We describe a mechanism responsible for systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). In humans with SLE and in 2 SLE murine models, there was marked enrichment of isolevuglandin-adducted proteins (isoLG adducts) in monocytes and dendritic cells. We found that antibodies formed against isoLG adducts in both SLE-prone mice and humans with SLE. In addition, isoLG ligation of the transcription factor PU.1 at a critical DNA binding site markedly reduced transcription of all C1q subunits. Treatment of SLE-prone mice with the specific isoLG scavenger 2-hydroxybenzylamine (2-HOBA) ameliorated parameters of autoimmunity, including plasma cell expansion, circulating IgG levels, and anti-dsDNA antibody titers. 2-HOBA also lowered blood pressure, attenuated renal injury, and reduced inflammatory gene expression uniquely in C1q-expressing dendritic cells. Thus, isoLG adducts play an essential role in the genesis and maintenance of systemic autoimmunity and hypertension in SLE.
David M. Patrick, Néstor de la Visitación, Jaya Krishnan, Wei Chen, Michelle J. Ormseth, C. Michael Stein, Sean S. Davies, Venkataraman Amarnath, Leslie J. Crofford, Jonathan M. Williams, Shilin Zhao, Charles D. Smart, Sergey Dikalov, Anna Dikalova, Liang Xiao, Justin P. Van Beusecum, Mingfang Ao, Agnes B. Fogo, Annet Kirabo, David G. Harrison
IL-1 receptor-activated kinase 1 (IRAK1) is involved in signal transduction downstream of many TLRs and the IL-1R. Its potential as a drug target for chronic inflammatory diseases is underappreciated. To study its functional role in joint inflammation, we generated a mouse model expressing a functionally inactive IRAK1 (IRAK1 kinase deficient, IRAK1KD), which also displayed reduced IRAK1 protein expression and cell type–specific deficiencies of TLR signaling. The serum transfer model of arthritis revealed a potentially novel role of IRAK1 for disease development and neutrophil chemoattraction exclusively via its activity in nonhematopoietic cells. Consistently, IRAK1KD synovial fibroblasts showed reduced secretion of neutrophil chemoattractant chemokines following stimulation with IL-1β or human synovial fluids from patients with rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and gout. Together with patients with RA showing prominent IRAK1 expression in fibroblasts of the synovial lining, these data suggest that targeting IRAK1 may be therapeutically beneficial. As pharmacological inhibition of IRAK1 kinase activity had only mild effects on synovial fibroblasts from mice and patients with RA, targeted degradation of IRAK1 may be the preferred pharmacologic modality. Collectively, these data position IRAK1 as a central regulator of the IL-1β–dependent local inflammatory milieu of the joints and a potential therapeutic target for inflammatory arthritis.
Thomas Hoyler, Bettina Bannert, Cédric André, Damian Beck, Thomas Boulay, David Buffet, Nadja Caesar, Thomas Calzascia, Janet Dawson, Diego Kyburz, Robert Hennze, Christine Huppertz, Amanda Littlewood-Evans, Pius Loetscher, Kirsten D. Mertz, Satoru Niwa, Gautier Robert, James S. Rush, Giulia Ruzzante, Sophie Sarret, Thomas Stein, Ismahane Touil, Grazyna Wieczorek, Geraldine Zipfel, Stuart Hawtin, Tobias Junt
Psoriasis is a chronic, inflammatory skin disease, frequently associated with dyslipidemia. Lipid disturbance in psoriasis affects both circulatory system and cutaneous tissue. Epidermal Langerhans cells (LCs) are tissue-resident DCs that maintain skin immune surveillance and mediate various cutaneous disorders, including psoriasis. However, the role of LCs in psoriasis development and their lipid metabolic alternation remains unclear. Here, we demonstrate that epidermal LCs of psoriasis patients enlarge with longer dendrites and possess elevated IL-23p19 mRNA and a higher level of neutral lipids when compared with normal LCs of healthy individuals. Accordantly, epidermal LCs from imiquimod-induced psoriasis-like dermatitis in mice display overmaturation, enhanced phagocytosis, and excessive secretion of IL-23. Remarkably, these altered immune properties in lesional LCs are tightly correlated with elevated neutral lipid levels. Moreover, the increased lipid content of psoriatic LCs might result from impaired autophagy of lipids. Bulk RNA-Seq analysis identifies dysregulated genes involved in lipid metabolism, autophagy, and immunofunctions in murine LCs. Overall, our data suggest that dysregulated lipid metabolism influences LC immunofunction, which contributes to the development of psoriasis, and therapeutic manipulation of this metabolic process might provide an effective measurement for psoriasis.
Xilin Zhang, Xiaorui Li, Yuanyuan Wang, Youdong Chen, Yijun Hu, Chunyuan Guo, Zengyang Yu, Peng Xu, Yangfeng Ding, Qing-Sheng Mi, Jianhua Wu, Jun Gu, Yuling Shi
Rearrangements that drive ectopic MEF2C expression have recurrently been found in patients with human early thymocyte progenitor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ETP-ALL). Here, we show high levels of MEF2C expression in patients with ETP-ALL. Using both in vivo and in vitro models of ETP-ALL, we demonstrate that elevated MEF2C expression blocks NOTCH-induced T cell differentiation while promoting a B-lineage program. MEF2C activates a B cell transcriptional program in addition to RUNX1, GATA3, and LMO2; upregulates the IL-7R; and boosts cell survival by upregulation of BCL2. MEF2C and the Notch pathway, therefore, demarcate opposite regulators of B- or T-lineage choices, respectively. Enforced MEF2C expression in mouse or human progenitor cells effectively blocks early T cell differentiation and promotes the development of biphenotypic lymphoid tumors that coexpress CD3 and CD19, resembling human mixed phenotype acute leukemia. Salt-inducible kinase (SIK) inhibitors impair MEF2C activity and alleviate the T cell developmental block. Importantly, this sensitizes cells to prednisolone treatment. Therefore, SIK-inhibiting compounds such as dasatinib are potentially valuable additions to standard chemotherapy for human ETP-ALL.
Kirsten Canté-Barrett, Mariska T. Meijer, Valentina Cordo’, Rico Hagelaar, Wentao Yang, Jiyang Yu, Willem K. Smits, Marloes E. Nulle, Joris P. Jansen, Rob Pieters, Jun J. Yang, Jody J. Haigh, Steven Goossens, Jules P.P. Meijerink
Liver diseases have become a major comorbidity health concern for people living with HIV-1 (PLWH) treated with combination antiretroviral therapy (cART). To investigate if HIV-1 infection and cART interact to lead to liver diseases, humanized mice reconstituted with progenitor cells from human fetal livers were infected with HIV-1 and treated with cART. We report here that chronic HIV-1 infection with cART induced hepatitis and liver fibrosis in humanized mice, associated with accumulation of M2-like macrophages (M2LMs), elevated TGF-β, and IFN signaling in the liver. Interestingly, IFN-I and TGF-β cooperatively activated human hepatic stellate cells (HepSCs) in vitro. Mechanistically, IFN-I enhanced TGF-β–induced SMAD2/3 activation in HepSCs. Finally, blockade of IFN-I signaling reversed HIV/cART-induced liver diseases in humanized mice. Consistent with the findings in humanized mice with HIV-1 and cART, we detected elevated markers of liver injury, M2LMs, and of IFN signaling in blood specimens from PLWH compared with those of healthy individuals. These findings identify the IFN-I/M2LM/HepSC axis in HIV/cART-induced liver diseases and suggest that inhibiting IFN-I signaling or M2LM may provide a novel therapeutic strategy for treating HIV/cART-associated liver diseases in PLWH treated with antiretroviral therapy.
James Ahodantin, Kouki Nio, Masaya Funaki, Xuguang Zhai, Eleanor Wilson, Shyamasundaran Kottilil, Liang Cheng, Guangming Li, Lishan Su
Cardiac pathological remodeling, a primary contributor to heart failure (HF) and death, is an important target for HF therapy. However, the signaling pathways that govern cardiac remodeling are not fully elucidated. Here, we found that a functionally unannotated human myocardial infarction–associated (MI-associated) gene, family with sequence similarity 114 member A1 (FAM114A1), is induced in failing human and mouse hearts compared with nonfailing hearts. Homozygous KO of Fam114a1 (Fam114a1–/–) in the mouse genome reduces cardiomyocyte hypertrophy, inflammation, and cardiac fibrosis while restoring cardiac function in angiotensin II–induced (Ang II–induced) and MI-induced HF mouse models. Cardiac fibroblasts (CFs) exhibit the highest FAM114A1 expression among different cardiac cell types. FAM114A1 is a critical autonomous factor for CF proliferation, activation, and migration. Mechanistically, FAM114A1 interacts with angiotensin receptor–associated protein (AGTRAP) and regulates the expression of angiotensin type 1 receptor (AT1R) and downstream Ang II signaling transduction, and it subsequently influences profibrotic response. Our results indicate that FAM114A1 regulates Ang II signaling, thereby activating CFs and other cardiac cells and augmenting pathological cardiac remodeling. These findings provide potentially novel insights into the regulation of cardiac remodeling and identify FAM114A1 as a therapeutic target for the treatment of heart disease.
Kadiam C. Venkata Subbaiah, Jiangbin Wu, Wai Hong Wilson Tang, Peng Yao
Nephrolithiasis is a common and recurrent disease affecting 9% of the US population. Hyperoxaluria is major risk factor for calcium oxalate kidney stones, which constitute two-thirds of all kidney stones. SLC26A3 (DRA, downregulated in adenoma) is an anion exchanger of chloride, bicarbonate, and oxalate thought to facilitate intestinal oxalate absorption, as evidenced by approximately 70% reduced urine oxalate excretion in knockout mice. We previously identified a small-molecule SLC26A3 inhibitor (DRAinh-A270) that selectively inhibited SLC26A3-mediated chloride/bicarbonate exchange (IC50 ~ 35 nM) and, as found here, oxalate/chloride exchange (IC50 ~ 60 nM). In colonic closed loops in mice, luminal DRAinh-A270 inhibited oxalate absorption by 70%. Following oral sodium oxalate loading in mice, DRAinh-A270 largely prevented the 2.5-fold increase in urine oxalate/creatinine ratio. In a mouse model of oxalate nephropathy produced by a high-oxalate low-calcium diet, vehicle-treated mice developed marked hyperoxaluria with elevated serum creatinine, renal calcium oxalate crystal deposition, and renal injury, which were largely prevented by DRAinh-A270 (10 mg/kg twice daily). DRAinh-A270 administered over 7 days to healthy mice did not show significant toxicity. Our findings support a major role of SLC26A3 in intestinal oxalate absorption and suggest the therapeutic utility of SLC26A3 inhibition for treatment of hyperoxaluria and prevention of calcium oxalate nephrolithiasis.
Onur Cil, Tifany Chu, Sujin Lee, Peter M. Haggie, Alan S. Verkman
Vitiligo is an autoimmune skin disease characterized by the destruction of melanocytes by autoreactive CD8+ T cells. Melanocyte destruction in active vitiligo is mediated by CD8+ T cells, but the persistence of white patches in stable disease is poorly understood. The interaction between immune cells, melanocytes, and keratinocytes in situ in human skin has been difficult to study due to the lack of proper tools. We combine noninvasive multiphoton microscopy (MPM) imaging and single-cell RNA-Seq (scRNA-Seq) to identify subpopulations of keratinocytes in stable vitiligo patients. We show that, compared with nonlesional skin, some keratinocyte subpopulations are enriched in lesional vitiligo skin and shift their energy utilization toward oxidative phosphorylation. Systematic investigation of cell-to-cell communication networks show that this small population of keratinocyte secrete CXCL9 and CXCL10 to potentially drive vitiligo persistence. Pseudotemporal dynamics analyses predict an alternative differentiation trajectory that generates this new population of keratinocytes in vitiligo skin. Further MPM imaging of patients undergoing punch grafting treatment showed that keratinocytes favoring oxidative phosphorylation persist in nonresponders but normalize in responders. In summary, we couple advanced imaging with transcriptomics and bioinformatics to discover cell-to-cell communication networks and keratinocyte cell states that can perpetuate inflammation and prevent repigmentation.
Jessica Shiu, Lihua Zhang, Griffin Lentsch, Jessica L. Flesher, Suoqin Jin, Christopher Polleys, Seong Jin Jo, Craig Mizzoni, Pezhman Mobasher, Jasmine Kwan, Francisca Rius-Diaz, Bruce J. Tromberg, Irene Georgakoudi, Qing Nie, Mihaela Balu, Anand K. Ganesan
The role of immune responses to previously seen endemic coronavirus epitopes in severe acute respiratory coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection and disease progression has not yet been determined. Here, we show that a key characteristic of fatal outcomes with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) is that the immune response to the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein is enriched for antibodies directed against epitopes shared with endemic beta-coronaviruses and has a lower proportion of antibodies targeting the more protective variable regions of the spike. The magnitude of antibody responses to the SARS-CoV-2 full-length spike protein, its domains and subunits, and the SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid also correlated strongly with responses to the endemic beta-coronavirus spike proteins in individuals admitted to an intensive care unit (ICU) with fatal COVID-19 outcomes, but not in individuals with nonfatal outcomes. This correlation was found to be due to the antibody response directed at the S2 subunit of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein, which has the highest degree of conservation between the beta-coronavirus spike proteins. Intriguingly, antibody responses to the less cross-reactive SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid were not significantly different in individuals who were admitted to an ICU with fatal and nonfatal outcomes, suggesting an antibody profile in individuals with fatal outcomes consistent with an “original antigenic sin” type response.
Anna L. McNaughton, Robert S. Paton, Matthew Edmans, Jonathan Youngs, Judith Wellens, Prabhjeet Phalora, Alex Fyfe, Sandra Belij-Rammerstorfer, Jai S. Bolton, Jonathan Ball, George W. Carnell, Wanwisa Dejnirattisai, Christina Dold, David W. Eyre, Philip Hopkins, Alison Howarth, Kreepa Kooblall, Hannah Klim, Susannah Leaver, Lian Ni Lee, César López-Camacho, Sheila F. Lumley, Derek C. Macallan, Alexander J. Mentzer, Nicholas M. Provine, Jeremy Ratcliff, Jose Slon-Compos, Donal Skelly, Lucas Stolle, Piyada Supasa, Nigel Temperton, Chris Walker, Beibei Wang, Duncan Wyncoll, Oxford Protective T Cell Immunology for COVID-19 (OPTIC) consortium, Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service (SNBTS) consortium, Peter Simmonds, Teresa Lambe, John Kenneth Baillie, Malcolm G. Semple, Peter J.M. Openshaw, International Severe Acute Respiratory and emerging Infection Consortium Coronavirus Clinical Characterisation Consortium (ISARIC4C) investigators, Uri Obolski, Marc Turner, Miles Carroll, Juthathip Mongkolsapaya, Gavin Screaton, Stephen H. Kennedy, Lisa Jarvis, Eleanor Barnes, Susanna Dunachie, José Lourenço, Philippa C. Matthews, Tihana Bicanic, Paul Klenerman, Sunetra Gupta, Craig P. Thompson
BACKGROUND Prolonged symptoms after SARS-CoV-2 infection are well documented. However, which factors influence development of long-term symptoms, how symptoms vary across ethnic groups, and whether long-term symptoms correlate with biomarkers are points that remain elusive.METHODS Adult SARS-CoV-2 reverse transcription PCR–positive (RT-PCR–positive) patients were recruited at Stanford from March 2020 to February 2021. Study participants were seen for in-person visits at diagnosis and every 1–3 months for up to 1 year after diagnosis; they completed symptom surveys and underwent blood draws and nasal swab collections at each visit.RESULTS Our cohort (n = 617) ranged from asymptomatic to critical COVID-19 infections. In total, 40% of participants reported at least 1 symptom associated with COVID-19 six months after diagnosis. Median time from diagnosis to first resolution of all symptoms was 44 days; median time from diagnosis to sustained symptom resolution with no recurring symptoms for 1 month or longer was 214 days. Anti-nucleocapsid IgG level in the first week after positive RT-PCR test and history of lung disease were associated with time to sustained symptom resolution. COVID-19 disease severity, ethnicity, age, sex, and remdesivir use did not affect time to sustained symptom resolution.CONCLUSION We found that all disease severities had a similar risk of developing post–COVID-19 syndrome in an ethnically diverse population. Comorbid lung disease and lower levels of initial IgG response to SARS-CoV-2 nucleocapsid antigen were associated with longer symptom duration.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT04373148.FUNDING NIH UL1TR003142 CTSA grant, NIH U54CA260517 grant, NIEHS R21 ES03304901, Sean N Parker Center for Allergy and Asthma Research at Stanford University, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Sunshine Foundation, Crown Foundation, and Parker Foundation.
Xiaolin Jia, Shu Cao, Alexandra S. Lee, Monali Manohar, Sayantani B. Sindher, Neera Ahuja, Maja Artandi, Catherine A. Blish, Andra L. Blomkalns, Iris Chang, William J. Collins, Manisha Desai, Hena Naz Din, Evan Do, Andrea Fernandes, Linda N. Geng, Yael Rosenberg-Hasson, Megan Ruth Mahoney, Abigail L. Glascock, Lienna Y. Chan, Sharon Y. Fong, CLIAHUB Consortium, Chan Zuckerberg Biohub, Maira Phelps, Olivia Raeber, Stanford COVID-19 Biobank Study Group, Natasha Purington, Katharina Röltgen, Angela J. Rogers, Theo Snow, Taia T. Wang, Daniel Solis, Laura Vaughan, Michelle Verghese, Holden Maecker, Richard Wittman, Rajan Puri, Amy Kistler, Samuel Yang, Scott D. Boyd, Benjamin A. Pinsky, Sharon Chinthrajah, Kari C. Nadeau
Women of African ancestry suffer higher rates of breast cancer mortality compared with all other groups in the United States. Though the precise reasons for these disparities remain unclear, many recent studies have implicated a role for differences in tumor biology. Using an epitope-validated antibody against the endoplasmic reticulum–associated E3 ligase, gp78, we show that elevated levels of gp78 in patient breast cancer cells predict poor survival. Moreover, high levels of gp78 are associated with poor outcomes in both ER+ and ER– tumors, and breast cancers expressing elevated amounts of gp78 protein are enriched in gene expression pathways that influence cell cycle, metabolism, receptor-mediated signaling, and cell stress response pathways. In multivariate analysis adjusted for subtype and grade, gp78 protein is an independent predictor of poor outcomes in women of African ancestry. Furthermore, gene expression signatures, derived from patients stratified by gp78 protein expression, are strong predictors of recurrence and pathological complete response in retrospective clinical trial data and share many common features with gene sets previously identified to be overrepresented in breast cancers based on race. These findings implicate a prominent role for gp78 in tumor progression and offer insights into our understanding of racial differences in breast cancer outcomes.
Sandeep K. Singhal, Jung S. Byun, Tingfen Yan, Ryan Yancey, Ambar Caban, Sara Gil Hernandez, Sediqua Bufford, Stephen M. Hewitt, Joy Winfield, Jaya Pradhan, Vesco Mustkov, Jasmine A. McDonald, Eliseo J. Pérez-Stable, Anna María Nápoles, Nasreen Vohra, Adriana De Siervi, Clayton Yates, Melissa B. Davis, Mei Yang, Yien Che Tsai, Allan M. Weissman, Kevin Gardner
Most patients with neovascular age-related macular degeneration (nvAMD), the leading cause of severe vision loss in elderly US citizens, respond inadequately to current therapies targeting a single angiogenic mediator, vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). Here, we report that aqueous fluid levels of a second vasoactive mediator, angiopoietin-like 4 (ANGPTL4), can help predict the response of patients with nvAMD to anti-VEGF therapies. ANGPTL4 expression was higher in patients who required monthly treatment with anti-VEGF therapies compared with patients who could be effectively treated with less-frequent injections. We further demonstrate that ANGPTL4 acts synergistically with VEGF to promote the growth and leakage of choroidal neovascular (CNV) lesions in mice. Targeting ANGPTL4 expression was as effective as targeting VEGF expression for treating CNV in mice, while simultaneously targeting both was more effective than targeting either factor alone. To help translate these findings to patients, we used a soluble receptor that binds to both VEGF and ANGPTL4 and effectively inhibited the development of CNV lesions in mice. Our findings provide an assay that can help predict the response of patients with nvAMD to anti-VEGF monotherapy and suggest that therapies targeting both ANGPTL4 and VEGF will be a more effective approach for the treatment of this blinding disease.
Yu Qin, Aumreetam Dinabandhu, Xuan Cao, Jaron Castillo Sanchez, Kathleen Jee, Murilo Rodrigues, Chuanyu Guo, Jing Zhang, Jordan Vancel, Deepak Menon, Noore-Sabah Khan, Tao Ma, Stephany Y. Tzeng, Yassine Daoud, Jordan J. Green, Gregg L. Semenza, Silvia Montaner, Akrit Sodhi
LAMA2 deficiency, resulting from a defective or absent laminin α2 subunit, is a common cause of congenital muscular dystrophy. It is characterized by muscle weakness from myofiber degeneration and neuropathy from Schwann cell amyelination. Previously it was shown that transgenic muscle-specific expression of αLNNd, a laminin γ1–binding linker protein that enables polymerization in defective laminins, selectively ameliorates the muscle abnormality in mouse disease models. Here, adeno-associated virus was used to deliver linker mini-genes to dystrophic dy2J/dy2J mice for expression of αLNNd in muscle, or αLNNdΔG2′, a shortened linker, in muscle, nerve, and other tissues. Linker and laminin α2 levels were higher in αLNNdΔG2′-treated mice. Both αLNNd- and αLNNdΔG2′-treated mice exhibited increased forelimb grip strength. Further, αLNNdΔG2′-treated mice achieved hind limb and all-limb grip strength levels approaching those of WT mice as well as ablation of hind limb paresis and contractures. This was accompanied by restoration of sciatic nerve axonal envelopment and myelination. Improvement of muscle histology was evident in the muscle-specific αLNNd-expressing mice but more extensive in the αLNNdΔG2′-expressing mice. The results reveal that an αLN linker mini-gene, driven by a ubiquitous promoter, is superior to muscle-specific delivery because of its higher expression that extends to the peripheral nerve. These studies support a potentially novel approach of somatic gene therapy.
Karen K. McKee, Peter D. Yurchenco
Apolipoprotein C-III (apoC-III) is a critical regulator of triglyceride metabolism and correlates positively with hypertriglyceridemia and cardiovascular disease (CVD). It remains unclear if therapeutic apoC-III lowering reduces CVD risk and if the CVD correlation depends on the lipid-lowering or antiinflammatory properties. We determined the impact of interventional apoC-III lowering on atherogenesis using an apoC-III antisense oligonucleotide (ASO) in 2 hypertriglyceridemic mouse models where the intervention lowers plasma triglycerides and in a third lipid-refractory model. On a high-cholesterol Western diet apoC-III ASO treatment did not alter atherosclerotic lesion size but did attenuate advanced and unstable plaque development in the triglyceride-responsive mouse models. No lesion size or composition improvement was observed with apoC-III ASO in the lipid-refractory mice. To circumvent confounding effects of continuous high-cholesterol feeding, we tested the impact of interventional apoC-III lowering when switching to a cholesterol-poor diet after 12 weeks of Western diet. In this diet switch regimen, apoC-III ASO treatment significantly reduced plasma triglycerides, atherosclerotic lesion progression, and necrotic core area and increased fibrous cap thickness in lipid-responsive mice. Again, apoC-III ASO treatment did not alter triglyceride levels, lesion development, and lesion composition in lipid-refractory mice after the diet switch. Our findings suggest that interventional apoC-III lowering might be an effective strategy to reduce atherosclerosis lesion size and improve plaque stability when lipid lowering is achieved.
Bastian Ramms, Sohan Patel, Xiaoli Sun, Ariane R. Pessentheiner, G. Michelle Ducasa, Adam E. Mullick, Richard G. Lee, Rosanne M. Crooke, Sotirios Tsimikas, Joseph L. Witztum, Philip L.S.M. Gordts
Polyamine dysregulation plays key roles in a broad range of human diseases from cancer to neurodegeneration. Snyder-Robinson syndrome (SRS) is the first known genetic disorder of the polyamine pathway, caused by X-linked recessive loss-of-function mutations in spermine synthase. In the Drosophila SRS model, altered spermidine/spermine balance has been associated with increased generation of ROS and aldehydes, consistent with elevated spermidine catabolism. These toxic byproducts cause mitochondrial and lysosomal dysfunction, which are also observed in cells from SRS patients. No efficient therapy is available. We explored the biochemical mechanism and discovered acetyl-CoA reduction and altered protein acetylation as potentially novel pathomechanisms of SRS. We repurposed the FDA-approved drug phenylbutyrate (PBA) to treat SRS using an in vivo Drosophila model and patient fibroblast cell models. PBA treatment significantly restored the function of mitochondria and autolysosomes and extended life span in vivo in the Drosophila SRS model. Treating fibroblasts of patients with SRS with PBA ameliorated autolysosome dysfunction. We further explored the mechanism of drug action and found that PBA downregulates the first and rate-limiting spermidine catabolic enzyme spermidine/spermine N1-acetyltransferase 1 (SAT1), reduces the production of toxic metabolites, and inhibits the reduction of the substrate acetyl-CoA. Taken together, we revealed PBA as a potential modulator of SAT1 and acetyl-CoA levels and propose PBA as a therapy for SRS and potentially other polyamine dysregulation–related diseases.
Xianzun Tao, Yi Zhu, Zoraida Diaz-Perez, Seok-Ho Yu, Jackson R. Foley, Tracy Murray Stewart, Robert A. Casero Jr., Richard Steet, R. Grace Zhai
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is a leading cause of death among cirrhotic patients, for which chemopreventive strategies are lacking. Recently, we developed a simple human cell-based system modeling a clinical prognostic liver signature (PLS) predicting liver disease progression and HCC risk. In a previous study, we applied our cell-based system for drug discovery and identified captopril, an approved angiotensin converting enzyme (ACE) inhibitor, as a candidate compound for HCC chemoprevention. Here, we explored ACE as a therapeutic target for HCC chemoprevention. Captopril reduced liver fibrosis and effectively prevented liver disease progression toward HCC development in a diethylnitrosamine (DEN) rat cirrhosis model and a diet-based rat model for nonalcoholic steatohepatitis–induced (NASH-induced) hepatocarcinogenesis. RNA-Seq analysis of cirrhotic rat liver tissues uncovered that captopril suppressed the expression of pathways mediating fibrogenesis, inflammation, and carcinogenesis, including epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) signaling. Mechanistic data in liver disease models uncovered a cross-activation of the EGFR pathway by angiotensin. Corroborating the clinical translatability of the approach, captopril significantly reversed the HCC high-risk status of the PLS in liver tissues of patients with advanced fibrosis. Captopril effectively prevents fibrotic liver disease progression toward HCC development in preclinical models and is a generic and safe candidate drug for HCC chemoprevention.
Emilie Crouchet, Shen Li, Mozhdeh Sojoodi, Simonetta Bandiera, Naoto Fujiwara, Hussein El Saghire, Shijia Zhu, Tongqi Qian, Fahmida Akter Rasha, Fabio Del Zompo, Stephen C. Barrett, Eugénie Schaeffer, Marine A. Oudot, Clara Ponsolles, Sarah C. Durand, Sarani Ghoshal, Gunisha Arora, Fabio Giannone, Raymond T. Chung, Nevena Slovic, Nicolaas Van Renne, Emanuele Felli, Patrick Pessaux, Joachim Lupberger, Nathalie Pochet, Catherine Schuster, Kenneth K. Tanabe, Yujin Hoshida, Bryan C. Fuchs, Thomas F. Baumert
Chronic type 2 (T2) inflammatory diseases of the respiratory tract are characterized by mucus overproduction and disordered mucociliary function, which are largely attributed to the effects of IL-13 on common epithelial cell types (mucus secretory and ciliated cells). The role of rare cells in airway T2 inflammation is less clear, though tuft cells have been shown to be critical in the initiation of T2 immunity in the intestine. Using bulk and single-cell RNA sequencing of airway epithelium and mouse modeling, we found that IL-13 expanded and programmed airway tuft cells toward eicosanoid metabolism and that tuft cell deficiency led to a reduction in airway prostaglandin E2 (PGE2) concentration. Allergic airway epithelia bore a signature of PGE2 activation, and PGE2 activation led to cystic fibrosis transmembrane receptor–dependent ion and fluid secretion and accelerated mucociliary transport. These data reveal a role for tuft cells in regulating epithelial mucociliary function in the allergic airway.
Maya E. Kotas, Camille M. Moore, Jose G. Gurrola II, Steven D. Pletcher, Andrew N. Goldberg, Raquel Alvarez, Sheyla Yamato, Preston E. Bratcher, Ciaran A. Shaughnessy, Pamela L. Zeitlin, Irene H. Zhang, Yingchun Li, Michael T. Montgomery, Keehoon Lee, Emily K. Cope, Richard M. Locksley, Max A. Seibold, Erin D. Gordon
Vaccine-elicited SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses are an established correlate of protection against viral infection in humans and nonhuman primates. However, it is less clear that vaccine-induced immunity is able to limit infection-elicited inflammation in the lower respiratory tract. To assess this, we collected bronchoalveolar lavage fluid samples after SARS-CoV-2 strain USA-WA1/2020 challenge from rhesus macaques vaccinated with mRNA-1273 in a dose-reduction study. Single-cell transcriptomic profiling revealed a broad cellular landscape 48 hours after challenge, with distinct inflammatory signatures that correlated with viral RNA burden in the lower respiratory tract. These inflammatory signatures included phagocyte-restricted expression of chemokines, such as CXCL10 and CCL3, and the broad expression of IFN-induced genes, such as MX1, ISG15, and IFIT1. Induction of these inflammatory profiles was suppressed by prior mRNA-1273 vaccination in a dose-dependent manner and negatively correlated with prechallenge serum and lung antibody titers against SARS-CoV-2 spike. These observations were replicated and validated in a second independent macaque challenge study using the B.1.351/Beta variant of SARS-CoV-2. These data support a model wherein vaccine-elicited antibody responses restrict viral replication following SARS-CoV-2 exposure, including limiting viral dissemination to the lower respiratory tract and infection-mediated inflammation and pathogenesis.
Adam T. Waickman, Kaitlin Victor, Krista Newell, Tao Li, Heather Friberg, Kathryn E. Foulds, Mario Roederer, Diane L. Bolton, Jeffrey R. Currier, Robert Seder
The recent emergence of the SARS-CoV-2 Omicron variant of concern (VOC), which contains a heavily mutated spike protein capable of escaping preexisting immunity, identifies a continued need for interventional measures. Molnupiravir (MK-4482), an orally administered nucleoside analog, has demonstrated efficacy against earlier SARS-CoV-2 lineages and was recently approved for SARS-CoV-2 infections in high-risk adults. Here, we assessed the efficacy of MK-4482 against the earlier Alpha, Beta, and Delta VOCs and Omicron in the hamster COVID-19 model. Omicron replication and associated lung disease in vehicle-treated hamsters was reduced compared with replication and lung disease associated with earlier VOCs. MK-4482 treatment inhibited virus replication in the lungs of hamsters infected with Alpha, Beta, or Delta VOCs. Importantly, MK-4482 profoundly inhibited virus replication in the upper and lower respiratory tract of hamsters infected with the Omicron VOC. Consistent with its mutagenic mechanism, MK-4482 treatment had a more pronounced inhibitory effect on infectious titers compared with viral RNA genome load. Histopathologic analysis showed that MK-4482 treatment caused a concomitant reduction in the level of lung disease and viral antigen load in infected hamsters across all VOCs examined. Together, our data indicate the potential of MK-4482 as an effective antiviral against known SARS-CoV-2 VOCs, especially Omicron, and likely future SARS-CoV-2 variants.
Kyle Rosenke, Atsushi Okumura, Matthew C. Lewis, Friederike Feldmann, Kimberly Meade-White, W. Forrest Bohler, Amanda Griffin, Rebecca Rosenke, Carl Shaia, Michael A. Jarvis, Heinz Feldmann
People with HIV (PWH) on antiretroviral therapy (ART) experience elevated rates of neurological impairment, despite controlling for demographic factors and comorbidities, suggesting viral or neuroimmune etiologies for these deficits. Here, we apply multimodal and cross-compartmental single-cell analyses of paired cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and peripheral blood in PWH and uninfected controls. We demonstrate that a subset of central memory CD4+ T cells in the CSF produced HIV-1 RNA, despite apparent systemic viral suppression, and that HIV-1–infected cells were more frequently found in the CSF than in the blood. Using cellular indexing of transcriptomes and epitopes by sequencing (CITE-seq), we show that the cell surface marker CD204 is a reliable marker for rare microglia-like cells in the CSF, which have been implicated in HIV neuropathogenesis, but which we did not find to contain HIV transcripts. Through a feature selection method for supervised deep learning of single-cell transcriptomes, we find that abnormal CD8+ T cell activation, rather than CD4+ T cell abnormalities, predominated in the CSF of PWH compared with controls. Overall, these findings suggest ongoing CNS viral persistence and compartmentalized CNS neuroimmune effects of HIV infection during ART and demonstrate the power of single-cell studies of CSF to better understand the CNS reservoir during HIV infection.
Shelli F. Farhadian, Ofir Lindenbaum, Jun Zhao, Michael J. Corley, Yunju Im, Hannah Walsh, Alyssa Vecchio, Rolando Garcia-Milian, Jennifer Chiarella, Michelle Chintanaphol, Rachela Calvi, Guilin Wang, Lishomwa C. Ndhlovu, Jennifer Yoon, Diane Trotta, Shuangge Ma, Yuval Kluger, Serena Spudich
Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an aggressive neuroendocrine carcinoma of the skin with 2 etiologies. Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) integration is present in about 80% of all MCC. Virus-positive MCC (MCCP) tumors have few somatic mutations and usually express WT p53 (TP53). By contrast, virus-negative MCC (MCCN) tumors present with a high tumor mutational burden and predominantly UV mutational signature. MCCN tumors typically contain mutated TP53. MCCP tumors express 2 viral proteins: MCPyV small T antigen and a truncated form of large T antigen. MCPyV ST specifically activates expression of MDM2, an E3 ubiquitin ligase of p53, to inhibit p53-mediated tumor suppression. In this study, we assessed the efficacy of milademetan, a potent, selective, and orally available MDM2 inhibitor in several MCC models. Milademetan reduced cell viability of WT p53 MCC cell lines and triggered a rapid and sustained p53 response. Milademetan showed a dose-dependent inhibition of tumor growth in MKL-1 xenograft and patient-derived xenograft models. Here, along with preclinical data for the efficacy of milademetan in WT p53 MCC tumors, we report several in vitro and in vivo models useful for future MCC studies.
Varsha Ananthapadmanabhan, Thomas C. Frost, Kara M. Soroko, Aine Knott, Brianna J. Magliozzi, Prafulla C. Gokhale, Vijaya G. Tirunagaru, Robert C. Doebele, James A. DeCaprio