Voltage-gated hydrogen channel 1 (Hvcn1) is a voltage-gated proton channel, which reduces cytosol acidification and facilitates the production of ROS. The increased expression of this channel in some cancers has led to proposing Hvcn1 antagonists as potential therapeutics. While its role in most leukocytes has been studied in depth, the function of Hvcn1 in T cells remains poorly defined. We show that Hvcn1 plays a nonredundant role in protecting naive T cells from intracellular acidification during priming. Despite sharing overall functional impairment in vivo and in vitro, Hvcn1-deficient CD4+ and CD8+ T cells display profound differences during the transition from naive to primed T cells, including in the preservation of T cell receptor (TCR) signaling, cellular division, and death. These selective features result, at least in part, from a substantially different metabolic response to intracellular acidification associated with priming. While Hvcn1-deficient naive CD4+ T cells reprogram to rescue the glycolytic pathway, naive CD8+ T cells, which express high levels of this channel in the mitochondria, respond by metabolically compensating mitochondrial dysfunction, at least in part via AMPK activation. These observations imply heterogeneity between adaptation of naive CD4+ and CD8+ T cells to intracellular acidification during activation.
David Coe, Thanushiyan Poobalasingam, Hongmei Fu, Fabrizia Bonacina, Guosu Wang, Valle Morales, Annalisa Moregola, Nico Mitro, Kenneth C.P. Cheung, Eleanor J. Ward, Suchita Nadkarni, Dunja Aksentijevic, Katiuscia Bianchi, Giuseppe Danilo Norata, Melania Capasso, Federica M. Marelli-Berg
Pain emanating from the female reproductive tract is notoriously difficult to treat, and the prevalence of transient pelvic pain has been placed as high as 70%–80% in women surveyed. Although sex hormones, especially estrogen, are thought to underlie enhanced pain perception in females, the underlying molecular and cellular mechanisms are not completely understood. Here, we showed that the pain-initiating TRPA1 channel was required for pain-related behaviors in a mouse model of estrogen-induced uterine pain in ovariectomized female mice. Surprisingly, 2- and 4-hydroxylated estrogen metabolites (2- and 4-HEMs) in the estrogen hydroxylation pathway, but not estrone, estradiol, or 16-HEMs, directly increased nociceptor hyperactivity through TRPA1 and TRPV1 channels, and picomolar concentrations of 2- and 4-hydroxylation estrone (2- or 4-OHE1) could sensitize TRPA1 channel function. Moreover, both TRPA1 and TRPV1 were expressed in uterine-innervating primary nociceptors, and their expression was increased in the estrogen-induced uterine pain model. Importantly, pretreatment with 2- or 4-OHE1 recapitulated estrogen-induced uterine pain-like behaviors, and intraplantar injections of 2- and 4-OHE1 directly produced a TRPA1-dependent mechanical hypersensitivity. Our findings demonstrated that TRPA1 is critically involved in estrogen-induced uterine pain-like behaviors, which may provide a potential drug target for treating female reproductive tract pain.
Zili Xie, Jing Feng, Tao Cai, Ronald McCarthy, Mark D. Eschbach II, Yuhui Wang, Yonghui Zhao, Zhihua Yi, Kaikai Zang, Yi Yuan, Xueming Hu, Fengxian Li, Qin Liu, Aditi Das, Sarah K. England, Hongzhen Hu
Bacteria have evolved to cope with the detrimental effects of ROS using their essential molecular components. Catalase, a heme-containing tetramer protein expressed universally in most aerobic bacteria, plays an indispensable role in scavenging excess hydrogen peroxide (H2O2). Here, through use of wild-type and catalase-deficient mutants, we identified catalase as an endogenous therapeutic target of 400–420 nm blue light. Catalase residing inside bacteria could be effectively inactivated by blue light, subsequently rendering the pathogens extremely vulnerable to H2O2 and H2O2-producing agents. As a result, photoinactivation of catalase and H2O2 synergistically eliminated a wide range of catalase-positive planktonic bacteria and P. aeruginosa inside biofilms. In addition, photoinactivation of catalase was shown to facilitate macrophage defense against intracellular pathogens. The antimicrobial efficacy of catalase photoinactivation was validated using a Pseudomonas aeruginosa–induced mouse abrasion model. Taken together, our findings offer a catalase-targeting phototherapy approach against multidrug-resistant bacterial infections.
Pu-Ting Dong, Sebastian Jusuf, Jie Hui, Yuewei Zhan, Yifan Zhu, George Y. Liu, Ji-Xin Cheng
A major challenge in managing acute viral infections is ameliorating disease when treatment is delayed. Previously, we reported the success of a 2-pronged mAb and antiviral remdesivir therapeutic approach to treat advanced illness in rhesus monkeys infected with Marburg virus (MARV). Here, we explored the benefit of a similar combination therapy for Sudan ebolavirus (Sudan virus; SUDV) infection. Importantly, no licensed anti-SUDV therapeutics currently exist, and infection of rhesus macaques with SUDV results in a rapid disease course similar to MARV with a mean time to death of 8.3 days. When initiation of therapy with either remdesivir or a pan-ebolavirus mAb cocktail (MBP431) was delayed until 6 days after inoculation, only 20% of macaques survived. In contrast, when remdesivir and MBP431 treatment were combined beginning 6 days after inoculation, significant protection (80%) was achieved. Our results suggest that combination therapy may be a viable treatment for patients with advanced filovirus disease that warrants further clinical testing in future outbreaks.
Robert W. Cross, Zachary A. Bornholdt, Abhishek N. Prasad, Courtney Woolsey, Viktoriya Borisevich, Krystle N. Agans, Daniel J. Deer, Dafna M. Abelson, Do H. Kim, William S. Shestowsky, Lioudmila A. Campbell, Elaine Bunyan, Joan B. Geisbert, Natalie S. Dobias, Karla A. Fenton, Danielle P. Porter, Larry Zeitlin, Thomas W. Geisbert
Systemic therapies for pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) remain unsatisfactory. Clinical prognosis is particularly poor for tumor subtypes with activating aberrations in the MYC pathway, creating an urgent need for novel therapeutic targets. To unbiasedly find MYC-associated epigenetic dependencies, we conducted a drug screen in pancreatic cancer cell lines. Here, we found that protein arginine N-methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5) inhibitors triggered an MYC-associated dependency. In human and murine PDACs, a robust connection of MYC and PRMT5 was detected. By the use of gain- and loss-of-function models, we confirmed the increased efficacy of PRMT5 inhibitors in MYC-deregulated PDACs. Although inhibition of PRMT5 was inducing DNA damage and arresting PDAC cells in the G2/M phase of the cell cycle, apoptotic cell death was executed predominantly in cells with high MYC expression. Experiments in primary patient-derived PDAC models demonstrated the existence of a highly PRMT5 inhibitor–sensitive subtype. Our work suggests developing PRMT5 inhibitor–based therapies for PDAC.
Felix Orben, Katharina Lankes, Christian Schneeweis, Zonera Hassan, Hannah Jakubowsky, Lukas Krauß, Fabio Boniolo, Carolin Schneider, Arlett Schäfer, Janine Murr, Christoph Schlag, Bo Kong, Rupert Öllinger, Chengdong Wang, Georg Beyer, Ujjwal M. Mahajan, Yonggan Xue, Julia Mayerle, Roland M. Schmid, Bernhard Kuster, Roland Rad, Christian J. Braun, Matthias Wirth, Maximilian Reichert, Dieter Saur, Günter Schneider
Uromodulin (UMOD) is a major risk gene for monogenic and complex forms of kidney disease. The encoded kidney-specific protein uromodulin is highly abundant in urine and related to chronic kidney disease, hypertension, and pathogen defense. To gain insights into potential systemic roles, we performed genome-wide screens of circulating uromodulin using complementary antibody-based and aptamer-based assays. We detected 3 and 10 distinct significant loci, respectively. Integration of antibody-based results at the UMOD locus with functional genomics data (RNA-Seq, ATAC-Seq, Hi-C) of primary human kidney tissue highlighted an upstream variant with differential accessibility and transcription in uromodulin-synthesizing kidney cells as underlying the observed cis effect. Shared association patterns with complex traits, including chronic kidney disease and blood pressure, placed the PRKAG2 locus in the same pathway as UMOD. Experimental validation of the third antibody-based locus, B4GALNT2, showed that the p.Cys466Arg variant of the encoded N-acetylgalactosaminyltransferase had a loss-of-function effect leading to higher serum uromodulin levels. Aptamer-based results pointed to enzymes writing glycan marks present on uromodulin and to their receptors in the circulation, suggesting that this assay permits investigating uromodulin’s complex glycosylation rather than its quantitative levels. Overall, our study provides insights into circulating uromodulin and its emerging functions.
Yong Li, Yurong Cheng, Francesco Consolato, Guglielmo Schiano, Michael R. Chong, Maik Pietzner, Ngoc Quynh H. Nguyen, Nora Scherer, Mary L. Biggs, Marcus E. Kleber, Stefan Haug, Burulça Göçmen, Marie Pigeyre, Peggy Sekula, Inga Steinbrenner, Pascal Schlosser, Christina B. Joseph, Jennifer A. Brody, Morgan E. Grams, Caroline Hayward, Ulla T. Schultheiss, Bernhard K. Krämer, Florian Kronenberg, Annette Peters, Jochen Seissler, Dominik Steubl, Cornelia Then, Matthias Wuttke, Winfried März, Kai-Uwe Eckardt, Christian Gieger, Eric Boerwinkle, Bruce M. Psaty, Josef Coresh, Peter J. Oefner, Guillaume Pare, Claudia Langenberg, Jürgen E. Scherberich, Bing Yu, Shreeram Akilesh, Olivier Devuyst, Luca Rampoldi, Anna Köttgen
Erythropoietin (EPO) has multiple nonerythropoietic functions, including immune modulation, but EPO’s effects in transplantation remain incompletely understood. We tested the mechanisms linking EPO administration to prolongation of murine heterotopic heart transplantation using WT and conditional EPO receptor–knockout (EPOR-knockout) mice as recipients. In WT controls, peritransplant administration of EPO synergized with CTLA4-Ig to prolong allograft survival (P < 0.001), reduce frequencies of donor-reactive effector CD8+ T cells in the spleen (P < 0.001) and in the graft (P < 0.05), and increase frequencies and total numbers of donor-reactive Tregs (P < 0.01 for each) versus CTLA4-Ig alone. Studies performed in conditional EPOR-knockout recipients showed that each of these differences required EPOR expression in myeloid cells but not in T cells. Analysis of mRNA isolated from spleen monocytes showed that EPO/EPOR ligation upregulated macrophage-expressed, antiinflammatory, regulatory, and pro-efferocytosis genes and downregulated selected proinflammatory genes. Taken together, the data support the conclusion that EPO promotes Treg-dependent murine cardiac allograft survival by crucially altering the phenotype and function of macrophages. Coupled with our previous documentation that EPO promotes Treg expansion in humans, the data support the need for testing the addition of EPO to costimulatory blockade-containing immunosuppression regimens in an effort to prolong human transplant survival.
Julian K. Horwitz, Sofia Bin, Robert L. Fairchild, Karen S. Keslar, Zhengzi Yi, Weijia Zhang, Vasile I. Pavlov, Yansui Li, Joren C. Madsen, Paolo Cravedi, Peter S. Heeger
The RTS,S/AS01E vaccine targets the circumsporozoite protein (CSP) of the Plasmodium falciparum (P. falciparum) parasite. Protein microarrays were used to measure levels of IgG against 1000 P. falciparum antigens in 2138 infants (age 6–12 weeks) and children (age 5–17 months) from 6 African sites of the phase III trial, sampled before and at 4 longitudinal visits after vaccination. One month postvaccination, IgG responses to 17% of all probed antigens showed differences between RTS,S/AS01E and comparator vaccination groups, whereas no prevaccination differences were found. A small subset of antigens presented IgG levels reaching 4- to 8-fold increases in the RTS,S/AS01E group, comparable in magnitude to anti-CSP IgG levels (~11-fold increase). They were strongly cross-correlated and correlated with anti-CSP levels, waning similarly over time and reincreasing with the booster dose. Such an intriguing phenomenon may be due to cross-reactivity of anti-CSP antibodies with these antigens. RTS,S/AS01E vaccinees with strong off-target IgG responses had an estimated lower clinical malaria incidence after adjusting for age group, site, and postvaccination anti-CSP levels. RTS,S/AS01E-induced IgG may bind strongly not only to CSP, but also to unrelated malaria antigens, and this seems to either confer, or at least be a marker of, increased protection from clinical malaria.
Dídac Macià, Joseph J. Campo, Gemma Moncunill, Chenjerai Jairoce, Augusto J. Nhabomba, Maximilian Mpina, Hermann Sorgho, David Dosoo, Ousmane Traore, Kwadwo Asamoah Kusi, Nana Aba Williams, Amit Oberai, Arlo Randall, Hèctor Sanz, Clarissa Valim, Kwaku Poku Asante, Seth Owusu-Agyei, Halidou Tinto, Selidji Todagbe Agnandji, Simon Kariuki, Ben Gyan, Claudia Daubenberger, Benjamin Mordmüller, Paula Petrone, Carlota Dobaño
Sex and gender disparity in asthma is recognized and suggests a modulatory role for sex steroids, particularly estrogen. However, there is a dichotomous role for estrogen in airway remodeling, making it unclear whether sex hormones are protective or detrimental in asthma and suggesting a need to explore mechanisms upstream or independent of estrogen. We hypothesize that kisspeptin (Kp)/KISS1R signaling serves this role. Airway smooth muscle (ASM) is a key structural cell type that contributes to remodeling in asthma. We explored the role of Kp/KISS1R in regulating ASM proliferation. We report potentially novel data indicating that Kp and KISS1R are expressed in human airways, especially ASM, with lower expression in ASM from women compared with men and lower in patients with asthma compared with people without asthma. Proliferation studies showed that cleaved forms of Kp, particularly Kp-10, mitigated PDGF-induced ASM proliferation. Pharmacological inhibition and shRNA knockdown of KISS1R increased basal ASM proliferation, which was further amplified by PDGF. The antiproliferative effect of Kp-10 in ASM was mediated by inhibition of MAPK/ERK/Akt pathways, with altered expression of PCNA, C/EBP-α, Ki-67, cyclin D1, and cyclin E leading to cell cycle arrest at G0/G1 phase. Overall, we demonstrate the importance of Kp/KISS1R signaling in regulating ASM proliferation and a potential therapeutic avenue to blunt remodeling in asthma.
Niyati A. Borkar, Nilesh Sudhakar Ambhore, Rama Satyanarayana Raju Kalidhindi, Christina M. Pabelick, Y.S. Prakash, Venkatachalem Sathish
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a fatal disease with limited treatment options. The role of the developmental transcription factor Sine oculis homeobox homolog 1 (SIX1) in the pathophysiology of lung fibrosis is not known. IPF lung tissue samples and IPF-derived alveolar type II cells (AT2) showed a significant increase in SIX1 mRNA and protein levels, and the SIX1 transcriptional coactivators EYA1 and EYA2 were elevated. Six1 was also upregulated in bleomycin-treated (BLM-treated) mice and in a model of spontaneous lung fibrosis driven by deletion of Telomeric Repeat Binding Factor 1 (Trf1) in AT2 cells. Conditional deletion of Six1 in AT2 cells prevented or halted BLM-induced lung fibrosis, as measured by a significant reduction in histological burden of fibrosis, reduced fibrotic mediator expression, and improved lung function. These effects were associated with increased macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) in lung epithelial cells in vivo following SIX1 overexpression in BLM-induced fibrosis. A MIF promoter–driven luciferase assay demonstrated direct binding of Six1 to the 5′-TCAGG-3′ consensus sequence of the MIF promoter, identifying a likely mechanism of SIX1-driven MIF expression in the pathogenesis of lung fibrosis and providing a potentially novel pathway for targeting in IPF therapy.
Cory Wilson, Tinne C.J. Mertens, Pooja Shivshankar, Weizen Bi, Scott D. Collum, Nancy Wareing, Junsuk Ko, Tingting Weng, Ram P. Naikawadi, Paul J. Wolters, Pascal Maire, Soma S.K. Jyothula, Rajarajan A. Thandavarayan, Dewei Ren, Nathan D. Elrod, Eric J. Wagner, Howard J. Huang, Burton F. Dickey, Heide L. Ford, Harry Karmouty-Quintana
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