and accessory (SUR2, ABCC9) ATP-sensitive potassium (KATP) channel subunits. However, there is little understanding of the link between molecular dysfunction and the complex pathophysiology observed, and there is no known treatment, in large part due to the lack of appropriate preclinical disease models in which to test therapies. Notably, expression of Kir6.1 and SUR2 does not fully overlap, and the relative contribution of KATP GOF in various cardiovascular tissues remains to be elucidated. To investigate pathophysiologic mechanisms in CS we have used CRISPR/Cas9 engineering to introduce CS-associated SUR2[A478V] and Kir6.1[V65M] mutations to the equivalent endogenous loci in mice. Mirroring human CS, both of these animals exhibit low systemic blood pressure and dilated, compliant blood vessels, as well dramatic cardiac enlargement, the effects being more severe in V65M animals than in A478V animals. In both animals, whole-cell patch-clamp recordings reveal enhanced basal KATP conductance in vascular smooth muscle, explaining vasodilation and lower blood pressure, and demonstrating a cardinal role for smooth muscle KATP dysfunction in CS etiology. Echocardiography confirms in situ cardiac enlargement and increased cardiac output in both animals. Patch-clamp recordings reveal reduced ATP sensitivity of ventricular myocyte KATP channels in A478V, but normal ATP sensitivity in V65M, suggesting that cardiac remodeling occurs secondary to KATP overactivity outside of the heart. These SUR2[A478V] and Kir6.1[V65M] animals thus reiterate the key cardiovascular features seen in human CS. They establish the molecular basis of the pathophysiological consequences of reduced smooth muscle excitability resulting from SUR2/Kir6.1–dependent KATP GOF, and provide a validated animal model in which to examine potential therapeutic approaches to treating CS.
Yan Huang, Conor McClenaghan, Theresa M. Harter, Kristina Hinman, Carmen M. Halabi, Scot J. Matkovich, Haixia Zhang, G. Schuyler Brown, Robert P. Mecham, Sarah K. England, Attila Kovacs, Maria S. Remedi, Colin G. Nichols
Epithelial cells are the first line of defense against external dangers, and contribute to induction of adaptive immunity including Th17 responses. However, it is unclear whether specific epithelial signaling pathways are essential for the development of robust IL-17–mediated immune responses. In mice, the development of psoriatic inflammation induced by imiquimod required keratinocyte TRAF6. Conditional deletion of TRAF6 in keratinocytes abrogated dendritic cell activation, IL-23 production, and IL-17 production by γδ T cells at the imiquimod-treated sites. In contrast, hapten-induced contact hypersensitivity and papain-induced IgE production were not affected by loss of TRAF6. Loss of psoriatic inflammation was not solely due to defective imiquimod sensing, as subcutaneous administration of IL-23 restored IL-17 production but did not reconstitute psoriatic pathology in the mutant animals. Thus, TRAF6 was required for the full development of IL-17–mediated inflammation. Therefore, epithelial TRAF6 signaling plays an essential role in both triggering and propagating IL-17–mediated psoriatic inflammation.
Reiko Matsumoto, Teruki Dainichi, Soken Tsuchiya, Takashi Nomura, Akihiko Kitoh, Matthew S. Hayden, Ken J. Ishii, Mayuri Tanaka, Tetsuya Honda, Gyohei Egawa, Atsushi Otsuka, Saeko Nakajima, Kenji Sakurai, Yuri Nakano, Takashi Kobayashi, Yukihiko Sugimoto, Kenji Kabashima
Alloreactive T lymphocytes are the primary mediators of immune responses in transplantation, both in the graft-versus-host and host-versus-graft directions. While essentially all clones comprising the human T cell repertoire have been selected on self-peptide presented by self–human leukocyte antigens (self-HLAs), much remains to be understood about the nature of clones capable of responding to allo-HLA molecules. Quantitative tools to study these cells are critical to understand fundamental features of this important response; however, the large size and diversity of the alloreactive T cell repertoire in humans presents a great technical challenge. We have developed a high-throughput T cell receptor (TCR) sequencing approach to characterize the human alloresponse. We present a statistical method to model T cell clonal frequency distribution and quantify repertoire diversity. Using these approaches, we measured the diversity and frequency of distinct alloreactive CD4+ and CD8+ T cell populations in HLA-mismatched responder-stimulator pairs. Our findings indicate that the alloimmune repertoire is highly specific for a given pair of individuals, that most alloreactive clones circulate at low frequencies, and that a high proportion of TCRs is likely able to recognize alloantigens.
Susan DeWolf, Boris Grinshpun, Thomas Savage, Sai Ping Lau, Aleksandar Obradovic, Brittany Shonts, Suxiao Yang, Heather Morris, Julien Zuber, Robert Winchester, Megan Sykes, Yufeng Shen
BACKGROUND. There is currently no clinical distinction between different TP53 mutations, despite increasing evidence that not all mutations have equally deleterious effects on the activity of the encoded tumor suppressor protein p53. The objective of this study was to determine whether these biological differences have clinical significance. METHODS. This retrospective cohort analysis included 2,074 patients with sporadic TP53 mutations (403 unique mutations) and 1,049 germline TP53 mutation carriers (188 unique mutations). Survival was projected by stratifying patients according to their p53 mutant–specific residual transcriptional activity scores. RESULTS. Pan-cancer survival analyses revealed a strong association between increased mutant p53 residual activity and improved survival in males with glioma and gastric adenocarcinoma (P = 0.002 and P = 0.02) that was not present in the female cohorts (P = 0.16 and P = 0.50). Male glioma and gastric cancer patients with TP53 mutations resulting in >5% transcriptional activity had 3.1-fold (95% CI, 2.4–3.8; P = 0.002; multivariate analysis hazard ratio [HR]) and 4.6-fold (95% CI, 3.7–5.6; P = 0.001; multivariate analysis HR) lower risk of death as compared with patients harboring inactive (0% activity) p53 mutants. The correlation between mutant p53 residual activity with survival was recapitulated in the dataset of germline TP53 mutation carriers (HR = 3.0, 95% CI, 2.7–3.4, P < 0.001 [females]; HR = 2.2, 95% CI, 1.8–2.6, P < 0.001 [males]), where brain and gastric tumors were more common among males (P < 0.001 and P = 0.001, respectively). CONCLUSION. The retention of mutant p53 transcriptional activity prognosticates superior survival for men with glioma and gastric adenocarcinoma harboring sporadic TP53 mutations. Among germline TP53 mutation carriers, increased residual transcriptional activity is correlated with prolonged lifetime cancer survival and delayed tumor onset, and males are more prone to develop brain and gastric tumors. FUNDING. Canadian Institutes of Health Research (no. 148556).
Nicholas W. Fischer, Aaron Prodeus, Jean Gariépy
BACKGROUND. Disruption of cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR) anion channel function causes cystic fibrosis (CF), and lung disease produces most of the mortality. Loss of CFTR-mediated HCO3– secretion reduces the pH of airway surface liquid (ASL) in vitro and in neonatal humans and pigs in vivo. However, we previously found that, in older children and adults, ASL pH does not differ between CF and non-CF. Here, we tested whether the pH of CF ASL increases with time after birth. Finding that it did suggested that adaptations by CF airways increase ASL pH. This conjecture predicted that increasing CFTR activity in CF airways would further increase ASL pH and also that increasing CFTR activity would correlate with increases in ASL pH. METHODS. To test for longitudinal changes, we measured ASL pH in newborns and then at 3-month intervals. We also studied people with CF (bearing G551D or R117H mutations), in whom we could acutely stimulate CFTR activity with ivacaftor. To gauge changes in CFTR activity, we measured changes in sweat Cl– concentration immediately before and 48 hours after starting ivacaftor. RESULTS. Compared with that in the newborn period, ASL pH increased by 6 months of age. In people with CF bearing G551D or R117H mutations, ivacaftor did not change the average ASL pH; however reductions in sweat Cl– concentration correlated with elevations of ASL pH. Reductions in sweat Cl– concentration also correlated with improvements in pulmonary function. CONCLUSIONS. Our results suggest that CFTR-independent mechanisms increase ASL pH in people with CF. We speculate that CF airway disease, which begins soon after birth, is responsible for the adaptation. FUNDING. Vertex Inc., the NIH (P30DK089507, 1K08HL135433, HL091842, HL136813, K24HL102246), the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation (SINGH17A0 and SINGH15R0), and the Burroughs Wellcome Fund.
Mahmoud H. Abou Alaiwa, Jan L. Launspach, Brenda Grogan, Suzanne Carter, Joseph Zabner, David A. Stoltz, Pradeep K. Singh, Edward F. McKone, Michael J. Welsh
BACKGROUND. The induction of beige adipocytes in s.c. white adipose tissue (WAT) depots of humans is postulated to improve glucose and lipid metabolism in obesity. The ability of obese, insulin-resistant humans to induce beige adipose tissue is unknown. METHODS. We exposed lean and obese research participants to cold (30-minute ice pack application each day for 10 days of the upper thigh) or treated them with the β3 agonist mirabegron. We determined beige adipose marker expression by IHC and quantitative PCR, and we analyzed mitochondrial bioenergetics and UCP activity with an Oxytherm system. RESULTS. Cold significantly induced UCP1 and TMEM26 protein in both lean and obese subjects, and this response was not associated with age. Interestingly, these proteins increased to the same extent in s.c. WAT of the noniced contralateral leg, indicating a crossover effect. We further analyzed the bioenergetics of purified mitochondria from the abdominal s.c. WAT of cold-treated subjects and determined that repeat ice application significantly increased uncoupled respiration, consistent with the UCP1 protein induction and subsequent activation. Cold also increased State 3 and maximal respiration, and this effect on mitochondrial bioenergetics was stronger in summer than winter. Chronic treatment (10 weeks; 50 mg/day) with the β3 receptor agonist mirabegron induces UCP1, TMEM26, CIDEA, and phosphorylation of HSL on serine660 in obese subjects. CONCLUSION. Cold or β3 agonists cause the induction of beige adipose tissue in human s.c. WAT; this phenomenon may be exploited to increase beige adipose in older, insulin-resistant, obese individuals. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Clinicaltrials.gov NCT02596776, NCT02919176. FUNDING. NIH (DK107646, DK112282, P20GM103527, and by CTSA grant UL1TR001998).
Brian S. Finlin, Hasiyet Memetimin, Amy L. Confides, Ildiko Kasza, Beibei Zhu, Hemendra J. Vekaria, Brianna Harfmann, Kelly A. Jones, Zachary R. Johnson, Philip M. Westgate, Caroline M. Alexander, Patrick G. Sullivan, Esther E. Dupont-Versteegden, Philip A. Kern
Polyarticular juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA) is among the most challenging of the JIA subtypes to treat. Even with current biologic therapies, the disease remains difficult to control in a substantial subset of patients, highlighting the need for new therapies. The aim of this study was to use the high dimensionality afforded by mass cytometry with phospho-specific antibodies to delineate signaling abnormalities in immune cells from treatment-naive polyarticular JIA patients. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells were isolated from 17 treatment-naive polyarticular JIA patients, 10 of the patients after achieving clinical remission, and 19 healthy controls. Samples were stimulated for 15 minutes with IL-6 or IFN-γ and analyzed by mass cytometry. Following IFN-γ stimulation, increased STAT1 and/or STAT3 phosphorylation was observed in subsets of CD4 T cells and classical monocytes from treatment-naive patients. The enhanced IFN-γ signaling was associated with increased expression of JAK1 and SOCS1 in CD4 T cells. Furthermore, substantial heterogeneity in surface marker expression was observed among the subsets of CD4 T cells and classical monocytes with increased IFN-γ responsiveness. The identification of enhanced IFN-γ signaling in CD4 T cells and classical monocytes from treatment-naive polyarticular JIA patients provides mechanistic support for investigations into therapies that attenuate IFN-γ signaling in this disease.
Allison A. Throm, Halima Moncrieffe, Amir B. Orandi, Jeanette T. Pingel, Theresa L. Geurs, Hannah L. Miller, Allyssa L. Daugherty, Olga N. Malkova, Daniel J. Lovell, Susan D. Thompson, Alexei A. Grom, Megan A. Cooper, Stephen T. Oh, Anthony R. French
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients with NPM1 mutations demonstrate a superior response to standard chemotherapy treatment. Our previous work has shown that these favorable outcomes are linked to the cytoplasmic relocalization and inactivation of FOXM1 driven by mutated NPM1. Here, we went on to confirm the important role of FOXM1 in increased chemoresistance in AML. A multiinstitution retrospective study was conducted to link FOXM1 expression to clinical outcomes in AML. We establish nuclear FOXM1 as an independent clinical predictor of chemotherapeutic resistance in intermediate-risk AML in a multivariate analysis incorporating standard clinicopathologic risk factors. Using colony assays, we show a dramatic decrease in colony size and numbers in AML cell lines with knockdown of FOXM1, suggesting an important role for FOXM1 in the clonogenic activity of AML cells. In order to further prove a potential role for FOXM1 in AML chemoresistance, we induced an FLT3-ITD–driven myeloid neoplasm in a FOXM1-overexpressing transgenic mouse model and demonstrated significantly higher residual disease after standard chemotherapy. This suggests that constitutive overexpression of FOXM1 in this model induces chemoresistance. Finally, we performed proof-of-principle experiments using a currently approved proteasome inhibitor, ixazomib, to target FOXM1 and demonstrated a therapeutic response in AML patient samples and animal models of AML that correlates with the suppression of FOXM1 and its transcriptional targets. Addition of low doses of ixazomib increases sensitization of AML cells to chemotherapy backbone drugs cytarabine and the hypomethylator 5-azacitidine. Our results underscore the importance of FOXM1 in AML progression and treatment, and they suggest that targeting it may have therapeutic benefit in combination with standard AML therapies.
Irum Khan, Marianna Halasi, Anand Patel, Rachael Schultz, Nandini Kalakota, Yi-Hua Chen, Nathan Aardsma, Li Liu, John D. Crispino, Nadim Mahmud, Olga Frankfurt, Andrei L. Gartel
Brain death that occurs in the setting of deceased organ donation for transplantation is associated with systemic inflammation of unknown origin. It has recently been recognized that mitochondria-derived damage-associated molecular patterns (mtDAMPs) released into the circulation in the setting of trauma and tissue injury are associated with a systemic inflammatory response. We examined the blood of deceased organ donors and found elevated levels of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines that correlated with levels of mtDAMPs. We also found that donor neutrophils are activated and that donor plasma contains a neutrophil-activating factor that is blocked by cyclosporin H, a formyl peptide receptor-1 antagonist. Examination of donor plasma by electron microscopy and flow cytometry revealed that free- and membrane-bound mitochondria are elevated in donor plasma. Interestingly, we demonstrated a correlation between donor plasma mitochondrial DNA levels and early allograft dysfunction in liver transplant recipients, suggesting a role for circulating mtDAMPs in allograft outcomes. Current approaches to prolong allograft survival focus on immune suppression in the transplant recipient; our data indicate that targeting inflammatory factors in deceased donors prior to organ procurement is another potential strategy for improving transplant outcomes.
Justin Pollara, R. Whitney Edwards, Liwen Lin, Victoria A. Bendersky, Todd V. Brennan
MicroRNAs (miRs) posttranscriptionally regulate mRNA and its translation into protein, and are considered master controllers of genes modulating normal physiology and disease. There is growing interest in how miRs change with drug treatment, and leveraging this for precision guided therapy. Here we contrast 2 closely related therapies, inhibitors of phosphodiesterase type 5 or type 9 (PDE5-I, PDE9-I), given to mice subjected to sustained cardiac pressure overload (PO). Both inhibitors augment cyclic guanosine monophosphate (cGMP) to activate protein kinase G, with PDE5-I regulating nitric oxide (NO) and PDE9-I natriuretic peptide–dependent signaling. While both produced strong phenotypic improvement of PO pathobiology, they surprisingly showed binary differences in miR profiles; PDE5-I broadly reduces more than 120 miRs, including nearly half those increased by PO, whereas PDE9-I has minimal impact on any miR (P < 0.0001). The disparity evolves after pre-miR processing and is organ specific. Lastly, even enhancing NO-coupled cGMP by different methods leads to altered miR regulation. Thus, seemingly similar therapeutic interventions can be barcoded by profound differences in miR signatures, and reversing disease-associated miR changes is not required for therapy success.
Kristen M. Kokkonen-Simon, Amir Saberi, Taishi Nakamura, Mark J. Ranek, Guangshuo Zhu, Djahida Bedja, Michaela Kuhn, Marc K. Halushka, Dong Ik Lee, David A. Kass
BACKGROUND. Exercise has profound pleiotropic health benefits, yet the underlying mechanisms remain incompletely understood. Endocrine FGF21, bile acids (BAs), and BA-induced FGF19 have emerged as metabolic signaling molecules. Here, we investigated if dissimilar modes of exercise, resistance exercise (RE) and endurance exercise (EE), regulate plasma BAs, FGF19, and FGF21 in humans. METHODS. Ten healthy, moderately trained males were enrolled in a randomized crossover study of 1 hour of bicycling at 70% of VO2peak (EE) and 1 hour of high-volume RE. Hormones and metabolites were measured in venous blood and sampled before and after exercise and at 15, 30, 60, 90, 120, and 180 minutes after exercise. RESULTS. We observed exercise mode–specific changes in plasma concentrations of FGF19 and FGF21. Whereas FGF19 decreased following RE (P < 0.001), FGF21 increased in response to EE (P < 0.001). Total plasma BAs decreased exclusively following RE (P < 0.05), but the composition of BAs changed in response to both types of exercise. Notably, circulating levels of the potent TGR5 receptor agonist, lithocholic acid, increased with both types of exercise (P < 0.001). CONCLUSION. This study reveals divergent effects of EE and RE on circulating concentrations of the BA species, FGF19, and FGF21. We identify temporal relationships between decreased BA and FGF19 following RE and a sharp disparity in FGF21 concentrations, with EE eliciting a clear increase parallel to that of glucagon. FUNDING. The Novo Nordisk Foundation (NNF17OC0026114) and the Lundbeck Foundation (R238-2016-2859).
Thomas Morville, Ronni E. Sahl, Samuel A.J. Trammell, Jens S. Svenningsen, Matthew P. Gillum, Jørn W. Helge, Christoffer Clemmensen
Innate DNA repair mechanisms play a critical role in protecting skin keratinocytes from UV mutagenesis and skin cancer development. We hypothesized that individuals who develop frequent skin cancers may harbor germline defects in DNA repair genes and have increased predisposition to internal malignancies. We enrolled 61 patients with unusually frequent basal cell carcinoma (BCC) development, seen at Stanford Hospital and Clinics from January 2005 until December 2015, for germline analysis of 29 DNA repair genes. In parallel, a case-control retrospective review was performed to interrogate the association of malignancies with frequent BCC development in a large US medical insurance claims database (Truven), which included 13,264 individuals with 6 or more BCCs from 2007 to 2011. 19.7% of the frequent BCC cohort harbored pathogenic mutations in DNA repair genes: APC, BARD1, BRCA1, BRCA2, CDH1, CHEK2, MLH1, MSH2, MSH6, MUTYH, NBN, and PALB2. Individuals with 6 or more BCCs had an increased risk of other malignancies, with a 3.5-fold increase in the frequent BCC cohort and a 3.2-fold increase in the Truven database. Individuals who developed frequent BCCs have an increased prevalence of germline mutations in DNA repair genes and increased malignancy risk. Our data implicate frequent BCC development as an external marker of inherited cancer risk.
Hyunje G. Cho, Karen Y. Kuo, Shufeng Li, Irene Bailey, Sumaira Aasi, Anne Lynn S. Chang, Anthony E. Oro, Jean Y. Tang, Kavita Y. Sarin
Adeno-associated viral vector–mediated (AAV-mediated) expression of allogeneic major histocompatibility complex class I (MHC class I) in recipient liver induces donor-specific tolerance in mouse skin transplant models in which a class I allele (H-2Kb or H-2Kd) is mismatched between donor and recipient. Tolerance can be induced in mice primed by prior rejection of a donor-strain skin graft, as well as in naive recipients. Allogeneic MHC class I may be recognized by recipient T cells as an intact molecule (direct recognition) or may be processed and presented as an allogeneic peptide in the context of self-MHC (indirect recognition). The relative contributions of direct and indirect allorecognition to tolerance induction in this setting are unknown. Using hepatocyte-specific AAV vectors encoding WT allogeneic MHC class I molecules, or class I molecules containing a point mutation (D227K) that impedes direct recognition of intact allogeneic MHC class I by CD8+ T cells without hampering the presentation of processed peptides derived from allogeneic MHC class I, we show here that tolerance induction depends upon recognition of intact MHC class I. Indirect recognition alone yielded a modest prolongation of subsequent skin graft survival, attributable to the generation of CD4+ Tregs, but it was not sufficient to induce tolerance.
Moumita Paul-Heng, Mario Leong, Eithne Cunningham, Daniel L. J. Bunker, Katherine Bremner, Zane Wang, Chuanmin Wang, Szun Szun Tay, Claire McGuffog, Grant J. Logan, Ian E. Alexander, Min Hu, Stephen I. Alexander, Tim D. Sparwasser, Patrick Bertolino, David G. Bowen, G. Alex Bishop, Alexandra Sharland
Sodium-glucose cotransporter 2 (SGLT2) inhibitors have pleiotropic properties beyond blood glucose–lowering effects and modify important nonglycemic pathways, leading to end-organ protection. SGLT2 inhibitors display renoprotective effects in diabetic kidney disease, which creates a rationale for testing the therapeutic potential of this drug class in nondiabetic chronic kidney disease. Here, we have shown that dapagliflozin provided glomerular protection in mice with protein-overload proteinuria induced by bovine serum albumin (BSA), to a similar extent as an ACE inhibitor used as standard therapy for comparison. Dapagliflozin limited proteinuria, glomerular lesions, and podocyte dysfunction and loss. We provide the observation that SGLT2 was expressed in podocytes and upregulated after BSA injections. Through in vitro studies with cultured podocytes loaded with albumin we have identified what we believe to be a novel mechanism of action for SGLT2 inhibitor that directly targets podocytes and relies on the maintenance of actin cytoskeleton architecture. Whether SGLT2 inhibitors represent a possible future therapeutic option for some patients with proteinuric glomerular disease who do not have as yet an effective treatment will require ad hoc clinical studies.
Paola Cassis, Monica Locatelli, Domenico Cerullo, Daniela Corna, Simona Buelli, Cristina Zanchi, Sebastian Villa, Marina Morigi, Giuseppe Remuzzi, Ariela Benigni, Carlamaria Zoja
Limited understanding of the mechanisms responsible for life-threatening organ and immune failure hampers scientists’ ability to design sepsis treatments. Pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase 1 (PDK1) is persistently expressed in immune-tolerant monocytes of septic mice and humans and deactivates mitochondrial pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC), the gate-keeping enzyme for glucose oxidation. Here, we show that targeting PDK with its prototypic inhibitor dichloroacetate (DCA) reactivates PDC; increases mitochondrial oxidative bioenergetics in isolated hepatocytes and splenocytes; promotes vascular, immune, and organ homeostasis; accelerates bacterial clearance; and increases survival. These results indicate that the PDC/PDK axis is a druggable mitochondrial target for promoting immunometabolic and organ homeostasis during sepsis.
Charles E. McCall, Manal Zabalawi, Tiefu Liu, Ayana Martin, David L. Long, Nancy L. Buechler, Rob J. W. Arts, Mihai Netea, Barbara K. Yoza, Peter W. Stacpoole, Vidula Vachharajani
Despite advances in antithrombotic therapy, the risk of recurrent coronary/cerebrovascular ischemia or venous thromboembolism remains high. Dual pathway antithrombotic blockade, using both antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapy, offers the promise of improved thrombotic protection; however, widespread adoption remains tempered by substantial risk of major bleeding. Here, we report a dual pathway therapeutic capable of site-specific targeting to activated platelets and therapeutic enrichment at the site of thrombus growth to allow reduced dosing without compromised antithrombotic efficacy. We engineered a recombinant fusion protein, SCE5-TAP, which consists of a single-chain antibody (SCE5) that targets and blocks the activated GPIIb/IIIa complex, and tick anticoagulant peptide (TAP), a potent direct inhibitor of activated factor X (FXa). SCE5-TAP demonstrated selective platelet targeting and inhibition of thrombosis in murine models of both carotid artery and inferior vena cava thrombosis, without a significant impact on hemostasis. Selective targeting to activated platelets provides an attractive strategy to achieve high antithrombotic efficacy with reduced risk of bleeding complications.
Donny Hanjaya-Putra, Carolyn Haller, Xiaowei Wang, Erbin Dai, Bock Lim, Liying Liu, Patrick Jaminet, Joy Yao, Amy Searle, Thomas Bonnard, Christoph E. Hagemeyer, Karlheinz Peter, Elliot L. Chaikof