Induction of a potent CD4 and CD8 T-cell response against tumor-specific and tumor-associated antigen is critical for eliminating tumor cells. Recent vaccination strategies have been hampered by an inefficacious and low amplitude immune response. Here we describe a self-adjuvanted chimeric protein vaccine platform to address these challenges, characterized by a multidomain construction incorporating (i) a cell penetrating peptide (CPP) allowing internalization of several multiantigenic Major Histocompatibility Complex (MHC)-restricted peptides within (ii) the multiantigenic domain (Mad) and (iii) a TLR2/4 agonist domain (TLRag). Functionality of the resulting chimeric protein is based on the combined effect of the above-mentioned three different domains for simultaneous activation of antigen presenting cells and antigen cross-presentation, leading to an efficacious multiantigenic and multiallelic cellular immune response. Helper and cytotoxic T-cell responses were observed against model-, neo- and self-antigens, and were highly potent in several murine tumor models. The safety and the immunogenicity of a human vaccine candidate designed for colorectal cancer treatment was demonstrated in a non-human primate model. This newly engineered therapeutic vaccine approach is promising for the treatment of poorly infiltrated tumors that do not respond to currently marketed immunotherapies.
Elodie Belnoue, Jean-François Mayol, Susanna Carboni, Wilma Di Berardino Besson, Eloise Dupuychaffray, Annika Nelde, Stefan Stevanovic, Marie-Laure Santiago-Raber, Paul R. Walker, Madiha Derouazi
Plasma calcium (Ca2+) is maintained by amending the release of parathyroid hormone and through direct effects of the Ca2+ sensing receptor (CaSR) in the renal tubule. Combined, these mechanisms alter intestinal Ca2+ absorption by modulating 1,25-dihydroxy vitamin D3 production, bone resorption, and renal Ca2+ excretion. The CaSR is a therapeutic target in the treatment of secondary hyperparathyroidism and hypocalcemia a common complication of calcimimetic therapy. The CaSR is also expressed in intestinal epithelium, however, a direct role in regulating local intestinal Ca2+ absorption is unknown. Chronic CaSR activation decreased expression of genes involved in Ca2+ absorption. In Ussing chambers, increasing extracellular Ca2+ or basolateral application of the calcimimetic cinacalcet decreased net Ca2+ absorption across intestinal preparations acutely. Conversely, Ca2+ absorption increased with decreasing extracellular Ca2+ concentration. These responses were absent in mice expressing a non-functional TRPV6, TRPV6D541A. Cinacalcet also attenuated Ca2+ fluxes through TRPV6 in Xenopus oocytes when co-expressed with the CaSR. Moreover, the phospholipase C inhibitor, U73122, prevented cinacalcet-mediated inhibition of Ca2+ flux. These results reveal a regulatory pathway whereby activation of the CaSR in the basolateral membrane of the intestine directly attenuates local Ca2+ absorption via TRPV6 to prevent hypercalcemia and help explain how calcimimetics induce hypocalcemia.
Justin J. Lee, Xiong Liu, Debbie O'Neil, Megan R. Beggs, Petra Weissgerber, Veit Flockerzi, Xing-Zhen Chen, Henrik Dimke, R. Todd Alexander
T and B cells have been implicated in hypertension, but the mechanisms by which they produce a coordinated response is unknown. T follicular helper (Tfh) cells that produce interleukin 21 (IL21) promote germinal center (GC) B cell responses leading to immunoglobulin (Ig) production. Here we investigate the role of IL21 and Tfh cells in hypertension. In response to angiotensin (Ang) II-induced hypertension, T cell IL21 production is increased, and Il21-/- mice develop blunted hypertension, attenuated vascular end-organ damage, and decreased interleukin 17A (IL17A) and interferon gamma production. Tfh-like cells and GC B cells accumulate in the aorta and plasma IgG1 is increased in hypertensive WT but not Il21-/-mice. Furthermore, Tfh cell deficient mice develop blunted hypertension and vascular hypertrophy in response to Ang II infusion. Importantly, IL21 neutralization reduces blood pressure (BP) and reverses endothelial dysfunction and vascular inflammation. Moreover, recombinant IL21 impairs endothelium-dependent relaxation ex vivo and decreases nitric oxide production from cultured endothelial cells. Finally, we show in humans that peripheral blood T cell production of IL21 correlates with systolic BP and IL17A production. These data suggest that IL21 may be a novel therapeutic target for the treatment of hypertension and its micro- and macrovascular complications.
Bethany L. Dale, Arvind K. Pandey, Yuhan Chen, Charles D. Smart, Fanny Laroumanie, Mingfang Ao, Liang Xiao, Anna E. Dikalova, Sergey I. Dikalov, Fernando Elijovich, Jason D. Foss, Natalia R. Barbaro, Justin P. Van Beusecum, Serpil M. Deger, Aseel Alsouqi, Hana A. Itani, Allison E. Norlander, Matthew R. Alexander, Shilin Zhao, T. Alp Ikizler, Holly M. Scott Algood, Meena S. Madhur
Background: Sepsis is a complex clinical syndrome with substantial heterogeneity. We sought to identify patterns of serum biomarkers of endothelial activation and dysfunction in individuals with sepsis and evaluate subgroup-specific differences in mortality. Methods: Adult patients with sepsis (n=426) were consecutively recruited from two hospitals in Uganda. Clinical information was collected and serum concentrations of eleven biomarkers involved in the endothelial response to infection were measured in samples from 315 patients. Latent variable models were fit to evaluate whether the endothelial response to sepsis consists of one unified biological process or multiple processes and to identify subgroups of patients with distinct host-response profiles. Differences in survival at day 28 were evaluated using Kaplan-Meier survival curves. Results: We identified three patient subgroups characterized by unique host endothelial response profiles. Patients fitting Profile 2 had significantly worse survival (log-rank p<0.001). Four latent factors (Factor 1-4) were identified, each potentially representing distinct biological processes for the endothelial response to sepsis: Factor 1 (CHI3L1, sTREM1, sFLT1); Factor 2 (ANGPT1, PF4, VEGF); Factor 3 (CXCL10, VWF, sICAM1); and Factor 4 (ANGPT2, sTEK). Conclusion: Patient profiles based on patterns of circulating biomarkers of endothelial responses may provide a clinically meaningful way to categorize patients into homogeneous subgroups and may identify patients with a high risk of mortality. Profile 2 may represent dysfunction of the endothelial response to infection. Funding: Primary funding: Investigator-Initiated Award provided by Pfizer, Inc (WMS, STJ). Additional support: Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) Foundation grant (KCK; FDN-148439) and the Canada Research Chair program (KCK).
Danielle V. Clark, Patrick Banura, Karen Bandeen-Roche, W. Conrad Liles, Kevin C. Kain, W. Michael Scheld, William J. Moss, Shevin T. Jacob
Epidemiological findings indicate that coinfection with influenza viruses is associated with an increased risk of death in patients suffering from tuberculosis but the underlying pathomechanisms are not well understood. In this study, we demonstrate that influenza A virus (IAV) coinfection rapidly impairs control of Mycobacterium tuberculosis (Mtb) in C57BL/6 mice. IAV coinfection was associated with significantly increased bacterial loads, reduced survival and a substantial modulation of innate and adaptive immune defenses including an impaired onset and development of Mtb-specific CD4+ T cell responses and the accumulation of macrophages with increased arginase-1 production in the lungs. Our findings strongly indicate that IAV coinfection compromises the host’s ability to control Mtb infection via the production of IL-10 which was rapidly induced upon viral infection. The blockade of IL-10 receptor signaling reduced the bacterial load in coinfected mice to a level comparable with that in Mtb-only-infected animals. Taken together, our data suggest that IL-10 signaling constitutes a major pathway that enhances susceptibility to Mtb during concurrent IAV infection.
Sarah Ring, Lars Eggers, Jochen Behrends, Adam Wutkowski, Dominik Schwudke, Andrea Kröger, Alexandra Maximiliane Hierweger, Christoph Hölscher, Gülsah Gabriel, Bianca Schneider
Gain of the long arm of chromosome 17 (17q) is a cytogenetic hallmark of high-risk neuroblastoma, yet its contribution to neuroblastoma pathogenesis remains incompletely understood. Combining whole-genome and RNA sequencing of neuroblastomas, we identified the prohibitin (PHB) gene as highly expressed in tumors with 17q gain. High PHB expression correlated with poor prognosis and was associated with loss of gene expression programs promoting neuronal development and differentiation. PHB depletion induced differentiation and apoptosis and slowed cell cycle progression of neuroblastoma cells, at least in part through impaired ERK1/2 activation. Conversely, ectopic expression of PHB was sufficient to increase proliferation of neuroblastoma cells and was associated with suppression of markers associated with neuronal differentiation and favorable neuroblastoma outcome. Thus, PHB is a 17q oncogene in neuroblastoma that promotes tumor cell proliferation, and de-differentiation.
Ian C. MacArthur, Yi Bei, Heathcliff Dorado García, Michael V. Ortiz, Joern Toedling, Filippos Klironomos, Jana Rolff, Angelika Eggert, Johannes H. Schulte, Alex Kentsis, Anton G. Henssen
The bone marrow microenvironment (BMME) contributes to the regulation of hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) function, though its role in age-associated lineage skewing is poorly understood. Here we show that dysfunction of aged marrow macrophages (Mφs) directs HSC platelet-bias. Mφs from the marrow of aged mice and humans exhibited an activated phenotype, with increased expression of inflammatory signals. Aged marrow Mφs also displayed decreased phagocytic function. Senescent neutrophils, typically cleared by marrow Mφs, were markedly increased in aged mice, consistent with functional defects in Mφ phagocytosis and efferocytosis. In aged mice, Interleukin 1B (IL1B) was elevated in the bone marrow and caspase 1 activity, which can process pro-IL1B, was increased in marrow Mφs and neutrophils. Mechanistically, IL1B signaling was necessary and sufficient to induce a platelet bias in HSCs. In young mice, depletion of phagocytic cell populations or loss of the efferocytic receptor Axl expanded platelet-biased HSCs. Our data support a model wherein increased inflammatory signals and decreased phagocytic function of aged marrow Mφs induce the acquisition of platelet bias in aged HSCs. This work highlights the instructive role of Mφs and IL1B in the age-associated lineage-skewing of HSCs, and reveals the therapeutic potential of their manipulation as antigeronic targets.
Benjamin J. Frisch, Corey M. Hoffman, Sarah E. Latchney, Mark W. LaMere, Jason Myers, John Ashton, Allison J. Li, Jerry Saunders, James Palis, Archibald S. Perkins, Amanda McCabe, Julianne N. Smith, Kathleen E. McGrath, Fatima Rivera-Escalera, Andrew McDavid, Jane L. Liesveld, Vyacheslav A. Korshunov, Michael R. Elliott, Katherine C. MacNamara, Michael W. Becker, Laura M. Calvi
Children with trisomy 21 (Down syndrome [DS]) have a 130-fold increased incidence of Hirschsprung Disease (HSCR), a developmental defect where the enteric nervous system (ENS) is missing from distal bowel (i.e., distal bowel is aganglionic). Treatment for HSCR is surgical resection of aganglionic bowel, but many children have bowel problems after surgery. Post-surgical problems like enterocolitis and soiling are especially common in children with DS. To determine how trisomy 21 affects ENS development, we evaluated the ENS in two DS mouse models, Ts65Dn and Tc1. These mice are trisomic for many chromosome 21 homologous genes, including Dscam and Dyrk1a, which are hypothesized to contribute to HSCR risk. Ts65Dn and Tc1 mice have normal ENS precursor migration at E12.5 and almost normal myenteric plexus structure as adults. However, Ts65Dn and Tc1 mice have markedly reduced submucosal plexus neuron density throughout the bowel. Surprisingly, the submucosal neuron defect in Ts65Dn mice is not due to excess Dscam or Dyrk1a, since normalizing copy number for these genes does not rescue the defect. These findings suggest the possibility that the high frequency of bowel problems in children with DS and HSCR may occur because of additional unrecognized problems with ENS structure.
Ellen M. Schill, Christina M. Wright, Alisha Jamil, Jonathan M. LaCombe, Randall J. Roper, Robert O. Heuckeroth
Background: Current dosing of intrapleural fibrinolytic therapy (IPFT) in adults with complicated parapneumonic effusion (CPE) / empyema is empiric, as dose-escalation trials have not previously been conducted. We hypothesized that LTI-01 (scuPA), which is relatively resistant to PA inhibitor-1 (PAI-1), would be well-tolerated. Methods: This was an open-label, dose-escalation trial of LTI-01 IPFT at 50,000-800,000 IU daily for up to 3 days in adults with loculated CPE/empyema and failed pleural drainage. The primary objective was to evaluate safety and tolerability, and secondary objectives included assessments of processing and bioactivity of scuPA in blood and pleural fluid (PF), and early efficacy. Results: LTI-01 was well tolerated with no bleeding, treatment-emergent adverse events or surgical referrals (n=14 subjects). uPA antigen increased in PFs at 3 hours after LTI-01 (p<0.01) but not in plasma. PF saturated active PAI-1, generated PAI-1-resistant bioactive complexes, increased PA and fibrinolytic activities and D-dimers. There was no systemic fibrinogenolysis, nor increments in plasma D-dimer. Decreased pleural opacities occurred in all but one subject. Both subjects receiving 800,000 IU required two doses to relieve pleural sepsis, with two other subjects similarly responding at lower doses. Conclusion: LTI-01 IPFT was well-tolerated at these doses with no safety concerns. Bioactivity of LTI-01 IPFT was confirmed, limited to PFs where its processing simulated that previously reported in preclinical studies. Preliminary efficacy signals including reduction of pleural opacity were observed.
Lutz Beckert, Ben Brockway, Graham Simpson, Anne Marie Southcott, Y.C. Gary Lee, Najib Rahman, Richard W. Light, Steven Shoemaker, John Gillies, Andrey A. Komissarov, Galina Florova, Timothy Ochran, William Bradley, Harrison Ndetan, Karan P. Singh, Krishna Sarva, Steven Idell
The E3 ubiquitin ligase Parkin plays an important role in regulating clearance of dysfunctional or unwanted mitochondria in tissues, including the heart. However, whether Parkin also functions to prevent cardiac aging by maintaining a healthy population of mitochondria is still unclear. Here, we have examined the role of Parkin in the context of mtDNA damage and myocardial aging using a mouse model carrying a proofreading defective mitochondrial DNA polymerase gamma (POLG). We observed both decreased Parkin protein levels and development of cardiac hypertrophy in POLG hearts with age; however, cardiac hypertrophy in POLG mice was neither rescued, nor worsened by cardiac specific overexpression or global deletion of Parkin, respectively. Unexpectedly, mitochondrial fitness did not substantially decline with age in POLG mice when compared to WT. We found that baseline mitophagy receptor-mediated mitochondrial turnover and biogenesis were enhanced in aged POLG hearts. We also observed the presence of megamitochondria in aged POLG hearts. Thus, these processes may limit the accumulation of dysfunctional mitochondria as well as the degree of cardiac functional impairment in the aging POLG heart. Overall, our results demonstrate that Parkin is dispensable for constitutive mitochondrial quality control in a mtDNA mutation model of cardiac aging.
Benjamin P. Woodall, Amabel M. Orogo, Rita H. Najor, Melissa Q. Cortez, Eileen R. Moreno, Hongxia Wang, Ajit S. Divakaruni, Anne N. Murphy, Asa B. Gustafsson
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