Ulcerative colitis (UC), Crohn’s disease (CD), and celiac disease are prevalent intestinal inflammatory disorders with non-satisfactory therapeutic interventions. Analyzing patient data-driven cohorts can highlight disease pathways and new targets for interventions. Long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) are attractive candidates as they are readily targetable by RNA therapeutics, show relative cell-specific expression, and play key cellular functions. Uniformly analyzing gut mucosal transcriptomics from 696 subjects, we highlight lncRNA expression along the gastrointestinal (GI) tract, demonstrating that in control samples, lncRNAs have a more location-specific expression in comparison to protein-coding genes. We defined dysregulation of lncRNAs in treatment-naïve UC, CD, and celiac diseases using independent test and validation cohorts. Using the PROTECT inception UC cohort, we define and prioritize lncRNA linked with UC severity and prospective outcomes, and highlight lncRNAs linked with gut microbes previously implicated in mucosal homeostasis. HNF1A-AS1 lncRNA was reduced in all 3 conditions and was further reduced in more severe UC form. Similarly, the reduction of HNF1A-AS1 ortholog in mice gut epithelial showed higher sensitivity to dextran sodium sulfate-induced colitis which was coupled with alteration in the gut microbial community. These analyses highlight prioritized dysregulated lncRNAs that can guide future preclinical studies for testing them as novel potential targets.
Tzipi Braun, Katya E. Sosnovski, Amnon Amir, Marina BenShoshan, Kelli L. VanDussen, Rebekah Karns, Nina Levhar, Haya Abbas-Egbariya, Rotem Hadar, Gilat Efroni, David Castel, Camila Avivi, Michael J. Rosen, Anne M. Grifiths, Thomas D. Walters, David R. Mack, Brendan M. Boyle, Syed Asad Ali, Sean R. Moore, Melanie Schirmer, Ramnik J. Xavier, Subra Kugathasan, Anil G. Jegga, Batya Weiss, Chen Mayer, Iris Barshack, Shomron Ben-Horin, Igor Ulitsky, Anthony Beucher, Jorge Ferrer, Jeffrey S. Hyams, Lee A. Denson, Yael Haberman
Intratumoral heterogeneity is a defining hallmark of glioblastoma, driving drug resistant and ultimately recurrence. Many somatic drivers of microenvironmental change have been shown to affect this heterogeneity and ultimately treatment response. However, little is known about how germline mutations effect the tumoral microenvironment. Here, we find that the single-nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) rs755622 in promoter of the cytokine macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), is associated with increased leukocyte infiltration in glioblastoma. Furthermore, we identified an association between rs755622 and lactotransferrin expression, which could also be used as a biomarker for immune-infiltrated tumors. These findings demonstrate that a germline SNP in the promoter region of MIF may impact the immune microenvironment and further reveals a link between lactotransferrin and immune activation.
Tyler J. Alban, Matthew M. Grabowski, Balint Otvos, Defne Bayik, Wesley Wang, Ajay H. Zalavadia, Vladimir Makarav, Katie M. Troike, Mary McGraw, Anja Rabljenovic, Adam Lauko, Chase K.A. Neumann, Gustavo Roversi, Kristin A. Waite, Gino Cioffi, Nirav Patil, Thuy T. Tran, Kathleen McCortney, Alicia Steffens, C. Marcela Diaz-Montero, J. Mark Brown, Kathleen M. Egan, Craig Horbinski, Jill S. Barnholtz-Sloan, Prajwal Rajappa, Michael A. Vogelbaum, Richard Bucala, Timothy A. Chan, Manmeet S. Ahluwalia, Justin D. Lathia
SARS-CoV-2 mRNA vaccination generates protective B cell responses targeting the SARS-CoV-2 spike glycoprotein. Whereas anti-spike memory B cell responses are long-lasting, the anti-spike humoral antibody response progressively wanes, making booster vaccinations necessary for maintaining protective immunity. Here we investigated qualitatively the plasmablast responses by measuring from single cells within hours of sampling the affinity of their secreted antibody for the SARS-CoV-2 spike receptor binding domain in cohorts of BNT162b2-vaccinated naive and COVID-19-recovered individuals. Using a unique droplet microfluidic and imaging approach, we analyzed >4,000 single IgG-secreting cells revealing high inter-individual variability in affinity for RBD with variations over 4 logs. High-affinity plasmablasts were induced by BNT162b2 vaccination against Hu-1 and Omicron RBD but disappeared quickly thereafter, whereas low-affinity plasmablasts represented >65% of the plasmablast response at all timepoints. Our droplet-based method thus proves efficient at fast and qualitative immune monitoring and should be helpful for optimization of vaccination protocols.
Matteo Broketa, Aurélien Sokal, Michael Mor, Pablo Canales-Herrerias, Angga Perima, Annalisa Meola, Ignacio Fernández, Bruno Iannascoli, Guilhem Chenon, Alexis Vandenberghe, Laetitia Languille, Marc Michel, Bertrand Godeau, Sebastien Gallien, Giovanna Melica, Marija Backovic, Felix A. Rey, Jean Baudry, Natalia T. Freund, Matthieu Mahevas, Pierre Bruhns
Excessive activation of cardiac fibroblasts (CFs) in response to injury provokes cardiac fibrosis, stiffness, and failure. The local mediators counter-regulating this response remain unclear. Exogenous C-type natriuretic peptide (CNP) exerted antifibrotic effects in preclinical models. To unravel the role of the endogenous hormone, we generated mice with fibroblast-restricted deletion (KO) of guanylyl cyclase-B (GC-B), the cGMP-synthesizing CNP receptor.CNP activated GC-B/cGMP signaling in human and murine CFs, preventing proliferative and promigratory effects of AngiotensinII (AngII) and TGF-β. Fibroblast-specific GC-B-KO mice showed enhanced fibrosis in response to AngII infusions. Moreover, after two weeks of mild pressure-overload induced by transverse aortic constriction (TAC), such KO mice had augmented cardiac fibrosis and hypertrophy, together with systolic and diastolic contractile dysfunction. This was associated with increased expression of the profibrotic genes collagen I, III and periostin. Notably, such responses to AngII and TAC were greater in female as compared to male KO mice. Enhanced AngII-induced CNP expression in female hearts and augmented GC-B expression and activity in female CFs may contribute to this sex disparity. The results show that paracrine CNP signaling in CFs has antifibrotic and antihypertrophic effects. The CNP/GC-B/cGMP pathway might be a target for therapies combating pathological cardiac remodeling.
Franziska Werner, Estefania Prentki Santos, Konstanze Michel, Hanna Schrader, Katharina Völker, Tamara Potapenko, Lisa Krebes, Marco Abesser, Dorothe Möllmann, Martin Schlattjan, Hannes Schmidt, Boris V. Skryabin, Katarina Špiranec Spes, Kai Schuh, Christopher P. Denton, Hideo A. Baba, Michaela Kuhn
Patients with recurrent acute pancreatitis (RAP) are at significant risk of developing early chronic pancreatitis (CP), which progresses into irreversible, end-stage CP with severe symptoms. There is no specific therapy in RAP or in early CP that may hinder disease progression. The pathogenesis of CP is complex and involves interactions among multiple cell types, including pancreatic acinar, ductal, and stellate cells (PSC). Therefore, it is pivotal to identify common pathogenic pathways in these cells that could be targeted pharmacologically. The Orai1-mediated store-operated Ca2+ entry (SOCE) is a ubiquitous signaling mechanism, which may become overactivated in pathological states resulting intracellular Ca2+ overload. In this study, we used ex vivo and in vivo preclinical disease models to demonstrate that Orai1 inhibition prevents progression of RAP and early CP. The selective Orai1 inhibitor CM5480 restored the expression of SOCE-associated regulatory factor in acinar cells, prevented uncontrolled Ca2+ elevation, protected acinar and ductal functions, mitigated immune cell infiltration, and diminished PSC activation, proliferation and migration. We suggest that the overactivation of Orai1 is a crucial pathogenetic event in the progression of early CP, and inhibition of Orai1 could prevent the development of end-stage CP.
Viktória Szabó, Noémi Csákány-Papp, Marietta Görög, Tamara Madacsy, Árpád Varga, Aletta Kiss, Balint Tel, Boldizsár Jójárt, Tim Crul, Krisztina Dudás, Mária Bagyánszki, Nikolett Bódi, Ferhan Ayaydin, Shyam Jee, Laszlo Tiszlavicz, Kenneth A. Stauderman, Sudarshan Hebbar, Petra Pallagi, József Maléth
Therapeutic strategies targeting complement have revolutionized the treatment of myasthenia gravis (MG). However, a deeper understanding of complement modulation in the human system is required to improve treatment responses and identify “off-target effects” shaping long-term outcomes. For this purpose, we studied a cohort of MG patients treated with either eculizumab (n = 10) or azathioprine (n = 10) as well as treatment-naïve (n = 10) patients using a combined proteomics and metabolomics approach. This strategy confirmed known effects of eculizumab on the terminal complement cascade. Beyond that, eculizumab modulated the serum proteometabolome as distinct pathways were altered in eculizumab-treated patients including the oxidative stress response, mitogen-activated protein kinase signaling and lipid metabolism with particular emphasis on arachidonic acid signaling. We detected reduced levels of arachidonate 5-lipoxygenase (ALOX5) and leukotriene A4 (LTA4) in eculizumab-treated patients. Mechanistically, ligation of the C5a receptor (C5aR) is needed for ALOX5 metabolism and generation of downstream leukotrienes. As eculizumab prevents cleavage of C5 into C5a, decreased engagement of C5aR may inhibit ALOX5-mediated synthesis of pro-inflammatory leukotrienes. These findings indicate distinct “off-target effects” induced by eculizumab, illuminating potential mechanisms of action that may be harnessed to improve treatment outcomes.
Christopher Nelke, Christina B. Schroeter, Frauke Stascheit, Niklas Huntemann, Marc Pawlitzki, Alice G. Willison, Saskia Räuber, Nico Melzer, Ute Distler, Stefan Tenzer, Kai Stühler, Andreas Roos, Andreas Meisel, Sven G. Meuth, Tobias Ruck
HIV-1 infection is characterized by a strong inflammatory environment, tissue disruption, and a progressive decline in CD4+ T cell count. Despite treatment with antiretroviral therapy (ART), the majority of persons living with HIV (PLWH) maintain residual levels of inflammation, low degree of immune activation, and higher sensitivity to cell death in their memory CD4+ T-cell compartment. To date, the mechanisms responsible for this high sensitivity remain elusive. We have identified the transcription factor IRF-5 to be involved in impairing the maintenance of murine CD4+ T cells in a chronic inflammatory environment. Here, we investigate whether IRF-5 also contributes to memory CD4+ T cell loss during HIV-1 infection. We show that TLR7 and IRF-5 were upregulated in memory CD4+ T cells from PLWH, when compared with naturally protected elite controllers and HIVfree participants. TLR7 was upstream of IRF-5, promoting Caspase 8 expression in CD4+ T cells from ART HIV-1+ but not from HIVfree participants. Moreover, IRF-5 and TLR7 expression inversely correlated with CD4+ T cell counts in primary HIV infection. Interestingly, the TLR7-IRF-5 axis acted synergistically with the Fas/FasL pathway, suggesting that TLR7 and IRF-5 expression in ART HIV-1+ memory CD4+ T cells represents an imprint that predisposes cells to Fas-mediated apoptosis. This predisposition could be blocked using IRF-5 inhibitory peptides. Thus, we propose IRF-5 blockade as a possible therapy to prevent memory CD4+ T cell loss in PLWH.
Liseth Carmona-Perez, Xavier Dagenais-Lussier, Linh Thuy Mai, Tanja Stögerer, Sharada Swaminathan, Stephane Isnard, Matthew R. Rice, Betsy J. Barnes, Jean Pierre Routy, Julien van Grevenynghe, Simona Stager
While the development of different vaccines slowed the dissemination of SARS-CoV-2, the occurrence of breakthrough infections has continued to fuel the COVID-19 pandemic. To at least secure partial protection in majority of the population through one dose of a COVID-19 vaccine, delayed administration of boosters has been implemented in many countries. However, waning immunity and emergence of new variants of SARS-CoV-2 suggest that such measures may induce breakthrough infections due to intermittent lapses in protection. Optimizing vaccine dosing schedules to ensure prolonged continuity in protection could thus help control the pandemic. We developed a mechanistic model of immune response to vaccines as an in-silico tool for dosing schedule optimization. The model was calibrated with clinical datasets of acquired immunity to COVID-19 mRNA vaccines in healthy and immunocompromised subjects and showed robust validation by accurately predicting neutralizing antibody kinetics in response to multiple doses of COVID-19 mRNA vaccines. Importantly, by estimating population vulnerability to breakthrough infections, we predicted tailored vaccination dosing schedules to minimize breakthrough infections, especially for immunocompromised subjects. We identified that the optimal vaccination schedules vary from CDC-recommended dosing, suggesting that the model is a valuable tool to optimize vaccine efficacy outcomes during future outbreaks.
Prashant Dogra, Carmine Schiavone, Zhihui Wang, Javier Ruiz-Ramírez, Sergio Caserta, Daniela I. Staquicini, Christopher Markosian, Jin Wang, H. Dirk Sostman, Renata Pasqualini, Wadih Arap, Vittorio Cristini
Human patients carrying genetic mutations in RNA binding motif 20 (RBM20) develop a clinically aggressive dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Genetic mutation knock-in (KI) animal models imply that altered function of the arginine-serine-rich (RS) domain is crucial for severe DCM. To test this hypothesis, we generated an RS domain deletion mouse model (Rbm20ΔRS). We show that Rbm20ΔRS mice manifest DCM with mis-splicing of RBM20 target transcripts. We found that RBM20 is mis-localized to the sarcoplasm in Rbm20ΔRS mice, which led to the formation of RBM20 granules similar to those detected in mutation KI animals. In contrast, mice lacking the RNA recognition motif (RRM) show similar mis-splicing of RBM20 target genes, but do not develop DCM or exhibit RBM20 granule formation. Using in vitro studies with immunocytochemical staining, we demonstrate that only DCM-associated mutations in the RS domain facilitate RBM20 nucleocytoplasmic transport and promote granule assembly. Further, we defined the core nuclear localization signal (NLS) within the RS domain. Mutation analysis of phosphorylation sites in the RS domain indicate that this modification is dispensable for RBM20 nucleocytoplasmic transport. Collectively, our findings revealed that disruption of RS domain-mediated nuclear localization is crucial for severe DCM caused by NLS mutations.
Yanghai Zhang, Zachery R. Gregorich, Yujuan Wang, Camila U. Braz, Jibin Zhang, Yang Liu, Peiheng Liu, Jiaxi Shen, Nanyumuzi Aori, Timothy A. Hacker, Henk Granzier, Wei Guo
Mechanical, thermal, and chemical pain sensation is conveyed by primary nociceptors, a subset of sensory afferent neurons. The intracellular regulation of the primary nociceptive signal is an area of active study. We report here the discovery of a Gβ5-dependent regulatory pathway within mechanical nociceptors that restrains anti-nociceptive input from metabotropic GABA-B receptors. In mice with conditional knockout (cKO) of Gnb5 targeted to peripheral sensory neurons, we demonstrate the impairment of mechanical, thermal, and chemical nociception. We further report the specific loss of mechanical nociception in Rgs7-Cre+/-; Gnb5fl/fl mice but not in Rgs9-Cre+/-; Gnb5fl/fl mice, suggesting that Gβ5 might specifically regulate mechanical pain in Rgs7+ cells. Additionally, Gβ5-dependent and Rgs7-associated mechanical nociception is dependent upon GABA-B receptor signaling since both were abolished by treatment with a GABA-B receptor antagonist and since cKO of Gβ5 from sensory cells or from Rgs7+ cells potentiated the analgesic effects of GABA-B agonists. Following activation by the Mrgprd agonist β-alanine, enhanced sensitivity to inhibition by baclofen was observed in primary cultures of Rgs7+ sensory neurons harvested from Rgs7-Cre+/-; Gnb5fl/fl mice. Taken together, these results suggest that the targeted inhibition of Gβ5 function in Rgs7+ sensory neurons might provide specific relief for mechanical allodynia, including that contributing to chronic neuropathic pain, without reliance on exogenous opioids.
Mritunjay Pandey, Jian-Hua Zhang, Poorni R. Adikaram, Claire M. Kittock, Nicole Lue, Adam M. Awe, Katherine N. Degner, Nirmal Jacob, Jenna N. Staples, Rachel Thomas, Allison B. Kohnen, Sundar Ganesan, Juraj Kabat, Ching-Kang Chen, William F. Simonds
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