Dysregulated proinflammatory cytokine release has been implicated in the pathogenesis of several life-threatening acute lung illnesses such as pneumonia, sepsis, and acute respiratory distress syndrome. Suppressors of cytokine signaling proteins, particularly SOCS2, have recently been described as antiinflammatory mediators. However, the regulation of SOCS2 protein has not been described. Here we describe a mechanism of SOCS2 regulation by the action of the ubiquitin E3 ligase KIAA0317. KIAA0317-mediated degradation of SOCS2 exacerbated inflammation in vitro, and depletion of KIAA0317 in vivo ameliorated pulmonary inflammation. KIAA0317-knockout mice exhibited resistance to LPS-induced pulmonary inflammation, while KIAA03017 reexpression mitigated this effect. We uncovered a small molecule inhibitor of KIAA0317 protein (BC-1365) that prevented SOCS2 degradation and attenuated LPS- and P. aeruginosa–induced lung inflammation in vivo. These studies show KIAA0317 to be a critical mediator of pulmonary inflammation through its degradation of SOCS2 and a potential candidate target for therapeutic inhibition.
Travis B. Lear, Alison C. McKelvey, John W. Evankovich, Shristi Rajbhandari, Tiffany A. Coon, Sarah R. Dunn, James D. Londino, Bryan J. McVerry, Yingze Zhang, Eleanor Valenzi, Christine L. Burton, Rachael Gordon, Sebastien Gingras, Karina C. Lockwood, Michael J. Jurczak, Robert Lafyatis, Mark J. Shlomchik, Yuan Liu, Bill B. Chen
The acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) is an inflammatory lung disorder that frequently complicates critical illness, and most commonly occurs in the setting of sepsis. Although a number of clinical and environmental risk factors for ARDS have been described, not all patients with risk factors develop the syndrome, raising the possibility of genetic underpinnings for ARDS susceptibility. We have previously reported that circulating cell-free hemoglobin (CFH) is elevated during sepsis, and higher levels are associated with worse outcomes. CFH is rapidly scavenged by the plasma protein haptoglobin (Hp). A common HP genetic variant HP2 is unique to humans and represents 60% of the HP allele frequency in populations of European ancestry. The HP2 gene product has reduced ability to inhibit CFH-mediated inflammation and oxidative stress compared to the alternative HP1. We hypothesized that the HP2 variant increases ARDS susceptibility during sepsis when plasma CFH levels are elevated. In a murine model of sepsis with elevated CFH levels, transgenic mice homozygous for Hp2 had increased lung inflammation, pulmonary vascular permeability, lung apoptosis, and mortality compared to mice homozygous for the alternative allele Hp1. We then tested the clinical relevance of our findings in a prospective observational cohort study of 496 septic critically ill adults, and found that the HP2 variant was significantly associated with increased ARDS susceptibility (odds ratio 1.41 per HP2 allele, 95% confidence interval 1.06 – 1.88, P = 0.018) after controlling for clinical risk factors and plasma CFH. This relationship between the HP2 genetic variant and ARDS risk was only seen in patients with elevated plasma CFH levels. These observations identify the HP2 variant as a novel genetic ARDS risk factor during sepsis, and may have important implications in the study and treatment of ARDS.
V. Eric Kerchberger, Julie A. Bastarache, Ciara M. Shaver, Hiromasa Nagata, J. Brennan McNeil, Stuart R. Landstreet, Nathan D. Putz, Wen-Kuang Yu, Jordan Jesse, Nancy E. Wickersham, Tatiana N. Sidorova, David R. Janz, Chirag R. Parikh, Edward D. Siew, Lorraine B. Ware
Severe asthma with fungal sensitization (SAFS) defines a subset of human asthmatics with allergy to one or more fungal species and difficult to control asthma. We have reported that human asthmatics sensitized to fungi have worse lung function and a higher degree of atopy, which was associated with higher IL-1RA levels in bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. IL-1RA further demonstrated a significant negative association with bronchial hyperresponsiveness to methacholine. Here, we show that IL-1α and IL-1β are elevated in both bronchoalveolar lavage fluid and sputum from human asthmatics sensitized to fungi, implicating an association with IL-1α, IL-1β or IL-1RA in fungal asthma severity. In an experimental model of fungal-associated allergic airway inflammation, we demonstrate that IL-1R1 signaling promotes type 1 (IFN-γ, CXCL9, CXCL10) and type 17 (IL-17A, IL-22) responses that were associated with neutrophilic inflammation and increased airway hyperreactivity. Each of these were exacerbated in the absence of IL-1RA. Administration of human recombinant IL-1RA (Kineret/Anakinra) during fungal-associated allergic airway inflammation improved airway hyperreactivity and lowered type 1 and type 17 responses. Taken together, these data suggest that IL-1 receptor signaling contributes to fungal asthma severity via immunopathogenic type 1 and type 17 responses and can be targeted for improving allergic asthma severity.
Matthew S. Godwin, Kristen M. Reeder, Jaleesa M. Garth, Jonathan P. Blackburn, MaryJane Jones, Zhihong Yu, Sadis Matalon, Annette T. Hastie, Deborah A. Meyers, Chad Steele
Macrophage activation is implicated in the development of pulmonary fibrosis by generation of profibrotic molecules. Although NADPH oxidase 4 (NOX4) is known to contribute to pulmonary fibrosis, its effects on macrophage activation and mitochondrial redox signaling are unclear. Here, we show that NOX4 is crucial for lung macrophage profibrotic polarization and fibrotic repair after asbestos exposure. NOX4 was elevated in lung macrophages from subjects with asbestosis, and mice harboring a deletion of NOX4 in lung macrophages were protected from asbestos-induced fibrosis. NOX4 promoted lung macrophage profibrotic polarization and increased production of profibrotic molecules that induce collagen deposition. Mechanistically, NOX4 further augmented mitochondrial ROS production and induced mitochondrial biogenesis. Targeting redox signaling and mitochondrial biogenesis prevented the profibrotic polarization of lung macrophages by reducing the production of profibrotic molecules. These observations provide evidence that macrophage NOX4 is a potentially novel therapeutic target to halt the development of asbestos-induced pulmonary fibrosis.
Chao He, Jennifer L. Larson-Casey, Dana Davis, Vidya Sagar Hanumanthu, Ana Leda F. Longhini, Victor J. Thannickal, Linlin Gu, A. Brent Carter
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a chronic and fatal lung disease. A maladaptive epithelium due to chronic injury is a prominent feature and contributor to pathogenic cellular communication in IPF. Recent data highlight the concept of a “reprogrammed” lung epithelium as critical in the development of lung fibrosis. Extracellular vesicles (EVs) are potent mediator of cellular crosstalk, and recent evidence supports their role in lung pathologies such as IPF. Here, we demonstrate that syndecan-1 is overexpressed by the epithelium in the lungs of IPF patients and in murine models after bleomycin injury. Moreover, we find that syndecan-1 is a pro-fibrotic signal that alters alveolar type II (ATII) cell phenotypes by augmenting TGFβ and Wnt signaling among other pro-fibrotic pathways. Importantly, we demonstrate that syndecan-1 controls the packaging of several anti-fibrotic microRNAs into EVs that have broad effects over several fibrogenic signaling networks as a mechanism of regulating epithelial plasticity and pulmonary fibrosis. Collectively, our work reveals new insight into how EVs orchestrate cellular signals that promote lung fibrosis and demonstrate the importance of syndecan-1 in coordinating these programs.
Tanyalak Parimon, Changfu Yao, David M. Habiel, Lingyin Ge, Stephanie A. Bora, Rena Brauer, Christopher M. Evans, Ting Xie, Felix Alonso-Valenteen, Lali K. Medina-Kauwe, Dianhua Jiang, Paul W. Noble, Cory M. Hogaboam, Nan Deng, Olivier Burgy, Travis J. Antes, Melanie Konigshoff, Barry R. Stripp, Sina A. Gharib, Peter Chen
Diffuse alveolar hemorrhage (DAH) is a life-threatening pulmonary complication associated with systemic lupus erythematosus, vasculitis, and stem cell transplant. Little is known about the pathophysiology of DAH, and no targeted therapy is currently available. Pristane treatment in mice induces systemic autoimmunity and lung hemorrhage that recapitulates hallmark pathologic features of human DAH. Using this experimental model, we performed high-dimensional analysis of lung immune cells in DAH by mass cytometry and single-cell RNA sequencing. We found a large influx of myeloid cells to the lungs in DAH and defined the gene expression profile of infiltrating monocytes. Bone marrow–derived inflammatory monocytes actively migrated to the lungs and homed adjacent to blood vessels. Using 3 models of monocyte deficiency and complementary transfer studies, we established a central role of inflammatory monocytes in the development of DAH. We further found that the myeloid transcription factor interferon regulatory factor 8 is essential to the development of both DAH and type I interferon–dependent autoimmunity. These findings collectively reveal monocytes as a potential treatment target in DAH.
Pui Y. Lee, Nathan Nelson-Maney, Yuelong Huang, Anaïs Levescot, Qiang Wang, Kevin Wei, Pierre Cunin, Yi Li, James A. Lederer, Haoyang Zhuang, Shuhong Han, Edy Y. Kim, Westley H. Reeves, Peter A. Nigrovic
The prevalence of obesity is rising worldwide and obese patients comprise a specific population in the intensive care unit. Acute respiratory distress syndrome (ARDS) incidence is increased in obese patients. Exposure of rodents to hyperoxia mimics many of the features of ARDS. In this report, we demonstrate that high fat diet induced obesity increases the severity of hyperoxic acute lung injury in mice in part by altering fatty acid synthase (FASN) levels in the lung. Obese mice exposed to hyperoxia had significantly reduced survival and increased lung damage. Transcriptomic analysis of lung homogenates identified Fasn as one of the most significantly altered mitochondrial associated genes in mice receiving 60% compared to 10% fat diet. FASN protein levels in the lung of high fat diet mice were lower by immunoblotting and immunohistochemistry. Depletion of FASN in type II alveolar epithelial cells resulted in altered mitochondrial bioenergetics and more severe lung injury with hyperoxic exposure, even upon the administration of a 60% fat diet. This is the first study to show that a high fat diet leads to altered FASN expression in the lung and that both a high fat diet and reduced FASN expression in alveolar epithelial cells promote lung injury.
Maria Plataki, LiChao Fan, Elizabeth Sanchez, Ziling Huang, Lisa K. Torres, Mitsuru Imamura, Yizhang Zhu, David E. Cohen, Suzanne M. Cloonan, Augustine M.K. Choi
The lung is a relatively quiescent organ during homeostasis, but has a remarkable capacity for repair after injury. Alveolar epithelial type I cells (AEC1s) line airspaces and mediate gas exchange. After injury, they are regenerated by differentiation from their progenitors — alveolar epithelial type II cells (AEC2s) — which also secrete surfactant to maintain surface tension and alveolar patency. While recent studies showed that the maintenance of AEC2 stemness is Wnt dependent, the molecular mechanisms underlying AEC2-AEC1 differentiation in adult lung repair are still incompletely understood. Here we show that WWTR1 (TAZ) plays a crucial role in AEC differentiation. Using an in vitro organoid culture system, we found that tankyrase inhibition can efficiently block AEC2-AEC1 differentiation, and this effect was due to the inhibition of TAZ. In a bleomycin induced lung injury model, conditional deletion of TAZ in AEC2s dramatically reduced AEC1 regeneration during recovery, leading to exacerbated alveolar lesions and fibrosis. In patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF), decreased blood levels of RAGE, a biomarker of AEC1 health, were associated with more rapid disease progression. Our findings implicate TAZ as a critical factor involved in AEC2 to AEC1 differentiation, and hence the maintenance of alveolar integrity after injury.
Tianhe Sun, Zhiyu Huang, Hua Zhang, Clara Posner, Guiquan Jia, Thirumalai R. Ramalingam, Min Xu, Hans D. Brightbill, Jackson G. Egen, Anwesha Dey, Joseph R. Arron
Susceptibility to chronic beryllium (Be) disease is linked to HLA-DP molecules possessing a glutamic acid at the 69th position of the β-chain (βGlu69), with the most prevalent βGlu69-containing molecule being HLA-DP2. We have previously shown that HLA-DP2 transgenic (Tg) mice exposed to Be oxide (BeO) develop mononuclear infiltrates in a peribronchovascular distribution and a beryllium-specific, HLA-DP2-restricted CD4+ T cell response. In addition to T cells, B cells constituted a major portion of infiltrated leukocytes in the lung of BeO-exposed HLA-DP2 Tg mice and sequester BeO particles within ectopic lymphoid aggregates and granulomas. B cell depletion was associated with a loss of lymphoid aggregates and granulomas as well as a significant increase in lung injury in BeO-exposed mice. The protective role of B cells was innate in origin, and BeO-induced B cell recruitment to the lung was dependent on MyD88 signaling. Similar to BeO-exposed HLA-DP2 mice, B cells also accumulate in the lungs of CBD subjects, located at the periphery and surrounding the granuloma. Overall, our data suggest a novel modulatory role for B cells in the protection of the lung against sterile particulate exposure, with B cell recruitment to the inflamed lung occurring in an antigen-independent and MyD88-dependent manner.
Shaikh M. Atif, Douglas G. Mack, Amy S. McKee, Javier Rangel-Moreno, Allison K. Martin, Andrew Getahun, Lisa A. Maier, John C. Cambier, Rubin Tuder, Andrew P. Fontenot
Pulmonary fibrosis is a devastating disease characterized by accumulation of activated fibroblasts and scarring in the lung. While fibroblast activation in physiological wound repair reverses spontaneously, fibroblast activation in fibrosis is aberrantly sustained. Here we identified histone 3 lysine 9 methylation (H3K9me) as a critical epigenetic modification that sustains fibroblast activation by repressing the transcription of genes essential to returning lung fibroblasts to an inactive state. We show that the histone methyltransferase G9a (EHMT2) and chromobox homolog 5 (CBX5, also known as HP1α), which deposit H3K9me marks and assemble an associated repressor complex respectively, are essential to initiation and maintenance of fibroblast activation specifically through epigenetic repression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor gamma coactivator 1 alpha gene (PPARGC1A, encoding PGC1α). Both TGFβ and increased matrix stiffness potently inhibit PGC1α expression in lung fibroblasts through engagement of the CBX5/G9a pathway. Inhibition of CBX5/G9a pathway in fibroblasts elevates PGC1α, attenuates TGFβ- and matrix stiffness-promoted H3K9 methylation, and reduces collagen accumulation in the lungs following bleomycin injury. Our results demonstrate that epigenetic silencing mediated by H3K9 methylation is essential for both biochemical and biomechanical fibroblast activation, and that targeting this epigenetic pathway may provide therapeutic benefit by returning lung fibroblasts to quiescence.
Giovanni Ligresti, Nunzia Caporarello, Jeffrey A. Meridew, Dakota L. Jones, Qi Tan, Kyoung Moo Choi, Andrew J. Haak, Aja Aravamudhan, Anja C. Roden, Y. S. Prakash, Gwen Lomberk, Raul A. Urrutia, Daniel J. Tschumperlin
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