Immunotherapies targeting the PD-1 pathway produce durable responses in many cancers, but the tumor-intrinsic factors governing response and resistance are largely unknown. MHC-II expression on tumor cells can predict response to anti–PD-1 therapy. We therefore sought to determine how MHC-II expression by tumor cells promotes PD-1 dependency. Using transcriptional profiling of anti-PD-1–treated patients, we identified unique patterns of immune activation in MHC-II+ tumors. In patients and preclinical models, MHC-II+ tumors recruited CD4+ T cells and developed dependency on PD-1 as well as Lag-3 (an MHC-II inhibitory receptor), which was upregulated in MHC-II+ tumors at acquired resistance to anti–PD-1. Finally, we identify enhanced expression of FCRL6, another MHC-II receptor expressed on NK and T cells, in the microenvironment of MHC-II+ tumors. We ascribe this to what we believe to be a novel inhibitory function of FCRL6 engagement, identifying it as an immunotherapy target. These data suggest a MHC-II–mediated context-dependent mechanism of adaptive resistance to PD-1-targeting immunotherapy.
Douglas B. Johnson, Mellissa J. Nixon, Yu Wang, Daniel Y. Wang, Emily Castellanos, Monica V. Estrada, Paula I. Ericsson-Gonzalez, Candace H. Cote, Roberto Salgado, Violeta Sanchez, Phillip T. Dean, Susan R. Opalenik, Daniel M. Schreeder, David L. Rimm, Ju Young Kim, Jennifer Bordeaux, Sherene Loi, Leora Horn, Melinda E. Sanders, P. Brent Ferrell Jr., Yaomin Xu, Jeffrey A. Sosman, Randall S. Davis, Justin M. Balko
Drug-induced kidney injury, largely caused by proximal tubular intoxicants, limits development and clinical use of new and approved drugs. Assessing preclinical nephrotoxicity relies on animal models that are frequently insensitive; thus, potentially novel techniques — including human microphysiological systems, or “organs on chips” — are proposed to accelerate drug development and predict safety. Polymyxins are potent antibiotics against multidrug-resistant microorganisms; however, clinical use remains restricted because of high risk of nephrotoxicity and limited understanding of toxicological mechanisms. To mitigate risks, structural analogs of polymyxins (NAB739 and NAB741) are currently in clinical development. Using a microphysiological system to model human kidney proximal tubule, we exposed cells to polymyxin B (PMB) and observed significant increases of injury signals, including kidney injury molecule-1 KIM-1and a panel of injury-associated miRNAs (each P < 0.001). Surprisingly, transcriptional profiling identified cholesterol biosynthesis as the primary cellular pathway induced by PMB (P = 1.22 ×10–16), and effluent cholesterol concentrations were significantly increased after exposure (P < 0.01). Additionally, we observed no upregulation of the nuclear factor (erythroid derived-2)–like 2 pathway, despite this being a common pathway upregulated in response to proximal tubule toxicants. In contrast with PMB exposure, minimal changes in gene expression, injury biomarkers, and cholesterol concentrations were observed in response to NAB739 and NAB741. Our findings demonstrate the preclinical safety of NAB739 and NAB741 and reveal cholesterol biosynthesis as a potentially novel pathway for PMB-induced injury. To our knowledge, this is the first demonstration of a human-on-chip platform used for simultaneous safety testing of new chemical entities and defining unique toxicological pathway responses of an FDA-approved molecule.
Elijah J. Weber, Kevin A. Lidberg, Lu Wang, Theo K. Bammler, James W. MacDonald, Mavis J. Li, Michelle Redhair, William M. Atkins, Cecilia Tran, Kelly M. Hines, Josi Herron, Libin Xu, Maria Beatriz Monteiro, Susanne Ramm, Vishal Vaidya, Martti Vaara, Timo Vaara, Jonathan Himmelfarb, Edward J. Kelly
Matrix metalloproteinase-9 (MMP-9) cleaves various proteins to regulate inflammatory and injury responses. However, MMP-9’s activities during influenza A viral (IAV) infections are incompletely understood. Herein, plasma MMP-9 levels were increased in patients with pandemic H1N1 and seasonal IAV infections. MMP-9 lung levels were increased and localized to airway epithelial cells and leukocytes in H1N1-infected WT murine lungs. H1N1-infected Mmp-9–/– mice had lower mortality rates, reduced weight loss, lower lung viral titers, and reduced lung injury, along with lower E-cadherin shedding in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid (BALF) samples than WT mice. H1N1-infected Mmp-9–/– mice had an altered immune response to IAV with lower BALF PMN and macrophage counts, higher Th1-like CD4+ and CD8+ T cell subsets, lower T regulatory cell counts, reduced lung type I interferon levels, and higher lung interferon-γ levels. Mmp-9 bone marrow–chimera studies revealed that Mmp-9 deficiency in lung parenchymal cells protected mice from IAV-induced mortality. H1N1-infected Mmp-9–/– lung epithelial cells had lower viral titers than H1N1-infected WT cells in vitro. Thus, H1N1-infected Mmp-9–/– mice are protected from IAV-induced lung disease due to a more effective adaptive immune response to IAV and reduced epithelial barrier injury due partly to reduced E-cadherin shedding. Thus, we believe that MMP-9 is a novel therapeutic target for IAV infections.
Joselyn Rojas-Quintero, Xiaoyun Wang, Jennifer Tipper, Patrick R. Burkett, Joaquin Zuñiga, Amit R. Ashtekar, Francesca Polverino, Amit Rout, Ilyas Yambayev, Carmen Hernández, Luis Jimenez, Gustavo Ramírez, Kevin S. Harrod, Caroline A. Owen
Although responses to EGFR tyrosine kinase inhibitors (EGFR-TKIs) are initially positive, 30%–40% of patients with EGFR-mutant tumors do not respond well to EGFR-TKIs, and most lung cancer patients harboring EGFR mutations experience relapse with resistance. Therefore, it is necessary to identify not only the mechanisms underlying EGFR-TKI resistance, but also potentially novel therapeutic targets and/or predictive biomarkers for EGFR-mutant lung adenocarcinoma. We found that the GPI-anchored protein semaphorin 7A (SEMA7A) is highly induced by the EGFR pathway, via mTOR signaling, and that expression levels of SEMA7A in human lung adenocarcinoma specimens were correlated with mTOR activation. Investigations using cell culture and animal models demonstrated that loss or overexpression of SEMA7A made cells less or more resistant to EGFR-TKIs, respectively. The resistance was due to the inhibition of apoptosis by aberrant activation of ERK. The ERK signal was suppressed by knockdown of integrin β1 (ITGB1). Furthermore, in patients with EGFR mutant tumors, higher SEMA7A expression in clinical samples predicted poorer response to EGFR-TKI treatment. Collectively, these data show that the SEMA7A–ITGB1 axis plays pivotal roles in EGFR-TKI resistance mediated by ERK activation and apoptosis inhibition. Moreover, our results reveal the potential utility of SEMA7A not only as a predictive biomarker, but also as a potentially novel therapeutic target in EGFR-mutant lung adenocarcinoma.
Yuhei Kinehara, Izumi Nagatomo, Shohei Koyama, Daisuke Ito, Satoshi Nojima, Ryota Kurebayashi, Yoshimitsu Nakanishi, Yasuhiko Suga, Yu Nishijima-Futami, Akio Osa, Takeshi Nakatani, Yasuhiro Kato, Masayuki Nishide, Yoshitomo Hayama, Masayoshi Higashiguchi, Osamu Morimura, Kotaro Miyake, Sujin Kang, Toshiyuki Minami, Haruhiko Hirata, Kota Iwahori, Takayuki Takimoto, Hyota Takamatsu, Yoshito Takeda, Naoki Hosen, Shigenori Hoshino, Yasushi Shintani, Meinoshin Okumura, Toru Kumagai, Kazumi Nishino, Fumio Imamura, Shin-ichi Nakatsuka, Takashi Kijima, Hiroshi Kida, Atsushi Kumanogoh
CD4+ follicular helper T (Tfh) cells are specialized providers of T cell help to B cells and can function as pathogenic mediators of murine antibody-dependent chronic graft-versus-host disease (GvHD). Using a parent→F1 model of lupus-like chronic GvHD, in which Tfh cell and germinal center (GC) B cell differentiation occurs over 14 days, we demonstrate that absence of CD4+ T cell–expressed C5a receptor 1 (C5ar1) or pharmacological C5aR1 blockade abrogated generation/expansion of Tfh cells, GC B cells, and autoantibodies. In a Tfh cell–dependent model of chronic GvHD manifested by bronchiolitis obliterans syndrome (BOS), C5aR1 antagonism initiated in mice with established disease ameliorated BOS and abolished the associated differentiation of Tfh and GC B cells. Guided by RNA-sequencing data, mechanistic studies performed using murine and human T cells showed that C5aR1 signaling amplifies IL-6–dependent expression of the transcription factor c-MAF and the cytokine IL-21 via phosphorylating phosphokinase B (AKT) and activating the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR). In addition to linking C5aR1-initiated signaling to Tfh cell differentiation, our findings suggest that C5aR1 may be a useful therapeutic target for prevention and/or treatment of individuals with Tfh cell–dependent diseases, including those chronic GvHD patients who have anti-host reactive antibodies.
Divya A. Verghese, Nicholas Chun, Katelyn Paz, Miguel Fribourg, Trent M. Woodruff, Ryan Flynn, Yuan Hu, Huabao Xiong, Weijia Zhang, Zhengzi Yi, Jing Du, Bruce R. Blazar, Peter S. Heeger
BACKGROUND. The ability to restore cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) function with effective small molecule modulators in patients with cystic fibrosis provides an opportunity to study relationships between CFTR ion channel function, organ level physiology, and clinical outcomes. METHODS. We performed a multisite, prospective, observational study of ivacaftor, prescribed in patients with the G551D-CFTR mutation. Measurements of lung mucociliary clearance (MCC) were performed before and after treatment initiation (1 and 3 months), in parallel with clinical outcome measures. RESULTS. Marked acceleration in whole lung, central lung, and peripheral lung MCC was observed 1 month after beginning ivacaftor and was sustained at 3 months. Improvements in MCC correlated with improvements in forced expiratory volume in the first second (FEV1) but not sweat chloride or symptom scores. CONCLUSIONS. Restoration of CFTR activity with ivacaftor led to significant improvements in MCC. This physiologic assessment provides a means to characterize future CFTR modulator therapies and may help to predict improvements in lung function. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicialTrials.gov, NCT01521338. FUNDING. CFF Therapeutics (GOAL11K1).
Scott H. Donaldson, Beth L. Laube, Timothy E. Corcoran, Pradeep Bhambhvani, Kirby Zeman, Agathe Ceppe, Pamela L. Zeitlin, Peter J. Mogayzel Jr., Michael Boyle, Landon W. Locke, Michael M. Myerburg, Joseph M. Pilewski, Brian Flanagan, Steven M. Rowe, William D. Bennett
White adipose tissue (WAT) can dynamically expand and remodel through adipocyte hypertrophy and hyperplasia. The relative contribution of these 2 mechanisms to WAT expansion is a critical determinant of WAT function and dysfunction in obesity. However, little is known about the signaling systems that determine the mechanisms of WAT expansion. Here, we show that the GPCR LPA4 selectively activates Gα12/13 proteins in adipocytes and limits continuous remodeling and healthy expansion of WAT. LPA4-KO mice showed enhanced expression of mitochondrial and adipogenesis genes and reduced levels of inhibitory phosphorylation of PPARγ in WAT, along with increased production of adiponectin. Furthermore, LPA4-KO mice showed metabolically healthy obese phenotypes in a diet-induced obesity model, with continuous WAT expansion, as well as protection from WAT inflammation, hepatosteatosis, and insulin resistance. These findings unravel a potentially new signaling system that underlies WAT plasticity and expandability, providing a promising therapeutic approach for obesity-related metabolic disorders.
Keisuke Yanagida, Hidemitsu Igarashi, Daisuke Yasuda, Daiki Kobayashi, Takayo Ohto-Nakanishi, Noriyuki Akahoshi, Atsushi Sekiba, Tsudoi Toyoda, Tomoko Ishijima, Yuji Nakai, Nobuhiro Shojima, Naoto Kubota, Keiko Abe, Takashi Kadowaki, Satoshi Ishii, Takao Shimizu
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a major complication of allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). DCs play critical roles in GVHD induction. Modulating autophagy represents a promising therapeutic strategy for the treatment of immunological diseases. Complement receptors C3aR/C5aR expressed on DCs regulate immune responses by translating extracellular signals into intracellular activity. In the current study, we found that C3aR/C5aR deficiency enhanced ceramide-dependent lethal mitophagy (CDLM) in DCs. Cotransfer of host-type C3aR–/–/C5aR–/– DCs in the recipients significantly improved GVHD outcome after allogeneic HCT, primarily through enhancing CDLM in DCs. C3aR/C5aR deficiency in the host hematopoietic compartment significantly reduced GVHD severity via impairing Th1 differentiation and donor T cell glycolytic activity while enhancing Treg generation. Prophylactic treatment with C3aR/C5aR antagonists effectively alleviated GVHD while maintaining the graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) effect. Altogether, we demonstrate that inhibiting C3aR/C5aR induces lethal mitophagy in DCs, which represents a potential therapeutic approach to control GVHD while preserving the GVL effect.
Hung Nguyen, Sandeepkumar Kuril, David Bastian, Jisun Kim, Mengmeng Zhang, Silvia G. Vaena, Mohammed Dany, Min Dai, Jessica Lauren Heinrichs, Anusara Daenthanasanmak, Supinya Iamsawat, Steven Schutt, Jianing Fu, Yongxia Wu, David P. Fairlie, Carl Atkinson, Besim Ogretmen, Stephen Tomlinson, Xue-Zhong Yu
The 78-kDa glucose-regulated protein (GRP78) is an ER molecular chaperone that aids in protein folding and secretion. However, pathological conditions that cause ER stress can promote the relocalization of GRP78 to the cell surface (csGRP78), where it acts as a signaling receptor to promote cancer progression. csGRP78 also possesses antigenic properties, leading to the production of anti-GRP78 autoantibodies, which contribute to tumor growth. In contrast, the presence and role of anti-GRP78 autoantibodies in atherosclerosis is unknown. Here, we show that atherosclerotic-prone ApoE–/– mice develop circulating anti-GRP78 autoantibodies that bind to csGRP78 on lesion-resident endothelial cells. Moreover, GRP78-immunized ApoE–/– mice exhibit a marked increase in circulating anti-GRP78 autoantibody titers that correlated with accelerated lesion growth. Mechanistically, engagement of anti-GRP78 autoantibodies with csGRP78 on human endothelial cells activated NF-κB, thereby inducing the expression of ICAM-1 and VCAM-1, a process blocked by NF-κB inhibitors. Disrupting the autoantibody/csGRP78 complex with enoxaparin, a low-molecular-weight heparin, reduced the expression of adhesion molecules and attenuated lesion growth. In conclusion, anti-GRP78 autoantibodies play a crucial role in atherosclerosis development, and disruption of the interaction between anti-GRP78 autoantibodies and csGRP78 represents a therapeutic strategy.
Elizabeth D. Crane, Ali A. Al-Hashimi, Jack Chen, Edward G. Lynn, Kevin Doyoon Won, Šárka Lhoták, Magda Naeim, Khrystyna Platko, Paul Lebeau, Jae Hyun Byun, Bobby Shayegan, Joan C. Krepinsky, Katey J. Rayner, Serena Marchiò, Renata Pasqualini, Wadih Arap, Richard C. Austin
Tregs are impaired in human systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) and contribute to effector T cell activation. However, the mechanisms responsible for the Treg deficiency in SLE remain unclear. We hypothesized that the OX40L/OX40 axis is implicated in Treg and regulatory follicular helper T (Tfr) cell dysfunction in human SLE. OX40L/OX40 axis engagement on Tregs and Tfr cells not only specifically impaired their ability to regulate effector T cell proliferation, but also their ability to suppress T follicular helper (Tfh) cell–dependent B cell activation and immunoglobulin secretion. Antigen-presenting cells from patients with active SLE mediated Treg dysfunction in an OX40L-dependent manner, and OX40L-expressing cells colocalized with Foxp3+ cells in active SLE skin lesions. Engagement of the OX40L/OX40 axis resulted in Foxp3 downregulation in Tregs, and expression in SLE Tregs correlated with the proportion of circulating OX40L-expressing myeloid DCs. These data support that OX40L/OX40 signals are implicated in Treg dysfunction in human SLE. Thus, blocking the OX40L/OX40 axis appears to be a promising therapeutic strategy.
Clément Jacquemin, Jean-François Augusto, Marc Scherlinger, Noémie Gensous, Edouard Forcade, Isabelle Douchet, Emeline Levionnois, Christophe Richez, Estibaliz Lazaro, Pierre Duffau, Marie-Elise Truchetet, Julien Seneschal, Lionel Couzi, Jean-Luc Pellegrin, Jean-François Viallard, Thierry Schaeverbeke, Virginia Pascual, Cécile Contin-Bordes, Patrick Blanco
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