Clinical monitoring of adoptive T cell transfer (ACT) utilizes serial blood analyses to discern T cell activity. While useful, these data are 1-dimensional and lack spatiotemporal information related to treatment efficacy or toxicity. We utilized a human genetic reporter, somatostatin receptor 2 (SSTR2), and PET, to quantitatively and longitudinally visualize whole-body T cell distribution and antitumor dynamics using a clinically approved radiotracer. Initial evaluations determined that SSTR2-expressing T cells were detectable at low densities with high sensitivity and specificity. SSTR2-based PET was applied to ACT of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells targeting intercellular adhesion molecule-1, which is overexpressed in anaplastic thyroid tumors. Timely CAR T cell infusions resulted in survival of tumor-bearing mice, while later infusions led to uniform death. Real-time PET imaging revealed biphasic T cell expansion and contraction at tumor sites among survivors, with peak tumor burden preceding peak T cell burden by several days. In contrast, nonsurvivors displayed unrelenting increases in tumor and T cell burden, indicating that tumor growth was outpacing T cell killing. Thus, longitudinal PET imaging of SSTR2-positive ACT dynamics enables prognostic, spatiotemporal monitoring with unprecedented clarity and detail to facilitate comprehensive therapy evaluation with potential for clinical translation.
Yogindra Vedvyas, Enda Shevlin, Marjan Zaman, Irene M. Min, Alejandro Amor-Coarasa, Spencer Park, Susan Park, Keon-Woo Kwon, Turner Smith, Yonghua Luo, Dohyun Kim, Young Kim, Benedict Law, Richard Ting, John Babich, Moonsoo M. Jin
Spinal muscular atrophy (SMA) is an autosomal recessive neuromuscular disease and one of the leading inherited causes of infant mortality. SMA results from insufficient levels of the survival motor neuron (SMN) protein, and studies in animal models of the disease have shown that increasing SMN protein levels ameliorates the disease phenotype. Our group previously identified and optimized a new series of small molecules, with good potency and toxicity profiles and reasonable pharmacokinetics, that were able to increase SMN protein levels in SMA patient–derived cells. We show here that ML372, a representative of this series, almost doubles the half-life of residual SMN protein expressed from the SMN2 locus by blocking its ubiquitination and subsequent degradation by the proteasome. ML372 increased SMN protein levels in muscle, spinal cord, and brain tissue of SMA mice. Importantly, ML372 treatment improved the righting reflex and extended survival of a severe mouse model of SMA. These results demonstrate that slowing SMN degradation by selectively inhibiting its ubiquitination can improve the motor phenotype and lifespan of SMA model mice.
Mahlet B. Abera, Jingbo Xiao, Jonathan Nofziger, Steve Titus, Noel Southall, Wei Zheng, Kasey E. Moritz, Marc Ferrer, Jonathan J. Cherry, Elliot J. Androphy, Amy Wang, Xin Xu, Christopher Austin, Kenneth H. Fischbeck, Juan J. Marugan, Barrington G. Burnett
The second-generation HIV-1 integrase strand transfer inhibitor (InSTI) dolutegravir (DTG) has had a major impact on the treatment of HIV-1 infection. Here we describe important but previously undetermined pharmacodynamic parameters for DTG. We show that the dose-response curve slope, which indicates cooperativity and is a major determinant of antiviral activity, is higher for DTG than for first-generation InSTIs. This steepness does not reflect inhibition of multiple steps in the HIV-1 life cycle, as is the case for allosteric integrase inhibitors and HIV-1 protease inhibitors. We also show that degree of independence, a metric of interaction favorability between antiretroviral drugs, is high for DTG and nucleoside reverse transcriptase inhibitors. Finally, we demonstrate poor selective advantage for HIV-1 bearing InSTI resistance mutations. Selective advantage, which incorporates both the magnitude of resistance conferred by a mutation and its fitness cost, explains the high genetic barrier to DTG resistance. Together, these parameters provide an explanation for the remarkable clinical success of DTG.
Sarah B. Laskey, Robert F. Siliciano
Bcl-2–associated athanogene 3 (BAG3) is an evolutionarily conserved protein expressed at high levels in the heart and the vasculature and in many cancers. While altered BAG3 expression has been associated with cardiac dysfunction, its role in ischemia/reperfusion (I/R) is unknown. To test the hypothesis that BAG3 protects the heart from reperfusion injury, in vivo cardiac function was measured in hearts infected with either recombinant adeno-associated virus serotype 9–expressing (rAAV9-expressing) BAG3 or GFP and subjected to I/R. To elucidate molecular mechanisms by which BAG3 protects against I/R injury, neonatal mouse ventricular cardiomyocytes (NMVCs) in which BAG3 levels were modified by adenovirus expressing (Ad-expressing) BAG3 or siBAG3 were exposed to hypoxia/reoxygenation (H/R). H/R significantly reduced NMVC BAG3 levels, which were associated with enhanced expression of apoptosis markers, decreased expression of autophagy markers, and reduced autophagy flux. The deleterious effects of H/R on apoptosis and autophagy were recapitulated by knockdown of BAG3 with Ad-siBAG3 and were rescued by Ad-BAG3. In vivo, treatment of mice with rAAV9-BAG3 prior to I/R significantly decreased infarct size and improved left ventricular function when compared with mice receiving rAAV9-GFP and improved markers of autophagy and apoptosis. These findings suggest that BAG3 may provide a therapeutic target in patients undergoing reperfusion after myocardial infarction.
Feifei Su, Valerie D. Myers, Tijana Knezevic, JuFang Wang, Erhe Gao, Muniswamy Madesh, Farzaneh G. Tahrir, Manish K. Gupta, Jennifer Gordon, Joseph Rabinowitz, Frederick V. Ramsey, Douglas G. Tilley, Kamel Khalili, Joseph Y. Cheung, Arthur M. Feldman
Chronic inflammation with mucous metaplasia and airway remodeling are hallmarks of allergic asthma, and these outcomes have been associated with enhanced expression and activation of EGFR signaling. Here, we demonstrate enhanced expression of EGFR ligands such as amphiregulin as well as constitutive EGFR activation in cultured nasal epithelial cells from asthmatic subjects compared with nonasthmatic controls and in lung tissues of mice during house dust mite–induced (HDM-induced) allergic inflammation. EGFR activation was associated with cysteine oxidation within EGFR and the nonreceptor tyrosine kinase Src, and both amphiregulin production and oxidative EGFR activation were diminished by pharmacologic or genetic inhibition of the epithelial NADPH oxidase dual oxidase 1 (DUOX1). DUOX1 deficiency also attenuated several EGFR-dependent features of HDM-induced allergic airway inflammation, including neutrophilic inflammation, type 2 cytokine production (IL-33, IL-13), mucous metaplasia, subepithelial fibrosis, and central airway resistance. Moreover, targeted inhibition of airway DUOX1 in mice with previously established HDM-induced allergic inflammation, by intratracheal administration of DUOX1-targeted siRNA or pharmacological NADPH oxidase inhibitors, reversed most of these outcomes. Our findings indicate an important function for DUOX1 in allergic inflammation related to persistent EGFR activation and suggest that DUOX1 targeting may represent an attractive strategy in asthma management.
Aida Habibovic, Milena Hristova, David E. Heppner, Karamatullah Danyal, Jennifer L. Ather, Yvonne M.W. Janssen-Heininger, Charles G. Irvin, Matthew E. Poynter, Lennart K. Lundblad, Anne E. Dixon, Miklos Geiszt, Albert van der Vliet
BM-derived DC (BMDC) are powerful antigen-presenting cells. When loaded with immune complexes (IC), consisting of tumor antigens bound to antitumor antibody, BMDC induce powerful antitumor immunity in mice. However, attempts to employ this strategy clinically with either tumor-associated DC (TADC) or monocyte-derived DC (MoDC) have been disappointing. To investigate the basis for this phenomenon, we compared the response of BMDC, TADC, and MoDC to tumor IgG-IC. Our findings revealed, in both mice and humans, that upon exposure to IgG-IC, BMDC internalized the IC, increased costimulatory molecule expression, and stimulated autologous T cells. In contrast, TADC and, surprisingly, MoDC remained inert upon contact with IC due to dysfunctional signaling following engagement of Fcγ receptors. Such dysfunction is associated with elevated levels of the Src homology region 2 domain–containing phosphatase-1 (SHP-1) and phosphatases regulating Akt activation. Indeed, concomitant inhibition of both SHP-1 and phosphatases that regulate Akt activation conferred upon TADC and MoDC the capacity to take up and process IC and induce antitumor immunity in vivo. This work identifies the molecular checkpoints that govern activation of MoDC and TADC and their capacity to elicit T cell immunity.
Yaron Carmi, Tyler R. Prestwood, Matthew H. Spitzer, Ian L. Linde, Jonathan Chabon, Nathan E. Reticker-Flynn, Nupur Bhattacharya, Hong Zhang, Xiangyue Zhang, Pamela A. Basto, Bryan M. Burt, Michael N. Alonso, Edgar G. Engleman
The small intestine has an underappreciated role as a lipid storage organ. Under conditions of high dietary fat intake, enterocytes can minimize the extent of postprandial lipemia by storing newly absorbed dietary fat in cytoplasmic lipid droplets. Lipid droplets can be subsequently mobilized for the production of chylomicrons. The mechanisms that regulate this process are poorly understood. We report here that the milk protein Mfge8 regulates hydrolysis of cytoplasmic lipid droplets in enterocytes after interacting with the αvβ3 and αvβ5 integrins. Mice deficient in Mfge8 or the αvβ3 and αvβ5 integrins accumulate excess cytoplasmic lipid droplets after a fat challenge. Mechanistically, interruption of the Mfge8-integrin axis leads to impaired enterocyte intracellular triglyceride hydrolase activity in vitro and in vivo. Furthermore, Mfge8 increases triglyceride hydrolase activity through a PI3 kinase/mTORC2–dependent signaling pathway. These data identify a key role for Mfge8 and the αvβ3 and αvβ5 integrins in regulating enterocyte lipid processing.
Amin Khalifeh-Soltani, Deepti Gupta, Arnold Ha, Jahangir Iqbal, Mahmood Hussain, Michael J. Podolsky, Kamran Atabai
To identify the molecules involved in epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) in urothelial carcinoma (UC) after acquisition of platinum resistance, here we examined the changes in global gene expression before and after platinum treatment. Four invasive UC cell lines, T24, 5637, and their corresponding sublines T24PR and 5637PR with acquired platinum resistance, were assessed by microarray, and the ubiquitin E3 ligase FBXO32 was newly identified as a negative regulator of EMT in UC tumors after acquisition of platinum resistance. In vitro and in vivo studies showed an intimate relationship between FBXO32 expression and EMT, demonstrating that FBXO32 dysregulation in T24PR cells results in elevated expression of the mesenchymal molecules SNAIL and vimentin and decreased expression of the epithelial molecule E-cadherin. The association between FBXO32 expression and EMT was further validated using clinical samples. Knockdown of MyoD expression, a specific target of FBXO32 polyubiquitination, revealed upregulation of E-cadherin expression and downregulation of SNAIL and vimentin expression in T24PR cells. Comparative genomic hybridization array analysis demonstrated loss of heterozygosity at 8q24.13 in T24PR cells, which harbors FBXO32. Our findings suggest the importance of the association between EMT and ubiquitin-proteasome regulation when tumors develop acquired platinum resistance.
Nobuyuki Tanaka, Takeo Kosaka, Yasumasa Miyazaki, Shuji Mikami, Naoya Niwa, Yutaro Otsuka, Yoji Andrew Minamishima, Ryuichi Mizuno, Eiji Kikuchi, Akira Miyajima, Hisataka Sabe, Yasunori Okada, Per Uhlén, Makoto Suematsu, Mototsugu Oya
CD4+ regulatory T cells (CD4Tregs) play a critical role in the maintenance of immune tolerance and prevention of chronic graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. IL-2 supports the proliferation and survival of CD4Tregs and previous studies have demonstrated that IL-2 induces selective expansion of CD4Tregs and improves clinical manifestations of chronic GVHD. However, mechanisms for selective activation of CD4Tregs and the effects of low-dose IL-2 on other immune cells are not well understood. Using mass cytometry, we demonstrate that low concentrations of IL-2 selectively induce STAT5 phosphorylation in Helios+ CD4Tregs and CD56brightCD16– NK cells in vitro. Preferential activation and expansion of Helios+ CD4Tregs and CD56brightCD16– NK cells was also demonstrated in patients with chronic GVHD receiving low-dose IL-2. With prolonged IL-2 treatment for 48 weeks, phenotypic changes were also observed in Helios– CD4Tregs. The effects of low-dose IL-2 therapy on conventional CD4+ T cells and CD8+ T cells were limited to increased expression of PD-1 on effector memory T cells. These studies reveal the selective effects of low-dose IL-2 therapy on Helios+ CD4Tregs and CD56bright NK cells that constitutively express high-affinity IL-2 receptors as well as the indirect effects of prolonged exposure to low concentrations of IL-2 in vivo.
Masahiro Hirakawa, Tiago Matos, Hongye Liu, John Koreth, Haesook T. Kim, Nicole E. Paul, Kazuyuki Murase, Jennifer Whangbo, Ana C. Alho, Sarah Nikiforow, Corey Cutler, Vincent T. Ho, Philippe Armand, Edwin P. Alyea, Joseph H. Antin, Bruce R. Blazar, Joao F. Lacerda, Robert J. Soiffer, Jerome Ritz
Emerging evidence indicates that upregulation of the ER stress–induced pro-osteogenic transcription factor ATF4 plays an important role in vascular calcification, a common complication in patients with aging, diabetes, and chronic kidney disease (CKD). In this study, we demonstrated the pathophysiological role of ATF4 in vascular calcification using global
Masashi Masuda, Shinobu Miyazaki-Anzai, Audrey L. Keenan, Yuji Shiozaki, Kayo Okamura, Wallace S. Chick, Kristina Williams, Xiaoyun Zhao, Shaikh Mizanoor Rahman, Yin Tintut, Christopher M. Adams, Makoto Miyazaki
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