A large portion of the global population carries latent herpes simplex virus (HSV), which can periodically reactivate, resulting in asymptomatic shedding or formation of ulcerative lesions. Current anti-HSV drugs do not eliminate latent virus from sensory neurons where HSV resides, and therefore do not eliminate the risk of transmission or recurrent disease. Here, we report the ability of HSV-specific endonucleases to induce mutations of essential HSV genes both in cultured neurons and in latently infected mice. In neurons, viral genomes are susceptible to endonuclease-mediated mutagenesis, regardless of the time of treatment after HSV infection, suggesting that both HSV lytic and latent forms can be targeted. Mutagenesis frequency after endonuclease exposure can be increased nearly 2-fold by treatment with a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor. Using a mouse model of latent HSV infection, we demonstrate that a targeted endonuclease can be delivered to viral latency sites via an adeno-associated virus (AAV) vector, where it is able to induce mutation of latent HSV genomes. These data provide the first proof-of-principle to our knowledge for the use of a targeted endonuclease as an antiviral agent to treat an established latent viral infection in vivo.
Martine Aubert, Emily A. Madden, Michelle Loprieno, Harshana S. DeSilva Feelixge, Laurence Stensland, Meei-Li Huang, Alexander L. Greninger, Pavitra Roychoudhury, Nixon Niyonzima, Thuy Nguyen, Amalia Magaret, Roman Galleto, Daniel Stone, Keith R. Jerome
The physiological components that contribute to cystic fibrosis (CF) lung disease are steadily being elucidated. Gene therapy could potentially correct these defects.
Benjamin Steines, David D. Dickey, Jamie Bergen, Katherine J.D.A. Excoffon, John R. Weinstein, Xiaopeng Li, Ziying Yan, Mahmoud H. Abou Alaiwa, Viral S. Shah, Drake C. Bouzek, Linda S. Powers, Nicholas D. Gansemer, Lynda S. Ostedgaard, John F. Engelhardt, David A. Stoltz, Michael J. Welsh, Patrick L. Sinn, David V. Schaffer, Joseph Zabner
Cystic Fibrosis (CF) is an autosomal recessive disease caused by mutations in CF transmembrane conductance regulator (
Ashley L. Cooney, Mahmoud H. Abou Alaiwa, Viral S. Shah, Drake C. Bouzek, Mallory R. Stroik, Linda S. Powers, Nick D. Gansemer, David K. Meyerholz, Michael J. Welsh, David A. Stoltz, Patrick L. Sinn, Paul B. McCray Jr.
Mutagenesis screening is a powerful forward genetic approach that has been successfully applied in lower-model organisms to discover genetic factors for biological processes. This phenotype-based approach has yet to be established in vertebrates for probing major human diseases, largely because of the complexity of colony management. Herein, we report a rapid strategy for identifying genetic modifiers of cardiomyopathy (CM). Based on the application of doxorubicin stress to zebrafish insertional cardiac (ZIC) mutants, we identified 4 candidate CM-modifying genes, of which 3 have been linked previously to CM. The long isoform of DnaJ (Hsp40) homolog, subfamily B, member 6b (
Yonghe Ding, Pamela A. Long, J. Martijn Bos, Yu-Huan Shih, Xiao Ma, Rhianna S. Sundsbak, Jianhua Chen, Yiwen Jiang, Liqun Zhao, Xinyang Hu, Jianan Wang, Yongyong Shi, Michael J. Ackerman, Xueying Lin, Stephen C. Ekker, Margaret M. Redfield, Timothy M. Olson, Xiaolei Xu
Infantile hemangioma (IH) is the most common vascular tumor of infancy, and it uniquely regresses in response to oral propranolol. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) have emerged as key regulators of vascular development and are dysregulated in many disease processes, but the role of miRNAs in IH growth has not been investigated. We report expression of C19MC, a primate-specific megacluster of miRNAs expressed in placenta with rare expression in postnatal tissues, in glucose transporter 1–expressing (GLUT-1–expressing) IH endothelial cells and in the plasma of children with IH. Tissue or circulating C19MC miRNAs were not detectable in patients having 9 other types of vascular anomalies or unaffected children, identifying C19MC miRNAs as the first circulating biomarkers of IH. Levels of circulating C19MC miRNAs correlated with IH tumor size and propranolol treatment response, and IH tissue from children treated with propranolol or from children with partially involuted tumors contained lower levels of C19MC miRNAs than untreated, proliferative tumors, implicating C19MC miRNAs as potential drivers of IH pathogenesis. Detection of C19MC miRNAs in the circulation of infants with IH may provide a specific and noninvasive means of IH diagnosis and identification of candidates for propranolol therapy as well as a means to monitor treatment response.
Graham M. Strub, Andrew L. Kirsh, Mark E. Whipple, Winston P. Kuo, Rachel B. Keller, Raj P. Kapur, Mark W. Majesky, Jonathan A. Perkins
Meningococcal factor H-binding protein (FHbp) is an antigen in 2 serogroup B meningococcal vaccines. FHbp specifically binds human and some nonhuman primate complement FH. To investigate the effect of binding of FH to FHbp on protective antibody responses, we immunized infant rhesus macaques with either a control recombinant FHbp antigen that bound macaque FH or a mutant antigen with 2 amino acid substitutions and >250-fold lower affinity for FH. The mutant antigen elicited 3-fold higher serum IgG anti-FHbp titers and up to 15-fold higher serum bactericidal titers than the control FHbp vaccine. When comparing sera with similar IgG anti-FHbp titers, the antibodies elicited by the mutant antigen gave greater deposition of complement component C4b on live meningococci (classical complement pathway) and inhibited binding of FH, while the anti-FHbp antibodies elicited by the control vaccine enhanced FH binding. Thus, the mutant FHbp vaccine elicited an anti-FHbp antibody repertoire directed at FHbp epitopes within the FH binding site, which resulted in greater protective activity than the antibodies elicited by the control vaccine, which targeted FHbp epitopes outside of the FH combining site. Binding of a host protein to a vaccine antigen impairs protective antibody responses, which can be overcome with low-binding mutant antigens.
Dan M. Granoff, Serena Giuntini, Flor A. Gowans, Eduardo Lujan, Kelsey Sharkey, Peter T. Beernink
Hypertension is nearly universal yet poorly controlled in the elderly despite proven benefits of intensive treatment. Mice lacking mineralocorticoid receptors in smooth muscle cells (SMC-MR-KO) are protected from rising blood pressure (BP) with aging, despite normal renal function. Vasoconstriction is attenuated in aged SMC-MR-KO mice, thus they were used to explore vascular mechanisms that may contribute to hypertension with aging. MicroRNA (miR) profiling identified miR-155 as the most down-regulated miR with vascular aging in MR-intact but not SMC-MR-KO mice. The aging-associated decrease in miR-155 in mesenteric resistance vessels was associated with increased mRNA abundance of MR and of predicted miR-155 targets Cav1.2 (L-type calcium channel (LTCC) subunit) and angiotensin type-1 receptor (AgtR1). SMC-MR-KO mice lacked these aging-associated vascular gene expression changes. In HEK293 cells, MR repressed miR-155 promoter activity. In cultured SMCs, miR-155 decreased Cav1.2 and AgtR1 mRNA. Compared to MR-intact littermates, aged SMC-MR-KO mice had decreased systolic BP, myogenic tone, SMC LTCC current, mesenteric vessel calcium influx, LTCC-induced vasoconstriction and angiotensin II-induced vasoconstriction and oxidative stress. Restoration of miR-155 specifically in SMCs of aged MR-intact mice decreased Cav1.2 and AgtR1 mRNA and attenuated LTCC-mediated and angiotensin II-induced vasoconstriction and oxidative stress. Finally, in a trial of MR blockade in elderly humans, changes in serum miR-155 predicted the BP treatment response. Thus, SMC-MR regulation of miR-155, Cav1.2 and AgtR1 impacts vasoconstriction with aging. This novel mechanism identifies potential new treatment strategies and biomarkers to improve and individualize antihypertensive therapy in the elderly.
Jennifer J. DuPont, Amy McCurley, Ana P. Davel, Joseph McCarthy, Shawn B. Bender, Kwangseok Hong, Yan Yang, Jeung-Ki Yoo, Mark Aronovitz, Wendy E. Baur, Demetra D. Christou, Michael A. Hill, Iris Z. Jaffe
Microglia and monocytes play important roles in regulating brain remyelination. We developed DUOC-01, a cell therapy product intended for treatment of demyelinating diseases, from banked human umbilical cord blood (CB) mononuclear cells. Immunodepletion and selection studies demonstrated that DUOC-01 cells are derived from CB CD14+ monocytes. We compared the ability of freshly isolated CB CD14+ monocytes and DUOC-01 cells to accelerate remyelination of the brains of NOD/SCID/IL2Rγnull mice following cuprizone feeding–mediated demyelination. The corpus callosum of mice intracranially injected with DUOC-01 showed enhanced myelination, a higher proportion of fully myelinated axons, decreased gliosis and cellular infiltration, and more proliferating oligodendrocyte lineage cells than those of mice receiving excipient. Uncultured CB CD14+ monocytes also accelerated remyelination, but to a significantly lesser extent than DUOC-01 cells. Microarray analysis, quantitative PCR studies, Western blotting, and flow cytometry demonstrated that expression of factors that promote remyelination including PDGF-AA, stem cell factor, IGF1, MMP9, MMP12, and triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells 2 were upregulated in DUOC-01 compared to CB CD14+ monocytes. Collectively, our results show that DUOC-01 accelerates brain remyelination by multiple mechanisms and could be beneficial in treating demyelinating conditions.
Arjun Saha, Susan Buntz, Paula Scotland, Li Xu, Pamela Noeldner, Sachit Patel, Amy Wollish, Aruni Gunaratne, Tracy Gentry, Jesse Troy, Glenn K. Matsushima, Joanne Kurtzberg, Andrew E. Balber
Kidney fibrosis following kidney injury is an unresolved health problem and causes significant morbidity and mortality worldwide. In a study into its molecular mechanism, we identified essential causative features. Acute or chronic kidney injury causes sustained elevation of a disintegrin and metalloprotease 17 (ADAM17); of its cleavage-activated proligand substrates, in particular of pro-TNFα and the EGFR ligand amphiregulin (pro-AREG); and of the substrates’ receptors. As a consequence, EGFR is persistently activated and triggers the synthesis and release of proinflammatory and profibrotic factors, resulting in macrophage/neutrophil ingress and fibrosis. ADAM17 hypomorphic mice, specific ADAM17 inhibitor–treated WT mice, or mice with inducible KO of ADAM17 in proximal tubule (Slc34a1-Cre) were significantly protected against these effects. In vitro, in proximal tubule cells, we show that AREG has unique profibrotic actions that are potentiated by TNFα-induced AREG cleavage. In vivo, in acute kidney injury (AKI) and chronic kidney disease (CKD, fibrosis) patients, soluble AREG is indeed highly upregulated in human urine, and both ADAM17 and AREG expression show strong positive correlation with fibrosis markers in related kidney biopsies. Our results indicate that targeting of the ADAM17 pathway represents a therapeutic target for human kidney fibrosis.
Eirini Kefaloyianni, Muthu Lakshmi Muthu, Jakob Kaeppler, Xiaoming Sun, Venkata Sabbisetti, Athena Chalaris, Stefan Rose-John, Eitan Wong, Irit Sagi, Sushrut S. Waikar, Helmut Rennke, Benjamin D. Humphreys, Joseph V. Bonventre, Andreas Herrlich
Dermal white adipose tissue (dWAT) was recently recognized for its potential to modify whole body metabolism. Here, we show that dWAT can be quantified using a high-resolution, fat-specific magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technique. Noninvasive MRI has been used to describe adipocyte depots for many years; the MRI technique we describe uses an advanced fat-specific method to measure the thickness of dWAT, together with the total volume of WAT and the relative activation/fat depletion of brown adipose tissues (BAT). Since skin-embedded adipocytes may provide natural insulation, they provide an important counterpoint to the activation of thermogenic brown and beige adipose tissues, whereby these distinct depots are functionally interrelated and require simultaneous assay. This method was validated using characterized mouse cohorts of a lipodystrophic, dWAT-deficient strain (syndecan-1 KO) and 2 obese models (diet-induced obese mice and genetically obese animals,
Ildiko Kasza, Diego Hernando, Alejandro Roldán-Alzate, Caroline M. Alexander, Scott B. Reeder
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