Metastases cause 90% of human cancer deaths. The metastatic cascade involves local invasion, intravasation, extravasation, metastatic site colonization, and proliferation. Although individual mediators of these processes have been investigated, interactions between these mediators remain less well defined. We previously identified a complex between receptor tyrosine kinase c-Met and β1 integrin in metastases. Using cell culture and in vivo assays, we found that c-Met/β1 complex induction promoted intravasation and vessel wall adhesion in triple-negative breast cancer cells, but did not increase extravasation. These effects may have been driven by the ability of the c-Met/β1 complex to increase mesenchymal and stem cell characteristics. Multiplex transcriptomic analysis revealed upregulated Wnt and hedgehog pathways after c-Met/β1 complex induction. A β1 integrin point mutation that prevented binding to c-Met reduced intravasation. OS2966, a therapeutic antibody disrupting c-Met/β1 binding, decreased breast cancer cell invasion and mesenchymal gene expression. Bone-seeking breast cancer cells exhibited higher levels of c-Met/β1 complex than parental controls and preferentially adhered to tissue-specific matrix. Patient bone metastases demonstrated higher c-Met/β1 complex than brain metastases. Thus, the c-Met/β1 complex drove intravasation of triple-negative breast cancer cells and preferential affinity for bone-specific matrix. Pharmacological targeting of the complex may have prevented metastases, particularly osseous metastases.
Darryl Lau, Harsh Wadhwa, Sweta Sudhir, Alexander Chih-Chieh Chang, Saket Jain, Ankush Chandra, Alan T. Nguyen, Jordan M. Spatz, Ananya Pappu, Sumedh S. Shah, Justin Cheng, Michael M. Safaee, Garima Yagnik, Arman Jahangiri, Manish K. Aghi
Haploidentical hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (h-HSCT) represents an efficient curative approach for patients affected by hematologic malignancies in which the reduced intensity conditioning induces a state of immunologic tolerance between donor and recipient. However, opportunistic viral infections greatly affect h-HSCT clinical outcomes. NK cells are the first lymphocytes that recover after transplant and provide a prompt defense against human cytomegalovirus (HCMV) infection/reactivation. By undertaking a longitudinal single-cell computational profiling of multiparametric flow cytometry, we show that HCMV accelerates NK cell immune reconstitution together with the expansion of CD158b1b2jpos/NKG2Aneg/NKG2Cpos/NKp30lo NK cells. The frequency of this subset correlates with HCMV viremia, further increases in recipients experiencing multiple episodes of viral reactivations, and persists for months after the infection. The transcriptional profile of FACS-sorted CD158b1b2jpos NK cells confirmed the ability of HCMV to deregulate NKG2C, NKG2A, and NKp30 gene expression, thus inducing the expansion of NK cells with adaptive traits. These NK cells are characterized by the downmodulation of several gene pathways associated with cell migration, the cell cycle, and effector-functions, as well as by a state of metabolic/cellular exhaustion. This profile reflects the functional impairments of adaptive NK cells to produce IFN-γ, a phenomenon also due to the viral-induced expression of lymphocyte-activation gene 3 (LAG-3) and programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) checkpoint inhibitors.
Elisa Zaghi, Michela Calvi, Simone Puccio, Gianmarco Spata, Sara Terzoli, Clelia Peano, Alessandra Roberto, Federica De Paoli, Jasper J.P. van Beek, Jacopo Mariotti, Chiara De Philippis, Barbara Sarina, Rossana Mineri, Stefania Bramanti, Armando Santoro, Vu Thuy Khanh Le-Trilling, Mirko Trilling, Emanuela Marcenaro, Luca Castagna, Clara Di Vito, Enrico Lugli, Domenico Mavilio
Mice are normally unaffected by SARS coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection since the virus does not bind effectively to the murine version of the angiotensin-converting enzyme 2 (ACE2) receptor molecule. Here, we report that induced mild pulmonary morbidities rendered SARS-CoV-2–refractive CD-1 mice susceptible to this virus. Specifically, SARS-CoV-2 infection after application of low doses of the acute lung injury stimulants bleomycin or ricin caused severe disease in CD-1 mice, manifested by sustained body weight loss and mortality rates greater than 50%. Further studies revealed markedly higher levels of viral RNA in the lungs, heart, and serum of low-dose ricin–pretreated mice compared with non-pretreated mice. Furthermore, lung extracts prepared 2–3 days after viral infection contained subgenomic mRNA and virus particles capable of replication only when derived from the pretreated mice. The deleterious effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection were effectively alleviated by passive transfer of polyclonal or monoclonal antibodies generated against the SARS-CoV-2 receptor binding domain (RBD). Thus, viral cell entry in the sensitized mice seems to depend on viral RBD binding, albeit by a mechanism other than the canonical ACE2-mediated uptake route. This unique mode of viral entry, observed over a mildly injured tissue background, may contribute to the exacerbation of coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pathologies in patients with preexisting morbidities.
Reut Falach, Liat Bar-On, Shlomi Lazar, Tamar Kadar, Ohad Mazor, Moshe Aftalion, David Gur, Yentl Evgy, Ohad Shifman, Tamar Aminov, Ofir Israeli, Inbar Cohen-Gihon, Galia Zaide, Hila Gutman, Yaron Vagima, Efi Makdasi, Dana Stein, Ronit Rosenfeld, Ron Alcalay, Eran Zahavy, Haim Levy, Itai Glinert, Amir Ben-Shmuel, Tomer Israely, Sharon Melamed, Boaz Politi, Hagit Achdout, Shmuel Yitzhaki, Chanoch Kronman, Tamar Sabo
Several studies have associated the presence of residual insulin secretion capability (also referred to as being C-peptide positive) with lower risk of insulin-induced hypoglycemia in patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D), although the reason is unclear. We tested the hypothesis that C-peptide infusion would enhance glucagon secretion in response to hyperinsulinemia during euglycemic and hypoglycemic conditions in dogs (5 male/4 female). After a 2-hour basal period, an intravenous (IV) infusion of insulin was started, and dextrose was infused to maintain euglycemia for 2 hours. At the same time, an IV infusion of either saline (SAL) or C-peptide (CPEP) was started. After this euglycemic period, the insulin and SAL/CPEP infusions were continued for another 2 hours, but the glucose was allowed to fall to approximately 50 mg/dL. In response to euglycemic-hyperinsulinemia, glucagon secretion decreased in SAL but remained unchanged from the basal period in CPEP condition. During hypoglycemia, glucagon secretion in CPEP was 2 times higher than SAL, and this increased net hepatic glucose output and reduced the amount of exogenous glucose required to maintain glycemia. These data suggest that the presence of C-peptide during IV insulin infusion can preserve glucagon secretion during euglycemia and enhance it during hypoglycemia, which could explain why T1D patients with residual insulin secretion are less susceptible to hypoglycemia.
Mary Courtney Moore, Shana O. Warner, Yufei Dai, Nicole Sheanon, Marta Smith, Ben Farmer, Rebecca L. Cason, Alan D. Cherrington, Jason J. Winnick
Although antiretroviral therapy suppresses HIV replication, it does not eliminate viral reservoirs or restore damaged lymphoid tissue, posing obstacles to HIV eradication. Using the SIV model of AIDS, we investigated the effect of mesenchymal stem/stromal cell (MSC) infusions on gut mucosal recovery, antiviral immunity, and viral suppression and determined associated molecular/metabolic signatures. MSC administration to SIV-infected macaques resulted in viral reduction and heightened virus-specific responses. Marked clearance of SIV-positive cells from gut mucosal effector sites was correlated with robust regeneration of germinal centers, restoration of follicular B cells and T follicular helper (Tfh) cells, and enhanced antigen presentation by viral trapping within the follicular DC network. Gut transcriptomic analyses showed increased antiviral response mediated by pathways of type I/II IFN signaling, viral restriction factors, innate immunity, and B cell proliferation and provided the molecular signature underlying enhanced host immunity. Metabolic analysis revealed strong correlations between B and Tfh cell activation, anti-SIV antibodies, and IL-7 expression with enriched retinol metabolism, which facilitates gut homing of antigen-activated lymphocytes. We identified potentially new MSC functions in modulating antiviral immunity for enhanced viral clearance predominantly through type I/II IFN signaling and B cell signature, providing a road map for multipronged HIV eradication strategies.
Mariana G. Weber, Chara J. Walters-Laird, Amir Kol, Clarissa Santos Rocha, Lauren A. Hirao, Abigail Mende, Bipin Balan, Juan Arredondo, Sonny R. Elizaldi, Smita S. Iyer, Alice F. Tarantal, Satya Dandekar
Eosinophilic granulomatosis with polyangiitis (EGPA) is a rare but serious disease with poorly understood mechanisms. Here, we report that patients with EGPA have elevated levels of TSLP, IL-25, and soluble ST2, which are well-characterized cytokine “alarmins” that activate or modulate type 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s). Patients with active EGPA have a concurrent reduction in circulating ILC2s, suggesting a role for ILC2s in the pathogenesis of this disease. To explore the mechanism of these findings in patients, we established a model of EGPA in which active vasculitis and pulmonary hemorrhage were induced by IL-33 administration in predisposed, hypereosinophilic mice. In this model, induction of pulmonary hemorrhage and vasculitis was dependent on ILC2s and signaling through IL4Rα. In the absence of IL4Rα or STAT6, IL-33–treated mice had less vascular leak and pulmonary edema, less endothelial activation, and reduced eotaxin production, cumulatively leading to a reduction of pathologic eosinophil migration into the lung parenchyma. These results offer a mouse model for use in future mechanistic studies of EGPA, and they suggest that IL-33, ILC2s, and IL4Rα signaling may be potential targets for further study and therapeutic targeting in patients with EGPA.
Maya E. Kotas, Jérémie Dion, Steven Van Dyken, Roberto R. Ricardo-Gonzalez, Claire J. Danel, Camille Taillé, Luc Mouthon, Richard M. Locksley, Benjamin Terrier
Hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) is the sixth most common and the fourth most deadly cancer worldwide. The development cost of new therapeutics is a major limitation in patient outcomes. Importantly, there is a paucity of preclinical HCC models in which to test new small molecules. Herein, we implemented potentially novel patient-derived organoid (PDO) and patient-derived xenografts (PDX) strategies for high-throughput drug screening. Omacetaxine, an FDA-approved drug for chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), was found to be a top effective small molecule in HCC PDOs. Next, omacetaxine was tested against a larger cohort of 40 human HCC PDOs. Serial dilution experiments demonstrated that omacetaxine is effective at low (nanomolar) concentrations. Mechanistic studies established that omacetaxine inhibits global protein synthesis, with a disproportionate effect on short–half-life proteins. High-throughput expression screening identified molecular targets for omacetaxine, including key oncogenes, such as PLK1. In conclusion, by using an innovative strategy, we report — for the first time to our knowledge — the effectiveness of omacetaxine in HCC. In addition, we elucidate key mechanisms of omacetaxine action. Finally, we provide a proof-of-principle basis for future studies applying drug screening PDOs sequenced with candidate validation in PDX models. Clinical trials could be considered to evaluate omacetaxine in patients with HCC.
Ling Li, Gilad Halpert, Michael G. Lerner, Haijie Hu, Peter Dimitrion, Matthew J. Weiss, Jin He, Benjamin Philosophe, Richard Burkhart, William R. Burns, Russell N. Wesson, Andrew MacGregor Cameron, Christopher L. Wolfgang, Christos Georgiades, Satomi Kawamoto, Nilofer S. Azad, Mark Yarchoan, Stephen J. Meltzer, Kiyoko Oshima, Laura M. Ensign, Joel S. Bader, Florin M. Selaru
Alloimmune responses driven by donor-specific antibodies (DSAs) can lead to antibody-mediated rejection (ABMR) in organ transplantation. Yet, the cellular states underlying alloreactive B cell responses and the molecular components controlling them remain unclear. Using high-dimensional profiling of B cells in a cohort of 96 kidney transplant recipients, we identified expanded numbers of CD27+CD21– activated memory (AM) B cells that expressed the transcription factor T-bet in patients who developed DSAs and progressed to ABMR. Notably, AM cells were less frequent in DSA+ABMR– patients and at baseline levels in DSA– patients. RNA-Seq analysis of AM cells in patients undergoing ABMR revealed these cells to be poised for plasma cell differentiation and to express restricted IGHV sequences reflective of clonal expansion. In addition to T-bet, AM cells manifested elevated expression of interferon regulatory factor 4 and Blimp1, and upon coculture with autologous T follicular helper cells, differentiated into DSA-producing plasma cells in an IL-21–dependent manner. The frequency of AM cells was correlated with the timing and severity of ABMR manifestations. Importantly, T-bet+ AM cells were detected within kidney allografts along with their restricted IGHV sequences. This study delineates a pivotal role for AM cells in promoting humoral responses and ABMR in organ transplantation and highlights them as important therapeutic targets.
Kevin Louis, Elodie Bailly, Camila Macedo, Louis Lau, Bala Ramaswami, Alexander Chang, Uma Chandran, Douglas Landsittel, Xinyan Gu, Geetha Chalasani, Adriana Zeevi, Parmjeet Randhawa, Harinder Singh, Carmen Lefaucheur, Diana Metes
Cigarette smoke (CS) is the main etiological factor in the pathogenesis of emphysema/chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), which is associated with abnormal epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Previously, we have shown an association among circadian rhythms, CS-induced lung inflammation, and nuclear heme receptor α (REV-ERBα), acting as an antiinflammatory target in both pulmonary epithelial cells and fibroblasts. We hypothesized that molecular clock REV-ERBα plays an important role in CS-induced circadian dysfunction and EMT alteration. C57BL/6J WT and REV-ERBα heterozygous (Het) and –KO mice were exposed to CS for 30 days (subchronic) and 4 months (chronic), and WT mice were exposed to CS for 10 days with or without REV-ERBα agonist (SR9009) administration. Subchronic/chronic CS exposure caused circadian disruption and dysregulated EMT in the lungs of WT and REV-ERBα–KO mice; both circadian and EMT dysregulation were exaggerated in the REV-ERBα–KO condition. REV-ERBα agonist, SR9009 treatment reduced acute CS-induced inflammatory response and abnormal EMT in the lungs. Moreover, REV-ERBα agonist (GSK4112) inhibited TGF-β/CS–induced fibroblast differentiation in human fetal lung fibroblast 1 (HFL-1). Thus, CS-induced circadian gene alterations and EMT activation are mediated through a Rev-erbα–dependent mechanism, which suggests activation of REV-ERBα as a novel therapeutic approach for smoking-induced chronic inflammatory lung diseases.
Qixin Wang, Isaac K. Sundar, Joseph H. Lucas, Thivanka Muthumalage, Irfan Rahman
Epigenetic modifications of the genome, including DNA methylation, histone methylation/acetylation, and noncoding RNAs, have been reported to play a fundamental role in regulating immune response during the progression of atherosclerosis. SETDB2 is a member of the KMT1 family of lysine methyltransferases, and members of this family typically methylate histone H3 Lys9 (H3K9), an epigenetic mark associated with gene silencing. Previous studies have shown that SETDB2 is involved in innate and adaptive immunity, the proinflammatory response, and hepatic lipid metabolism. Here, we report that expression of SETDB2 is markedly upregulated in human and murine atherosclerotic lesions. Upregulation of SETDB2 was observed in proinflammatory M1 but not antiinflammatory M2 macrophages. Notably, we found that genetic deletion of SETDB2 in hematopoietic cells promoted vascular inflammation and enhanced the progression of atherosclerosis in BM transfer studies in Ldlr-knockout mice. Single-cell RNA-Seq analysis in isolated CD45+ cells from atherosclerotic plaques from mice transplanted with SETDB2-deficient BM revealed a significant increase in monocyte population and enhanced expression of genes involved in inflammation and myeloid cell recruitment. Additionally, we found that loss of SETDB2 in hematopoietic cells was associated with macrophage accumulation in atherosclerotic lesions and attenuated efferocytosis. Overall, these studies identify SETDB2 as an important inflammatory cell regulator that controls macrophage activation in atherosclerotic plaques.
Xinbo Zhang, Jonathan Sun, Alberto Canfrán-Duque, Binod Aryal, George Tellides, Ying Ju Chang, Yajaira Suárez, Timothy F. Osborne, Carlos Fernández-Hernando
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