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
Fetal and neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (FNAIT) is a pregnancy-related condition caused by maternal antibodies binding an alloantigen on fetal platelets. In most cases the alloantigen is formed by a single amino acid, integrin β3 Leu33, referred to as human platelet antigen–1a (HPA-1a). Production of anti–HPA-1a antibodies likely depends on CD4+ T cells that recognize the same alloantigen in complex with the HLA-DRA/DRB3*01:01 molecule. While this complex is well characterized, T cell recognition of it is not. Here, to examine the nature of antigen recognition by HPA-1a–specific T cells, we assayed native and synthetic variants of the integrin β3 peptide antigen for binding to DRA/DRB3*01:01-positive antigen-presenting cells and for T cell activation. We found that HPA-1a–specific T cells recognize non-allogeneic integrin β3 residues anchored to DRA/DRB3*01:01 by the allogeneic Leu33, which itself is not directly recognized by these T cells. Furthermore, these T cell responses are diverse, with different T cells depending on different residues for recognition. This represents a unique form of indirect allorecognition in which a non-allogeneic peptide sequence becomes immunogenic by stable anchoring to MHC by an allogeneic residue.
Maria Therese Ahlen, Anne Husebekk, Ida Løken Killie, Bjørn Skogen, Tor Brynjar Stuge
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
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
Regulation of lineage-restricted transcription factors has been shown to influence malignant transformation in several types of cancer. Whether similar mechanisms are involved in ovarian cancer pathogenesis is unknown. PAX8 is a nuclear transcription factor that controls the embryologic development of the Müllerian system, including the fallopian tubes. Recent studies have shown that fallopian tube secretory epithelial cells (FTSECs) give rise to the most common form of ovarian cancer, high-grade serous ovarian carcinomas (HGSOCs). We designed the present study in order to understand whether changes in gene expression between FTSECs and HGSOCs relate to alterations in PAX8 binding to chromatin. Using whole transcriptome shotgun sequencing (RNA-Seq) after PAX8 knockdown and ChIP-Seq, we show that FTSECs and HGSOCs are distinguished by marked reprogramming of the PAX8 cistrome. Genes that are significantly altered between FTSECs and HGSOCs are enriched near PAX8 binding sites. These sites are also near TEAD binding sites, and these transcriptional changes may be related to PAX8 interactions with the TEAD/YAP1 signaling pathway. These data suggest that transcriptional changes after transformation in ovarian cancer are closely related to epigenetic remodeling in lineage-specific transcription factors.
Kevin M. Elias, Megan M. Emori, Thomas Westerling, Henry Long, Anna Budina-Kolomets, Fugen Li, Emily MacDuffie, Michelle R. Davis, Alexander Holman, Brian Lawney, Matthew L. Freedman, John Quackenbush, Myles Brown, Ronny Drapkin
GWAS have linked SNPs to risk of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), but a systematic characterization of disease-associated genes has been lacking. Prior studies utilized microarrays that did not capture many genes encoded within risk loci or defined expression quantitative trait loci (eQTLs) using peripheral blood, which is not the target tissue in IBD. To address these gaps, we sought to characterize the expression of IBD-associated risk genes in disease-relevant tissues and in the setting of active IBD. Terminal ileal (TI) and colonic mucosal tissues were obtained from patients with Crohn’s disease or ulcerative colitis and from healthy controls. We developed a NanoString code set to profile 678 genes within IBD risk loci. A subset of patients and controls were genotyped for IBD-associated risk SNPs. Analyses included differential expression and variance analysis, weighted gene coexpression network analysis, and eQTL analysis. We identified 116 genes that discriminate between healthy TI and colon samples and uncovered patterns in variance of gene expression that highlight heterogeneity of disease. We identified 107 coexpressed gene pairs for which transcriptional regulation is either conserved or reversed in an inflammation-independent or -dependent manner. We demonstrate that on average approximately 60% of disease-associated genes are differentially expressed in inflamed tissue. Last, we identified eQTLs with either genotype-only effects on expression or an interaction effect between genotype and inflammation. Our data reinforce tissue specificity of expression in disease-associated candidate genes, highlight genes and gene pairs that are regulated in disease-relevant tissue and inflammation, and provide a foundation to advance the understanding of IBD pathogenesis.
Joanna M. Peloquin, Gautam Goel, Lingjia Kong, Hailiang Huang, Talin Haritunians, R. Balfour Sartor, Mark J. Daly, Rodney D. Newberry, Dermot P. McGovern, Vijay Yajnik, Sergio A. Lira, Ramnik J. Xavier
Motile airway cilia that propel contaminants out of the lung are oriented in a common direction by planar cell polarity (PCP) signaling, which localizes PCP protein complexes to opposite cell sides throughout the epithelium to orient cytoskeletal remodeling. In airway epithelia, PCP is determined in a 2-phase process. First, cell-cell communication via PCP complexes polarizes all cells with respect to the proximal-distal tissue axis. Second, during ciliogenesis, multiciliated cells (MCCs) undergo cytoskeletal remodeling to orient their cilia in the proximal direction. The second phase not only directs cilium polarization, but also consolidates polarization across the epithelium. Here, we demonstrate that in airway epithelia, PCP depends on MCC differentiation. PCP mutant epithelia have misaligned cilia, and also display defective barrier function and regeneration, indicating that PCP regulates multiple aspects of airway epithelial homeostasis. In humans, MCCs are often sparse in chronic inflammatory diseases, and these airways exhibit PCP dysfunction. The presence of insufficient MCCs impairs mucociliary clearance in part by disrupting PCP-driven polarization of the epithelium. Consistent with defective PCP, barrier function and regeneration are also disrupted. Pharmacological stimulation of MCC differentiation restores PCP and reverses these defects, suggesting its potential for broad therapeutic benefit in chronic inflammatory disease.
Eszter K. Vladar, Jayakar V. Nayak, Carlos E. Milla, Jeffrey D. Axelrod
The strong association of Zika virus infection with congenital defects has led to questions of how a flavivirus is capable of crossing the placental barrier to reach the fetal brain. Here, we demonstrate permissive Zika virus infection of primary human placental macrophages, commonly referred to as Hofbauer cells, and placental villous fibroblasts. We also demonstrate Zika virus infection of Hofbauer cells within the context of the tissue ex vivo using term placental villous explants. In addition to amplifying infectious virus within a usually inaccessible area, the putative migratory activities of Hofbauer cells may aid in dissemination of Zika virus to the fetal brain. Understanding the susceptibility of placenta-specific cell types will aid future work around and understanding of Zika virus–associated pregnancy complications.
Kellie Ann Jurado, Michael K. Simoni, Zhonghua Tang, Ryuta Uraki, Jesse Hwang, Sarah Householder, Mingjie Wu, Brett D. Lindenbach, Vikki M. Abrahams, Seth Guller, Erol Fikrig
Autoimmune polyendocrinopathy-candidiasis-ectodermal dystrophy (APECED) is a rare primary immunodeficiency disorder typically caused by homozygous
Elise M.N. Ferre, Stacey R. Rose, Sergio D. Rosenzweig, Peter D. Burbelo, Kimberly R. Romito, Julie E. Niemela, Lindsey B. Rosen, Timothy J. Break, Wenjuan Gu, Sally Hunsberger, Sarah K. Browne, Amy P. Hsu, Shakuntala Rampertaap, Muthulekha Swamydas, Amanda L. Collar, Heidi H. Kong, Chyi-Chia Richard Lee, David Chascsa, Thomas Simcox, Angela Pham, Anamaria Bondici, Mukil Natarajan, Joseph Monsale, David E. Kleiner, Martha Quezado, Ilias Alevizos, Niki M. Moutsopoulos, Lynne Yockey, Cathleen Frein, Ariane Soldatos, Katherine R. Calvo, Jennifer Adjemian, Morgan N. Similuk, David M. Lang, Kelly D. Stone, Gulbu Uzel, Jeffrey B. Kopp, Rachel J. Bishop, Steven M. Holland, Kenneth N. Olivier, Thomas A. Fleisher, Theo Heller, Karen K. Winer, Michail S. Lionakis
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