Recombinant adeno-associated virus (rAAV)-mediated gene delivery can efficiently target muscle tissues to serve as “biofactories” for secreted proteins in prophylactic and therapeutic scenarios. Nevertheless, efficient rAAV-mediated gene delivery is often limited by host immune responses against the transgene product. The development of strategies to prevent anti-transgene immunity is therefore crucial. The employment of endogenous microRNA (miRNA)-mediated regulation to detarget transgene expression from antigen presenting cells (APCs) has shown promise for reducing immunogenicity. However, the mechanisms underlying miRNA-mediated modulation of anti-transgene immunity by APC detargeting are not fully understood. Using the highly immunogenic ovalbumin (OVA) protein as a proxy for foreign antigens, we show that rAAV vectors containing miR142 binding sites efficiently repress co-stimulatory signals in dendritic cells, significantly blunt the cytotoxic T cell response, allow for sustained transgene expression in skeletal myoblasts, and attenuate clearance of transduced muscle cells in mice. Furthermore, the blunting of humoral immunity against circulating OVA correlates with detargeting of OVA expression from APCs. This demonstrates that incorporating APC-specific miRNA binding sites into rAAV vectors provides an effective strategy for reducing transgene-specific immune response. This approach holds promise for clinical applications where the safe and efficient delivery of a prophylactic or therapeutic protein is desired.
Yuanyuan Xiao, Manish Muhuri, Shaoyong Li, Wanru Qin, Guangchao Xu, Li Luo, Jia Li, Alexander J. Letizia, Sean K. Wang, Ying Kai Chan, Chunmei Wang, Sebastian P. Fuchs, Dan Wang, Qin Su, M. Abu Nahid, George M. Church, Michael Farzan, Li Yang, Yuquan Wei, Ronald C. Desrosiers, Christian Mueller, Phillip W.L. Tai, Guangping Gao
The mechanisms regulating translation and splicing are not well understood. We provide insight into a new regulator of translation, OGFOD1 (2-oxoglutarate and iron dependent oxygenase domain-containing protein 1), which is a prolyl-hydroxylase that catalyzes the posttranslational hydroxylation of Pro-62 in the small ribosomal protein S23. We show that deletion of OGFOD1 in an in vitro model of human cardiomyocytes decreases translation of specific proteins (e.g., RNA-binding proteins) and alters splicing. RNA sequencing showed poor correlation between changes in mRNA and protein synthesis, suggesting that posttranscriptional regulation was the primary cause for the observed differences. We found that loss of OGFOD1 and the resultant alterations in protein translation modulates the cardiac proteome, shifting it towards higher protein amounts of sarcomeric proteins such as cardiac troponins, titin and cardiac myosin binding protein C. Furthermore, we found a decrease of OGFOD1 during cardiomyocyte differentiation. These results suggest that loss of OGFOD1 modulates protein translation and splicing, thereby leading to alterations in the cardiac proteome and highlight the role of altered translation and splicing in regulating the proteome..
Andrea Stoehr, Leslie Kennedy, Yanqin Yang, Sajni Patel, Yongshun Lin, Kaari L. Linask, Maria M. Fergusson, Jun Zhu, Marjan Gucek, Jizhong Zou, Elizabeth Murphy
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
Benign prostatic hyperplasia (BPH) is the most common cause of lower urinary tract symptoms in men. Current treatments target prostate physiology rather than BPH pathophysiology and are only partially effective. Here, we applied next-generation sequencing to gain new insight into BPH. By RNAseq, we uncovered transcriptional heterogeneity among BPH cases, where a 65-gene BPH stromal signature correlated with symptom severity. Stromal signaling molecules BMP5 and CXCL13 were enriched in BPH while estrogen regulated pathways were depleted. Notably, BMP5 addition to cultured prostatic myofibroblasts altered their expression profile towards a BPH profile that included the BPH stromal signature. RNAseq also suggested an altered cellular milieu in BPH, which we verified by immunohistochemistry and single-cell RNAseq. In particular, BPH tissues exhibited enrichment of myofibroblast subsets, whilst depletion of neuroendocrine cells and an estrogen receptor (ESR1)-positive fibroblast cell type residing near epithelium. By whole-exome sequencing, we uncovered somatic single-nucleotide variants (SNVs) in BPH, of uncertain pathogenic significance but indicative of clonal cell expansions. Thus, genomic characterization of BPH has identified a clinically-relevant stromal signature and new candidate disease pathways (including a likely role for BMP5 signaling), and reveals BPH to be not merely a hyperplasia, but rather a fundamental re-landscaping of cell types.
Lance W. Middleton, Zhewei Shen, Sushama Varma, Anna S. Pollack, Xue Gong, Shirley Zhu, Chunfang Zhu, Joseph W. Foley, Sujay Vennam, Robert T. Sweeney, Karen Tu, Jewison Biscocho, Okyaz Eminaga, Rosalie Nolley, Robert Tibshirani, James D. Brooks, Robert B. West, Jonathan R. Pollack
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
Despite current immunosuppressive strategies, long-term lung transplant outcomes remain poor due to rapid allogenic responses. Using a stringent mouse model of allo-airway transplantation, we identify the CCR4-ligand axis as a central node driving secondary lymphoid tissue homing and activation of the allogeneic T cells that prevent long-term allograft survival. CCR4 deficiency on transplant recipient T cells diminishes allograft injury and when combined with CTLA4-Ig leads to an unprecedented long-term lung allograft accommodation. Thus, we identify CCR4-ligand interactions as a central mechanism driving allogeneic transplant rejection and suggest it as a potential target to enhance long-term lung transplant survival.
Vyacheslav Palchevskiy, Ying Ying Xue, Rita Kern, Stephen S. Weigt, Aric L. Gregson, Sophie X. Song, Michael C. Fishbein, Cory M. Hogaboam, David M. Sayah, Joseph P. Lynch, III, Michael P. Keane, David G. Brooks, John A. Belperio
Impaired insulin secretion in type 2 diabetes (T2D) is linked to reduced insulin granule docking, disorganization of the exocytotic site, and an impaired glucose-dependent facilitation of insulin exocytosis. We show in β-cells from 80 human donors that the glucose-dependent amplification of exocytosis is disrupted in T2D. Spatial analyses of granule fusion, visualized by total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy in 24 of these donors, demonstrate that these are non-random across the surface of β-cells from donors with no diabetes (ND). The compartmentalization of events occurs within regions defined by concurrent or recent membrane-resident secretory granules. This organization, and the number of membrane-associated granules, is glucose-dependent and notably impaired in T2D β-cells. Mechanistically, multi-channel Kv2.1 clusters contribute to maintaining the density of membrane-resident granules and the number of fusion ‘hotspots’, while SUMOylation sites at the channel N- (K145) and C-terminus (K470) determine the relative proportion of fusion events occurring within these regions. Thus, a glucose-dependent compartmentalization of fusion, regulated in part by a structural role for Kv2.1, is disrupted in β-cells from donors with type 2 diabetes.
Jianyang Fu, John Maringa Githaka, Xiaoqing Dai, Gregory Plummer, Kunimasa Suzuki, Aliya F. Spigelman, Austin Bautista, Ryekjang Kim, Dafna Greitzer-Antes, Jocelyn E. Manning Fox, Herbert Y. Gaisano, Patrick E. MacDonald
Background: The lymphocyte-depleting antibody alemtuzumab is a highly effective treatment of relapsing-remitting multiple sclerosis (RRMS); however 50% of patients develop novel autoimmunity post-treatment. Most at risk are individuals who reconstitute their T-cell pool by proliferating residual cells, rather than producing new T-cells in the thymus; raising the possibility that autoimmunity might be prevented by increasing thymopoiesis. Keratinocyte growth factor (palifermin) promotes thymopoiesis in non-human primates. Methods: Following a dose-tolerability sub-study, individuals with RRMS (duration ≤10 years; expanded disability status scale ≤5·0; with ≥2 relapses in the previous 2 years) were randomised to placebo or 180mcg/kg/day palifermin, given for 3 days immediately prior to and after each cycle of alemtuzumab, with repeat doses at M1 and M3. The interim primary endpoint was naïve CD4+ T-cell count at M6. Exploratory endpoints included: number of recent thymic-emigrants (RTEs) and signal-joint T-cell receptor excision circles (sjTRECs)/mL of blood. The trial primary endpoint was incidence of autoimmunity at M30. Findings: At M6, individuals receiving palifermin had fewer naïve CD4+T-cells (2.229x107/L vs. 7.733x107/L; p=0.007), RTEs (16% vs. 34%) and sjTRECs/mL (1100 vs. 3396), leading to protocol-defined termination of recruitment. No difference was observed in the rate of autoimmunity between the two groups Conclusion: In contrast to animal studies, palifermin reduced thymopoiesis in our patients. These results offer a note of caution to those using palifermin to promote thymopoiesis in other settings, particularly in the oncology/haematology setting where alemtuzumab is often used as part of the conditioning regime. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT01712945 Funding: MRC and Moulton Charitable Foundation
Alasdair J. Coles, Laura Azzopardi, Onajite Kousin-Ezewu, Harpreet Kaur Mullay, Sara A.J. Thompson, Lorna Jarvis, Jessica Davies, Sarah Howlett, Daniel Rainbow, Judith Babar, Timothy J. Sadler, J. William L. Brown, Edward Needham, Karen May, Zoya G. Georgieva, Adam E. Handel, Stefano Maio, Mary Deadman, Ioanna Rota, Georg Holländer, Sarah Dawson, David Jayne, Ruth Seggewiss-Bernhardt, Daniel C. Douek, John D. Isaacs, Joanne L. Jones
Traumatic brain injury (TBI) causes cortical dysfunction and can lead to post-traumatic epilepsy. Multiple studies demonstrate that GABAergic inhibitory network function is compromised following TBI, which may contribute to hyperexcitability and motor, behavioral, and cognitive deficits. Preserving the function of GABAergic interneurons, therefore, is a rational therapeutic strategy to preserve cortical function after TBI and prevent long-term clinical complications. Here, we explored an approach based on the ketogenic diet, a neuroprotective and anticonvulsant dietary therapy which results in reduced glycolysis and increased ketosis. Utilizing a pharmacologic inhibitor of glycolysis (2-deoxyglucose, or 2-DG), we found that acute in vitro application of 2-DG decreased the excitability of excitatory neurons, but not inhibitory interneurons, in cortical slices from naïve mice. Employing the controlled cortical impact (CCI) model of TBI in mice, we found that in vitro 2-DG treatment rapidly attenuated epileptiform activity seen in acute cortical slices 3 to 5 weeks after TBI. One week of in vivo 2-DG treatment immediately after TBI prevented the development of epileptiform activity, restored excitatory and inhibitory synaptic activity, and attenuated the loss of parvalbumin-expressing inhibitory interneurons. In summary, 2-DG may have therapeutic potential to restore network function following TBI.
Jenny B. Koenig, David Cantu, Cho S. Low, Mary E. Sommer, Farzad Noubary, Danielle Croker, Michael Whalen, Dong Kong, Chris G. Dulla
BACKGROUND. Cutaneous neurofibromas (cNF) are physically disfiguring, painful, and cause extensive psychologic harm in patients with neurofibromatosis type 1 (NF1). There is currently no effective medical treatment and surgical procedures are inaccessible to most NF1 patients globally. OBJECTIVE. While research is underway to find an effective medical treatment for cNF, there is an urgent need to develop surgical approach that is accessible to all NF1 patients in the world with the skill set and equipment found in most general medical office settings. Here, we present a robust surgical approach to remove cNF that does not require sterile surgical field, utilizes accessible clinical equipment, and can be performed by any health care providers including family practitioners, and physician assistants. METHODS. In a prospective case-series, patients with NF1 underwent this surgical procedure which removes multiple cutaneous neurofibromas. The Dermatology Life Quality Index was given to subjects before and after the procedure as surrogate for patient satisfaction. RESULTS. 83 tumors were removed throughout the body from twelve individuals. Examination at follow-up visits revealed well-healed scars without infection or adverse events including aberrant scarring. Patient satisfaction with the procedure was high with significant improvements in symptoms, daily activities, leisure, personal relationships, and treatment experience (P = 0.00062). CONCLUSION. This study demonstrates a robust surgical approach to management cutaneous neurofibromas which can be accessed world-wide to individuals with NF1 and performed by a wide-variety of medical specialists with high clinical efficacy and patient satisfaction.
Bahir H. Chamseddin, La’Nette Hernandez, Dezehree Solorzano, Juan Vega, Lu Q. Le
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