In this issue, Sun et al. describe a unique approach to targeting hypoxic tumor niches, taking advantage of the physical properties of sickle cell red blood cells that allow them to target hypoxic microvessels and forms aggregates that induce focal vessel closure. The cover image shows sickle cells in the vessels of a lung tumor from a mouse receiving sickle cell red blood cell therapy combined with the vascular disrupting agent combretastain A-4 and sublethal radiation.
Zika virus (ZIKV) infection during pregnancy causes significant adverse sequelae in the developing fetus, and results in long-term structural and neurologic defects. Most preventive and therapeutic efforts have focused on the development of vaccines, antivirals, and antibodies. The placental immunologic response to ZIKV, however, has been largely overlooked as a target for therapeutic intervention. The placental inflammatory response, specifically IL-1β secretion and signaling, is induced by ZIKV infection and represents an environmental factor that is known to increase the risk of perinatal developmental abnormalities. We show in a mouse model that maternally administrated IL-1 receptor antagonist (IRA; Kineret, or anakinra), following ZIKV exposure, can preserve placental function (by improving trophoblast invasion and placental vasculature), increase fetal viability, and reduce neurobehavioral deficits in the offspring. We further demonstrate that while ZIKV RNA is highly detectable in placentas, it is not correlated with fetal viability. Beyond its effects in the placenta, we show that IL-1 blockade may also directly decrease fetal neuroinflammation by mitigating fetal microglial activation in a dose-dependent manner. Our studies distinguish the role of placental inflammation during ZIKV-infected pregnancies, and demonstrate that maternal IRA may attenuate fetal neuroinflammation and improve perinatal outcomes.
Jun Lei, Meghan S. Vermillion, Bei Jia, Han Xie, Li Xie, Michael W. McLane, Jeanne S. Sheffield, Andrew Pekosz, Amanda Brown, Sabra L. Klein, Irina Burd
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a progressive disease, with a median survival of 3–5 years following diagnosis. Lung remodeling by invasive fibroblasts is a hallmark of IPF. In this study, we demonstrate that inhibition of vimentin intermediate filaments (VimIFs) decreases the invasiveness of IPF fibroblasts and confers protection against fibrosis in a murine model of experimental lung injury. Increased expression and organization of VimIFs contribute to the invasive property of IPF fibroblasts in connection with deficient cellular autophagy. Blocking VimIF assembly by pharmacologic and genetic means also increases autophagic clearance of collagen type I. Furthermore, inhibition of expression of collagen type I by siRNA decreased invasiveness of fibroblasts. In a bleomycin injury model, enhancing autophagy in fibroblasts by an inhibitor of VimIF assembly, withaferin A (WFA), protected from fibrotic lung injury. Additionally, in 3D lung organoids, or pulmospheres, from patients with IPF, WFA reduced the invasiveness of lung fibroblasts in the majority of subjects tested. These studies provide insights into the functional role of vimentin, which regulates autophagy and restricts the invasiveness of lung fibroblasts.
Ranu Surolia, Fu Jun Li, Zheng Wang, Huashi Li, Kevin Dsouza, Vinoy Thomas, Sergey Mirov, Dolores Pérez-Sala, Mohammad Athar, Victor J. Thannickal, Veena B. Antony
The antidiuretic hormone vasopressin (AVP), acting through its type 2 receptor (V2R) in the collecting duct (CD), critically controls urine concentrating capability. Here, we report that site-1 protease–derived (S1P-derived) soluble (pro)renin receptor (sPRR) participates in regulation of fluid homeostasis via targeting V2R. In cultured inner medullary collecting duct (IMCD) cells, AVP-induced V2R expression was blunted by a PRR antagonist, PRO20; a PRR-neutralizing antibody; or a S1P inhibitor, PF-429242. In parallel, sPRR release was increased by AVP and reduced by PF-429242. Administration of histidine-tagged sPRR, sPRR-His, stimulated V2R expression and also reversed the inhibitory effect of PF-429242 on the expression induced by AVP. PF-429242 treatment in C57/BL6 mice impaired urine concentrating capability, which was rescued by sPRR-His. This observation was recapitulated in mice with renal tubule–specific deletion of S1P. During the pharmacological or genetic manipulation of S1P alone or in combination with sPRR-His, the changes in urine concentration were paralleled with renal expression of V2R and aquaporin-2 (AQP2). Together, these results support that S1P-derived sPRR exerts a key role in determining renal V2R expression and, thus, urine concentrating capability.
Fei Wang, Chuanming Xu, Renfei Luo, Kexin Peng, Nirupama Ramkumar, Shiying Xie, Xiaohan Lu, Long Zhao, Chang-Jiang Zuo, Donald E. Kohan, Tianxin Yang
BACKGROUND. HDL that contains apolipoprotein E (apoE) is a subspecies especially active in steps in reverse cholesterol transport, a process that brings cholesterol from peripheral cells to the liver. Here, we studied the effect of dietary unsaturated fat compared with carbohydrate on the metabolism of HDL containing apoE. METHODS. We enrolled 9 adults who were overweight or obese and had below-average HDL-cholesterol in a crossover study of a high-fat diet, primarily unsaturated, and a low-fat, high-carbohydrate diet. A metabolic tracer study was performed after each diet period. RESULTS. Dietary fat increased the secretion, metabolism, and clearance of HDL subspecies containing apoE. Dietary fat increased the rate of clearance of large cholesterol-rich HDL containing apoE and increased their conversion to small HDL containing apoE, indicating selective cholesterol ester delivery to the liver. The high-unsaturated-fat diet did not affect the metabolism of HDL lacking apoE. CONCLUSION. HDL containing apoE is a diet-responsive metabolic pathway that renders HDL more biologically active in reverse cholesterol transport. This may be a mechanism by which unsaturated fat protects against coronary heart disease. Protein-based HDL subspecies such as HDL containing apoE may be used to identify additional atheroprotective treatment targets not evident in the total HDL-cholesterol measurement. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01399632. FUNDING. NIH and the National Center for Advancing Translational Science.
Allyson M. Morton, Jeremy D. Furtado, Carlos O. Mendivil, Frank M. Sacks
Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable plasma cell malignancy with frequent treatment failures and relapses, suggesting the existence of pathogenic myeloma stem/progenitor populations. However, the identity of MM stem cells remains elusive. We used a murine model of MM with transgenic overexpression of the unfolded protein response sensor X-box binding protein 1 (XBP1s) in the B cell compartment to define MM stem cells. We herein report that a post–germinal center, pre–plasma cell population significantly expands as MM develops. This population has the following characteristics: (a) cell surface phenotype of B220+CD19+IgM–IgD–CD138–CD80+sIgG–AA4.1+FSChi; (b) high expression levels of Pax5 and Bcl6 with intermediate levels of Blimp1 and XBP1s; (c) increased expression of aldehyde dehydrogenase, Notch1, and c-Kit; and (d) ability to efficiently reconstitute antibody-producing capacity in B cell–deficient mice in vivo. We thus have defined a plasma cell progenitor population that resembles myeloma stem cells in mice. These results provide potentially novel insights into MM stem cell biology and may contribute to the development of novel stem cell–targeted therapies for the eradication of MM.
Joshua Kellner, Caroline Wallace, Bei Liu, Zihai Li
Senescent cells (SnCs) are increasingly recognized as central effector cells in age-related pathologies. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are potential cellular communication tools through which SnCs exert central effector functions in the local tissue environment. To test this hypothesis in a medical indication that could be validated clinically, we evaluated EV production from SnCs enriched from chondrocytes isolated from human arthritic cartilage. EV production increased in a dose-responsive manner as the concentration of SnCs increased. The EVs were capable of transferring senescence to nonsenescent chondrocytes and inhibited cartilage formation by non-SnCs. microRNA (miR) profiles of EVs isolated from human arthritic synovial fluid did not fully overlap with the senescent chondrocyte EV profiles. The effect of SnC clearance was tested in a murine model of posttraumatic osteoarthritis. miR and protein profiles changed after senolytic treatment but varied depending on age. In young animals, senolytic treatment altered expression of miR-34a, -30c, -125a, -24, -92a, -150, and -186, and this expression correlated with cartilage production. The primary changes in EV contents in aged mice after senolytic treatment, which only reduced pain and degeneration, were immune related. In sum, EV contents found in synovial fluid may serve as a diagnostic for arthritic disease and indicator for therapeutic efficacy of senolytic treatment.
Ok Hee Jeon, David R. Wilson, Cristina C. Clement, Sona Rathod, Christopher Cherry, Bonita Powell, Zhenghong Lee, Ahmad M. Khalil, Jordan J. Green, Judith Campisi, Laura Santambrogio, Kenneth W. Witwer, Jennifer H. Elisseeff
Pathogen recognition receptor (PRR) agonists are currently being developed and tested as adjuvants in various formulations to optimize the immunogenicity and efficacy of vaccines. Using an original in vitro approach to prime naive precursors from unfractionated human peripheral blood mononuclear cells, we assessed the influence of cyclic guanosine monophosphate-adenosine monophosphate (cGAMP), a ligand for the stimulator of interferon genes (STING), on the induction of antigen-specific CD8+ T cells. We found that 2′3′-cGAMP and 3′3′-cGAMP were especially potent adjuvants in this system, driving the expansion and maturation of functionally replete antigen-specific CD8+ T cells via the induction of type I IFNs. The biological relevance of these findings was confirmed in vivo using two mouse models, in which 2′3′-cGAMP–adjuvanted vaccination elicited protective antitumor or antiviral CD8+ T cell responses. These results identify particular isoforms of cGAMP as effective adjuvants that may find utility in the development of novel immunotherapies and vaccines.
Alice Gutjahr, Laura Papagno, Francesco Nicoli, Tomohiro Kanuma, Nozomi Kuse, Mariela Pires Cabral-Piccin, Nicolas Rochereau, Emma Gostick, Thierry Lioux, Eric Perouzel, David A. Price, Masafumi Takiguchi, Bernard Verrier, Takuya Yamamoto, Stéphane Paul, Victor Appay
Antibody-mediated lymphoablation is used in solid organ and stem cell transplantation and autoimmunity. Using murine anti-thymocyte globulin (mATG) in a mouse model of heart transplantation, we previously reported that the homeostatic recovery of CD8+ T cells requires help from depletion-resistant memory CD4+ T cells delivered through CD40-expressing B cells. This study investigated the mechanisms by which B cells mediate CD8+ T cell proliferation in lymphopenic hosts. While CD8+ T cell recovery required MHC class I expression in the host, the reconstitution occurred independently of MHC class I, MHC class II, or CD80/CD86 expression on B cells. mATG lymphoablation upregulated the B cell expression of several cytokine genes, including IL-15 and IL-27, in a CD4-dependent manner. Neither treatment with anti-CD122 mAb nor the use of IL-15Rα–/– recipients altered CD8+ T cell recovery after mATG treatment, indicating that IL-15 may be dispensable for T cell proliferation in our model. Instead, IL-27 neutralization or the use of IL-27Rα–/– CD8+ T cells inhibited CD8+ T cell proliferation and altered the phenotype and cytokine profile of reconstituted CD8+ T cells. Our findings uncover what we believe is a novel role of IL-27 in lymphopenia-induced CD8+ T cell proliferation and suggest that targeting B cell–derived cytokines may increase the efficacy of lymphoablation and improve transplant outcomes.
Katayoun Ayasoufi, Daniel B. Zwick, Ran Fan, Suheyla Hasgur, Michael Nicosia, Victoria Gorbacheva, Karen S. Keslar, Booki Min, Robert L. Fairchild, Anna Valujskikh
Heart failure (HF) is associated in humans and mice with increased circulating levels of CXCL9 and CXCL10, chemokine ligands of the CXCR3 receptor, predominantly expressed on CD4+ Th1 cells. Chemokine engagement of receptors is required for T cell integrin activation and recruitment to sites of inflammation. Th1 cells drive adverse cardiac remodeling in pressure overload–induced cardiac dysfunction, and mice lacking the integrin ligand ICAM-1 show defective T cell recruitment to the heart. Here, we show that CXCR3+ T cells infiltrate the heart in humans and mice with pressure overload–induced cardiac dysfunction. Genetic deletion of CXCR3 disrupts CD4+ T cell heart infiltration and prevents adverse cardiac remodeling. We demonstrate that cardiac fibroblasts and cardiac myeloid cells that include resident and infiltrated macrophages are the source of CXCL9 and CXCL10, which mechanistically promote Th1 cell adhesion to ICAM-1 under shear conditions in a CXCR3-dependent manner. To our knowledge, our findings identify a previously unrecognized role for CXCR3 in Th1 cell recruitment into the heart in pressure overload–induced cardiac dysfunction.
Njabulo Ngwenyama, Ane M. Salvador, Francisco Velázquez, Tania Nevers, Alexander Levy, Mark Aronovitz, Andrew D. Luster, Gordon S. Huggins, Pilar Alcaide
Hypoxic tumor niches are chief causes of treatment resistance and tumor recurrence. Sickle erythrocytes’ (SSRBCs’) intrinsic oxygen-sensing functionality empowers them to access such hypoxic niches wherein they form microaggregates that induce focal vessel closure. In search of measures to augment the scale of SSRBC-mediated tumor vaso-occlusion, we turned to the vascular disrupting agent, combretastatin A-4 (CA-4). CA-4 induces selective tumor endothelial injury, blood stasis, and hypoxia but fails to eliminate peripheral tumor foci. In this article, we show that introducing deoxygenated SSRBCs into tumor microvessels treated with CA-4 and sublethal radiation (SR) produces a massive surge of tumor vaso-occlusion and broadly propagated tumor infarctions that engulfs treatment-resistant hypoxic niches and eradicates established lung tumors. Tumor regression was histologically corroborated by significant treatment effect. Treated tumors displayed disseminated microvessels occluded by tightly packed SSRBCs along with widely distributed pimidazole-positive hypoxic tumor cells. Humanized HbS-knockin mice (SSKI) but not HbA-knockin mice (AAKI) showed a similar treatment response underscoring SSRBCs as the paramount tumoricidal effectors. Thus, CA-4-SR–remodeled tumor vessels license SSRBCs to produce an unprecedented surge of tumor vaso-occlusion and infarction that envelops treatment-resistant tumor niches resulting in complete tumor regression. Strategically deployed, these innovative tools constitute a major conceptual advance with compelling translational potential.
Chiao-Wang Sun, Li-Chen Wu, Mamta Wankhede, Dezhi Wang, Jutta Thoerner, Lawrence Woody, Brian S. Sorg, Tim M. Townes, David S. Terman
The possible association between the membrane-associated guanylate kinase with inverted domain structure-1 (MAGI1) and inflammation has been suggested, but the molecular mechanisms underlying this link, especially during atherogenesis, remain unclear. In endothelial cells (ECs) exposed to disturbed flow (d-flow), p90 ribosomal S6 kinase (p90RSK) bound to MAGI1, causing MAGI1-S741 phosphorylation and sentrin/SUMO-specific protease 2 T368 phosphorylation-mediated MAGI1-K931 deSUMOylation. MAGI1-S741 phosphorylation upregulated EC activation via activating Rap1. MAGI1-K931 deSUMOylation induced both nuclear translocation of p90RSK-MAGI1 and ATF-6-MAGI1 complexes, which accelerated EC activation and apoptosis, respectively. Microarray screening revealed key roles for MAGI1 in the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress response. In this context, MAGI1 associated with activating transcription factor 6 (ATF-6). MAGI1 expression was upregulated in ECs and macrophages found in atherosclerotic-prone regions of mouse aortas as well as in the colonic epithelia and ECs of patients with inflammatory bowel disease. Further, reduced MAGI1 expression in Magi1–/+ mice inhibited d-flow–induced atherogenesis. In sum, EC activation and ER stress–mediated apoptosis are regulated in concert by two different types of MAGI1 posttranslational modifications, elucidating attractive drug targets for chronic inflammatory disease, particularly atherosclerosis.
Jun-ichi Abe, Kyung Ae Ko, Sivareddy Kotla, Yin Wang, Jesus Paez-Mayorga, Ik Jae Shin, Masaki Imanishi, Hang Thi Vu, Yunting Tao, Miguel M. Leiva-Juarez, Tamlyn N. Thomas, Jan L. Medina, Jong Hak Won, Yuka Fujii, Carolyn J. Giancursio, Elena McBeath, Ji-Hyun Shin, Liliana Guzman, Rei J. Abe, Jack Taunton, Naoki Mochizuki, William Faubion, John P. Cooke, Keigi Fujiwara, Scott E. Evans, Nhat-Tu Le
Iron deficiency is present in ~50% of heart failure (HF) patients. Large multicenter trials have shown that treatment of iron deficiency with i.v. iron benefits HF patients, but the underlying mechanisms are not known. To investigate the actions of iron deficiency on the heart, mice were fed an iron-depleted diet, and some received i.v. ferric carboxymaltose (FCM), an iron supplementation used clinically. Iron-deficient animals became anemic and had reduced ventricular ejection fraction measured by magnetic resonance imaging. Ca2+ signaling, a pathway linked to the contractile deficit in failing hearts, was also significantly affected. Ventricular myocytes isolated from iron-deficient animals produced smaller Ca2+ transients from an elevated diastolic baseline but had unchanged sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) Ca2+ load, trigger L-type Ca2+ current, or cytoplasmic Ca2+ buffering. Reduced fractional release from the SR was due to downregulated RyR2 channels, detected at protein and message levels. The constancy of diastolic SR Ca2+ load is explained by reduced RyR2 permeability in combination with right-shifted SERCA activity due to dephosphorylation of its regulator phospholamban. Supplementing iron levels with FCM restored normal Ca2+ signaling and ejection fraction. Thus, 2 Ca2+-handling proteins previously implicated in HF become functionally impaired in iron-deficiency anemia, but their activity is rescued by i.v. iron supplementation.
Yu Jin Chung, Antao Luo, Kyung Chan Park, Aminah A. Loonat, Samira Lakhal-Littleton, Peter A. Robbins, Pawel Swietach
Actinic keratosis (AK) is a precancerous skin lesion that is common in HIV-positive patients. Without effective treatment, AKs can progress to squamous cell carcinoma. Ingenol mebutate, a PKC agonist, is a US Food and Drug Administration–approved (FDA-approved) topical treatment for AKs. It can induce reactivation of latent HIV transcription in CD4+ T cells both in vitro and ex vivo. Although PKC agonists are known to be potent inducers of HIV expression from latency, their effects in vivo are not known because of the concerns of toxicity. Therefore, we sought to determine the effects of topical ingenol mebutate gel on the HIV transcription profile in HIV-infected individuals with AKs, specifically in the setting of suppressive antiretroviral therapy (ART). We found that AKs cleared following topical application of ingenol mebutate and detected marginal changes in immune activation in the peripheral blood and in skin biopsies. An overall increase in the level of HIV transcription initiation, elongation, and complete transcription was detected only in skin biopsies after the treatment. Our data demonstrate that application of ingenol mebutate to AKs in ART-suppressed HIV-positive patients can effectively cure AKs as well as disrupt HIV latency in the skin tissue microenvironment in vivo without causing massive immune activation.
Guochun Jiang, Emanual Maverakis, Michelle Y. Cheng, Maher M. Elsheikh, Claire Deleage, Gema Méndez-Lagares, Michiko Shimoda, Steven A. Yukl, Dennis J. Hartigan-O’Connor, George R. Thompson III, Jacob D. Estes, Joseph K. Wong, Satya Dandekar
Glioblastomas, which contain stem cell–like glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs), are universally lethal cancers. While neural stem cells (NSCs) are usually quiescent, single-cell studies suggest that proliferating glioblastoma cells reside in the GSC population. Interrogating in silico glioma databases for epigenetic regulators that correlate with cell cycle regulation, we identified the chromatin remodeler HELLS as a potential target in glioblastoma. GSCs preferentially expressed HELLS compared with their differentiated tumor progeny and nonmalignant brain cells. Targeting HELLS disrupted GSC proliferation, survival, and self-renewal with induction of replication stress and DNA damage. Investigating potential molecular mechanisms downstream of HELLS revealed that HELLS interacted with the core oncogenic transcription factors, E2F3 and MYC, to regulate gene expression critical to GSC proliferation and maintenance. Supporting the interaction, HELLS expression strongly correlated with targets of E2F3 and MYC transcriptional activity in glioblastoma patients. The potential clinical significance of HELLS was reinforced by improved survival of tumor-bearing mice upon targeting HELLS and poor prognosis of glioma patients with elevated HELLS expression. Collectively, targeting HELLS may permit the functional disruption of the relatively undruggable MYC and E2F3 transcription factors and serve as a novel therapeutic paradigm for glioblastoma.
Guoxin Zhang, Zhen Dong, Briana C. Prager, Leo J.K. Kim, Qiulian Wu, Ryan C. Gimple, Xiuxing Wang, Shideng Bao, Petra Hamerlik, Jeremy N. Rich
Mechanisms leading to osteoporosis are incompletely understood. Genetic disorders with skeletal fragility provide insight into metabolic pathways contributing to bone strength. We evaluated 6 families with rare skeletal phenotypes and osteoporosis by next-generation sequencing. In all the families, we identified a heterozygous variant in SGMS2, a gene prominently expressed in cortical bone and encoding the plasma membrane–resident sphingomyelin synthase SMS2. Four unrelated families shared the same nonsense variant, c.148C>T (p.Arg50*), whereas the other families had a missense variant, c.185T>G (p.Ile62Ser) or c.191T>G (p.Met64Arg). Subjects with p.Arg50* presented with childhood-onset osteoporosis with or without cranial sclerosis. Patients with p.Ile62Ser or p.Met64Arg had a more severe presentation, with neonatal fractures, severe short stature, and spondylometaphyseal dysplasia. Several subjects had experienced peripheral facial nerve palsy or other neurological manifestations. Bone biopsies showed markedly altered bone material characteristics, including defective bone mineralization. Osteoclast formation and function in vitro was normal. While the p.Arg50* mutation yielded a catalytically inactive enzyme, p.Ile62Ser and p.Met64Arg each enhanced the rate of de novo sphingomyelin production by blocking export of a functional enzyme from the endoplasmic reticulum. SGMS2 pathogenic variants underlie a spectrum of skeletal conditions, ranging from isolated osteoporosis to complex skeletal dysplasia, suggesting a critical role for plasma membrane–bound sphingomyelin metabolism in skeletal homeostasis.
Minna Pekkinen, Paulien A. Terhal, Lorenzo D. Botto, Petra Henning, Riikka E. Mäkitie, Paul Roschger, Amrita Jain, Matthijs Kol, Matti A. Kjellberg, Eleftherios P. Paschalis, Koen van Gassen, Mary Murray, Pinar Bayrak-Toydemir, Maria K. Magnusson, Judith Jans, Mehran Kausar, John C. Carey, Pentti Somerharju, Ulf H. Lerner, Vesa M. Olkkonen, Klaus Klaushofer, Joost C.M. Holthuis, Outi Mäkitie
The autoantigen-specific Tregs from pluripotent stem cells (PSCs), i.e., PSC-Tregs, have the ability to suppress autoimmunity. PSC-Tregs can be programmed to be tissue associated and to infiltrate into local inflamed tissues to suppress autoimmune responses after adoptive transfer. Nevertheless, the mechanisms by which the autoantigen-specific PSC-Tregs suppress the autoimmune response remain to be fully elucidated. In this study, we generated functional autoantigen-specific Tregs from the induced PSC (iPSCs), i.e., iPSC-Tregs, and investigated the underlying mechanisms of autoimmunity suppression by these Tregs in a type 1 diabetes (T1D) murine model. A double-Tg mouse model of T1D was established in F1 mice, in which the first generation of RIP-mOVA Tg mice that were crossed with OT-I T cell receptor (TCR) Tg mice was challenged with vaccinia viruses expressing OVA (VACV-OVA). We show that adoptive transfer of OVA-specific iPSC-Tregs greatly suppressed autoimmunity in the animal model and prevented the insulin-secreting pancreatic β cells from destruction. Further, we demonstrate that the adoptive transfer significantly reduced the expression of ICAM-1 in the diabetic pancreas and inhibited the migration of pathogenic CD8+ T cells and the production of the proinflammatory IFN-γ in the pancreas. These results indicate that the stem cell–derived tissue-associated Tregs can robustly accumulate in the diabetic pancreas, and, through downregulating the expression of ICAM-1 in the local inflamed tissues and inhibiting the production of proinflammatory cytokine IFN-γ, suppress the migration and activity of the pathogenic immune cells that cause T1D.
Mohammad Haque, Fengyang Lei, Xiaofang Xiong, Jugal Kishore Das, Xingcong Ren, Deyu Fang, Shahram Salek-Ardakani, Jin-Ming Yang, Jianxun Song
Hypertrophic cardiomyopathy (HCM) is triggered mainly by mutations in genes encoding sarcomeric proteins, but a significant proportion of patients lack a genetic diagnosis. We identified a potentially novel mutation in ryanodine receptor 2, RyR2-P1124L, in a patient from a genotype-negative HCM cohort. The aim of this study was to determine whether RyR2-P1124L triggers functional and structural alterations in isolated RyR2 channels and whole hearts. We found that P1124L induces significant conformational changes in the SPRY2 domain of RyR2. Recombinant RyR2-P1124L channels displayed a cytosolic loss-of-function phenotype, which contrasted with a higher sensitivity to luminal [Ca2+], indicating a luminal gain of function. Homozygous mice for RyR2-P1124L showed mild cardiac hypertrophy, similar to the human patient. This phenotype, evident at 1 year of age, was accompanied by an increase in the expression of calmodulin (CaM). P1124L mice also showed higher susceptibility to arrhythmia at 8 months of age, before the onset of hypertrophy. RyR2-P1124L has a distinct cytosolic loss-of-function and a luminal gain-of-function phenotype. This bifunctionally divergent behavior triggers arrhythmias and structural cardiac remodeling, and it involves overexpression of CaM as a potential hypertrophic mediator. This study is relevant to continue elucidating the possible causes of genotype-negative HCM and the role of RyR2 in cardiac hypertrophy.
Francisco J. Alvarado, J. Martijn Bos, Zhiguang Yuchi, Carmen R. Valdivia, Jonathan J. Hernández, Yan-Ting Zhao, Dawn S. Henderlong, Yan Chen, Talia R. Booher, Cherisse A. Marcou, Filip Van Petegem, Michael J. Ackerman, Héctor H. Valdivia
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is an autoimmune disorder that predominantly affects women and is driven by autoreactive T cell–mediated inflammation. It is known that individuals with multiple X-chromosomes are at increased risk for developing SLE; however, the mechanisms underlying this genetic basis are unclear. Here, we use single cell imaging to determine the epigenetic features of the inactive X (Xi) in developing thymocytes, mature T cell subsets, and T cells from SLE patients and mice. We show that Xist RNA and heterochromatin modifications transiently reappear at the Xi and are missing in mature single positive T cells. Activation of mature T cells restores Xist RNA and heterochromatin marks simultaneously back to the Xi. Notably, X-chromosome inactivation (XCI) maintenance is altered in T cells of SLE patients and late-stage–disease NZB/W F1 female mice, and we show that X-linked genes are abnormally upregulated in SLE patient T cells. SLE T cells also have altered expression of XIST RNA interactome genes, accounting for perturbations of Xi epigenetic features. Thus, abnormal XCI maintenance is a feature of SLE disease, and we propose that Xist RNA localization at the Xi could be an important factor for maintaining dosage compensation of X-linked genes in T cells.
Camille M. Syrett, Bam Paneru, Donavon Sandoval-Heglund, Jianle Wang, Sarmistha Banerjee, Vishal Sindhava, Edward M. Behrens, Michael Atchison, Montserrat C. Anguera
Peripheral hyperinsulinemia resulting from subcutaneous insulin injection is associated with metabolic defects that include abnormal glucose metabolism. The first aim of this study was to quantify the impairments in liver and muscle glucose metabolism that occur when insulin is delivered via a peripheral vein compared to when it is given through its endogenous secretory route (the hepatic portal vein) in overnight-fasted conscious dogs. The second aim was to determine if peripheral delivery of a hepato-preferential insulin analog could restore the physiologic response to insulin that occurs under meal-feeding conditions. This study is the first to our knowledge to show that hepatic glucose uptake correlates with insulin’s direct effects on the liver under hyperinsulinemic-hyperglycemic conditions. In addition, glucose uptake was equally divided between the liver and muscle when insulin was infused into the portal vein, but when it was delivered into a peripheral vein the percentage of glucose taken up by muscle was 4-fold greater than that going to the liver, with liver glucose uptake being less than half of normal. These defects could not be corrected by adjusting the dose of peripheral insulin. On the other hand, hepatic and nonhepatic glucose metabolism could be fully normalized by a hepato-preferential insulin analog.
Dale S. Edgerton, Melanie Scott, Ben Farmer, Phillip E. Williams, Peter Madsen, Thomas Kjeldsen, Christian L. Brand, Christian Fledelius, Erica Nishimura, Alan D. Cherrington
Paraneoplastic neurological disorders result from an autoimmune response against neural self-antigens that are ectopically expressed in neoplastic cells. In paraneoplastic disorders associated to autoantibodies against intracellular proteins, such as paraneoplastic cerebellar degeneration (PCD), current data point to a major role of cell-mediated immunity. In an animal model, in which a neo–self-antigen was expressed in both Purkinje neurons and implanted breast tumor cells, immune checkpoint blockade led to complete tumor control at the expense of cerebellum infiltration by T cells and Purkinje neuron loss, thereby mimicking PCD. Here, we identify 2 potential therapeutic targets expressed by cerebellum-infiltrating T cells in this model, namely α4 integrin and IFN-γ. Mice with PCD were treated with anti-α4 integrin antibodies or neutralizing anti–IFN-γ antibodies at the onset of neurological signs. Although blocking α4 integrin had little or no impact on disease development, treatment using the anti–IFN-γ antibody led to almost complete protection from PCD. These findings strongly suggest that the production of IFN-γ by cerebellum-invading T cells plays a major role in Purkinje neuron death. Our successful preclinical use of neutralizing anti–IFN-γ antibody for the treatment of PCD offers a potentially new therapeutic opportunity for cancer patients at the onset of paraneoplastic neurological disorders.
Lidia Yshii, Béatrice Pignolet, Emilie Mauré, Mandy Pierau, Monika Brunner-Weinzierl, Oliver Hartley, Jan Bauer, Roland Liblau
The immune system detects aberrant, premalignant cells and eliminates them before the development of cancer. Immune cells, including T cells, have been shown to be critical components in eradicating these aberrant cells, and when absent in the host, incidence of cancer increases. Here, we show that CD91, a receptor expressed on antigen-presenting cells, is required for priming immune responses to nascent, emerging tumors. In the absence of CD91, effector immune responses are subdued, and tumor incidence and progression are amplified. We also show that, consequently, tumors that arise in the absence of CD91 express neo-epitopes with indices that are indicative of greater immunogenicity. Polymorphisms in human CD91 that are expected to affect ligand binding are shown to influence antitumor immune responses in cancer patients. This study presents a molecular mechanism for priming immune responses to nascent, emerging tumors that becomes a predictor of cancer susceptibility and progression.
Abigail L. Sedlacek, Theodore P. Younker, Yu Jerry Zhou, Lisa Borghesi, Tatiana Shcheglova, Ion I. Mandoiu, Robert J. Binder
Recruitment of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) into tumors induces local immunosuppression in carcinomas. Here, we assessed whether SX-682, an orally bioavailable small-molecule inhibitor of CXCR1 and CXCR2, could block tumor MDSC recruitment and enhance T cell activation and antitumor immunity following multiple forms of immunotherapy. CXCR2+ neutrophilic MDSCs (PMN-MDSCs) were the most abundant myeloid cell subset within oral and lung syngeneic carcinomas. PMN-MDSCs demonstrated greater suppression of tumor-infiltrating lymphocyte killing of targets compared with macrophages. SX-682 significantly inhibited trafficking of PMN-MDSCs without altering CXCR2 ligand expression. Trafficking of CXCR1+ macrophages was unaltered, possibly due to coexpression of CSF1R. Reduced PMN-MDSC tumor infiltration correlated with enhanced accumulation of endogenous or adoptively transferred T cells. Accordingly, tumor growth inhibition or the rate of established tumor rejection following programed death–axis (PD-axis) immune checkpoint blockade or adoptive cell transfer of engineered T cells was enhanced in combination with SX-682. Despite CXCR1/2 expression on tumor cells, SX-682 appeared to have little direct antitumor effect on these carcinoma models. These data suggest that tumor-infiltrating CXCR2+ PMN-MDSCs may prevent optimal responses following both PD-axis immune checkpoint blockade and adoptive T cell transfer therapy. Abrogation of PMN-MDSC trafficking with SX-682 enhances T cell–based immunotherapeutic efficacy and may be of benefit to patients with MDSC-infiltrated cancers.
Lillian Sun, Paul E. Clavijo, Yvette Robbins, Priya Patel, Jay Friedman, Sarah Greene, Rita Das, Chris Silvin, Carter Van Waes, Lucas A. Horn, Jeffrey Schlom, Claudia Palena, Dean Maeda, John Zebala, Clint T. Allen
Dystrophin deficiency leads to progressive muscle degeneration in Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) patients. No known cure exists, and standard care relies on the use of antiinflammatory steroids, which are associated with side effects that complicate long-term use. Here, we report that a single intravenous dose of clinical-stage cardiac stromal cells, called cardiosphere-derived cells (CDCs), improves the dystrophic phenotype in mdx mice. CDCs augment cardiac and skeletal muscle function, partially reverse established heart damage, and boost the regenerative capacity of skeletal muscle. We further demonstrate that CDCs work by secreting exosomes, which normalize gene expression at the transcriptome level, and alter cell signaling and biological processes in mdx hearts and skeletal muscle. The work reported here motivated the ongoing HOPE-2 clinical trial of systemic CDC delivery to DMD patients, and identifies exosomes as next-generation cell-free therapeutic candidates for DMD.
Russell G. Rogers, Mario Fournier, Lizbeth Sanchez, Ahmed G. Ibrahim, Mark A. Aminzadeh, Michael I. Lewis, Eduardo Marbán
Chronic tubulointerstitial injury impacts the prognosis of focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). We found that the level of versican V1 was increased in tubular cells of FSGS patients. Tubular cell–derived versican V1 induced proliferation and collagen synthesis by activating the CD44/Smad3 pathway in fibroblasts. Both urine C3a and suPAR were increased and bound to the tubular cells in FSGS patients. C3a promoted the transcription of versican by activating the AKT/β-catenin pathway. C3aR knockout decreased the expression of versican in Adriamycin-treated (ADR-treated) mice. On the other hand, suPAR bound to integrin β6 and activated Rac1, which bound to SRp40 at the 5′ end of exon 7 in versican pre-mRNA. This binding inhibited the 3′-end splicing of intron 6 and the base-pair interactions between intron 6 and intron 8, leading to the formation of versican V1. Cotreatment with ADR and suPAR specifically increased the level of versican V1 in tubulointerstitial tissues and caused more obvious interstitial fibrosis in mice than treatment with only ADR. Altogether, our results show that C3a and suPAR drive versican V1 expression in tubular cells by promoting transcription and splicing, respectively, and the increases in tubular cell–derived versican V1 induce interstitial fibrosis by activating fibroblasts in FSGS.
Runhong Han, Shuai Hu, Weisong Qin, Jinsong Shi, Qin Hou, Xia Wang, Xiaodong Xu, Minchao Zhang, Caihong Zeng, Zhihong Liu, Hao Bao
Valeria Tomati, Emanuela Caci, Loretta Ferrera, Emanuela Pesce, Elvira Sondo, Deborah M. Cholon, Nancy L. Quinney, Susan E. Boyles, Andrea Armirotti, Roberto Ravazzolo, Luis J.V. Galietta, Martina Gentzsch, Nicoletta Pedemonte