Exon skipping uses chemically modified antisense oligonucleotides to modulate RNA splicing. Therapeutically, exon skipping can bypass mutations and restore reading frame disruption by generating internally truncated, functional proteins to rescue the loss of native gene expression. Limb-girdle muscular dystrophy type 2C is caused by autosomal recessive mutations in the SGCG gene, which encodes the dystrophin-associated protein γ-sarcoglycan. The most common SGCG mutations disrupt the transcript reading frame abrogating γ-sarcoglycan protein expression. In order to treat most SGCG gene mutations, it is necessary to skip 4 exons in order to restore the SGCG transcript reading frame, creating an internally truncated protein referred to as Mini-Gamma. Using direct reprogramming of human cells with MyoD, myogenic cells were tested with 2 antisense oligonucleotide chemistries, 2’-O-methyl phosphorothioate oligonucleotides and vivo–phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers, to induce exon skipping. Treatment with vivo–phosphorodiamidate morpholino oligomers demonstrated efficient skipping of the targeted exons and corrected the mutant reading frame, resulting in the expression of a functional Mini-Gamma protein. Antisense-induced exon skipping of SGCG occurred in normal cells and those with multiple distinct SGCG mutations, including the most common 521ΔT mutation. These findings demonstrate a multiexon-skipping strategy applicable to the majority of limb-girdle muscular dystrophy 2C patients.
Eugene J. Wyatt, Alexis R. Demonbreun, Ellis Y. Kim, Megan J. Puckelwartz, Andy H. Vo, Lisa M. Dellefave-Castillo, Quan Q. Gao, Mariz Vainzof, Rita C. M. Pavanello, Mayana Zatz, Elizabeth M. McNally
Sepsis-associated encephalopathy manifesting as delirium is a common problem in critical care medicine. In this study, patients that had delirium due to sepsis had significant cognitive impairments at 12–18 months after hospital discharge when compared with controls and Cambridge Neuropsychological Automated Test Battery–standardized scores in spatial recognition memory, pattern recognition memory, and delayed-matching-to-sample tests but not other cognitive functions. A mouse model of S. pneumoniae pneumonia-induced sepsis, which modeled numerous aspects of the human sepsis-associated multiorgan dysfunction, including encephalopathy, also revealed similar deficits in spatial memory but not new task learning. Both humans and mice had large increases in chemokines for myeloid cell recruitment. Intravital imaging of the brains of septic mice revealed increased neutrophil and CCR2+ inflammatory monocyte recruitment (the latter being far more robust), accompanied by subtle microglial activation. Prevention of CCR2+ inflammatory monocyte recruitment, but not neutrophil recruitment, reduced microglial activation and other signs of neuroinflammation and prevented all signs of cognitive impairment after infection. Therefore, therapeutically targeting CCR2+ inflammatory monocytes at the time of sepsis may provide a novel neuroprotective clinical intervention to prevent the development of persistent cognitive impairments.
Graciela Andonegui, Erin L. Zelinski, Courtney L. Schubert, Derrice Knight, Laura A. Craig, Brent W. Winston, Simon C. Spanswick, Björn Petri, Craig N. Jenne, Janice C. Sutherland, Rita Nguyen, Natalie Jayawardena, Margaret M. Kelly, Christopher J. Doig, Robert J. Sutherland, Paul Kubes
Although immune checkpoint inhibitors have resulted in durable clinical benefits in a subset of patients with advanced cancer, some patients who did not respond to initial anti–PD-1 therapy have been found to benefit from the addition of salvage chemotherapy. However, the mechanism responsible for the successful chemoimmunotherapy is not completely understood. Here we show that a subset of circulating CD8+ T cells expressing the chemokine receptor CX3CR1 are able to withstand the toxicity of chemotherapy and are increased in patients with metastatic melanoma who responded to chemoimmunotherapy (paclitaxel and carboplatin plus PD-1 blockade). These CX3CR1+CD8+ T cells have effector memory phenotypes and the ability to efflux chemotherapy drugs via the ABCB1 transporter. In line with clinical observation, our preclinical models identified an optimal sequencing of chemoimmunotherapy that resulted in an increase of CX3CR1+CD8+ T cells. Taken together, we found a subset of PD-1 therapy–responsive CD8+ T cells that were capable of withstanding chemotherapy and executing tumor rejection with their unique abilities of drug efflux (ABCB1), cytolytic activity (granzyme B and perforin), and migration to and retention (CX3CR1 and CD11a) at tumor sites. Future strategies to monitor and increase the frequency of CX3CR1+CD8+ T cells may help to design effective chemoimmunotherapy to overcome cancer resistance to immune checkpoint blockade therapy.
Yiyi Yan, Siyu Cao, Xin Liu, Susan M. Harrington, Wendy E. Bindeman, Alex A. Adjei, Jin Sung Jang, Jin Jen, Ying Li, Pritha Chanana, Aaron S. Mansfield, Sean S. Park, Svetomir N. Markovic, Roxana S. Dronca, Haidong Dong
A role for antigen-driven stimulation has been proposed in the pathogenesis of monoclonal gammopathy of undetermined significance (MGUS) and multiple myeloma (MM) based largely on the binding properties of monoclonal Ig. However, insights into antigen binding to clonal B cell receptors and in vivo responsiveness of the malignant clone to antigen-mediated stimulation are needed to understand the role of antigenic stimulation in tumor growth. Lysolipid-reactive clonal Ig were detected in Gaucher disease (GD) and some sporadic gammopathies. Here, we show that recombinant Ig (rIg) cloned from sort-purified single tumor cells from lipid-reactive sporadic and GD-associated gammopathy specifically bound lysolipids. Liposome sedimentation and binding assays confirmed specific interaction of lipid-reactive monoclonal Ig with lysolipids. The clonal nature of lysolipid-binding Ig was validated by protein sequencing. Gene expression profiling and cytogenetic analyses from 2 patient cohorts showed enrichment of nonhyperdiploid tumors in lipid-reactive patients. In vivo antigen-mediated stimulation led to an increase in clonal Ig and plasma cells (PCs) in GD gammopathy and also reactivated previously suppressed antigenically related nonclonal PCs. These data support a model wherein antigenic stimulation mediates an initial polyclonal phase, followed by evolution of monoclonal tumors enriched in nonhyperdiploid genomes, responsive to underlying antigen. Targeting underlying antigens may therefore prevent clinical MM.
Shiny Nair, Joel Sng, Chandra Sekhar Boddupalli, Anja Seckinger, Marta Chesi, Mariateresa Fulciniti, Lin Zhang, Navin Rauniyar, Michael Lopez, Natalia Neparidze, Terri Parker, Nikhil C. Munshi, Rachael Sexton, Bart Barlogie, Robert Orlowski, Leif Bergsagel, Dirk Hose, Richard A. Flavell, Pramod K. Mistry, Eric Meffre, Madhav V. Dhodapkar
Tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC) is an incurable multisystem disease characterized by mTORC1-hyperactive tumors. TSC1/2 mutations also occur in other neoplastic disorders, including lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) and bladder cancer. Whether TSC-associated tumors will respond to immunotherapy is unknown. We report here that the programmed death 1 coinhibitory receptor (PD-1) is upregulated on T cells in renal angiomyolipomas (AML) and pulmonary lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM). In C57BL/6J mice injected with syngeneic TSC2-deficient cells, anti–PD-1 alone decreased 105K tumor growth by 67% (P < 0.0001); the combination of PD-1 and CTLA-4 blockade was even more effective in suppressing tumor growth. Anti–PD-1 induced complete rejection of TSC2-deficient 105K tumors in 37% of mice (P < 0.05). Double blockade of PD-1 and CTLA-4 induced rejection in 62% of mice (P < 0.01). TSC2 reexpression in TSC2-deficient TMKOC cells enhanced antitumor immunity by increasing T cell infiltration and production of IFN-γ/TNF-α by T cells, suggesting that TSC2 and mTORC1 play specific roles in the induction of antitumor immunity. Finally, 1 month of anti–PD-1 blockade reduced renal tumor burden by 53% (P < 0.01) in genetically engineered Tsc2+/– mice. Taken together, these data demonstrate for the first time to our knowledge that checkpoint blockade may have clinical efficacy for TSC and LAM, and possibly other benign tumor syndromes, potentially yielding complete and durable clinical responses.
Heng-Jia Liu, Patrick H. Lizotte, Heng Du, Maria C. Speranza, Hilaire C. Lam, Spencer Vaughan, Nicola Alesi, Kwok-Kin Wong, Gordon J. Freeman, Arlene H. Sharpe, Elizabeth P. Henske
Obesity is a risk factor for osteoarthritis (OA), the greatest cause of disability in the US. The impact of obesity on OA is driven by systemic inflammation, and increased systemic inflammation is now understood to be caused by gut microbiome dysbiosis. Oligofructose, a nondigestible prebiotic fiber, can restore a lean gut microbial community profile in the context of obesity, suggesting a potentially novel approach to treat the OA of obesity. Here, we report that — compared with the lean murine gut — obesity is associated with loss of beneficial Bifidobacteria, while key proinflammatory species gain in abundance. A downstream systemic inflammatory signature culminates with macrophage migration to the synovium and accelerated knee OA. Oligofructose supplementation restores the lean gut microbiome in obese mice, in part, by supporting key commensal microflora, particularly Bifidobacterium pseudolongum. This is associated with reduced inflammation in the colon, circulation, and knee and protection from OA. This observation of a gut microbiome–OA connection sets the stage for discovery of potentially new OA therapeutics involving strategic manipulation of specific microbial species inhabiting the intestinal space.
Eric M. Schott, Christopher W. Farnsworth, Alex Grier, Jacquelyn A. Lillis, Sarah Soniwala, Gregory H. Dadourian, Richard D. Bell, Madison L. Doolittle, David A. Villani, Hani Awad, John P. Ketz, Fadia Kamal, Cheryl Ackert-Bicknell, John M. Ashton, Steven R. Gill, Robert A. Mooney, Michael J. Zuscik
Colon cancer is a complex disease affected by a combination of genetic and epigenetic factors. Here we demonstrate that nardilysin (N-arginine dibasic convertase; NRDC), a metalloendopeptidase of the M16 family, regulates intestinal tumorigenesis via its nuclear functions. NRDC is highly expressed in human colorectal cancers. Deletion of the Nrdc gene in ApcMin mice crucially suppressed intestinal tumor development. In ApcMin mice, epithelial cell–specific deletion of Nrdc recapitulated the tumor suppression observed in Nrdc-null mice. Moreover, epithelial cell–specific overexpression of Nrdc significantly enhanced tumor formation in ApcMin mice. Notably, epithelial NRDC controlled cell apoptosis in a gene dosage–dependent manner. In human colon cancer cells, nuclear NRDC directly associated with HDAC1, and controlled both acetylation and stabilization of p53, with alterations of p53 target apoptotic factors. These findings demonstrate that NRDC is critically involved in intestinal tumorigenesis through its epigenetic regulatory function, and targeting NRDC may lead to a novel prevention or therapeutic strategy against colon cancer.
Keitaro Kanda, Jiro Sakamoto, Yoshihide Matsumoto, Kozo Ikuta, Norihiro Goto, Yusuke Morita, Mikiko Ohno, Kiyoto Nishi, Koji Eto, Yuto Kimura, Yuki Nakanishi, Kanako Ikegami, Takaaki Yoshikawa, Akihisa Fukuda, Kenji Kawada, Yoshiharu Sakai, Akihiro Ito, Minoru Yoshida, Takeshi Kimura, Tsutomu Chiba, Eiichiro Nishi, Hiroshi Seno
Angiogenesis, new blood vessel formation from preexisting vessels, is critical for solid tumor growth. As such, there have been efforts to inhibit angiogenesis as a means to obstruct tumor growth. However, antiangiogenic therapy faces major challenges to the selective targeting of tumor-associated-vessels, as current antiangiogenic targets also disrupt steady-state vessels. Here, we demonstrate that the developmentally critical transcription factor Etv2 is selectively upregulated in both human and mouse tumor-associated endothelial cells (TAECs) and is required for tumor angiogenesis. Two-photon imaging revealed that Etv2-deficient tumor-associated vasculature remained similar to that of steady-state vessels. Etv2-deficient TAECs displayed decreased Flk1 (also known as Vegfr2) expression, FLK1 activation, and proliferation. Endothelial tube formation, proliferation, and sprouting response to VEGF, but not to FGF2, was reduced in Etv2-deficient ECs. ROS activated Etv2 expression in ECs, and ROS blockade inhibited Etv2 expression in TAECs in vivo. Systemic administration of Etv2 siRNA nanoparticles potently inhibited tumor growth and angiogenesis without cardiovascular side effects. These studies highlight a link among vascular oxidative stress, Etv2 expression, and VEGF response that is critical for tumor angiogenesis. Targeting the ETV2 pathway might offer a unique opportunity for more selective antiangiogenic therapies.
Ashraf Ul Kabir, Tae-Jin Lee, Hua Pan, Jeffrey C. Berry, Karen Krchma, Jun Wu, Fang Liu, Hee-Kyoung Kang, Kristina Hinman, Lihua Yang, Samantha Hamilton, Qingyu Zhou, Deborah J. Veis, Robert P. Mecham, Samuel A. Wickline, Mark J. Miller, Kyunghee Choi
Pleomorphic invasive lobular carcinoma (PILC) is an aggressive variant of invasive lobular breast cancer that is associated with poor clinical outcomes. Limited molecular data are available to explain the mechanistic basis for PILC behavior. To address this issue, targeted sequencing was performed to identify molecular alterations that define PILC. This sequencing analysis identified genes that distinguish PILC from classic ILC and invasive ductal carcinoma by the incidence of their genomic changes. In particular, insulin receptor substrate 2 (IRS2) is recurrently mutated in PILC, and pathway analysis reveals a role for the insulin receptor (IR)/insulin-like growth factor-1 receptor (IGF1R)/IRS2 signaling pathway in PILC. IRS2 mutations identified in PILC enhance invasion, revealing a role for this signaling adaptor in the aggressive nature of PILC.
Sha Zhu, B. Marie Ward, Jun Yu, Asia N. Matthew-Onabanjo, Jenny Janusis, Chung-Cheng Hsieh, Keith Tomaszewicz, Lloyd Hutchinson, Lihua Julie Zhu, Dina Kandil, Leslie M. Shaw
T cell receptor (TCR) T cell therapy is a promising cancer treatment modality. However, its successful development for epithelial cancers may depend on the identification of high-avidity TCRs directed against tumor-restricted target antigens. The human papillomavirus (HPV) E7 antigen is an attractive therapeutic target that is constitutively expressed by HPV+ cancers but not by healthy tissues. It is unknown if genetically engineered TCR T cells that target E7 can mediate regression of HPV+ cancers. We identified an HPV-16 E7-specific, HLA-A*02:01-restricted TCR from a uterine cervix biopsy from a woman with cervical intraepithelial neoplasia. This TCR demonstrated high functional avidity, with CD8 coreceptor–independent tumor targeting. Human T cells transduced to express the TCR specifically recognized and killed HPV-16+ cervical and oropharyngeal cancer cell lines and mediated regression of established HPV-16+ human cervical cancer tumors in a mouse model. These findings support the therapeutic potential of this approach and established the basis for an E7 TCR gene therapy clinical trial in patients with metastatic HPV+ cancers (NCT02858310).
Benjamin Y. Jin, Tracy E. Campbell, Lindsey M. Draper, Sanja Stevanović, Bianca Weissbrich, Zhiya Yu, Nicholas P. Restifo, Steven A. Rosenberg, Cornelia L. Trimble, Christian S. Hinrichs
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