Macrophages in the tumor microenvironment have a substantial impact on tumor progression. Depending on the signaling environment in the tumor, macrophages can either support or constrain tumor progression. It is therefore of therapeutic interest to identify the tumor-derived factors that control macrophage education. With this aim, we correlated the expression of A Disintegrin and Metalloproteinase (ADAM) proteases, which are key mediators of cell-cell signaling, to the expression of protumorigenic macrophage markers in human cancer cohorts. We identified ADAM17, a sheddase upregulated in many cancer types, as a protein of interest. Depletion of ADAM17 in cancer cell lines reduced the expression of several protumorigenic markers in neighboring macrophages in vitro as well as in mouse models. Moreover, ADAM17–/– educated macrophages demonstrated a reduced ability to induce cancer cell invasion. Using mass spectrometry–based proteomics and ELISA, we identified heparin-binding EGF (HB-EGF) and amphiregulin, shed by ADAM17 in the cancer cells, as the implicated molecular mediators of macrophage education. Additionally, RNA-Seq and ELISA experiments revealed that ADAM17-dependent HB-EGF ligand release induced the expression and secretion of CXCL chemokines in macrophages, which in turn stimulated cancer cell invasion. In conclusion, we provide evidence that ADAM17 mediates a paracrine EGFR-ligand-chemokine feedback loop, whereby cancer cells hijack macrophages to promote tumor progression.
Sebastian P. Gnosa, Laia Puig Blasco, Krzysztof B. Piotrowski, Marie L. Freiberg, Simonas Savickas, Daniel H. Madsen, Ulrich auf dem Keller, Pauliina Kronqvist, Marie Kveiborg
Chitinase 3 like 1 (CHI3L1) is the prototypic chitinase-like protein mediating inflammation, cell proliferation, and tissue remodeling. Limited data suggest CHI3L1 is elevated in human pulmonary arterial hypertension (PAH) and is associated with disease severity. Despite its importance as a regulator of injury/repair responses, the relationship between CHI3L1 and pulmonary vascular remodeling is not well understood. We hypothesize that CHI3L1 and its signaling pathways contribute to the vascular remodeling responses that occur in pulmonary hypertension (PH). We examined the relationship of plasma CHI3L1 levels and severity of PH in patients with various forms of PH, including group 1 PAH and group 3 PH, and found that circulating levels of serum CHI3L1 were associated with worse hemodynamics and correlated directly with mean pulmonary artery pressure and pulmonary vascular resistance. We also used transgenic mice with constitutive knockout and inducible overexpression of CHI3L1 to examine its role in hypoxia-, monocrotaline-, and bleomycin-induced models of pulmonary vascular disease. In all 3 mouse models of pulmonary vascular disease, pulmonary hypertensive responses were mitigated in CHI3L1-null mice and accentuated in transgenic mice that overexpress CHI3L1. Finally, CHI3L1 alone was sufficient to induce pulmonary arterial smooth muscle cell proliferation, inhibit pulmonary vascular endothelial cell apoptosis, induce the loss of endothelial barrier function, and induce endothelial-mesenchymal transition. These findings demonstrate that CHI3L1 and its receptors play an integral role in pulmonary vascular disease pathobiology and may offer a target for the treatment of PAH and PH associated with fibrotic lung disease.
Xiuna Sun, Erika Nakajima, Carmelissa Norbrun, Parand Sorkhdini, Alina Xiaoyu Yang, Dongqin Yang, Corey E. Ventetuolo, Julie Braza, Alexander Vang, Jason Aliotta, Debasree Banerjee, Mandy Pereira, Grayson Baird, Qing Lu, Elizabeth O. Harrington, Sharon Rounds, Chun Geun Lee, Hongwei Yao, Gaurav Choudhary, James R. Klinger, Yang Zhou
Energy metabolism failure in proximal tubule cells (PTCs) is a hallmark of chronic kidney injury. We combined transcriptomic, metabolomic, and lipidomic approaches in experimental models and patient cohorts to investigate the molecular basis of the progression to chronic kidney allograft injury initiated by ischemia/reperfusion injury (IRI). The urinary metabolome of kidney transplant recipients with chronic allograft injury and who experienced severe IRI was substantially enriched with long chain fatty acids (FAs). We identified a renal FA-related gene signature with low levels of carnitine palmitoyltransferase 2 (Cpt2) and acyl-CoA synthetase medium chain family member 5 (Acsm5) and high levels of acyl-CoA synthetase long chain family member 4 and 5 (Acsl4 and Acsl5) associated with IRI, transition to chronic injury, and established chronic kidney disease in mouse models and kidney transplant recipients. The findings were consistent with the presence of Cpt2–Acsl4+Acsl5+Acsm5– PTCs failing to recover from IRI as identified by single-nucleus RNA-Seq. In vitro experiments indicated that ER stress contributed to CPT2 repression, which, in turn, promoted lipids’ accumulation, drove profibrogenic epithelial phenotypic changes, and activated the unfolded protein response. ER stress through CPT2 inhibition and lipid accumulation engaged an auto-amplification loop leading to lipotoxicity and self-sustained cellular stress. Thus, IRI imprints a persistent FA metabolism disturbance in the proximal tubule, sustaining the progression to chronic kidney allograft injury.
Anna Rinaldi, Hélène Lazareth, Virginie Poindessous, Ivan Nemazanyy, Julio L. Sampaio, Daniele Malpetti, Yohan Bignon, Maarten Naesens, Marion Rabant, Dany Anglicheau, Pietro E. Cippà, Nicolas Pallet
Immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) therapy has achieved breakthroughs in the treatment of advanced non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). Nevertheless, the low response due to immuno-cold (i.e., tumors with limited tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes) tumor microenvironment (TME) largely limits the application of ICB therapy. Based on the glycolytic/cholesterol synthesis axis, a stratification framework for EGFR-WT NSCLC was developed to summarize the metabolic features of immuno-cold and immuno-hot tumors. The cholesterol subgroup displays the worst prognosis in immuno-cold NSCLC, with significant enrichment of the cholesterol gene signature, indicating that targeting cholesterol synthesis is essential for the therapy for immuno-cold NSCLC. Statin, the inhibitor for cholesterol synthesis, can suppress the aggressiveness of NSCLC in vitro and in vivo and can also drastically reverse the phenotype of immuno-cold to an inflamed phenotype in vivo. This change led to a higher response to ICB therapy. Moreover, both our in-house data and meta-analysis further support that statin can significantly enhance ICB efficacy. In terms of preliminary mechanisms, statin could transcriptionally inhibit PD-L1 expression and induce ferroptosis in NSCLC cells. Overall, we reveal the significance of cholesterol synthesis in NSCLC and demonstrate the improved therapeutic efficacy of ICB in combination with statin. These findings could provide a clinical insight to treat NSCLC patients with immuno-cold tumors.
Wenjun Mao, Yun Cai, Danrong Chen, Guanyu Jiang, Yongrui Xu, Ruo Chen, Fengxu Wang, Xuehai Wang, Mingfeng Zheng, Xinyuan Zhao, Jie Mei
T cell receptor (TCR) sequences are exceptionally diverse and can now be comprehensively measured with next-generation sequencing technologies. However, a thorough investigation of longitudinal TCR repertoires throughout childhood in health and during development of a common childhood disease, type 1 diabetes (T1D), has not been undertaken. Here, we deep sequenced the TCR-β chain repertoires from longitudinal peripheral blood DNA samples at 4 time points beginning early in life (median age of 1.4 years) from children who progressed to T1D (n = 29) and age/sex-matched islet autoantibody-negative controls (n = 25). From 53 million TCR-β sequences, we show that the repertoire is extraordinarily diverse early in life and narrows with age independently of disease. We demonstrate the ability to identify specific TCR sequences, including those known to recognize influenza A and, separately, those specific for insulin and its precursor, preproinsulin. Insulin-reactive TCR-β sequences were more common and frequent in number as the disease progressed in those who developed T1D compared with genetically at risk nondiabetic children, and this was not the case for influenza-reactive sequences. As an independent validation, we sequenced and analyzed TCR-β repertoires from a cohort of new-onset T1D patients (n = 143), identifying the same preproinsulin-reactive TCRs. These results demonstrate an enrichment of preproinsulin-reactive TCR sequences during the progression to T1D, highlighting the importance of using disease-relevant TCR sequences as powerful biomarkers in autoimmune disorders.
Angela M. Mitchell, Erin E. Baschal, Kristen A. McDaniel, Kimber M. Simmons, Laura Pyle, Kathleen Waugh, Andrea K. Steck, Liping Yu, Peter A. Gottlieb, Marian J. Rewers, Maki Nakayama, Aaron W. Michels
Pseudomonas aeruginosa is one of the most common nosocomial infections worldwide, and it frequently causes ventilator-associated acute pneumonia in immunocompromised patients. Abundant neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) contribute to acute lung injury, thereby aggravating ventilator-induced lung damage. While pattern recognition receptors (PRRs) TLR4 and TLR5 are required for host defense against P. aeruginosa invasion, the PRR responsible for P. aeruginosa–induced NET formation, proinflammatory cytokine release, and acute lung injury remains unclear. We found that myeloid C-type lectin domain family 5 member A (CLEC5A) interacts with LPS of P. aeruginosa and is responsible for P. aeruginosa–induced NET formation and lung inflammation. P. aeruginosa activates CLEC5A to induce caspase-1–dependent NET formation, but it neither causes gasdermin D (GSDMD) cleavage nor contributes to P. aeruginosa–induced neutrophil death. Blockade of CLEC5A attenuates P. aeruginosa–induced NETosis and lung injury, and simultaneous administration of anti-CLEC5A mAb with ciprofloxacin increases survival rate and decreases collagen deposition in the lungs of mice challenged with a lethal dose of P. aeruginosa. Thus, CLEC5A is a promising therapeutic target to reduce ventilator-associated lung injury and fibrosis in P. aeruginosa–induced pneumonia.
Pei-Shan Sung, Yu-Chun Peng, Shao-Ping Yang, Cheng-Hsun Chiu, Shie-Liang Hsieh
Cub domain-containing protein 1 (CDCP1) is a protein that is highly expressed on the surface of many cancer cells. However, its distribution in normal tissues and its potential roles in nontumor cells are poorly understood. We found that CDCP1 is present on both human and mouse retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells. CDCP1-KO mice developed attenuated retinal inflammation in a passive model of autoimmune uveitis, with disrupted tight junctions and infiltrating T cells detected in RPE flat mounts from WT but not CDCP1-KO mice during EAU development. Mechanistically, we discovered that CDCP1 on RPE cells was upregulated by IFN-γ in vitro and after EAU induction in vivo. CD6 stimulation induced increased RPE barrier permeability of WT but not CDCP1-knockdown (CDCP1-KD) RPE cells, and activated T cells migrated through WT RPE monolayers more efficiently than the CDCP1-KD RPE monolayers. In addition, CD6 stimulation of WT but not the CDCP1-KD RPE cells induced massive stress fiber formation and focal adhesion disruption to reduce cell barrier tight junctions. These data suggest that CDCP1 on RPE cells interacts with CD6 on T cells to induce RPE cytoskeleton remodeling and focal adhesion disruption, which open up the tight junctions to facilitate T cell infiltration for the development of uveitis.
Lingjun Zhang, Nozha Borjini, Yu Lun, Sweta Parab, Gospel Asonye, Rupesh Singh, Brent A. Bell, Vera L. Bonilha, Andrei Ivanov, David A. Fox, Rachel Caspi, Feng Lin
Lentiviral vector–based dendritic cell vaccines induce protective T cell responses against viral infection and cancer in animal models. In this study, we tested whether preventative and therapeutic vaccination could be achieved by direct injection of antigen-expressing lentiviral vector, obviating the need for ex vivo transduction of dendritic cells. Injected lentiviral vector preferentially transduced splenic dendritic cells and resulted in long-term expression. Injection of a lentiviral vector encoding an MHC class I–restricted T cell epitope of lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) and CD40 ligand induced an antigen-specific cytolytic CD8+ T lymphocyte response that protected the mice from infection. The injection of chronically infected mice with a lentiviral vector encoding LCMV MHC class I and II T cell epitopes and a soluble programmed cell death 1 microbody rapidly cleared the virus. Vaccination by direct injection of lentiviral vector was more effective in sterile alpha motif and HD-domain containing protein 1–knockout (SAMHD1-knockout) mice, suggesting that lentiviral vectors containing Vpx, a lentiviral protein that increases the efficiency of dendritic cell transduction by inducing the degradation of SAMHD1, would be an effective strategy for the treatment of chronic disease in humans.
Takuya Tada, Thomas D. Norton, Rebecca Leibowitz, Nathaniel R. Landau
Although published studies have demonstrated that IFN-ε has a crucial role in regulating protective immunity in the mouse female reproductive tract, expression and regulation of IFN-ε in the human female reproductive tract (hFRT) have not been characterized to our knowledge. We obtained hFRT samples from a well-characterized cohort of women to enable us to comprehensively assess ex vivo IFN-ε expression in the hFRT at various stages of the menstrual cycle. We found that among the various types of IFNs, IFN-ε was uniquely, selectively, and constitutively expressed in the hFRT epithelium. It had distinct expression patterns in the surface and glandular epithelia of the upper hFRT compared with basal layers of the stratified squamous epithelia of the lower hFRT. There was cyclical variation of IFN-ε expression in the endometrial epithelium of the upper hFRT and not in the distal FRT, consistent with selective endometrial expression of the progesterone receptor and regulation of the IFNE promoter by progesterone. Because we showed IFN-ε stimulated important protective IFN-regulated genes in FRT epithelium, this characterization is a key element in understanding the mechanisms of hormonal control of mucosal immunity.
Nollaig M. Bourke, Sharon L. Achilles, Stephanie U-Shane Huang, Helen E. Cumming, San S. Lim, Irene Papageorgiou, Linden J. Gearing, Ross Chapman, Suruchi Thakore, Niamh E. Mangan, Sam Mesiano, Paul J. Hertzog
Accurate estimate of fetal maturity could provide individualized guidance for delivery of complicated pregnancies. However, current methods are invasive, have low accuracy, and are limited to fetal lung maturation. To identify diagnostic gestational biomarkers, we performed transcriptomic profiling of lung and brain, as well as cell-free RNA from amniotic fluid of preterm and term rhesus macaque fetuses. These data identify potentially new and prior-associated gestational age differences in distinct lung and neuronal cell populations when compared with existing single-cell and bulk RNA-Seq data. Comparative analyses found hundreds of genes coincidently induced in lung and amniotic fluid, along with dozens in brain and amniotic fluid. These data enable creation of computational models that accurately predict lung compliance from amniotic fluid and lung transcriptome of preterm fetuses treated with antenatal corticosteroids. Importantly, antenatal steroids induced off-target gene expression changes in the brain, impinging upon synaptic transmission and neuronal and glial maturation, as this could have long-term consequences on brain development. Cell-free RNA in amniotic fluid may provide a substrate of global fetal maturation markers for personalized management of at-risk pregnancies.
Augusto F. Schmidt, Daniel J. Schnell, Kenneth P. Eaton, Kashish Chetal, Paranthaman S. Kannan, Lisa A. Miller, Claire A. Chougnet, Daniel T. Swarr, Alan H. Jobe, Nathan Salomonis, Beena D. Kamath-Rayne
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