Extracellular cold-inducible RNA-binding protein (eCIRP) is a recently-discovered damage-associated molecular pattern. Understanding the precise mechanism by which it exacerbates inflammation is essential. Here we identified that eCIRP is a new biologically active endogenous ligand of triggering receptor expressed on myeloid cells-1 (TREM-1), fueling inflammation in sepsis. Surface plasmon resonance revealed a strong binding affinity between eCIRP and TREM-1, and FRET assay confirmed eCIRP’s interaction with TREM-1 in macrophages. Targeting TREM-1 by its siRNA or a decoy peptide LP17 or by using TREM-1-/- mice dramatically reduced eCIRP-induced inflammation. We developed a novel 7-aa peptide derived from human eCIRP, M3, which blocked the interaction of TREM-1 and eCIRP. M3 suppressed inflammation induced by eCIRP or agonist TREM-1 Ab crosslinking in murine macrophages or human peripheral blood monocytes. M3 also inhibited eCIRP-induced systemic inflammation and tissue injury. Treatment with M3 further protected mice from sepsis, improved acute lung injury, and increased survival. Thus, we have discovered a novel TREM-1 ligand and developed a new peptide M3 to block the eCIRP-TREM-1 interaction and improve the outcomes in sepsis.
Naomi-Liza Denning, Monowar Aziz, Atsushi Murao, Steven D. Gurien, Mahendar Ochani, Jose M. Prince, Ping Wang
Extracellular cold-inducible RNA-binding protein (eCIRP) is a damage-associated molecular pattern, whose effect on macrophages is not entirely elucidated. Here we identified that eCIRP promotes macrophage endotoxin tolerance. Septic mice had higher serum levels of eCIRP; this was associated with a reduced ex vivo immune response of their splenocytes to LPS. Pretreatment of macrophages with recombinant murine (rm) CIRP resulted in a tolerance to LPS stimulation as demonstrated by a significant reduction of TNF-α production. We found that eCIRP increased phosphorylation of STAT3 (pSTAT3) in macrophages. A STAT3 inhibitor, Stattic, rescued macrophages from rmCIRP-induced tolerance by restoring the release of TNF-α in response to LPS stimulation. We discovered strong binding affinity between eCIRP and IL-6R as revealed by Biacore, FRET, and their co-localization in macrophages by immunostaining assays. Blockade of IL-6R with its neutralizing Ab significantly inhibited eCIRP-induced pSTAT3 and restored LPS-stimulated TNF-α release in macrophages. Incubation of macrophages with rmCIRP skewed them towards a M2 phenotype, while treatment with anti-IL-6R Ab prevented rmCIRP-induced M2 polarization. Thus, we have demonstrated that eCIRP activates pSTAT3 via a novel receptor IL-6R to promote macrophage endotoxin tolerance. Targeting eCIRP appears to be a new therapeutic option to correct immune-tolerance in sepsis.
Mian Zhou, Monowar Aziz, Naomi-Liza Denning, Hao-Ting Yen, Gaifeng Ma, Ping Wang
Recent studies have presented compelling evidence that it is not tissue-resident, but rather monocyte-derived alveolar macrophages (TR-AMs vs. Mo-AMs) are essential to development of experimental lung fibrosis. However, whether Apolipoprotein E (ApoE), which is produced abundantly by Mo-AMs in the lung, plays a role in the pathogenesis is unclear. In this study, we found that pulmonary ApoE was almost exclusively produced by Mo-AMs in mice with bleomycin induced lung fibrosis. We showed although ApoE was not necessary for developing maximal fibrosis in bleomycin injured lung, it was required for the resolution of this pathology. We found that ApoE directly bound to Collagen I and mediated Collagen I phagocytosis in vitro and in vivo, and this process was dependent on low density lipoprotein receptor-related protein 1 (LPR1). Furthermore, interference of ApoE/LRP1 interaction impaired the resolution of lung fibrosis in bleomycin treated wild-type mice. In contrast, supplementation of ApoE promoted this process in ApoE–/– animals. In conclusion, Mo-AM derived ApoE is beneficial to the resolution of lung fibrosis, supporting the notion that Mo-AMs may have distinct functions in different phases of lung fibrogenesis. The findings also suggest a novel therapeutic target for treating lung fibrosis, to which effective remedies remain scarce.
Huachun Cui, Dingyuan Jiang, Sami Banerjee, Na Xie, Tejaswini Kulkarni, Rui-Ming Liu, Steven R. Duncan, Gang Liu
The mitochondrial calcium uniporter is widely accepted as the primary route of rapid calcium entry into mitochondria, where increases in matrix calcium contribute to bioenergetics but also mitochondrial permeability and cell death. Hence, regulation of uniporter activity is critical to mitochondrial homeostasis. The uniporter subunit EMRE is known to be an essential regulator of the channel-forming protein MCU in cell culture, but EMRE’s impact on organismal physiology is less understood. Here we characterize a novel mouse model of EMRE deletion and show that EMRE is indeed required for mitochondrial calcium uniporter function in vivo. EMRE–/– mice are born less frequently; however, the mice which are born are viable, healthy, and do not manifest overt metabolic impairment, at rest or with exercise. Finally, to investigate the role of EMRE in disease processes, we examine the effects of EMRE deletion in a muscular dystrophy model associated with mitochondrial calcium overload.
Julia C. Liu, Nicole C. Syder, Nima S. Ghorashi, Thomas B. Willingham, Randi J. Parks, Junhui Sun, Maria M. Fergusson, Jie Liu, Kira M. Holmström, Sara Menazza, Danielle A. Springer, Chengyu Liu, Brian Glancy, Toren Finkel, Elizabeth Murphy
Decades ago, investigators reported that mice lacking DLX1 and DLX2, transcription factors expressed in the enteric nervous system (ENS), die with possible bowel motility problems. These problems were never fully elucidated. We found that mice lacking DLX1 and DLX2 (Dlx1/2-/- mice) had slower small bowel transit and reduced or absent neurally-mediated contraction complexes. In contrast, small bowel motility seemed normal in adult mice lacking DLX1 (Dlx1-/-). Even with detailed anatomic studies, we found no defects in ENS precursor migration, or neuron and glia density, in Dlx1/2-/- or Dlx1-/- mice. However, RNA sequencing of Dlx1/2-/- ENS revealed dysregulation of many genes, including vasoactive intestinal peptide (Vip). Our study reveals a novel connection between Dlx genes and Vip and highlights the observation that dangerous bowel motility problems can occur in the absence of easily identifiable ENS structural defects. These findings may be relevant for disorders like chronic intestinal pseudo-obstruction (CIPO) syndrome.
Christina M. Wright, James P. Garifallou, Sabine Schneider, Heather L. Mentch, Deepika R. Kothakapa, Beth A. Maguire, Robert O. Heuckeroth
In recent years, CAR-T cell therapy has proven to be a promising approach against cancer. Nonetheless, this approach still faces multiple challenges in eliminating solid tumors, one of which being the immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment (TME). Here we demonstrated that knocking out the endogenous TGFβ receptor II (TGFBR2) in CAR-T cells with CRISPR/Cas9 technology could reduce the induced regulatory T-cell (iTreg) conversion and prevent the exhaustion of CAR-T cells. Meanwhile, TGFBR2 edited CAR-T cells had better in vivo tumor elimination efficacy, both in cell line derived xenograft (CDX) and patient derived xenograft (PDX) solid tumor models, whether administered locally or systemically. In addition, the TGFBR2 edited CAR-T cells could eliminate contralaterally re-inoculated xenografts in mice effectively with an increased proportion of central memory and effector memory subsets. In conclusion, we greatly improved the in vitro and in vivo function of CAR-T cells in TGFβ-rich tumor environments by knocking out endogenous TGFBR2, proposing a new method to improve the efficacy of CAR-T cell therapy for treating solid tumors.
Na Tang, Chen Cheng, Xingying Zhang, Miaomiao Qiao, Na Li, Wei Mu, Xiao-Fei Wei, Weidong Han, Haoyi Wang
The HIV latent reservoir in resting memory CD4+ T cells prevents cure. Therapeutics to reactivate and eliminate this reservoir are in clinical trials in adults, but not in pediatric populations. We determined, ex vivo, the inducibility and size of the latent reservoir in perinatal compared with adult infections using the Tat/rev Induced Limiting Dilution Assay (TILDA), in which a single-round (12hr) of CD4+ T cell stimulation with PMA/ionomycin maximally activates T cells and leads to proviral expression with multiply-spliced HIV RNA production. Markers of immune activation and exhaustion were measured to assess interactions with inducibility. Despite similar rates of T cell activation with PMA/ionomycin, the latent reservoir in perinatal infection is slower to reactivate and of lower magnitude compared to adult infection, independent of proviral load. An enhanced TILDA with the addition of phytohemagglutin and for 18 hours augmented proviral expression in perinatal but not adult infection. Baseline HLA–DR+ CD4+ T cells was significantly lower in perinatal compared with adult infections, but not correlated with induced reservoir size. These data support differences in baseline immune activation and kinetics of latency reversal in perinatal compared with adult infections, with implications for latency reversal strategies towards reservoir clearance and remission.
Adit Dhummakupt, Jessica H. Rubens, Thuy Anderson, Laura Powell, Bareng A.S. Nonyane, Lilly V. Siems, Aleisha Collinson-Streng, Tricia L. Nilles, R. Brad Jones, Vicki Tepper, Allison Agwu, Deborah Persaud
Inherited bone marrow failure syndromes (IBMFSs) such as Fanconi Anemia (FA) and Shwachman-Diamond syndrome (SDS) feature progressive cytopenia and a risk of acute myeloid leukemia (AML). Using deep phenotypic analysis of early progenitors in FA/SDS bone marrow samples we revealed selective survival of progenitors that phenotypically resembled granulocyte-monocyte progenitors (GMP). Whole exome and targeted sequencing of GMP-like cells in leukemia-free patients revealed a higher mutation load than in healthy controls and molecular changes that are characteristic of AML: increased G>A/C>T variants, decreased A>G/T>C variants, increased trinucleotide mutations at Xp(C>T)pT and decreased mutation rates at Xp(C>T)pG sites compared to other Xp(C>T)pX sites and enrichment for Cancer signature 1 (X indicates any nucleotide). Potential pre-leukemic targets in the GMP-like cells from FA/SDS patients included SYNE1, DST, HUWE1, LRP2, NOTCH2 and TP53. Serial analysis of GMPs from a SDS patient, who progressed to leukemia revealed a gradual increase in mutational burden, enrichment of G>A/C>T signature and emergence of new clones. Interestingly, the molecular signature of marrow cells from two FA/SDS patients with leukemia was similar to that of FA/SDS patients without transformation. The predicted founding clones in SDS-AML harbored mutations in several genes including TP53, while in FA-AML the mutated genes included ARID1B and SFPQ. We described an architectural change in the hematopoietic hierarchy of FA/SDS with remarkable preservation of GMP-like populations harboring unique mutation signatures. GMP-like cells might represent a cellular reservoir for clonal evolution.
Stephanie Claudia Heidemann, Brian Bursic, Sasan Zandi, Hongbing Li, Sagi Abelson, Robert J. Klaassen, Sharon Abish, Meera S Rayar, Vicky R. Breakey, Houtan Moshiri, Santhosh Dhanraj, Richard de Borja, Adam Shlien, John E. Dick, Yigal Dror
Group-2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) are a critical innate source of type-2 cytokines in allergic inflammation. Although ILC2s are recognized as a critical cell population in the allergic inflammation, the regulatory mechanism(s) of ILC2s are less well understood. Here, we show that Regnase-1, an immune-regulatory RNase that degrades inflammatory mRNAs, negatively regulates ILC2 function, and that IkB kinase (IKK) complex-mediated Regnase-1 degradation is essential for IL-33– and IL-25–induced ILC2 activation. ILC2s from Regnase-1AA/AA mice expressing a Regnase-1 S435A/S439A mutant resistant to IKK complex-mediated degradation, accumulated Regnase-1 protein in response to IL-33 and IL-25. IL-33– and IL-25–stimulated Regnase-1AA/AA ILC2s showed reduced cell proliferation and type-2 cytokine (IL-5, IL-9, and IL-13) production and increased cell death. In addition, Il2ra and Il1rl1, but not Il5, Il9, or Il13, mRNAs were destabilized in IL-33–stimulated Regnase-1AA/AA ILC2s. In vivo, Regnase-1AA/AA mice showed attenuated acute type-2 pulmonary inflammation induced by the instillation of IL-33, IL-25, or papain. Furthermore, the expulsion of Nippostrongylus brasiliensis was significantly delayed in Regnase-1AA/AA mice. These results demonstrate that IKK complex-mediated Regnase-1 degradation is essential for ILC2s-mediated type-2 responses both in vitro and in vivo. Therefore, controlling Regnase-1 degradation is a potential therapeutic target for ILC2-contributed allergic disorders.
Kazufumi Matsushita, Hiroki Tanaka, Koubun Yasuda, Takumi Adachi, Ayumi Fukuoka, Shoko Akasaki, Atsuhide Koida, Etsushi Kuroda, Shizuo Akira, Tomohiro Yoshimoto
Lesch–Nyhan disease (LND) is a rare monogenic disease caused by deficiency of the salvage pathway enzyme hypoxanthine–guanine phosphoribosyltransferase (HGPRT) and is characterized by severe neuropsychiatric symptoms that currently cannot be treated. Predictive in vivo models are lacking for screening and evaluating candidate drugs because LND-associated neurological symptoms are not recapitulated in HGPRT-deficient animals. Here, we used human neural stem cells and neurons derived from induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) of children affected by LND to identify neural phenotypes of interest associated with HGPRT deficiency to develop a target-agnostic-based drug screening system. We screened more than 3000 molecules and identified 6 pharmacological compounds, all possessing an adenosine moiety, that corrected HGPRT deficiency-associated neuronal phenotypes by promoting metabolism compensations in an HGPRT-independent manner. This included S-adenosylmethionine (SAM), a compound that had already been used as a compassionate approach to ease the neuropsychiatric symptoms in LND. Interestingly, these compounds compensate abnormal metabolism in a manner complementary to the gold standard allopurinol and can be provided to LND patients via simple food supplementation. This experimental paradigm can be easily adapted to other metabolic disorders affecting normal brain development and functioning in the absence of a relevant animal model.
Valentin Ruillier, Johana Tournois, Claire Boissart, Marie Lasbareilles, Gurvan Mahé, Laure Chatrousse, Michel Cailleret, Marc Peschanski, Alexandra Benchoua
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