WHIM syndrome is an inherited immune disorder caused by an autosomal dominant heterozygous mutation in CXCR4. The disease is characterized by neutropenia/leukopenia (secondary to retention of mature neutrophils in bone marrow), recurrent bacterial infections, treatment-refractory warts, and hypogammaglobulinemia. All mutations reported in WHIM patients lead to the truncations in the C-terminal domain of CXCR4, R334X being the most frequent. This defect prevents receptor internalization and enhances both calcium mobilization and ERK phosphorylation, resulting in increased chemotaxis in response to the unique ligand CXCL12. Here, we describe 3 patients presenting neutropenia and myelokathexis, but normal lymphocyte count and immunoglobulin levels, carrying what we believe to be a novel Leu317fsX3 mutation in CXCR4, leading to a complete truncation of its intracellular tail. The analysis of the L317fsX3 mutation in cells derived from patients and in vitro cellular models reveals unique signaling features in comparison with R334X mutation. The L317fsX3 mutation impairs CXCR4 downregulation and β-arrestin recruitment in response to CXCL12 and reduces other signaling events — including ERK1/2 phosphorylation, calcium mobilization, and chemotaxis — all processes that are typically enhanced in cells carrying the R334X mutation. Our findings suggest that, overall, the L317fsX3 mutation may be causative of a form of WHIM syndrome not associated with an augmented CXCR4 response to CXCL12.
Rajesh Kumar, Samantha Milanesi, Martyna Szpakowska, Laura Dotta, Dario Di Silvestre, Anna Maria Trotta, Anna Maria Bello, Mauro Giacomelli, Manuela Benedito, Joana Azevedo, Alexandra Pereira, Emilia Cortesao, Alessandro Vacchini, Alessandra Castagna, Marinella Pinelli, Daniele Moratto, Raffaella Bonecchi, Massimo Locati, Stefania Scala, Andy Chevigné, Elena M. Borroni, Raffaele Badolato
Reactivation of human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) from latency is a frequent complication following hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). The development of acute graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a significant risk factor for HCMV disease. Using a murine GVHD model in animals latently infected with murine CMV (MCMV), we studied preventive and therapeutic interventions in this high-risk scenario of HSCT. Mice latently infected with MCMV experienced reactivated MCMV and developed disseminated MCMV infection concomitant with the manifestations of GVHD. Dissemination was accompanied by accelerated mortality. We demonstrate that MCMV reactivation and dissemination was modulated by MCMV-specific antibodies, thus demonstrating in vivo protective activity of antiviral antibodies. However, the efficacy of serum therapy required repetitive doses of high-titer immune serum secondary to the shortened serum half-life of IgG in animals with GVHD. In a complementary approach, treatment of GVHD by adoptive transfer of donor-derived Tregs facilitated production of MCMV-specific antibodies from newly developing donor-derived B cells. Together, our findings strongly suggest that antibodies play a major role in controlling recurrent MCMV infection that follows GVHD, and they argue for reassessing the potential of antibody treatments as well as therapeutic strategies that enhance de novo antibody development against HCMV.
Martina Seefried, Nadine Hundhausen, Irena Kroeger, Maike Büttner-Herold, Petra Hoffmann, Matthias Edinger, Evelyn Ullrich, Friederike Berberich-Siebelt, William J. Britt, Michael Mach, Thomas H. Winkler
The glomerular endothelial glycocalyx (GEnGlx) forms the first part of the glomerular filtration barrier. Previously, we showed that mineralocorticoid receptor (MR) activation caused GEnGlx damage and albuminuria. In this study, we investigated whether MR antagonism could limit albuminuria in diabetes and studied the site of action. Streptozotocin-induced diabetic Wistar rats developed albuminuria, increased glomerular albumin permeability (Ps’alb), and increased glomerular matrix metalloproteinase (MMP) activity with corresponding GEnGlx loss. MR antagonism prevented albuminuria progression, restored Ps’alb, preserved GEnGlx, and reduced MMP activity. Enzymatic degradation of the GEnGlx negated the benefits of MR antagonism, confirming their dependence on GEnGlx integrity. Exposing human glomerular endothelial cells (GEnC) to diabetic conditions in vitro increased MMPs and caused glycocalyx damage. Amelioration of these effects confirmed a direct effect of MR antagonism on GEnC. To confirm relevance to human disease, we used a potentially novel confocal imaging method to show loss of GEnGlx in renal biopsy specimens from patients with diabetic nephropathy (DN). In addition, patients with DN randomized to receive an MR antagonist had reduced urinary MMP2 activity and albuminuria compared with placebo and baseline levels. Taken together, our work suggests that MR antagonists reduce MMP activity and thereby preserve GEnGlx, resulting in reduced glomerular permeability and albuminuria in diabetes.
Michael Crompton, Joanne K. Ferguson, Raina D. Ramnath, Karen L. Onions, Anna S. Ogier, Monica Gamez, Colin J. Down, Laura Skinner, Kitty H. Wong, Lauren K. Dixon, Judit Sutak, Steven J. Harper, Paola Pontrelli, Loreto Gesualdo, Hiddo L. Heerspink, Robert D. Toto, Gavin I. Welsh, Rebecca R. Foster, Simon C. Satchell, Matthew J. Butler
Gastrointestinal graft-versus-host disease (GvHD) is a major cause of mortality and morbidity following allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (allo-BMT). Chemerin is a chemotactic protein that recruits leukocytes to inflamed tissues by interacting with ChemR23/CMKLR1, a chemotactic receptor expressed by leukocytes, including macrophages. During acute GvHD, chemerin plasma levels were strongly increased in allo-BM-transplanted mice. The role of the chemerin/CMKLR1 axis in GvHD was investigated using Cmklr1-KO mice. WT mice transplanted with an allogeneic graft from Cmklr1-KO donors (t-KO) had worse survival and more severe GvHD. Histological analysis demonstrated that the gastrointestinal tract was the organ mostly affected by GvHD in t-KO mice. The severe colitis of t-KO mice was characterized by massive neutrophil infiltration and tissue damage associated with bacterial translocation and exacerbated inflammation. Similarly, Cmklr1-KO recipient mice showed increased intestinal pathology in both allogeneic transplant and dextran sulfate sodium–induced colitis. Notably, the adoptive transfer of WT monocytes into t-KO mice mitigated GvHD manifestations by decreasing gut inflammation and T cell activation. In patients, higher chemerin serum levels were predictive of GvHD development. Overall, these results suggest that CMKLR1/chemerin may be a protective pathway for the control of intestinal inflammation and tissue damage in GvHD.
Erica Dander, Paola Vinci, Stefania Vetrano, Camilla Recordati, Rocco Piazza, Grazia Fazio, Donatella Bardelli, Mattia Bugatti, Francesca Sozio, Andrea Piontini, Sonia Bonanomi, Luca Bertola, Elena Tassistro, Maria Grazia Valsecchi, Stefano Calza, William Vermi, Andrea Biondi, Annalisa Del Prete, Silvano Sozzani, Giovanna D’Amico
Vascular calcification (VC) is concomitant with atherosclerosis, yet it remains uncertain why rupture-prone high-risk plaques do not typically show extensive calcification. Intraplaque hemorrhage (IPH) deposits erythrocyte-derived cholesterol, enlarging the necrotic core and promoting high-risk plaque development. Pro-atherogenic CD163+ alternative macrophages engulf hemoglobin:haptoglobin (HH) complexes at IPH sites. However, their role in VC has never been examined to our knowledge. Here we show, in human arteries, the distribution of CD163+ macrophages correlated inversely with VC. In vitro experiments using vascular smooth muscle cells (VSMCs) cultured with HH-exposed human macrophage — M(Hb) — supernatant reduced calcification, while arteries from ApoE–/– CD163–/– mice showed greater VC. M(Hb) supernatant–exposed VSMCs showed activated NF-κB, while blocking NF-κB attenuated the anticalcific effect of M(Hb) on VSMCs. CD163+ macrophages altered VC through NF-κB–induced transcription of hyaluronan synthase (HAS), an enzyme that catalyzes the formation of the extracellular matrix glycosaminoglycan, hyaluronan, within VSMCs. M(Hb) supernatants enhanced HAS production in VSMCs, while knocking down HAS attenuated its anticalcific effect. NF-κB blockade in ApoE–/– mice reduced hyaluronan and increased VC. In human arteries, hyaluronan and HAS were increased in areas of CD163+ macrophage presence. Our findings highlight an important mechanism by which CD163+ macrophages inhibit VC through NF-κB–induced HAS augmentation and thus promote the high-risk plaque development.
Atsushi Sakamoto, Rika Kawakami, Masayuki Mori, Liang Guo, Ka Hyun Paek, Jose Verdezoto Mosquera, Anne Cornelissen, Saikat Kumar B. Ghosh, Kenji Kawai, Takao Konishi, Raquel Fernandez, Daniela T. Fuller, Weili Xu, Aimee E. Vozenilek, Yu Sato, Hiroyuki Jinnouchi, Sho Torii, Adam W. Turner, Hirokuni Akahori, Salome Kuntz, Craig C. Weinkauf, Parker J. Lee, Robert Kutys, Kathryn Harris, Alfred Lawrence Killey, Christina M. Mayhew, Matthew Ellis, Leah M. Weinstein, Neel V. Gadhoke, Roma Dhingra, Jeremy Ullman, Armella Dikongue, Maria E. Romero, Frank D. Kolodgie, Clint L. Miller, Renu Virmani, Aloke V. Finn
Healthy expansion of adipose tissue is critical for the maintenance of metabolic health, providing an optimized reservoir for energy storage in the form of triacylglycerol-rich lipoproteins. Dysfunctional adipocytes that are unable to efficiently store lipid can result in lipodystrophy and contribute to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) and metabolic syndrome. Leucine-rich repeat containing protein 8a/SWELL1 functionally encodes the volume-regulated anion channel complex in adipocytes, is induced in early obesity, and is required for normal adipocyte expansion during high-fat feeding. Adipose-specific SWELL1 ablation (Adipo KO) leads to insulin resistance and hyperglycemia during caloric excess, both of which are associated with NAFLD. Here, we show that Adipo-KO mice exhibited impaired adipose depot expansion and excess lipolysis when raised on a variety of high-fat diets, resulting in increased diacylglycerides and hepatic steatosis, thereby driving liver injury. Liver lipidomic analysis revealed increases in oleic acid–containing hepatic triacylglycerides and injurious hepatic diacylglyceride species, with reductions in hepatocyte-protective phospholipids and antiinflammatory free fatty acids. Aged Adipo-KO mice developed hepatic steatosis on a regular chow diet, and Adipo-KO male mice developed spontaneous, aggressive hepatocellular carcinomas (HCCs). These data highlight the importance of adipocyte SWELL1 for healthy adipocyte expansion to protect against NAFLD and HCC in the setting of overnutrition and with aging.
Susheel K. Gunasekar, John Heebink, Danielle H. Carpenter, Ashutosh Kumar, Litao Xie, Haixia Zhang, Joel D. Schilling, Rajan Sah
Dietary potassium (K+) supplementation is associated with a lowering effect in blood pressure (BP), but not all studies agree. Here, we examined the effects of short- and long-term K+ supplementation on BP in mice, whether differences depend on the accompanying anion or the sodium (Na+) intake and molecular alterations in the kidney that may underlie BP changes. Relative to the control diet, BP was higher in mice fed a high NaCl (1.57% Na+) diet for 7 weeks or fed a K+-free diet for 2 weeks. BP was highest on a K+-free/high NaCl diet. Commensurate with increased abundance and phosphorylation of the thiazide sensitive sodium-chloride-cotransporter (NCC) on the K+-free/high NaCl diet, BP returned to normal with thiazides. Three weeks of a high K+ diet (5% K+) increased BP (predominantly during the night) independently of dietary Na+ or anion intake. Conversely, 4 days of KCl feeding reduced BP. Both feeding periods resulted in lower NCC levels but in increased levels of cleaved (active) α and γ subunits of the epithelial Na+ channel ENaC. The elevated BP after chronic K+ feeding was reduced by amiloride but not thiazide. Our results suggest that dietary K+ has an optimal threshold where it may be most effective for cardiovascular health.
Robert Little, Sathish K. Murali, Søren B. Poulsen, Paul R. Grimm, Adrienne Assmus, Lei Cheng, Jessica R. Ivy, Ewout J. Hoorn, Vladimir Matchkov, Paul A. Welling, Robert A. Fenton
Small cell lung cancer (SCLC) is a recalcitrant malignancy with limited treatment options. Bromodomain and extraterminal domain inhibitors (BETis) have shown promising preclinical activity in SCLC, but the broad sensitivity spectrum limits their clinical prospects. Here, we performed unbiased high-throughput drug combination screens to identify therapeutics that could augment the antitumor activities of BETis in SCLC. We found that multiple drugs targeting the PI-3K–AKT–mTOR pathway synergize with BETis, among which mTOR inhibitors (mTORis) show the highest synergy. Using various molecular subtypes of the xenograft models derived from patients with SCLC, we confirmed that mTOR inhibition potentiates the antitumor activities of BETis in vivo without substantially increasing toxicity. Furthermore, BETis induce apoptosis in both in vitro and in vivo SCLC models, and this antitumor effect is further amplified by combining mTOR inhibition. Mechanistically, BETis induce apoptosis in SCLC by activating the intrinsic apoptotic pathway. However, BET inhibition leads to RSK3 upregulation, which promotes survival by activating the TSC2-mTOR-p70S6K1-BAD cascade. mTORis block this protective signaling and augment the apoptosis induced by BET inhibition. Our findings reveal a critical role of RSK3 induction in tumor survival upon BET inhibition and warrant further evaluation of the combination of mTORis and BETis in patients with SCLC.
Anju Kumari, Lisa Gesumaria, Yan-Jin Liu, V. Keith Hughitt, Xiaohu Zhang, Michele Ceribelli, Kelli M. Wilson, Carleen Klumpp-Thomas, Lu Chen, Crystal McKnight, Zina Itkin, Craig J. Thomas, Beverly A. Mock, David S. Schrump, Haobin Chen
Bone metastases are a common complication of breast cancer. We have demonstrated that intermittent administration of parathyroid hormone (PTH[1-34]) reduces the incidence of bone metastases in murine models of breast cancer by acting on osteoblasts to alter the bone microenvironment. Here, we examined the role of signaling mediated by PTH 1 receptor (PTH1R) in both osteoblasts and breast cancer cells in influencing bone metastases. In mice with impaired PTH1R signaling in osteoblasts, intermittent PTH did not reduce bone metastasis. Intermittent PTH also did not reduce bone metastasis when expression of PTH1R was knocked down in 4T1 murine breast cancer cells by shRNA. In 4T1 breast cancer cells, PTH decreased expression of PTH-related protein (PTHrP), implicated in the vicious cycle of bone metastases. Knockdown of PTHrP in 4T1 cells significantly reduced migration toward MC3T3-E1 osteoblasts, and migration was further inhibited by treatment with intermittent PTH. Conversely, overexpression of PTHrP in 4T1 cells increased migration toward MC3T3-E1 osteoblasts, and this was not inhibited by PTH. In conclusion, PTH1R expression is crucial in both osteoblasts and breast cancer cells for PTH to reduce bone metastases, and in breast cancer cells, this may be mediated in part by suppression of PTHrP.
Srilatha Swami, Hui Zhu, Aria Nisco, Takaharu Kimura, Matthew J. Kim, Vaisakh Nair, Joy Y. Wu
Collectin-11 (CL-11) is a recently described soluble C-type lectin that has distinct roles in embryonic development, host defence, autoimmunity, and fibrosis. Here we report that CL-11 also plays an important role in cancer cell proliferation and tumor growth. Melanoma growth was found to be suppressed in Colec11–/– mice in a s.c. B16 melanoma model. Cellular and molecular analyses revealed that CL-11 is essential for melanoma cell proliferation, angiogenesis, establishment of more immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment, and the reprogramming of macrophages to M2 phenotype within melanomas. In vitro analysis revealed that CL-11 can activate tyrosine kinase receptors (EGFR, HER3) and ERK, JNK, and AKT signaling pathways and has a direct stimulatory effect on murine melanoma cell proliferation. Furthermore, blockade of CL-11 (treatment with L-fucose) inhibited melanoma growth in mice. Analysis of open data sets revealed that COLEC11 gene expression is upregulated in human melanomas and that high COLEC11 expression has a trend toward poor survival. CL-11 also had direct stimulatory effects on human tumor cell proliferation in melanoma and several other types of cancer cells in vitro. Overall, our findings provide the first evidence to our knowledge that CL-11 is a key tumor growth–promoting protein and a promising therapeutic target in tumor growth.
Jia-Xing Wang, Bo Cao, Ning Ma, Kun-Yi Wu, Wan-Bing Chen, Weiju Wu, Xia Dong, Cheng-Fei Liu, Ya-Feng Gao, Teng-Yue Diao, Xiao-Yun Min, Qing Yong, Zong-Fang Li, Wuding Zhou, Ke Li
Loss-of-function mutations in cerebral cavernous malformation (CCM) genes and gain-of-function mutation in the MAP3K3 gene encoding MEKK3 cause CCM. Deficiency of CCM proteins leads to the activation of MEKK3-KLF2/4 signaling, but it is not clear how this occurs. Here, we demonstrate that deletion of the CCM3 interacting kinases STK24/25 in endothelial cells causes defects in vascular patterning during development as well as CCM lesion formation during postnatal life. While permanent deletion of STK24/25 in endothelial cells caused developmental defects of the vascular system, inducible postnatal deletion of STK24/25 impaired angiogenesis in the retina and brain. More importantly, deletion of STK24/25 in neonatal mice led to the development of severe CCM lesions. At the molecular level, a hybrid protein consisting of the STK kinase domain and the MEKK3 interacting domain of CCM2 rescued the vascular phenotype caused by the loss of ccm gene function in zebrafish. Our study suggests that CCM2/3 proteins act as adapters to allow recruitment of STK24/25 to limit the constitutive MEKK3 activity, thus contributing to vessel stability. Loss of STK24/25 causes MEKK3 activation, leading to CCM lesion formation.
Xi Yang, Shi-Ting Wu, Rui Gao, Rui Wang, Yixuan Wang, Zhenkun Dong, Lu Wang, Chunxiao Qi, Xiaohong Wang, M. Lienhard Schmitz, Renjing Liu, Zhiming Han, Lu Wang, Xiangjian Zheng
Antisense oligonucleotide–mediated (AO-mediated) therapy is a promising strategy to treat several neurological diseases, including spinal muscular atrophy (SMA). However, limited delivery to the CNS with AOs administered intravenously or subcutaneously is a major challenge. Here, we demonstrate a single subcutaneous administration of cell-penetrating peptide DG9 conjugated to an AO called phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomer (PMO) reached the CNS and significantly prolonged the median survival compared with unconjugated PMO and R6G-PMO in a severe SMA mouse model. Treated mice exhibited substantially higher expression of full-length survival of motor neuron 2 in both the CNS and systemic tissues compared with nontreated and unmodified AO–treated mice. The treatment ameliorated the atrophic musculature and improved breathing function accompanied by improved muscle strength and innervation at the neuromuscular junction with no signs of apparent toxicity. We also demonstrated DG9-conjugated PMO localized in nuclei in the spinal cord and brain after subcutaneous injections. Our data identify DG9 peptide conjugation as a powerful way to improve the efficacy of AO-mediated splice modulation. Finally, DG9-PMO is a promising therapeutic option to treat SMA and other neurological diseases, overcoming the necessity for intrathecal injections and treating body-wide tissues without apparent toxicity.
Tejal Aslesh, Esra Erkut, Jun Ren, Kenji Rowel Q. Lim, Stanley Woo, Susan Hatlevig, Hong M. Moulton, Simon Gosgnach, John Greer, Rika Maruyama, Toshifumi Yokota
The main estrogen, 17β-estradiol (E2), exerts several beneficial vascular actions through estrogen receptor α (ERα) in endothelial cells. However, the impact of other natural estrogens such as estriol (E3) and estetrol (E4) on arteries remains poorly described. In the present study, we report the effects of E3 and E4 on endothelial healing after carotid artery injuries in vivo. After endovascular injury, which preserves smooth muscle cells (SMCs), E2, E3, and E4 equally stimulated reendothelialization. By contrast, only E2 and E3 accelerated endothelial healing after perivascular injury that destroys both endothelial cells and SMCs, suggesting an important role of this latter cell type in E4’s action, which was confirmed using Cre/lox mice inactivating ERα in SMCs. In addition, E4 mediated its effects independently of ERα membrane-initiated signaling, in contrast with E2. Consistently, RNA sequencing analysis revealed that transcriptomic and cellular signatures in response to E4 profoundly differed from those of E2. Thus, whereas acceleration of endothelial healing by estrogens had been viewed as entirely dependent on endothelial ERα, these results highlight the very specific pharmacological profile of the natural estrogen E4, revealing the importance of dialogue between SMCs and endothelial cells in its arterial protection.
Morgane Davezac, Rana Zahreddine, Melissa Buscato, Natalia F. Smirnova, Chanaelle Febrissy, Henrik Laurell, Silveric Gilardi-Bresson, Marine Adlanmerini, Philippe Liere, Gilles Flouriot, Rachida Guennoun, Muriel Laffargue, Jean-Michel Foidart, Françoise Lenfant, Jean-François Arnal, Raphaël Métivier, Coralie Fontaine
Type II alveolar epithelial cell (AECII) redox imbalance contributes to the pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), a deadly disease with limited treatment options. Here, we show that expression of membrane-bound cytochrome B5 reductase 3 (CYB5R3), an enzyme critical for maintaining cellular redox homeostasis and soluble guanylate cyclase (sGC) heme iron redox state, is diminished in IPF AECIIs. Deficiency of CYB5R3 in AECIIs led to sustained activation of the pro-fibrotic factor TGF-β1 and increased susceptibility to lung fibrosis. We further show that CYB5R3 is a critical regulator of ERK1/2 phosphorylation and the sGC/cGMP/protein kinase G axis that modulates activation of the TGF-β1 signaling pathway. We demonstrate that sGC agonists (BAY 41-8543 and BAY 54-6544) are effective in reducing the pulmonary fibrotic outcomes of in vivo deficiency of CYB5R3 in AECIIs. Taken together, these results show that CYB5R3 in AECIIs is required to maintain resilience after lung injury and fibrosis and that therapeutic manipulation of the sGC redox state could provide a basis for treating fibrotic conditions in the lung and beyond.
Marta Bueno, Jazmin Calyeca, Timur Khaliullin, Megan P. Miller, Diana Alvarez, Lorena Rosas, Judith Brands, Christian Baker, Amro Nasser, Stephanie Shulkowski, August Mathien, Nneoma Uzoukwu, John Sembrat, Brenton G. Mays, Kaitlin Fiedler, Scott A. Hahn, Sonia R. Salvatore, Francisco J. Schopfer, Mauricio Rojas, Peter Sandner, Adam C. Straub, Ana L. Mora
In vertebrate species, fertility is controlled by gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) neurons. GnRH cells arise outside the central nervous system, in the developing olfactory pit, and migrate along olfactory/vomeronasal/terminal nerve axons into the forebrain during embryonic development. Congenital hypogonadotropic hypogonadism (CHH) and Kallmann syndrome are rare genetic disorders characterized by infertility, and they are associated with defects in GnRH neuron migration and/or altered GnRH secretion and signaling. Here, we documented the expression of the jagged-1/Notch signaling pathway in GnRH neurons and along the GnRH neuron migratory route both in zebrafish embryos and in human fetuses. Genetic knockdown of the zebrafish ortholog of JAG1 (jag1b) resulted in altered GnRH migration and olfactory axonal projections to the olfactory bulbs. Next-generation sequencing was performed in 467 CHH unrelated probands, leading to the identification of heterozygous rare variants in JAG1. Functional in vitro validation of JAG1 mutants revealed that 7 out of the 9 studied variants exhibited reduced protein levels and altered subcellular localization. Together our data provide compelling evidence that Jag1/Notch signaling plays a prominent role in the development of GnRH neurons, and we propose that JAG1 insufficiency may contribute to the pathogenesis of CHH in humans.
Ludovica Cotellessa, Federica Marelli, Paolo Duminuco, Michela Adamo, Georgios E. Papadakis, Lucia Bartoloni, Naoko Sato, Mariarosaria Lang-Muritano, Amineh Troendle, Waljit S. Dhillo, Annamaria Morelli, Giulia Guarnieri, Nelly Pitteloud, Luca Persani, Marco Bonomi, Paolo Giacobini, Valeria Vezzoli
The adult mammalian heart has limited regenerative capacity, while the neonatal heart fully regenerates during the first week of life. Postnatal regeneration is mainly driven by proliferation of preexisting cardiomyocytes and supported by proregenerative macrophages and angiogenesis. Although the process of regeneration has been well studied in the neonatal mouse, the molecular mechanisms that define the switch between regenerative and nonregenerative cardiomyocytes are not well understood. Here, using in vivo and in vitro approaches, we identified the lncRNA Malat1 as a key player in postnatal cardiac regeneration. Malat1 deletion prevented heart regeneration in mice after myocardial infarction on postnatal day 3 associated with a decline in cardiomyocyte proliferation and reparative angiogenesis. Interestingly, Malat1 deficiency increased cardiomyocyte binucleation even in the absence of cardiac injury. Cardiomyocyte-specific deletion of Malat1 was sufficient to block regeneration, supporting a critical role of Malat1 in regulating cardiomyocyte proliferation and binucleation, a landmark of mature nonregenerative cardiomyocytes. In vitro, Malat1 deficiency induced binucleation and the expression of a maturation gene program. Finally, the loss of hnRNP U, an interaction partner of Malat1, induced similar features in vitro, suggesting that Malat1 regulates cardiomyocyte proliferation and binucleation by hnRNP U to control the regenerative window in the heart.
Galip S. Aslan, Nicolas Jaé, Yosif Manavski, Youssef Fouani, Mariana Shumliakivska, Lisa Kettenhausen, Luisa Kirchhof, Stefan Günther, Ariane Fischer, Guillermo Luxán, Stefanie Dimmeler
HPVs are DNA viruses include approximately 450 types that are classified into 5 genera (α-, β-, γ-, μ-, and ν-HPV). The γ- and β-HPVs are present in low copy numbers in healthy individuals; however, in patients with an inborn error of immunity, certain species of β-HPVs can cause epidermodysplasia verruciformis (EV), manifesting as recalcitrant cutaneous warts and skin cancer. EV presents as either typical or atypical. Manifestations of typical EV are limited to the skin and are caused by abnormal keratinocyte-intrinsic immunity to β-HPVs due to pathogenic sequence variants in TMC6, TMC8, or CIB1. We applied a transcriptome-based computational pipeline, VirPy, to RNA extracted from normal-appearing skin and wart samples of patients with typical EV to explore the viral and human genetic determinants. In 26 patients, 9 distinct biallelic mutations were detected in TMC6, TMC8, and CIB1, 7 of which are previously unreported to our knowledge. Additionally, 20 different HPV species, including 3 α-HPVs, 16 β-HPVs, and 1 γ-HPV, were detected, 8 of which are reported here for the first time to our knowledge in patients with EV (β-HPV-37, -47, -80, -151, and -159; α-HPV-2 and -57; and γ-HPV-128). This study expands the TMC6, TMC8, and CIB1 sequence variant spectrum and implicates new HPV subtypes in the pathogenesis of typical EV.
Amir Hossein Saeidian, Leila Youssefian, Mahtab Naji, Hamidreza Mahmoudi, Samantha M. Barnada, Charles Huang, Karim Naghipoor, Amir Hozhabrpour, Jason S. Park, Flavia Manzo Margiotta, Fatemeh Vahidnezhad, Zahra Saffarian, Kambiz Kamyab-Hesari, Mohammad Tolouei, Niloofar Faraji, Seyyede Zeinab Azimi, Ghazal Namdari, Parvin Mansouri, Jean-Laurent Casanova, Vivien Béziat, Emmanuelle Jouanguy, Jouni Uitto, Hassan Vahidnezhad
Based upon our demonstration that the smooth muscle cell–selective (SMC-selective) putative methyltransferase, Prdm6, interacts with myocardin-related transcription factor-A, we examined Prdm6’s role in SMCs in vivo using cell type–specific knockout mouse models. Although SMC-specific depletion of Prdm6 in adult mice was well tolerated, Prdm6 depletion in Wnt1-expressing cells during development resulted in perinatal lethality and a completely penetrant patent ductus arteriosus (DA) phenotype. Lineage tracing experiments in Wnt1Cre2 Prdm6fl/fl ROSA26LacZ mice revealed normal neural crest–derived SMC investment of the outflow tract. In contrast, myography measurements on DA segments isolated from E18.5 embryos indicated that Prdm6 depletion significantly reduced DA tone and contractility. RNA-Seq analyses on DA and ascending aorta samples at E18.5 identified a DA-enriched gene program that included many SMC-selective contractile associated proteins that was downregulated by Prdm6 depletion. Chromatin immunoprecipitation–sequencing experiments in outflow tract SMCs demonstrated that 50% of the genes Prdm6 depletion altered contained Prdm6 binding sites. Finally, using several genome-wide data sets, we identified an SMC-selective enhancer within the Prdm6 third intron that exhibited allele-specific activity, providing evidence that rs17149944 may be the causal SNP for a cardiovascular disease GWAS locus identified within the human PRDM6 gene.
Meng Zou, Kevin D. Mangum, Justin C. Magin, Heidi H. Cao, Michael T. Yarboro, Elaine L. Shelton, Joan M. Taylor, Jeff Reese, Terrence S. Furey, Christopher P. Mack
Most circulating endothelial cells are apoptotic, but rare circulating endothelial colony-forming cells (C-ECFCs), also known as blood outgrowth endothelial cells, with proliferative and vasculogenic activity can be cultured; however, the origin and naive function of these C-ECFCs remains obscure. Herein, detailed lineage tracing revealed murine C-ECFCs emerged in the early postnatal period, displayed high vasculogenic potential with enriched frequency of clonal proliferative cells compared with tissue-resident ECFCs, and were not committed to or derived from the BM hematopoietic system but from tissue-resident ECFCs. In humans, C-ECFCs were present in the CD34bright cord blood mononuclear subset, possessed proliferative potential and in vivo vasculogenic function in a naive or cultured state, and displayed a single cell transcriptome sharing some umbilical venous endothelial cell features, such as a higher protein C receptor and extracellular matrix gene expression. This study provides an advance for the field by identifying the origin, naive function, and antigens to prospectively isolate C-ECFCs for translational studies.
Yang Lin, Kimihiko Banno, Chang-Hyun Gil, Jered Myslinski, Takashi Hato, William C. Shelley, Hongyu Gao, Xiaoling Xuei, Yunlong Liu, David P. Basile, Momoko Yoshimoto, Nutan Prasain, Stefan P. Tarnawsky, Ralf H. Adams, Katsuhiko Naruse, Junko Yoshida, Michael P. Murphy, Kyoji Horie, Mervin C. Yoder
Acute kidney injury is one of the most important complications in patients with COVID-19 and is considered a negative prognostic factor with respect to patient survival. The occurrence of direct infection of the kidney by SARS-CoV-2, and its contribution to the renal deterioration process, remain controversial issues. By studying 32 renal biopsies from patients with COVID-19, we verified that the major pathological feature of COVID-19 is acute tubular injury (ATI). Using single-molecule fluorescence in situ hybridization, we showed that SARS-CoV-2 infected living renal cells and that infection, which paralleled renal angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 expression levels, was associated with increased death. Mechanistically, a transcriptomic analysis uncovered specific molecular signatures in SARS-CoV-2–infected kidneys as compared with healthy kidneys and non–COVID-19 ATI kidneys. On the other hand, we demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 and hantavirus, 2 RNA viruses, activated different genetic networks despite triggering the same pathological lesions. Finally, we identified X-linked inhibitor of apoptosis-associated factor 1 as a critical target of SARS-CoV-2 infection. In conclusion, this study demonstrated that SARS-CoV-2 can directly infect living renal cells and identified specific druggable molecular targets that can potentially aid in the design of novel therapeutic strategies to preserve renal function in patients with COVID-19.
Pierre Isnard, Paul Vergnaud, Serge Garbay, Matthieu Jamme, Maeva Eloudzeri, Alexandre Karras, Dany Anglicheau, Valérie Galantine, Arwa Jalal Eddine, Clément Gosset, Franck Pourcine, Mohammed Zarhrate, Jean-Baptiste Gibier, Elena Rensen, Stefano Pietropaoli, Giovanna Barba-Spaeth, Jean-Paul Duong-Van-Huyen, Thierry J. Molina, Florian Mueller, Christophe Zimmer, Marco Pontoglio, Fabiola Terzi, Marion Rabant
As the COVID-19 pandemic continues, long-term immunity against SARS-CoV-2 will be important globally. Official weekly cases have not dropped below 2 million since September of 2020, and continued emergence of novel variants has created a moving target for our immune systems and public health alike. The temporal aspects of COVID-19 immunity, particularly from repeated vaccination and infection, are less well understood than short-term vaccine efficacy. In this study, we explored the effect of combined vaccination and infection, also known as hybrid immunity, and the timing thereof on the quality and quantity of antibodies elicited in a cohort of 96 health care workers. We found robust neutralizing antibody responses among those with hybrid immunity; these hybrid immune responses neutralized all variants, including BA.2. Neutralizing titers were significantly improved for those with longer vaccine-infection intervals of up to 400 days compared with those with shorter intervals. These results indicate that anti–SARS-CoV-2 antibody responses undergo continual maturation following primary exposure by either vaccination or infection for at least 400 days after last antigen exposure. We show that neutralizing antibody responses improved upon secondary boosting, with greater potency seen after extended intervals. Our findings may also extend to booster vaccine doses, a critical consideration in future vaccine campaign strategies.
Timothy A. Bates, Hans C. Leier, Savannah K. McBride, Devin Schoen, Zoe L. Lyski, David X. Lee, William B. Messer, Marcel E. Curlin, Fikadu G. Tafesse
People with HIV (PWH) appear to be at higher risk for suboptimal pathogen responses and for worse COVID-19 outcomes, but the effects of host factors and COVID-19 on the humoral repertoire remain unclear. We assessed the antibody isotype/subclass and Fc-receptor binding Luminex arrays of non–SARS-CoV-2 and SARS-CoV-2 humoral responses among antiretroviral therapy–treated (ART-treated) PWH. Among the entire cohort, COVID-19 infection was associated with higher cytomegalovirus (CMV) responses (vs. the COVID– cohort ), potentially signifying increased susceptibility or a consequence of persistent inflammation. Among the COVID+ participants, (a) higher BMI was associated with a striking amplification of SARS-CoV-2 responses, suggesting exaggerated inflammatory responses, and (b) lower nadir CD4 was associated with higher SARS-CoV-2 IgM and FcγRIIB binding capacity, indicating poorly functioning extrafollicular and inhibitory responses. Among the COVID-19– participants, female sex, older age, and lower nadir CD4 were associated with unique repertoire shifts. In this first comprehensive assessment of the humoral repertoire in a global cohort of PWH, we identify distinct SARS-CoV-2–specific humoral immune profiles among PWH with obesity or lower nadir CD4+ T cell count, underlining plausible mechanisms associated with worse COVID-19–related outcomes in this setting. Host factors associated with the humoral repertoire in the COVID-19– cohort enhance our understanding of these important shifts among PWH.
Samuel R. Schnittman, Wonyeong Jung, Kathleen V. Fitch, Markella V. Zanni, Sara McCallum, Jessica Shih-Lu Lee, Sally Shin, Brandon J. Davis, Evelynne S. Fulda, Marissa R. Diggs, Francoise Giguel, Romina Chinchay, Anandi N. Sheth, Carl J. Fichtenbaum, Carlos Malvestutto, Judith A. Aberg, Judith Currier, Douglas A. Lauffenburger, Pamela S. Douglas, Heather J. Ribaudo, Galit Alter, Steven K. Grinspoon
Polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) play a critical role in clearing invading microbes and promoting tissue repair following infection/injury. However, dysregulated PMN trafficking and associated tissue damage is pathognomonic of numerous inflammatory mucosal diseases. The final step in PMN influx into mucosal lined organs (including the lungs, kidneys, skin, and gut) involves transepithelial migration (TEpM). The β2-integrin CD11b/CD18 plays an important role in mediating PMN intestinal trafficking, with recent studies highlighting that terminal fucose and GlcNAc glycans on CD11b/CD18 can be targeted to reduce TEpM. However, the role of the most abundant terminal glycan, sialic acid (Sia), in regulating PMN epithelial influx and mucosal inflammatory function is not well understood. Here we demonstrate that inhibiting sialidase-mediated removal of α2-3–linked Sia from CD11b/CD18 inhibits PMN migration across intestinal epithelium in vitro and in vivo. Sialylation was also found to regulate critical PMN inflammatory effector functions, including degranulation and superoxide release. Finally, we demonstrate that sialidase inhibition reduces bacterial peptide–mediated CD11b/CD18 activation in PMN and blocks downstream intracellular signaling mediated by spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk) and p38 MAPK. These findings suggest that sialylated glycans on CD11b/CD18 represent potentially novel targets for ameliorating PMN-mediated tissue destruction in inflammatory mucosal diseases.
Veronica Azcutia, Matthias Kelm, Dylan Fink, Richard D. Cummings, Asma Nusrat, Charles A. Parkos, Jennifer C. Brazil