HIV eradication studies have focused on developing latency-reversing agents (LRAs). However, it is not understood how the rate of latent reservoir reduction is affected by different steps in the process of latency reversal. Furthermore, as current LRAs are host-directed, LRA treatment is likely to be intermittent to avoid host toxicities. Few careful studies of the serial effects of pulsatile LRA treatment have yet been done. This lack of clarity makes it difficult to evaluate the efficacy of candidate LRAs or predict long-term treatment outcomes. We constructed a mathematical model that describes the dynamics of latently infected cells under LRA treatment. Model analysis showed that, in addition to increasing the immune recognition and clearance of infected cells, the duration of HIV antigen expression (i.e., the period of vulnerability) plays an important role in determining the efficacy of LRAs, especially if effective clearance is achieved. Patients may benefit from pulsatile LRA exposures compared with continuous LRA exposures if the period of vulnerability is long and the clearance rate is high, both in the presence and absence of an LRA. Overall, the model framework serves as a useful tool to evaluate the efficacy and the rational design of LRAs and combination strategies.
Ruian Ke, Jessica M. Conway, David M. Margolis, Alan S. Perelson
Despite the initial promise of immunotherapy for CNS disease, multiple recent clinical trials have failed. This may be due in part to characteristically low penetration of antibodies to cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and brain parenchyma, resulting in poor target engagement. We here utilized transcranial macroscopic imaging to noninvasively evaluate in vivo delivery pathways of CSF fluorescent tracers. Tracers in CSF proved to be distributed through a brain-wide network of periarterial spaces, previously denoted as the glymphatic system. CSF tracer entry was enhanced approximately 3-fold by increasing plasma osmolality without disruption of the blood-brain barrier. Further, plasma hyperosmolality overrode the inhibition of glymphatic transport that characterizes the awake state and reversed glymphatic suppression in a mouse model of Alzheimer’s disease. Plasma hyperosmolality enhanced the delivery of an amyloid-β (Aβ) antibody, obtaining a 5-fold increase in antibody binding to Aβ plaques. Thus, manipulation of glymphatic activity may represent a novel strategy for improving penetration of therapeutic antibodies to the CNS.
Benjamin A. Plog, Humberto Mestre, Genaro E. Olveda, Amanda M. Sweeney, H. Mark Kenney, Alexander Cove, Kosha Y. Dholakia, Jeffrey Tithof, Thomas D. Nevins, Iben Lundgaard, Ting Du, Douglas H. Kelley, Maiken Nedergaard
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
Although initially responsive to androgen signaling inhibitors (ASIs), metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC) inevitably develops and is incurable. In addition to adenocarcinoma (adeno), neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC) emerges to confer ASI resistance. We have previously combined laser capture microdissection and phage antibody display library selection on human cancer specimens and identified novel internalizing antibodies binding to tumor cells residing in their tissue microenvironment. We identified the target antigen for one of these antibodies as CD46, a multifunctional protein that is best known for negatively regulating the innate immune system. CD46 is overexpressed in primary tumor tissue and CRPC (localized and metastatic; adeno and NEPC), but expressed at low levels on normal tissues except for placental trophoblasts and prostate epithelium. Abiraterone- and enzalutamide-treated mCRPC cells upregulate cell surface CD46 expression. Genomic analysis showed that the CD46 gene is gained in 45% abiraterone-resistant mCRPC patients. We conjugated a tubulin inhibitor to our macropinocytosing anti-CD46 antibody and showed that the resulting antibody-drug conjugate (ADC) potently and selectively kills both adeno and NEPC cell lines in vitro (sub-nM EC50) but not normal cells. CD46 ADC regressed and eliminated an mCRPC cell line xenograft in vivo in both subcutaneous and intrafemoral models. Exploratory toxicology studies of the CD46 ADC in non-human primates demonstrated an acceptable safety profile. Thus, CD46 is an excellent target for antibody-based therapy development, which has potential to be applicable to both adenocarcinoma and neuroendocrine types of mCRPC that are resistant to current treatment.
Yang Su, Yue Liu, Christopher R. Behrens, Scott Bidlingmaier, Nam-Kyung Lee, Rahul Aggarwal, Daniel W. Sherbenou, Alma L. Burlingame, Byron C. Hann, Jeffry P. Simko, Gayatri Premasekharan, Pamela L. Paris, Marc A. Shuman, Youngho Seo, Eric J. Small, Bin Liu
Bacterial biofilm infections of implantable medical devices decrease the effectiveness of antibiotics, creating difficult-to-treat chronic infections. Prosthetic joint infections (PJI) are particularly problematic because they require prolonged antibiotic courses and reoperations to remove and replace the infected prostheses. Current models to study PJI focus on Gram-positive bacteria, but Gram-negative PJI (GN-PJI) are increasingly common and are often more difficult to treat, with worse clinical outcomes. Herein, we sought to develop a mouse model of GN-PJI to investigate the pathogenesis of these infections and identify potential therapeutic targets. An orthopedic-grade titanium implant was surgically placed in the femurs of mice, followed by infection of the knee joint with Pseudomonas aeruginosa or Escherichia coli. We found that in vitro biofilm-producing activity was associated with the development of an in vivo orthopedic implant infection characterized by bacterial infection of the bone/joint tissue, biofilm formation on the implants, reactive bone changes, and inflammatory immune cell infiltrates. In addition, a bispecific antibody targeting P. aeruginosa virulence factors (PcrV and Psl exopolysaccharide) reduced the bacterial burden in vivo. Taken together, our findings provide a preclinical model of GN-PJI and suggest the therapeutic potential of targeting biofilm-associated antigens.
John M. Thompson, Robert J. Miller, Alyssa G. Ashbaugh, Carly A. Dillen, Julie E. Pickett, Yu Wang, Roger V. Ortines, Robert S. Sterling, Kevin P. Francis, Nicholas M. Bernthal, Taylor S. Cohen, Christine Tkaczyk, Li Yu, C. Kendall Stover, Antonio DiGiandomenico, Bret R. Sellman, Daniel L.J. Thorek, Lloyd S. Miller
Adult polyglucosan body disease (APBD) is a late-onset disease caused by intracellular accumulation of polyglucosan bodies, formed due to glycogen-branching enzyme (GBE) deficiency. To find a treatment for APBD, we screened 1,700 FDA-approved compounds in fibroblasts derived from APBD-modeling GBE1-knockin mice. Capitalizing on fluorescent periodic acid–Schiff reagent, which interacts with polyglucosans in the cell, this screen discovered that the flavoring agent guaiacol can lower polyglucosans, a result also confirmed in APBD patient fibroblasts. Biochemical assays showed that guaiacol lowers basal and glucose 6-phosphate–stimulated glycogen synthase (GYS) activity. Guaiacol also increased inactivating GYS1 phosphorylation and phosphorylation of the master activator of catabolism, AMP-dependent protein kinase. Guaiacol treatment in the APBD mouse model rescued grip strength and shorter lifespan. These treatments had no adverse effects except making the mice slightly hyperglycemic, possibly due to the reduced liver glycogen levels. In addition, treatment corrected penile prolapse in aged GBE1-knockin mice. Guaiacol’s curative effects can be explained by its reduction of polyglucosans in peripheral nerve, liver, and heart, despite a short half-life of up to 60 minutes in most tissues. Our results form the basis to use guaiacol as a treatment and prepare for the clinical trials in APBD.
Or Kakhlon, Igor Ferreira, Leonardo J. Solmesky, Netaly Khazanov, Alexander Lossos, Rafael Alvarez, Deniz Yetil, Sergey Pampou, Miguel Weil, Hanoch Senderowitz, Pablo Escriba, Wyatt W. Yue, H. Orhan Akman
Evofosfamide (TH-302) is a clinical-stage hypoxia-activated prodrug of a DNA-crosslinking nitrogen mustard that has potential utility for human papillomavirus (HPV) negative head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC), in which tumor hypoxia limits treatment outcome. We report the preclinical efficacy, target engagement, preliminary predictive biomarkers and initial clinical activity of evofosfamide for HPV-negative HNSCC. Evofosfamide was assessed in 22 genomically characterized cell lines and 7 cell line–derived xenograft (CDX), patient-derived xenograft (PDX), orthotopic, and syngeneic tumor models. Biomarker analysis used RNA sequencing, whole-exome sequencing, and whole-genome CRISPR knockout screens. Five advanced/metastatic HNSCC patients received evofosfamide monotherapy (480 mg/m2 qw × 3 each month) in a phase 2 study. Evofosfamide was potent and highly selective for hypoxic HNSCC cells. Proliferative rate was a predominant evofosfamide sensitivity determinant and a proliferation metagene correlated with activity in CDX models. Evofosfamide showed efficacy as monotherapy and with radiotherapy in PDX models, augmented CTLA-4 blockade in syngeneic tumors, and reduced hypoxia in nodes disseminated from an orthotopic model. Of 5 advanced HNSCC patients treated with evofosfamide, 2 showed partial responses while 3 had stable disease. In conclusion, evofosfamide shows promising efficacy in aggressive HPV-negative HNSCC, with predictive biomarkers in development to support further clinical evaluation in this indication.
Stephen M.F. Jamieson, Peter Tsai, Maria K. Kondratyev, Pratha Budhani, Arthur Liu, Neil N. Senzer, E. Gabriela Chiorean, Shadia I. Jalal, John J. Nemunaitis, Dennis Kee, Avik Shome, Way W. Wong, Dan Li, Nooriyah Poonawala-Lohani, Purvi M. Kakadia, Nicholas S. Knowlton, Courtney R.H. Lynch, Cho R. Hong, Tet Woo Lee, Reidar A. Grénman, Laura Caporiccio, Trevor D. McKee, Mark Zaidi, Sehrish Butt, Andrew M.J. Macann, Nicholas P. McIvor, John M. Chaplin, Kevin O. Hicks, Stefan K. Bohlander, Bradly G. Wouters, Charles P. Hart, Cristin G. Print, William R. Wilson, Michael A. Curran, Francis W. Hunter
Alterations in the synthesis and bioavailability of NO are central to the pathogenesis of cardiovascular and metabolic disorders. Although endothelial NO synthase–derived (eNOS-derived) NO affects mitochondrial long-chain fatty acid β-oxidation, the pathophysiological significance of this regulation remains unclear. Accordingly, we determined the contributions of eNOS/NO signaling in the adaptive metabolic responses to fasting and in age-induced metabolic dysfunction. Four-month-old eNOS–/– mice are glucose intolerant and exhibit serum dyslipidemia and decreased capacity to oxidize fatty acids. However, during fasting, eNOS–/– mice redirect acetyl-CoA to ketogenesis to elevate circulating levels of β-hydroxybutyrate similar to wild-type mice. Treatment of 4-month-old eNOS–/– mice with nitrite for 10 days corrected the hypertension and serum hyperlipidemia and normalized the rate of fatty acid oxidation. Fourteen-month-old eNOS–/– mice exhibited metabolic derangements, resulting in reduced utilization of fat to generate energy, lower resting metabolic activity, and diminished physical activity. Seven-month administration of nitrite to eNOS–/– mice reversed the age-dependent metabolic derangements and restored physical activity. While the eNOS/NO signaling is not essential for the metabolic adaptation to fasting, it is critical for regulating systemic metabolic homeostasis in aging. The development of age-dependent metabolic disorder is prevented by low-dose replenishment of bioactive NO.
Margarita Tenopoulou, Paschalis-Thomas Doulias, Kent Nakamoto, Kiara Berrios, Gabriella Zura, Chenxi Li, Michael Faust, Veronika Yakovishina, Perry Evans, Lu Tan, Michael J. Bennett, Nathaniel W. Snyder, William J. Quinn III, Joseph A. Baur, Dmitriy N. Atochin, Paul L. Huang, Harry Ischiropoulos
Inhibiting MAPK14 (p38α) diminishes cardiac damage in myocardial ischemia. During myocardial ischemia, p38α interacts with TAB1, a scaffold protein, which promotes p38α autoactivation; active p38α (pp38α) then transphosphorylates TAB1. Previously, we solved the X-ray structure of the p38α-TAB1 (residues 384–412) complex. Here, we further characterize the interaction by solving the structure of the pp38α-TAB1 (residues 1–438) complex in the active state. Based on this information, we created a global knock-in (KI) mouse with substitution of 4 residues on TAB1 that we show are required for docking onto p38α. Whereas ablating p38α or TAB1 resulted in early embryonal lethality, the TAB1-KI mice were viable and had no appreciable alteration in their lymphocyte repertoire or myocardial transcriptional profile; nonetheless, following in vivo regional myocardial ischemia, infarction volume was significantly reduced and the transphosphorylation of TAB1 was disabled. Unexpectedly, the activation of myocardial p38α during ischemia was only mildly attenuated in TAB1-KI hearts. We also identified a group of fragments able to disrupt the interaction between p38α and TAB1. We conclude that the interaction between the 2 proteins can be targeted with small molecules. The data reveal that it is possible to selectively inhibit signaling downstream of p38α to attenuate ischemic injury.
Gian F. De Nicola, Rekha Bassi, Charlie Nichols, Mariana Fernandez-Caggiano, Pelin Arabacilar Golforoush, Dibesh Thapa, Rhys Anderson, Eva Denise Martin, Sharwari Verma, Jens Kleinjung, Adam Laing, Jonathan P. Hutchinson, Philip Eaton, James Clark, Michael S. Marber
The neuropathological effects of phenylketonuria (PKU) stem from the inability of the body to metabolize excess phenylalanine (Phe), resulting in accumulation of Phe in the blood and brain. Since the kidney normally reabsorbs circulating amino acids with high efficiency, we hypothesized that preventing the renal uptake of Phe might provide a disposal pathway that could lower systemic Phe levels. SLC6A19 is a neutral amino acid transporter responsible for absorption of the majority of free Phe in the small intestine and reuptake of Phe by renal proximal tubule cells. Transgenic KO mice lacking SLC6A19 have elevated levels of Phe and other amino acids in their urine but are otherwise healthy. Here, we crossed the Pahenu2 mouse model of PKU with the Slc6a19-KO mouse. These mutant/KO mice exhibited abundant excretion of Phe in the urine and an approximately 70% decrease in plasma Phe levels. Importantly, brain Phe levels were decreased by 50%, and the levels of key neurotransmitters were increased in the mutant/KO mice. In addition, a deficit in spatial working memory and markers of neuropathology were corrected. Finally, treatment of Pahenu2 mice with Slc6a19 antisense oligonucleotides lowered Phe levels. The results suggest that inhibition of SLC6A19 may represent a novel approach for the treatment of PKU and related aminoacidopathies.
Adam M. Belanger, Malgorzata Przybylska, Estelle Gefteas, Matthew Furgerson, Sarah Geller, Alla Kloss, Seng H. Cheng, Yunxiang Zhu, Nelson S. Yew
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