Mutations in the ER chaperone calreticulin (CALR) are common in myeloproliferative neoplasm (MPN) patients, activate the thrombopoietin receptor (MPL), and mediate constitutive JAK/STAT signaling. The mechanisms by which CALR mutations cause myeloid transformation are incompletely defined. We used mass spectrometry proteomics to identify CALR-mutant interacting proteins. Mutant CALR caused mislocalization of binding partners and increased recruitment of FLI1, ERP57, and CALR to the MPL promoter to enhance transcription. Consistent with a critical role for CALR-mediated JAK/STAT activation, we confirmed the efficacy of JAK2 inhibition on CALR-mutant cells in vitro and in vivo. Due to the altered interactome induced by CALR mutations, we hypothesized that CALR-mutant MPNs may be vulnerable to disruption of aberrant CALR protein complexes. A synthetic peptide designed to competitively inhibit the carboxy terminal of CALR specifically abrogated MPL/JAK/STAT signaling in cell lines and primary samples and improved the efficacy of JAK kinase inhibitors. These findings reveal what to our knowledge is a novel potential therapeutic approach for patients with CALR-mutant MPN.
Elodie Pronier, Paolo Cifani, Tiffany R. Merlinsky, Katharine Barr Berman, Amritha Varshini Hanasoge Somasundara, Raajit K. Rampal, John LaCava, Karen E. Wei, Friederike Pastore, Jesper L.V. Maag, Jane Park, Richard Koche, Alex Kentsis, Ross L. Levine
The contribution of intracellular hemoglobin (Hb) oxidation to RBC-derived microparticle (MP) formation is poorly defined in sickle cell disease (SCD). Here we report that sickle Hb (HbS) oxidation, coupled with changes in cytosolic antioxidative proteins, is associated with membrane alterations and MP formation in homozygous Townes–sickle cell (Townes-SS) mice. Photometric and proteomic analyses confirmed the presence of high levels of Hb oxidation intermediates (ferric/ferryl) and consequent β-globin posttranslational modifications, including the irreversible oxidation of βCys93 and the ubiquitination of βLys96 and βLys145. This is the first report to our knowledge to link the UPS (via ubiquitinated Hb and other proteins) to oxidative stress. Ferryl Hb also induced complex formation with band 3 and RBC membrane proteins. Incubation of Townes-SS MPs with human endothelial cells caused greater loss of monolayer integrity, apoptotic activation, heme oxygenase-1 induction, and concomitant bioenergetic imbalance compared with control Townes-AA MPs. MPs obtained from Townes-SS mice treated with hydroxyurea produced fewer posttranslational Hb modifications. In vitro, hydroxyurea reduced the levels of ferryl Hb and shielded its target residue, βCys93, by a process of S-nitrosylation. These mechanistic analyses suggest potential antioxidative therapeutic modalities that may interrupt MP heme-mediated pathophysiology in SCD patients.
Sirsendu Jana, Michael Brad Strader, Fantao Meng, Wayne Hicks, Tigist Kassa, Ivan Tarandovskiy, Silvia De Paoli, Jan Simak, Michael R. Heaven, John D. Belcher, Gregory M. Vercellotti, Abdu I. Alayash
BACKGROUND. Our understanding of phenotypic and functional signatures of CD8+ T cell dysfunction in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is limited. Deciphering these deranged T cell functional states and how they are impacted by induction chemotherapy is essential for incorporation of novel immune-based strategies to restore and maintain antileukemia immunity. METHODS. We utilized high-dimensional immunophenotyping, gene expression, and functional studies to characterize peripheral blood and bone marrow CD8+ T cells in 72 AML patients at diagnosis and after induction chemotherapy. RESULTS. Our data suggest that multiple aspects of deranged T cell function are operative in AML at diagnosis, with exhaustion and senescence being the dominant processes. Following treatment, the phenotypic and transcriptional profile of CD8+ T cells diverged between responders and nonresponders. Response to therapy correlated with upregulation of costimulatory, and downregulation of apoptotic and inhibitory, T cell signaling pathways, indicative of restoration of T cell function. In functional studies, AML blasts directly altered CD8+ T cell viability, expansion, co-signaling and senescence marker expression. This CD8+ T cell dysfunction was in part reversible upon PD-1 blockade or OX40 costimulation in vitro. CONCLUSION. Our findings highlight the uniqueness of AML in sculpting CD8+ T cell responses and the plasticity of their signatures upon chemotherapy response, providing a compelling rationale for integration of novel immunotherapies to augment antileukemia immunity. FUNDING. This work was supported by the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society grant no. 6449-13; NIH grants UM1-CA186691 and R01-HL110907-01; the American Society for Blood and Marrow Transplantation New Investigator Award/Gabrielle’s Angel Foundation; the Vienna Fund for Innovative Cancer Research; and by fellowships from the Wenner-Gren Foundation and the Swedish Society for Medical Research.
Hanna A. Knaus, Sofia Berglund, Hubert Hackl, Amanda L. Blackford, Joshua F. Zeidner, Raúl Montiel-Esparza, Rupkatha Mukhopadhyay, Katrina Vanura, Bruce R. Blazar, Judith E. Karp, Leo Luznik, Ivana Gojo
The identification of targetable vulnerabilities in the context of therapeutic resistance is a key challenge in cancer treatment. We detected pervasive aberrant splicing as a characteristic feature of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), irrespective of splicing factor mutation status, which was associated with sensitivity to the spliceosome modulator, E7107. Splicing modulation affected CLL survival pathways, including members of the B cell lymphoma-2 (BCL2) family of proteins, remodeling antiapoptotic dependencies of human and murine CLL cells. E7107 treatment decreased myeloid cell leukemia-1 (MCL1) dependence and increased BCL2 dependence, sensitizing primary human CLL cells and venetoclax-resistant CLL-like cells from an Eμ-TCL1–based adoptive transfer murine model to treatment with the BCL2 inhibitor venetoclax. Our data provide preclinical rationale to support the combination of venetoclax with splicing modulators to reprogram apoptotic dependencies in CLL for treating venetoclax-resistant CLL cases.
Elisa ten Hacken, Rebecca Valentin, Fara Faye D. Regis, Jing Sun, Shanye Yin, Lillian Werner, Jing Deng, Michaela Gruber, Jessica Wong, Mei Zheng, Amy L. Gill, Michael Seiler, Peter Smith, Michael Thomas, Silvia Buonamici, Emanuela M. Ghia, Ekaterina Kim, Laura Z. Rassenti, Jan A. Burger, Thomas J. Kipps, Matthew L. Meyerson, Pavan Bachireddy, Lili Wang, Robin Reed, Donna Neuberg, Ruben D. Carrasco, Angela N. Brooks, Anthony Letai, Matthew S. Davids, Catherine J. Wu
Heparin-induced thrombocytopenia (HIT) is an immune-mediated thrombocytopenic disorder associated with a severe prothrombotic state. We investigated whether neutrophils and neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) contribute to the development of thrombosis in HIT. Using an endothelialized microfluidic system and a murine passive immunization model, we show that HIT induction leads to increased neutrophil adherence to venous endothelium. In HIT mice, endothelial adherence is enhanced immediately downstream of nascent venous thrombi, after which neutrophils undergo retrograde migration via a CXCR2-dependent mechanism to accumulate into the thrombi. Using a microfluidic system, we found that PF4 binds to NETs, leading them to become compact and DNase resistant. PF4-NET complexes selectively bind HIT antibodies, which further protect them from nuclease digestion. In HIT mice, inhibition of NET formation through Padi4 gene disruption or DNase treatment limited venous thrombus size. PAD4 inactivation did affect arterial thrombi or severity of thrombocytopenia in HIT. Thus, neutrophil activation contributes to the development of venous thrombosis in HIT by enhancing neutrophil-endothelial adhesion and neutrophil clot infiltration, where incorporated PF4-NET-HIT antibody complexes lead to thrombosis propagation. Inhibition of neutrophil endothelial adhesion, prevention of neutrophil chemokine-dependent recruitment of neutrophils to thrombi, or suppression of NET release should be explored as strategies to prevent venous thrombosis in HIT.
Kandace Gollomp, Minna Kim, Ian Johnston, Vincent Hayes, John Welsh, Gowthami M. Arepally, Mark Kahn, Michele P. Lambert, Adam Cuker, Douglas B. Cines, Lubica Rauova, M. Anna Kowalska, Mortimer Poncz
Despite advances in antithrombotic therapy, the risk of recurrent coronary/cerebrovascular ischemia or venous thromboembolism remains high. Dual pathway antithrombotic blockade, using both antiplatelet and anticoagulant therapy, offers the promise of improved thrombotic protection; however, widespread adoption remains tempered by substantial risk of major bleeding. Here, we report a dual pathway therapeutic capable of site-specific targeting to activated platelets and therapeutic enrichment at the site of thrombus growth to allow reduced dosing without compromised antithrombotic efficacy. We engineered a recombinant fusion protein, SCE5-TAP, which consists of a single-chain antibody (SCE5) that targets and blocks the activated GPIIb/IIIa complex, and tick anticoagulant peptide (TAP), a potent direct inhibitor of activated factor X (FXa). SCE5-TAP demonstrated selective platelet targeting and inhibition of thrombosis in murine models of both carotid artery and inferior vena cava thrombosis, without a significant impact on hemostasis. Selective targeting to activated platelets provides an attractive strategy to achieve high antithrombotic efficacy with reduced risk of bleeding complications.
Donny Hanjaya-Putra, Carolyn Haller, Xiaowei Wang, Erbin Dai, Bock Lim, Liying Liu, Patrick Jaminet, Joy Yao, Amy Searle, Thomas Bonnard, Christoph E. Hagemeyer, Karlheinz Peter, Elliot L. Chaikof
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients with NPM1 mutations demonstrate a superior response to standard chemotherapy treatment. Our previous work has shown that these favorable outcomes are linked to the cytoplasmic relocalization and inactivation of FOXM1 driven by mutated NPM1. Here, we went on to confirm the important role of FOXM1 in increased chemoresistance in AML. A multiinstitution retrospective study was conducted to link FOXM1 expression to clinical outcomes in AML. We establish nuclear FOXM1 as an independent clinical predictor of chemotherapeutic resistance in intermediate-risk AML in a multivariate analysis incorporating standard clinicopathologic risk factors. Using colony assays, we show a dramatic decrease in colony size and numbers in AML cell lines with knockdown of FOXM1, suggesting an important role for FOXM1 in the clonogenic activity of AML cells. In order to further prove a potential role for FOXM1 in AML chemoresistance, we induced an FLT3-ITD–driven myeloid neoplasm in a FOXM1-overexpressing transgenic mouse model and demonstrated significantly higher residual disease after standard chemotherapy. This suggests that constitutive overexpression of FOXM1 in this model induces chemoresistance. Finally, we performed proof-of-principle experiments using a currently approved proteasome inhibitor, ixazomib, to target FOXM1 and demonstrated a therapeutic response in AML patient samples and animal models of AML that correlates with the suppression of FOXM1 and its transcriptional targets. Addition of low doses of ixazomib increases sensitization of AML cells to chemotherapy backbone drugs cytarabine and the hypomethylator 5-azacitidine. Our results underscore the importance of FOXM1 in AML progression and treatment, and they suggest that targeting it may have therapeutic benefit in combination with standard AML therapies.
Irum Khan, Marianna Halasi, Anand Patel, Rachael Schultz, Nandini Kalakota, Yi-Hua Chen, Nathan Aardsma, Li Liu, John D. Crispino, Nadim Mahmud, Olga Frankfurt, Andrei L. Gartel
BACKGROUND. The red cell distribution width (RDW) is associated with health outcomes. Whether non-RDW risk information is contained in RBC sizes is unknown. This study evaluated the association of the percentage of extreme macrocytic RBCs (%Macro, RBC volume > 120 fl) and microcytic RBCs (%Micro, RBC volume < 60 fl) and the RDW–size distribution (RDW-sd) with mortality and morbidity. METHODS. Patients (females, n = 165,770; males, n = 100,210) at Intermountain Healthcare were studied if they had a hematology panel between May 2014 and September 2016. Adjusted sex-specific associations of %Macro/%Micro and RDW-sd with mortality and 33 morbidities were evaluated. RESULTS. Among females with fourth-quartile values of %Macro quartile and %Micro (referred to throughout as 4/4), there was an average of 7.2 morbidities versus 2.9 in the lowest risk (LR1) categories, 1/1, 1/2, 2/1, and 2/2 (P < 0.001). Among males, those in the 4/4 category had 8.0 morbidities, while those in the LR1 had 3.4 (P < 0.001). Cox regressions found %Macro/%Micro (4/4 vs. LR1, females: hazard ratio [HR] = 1.97 [95% CI = 1.53, 2.54]; males: HR = 2.17 [CI = 1.72, 2.73]), RDW-sd (quartile 4 vs. 1, females: HR = 1.33 [CI = 1.04, 1.69]; males: HR = 1.41 [CI = 1.10, 1.80]), and RDW (quartile 4 vs. 1, females: HR = 1.59 [CI = 1.26, 2.00]; males: HR = 1.23 [CI = 0.99, 1.52]) independently predicted mortality. Limitations include that the observational design did not reveal causality and unknown confounders may be unmeasured. CONCLUSIONS. Concomitantly elevated %Macro and %Micro predicted the highest mortality risk and the greatest number of morbidities, revealing predictive ability of RBC volume beyond what is measured clinically. Mechanistic investigations are needed to explain the biological basis of these observations. FUNDING. This study was supported by internal Intermountain Heart Institute funds and in-kind support from Sysmex America Inc.
Benjamin D. Horne, Joseph B. Muhlestein, Sterling T. Bennett, Joseph Boone Muhlestein, Kurt R. Jensen, Diane Marshall, Tami L. Bair, Heidi T. May, John F. Carlquist, Matthew Hegewald, Stacey Knight, Viet T. Le, T. Jared Bunch, Donald L. Lappé, Jeffrey L. Anderson, Kirk U. Knowlton
Germline SAMD9 and SAMD9L mutations cause a spectrum of multisystem disorders that carry a markedly increased risk of developing myeloid malignancies with somatic monosomy 7. Here, we describe 16 siblings, the majority of which were phenotypically normal, from 5 families diagnosed with myelodysplasia and leukemia syndrome with monosomy 7 (MLSM7; OMIM 252270) who primarily had onset of hematologic abnormalities during the first decade of life. Molecular analyses uncovered germline SAMD9L (n = 4) or SAMD9 (n = 1) mutations in these families. Affected individuals had a highly variable clinical course that ranged from mild and transient dyspoietic changes in the bone marrow to a rapid progression of myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS) or acute myeloid leukemia (AML) with monosomy 7. Expression of these gain-of-function SAMD9 and SAMD9L mutations reduces cell cycle progression, and deep sequencing demonstrated selective pressure favoring the outgrowth of clones that have either lost the mutant allele or acquired revertant mutations. The myeloid malignancies of affected siblings acquired cooperating mutations in genes that are also altered in sporadic cases of AML characterized by monosomy 7. These data have implications for understanding how SAMD9 and SAMD9L mutations contribute to myeloid transformation and for recognizing, counseling, and treating affected families.
Jasmine C. Wong, Victoria Bryant, Tamara Lamprecht, Jing Ma, Michael Walsh, Jason Schwartz, Maria del pilar Alzamora, Charles G. Mullighan, Mignon L. Loh, Raul Ribeiro, James R. Downing, William L. Carroll, Jeffrey Davis, Stuart Gold, Paul C. Rogers, Sara Israels, Rochelle Yanofsky, Kevin Shannon, Jeffery M. Klco
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
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