SLC26A3 (downregulated in adenoma; DRA) is a Cl–/anion exchanger expressed in the luminal membrane of intestinal epithelial cells, where it facilitates electroneutral NaCl absorption. SLC26A3 loss of function in humans or mice causes chloride-losing diarrhea. Here, we identified slc26a3 inhibitors in a screen of 50,000 synthetic small molecules done in Fischer rat thyroid (FRT) cells coexpressing slc26a3 and a genetically encoded halide sensor. Structure-activity relationship studies were done on the most potent inhibitor classes identified in the screen: 4,8-dimethylcoumarins and acetamide-thioimidazoles. The dimethylcoumarin DRAinh-A250 fully and reversibly inhibited slc26a3-mediated Cl– exchange with HCO3–, I–, and thiocyanate (SCN–), with an IC50 of ~0.2 μM. DRAinh-A250 did not inhibit the homologous anion exchangers slc26a4 (pendrin) or slc26a6 (PAT-1), nor did it alter activity of other related proteins or intestinal ion channels. In mice, intraluminal DRAinh-A250 blocked fluid absorption in closed colonic loops but not in jejunal loops, while the NHE3 (SLC9A3) inhibitor tenapanor blocked absorption only in the jejunum. Oral DRAinh-A250 and tenapanor comparably reduced signs of constipation in loperamide-treated mice, with additive effects found on coadministration. DRAinh-A250 was also effective in loperamide-treated cystic fibrosis mice. These studies support a major role of slc26a3 in colonic fluid absorption and suggest the therapeutic utility of SLC26A3 inhibition in constipation.
Peter M. Haggie, Onur Cil, Sujin Lee, Joseph-Anthony Tan, Amber A. Rivera, Puay-Wah Phuan, Alan S. Verkman
Different nephron tubule segments perform distinct physiological functions, collectively acting as a blood filtration unit. Dysfunction of the proximal tubule segment can lead to Fanconi renotubular syndrome (FRTS), with major symptoms such as excess excretion of water, glucose, and phosphate in the urine. It has been shown that a mutation in HNF4A is associated with FRTS in humans and that Hnf4a is expressed specifically in proximal tubules in adult rat nephrons. However, little is known about the role of Hnf4a in nephrogenesis. Here, we found that Hnf4a is expressed in both presumptive and differentiated proximal tubules in the developing mouse kidney. We show that Hnf4a is required for the formation of differentiated proximal tubules but is dispensable for the formation of presumptive proximal tubules. Furthermore, we show that loss of Hnf4a decreased the expression of proximal tubule–specific genes. Adult Hnf4a mutant mice presented with FRTS-like symptoms, including polyuria, polydipsia, glycosuria, and phosphaturia. Analysis of the adult Hnf4a mutant kidney also showed proximal tubule dysgenesis and nephrocalcinosis. Our results demonstrate the critical role of Hnf4a in proximal tubule development and provide mechanistic insight into the etiology of FRTS.
Sierra S. Marable, Eunah Chung, Mike Adam, S. Steven Potter, Joo-Seop Park
Obesity increases breast cancer mortality by promoting resistance to therapy. Here, we identified regulatory pathways in estrogen receptor–positive (ER-positive) tumors that were shared between patients with obesity and those with resistance to neoadjuvant aromatase inhibition. Among these was fibroblast growth factor receptor 1 (FGFR1), a known mediator of endocrine therapy resistance. In a preclinical model with patient-derived ER-positive tumors, diet-induced obesity promoted a similar gene expression signature and sustained the growth of FGFR1-overexpressing tumors after estrogen deprivation. Tumor FGFR1 phosphorylation was elevated with obesity and predicted a shorter disease-free and disease-specific survival for patients treated with tamoxifen. In both human and mouse mammary adipose tissue, FGF1 ligand expression was associated with metabolic dysfunction, weight gain, and adipocyte hypertrophy, implicating the impaired response to a positive energy balance in growth factor production within the tumor niche. In conjunction with these studies, we describe a potentially novel graft-competent model that can be used with patient-derived tissue to elucidate factors specific to extrinsic (host) and intrinsic (tumor) tissue that are critical for obesity-associated tumor promotion. Taken together, we demonstrate that obesity and excess energy establish a tumor environment with features of endocrine therapy resistance and identify a role for ligand-dependent FGFR1 signaling in obesity-associated breast cancer progression.
Elizabeth A. Wellberg, Peter Kabos, Austin E. Gillen, Britta M. Jacobsen, Heather M. Brechbuhl, Stevi J. Johnson, Michael C. Rudolph, Susan M. Edgerton, Ann D. Thor, Steven M. Anderson, Anthony Elias, Xi Kathy Zhou, Neil M. Iyengar, Monica Morrow, Domenick J. Falcone, Omar El-Hely, Andrew J. Dannenberg, Carol A. Sartorius, Paul S. MacLean
Treatment of individuals with cystic fibrosis (CF) has been transformed by small molecule therapies that target select pathogenic variants in the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR). To expand treatment eligibility, we stably expressed 43 rare missense CFTR variants associated with moderate CF from a single site in the genome of human CF bronchial epithelial (CFBE41o–) cells. The magnitude of drug response was highly correlated with residual CFTR function for the potentiator ivacaftor, the corrector lumacaftor, and ivacaftor-lumacaftor combination therapy. Response of a second set of 16 variants expressed stably in Fischer rat thyroid (FRT) cells showed nearly identical correlations. Subsets of variants were identified that demonstrated statistically significantly higher responses to specific treatments. Furthermore, nearly all variants studied in CFBE cells (40 of 43) and FRT cells (13 of 16) demonstrated greater response to ivacaftor-lumacaftor combination therapy than either modulator alone. Together, these variants represent 87% of individuals in the CFTR2 database with at least 1 missense variant. Thus, our results indicate that most individuals with CF carrying missense variants are (a) likely to respond modestly to currently available modulator therapy, while a small fraction will have pronounced responses, and (b) likely to derive the greatest benefit from combination therapy.
Sangwoo T. Han, Andras Rab, Matthew J. Pellicore, Emily F. Davis, Allison F. McCague, Taylor A. Evans, Anya T. Joynt, Zhongzhou Lu, Zhiwei Cai, Karen S. Raraigh, Jeong S. Hong, David N. Sheppard, Eric J. Sorscher, Garry R. Cutting
Germline SAMD9 and SAMD9L mutations cause a spectrum of multisystem disorders that carry a markedly increased risk of developing myeloid malignancies with somatic monosomy 7. Here, we describe 16 siblings, the majority of which were phenotypically normal, from 5 families diagnosed with myelodysplasia and leukemia syndrome with monosomy 7 (MLSM7; OMIM 252270) who primarily had onset of hematologic abnormalities during the first decade of life. Molecular analyses uncovered germline SAMD9L (n = 4) or SAMD9 (n = 1) mutations in these families. Affected individuals had a highly variable clinical course that ranged from mild and transient dyspoietic changes in the bone marrow to a rapid progression of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) or acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with monosomy 7. Expression of these gain-of-function SAMD9 and SAMD9L mutations reduces cell cycle progression, and deep sequencing demonstrated selective pressure favoring the outgrowth of clones that have either lost the mutant allele or acquired revertant mutations. The myeloid malignancies of affected siblings acquired cooperating mutations in genes that are also altered in sporadic cases of AML characterized by monosomy 7. These data have implications for understanding how SAMD9 and SAMD9L mutations contribute to myeloid transformation and for recognizing, counseling, and treating affected families.
Jasmine C. Wong, Victoria Bryant, Tamara Lamprecht, Jing Ma, Michael Walsh, Jason Schwartz, Maria del pilar Alzamora, Charles G. Mullighan, Mignon L. Loh, Raul Ribeiro, James R. Downing, William L. Carroll, Jeffrey Davis, Stuart Gold, Paul C. Rogers, Sara Israels, Rochelle Yanofsky, Kevin Shannon, Jeffery M. Klco
Soluble cytokine receptors function as decoy receptors to attenuate cytokine-mediated signaling and modulate downstream cellular responses. Dysregulated overproduction of soluble receptors can be pathological, such as soluble ST2 (sST2), a prognostic biomarker in cardiovascular diseases, ulcerative colitis, and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). Although intervention using an ST2 antibody improves survival in murine GVHD models, sST2 is a challenging target for drug development because it binds to IL-33 via an extensive interaction interface. Here, we report the discovery of small-molecule ST2 inhibitors through a combination of high-throughput screening and computational analysis. After in vitro and in vivo toxicity assessment, 3 compounds were selected for evaluation in 2 experimental GVHD models. We show that the most effective compound, iST2-1, reduces plasma sST2 levels, alleviates disease symptoms, improves survival, and maintains graft-versus-leukemia activity. Our data suggest that iST2-1 warrants further optimization to develop treatment for inflammatory diseases mediated by sST2.
Abdulraouf M. Ramadan, Etienne Daguindau, Jason C. Rech, Krishnapriya Chinnaswamy, Jilu Zhang, Greg L. Hura, Brad Griesenauer, Zachary Bolten, Aaron Robida, Martha Larsen, Jeanne A. Stuckey, Chao-Yie Yang, Sophie Paczesny
Resistance to current therapies still impacts a significant number of melanoma patients and can be regulated by epigenetic alterations. Analysis of global cytosine methylation in a cohort of primary melanomas revealed a pattern of early demethylation associated with overexpression of oncogenic transcripts. Loss of methylation and associated overexpression of the CSF 1 receptor (CSF1R) was seen in a majority of tumors and was driven by an alternative, endogenous viral promoter in a subset of samples. CSF1R was particularly elevated in melanomas with BRAF and other MAPK activating mutations. Furthermore, rebound ERK activation after BRAF inhibition was associated with RUNX1-mediated further upregulation of CSF-1R and its ligand IL-34. Importantly, increased CSF-1R and IL-34 overexpression were detected in an independent cohort of resistant melanomas. Inhibition of CSF-1R kinase or decreased CSF-1R expression by RNAi reduced 3-D growth and invasiveness of melanoma cells. Coinhibition of CSF-1R and BRAF resulted in synergistic efficacy in vivo. To our knowledge, our data unveil a previously unknown role for the autocrine-regulated CSF-1R in BRAF V600E resistance and provide a preclinical rationale for targeting this pathway in melanoma.
Orsi Giricz, Yongkai Mo, Kimberly B. Dahlman, Xiomaris M. Cotto-Rios, Chiara Vardabasso, Hoa Nguyen, Bernice Matusow, Matthias Bartenstein, Veronika Polishchuk, Douglas B. Johnson, Tushar D. Bhagat, Rafe Shellooe, Elizabeth Burton, James Tsai, Chao Zhang, Gaston Habets, John M. Greally, Yiting Yu, Paraic A. Kenny, Gregg B. Fields, Kith Pradhan, E. Richard Stanley, Emily Bernstein, Gideon Bollag, Evripidis Gavathiotis, Brian L. West, Jeffrey A. Sosman, Amit K. Verma
CD4+ Tregs impede T cell responses to tumors. They express multiple inhibitory receptors that support their suppressive functions, including T cell Ig and ITIM domain (TIGIT). In melanoma patients, we show that Tregs exhibit increased TIGIT expression and decreased expression of its competing costimulatory receptor CD226 as compared with CD4+ effector T cells, resulting in an increased TIGIT/CD226 ratio. Tregs failed to upregulate CD226 upon T cell activation. TIGIT+ Tregs are highly suppressive, stable, and enriched in tumors. TIGIT and CD226 oppose each other to augment or disrupt, respectively, Treg suppression and stability. A high TIGIT/CD226 ratio in Tregs correlates with increased Treg frequencies in tumors and poor clinical outcome upon immune checkpoint blockade. Altogether, our findings show that a high TIGIT/CD226 ratio in Tregs regulates their suppressive function and stability in melanoma. They provide the rationale for novel immunotherapies to activate CD226 in Tregs together with TIGIT blockade to counteract Treg suppression in cancer patients.
Julien Fourcade, Zhaojun Sun, Joe-Marc Chauvin, Mignane Ka, Diwakar Davar, Ornella Pagliano, Hong Wang, Sofiane Saada, Carmine Menna, Rada Amin, Cindy Sander, John M. Kirkwood, Alan J. Korman, Hassane M. Zarour
Parkinson’s disease (PD) is the second most prevalent neurodegenerative disease among the elderly. To understand its pathogenesis and to test therapies, animal models that faithfully reproduce key pathological PD hallmarks are needed. As a prelude to developing a model of PD, we tested the tropism, efficacy, biodistribution, and transcriptional effect of canine adenovirus type 2 (CAV-2) vectors in the brain of Microcebus murinus, a nonhuman primate that naturally develops neurodegenerative lesions. We show that introducing helper-dependent (HD) CAV-2 vectors results in long-term, neuron-specific expression at the injection site and in afferent nuclei. Although HD CAV-2 vector injection induced a modest transcriptional response, no significant adaptive immune response was generated. We then generated and tested HD CAV-2 vectors expressing leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) and LRRK2 carrying a G2019S mutation (LRRK2G2019S), which is linked to sporadic and familial autosomal dominant forms of PD. We show that HD-LRRK2G2019S expression induced parkinsonian-like motor symptoms and histological features in less than 4 months.
Nadine Mestre-Francés, Nicolas Serratrice, Aurélie Gennetier, Gina Devau, Sandra Cobo, Stéphanie G. Trouche, Pascaline Fontès, Charleine Zussy, Philippe De Deurwaerdere, Sara Salinas, Franck J.D. Mennechet, Julien Dusonchet, Bernard L. Schneider, Isabella Saggio, Vasiliki Kalatzis, M. Rosario Luquin-Piudo, Jean-Michel Verdier, Eric J. Kremer
Chronic liver disease (CLD) is associated with tissue-destructive fibrosis. Considering that common mechanisms drive fibrosis across etiologies, and that steatosis is an important cofactor for pathology, we performed RNA sequencing on liver biopsies of patients with different fibrosis stages, resulting from infection with hepatitis C virus (HCV) (with or without steatosis) or fatty liver disease. In combination with enhanced liver fibrosis score correlation analysis, we reveal a common set of genes associated with advanced fibrosis, as exemplified by those encoding the transcription factor ETS-homologous factor (EHF) and the extracellular matrix protein versican (VCAN). We identified 17 fibrosis-associated genes as candidate EHF targets and demonstrated that EHF regulates multiple fibrosis-associated genes, including VCAN, in hepatic stellate cells. Serum VCAN levels were also elevated in advanced fibrosis patients. Comparing biopsies from patients with HCV with or without steatosis, we identified a steatosis-enriched gene set associated with advanced fibrosis, validating follistatin-like protein 1 (FSTL1) as an exemplar of this profile. In patients with advanced fibrosis, serum FSTL1 levels were elevated in those with steatosis (versus those without). Liver Fstl1 mRNA levels were also elevated in murine CLD models. We thus reveal a common gene signature for CLD-associated liver fibrosis and potential biomarkers and/or targets for steatosis-associated liver fibrosis.
Divya Ramnath, Katharine M. Irvine, Samuel W. Lukowski, Leigh U. Horsfall, Zhixuan Loh, Andrew D. Clouston, Preya J. Patel, Kevin J. Fagan, Abishek Iyer, Guy Lampe, Jennifer L. Stow, Kate Schroder, David P. Fairlie, Joseph E. Powell, Elizabeth E. Powell, Matthew J. Sweet
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