Alteration of innate immune cells in the lungs can promote loss of peripheral tolerance that leads to autoimmune responses in cigarette smokers. Development of autoimmunity in smokers with emphysema is also strongly linked to the expansion of autoreactive T helper (Th) cells expressing interferon gamma (Th1), and interleukin 17A (Th17). However, the mechanisms responsible for enhanced self-recognition and reduced immune tolerance in smoker with emphysema remain less clear. Here we show that C1q, a component of the complement protein 1 complex (C1), is downregulated in lung CD1a+ antigen presenting cells (APCs) isolated from emphysematous human, and mouse lung APCs after chronic cigarette smoke exposure. C1q potentiated the function of APCs to differentiate CD4+ T cells to Tregs, while it inhibited Th17 cell development and proliferation. Mice deficient in C1q that were exposed to chronic smoke exhibited exaggerated lung inflammation marked by increased Th17 cells, while reconstitution of C1q in the lungs enhanced Tregs abundance, dampened smoke-induced lung inflammation, and reversed established emphysema. Our findings demonstrate that cigarette smoke-mediated loss of C1q could play a key role in reduced peripheral tolerance, which could be explored to treat emphysema.
Xiaoyi Yuan, Cheng-Yen Chang, Ran You, Ming Shan, Bon Hee Gu, Matthew Madison, Gretchen Diehl, Sarah Perusich, Li-Zhen Song, Lorraine Cornwell, Roger D. Rossen, Rick Wetsel, Rajapakshe Kimal, Cristian Coarfa, Holger Eltzschig, David B. Corry, Farrah Kheradmand
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
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
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies have achieved promising outcomes in several cancers, however more challenging oncology indications may necessitate advanced antigen receptor designs and functions. Here we describe a bipartite receptor system comprised of separate antigen targeting and signal transduction polypeptides, each containing an extracellular dimerization domain. We demonstrate that T cell activation remains antigen dependent but can only be achieved in the presence of a dimerizing drug, rapamycin. Studies performed in vitro and in xenograft mouse models illustrate equivalent to superior anti-tumor potency compared to currently used CAR designs, and at rapamycin concentrations well below immunosuppressive levels. We further show that the extracellular positioning of the dimerization domains enables the administration of recombinant re-targeting modules, potentially extending antigen targeting. Overall, this novel regulatable CAR design has exquisite drug sensitivity, provides robust anti-tumor responses, and is uniquely flexible for multiplex antigen targeting or retargeting, which may further assist the development of safe, potent and durable T cell therapeutics.
Wai-Hang Leung, Joel Gay, Unja Martin, Tracy E. Garrett, Holly M. Horton, Michael T. Certo, Bruce R. Blazar, Richard A. Morgan, Philip D. Gregory, Jordan Jarjour, Alexander Astrakhan
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