BACKGROUND. Antibody-based therapies for respiratory viruses are of increasing importance. The INSIGHT006 trial administered anti-influenza hyperimmune intravenous immunoglobulin (Flu-IVIG) to patients hospitalised with influenza. Flu-IVIG treatment improved outcomes in patients with influenza B but showed no benefit for influenza A. METHODS. To probe potential mechanisms of Flu-IVIG utility, sera collected from patients hospitalised with influenza A or B viruses (IAV or IBV) were analysed for antibody isotype/subclass and Fc-gamma receptor (FcgR) binding by ELISA, bead-based multiplex and NK cell activation assays. RESULTS. Influenza-specific FcgR binding antibodies were elevated in Flu-IVIG infused IBV- and IAV-infected patients. In IBV-infected participants (n = 62), increased IgG3 and FcgR binding were associated with more favourable outcomes. Flu-IVIG therapy also improved the odds of a more favourable outcome in patients with low levels of anti-IBV Fc-functional antibody. Higher FcgR binding antibody was associated with less favourable outcomes in IAV-infected patients (n = 50), and Flu-IVIG worsened the odds of a favourable outcome in participants with low levels of anti-IAV Fc-functional antibody. CONCLUSION. These detailed serological analyses provide insights into antibody features and mechanisms required for a successful humoral response against influenza, suggesting that IBV-specific, but not IAV-specific, antibodies with Fc-mediated functions may assist in improving influenza outcome. This work will inform development of improved influenza immunotherapies. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02287467 FUNDING SOURCES. Funding for this research was provided by Subcontract 13XS134 under Leidos Biomedical Research Prime Contract HHSN261200800001E and HHSN261201500003I, NCI/NIAID.
Hillary A. Vanderven, Deborah N. Wentworth, Win Min Han, Heidi Peck, Ian G. Barr, Richard T. Davey, Jr., John H. Beigel, Dominic E. Dwyer, Mamta K. Jain, Brian Angus, Christian T. Brandt, Analia Mykietiuk, Matthew G. Law, James D. Neaton, Stephen J. Kent
Variants within the high copy number mitochondrial genome (mtDNA) can disrupt organelle function and lead to severe multi-system disease. The wide range of manifestations observed in mitochondrial disease patients results from varying fractions of abnormal mtDNA molecules in different cells and tissues, a phenomenon termed heteroplasmy. However, the landscape of heteroplasmy across cell types within tissues and its influence on phenotype expression in affected patients remains largely unexplored. Here, we identify non-random distribution of a pathogenic mtDNA variant across a complex tissue using single-cell RNA sequencing, mitochondrial single-cell ATAC sequencing, and multimodal single-cell sequencing. We profile the transcriptome, chromatin accessibility state, and heteroplasmy in cells from the eyes of a patient with mitochondrial encephalopathy, lactic acidosis, and stroke-like episodes (MELAS) and healthy control donors. Utilizing the retina as a model for complex multi-lineage tissues, we found that the proportion of the pathogenic m.3243A>G allele was neither evenly nor randomly distributed across diverse cell types. All neuroectoderm-derived neural cells exhibited a high percentage of the mutant variant. However, a subset of mesoderm-derived lineage, namely the vasculature of the choroid, was near homoplasmic for the wildtype allele. Gene expression and chromatin accessibility profiles of cell types with high and low proportions of m.3243A>G implicate mTOR signaling in the cellular response to heteroplasmy. We further found by multimodal single-cell sequencing of retinal pigment epithelial cells that a high proportion of the pathogenic mtDNA variant was associated with transcriptionally and morphologically abnormal cells. Together, these findings show the non-random nature of mitochondrial variant partitioning in human mitochondrial disease and underscore its implications for mitochondrial disease pathogenesis and treatment.
Nathaniel K. Mullin, Andrew P. Voigt, Miles J. Flamme-Wiese, Xiuying Liu, Megan J. Riker, Katayoun Varzavand, Edwin M. Stone, Budd A. Tucker, Robert F. Mullins
Specific and efficient smooth muscle cell (SMC)-targeted gene deletion is typically achieved by pairing SMMHC-CreERT2-Tg mice with mice carrying the loxP-flanked gene. However, the transgene, CreERT2, is not controlled by the endogenous Myh11 gene promoter, and the codon-modified iCreERT2 exhibits significant tamoxifen-independent leakage. Furthermore, because the Cre-bearing Bacterial Artificial Chromosome (BAC) is inserted onto the Y chromosome, the SMMHC-CreERT2-Tg mice strain can only exhibit gene deletions in male mice. Additionally, there is a lack of Myh11-driven constitutive Cre mice when tamoxifen usage is a concern. We used CRISPR/Cas9-mediated homologous recombination between a donor vector carrying the 1) CreNLSP2A or 2) CreERT2-P2A sequence and homologous arm surrounding the translation start site of the Myh11 gene to generate Cre knock-in mice. The P2A sequence enables the simultaneous translation of Cre and endogenous proteins. Using reporter mice, we assessed Cre-mediated recombination efficiency, specificity, tamoxifen-dependent controllability, and functionality in both sexes. Both constitutive (Myh11-CreNLSP2A) and inducible (Myh11-CreERT2-P2A) Cre mice demonstrated efficient, SMC-specific, sex-independent Cre recombinase activity without confounding endogenous gene expression. Combined with recently generated BAC transgenic Myh11-CreERT2-RAD mice and the Itga8-CreERT2 mouse models, our new models will help expand the research toolbox, facilitating unbiased and comprehensive research in SMCs and SMC-dependent cardiovascular diseases.
Yang Zhao, Guizhen Zhao, Ziyi Chang, Tianqing Zhu, Ying Zhao, Haocheng Lu, Chao Xue, Thomas L. Saunders, Yanhong Guo, Lin Chang, Y. Eugene Chen, Jifeng Zhang
Fatty acid binding protein 4 (FABP4) is a lipid chaperone secreted from adipocytes upon stimulation of lipolysis. Circulating FABP4 levels strongly correlate with obesity and metabolic pathologies in experimental models and humans. While adipocytes have been presumed to be the major source of hormonal FABP4, this question has not been addressed definitively in vivo. We generated mice with Fabp4 deletion in cells known to express the gene; adipocytes (Adipo-KO), endothelial cells (Endo-KO), myeloid cells (Myeloid-KO), and the whole body (Total-KO) to examine the contribution of these cell types to basal and stimulated plasma FABP4 levels. Unexpectedly, baseline plasma FABP4 was not significantly reduced in Adipo-KO mice, whereas Endo-KO mice showed ~87% reduction versus wildtype controls. In contrast, Adipo-KO mice exhibited ~62% decreased induction of FABP4 responses to lipolysis, while Endo-KO mice showed only mildly decreased induction, indicating that adipocytes are the main source of increases in FABP4 during lipolysis. We did not detect any myeloid contribution to circulating FABP4. Surprisingly, despite the nearly intact induction of FABP4, Endo-KO mice showed blunted lipolysis-induced insulin secretion, identical to Total-KO mice. We conclude that the endothelium is the major source of baseline hormonal FABP4 and is required for the insulin response to lipolysis.
Karen E. Inouye, Kacey J. Prentice, Alexandra Lee, Zeqiu B. Wang, Carla Dominguez-Gonzalez, Mu Xian Chen, Jillian K. Riveros, M. Furkan Burak, Grace Y. Lee, Gokhan S. Hotamisligil
During alveolar repair, alveolar type 2 (AT2) epithelial cell progenitors rapidly proliferate and differentiate into flat type 1 alveolar epithelial cells. Failure of normal alveolar repair mechanisms can lead to loss of alveolar structure (emphysema) or development of fibrosis, depending on the type and severity of injury. To test if β1-containing integrins are required during repair following acute injury, we administered E. coli lipopolysaccharide (LPS) by intratracheal injection to mice with a post-developmental deletion of β1 integrin in AT2 cells. While control mice recovered from LPS injury without structural abnormalities, β1-deficient mice had more severe inflammation and developed emphysema. In addition, recovering alveoli were repopulated with an abundance of rounded epithelial cells co-expressing type 2, type 1, and mixed intermediate cell state markers, with few mature type 1 cells. β1-deficient AT2 cells showed persistently increased proliferation after injury, which was blocked by inhibiting NF-kB activation in these cells. Lineage tracing experiments revealed that β1-deficient AT2 cells failed to differentiate into mature type 1 alveolar epithelial cells. Together, these findings demonstrate that functional alveolar repair after injury with terminal alveolar epithelial differentiation requires β1-containing integrins.
Jennifer M.S. Sucre, Fabian Bock, Nicholas M. Negretti, John T. Benjamin, Peter M. Gulleman, Xinyu Dong, Kimberly T. Ferguson, Christopher S. Jetter, Wei Han, Yang Liu, Seunghyi Kook, Jason J. Gokey, Susan H. Guttentag, Jonathan A. Kropski, Timothy S. Blackwell, Roy Zent, Erin J. Plosa
Kawasaki disease (KD) is the leading cause of acquired heart disease among children. Increased platelet counts and activation are observed during the course of KD, and elevated platelet counts are associated with higher risks of developing intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) resistance and coronary artery (CA) aneurysms. However, the role of platelets in KD pathogenesis remains unclear. Here, we analyzed transcriptomics data generated from the whole blood of KD patients and discovered changes in the expression of platelet-related genes during acute KD. In the Lactobacillus casei cell wall extract (LCWE) murine model of KD vasculitis, LCWE injection increased platelet counts and the formation of monocyte-platelet aggregates (MPAs), upregulated the concentration of soluble P-selectin, and increased circulating thrombopoietin (TPO) and interleukin (IL)-6. Furthermore, platelet counts correlated with the severity of cardiovascular inflammation. Genetic depletion of platelets (mpl–/– mice) or treatment with anti-CD42b antibody led to a significant reduction of LCWE-induced cardiovascular lesions. Furthermore, in the mouse model, platelets promoted vascular inflammation via the formation of MPAs, which amplify IL-1β production. Altogether, our results indicate that platelet activation exacerbates the development of cardiovascular lesions in a murine model of KD vasculitis. These findings enhance our understanding of KD vasculitis pathogenesis and highlight MPAs, which are known to enhance IL-1β production, as a potential therapeutic target for this disorder.
Begüm Kocatürk, Youngho Lee, Nobuyuki Nosaka, Masanori Abe, Daisy Martinon, Malcolm E. Lane, Debbie Moreira, Shuang Chen, Michael C. Fishbein, Rebecca A. Porritt, Bernardo S. Franklin, Magali Noval Rivas, Moshe Arditi
Stimulating the Gq-coupled P2Y2 receptor (P2ry2) lowers blood pressure. Global knockout of P2ry2 increases blood pressure. Vascular and renal mechanisms are believed to participate in P2ry2 effects on blood pressure. To isolate the role of the kidneys in P2ry2 effects on blood pressure and to reveal the molecular and cellular mechanisms of this action, we test here the necessity of the P2ry2 and the sufficiency of Gq-dependent signaling in renal principal cells to the regulation of the epithelial Na+ channel (ENaC), sodium excretion and blood pressure. Activating P2ry2 in littermate controls but not principal cell specific P2ry2 knockout mice decreases the activity of ENaC in renal tubules. Moreover, deletion of P2ry2 in principal cells abolishes increases in sodium excretion in response to stimulation of P2ry2 and compromises the normal ability to excrete a sodium load. Consequently, principal cell specific knockout of P2ry2 prevents decreases in blood pressure in response to P2ry2 stimulation in the DOCA-salt model of hypertension. In wild-type littermate controls, such stimulation decreases blood pressure in this model of hypertension by promoting a natriuresis. Pharmacogenetic activation of Gq exclusively in principal cells using targeted expression of Gq-DREADD (Designer Receptors Exclusively Activated by Designer Drugs; GqD) and clozapine N-oxide (CNO) decreases the activity of ENaC in renal tubules promoting a natriuresis that lowers elevated blood pressure in the DOCA-salt model of hypertension. These findings demonstrate that the kidneys play a major role in decreasing blood pressure in response to P2ry2 activation, and that inhibition of ENaC activity in response to P2ry2 mediated Gq signaling lowers blood pressure by increasing renal sodium excretion.
Antonio G. Soares, Jorge Contreras, Elena Mironova, Crystal R. Archer, James D. Stockand, Tarek M. Abd El-Aziz
Osteosarcoma (OS) is the most common primary bone tumor of childhood. Approximately 20-30% of OS carry amplification of chromosome 8q24, which harbors the oncogene c-Myc and correlates with a poor prognosis. To understand the mechanisms that underlie the ability of Myc to alter both the tumor and its surrounding tumor microenvironment (TME), we generated and molecularly characterized an osteoblast-specific Cre-Lox-Stop-Lox;(LSL)-c-MycT58A;p53fl/+ knock-in genetically engineered mouse model (GEMM). Phenotypically, the Myc knockin-GEMM had rapid tumor development with a high incidence of metastasis. Myc-dependent gene signatures in our murine model demonstrated significant homology to the human hyperactivated Myc OS. We established that hyperactivation of Myc leads to an immune-depleted TME in OS demonstrated by the reduced number of leukocytes, particularly macrophages. Myc-hyperactivation leads to the downregulation of macrophage-colony-stimulating factor (CSF-1), through increased miR-17/20a expression, causing a reduction of macrophage population in the TME of OS. Furthermore, we developed cell lines from the GEMM tumors, including a dTAG-Myc model system, which validated our Myc-dependent findings both in vitro and in vivo. Our studies utilized innovative, and clinically relevant models to identify a novel molecular mechanism through which Myc regulates the profile and function of the osteosarcoma immune landscape.
Bikesh K. Nirala, Tajhal D. Patel, Lyazat Kurenbekova, Ryan Shuck, Atreyi Dasgupta, Nino Rainusso, Cristian Coarfa, Jason T. Yustein
Given the COVID-19 pandemic, there is interest in understanding ligand-receptor features and targeted antibody-binding attributes against emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants. Here we developed a large-scale structure-based pipeline for analysis of protein-protein interactions regulating SARS-CoV-2 immune evasion. First, we generated computed structural models of the Spike protein of three SARS-CoV-2 variants (B.1.1.529, BA.2.12.1, and BA.5) bound either to a native receptor (ACE2) or to a large panel of targeted ligands (n=282), which included neutralizing or therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. Moreover, by using the Barnes Classification, we noted an overall loss of interfacial interactions (with gain-of-new-interactions in certain cases) at the receptor-binding domain (RBD) mediated by substituted residues for neutralizing complexes in Classes 1 and 2, whereas less destabilization was observed for Classes 3 and 4. Finally, an experimental validation of predicted weakened therapeutic antibody binding was performed on a cell-based assay. Compared to the original Omicron variant (B.1.1.529), derivative variants featured progressive destabilization of antibody-RBD interfaces mediated by a larger set of substituted residues, thereby providing a molecular basis for immune evasion. This approach and findings provide a framework for rapidly and efficiently generating structural models for SARS-CoV-2 variants bound to ligands of mechanistic and therapeutic value.
Joseph H. Lubin, Christopher Markosian, D. Balamurugan, Minh T. Ma, Chih-Hsiung Chen, Dongfang Liu, Renata Pasqualini, Wadih Arap, Stephen K. Burley, Sagar D. Khare
BACKGROUND. A randomized clinical trial from 1984-1992 indicated that vitamin A supplementation had a beneficial effect on the progression of retinitis pigmentosa (RP), while vitamin E had an adverse effect. METHODS. Sequencing of banked DNA samples from that trial provided the opportunity to determine if certain genotypes responded preferentially to vitamin supplementation. RESULTS. The genetic solution rate was 587/765 (77%) of sequenced samples. Combining genetic solutions with electroretinogram outcomes showed that there were systematic differences in severity and progression seen among different genetic subtypes of RP, extending findings made for USH2A, RHO, RPGR, PRPF31, and EYS. Baseline electroretinogram 30Hz flicker implicit time was an independent strong predictor of progression rate. Using additional data and baseline implicit time as a predictor, the deleterious effect of vitamin E was still present. Surprisingly, the effect of vitamin A progression in the cohort as a whole was not detectable, with or without data from subsequent trials. Subgroup analyses are also discussed. CONCLUSION. Overall, genetic subtype and implicit time have significant predictive power for a patient’s rate of progression, which is useful prognostically. While vitamin E supplementation should still be avoided, these data do not support a generalized neuroprotective effect of vitamin A for all types of RP. TRAIL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT00000114, NCT00000116, NCT00346333 FUNDING. the Foundation Fighting Blindness and the National Eye Institute: RO1 EY012910 (EAP), R01 EY031036 (JC), R01EY026904 (KMB/EAP), and P30EY014104.
Jason Comander, Carol Weigel DiFranco, Kit Green Sanderson, Emily M. Place, Matthew Maher, Erin Zampaglione, Yan Zhao, Rachel M. Huckfeldt, Kinga M. Bujakowska, Eric A. Pierce
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