Oncogenic Kras expression specifically in hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) induces a rapidly fatal myeloproliferative neoplasm in mice, suggesting that Kras signaling plays a dominant role in normal hematopoiesis. However, such a conclusion is based on expression of an oncogenic version of Kras. Hence, we sought to determine the effect of simply increasing the amount of endogenous wild-type Kras on HSC fate. To this end, we utilized a codon-optimized version of the murine Kras gene (Krasex3op) that we developed, in which silent mutations in exon 3 render the encoded mRNA more efficiently translated, leading to increased protein expression without disruption to the normal gene architecture. We found that Kras protein levels were significantly increased in bone marrow (BM) HSCs in Krasex3op/ex3op mice, demonstrating that the translation of Kras in HSCs is normally constrained by rare codons. Krasex3op/ex3op mice displayed expansion of BM HSCs, progenitor cells, and B lymphocytes, but no evidence of myeloproliferative disease or leukemia in mice followed for 12 months. BM HSCs from Krasex3op/ex3op mice demonstrated increased multilineage repopulating capacity in primary competitive transplantation assays, but secondary competitive transplants revealed exhaustion of long-term HSCs. Following total body irradiation, Krasex3op/ex3op mice displayed accelerated hematologic recovery and increased survival. Mechanistically, HSCs from Krasex3op/ex3op mice demonstrated increased proliferation at baseline, with a corresponding increase in Erk1/2 phosphorylation and cyclin-dependent kinase 4 and 6 (Cdk4/6) activation. Furthermore, both the enhanced colony-forming capacity and in vivo repopulating capacity of HSCs from Krasex3op/ex3op mice were dependent on Cdk4/6 activation. Finally, BM transplantation studies revealed that augmented Kras expression produced expansion of HSCs, progenitor cells, and B cells in a hematopoietic cell–autonomous manner, independent from effects on the BM microenvironment. This study provides fundamental demonstration of codon usage in a mammal having a biological consequence, which may speak to the importance of codon usage in mammalian biology.
Joshua P. Sasine, Heather A. Himburg, Christina M. Termini, Martina Roos, Evelyn Tran, Liman Zhao, Jenny Kan, Michelle Li, Yurun Zhang, Stéphanie C. de Barros, Dinesh S. Rao, Christopher M. Counter, John P. Chute
Allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) can cure some patients with hematopoietic malignancy, but this relies on the development of a donor T cell alloreactive immune response. T cell activity in the first 2 weeks after allo-SCT is crucial in determining outcome, despite the clinical effects of the early alloreactive immune response often not appearing until later. However, the effect of the allogeneic environment on T cells is difficult to study at this time point due to the effects of profound lymphopenia. We approached this problem by comparing T cells at week 2 after allograft to T cells from autograft patients. Allograft T cells were present in small numbers but displayed intense proliferation with spontaneous cytokine production. Oligoclonal expansions at week 2 came to represent a substantial fraction of the established T cell pool and were recruited into tissues affected by graft-versus-host disease. Transcriptional analysis uncovered a range of potential targets for immune manipulation, including OX40L, TWEAK, and CD70. These findings reveal that recognition of alloantigen drives naive T cells toward a unique phenotype. Moreover, they demonstrate that early clonal T cell responses are recruited to sites of subsequent tissue damage and provide a range of targets for potential therapeutic immunomodulation.
Charlotte F. Inman, Suzy A. Eldershaw, Joanne E. Croudace, Nathaniel J. Davies, Archana Sharma-Oates, Tanuja Rai, Hayden Pearce, Mirjana Sirovica, Y.L. Tracey Chan, Kriti Verma, Jianmin Zuo, Sandeep Nagra, Francesca Kinsella, Jane Nunnick, Rasoul Amel-Kashipaz, Charles Craddock, Ram Malladi, Paul Moss
In response to collagen stimulation, platelets use a coordinated system of fluid entry to undergo membrane ballooning, procoagulant spreading, and microvesiculation. We hypothesized that water entry was mediated by the water channel aquaporin-1 (AQP1) and aimed to determine its role in the platelet procoagulant response and thrombosis. We established that human and mouse platelets express AQP1 and localize to internal tubular membrane structures. However, deletion of AQP1 had minimal effects on collagen-induced platelet granule secretion, aggregation, or membrane ballooning. Conversely, procoagulant spreading, microvesiculation, phosphatidylserine exposure, and clot formation time were significantly diminished. Furthermore, in vivo thrombus formation after FeCl3 injury to carotid arteries was also markedly suppressed in AQP1-null mice, but hemostasis after tail bleeding remained normal. The mechanism involves an AQP1-mediated rapid membrane stretching during procoagulant spreading but not ballooning, leading to calcium entry through mechanosensitive cation channels and a full procoagulant response. We conclude that AQP1 is a major regulator of the platelet procoagulant response, able to modulate coagulation after injury or pathologic stimuli without affecting other platelet functional responses or normal hemostasis. Clinically effective AQP1 inhibitors may therefore represent a novel class of antiprocoagulant antithrombotics.
Ejaife O. Agbani, Christopher M. Williams, Yong Li, Marion T.J. van den Bosch, Samantha F. Moore, Adele Mauroux, Lorna Hodgson, Alan S. Verkman, Ingeborg Hers, Alastair W. Poole
BACKGROUND. Optimal management of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) requires monitoring of treatment response, but minimal residual disease (MRD) may escape detection. We sought to identify distinctive features of AML cells for universal MRD monitoring. METHODS. We compared genome-wide gene expression of AML cells from 157 patients with that of normal myeloblasts. Markers encoded by aberrantly expressed genes, including some previously associated with leukemia stem cells, were studied by flow cytometry in 240 patients with AML and in nonleukemic myeloblasts from 63 bone marrow samples. RESULTS. Twenty-two (CD9, CD18, CD25, CD32, CD44, CD47, CD52, CD54, CD59, CD64, CD68, CD86, CD93, CD96, CD97, CD99, CD123, CD200, CD300a/c, CD366, CD371, and CX3CR1) markers were aberrantly expressed in AML. Leukemia-associated profiles defined by these markers extended to immature CD34+CD38– AML cells; expression remained stable during treatment. The markers yielded MRD measurements matching those of standard methods in 208 samples from 52 patients undergoing chemotherapy and revealed otherwise undetectable MRD. They allowed MRD monitoring in 129 consecutive patients, yielding prognostically significant results. Using a machine-learning algorithm to reduce high-dimensional data sets to 2-dimensional data, the markers allowed a clear visualization of MRD and could detect 1 leukemic cell among more than 100,000 normal cells. CONCLUSION. The markers uncovered in this study allow universal and sensitive monitoring of MRD in AML. In combination with contemporary analytical tools, the markers improve the discrimination between leukemic and normal cells, thus facilitating data interpretation and, hence, the reliability of MRD results. FUNDING. National Cancer Institute (CA60419 and CA21765); American Lebanese Syrian Associated Charities; National Medical Research Council of Singapore (1299/2011); Viva Foundation for Children with Cancer, Children’s Cancer Foundation, Tote Board & Turf Club, and Lee Foundation of Singapore.
Elaine Coustan-Smith, Guangchun Song, Sheila Shurtleff, Allen Eng-Juh Yeoh, Wee Joo Chng, Siew Peng Chen, Jeffrey E. Rubnitz, Ching-Hon Pui, James R. Downing, Dario Campana
BACKGROUND. There are very few studies investigating metabolic biomarkers to predict acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) after allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Metabolic models can provide a framework for analyzing the information-rich omics data sets in this setting. METHODS. Four hundred and fifty-six samples from one hundred and fourteen consecutive patients who underwent HSCT from January 2012 to May 2014 were collected for this study. The changes in serum metabolite levels were investigated using a gas chromatography–mass spectrometry–based metabolomics approach and underwent statistical analysis. RESULTS. Significant metabolic changes were observed on day 7. The stearic acid/palmitic acid (SA/PA) ratio was effective in the diagnosis of grade II–IV aGVHD. Multivariate analysis showed that patients with high SA/PA ratios on day 7 after HSCT were less likely to develop II–IV aGVHD than patients with low SA/PA ratios (odds ratio [OR] = 0.06, 95% CI 0.02–0.18, P < 0.001). After the adjustment for clinical characteristics, the SA/PA ratio had no significant effect on overall survival (hazard ratio [HR] = 1.95, 95% CI 0.92–4.14, P = 0.08), and patients in the high SA/PA ratio group were significantly more likely to relapse than those in the low ratio group (HR = 2.26, 95% CI 1.04–4.91, P = 0.04). CONCLUSION. Our findings suggest that the SA/PA ratio on day 7 after HSCT is an excellent biomarker to predict both aGVHD and relapse. The serum SA/PA ratio measured on day 7 after transplantation may improve risk stratification for aGVHD and relapse after allogeneic stem cell transplantation. FUNDING. National Natural Science Foundation of China (81470346, 81773361), Priority Academic Program Development of Jiangsu Higher Education Institutions, Jiangsu Natural Science Foundation (BK20161204), Innovation Capability Development Project of Jiangsu Province (BM2015004), Jiangsu Medical Junior Talent Person award (QNRC2016707), and NIH (AI129582 and NS106170).
Xiaojin Wu, Yiyu Xie, Chang Wang, Yue Han, Xiebing Bao, Shoubao Ma, Ahmet Yilmaz, Bingyu Yang, Yuhan Ji, Jinge Xu, Hong Liu, Suning Chen, Jianying Zhang, Jianhua Yu, Depei Wu
BACKGROUND. Multiple myeloma is usually fatal due to serial relapses that become progressively refractory to therapy. CD19 is typically absent on the dominant multiple myeloma cell population but may be present on minor subsets with unique myeloma-propagating properties. To target myeloma-propagating cells, we clinically evaluated autologous T cells transduced with a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) against CD19 (CTL019). METHODS. Subjects received CTL019 following salvage high-dose melphalan and autologous stem cell transplantation (ASCT). All subjects had relapsed/refractory multiple myeloma and had previously undergone ASCT with less than 1 year progression-free survival (PFS). RESULTS. ASCT + CTL019 was safe and feasible, with most toxicity attributable to ASCT and no severe cytokine release syndrome. Two of 10 subjects exhibited significantly longer PFS after ASCT + CTL019 compared with prior ASCT (479 vs. 181 days; 249 vs. 127 days). Correlates of favorable clinical outcome included peak CTL019 frequency in bone marrow and emergence of humoral and cellular immune responses against the stem-cell antigen Sox2. Ex vivo treatment of primary myeloma samples with a combination of CTL019 and CAR T cells against the plasma cell antigen BCMA reliably inhibited myeloma colony formation in vitro, whereas treatment with either CAR alone inhibited colony formation inconsistently. CONCLUSION. CTL019 may improve duration of response to standard multiple myeloma therapies by targeting and precipitating secondary immune responses against myeloma-propagating cells. TRIAL REGISTRATION. Clinicaltrials.gov identifier NCT02135406. FUNDING. Novartis, NIH, Conquer Cancer Foundation.
Alfred L. Garfall, Edward A. Stadtmauer, Wei-Ting Hwang, Simon F. Lacey, Jan Joseph Melenhorst, Maria Krevvata, Martin P. Carroll, William H. Matsui, Qiuju Wang, Madhav V. Dhodapkar, Kavita Dhodapkar, Rituparna Das, Dan T. Vogl, Brendan M. Weiss, Adam D. Cohen, Patricia A. Mangan, Emily C. Ayers, Selene Nunez-Cruz, Irina Kulikovskaya, Megan M. Davis, Anne Lamontagne, Karen Dengel, Naseem D.S. Kerr, Regina M. Young, Donald L. Siegel, Bruce L. Levine, Michael C. Milone, Marcela V. Maus, Carl H. June
Hemostatic defects are treated using coagulation factors; however, clot formation also requires a procoagulant phospholipid (PL) surface. Here, we show that innate immune cell–derived enzymatically oxidized phospholipids (eoxPL) termed hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid–phospholipids (HETE-PLs) restore hemostasis in human and murine conditions of pathological bleeding. HETE-PLs abolished blood loss in murine hemophilia A and enhanced coagulation in factor VIII- (FVIII-), FIX-, and FX-deficient human plasma . HETE-PLs were decreased in platelets from patients after cardiopulmonary bypass (CPB). To explore molecular mechanisms, the ability of eoxPL to stimulate individual isolated coagulation factor/cofactor complexes was tested in vitro. Extrinsic tenase (FVIIa/tissue factor [TF]), intrinsic tenase (FVIIIa/FIXa), and prothrombinase (FVa/FXa) all were enhanced by both HETE-PEs and HETE-PCs, suggesting a common mechanism involving the fatty acid moiety. In plasma, 9-, 15-, and 12-HETE-PLs were more effective than 5-, 11-, or 8-HETE-PLs, indicating positional isomer specificity. Coagulation was enhanced at lower lipid/factor ratios, consistent with a more concentrated area for protein binding. Surface plasmon resonance confirmed binding of FII and FX to HETE-PEs. HETE-PEs increased membrane curvature and thickness, but not surface charge or homogeneity, possibly suggesting increased accessibility to cations/factors. In summary, innate immune-derived eoxPL enhance calcium-dependent coagulation factor function, and their potential utility in bleeding disorders is proposed.
David A. Slatter, Charles L. Percy, Keith Allen-Redpath, Joshua M. Gajsiewicz, Nick J. Brooks, Aled Clayton, Victoria J. Tyrrell, Marcela Rosas, Sarah N. Lauder, Andrew Watson, Maria Dul, Yoel Garcia-Diaz, Maceler Aldrovandi, Meike Heurich, Judith Hall, James H. Morrissey, Sebastien Lacroix-Desmazes, Sandrine Delignat, P. Vincent Jenkins, Peter W. Collins, Valerie B. O’Donnell
BACKGROUND. HELLP (hemolysis, elevated liver enzymes, and low platelets) syndrome is a severe variant of hypertensive disorders of pregnancy affecting approximately 1% of all pregnancies, and has significant maternal and fetal morbidity. Previously, we showed that upregulation of the alternative pathway of complement (APC) plays a role in HELLP syndrome. We hypothesize that HELLP syndrome follows a 2-hit disease model similar to atypical hemolytic uremic syndrome (aHUS), requiring both genetic susceptibility and an environmental risk factor. Our objective was to perform a comparative analysis of the frequency of APC activation and germline mutations in affected women and to create a predictive model for identifying HELLP syndrome. METHODS. Pregnant women with HELLP syndrome, and healthy controls after 23 weeks of gestation were recruited, along with aHUS and thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura participants. We performed a functional assay, the mHam, and targeted genetic sequencing in all groups. RESULTS. Significantly more participants with rare germline mutations in APC genes were present in the HELLP cohort compared with controls (46% versus 8%, P = 0.01). In addition, significantly more HELLP participants were positive for the mHam when compared with controls (62% versus 16%, P = 0.009). Testing positive for both a germline mutation and the mHam was highly predictive for the diagnosis of HELLP syndrome. CONCLUSION. HELLP syndrome is characterized by both activation of the APC and frequent germline mutations in APC genes. Similar to aHUS, treatment via complement inhibition to mitigate maternal and fetal morbidity and mortality may be possible. FUNDING. National Heart Lung and Blood Institute grants T32HL007525 and R01HL133113.
Arthur J. Vaught, Evan M. Braunstein, Jagar Jasem, Xuan Yuan, Igor Makhlin, Solange Eloundou, Andrea C. Baines, Samuel A. Merrill, Shruti Chaturvedi, Karin Blakemore, C. John Sperati, Robert A. Brodsky
Allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (alloHCT) is a potentially curative treatment for myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), but patients who relapse after transplant have poor outcomes. In order to understand the contribution of tumor clonal evolution to disease progression,we applied exome and error-corrected targeted sequencing coupled with copy number analysis to comprehensively define changes in the clonal architecture of MDS in response to therapy using 51 serially acquired tumor samples from 9 patients who progressed after an alloHCT. We show that small subclones before alloHCT can drive progression after alloHCT. Notably, at least one subclone expanded or emerged at progression in all patients. Newly acquired structural variants (SVs) were present in an emergent/expanding subclone in 8 of 9 patients at progression, implicating the acquisition of SVs as important late subclonal progression events. In addition, pretransplant therapy with azacitidine likely influenced the mutation spectrum and evolution of emergent subclones after alloHCT. Although subclone evolution is common, founding clone mutations are always present at progression and could be detected in the bone marrow as early as 30 and/or 100 days after alloHCT in 6 of 8 (75%) patients, often prior to clinical progression. In conclusion, MDS progression after alloHCT is characterized by subclonal expansion and evolution, which can be influenced by pretransplant therapy.
Meagan A. Jacoby, Eric J. Duncavage, Gue Su Chang, Christopher A. Miller, Jin Shao, Kevin Elliott, Joshua Robinson, Robert S. Fulton, Catrina C. Fronick, Michelle O’Laughlin, Sharon E. Heath, Iskra Pusic, John S. Welch, Daniel C. Link, John F. DiPersio, Peter Westervelt, Timothy J. Ley, Timothy A. Graubert, Matthew J. Walter
Mutations in KIT and TET2 are associated with myeloid malignancies. We show that loss of TET2-induced PI3K activation and -increased proliferation is rescued by targeting the p110α/δ subunits of PI3K. RNA-Seq revealed a hyperactive c-Myc signature in Tet2–/– cells, which is normalized by inhibiting PI3K signaling. Loss of TET2 impairs the maturation of myeloid lineage–derived mast cells by dysregulating the expression of Mitf and Cebpa, which is restored by low-dose ascorbic acid and 5-azacytidine. Utilizing a mouse model in which the loss of TET2 precedes the expression of oncogenic Kit, similar to the human disease, results in the development of a non–mast cell lineage neoplasm (AHNMD), which is responsive to PI3K inhibition. Thus, therapeutic approaches involving hypomethylating agents, ascorbic acid, and isoform-specific PI3K inhibitors are likely to be useful for treating patients with TET2 and KIT mutations.
Lakshmi Reddy Palam, Raghuveer Singh Mali, Baskar Ramdas, Sridhar Nonavinkere Srivatsan, Valeria Visconte, Ramon V. Tiu, Bart Vanhaesebroeck, Axel Roers, Alexander Gerbaulet, Mingjiang Xu, Sarath Chandra Janga, Clifford M. Takemoto, Sophie Paczesny, Reuben Kapur
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