Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a fatal disease with limited treatment options. The role of the developmental transcription factor Sine oculis homeobox homolog 1 (SIX1) in the pathophysiology of lung fibrosis is not known. IPF lung tissue samples and IPF-derived alveolar type II cells (AT2) showed a significant increase in SIX1 mRNA and protein levels, and the SIX1 transcriptional coactivators EYA1 and EYA2 were elevated. Six1 was also upregulated in bleomycin-treated (BLM-treated) mice and in a model of spontaneous lung fibrosis driven by deletion of Telomeric Repeat Binding Factor 1 (Trf1) in AT2 cells. Conditional deletion of Six1 in AT2 cells prevented or halted BLM-induced lung fibrosis, as measured by a significant reduction in histological burden of fibrosis, reduced fibrotic mediator expression, and improved lung function. These effects were associated with increased macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) in lung epithelial cells in vivo following SIX1 overexpression in BLM-induced fibrosis. A MIF promoter–driven luciferase assay demonstrated direct binding of Six1 to the 5′-TCAGG-3′ consensus sequence of the MIF promoter, identifying a likely mechanism of SIX1-driven MIF expression in the pathogenesis of lung fibrosis and providing a potentially novel pathway for targeting in IPF therapy.
Cory Wilson, Tinne C.J. Mertens, Pooja Shivshankar, Weizen Bi, Scott D. Collum, Nancy Wareing, Junsuk Ko, Tingting Weng, Ram P. Naikawadi, Paul J. Wolters, Pascal Maire, Soma S.K. Jyothula, Rajarajan A. Thandavarayan, Dewei Ren, Nathan D. Elrod, Eric J. Wagner, Howard J. Huang, Burton F. Dickey, Heide L. Ford, Harry Karmouty-Quintana
Voltage-gated hydrogen channel 1 (Hvcn1) is a voltage-gated proton channel, which reduces cytosol acidification and facilitates the production of ROS. The increased expression of this channel in some cancers has led to proposing Hvcn1 antagonists as potential therapeutics. While its role in most leukocytes has been studied in depth, the function of Hvcn1 in T cells remains poorly defined. We show that Hvcn1 plays a nonredundant role in protecting naive T cells from intracellular acidification during priming. Despite sharing overall functional impairment in vivo and in vitro, Hvcn1-deficient CD4+ and CD8+ T cells display profound differences during the transition from naive to primed T cells, including in the preservation of T cell receptor (TCR) signaling, cellular division, and death. These selective features result, at least in part, from a substantially different metabolic response to intracellular acidification associated with priming. While Hvcn1-deficient naive CD4+ T cells reprogram to rescue the glycolytic pathway, naive CD8+ T cells, which express high levels of this channel in the mitochondria, respond by metabolically compensating mitochondrial dysfunction, at least in part via AMPK activation. These observations imply heterogeneity between adaptation of naive CD4+ and CD8+ T cells to intracellular acidification during activation.
David Coe, Thanushiyan Poobalasingam, Hongmei Fu, Fabrizia Bonacina, Guosu Wang, Valle Morales, Annalisa Moregola, Nico Mitro, Kenneth C.P. Cheung, Eleanor J. Ward, Suchita Nadkarni, Dunja Aksentijevic, Katiuscia Bianchi, Giuseppe Danilo Norata, Melania Capasso, Federica M. Marelli-Berg
Pain emanating from the female reproductive tract is notoriously difficult to treat, and the prevalence of transient pelvic pain has been placed as high as 70%–80% in women surveyed. Although sex hormones, especially estrogen, are thought to underlie enhanced pain perception in females, the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms are not completely understood. Here, we showed that the pain-initiating TRPA1 channel was required for pain-related behaviors in a mouse model of estrogen-induced uterine pain in ovariectomized female mice. Surprisingly, 2- and 4-hydroxylated estrogen metabolites (2- and 4-HEMs) in the estrogen hydroxylation pathway, but not estrone, estradiol, or 16-HEMs, directly increased nociceptor hyperactivity through TRPA1 and TRPV1 channels, and picomolar concentrations of 2- and 4-hydroxylation estrone (2- or 4-OHE1) could sensitize TRPA1 channel function. Moreover, both TRPA1 and TRPV1 were expressed in uterine-innervating primary nociceptors, and their expression was increased in the estrogen-induced uterine pain model. Importantly, pretreatment with 2- or 4-OHE1 recapitulated estrogen-induced uterine pain-like behaviors, and intraplantar injections of 2- and 4-OHE1 directly produced a TRPA1-dependent mechanical hypersensitivity. Our findings demonstrated that TRPA1 is critically involved in estrogen-induced uterine pain-like behaviors, which may provide a potential drug target for treating female reproductive tract pain.
Zili Xie, Jing Feng, Tao Cai, Ronald McCarthy, Mark D. Eschbach II, Yuhui Wang, Yonghui Zhao, Zhihua Yi, Kaikai Zang, Yi Yuan, Xueming Hu, Fengxian Li, Qin Liu, Aditi Das, Sarah K. England, Hongzhen Hu
BACKGROUND Measuring the immune response to SARS-CoV-2 enables assessment of past infection and protective immunity. SARS-CoV-2 infection induces humoral and T cell responses, but these responses vary with disease severity and individual characteristics.METHODS A T cell receptor (TCR) immunosequencing assay was conducted using small-volume blood samples from 302 individuals recovered from COVID-19. Correlations between the magnitude of the T cell response and neutralizing antibody (nAb) titers or indicators of disease severity were evaluated. Sensitivity of T cell testing was assessed and compared with serologic testing.RESULTS SARS-CoV-2–specific T cell responses were significantly correlated with nAb titers and clinical indicators of disease severity, including hospitalization, fever, and difficulty breathing. Despite modest declines in depth and breadth of T cell responses during convalescence, high sensitivity was observed until at least 6 months after infection, with overall sensitivity ~5% greater than serology tests for identifying prior SARS-CoV-2 infection. Improved performance of T cell testing was most apparent in recovered, nonhospitalized individuals sampled > 150 days after initial illness, suggesting greater sensitivity than serology at later time points and in individuals with less severe disease. T cell testing identified SARS-CoV-2 infection in 68% (55 of 81) of samples with undetectable nAb titers (<1:40) and in 37% (13 of 35) of samples classified as negative by 3 antibody assays.CONCLUSION These results support TCR-based testing as a scalable, reliable measure of past SARS-CoV-2 infection with clinical value beyond serology.TRIAL REGISTRATION Specimens were accrued under trial NCT04338360 accessible at clinicaltrials.gov.FUNDING This work was funded by Adaptive Biotechnologies, Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research, NIAID, Fred Hutchinson Joel Meyers Endowment, Fast Grants, and American Society for Transplantation and Cell Therapy.
Rebecca Elyanow, Thomas M. Snyder, Sudeb C. Dalai, Rachel M. Gittelman, Jim Boonyaratanakornkit, Anna Wald, Stacy Selke, Mark H. Wener, Chihiro Morishima, Alexander L. Greninger, Michael Gale Jr., Tien-Ying Hsiang, Lichen Jing, Michael R. Holbrook, Ian M. Kaplan, H. Jabran Zahid, Damon H. May, Jonathan M. Carlson, Lance Baldo, Thomas Manley, Harlan S. Robins, David M. Koelle
Systemic therapies for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remain unsatisfactory. Clinical prognosis is particularly poor for tumor subtypes with activating aberrations in the MYC pathway, creating an urgent need for novel therapeutic targets. To unbiasedly find MYC-associated epigenetic dependencies, we conducted a drug screen in pancreatic cancer cell lines. Here, we found that protein arginine N-methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5) inhibitors triggered an MYC-associated dependency. In human and murine PDACs, a robust connection of MYC and PRMT5 was detected. By the use of gain- and loss-of-function models, we confirmed the increased efficacy of PRMT5 inhibitors in MYC-deregulated PDACs. Although inhibition of PRMT5 was inducing DNA damage and arresting PDAC cells in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle, apoptotic cell death was executed predominantly in cells with high MYC expression. Experiments in primary patient-derived PDAC models demonstrated the existence of a highly PRMT5 inhibitor–sensitive subtype. Our work suggests developing PRMT5 inhibitor–based therapies for PDAC.
Felix Orben, Katharina Lankes, Christian Schneeweis, Zonera Hassan, Hannah Jakubowsky, Lukas Krauß, Fabio Boniolo, Carolin Schneider, Arlett Schäfer, Janine Murr, Christoph Schlag, Bo Kong, Rupert Öllinger, Chengdong Wang, Georg Beyer, Ujjwal M. Mahajan, Yonggan Xue, Julia Mayerle, Roland M. Schmid, Bernhard Kuster, Roland Rad, Christian J. Braun, Matthias Wirth, Maximilian Reichert, Dieter Saur, Günter Schneider
T cells play a prominent role in orchestrating the immune response to viral diseases, but their role in the clinical presentation and subsequent immunity to SARS-CoV-2 infection remains poorly understood. As part of a population-based survey of the municipality of Vo’, Italy, conducted after the initial SARS-CoV-2 outbreak, we sampled the T cell receptor (TCR) repertoires of the population 2 months after the initial PCR survey and followed up positive cases 9 and 15 months later. At 2 months, we found that 97.0% (98 of 101) of cases had elevated levels of TCRs associated with SARS-CoV-2. T cell frequency (depth) was increased in individuals with more severe disease. Both depth and diversity (breadth) of the TCR repertoire were positively associated with neutralizing antibody titers, driven mostly by CD4+ T cells directed against spike protein. At the later time points, detection of these TCRs remained high, with 90.7% (78 of 96) and 86.2% (25 of 29) of individuals having detectable signal at 9 and 15 months, respectively. Forty-three individuals were vaccinated by month 15 and showed a significant increase in TCRs directed against spike protein. Taken together, these results demonstrate the central role of T cells in mounting an immune defense against SARS-CoV-2 that persists out to 15 months.
Rachel M. Gittelman, Enrico Lavezzo, Thomas M. Snyder, H. Jabran Zahid, Cara L. Carty, Rebecca Elyanow, Sudeb Dalai, Ilan Kirsch, Lance Baldo, Laura Manuto, Elisa Franchin, Claudia Del Vecchio, Monia Pacenti, Caterina Boldrin, Margherita Cattai, Francesca Saluzzo, Andrea Padoan, Mario Plebani, Fabio Simeoni, Jessica Bordini, Nicola I. Lorè, Dejan Lazarević, Daniela M. Cirillo, Paolo Ghia, Stefano Toppo, Jonathan M. Carlson, Harlan S. Robins, Andrea Crisanti, Giovanni Tonon
Loss-of-function (LOF) variants in SCN1B, encoding the voltage-gated sodium channel β1/β1B subunits, are linked to neurological and cardiovascular diseases. Scn1b-null mice have spontaneous seizures and ventricular arrhythmias and die by approximately 21 days after birth. β1/β1B Subunits play critical roles in regulating the excitability of ventricular cardiomyocytes and maintaining ventricular rhythmicity. However, whether they also regulate atrial excitability is unknown. We used neonatal Scn1b-null mice to model the effects of SCN1B LOF on atrial physiology in pediatric patients. Scn1b deletion resulted in altered expression of genes associated with atrial dysfunction. Scn1b-null hearts had a significant accumulation of atrial collagen, increased susceptibility to pacing induced atrial fibrillation (AF), sinoatrial node (SAN) dysfunction, and increased numbers of cholinergic neurons in ganglia that innervate the SAN. Atropine reduced the incidence of AF in null animals. Action potential duration was prolonged in null atrial myocytes, with increased late sodium current density and reduced L-type calcium current density. Scn1b LOF results in altered atrial structure and AF, demonstrating the critical role played by Scn1b in atrial physiology during early postnatal mouse development. Our results suggest that SCN1B LOF variants may significantly impact the developing pediatric heart.
Roberto Ramos-Mondragon, Nnamdi Edokobi, Samantha L. Hodges, Shuyun Wang, Alexandra A. Bouza, Chandrika Canugovi, Caroline Scheuing, Lena Juratli, William R. Abel, Sami F. Noujaim, Nageswara R. Madamanchi, Marschall S. Runge, Luis F. Lopez-Santiago, Lori L. Isom
Sex and gender disparity in asthma is recognized and suggests a modulatory role for sex steroids, particularly estrogen. However, there is a dichotomous role for estrogen in airway remodeling, making it unclear whether sex hormones are protective or detrimental in asthma and suggesting a need to explore mechanisms upstream or independent of estrogen. We hypothesize that kisspeptin (Kp)/KISS1R signaling serves this role. Airway smooth muscle (ASM) is a key structural cell type that contributes to remodeling in asthma. We explored the role of Kp/KISS1R in regulating ASM proliferation. We report potentially novel data indicating that Kp and KISS1R are expressed in human airways, especially ASM, with lower expression in ASM from women compared with men and lower in patients with asthma compared with people without asthma. Proliferation studies showed that cleaved forms of Kp, particularly Kp-10, mitigated PDGF-induced ASM proliferation. Pharmacological inhibition and shRNA knockdown of KISS1R increased basal ASM proliferation, which was further amplified by PDGF. The antiproliferative effect of Kp-10 in ASM was mediated by inhibition of MAPK/ERK/Akt pathways, with altered expression of PCNA, C/EBP-α, Ki-67, cyclin D1, and cyclin E leading to cell cycle arrest at G0/G1 phase. Overall, we demonstrate the importance of Kp/KISS1R signaling in regulating ASM proliferation and a potential therapeutic avenue to blunt remodeling in asthma.
Niyati A. Borkar, Nilesh Sudhakar Ambhore, Rama Satyanarayana Raju Kalidhindi, Christina M. Pabelick, Y.S. Prakash, Venkatachalem Sathish
Aberrant epithelial differentiation and regeneration contribute to colon pathologies, including inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) and colitis-associated cancer (CAC). Myeloid translocation gene 16 (MTG16, also known as CBFA2T3) is a transcriptional corepressor expressed in the colonic epithelium. MTG16 deficiency in mice exacerbates colitis and increases tumor burden in CAC, though the underlying mechanisms remain unclear. Here, we identified MTG16 as a central mediator of epithelial differentiation, promoting goblet and restraining enteroendocrine cell development in homeostasis and enabling regeneration following dextran sulfate sodium–induced (DSS-induced) colitis. Transcriptomic analyses implicated increased Ephrussi box–binding transcription factor (E protein) activity in MTG16-deficient colon crypts. Using a mouse model with a point mutation that attenuates MTG16:E protein interactions (Mtg16P209T), we showed that MTG16 exerts control over colonic epithelial differentiation and regeneration by repressing E protein–mediated transcription. Mimicking murine colitis, MTG16 expression was increased in biopsies from patients with active IBD compared with unaffected controls. Finally, uncoupling MTG16:E protein interactions partially phenocopied the enhanced tumorigenicity of Mtg16–/– colon in the azoxymethane/DSS-induced model of CAC, indicating that MTG16 protects from tumorigenesis through additional mechanisms. Collectively, our results demonstrate that MTG16, via its repression of E protein targets, is a key regulator of cell fate decisions during colon homeostasis, colitis, and cancer.
Rachel E. Brown, Justin Jacobse, Shruti A. Anant, Koral M. Blunt, Bob Chen, Paige N. Vega, Chase T. Jones, Jennifer M. Pilat, Frank Revetta, Aidan H. Gorby, Kristy R. Stengel, Yash A. Choksi, Kimmo Palin, M. Blanca Piazuelo, Mary Kay Washington, Ken S. Lau, Jeremy A. Goettel, Scott W. Hiebert, Sarah P. Short, Christopher S. Williams
Bacteria have evolved to cope with the detrimental effects of ROS using their essential molecular components. Catalase, a heme-containing tetramer protein expressed universally in most aerobic bacteria, plays an indispensable role in scavenging excess hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Here, through use of wild-type and catalase-deficient mutants, we identified catalase as an endogenous therapeutic target of 400–420 nm blue light. Catalase residing inside bacteria could be effectively inactivated by blue light, subsequently rendering the pathogens extremely vulnerable to H2O2 and H2O2-producing agents. As a result, photoinactivation of catalase and H2O2 synergistically eliminated a wide range of catalase-positive planktonic bacteria and P. aeruginosa inside biofilms. In addition, photoinactivation of catalase was shown to facilitate macrophage defense against intracellular pathogens. The antimicrobial efficacy of catalase photoinactivation was validated using a Pseudomonas aeruginosa–induced mouse abrasion model. Taken together, our findings offer a catalase-targeting phototherapy approach against multidrug-resistant bacterial infections.
Pu-Ting Dong, Sebastian Jusuf, Jie Hui, Yuewei Zhan, Yifan Zhu, George Y. Liu, Ji-Xin Cheng
Rhodopsin-associated (RHO-associated) retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a progressive retinal disease that currently has no cure. RHO protein misfolding leads to disturbed proteostasis and the death of rod photoreceptors, resulting in decreased vision. We previously identified nonretinoid chaperones of RHO, including YC-001 and F5257-0462, by small-molecule high-throughput screening. Here, we profile the chaperone activities of these molecules toward the cell-surface level of 27 RP-causing human RHO mutants in NIH3T3 cells. Furthermore, using retinal explant culture, we show that YC-001 improves retinal proteostasis by supporting RHO homeostasis in RhoP23H/+ mouse retinae, which results in thicker outer nuclear layers (ONL), indicating delayed photoreceptor degeneration. Interestingly, YC-001 ameliorated retinal immune responses and reduced the number of microglia/macrophages in the RhoP23H/+ retinal explants. Similarly, F5257-0462 also protects photoreceptors in RhoP23H/+ retinal explants. In vivo, intravitreal injection of YC-001 or F5257-0462 microparticles in PBS shows that F5257-0462 has a higher efficacy in preserving photoreceptor function and delaying photoreceptor death in RhoP23H/+ mice. Collectively, we provide proof of principle that nonretinoid chaperones are promising drug candidates in treating RHO-associated RP.
Abhishek Vats, Yibo Xi, Bing Feng, Owen D. Clinger, Anthony J. St. Leger, Xujie Liu, Archisha Ghosh, Chase D. Dermond, Kira L. Lathrop, Gregory P. Tochtrop, Serge Picaud, Yuanyuan Chen
Insulin secretion from pancreatic β cells is essential for glucose homeostasis. An insufficient response to the demand for insulin results in diabetes. We previously showed that β cell–specific deletion of Zfp148 (β-Zfp148KO) improves glucose tolerance and insulin secretion in mice. Here, we performed Ca2+ imaging of islets from β‑Zfp148KO and control mice fed both a chow and a Western-style diet. β-Zfp148KO islets demonstrated improved sensitivity and sustained Ca2+ oscillations in response to elevated glucose levels. β-Zfp148KO islets also exhibited elevated sensitivity to amino acid–induced Ca2+ influx under low glucose conditions, suggesting enhanced mitochondrial phosphoenolpyruvate-dependent (PEP-dependent), ATP-sensitive K+ channel closure, independent of glycolysis. RNA-Seq and proteomics of β-Zfp148KO islets revealed altered levels of enzymes involved in amino acid metabolism (specifically, SLC3A2, SLC7A8, GLS, GLS2, PSPH, PHGDH, and PSAT1) and intermediary metabolism (namely, GOT1 and PCK2), consistent with altered PEP cycling. In agreement with this, β-Zfp148KO islets displayed enhanced insulin secretion in response to l-glutamine and activation of glutamate dehydrogenase. Understanding pathways controlled by ZFP148 may provide promising strategies for improving β cell function that are robust to the metabolic challenge imposed by a Western diet.
Christopher H. Emfinger, Eleonora de Klerk, Kathryn L. Schueler, Mary E. Rabaglia, Donnie S. Stapleton, Shane P. Simonett, Kelly A. Mitok, Ziyue Wang, Xinyue Liu, Joao A. Paulo, Qing Yu, Rebecca L. Cardone, Hannah R. Foster, Sophie L. Lewandowski, José C. Perales, Christina M. Kendziorski, Steven P. Gygi, Richard G. Kibbey, Mark P. Keller, Matthias Hebrok, Matthew J. Merrins, Alan D. Attie
The eukaryotic CDC45/MCM2-7/GINS (CMG) helicase unwinds the DNA double helix during DNA replication. The GINS subcomplex is required for helicase activity and is, therefore, essential for DNA replication and cell viability. Here, we report the identification of 7 individuals from 5 unrelated families presenting with a Meier-Gorlin syndrome–like (MGS-like) phenotype associated with hypomorphic variants of GINS3, a gene not previously associated with this syndrome. We found that MGS-associated GINS3 variants affecting aspartic acid 24 (D24) compromised cell proliferation and caused accumulation of cells in S phase. These variants shortened the protein half-life, altered key protein interactions at the replisome, and negatively influenced DNA replication fork progression. Yeast expressing MGS-associated variants of PSF3 (the yeast GINS3 ortholog) also displayed impaired growth, S phase progression defects, and decreased Psf3 protein stability. We further showed that mouse embryos homozygous for a D24 variant presented intrauterine growth retardation and did not survive to birth, and that fibroblasts derived from these embryos displayed accelerated cellular senescence. Taken together, our findings implicate GINS3 in the pathogenesis of MGS and support the notion that hypomorphic variants identified in this gene impaired cell and organismal growth by compromising DNA replication.
Mary E. McQuaid, Kashif Ahmed, Stephanie Tran, Justine Rousseau, Ranad Shaheen, Kristin D. Kernohan, Kyoko E. Yuki, Prerna Grover, Dominique Lévesque, Ema S. Dreseris, Sameen Ahmed, Lucie Dupuis, Jennifer Stimec, Mary Shago, Zuhair N. Al-Hassnan, Roch Tremblay, Philipp G. Maass, Michael D. Wilson, Eyal Grunebaum, Kym M. Boycott, François-Michel Boisvert, Sateesh Maddirevula, Eissa A. Faqeih, Fahad Almanjomi, Zaheer Ullah Khan, Fowzan S. Alkuraya, Philippe M. Campeau, Peter Kannu, Eric I. Campos, Hugo Wurtele
Elucidating how resident enteric bacteria interact with their hosts to promote health or inflammation is of central importance to diarrheal and inflammatory bowel diseases across species. Here, we integrated the microbial and chemical microenvironment of a patient’s ileal mucosa with their clinical phenotype and genotype to identify factors favoring the growth and virulence of adherent and invasive E. coli (AIEC) linked to Crohn’s disease. We determined that the ileal niche of AIEC was characterized by inflammation, dysbiosis, coculture of Enterococcus, and oxidative stress. We discovered that mucosal metabolites supported general growth of ileal E. coli, with a selective effect of ethanolamine on AIEC that was augmented by cometabolism of ileitis-associated amino acids and glutathione and by symbiosis-associated fucose. This metabolic plasticity was facilitated by the eut and pdu microcompartments, amino acid metabolism, γ-glutamyl-cycle, and pleiotropic stress responses. We linked metabolism to virulence and found that ethanolamine and glutamine enhanced AIEC motility, infectivity, and proinflammatory responses in vitro. We connected use of ethanolamine to intestinal inflammation and L-fuculose phosphate aldolase (fucA) to symbiosis in AIEC monoassociated IL10–/– mice. Collectively, we established that AIEC were pathoadapted to utilize mucosal metabolites associated with health and inflammation for growth and virulence, enabling the transition from symbiont to pathogen in a susceptible host.
Shiying Zhang, Xochitl Morgan, Belgin Dogan, Francois-Pierre Martin, Suzy Strickler, Akihiko Oka, Jeremy Herzog, Bo Liu, Scot E. Dowd, Curtis Huttenhower, Matthieu Pichaud, Esra I. Dogan, Jack Satsangi, Randy Longman, Rhonda Yantiss, Lukas A. Mueller, Ellen J. Scherl, R. Balfour Sartor, Kenneth W. Simpson
Uromodulin (UMOD) is a major risk gene for monogenic and complex forms of kidney disease. The encoded kidney-specific protein uromodulin is highly abundant in urine and related to chronic kidney disease, hypertension, and pathogen defense. To gain insights into potential systemic roles, we performed genome-wide screens of circulating uromodulin using complementary antibody-based and aptamer-based assays. We detected 3 and 10 distinct significant loci, respectively. Integration of antibody-based results at the UMOD locus with functional genomics data (RNA-Seq, ATAC-Seq, Hi-C) of primary human kidney tissue highlighted an upstream variant with differential accessibility and transcription in uromodulin-synthesizing kidney cells as underlying the observed cis effect. Shared association patterns with complex traits, including chronic kidney disease and blood pressure, placed the PRKAG2 locus in the same pathway as UMOD. Experimental validation of the third antibody-based locus, B4GALNT2, showed that the p.Cys466Arg variant of the encoded N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase had a loss-of-function effect leading to higher serum uromodulin levels. Aptamer-based results pointed to enzymes writing glycan marks present on uromodulin and to their receptors in the circulation, suggesting that this assay permits investigating uromodulin’s complex glycosylation rather than its quantitative levels. Overall, our study provides insights into circulating uromodulin and its emerging functions.
Yong Li, Yurong Cheng, Francesco Consolato, Guglielmo Schiano, Michael R. Chong, Maik Pietzner, Ngoc Quynh H. Nguyen, Nora Scherer, Mary L. Biggs, Marcus E. Kleber, Stefan Haug, Burulça Göçmen, Marie Pigeyre, Peggy Sekula, Inga Steinbrenner, Pascal Schlosser, Christina B. Joseph, Jennifer A. Brody, Morgan E. Grams, Caroline Hayward, Ulla T. Schultheiss, Bernhard K. Krämer, Florian Kronenberg, Annette Peters, Jochen Seissler, Dominik Steubl, Cornelia Then, Matthias Wuttke, Winfried März, Kai-Uwe Eckardt, Christian Gieger, Eric Boerwinkle, Bruce M. Psaty, Josef Coresh, Peter J. Oefner, Guillaume Pare, Claudia Langenberg, Jürgen E. Scherberich, Bing Yu, Shreeram Akilesh, Olivier Devuyst, Luca Rampoldi, Anna Köttgen
Shortness of breath, chest pain, and palpitations occur as postacute sequelae of COVID-19, but whether symptoms are associated with echocardiographic abnormalities, cardiac biomarkers, or markers of systemic inflammation remains unknown. In a cross-sectional analysis, we assessed symptoms, performed echocardiograms, and measured biomarkers among adults more than 8 weeks after confirmed SARS-CoV-2 infection. We modeled associations between symptoms and baseline characteristics, echocardiographic findings, and biomarkers using logistic regression. We enrolled 102 participants at a median of 7.2 months following COVID-19 onset; 47 individuals reported dyspnea, chest pain, or palpitations. Median age was 52 years, and 41% of participants were women. Female sex, hospitalization, IgG antibody against SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain, and C-reactive protein were associated with symptoms. Regarding echocardiographic findings, 4 of 47 participants (9%) with symptoms had pericardial effusions compared with 0 of 55 participants without symptoms; those with effusions had a median of 4 symptoms compared with a median of 1 symptom in those without effusions. There was no strong evidence for a relationship between symptoms and echocardiographic functional parameters or other biomarkers. Among adults more than 8 weeks after SARS-CoV-2 infection, SARS-CoV-2 RBD antibodies, markers of inflammation, and, possibly, pericardial effusions are associated with cardiopulmonary symptoms. Investigation into inflammation as a mechanism underlying postacute sequelae of COVID-19 is warranted.
Matthew S. Durstenfeld, Michael J. Peluso, J. Daniel Kelly, Sithu Win, Shreya Swaminathan, Danny Li, Victor M. Arechiga, Victor Zepeda, Kaiwen Sun, Shirley Shao, Christopher Hill, Mireya I. Arreguin, Scott Lu, Rebecca Hoh, Viva Tai, Ahmed Chenna, Brandon C. Yee, John W. Winslow, Christos J. Petropoulos, John Kornak, Timothy J. Henrich, Jeffrey N. Martin, Steven G. Deeks, Priscilla Y. Hsue
The androgen receptor (AR) is a master transcription factor that regulates prostate cancer (PC) development and progression. Inhibition of AR signaling by androgen deprivation is the first-line therapy with initial efficacy for advanced and recurrent PC. Paradoxically, supraphysiological levels of testosterone (SPT) also inhibit PC progression. However, as with any therapy, not all patients show a therapeutic benefit, and responses differ widely in magnitude and duration. In this study, we evaluated whether differences in the AR cistrome before treatment can distinguish between SPT-responding (R) and -nonresponding (NR) tumors. We provide the first preclinical evidence to our knowledge that SPT-R tumors exhibit a distinct AR cistrome when compared with SPT-NR tumors, indicating a differential biological role of the AR. We applied an integrated analysis of ChIP-Seq and RNA-Seq to the pretreatment tumors and identified an SPT-R signature that distinguishes R and NR tumors. Because transcriptomes of SPT-treated clinical specimens are not available, we interrogated available castration-resistant PC (CRPC) transcriptomes and showed that the SPT-R signature is associated with improved survival and has the potential to identify patients who would respond to SPT. These findings provide an opportunity to identify the subset of patients with CRPC who would benefit from SPT therapy.
Xintao Qiu, Lisha G. Brown, Jennifer L. Conner, Holly M. Nguyen, Nadia Boufaied, Sarah Abou Alaiwi, Ji-Heui Seo, Talal El Zarif, Connor Bell, Edward O’Connor, Brian Hanratty, Mark Pomerantz, Matthew L. Freedman, Myles Brown, Michael C. Haffner, Peter S. Nelson, Felix Y. Feng, David P. Labbé, Henry W. Long, Eva Corey
Molecular signaling in the tumor microenvironment (TME) is complex, and crosstalk among various cell compartments in supporting metastasis remains poorly understood. In particular, the role of vascular pericytes, a critical cellular component in the TME, in cancer invasion and metastasis warrants further investigation. Here, we report that an elevation of FGF-2 signaling in samples from patients with nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) and xenograft mouse models promoted NPC metastasis. Mechanistically, tumor cell–derived FGF-2 strongly promoted pericyte proliferation and pericyte-specific expression of an orphan chemokine (C-X-C motif) ligand 14 (CXCL14) via FGFR1/AHR signaling. Gain- and loss-of-function experiments validated that pericyte-derived CXCL14 promoted macrophage recruitment and polarization toward an M2-like phenotype. Genetic knockdown of FGF2 or genetic depletion of tumoral pericytes blocked CXCL14 expression and tumor-associated macrophage (TAM) infiltration. Pharmacological inhibition of TAMs by clodronate liposome treatment resulted in a reduction of FGF-2–induced pulmonary metastasis. Together, these findings shed light on the inflammatory role of tumoral pericytes in promoting TAM-mediated metastasis. We provide mechanistic insight into an FGF-2/FGFR1/pericyte/CXCL14/TAM stromal communication axis in NPC and propose an effective antimetastasis therapy concept by targeting a pericyte-derived inflammation for NPC or FGF-2hi tumors.
Yujie Wang, Qi Sun, Ying Ye, Xiaoting Sun, Sisi Xie, Yuhang Zhan, Jian Song, Xiaoqin Fan, Bin Zhang, Ming Yang, Lei Lv, Kayoko Hosaka, Yunlong Yang, Guohui Nie
The RTS,S/AS01E vaccine targets the circumsporozoite protein (CSP) of the Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) parasite. Protein microarrays were used to measure levels of IgG against 1000 P. falciparum antigens in 2138 infants (age 6–12 weeks) and children (age 5–17 months) from 6 African sites of the phase III trial, sampled before and at 4 longitudinal visits after vaccination. One month postvaccination, IgG responses to 17% of all probed antigens showed differences between RTS,S/AS01E and comparator vaccination groups, whereas no prevaccination differences were found. A small subset of antigens presented IgG levels reaching 4- to 8-fold increases in the RTS,S/AS01E group, comparable in magnitude to anti-CSP IgG levels (~11-fold increase). They were strongly cross-correlated and correlated with anti-CSP levels, waning similarly over time and reincreasing with the booster dose. Such an intriguing phenomenon may be due to cross-reactivity of anti-CSP antibodies with these antigens. RTS,S/AS01E vaccinees with strong off-target IgG responses had an estimated lower clinical malaria incidence after adjusting for age group, site, and postvaccination anti-CSP levels. RTS,S/AS01E-induced IgG may bind strongly not only to CSP, but also to unrelated malaria antigens, and this seems to either confer, or at least be a marker of, increased protection from clinical malaria.
Dídac Macià, Joseph J. Campo, Gemma Moncunill, Chenjerai Jairoce, Augusto J. Nhabomba, Maximilian Mpina, Hermann Sorgho, David Dosoo, Ousmane Traore, Kwadwo Asamoah Kusi, Nana Aba Williams, Amit Oberai, Arlo Randall, Hèctor Sanz, Clarissa Valim, Kwaku Poku Asante, Seth Owusu-Agyei, Halidou Tinto, Selidji Todagbe Agnandji, Simon Kariuki, Ben Gyan, Claudia Daubenberger, Benjamin Mordmüller, Paula Petrone, Carlota Dobaño
The survival of motor neuron (SMN) protein is a major component of the pre-mRNA splicing machinery and is required for RNA metabolism. Although SMN has been considered a fundamental gene for the central nervous system, due to its relationship with neuromuscular diseases, such as spinal muscular atrophy, recent studies have also revealed the requirement of SMN in non-neuronal cells in the peripheral regions. Here, we report that the fibro-adipogenic progenitor subpopulation expressing Dpp4 (Dpp4+ FAPs) is required for the neuromuscular system. Furthermore, we also reveal that BRCA1-associated protein-1 (Bap1) is crucial for the stabilization of SMN in FAPs by preventing its ubiquitination-dependent degradation. Inactivation of Bap1 in FAPs decreased SMN levels and accompanied degeneration of the neuromuscular junction, leading to loss of motor neurons and muscle atrophy. Overexpression of the ubiquitination-resistant SMN variant, SMNK186R, in Bap1-null FAPs completely prevented neuromuscular degeneration. In addition, transplantation of Dpp4+ FAPs, but not Dpp4– FAPs, completely rescued neuromuscular defects. Our data reveal the crucial role of Bap1-mediated SMN stabilization in Dpp4+ FAPs for the neuromuscular system and provide the possibility of cell-based therapeutics to treat neuromuscular diseases.
Ji-Hoon Kim, Jong-Seol Kang, Kyusang Yoo, Jinguk Jeong, Inkuk Park, Jong Ho Park, Joonwoo Rhee, Shin Jeon, Young-Woo Jo, Sang-Hyeon Hann, Minji Seo, Seungtae Moon, Soo-Jong Um, Rho Hyun Seong, Young-Yun Kong
Erythropoietin (EPO) has multiple nonerythropoietic functions, including immune modulation, but EPO’s effects in transplantation remain incompletely understood. We tested the mechanisms linking EPO administration to prolongation of murine heterotopic heart transplantation using WT and conditional EPO receptor–knockout (EPOR-knockout) mice as recipients. In WT controls, peritransplant administration of EPO synergized with CTLA4-Ig to prolong allograft survival (P < 0.001), reduce frequencies of donor-reactive effector CD8+ T cells in the spleen (P < 0.001) and in the graft (P < 0.05), and increase frequencies and total numbers of donor-reactive Tregs (P < 0.01 for each) versus CTLA4-Ig alone. Studies performed in conditional EPOR-knockout recipients showed that each of these differences required EPOR expression in myeloid cells but not in T cells. Analysis of mRNA isolated from spleen monocytes showed that EPO/EPOR ligation upregulated macrophage-expressed, antiinflammatory, regulatory, and pro-efferocytosis genes and downregulated selected proinflammatory genes. Taken together, the data support the conclusion that EPO promotes Treg-dependent murine cardiac allograft survival by crucially altering the phenotype and function of macrophages. Coupled with our previous documentation that EPO promotes Treg expansion in humans, the data support the need for testing the addition of EPO to costimulatory blockade-containing immunosuppression regimens in an effort to prolong human transplant survival.
Julian K. Horwitz, Sofia Bin, Robert L. Fairchild, Karen S. Keslar, Zhengzi Yi, Weijia Zhang, Vasile I. Pavlov, Yansui Li, Joren C. Madsen, Paolo Cravedi, Peter S. Heeger
Cytokine therapy is limited by undesirable off-target side effects as well as terminal differentiation and exhaustion of chronically stimulated T cells. Here, we describe the signaling properties of a potentially unique cytokine by design, where T cell surface binding and signaling are separated between 2 different families of receptors. This fusion protein cytokine, called OMCPmutIL-2, bound with high affinity to the cytotoxic lymphocyte-defining immunoreceptor NKG2D but signaled through the common γ chain cytokine receptor. In addition to precise activation of cytotoxic T cells due to redirected binding, OMCPmutIL-2 resulted in superior activation of both human and murine CD8+ T cells by improving their survival and memory cell generation and decreasing exhaustion. This functional improvement was the direct result of altered signal transduction based on the reorganization of surface membrane lipid rafts that led to Janus kinase-3–mediated phosphorylation of the T cell receptor rather than STAT/AKT signaling intermediates. This potentially novel signaling pathway increased CD8+ T cell response to low-affinity antigens, activated nuclear factor of activated T cells transcription factors, and promoted mitochondrial biogenesis. OMCPmutIL-2 thus outperformed other common γ chain cytokines as a catalyst for in vitro CD8+ T cell expansion and in vivo CD8+ T cell–based immunotherapy.
Anirban Banerjee, Dongge Li, Yizhan Guo, Zhongcheng Mei, Christine Lau, Kelly Chen, John Westwick, Jeffery B. Klauda, Adam Schrum, Eric R. Lazear, Alexander S. Krupnick
A major challenge in managing acute viral infections is ameliorating disease when treatment is delayed. Previously, we reported the success of a 2-pronged mAb and antiviral remdesivir therapeutic approach to treat advanced illness in rhesus monkeys infected with Marburg virus (MARV). Here, we explored the benefit of a similar combination therapy for Sudan ebolavirus (Sudan virus; SUDV) infection. Importantly, no licensed anti-SUDV therapeutics currently exist, and infection of rhesus macaques with SUDV results in a rapid disease course similar to MARV with a mean time to death of 8.3 days. When initiation of therapy with either remdesivir or a pan-ebolavirus mAb cocktail (MBP431) was delayed until 6 days after inoculation, only 20% of macaques survived. In contrast, when remdesivir and MBP431 treatment were combined beginning 6 days after inoculation, significant protection (80%) was achieved. Our results suggest that combination therapy may be a viable treatment for patients with advanced filovirus disease that warrants further clinical testing in future outbreaks.
Robert W. Cross, Zachary A. Bornholdt, Abhishek N. Prasad, Courtney Woolsey, Viktoriya Borisevich, Krystle N. Agans, Daniel J. Deer, Dafna M. Abelson, Do H. Kim, William S. Shestowsky, Lioudmila A. Campbell, Elaine Bunyan, Joan B. Geisbert, Natalie S. Dobias, Karla A. Fenton, Danielle P. Porter, Larry Zeitlin, Thomas W. Geisbert
Background Breakthrough SARS-CoV-2 infections in vaccinated individuals have been previously associated with suboptimal humoral immunity. However, less is known about breakthrough infections with the Omicron variant.Methods We analyzed SARS-CoV-2–specific antibody and cellular responses in healthy vaccine recipients who experienced breakthrough infections a median of 50 days after receiving a booster mRNA vaccine with an ACE2 binding inhibition assay and an ELISpot assay, respectively.Results We found that high levels of antibodies inhibited vaccine strain spike protein binding to ACE2 but that lower levels inhibited Omicron variant spike protein binding to ACE2 in 4 boosted vaccine recipients prior to infection. The levels of antibodies that inhibited vaccine strain and Omicron spike protein binding after breakthrough in 18 boosted vaccine recipients were similar to levels seen in COVID-19–negative boosted vaccine recipients. In contrast, boosted vaccine recipients had significantly stronger T cell responses to both vaccine strain and Omicron variant spike proteins at the time of breakthrough.Conclusion Our data suggest that breakthrough infections with the Omicron variant can occur despite robust immune responses to the vaccine strain spike protein.Funding This work was supported by the Johns Hopkins COVID-19 Vaccine-related Research Fund and by funds from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Disease intramural program as well as awards from the National Cancer Institute (U54CA260491) and the National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Disease (K08AI156021 and U01AI138897).
Bezawit A. Woldemeskel, Caroline C. Garliss, Tihitina Y. Aytenfisu, Trevor S. Johnston, Evan J. Beck, Arbor G. Dykema, Nicole Frumento, Desiree A. Wright, Andrew H. Yang, Alexander I. Damanakis, Oliver Laeyendecker, Andrea L. Cox, Heba H. Mostafa, Andrew H. Karaba, Joel N. Blankson
Background Although traditional lipid parameters and coronary imaging techniques are valuable for cardiovascular disease (CVD) risk prediction, better diagnostic tests are still needed.Methods In a prospective, observational study, 795 individuals had extensive cardiometabolic profiling, including emerging biomarkers, such as apolipoprotein E–containing HDL-cholesterol (ApoE-HDL-C). Coronary artery calcium (CAC) score was assessed in the entire cohort, and quantitative coronary computed tomography angiography (CCTA) characterization of total burden, noncalcified burden (NCB), and fibrous plaque burden (FB) was performed in a subcohort (n = 300) of patients stratified by concentration of ApoE-HDL-C. Total and HDL-containing apolipoprotein C-III (ApoC-III) were also measured.Results Most patients had a clinical diagnosis of coronary artery disease (CAD) (n = 80.4% of 795), with mean age of 59 years, a majority being male (57%), and about half on statin treatment. The low ApoE-HDL-C group had more severe stenosis (11% vs. 2%, overall P < 0.001), with higher CAC as compared with high ApoE-HDL-C. On quantitative CCTA, the high ApoE-HDL-C group had lower NCB (β = –0.24, P = 0.0001), which tended to be significant in a fully adjusted model (β = –0.32, P = 0.001) and altered by ApoC-III in HDL levels. Low ApoE-HDL-C was significantly associated with LDL particle number (β = 0.31; P = 0.0001). Finally, when stratified by FB, ApoC-III in HDL showed a more robust predictive value of CAD over ApoE-HDL-C (AUC: 0.705, P = 0.0001) in a fully adjusted model.Conclusion ApoE-containing HDL-C showed a significant association with early coronary plaque characteristics and is affected by the presence of ApoC-III, indicating that low ApoE-HDL-C and high ApoC-III may be important markers of CVD severity.Trial Registration ClinicalTrials.gov: NCT01621594.Funding This work was supported by the NHLBI at the NIH Intramural Research Program.
Alexander V. Sorokin, Nidhi Patel, Khaled M. Abdelrahman, Clarence Ling, Mart Reimund, Giorgio Graziano, Maureen Sampson, Martin P. Playford, Amit K. Dey, Aarthi Reddy, Heather L. Teague, Michael Stagliano, Marcelo Amar, Marcus Y. Chen, Nehal N. Mehta, Alan T. Remaley