Oxygen-sensing mechanisms allow cells to adapt and respond to changes in cellular oxygen tension, including hypoxic conditions. Hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) is a central mediator in this fundamental adaptive response, and has critical functions in normal and disease physiology. Viruses have been shown to manipulate HIFs during their life cycle to facilitate replication and invasion. Conversely, HIFs are also implicated in the development of the host immune system and response to viral infections. Here, we highlight the recent revelations of host-pathogen interactions that involve the hypoxic response pathway and the role of HIF in emerging viral infectious diseases, as well as discussing potential antiviral therapeutic strategies targeting the HIF signaling axis.
Richard Huang, Melissa Huestis, Esther Shuyi Gan, Eng Eong Ooi, Michael Ohh
Roughly one year after the first case of COVID-19 was identified and less than one year after the sequencing of SARS-CoV-2, multiple SARS-CoV-2 vaccines with demonstrated safety and efficacy in phase III clinical trials are available. The most promising vaccines have targeted the surface glycoprotein (S-protein) of SARS-CoV-2 and achieved an approximate 85-95% reduction in the risk of symptomatic COVID-19, while retaining excellent safety profiles and modest side effects in the phase III clinical trials. The mRNA, replication-incompetent viral vector, and protein subunit vaccine technologies have all been successfully employed. Some novel SARS-CoV-2 variants evade but do not appear to fully overcome the potent immunity induced by these vaccines. Emerging real-world effectiveness data add evidence for protection from severe COVID-19. This is an impressive first demonstration of the effectiveness of the mRNA vaccine and vector vaccine platforms. The success of SARS-CoV-2 vaccine development should be credited to open science, industry partnerships, harmonization of clinical trials, and the altruism of study participants. The manufacturing and distribution of the emergency use-authorized SARS-CoV-2 vaccines are ongoing challenges. What remains now is to ensure broad and equitable global vaccination against COVID-19.
Jonathan L. Golob, Njira Lugogo, Adam S. Lauring, Anna S. Lok
Since their relatively recent discovery, innate lymphoid cells (ILCs) have been shown to be tissue-resident lymphocytes that are critical mediators of tissue homeostasis, regeneration, and pathogen response. However, ILC dysregulation contributes to a diverse spectrum of human diseases, spanning virtually every organ system. ILCs rapidly respond to environmental cues by altering their own phenotype and function as well as influencing the behavior of other local tissue-resident cells. With a growing understanding of ILC biology, investigators continue to elucidate mechanisms that expand our ability to phenotype, isolate, target, and expand ILCs ex vivo. With mounting preclinical data and clinical correlates, the role of ILCs in both disease pathogenesis and resolution is evident, justifying ILC manipulation for clinical benefit. This Review will highlight areas of ongoing translational research and critical questions for future study that will enable us to harness the full therapeutic potential of these captivating cells.
Laura M. Cobb, Michael R. Verneris
Critical periods are discrete developmental stages when the nervous system is especially sensitive to stimuli that facilitate circuit maturation. The distinctive landscapes assumed by the developing CNS create analogous periods of susceptibility to pathogenic insults and responsiveness to therapy. Here, we review critical periods in nervous system development and disease, with an emphasis on the neurodevelopmental disorder DYT1 dystonia. We highlight clinical and laboratory observations supporting the existence of a critical period during which the DYT1 mutation is uniquely harmful, and the implications for future therapeutic development.
Jay Li, Sumin Kim, Samuel S. Pappas, William T. Dauer
Obesity and obesity-related diseases like type 2 diabetes (T2D) are prominent global health issues; therefore, there is a need to better understand the mechanisms underlying these conditions. The onset of obesity is characterized by accumulation of proinflammatory cells, including Ly6chi monocytes (which differentiate into proinflammatory macrophages) and neutrophils, in metabolic tissues. This shift toward chronic, low-grade inflammation is an obese-state hallmark and highly linked to metabolic disorders and other obesity comorbidities. The mechanisms that induce and maintain increased inflammatory myelopoiesis are of great interest, with a recent focus on how obesity affects more primitive hematopoietic cells. The hematopoietic system is constantly replenished by proper regulation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor (HSPC) pools in the BM. While early research suggests that chronic obesity promotes expansion of myeloid-skewed HSPCs, the involvement of the hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) niche in regulating obesity-induced myelopoiesis remains undefined. In this review, we explore the role of the multicellular HSC niche in hematopoiesis and inflammation, and the potential contribution of this niche to the hematopoietic response to obesity. This review further aims to summarize the potential HSC niche involvement as a target of obesity-induced inflammation and a driver of obesity-induced myelopoiesis.
Emily Bowers, Kanakadurga Singer
RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) are essential factors required for the physiological function of neurons, muscle, and other tissue types. In keeping with this, a growing body of genetic, clinical, and pathological evidence indicates that RBP dysfunction and/or gene mutation leads to neurodegeneration and myopathy. Here, we summarize the current understanding of matrin 3 (MATR3), a poorly understood RBP implicated not only in ALS and frontotemporal dementia but also in distal myopathy. We begin by reviewing MATR3’s functions, its regulation, and how it may be involved in both sporadic and familial neuromuscular disease. We also discuss insights gleaned from cellular and animal models of MATR3 pathogenesis, the links between MATR3 and other disease-associated RBPs, and the mechanisms underlying RBP-mediated disorders.
Ahmed M. Malik, Sami J. Barmada
The skin serves as the primary interface between our body and the external environment and acts as a barrier against entry of physical agents, chemicals, and microbes. Keratinocytes make up the main cellular constitute of the outermost layer of the skin, contributing to the formation of the epidermis, and they are crucial for maintaining the integrity of this barrier. Beyond serving as a physical barrier component, keratinocytes actively participate in maintaining tissue homeostasis, shaping, amplifying, and regulating immune responses in skin. Keratinocytes act as sentinels, continuously monitoring changes in the environment, and, through microbial sensing, stretch, or other physical stimuli, can initiate a broad range of inflammatory responses via secretion of various cytokines, chemokines, and growth factors. This diverse function of keratinocytes contributes to the highly variable clinical manifestation of skin immune responses. In this Review, we highlight the highly diverse functions of epidermal keratinocytes and their contribution to various immune-mediated skin diseases.
Yanyun Jiang, Lam C. Tsoi, Allison C. Billi, Nicole L. Ward, Paul W. Harms, Chang Zeng, Emanual Maverakis, J. Michelle Kahlenberg, Johann E. Gudjonsson
COVID-19, the disease caused by severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus-2 (SARS-CoV-2) has resulted in a global pandemic and a disruptive health crisis. COVID-19-related morbidity and mortality has been attributed to an exaggerated immune response. The role of complement activation and its contribution to illness severity is being increasingly recognized. Here, we summarize current knowledge about the interaction of coronaviruses with the complement system. We posit that: (a) coronaviruses activate multiple complement pathways; (b) severe COVID-19 clinical features often resemble complementopathies; (c) the combined effects of complement activation, dysregulated neutrophilia, endothelial injury, and hypercoagulability appear to be intertwined to drive the severe features of COVID-19; (d) a subset of patients with COVID-19 may have a genetic predisposition associated with complement dysregulation; and (e) these observations create a basis for clinical trials of complement inhibitors in life-threatening illness.
Anuja Java, Anthony J. Apicelli, M. Kathryn Liszewski, Ariella Coler-Reilly, John P. Atkinson, Alfred H.J. Kim, Hrishikesh S. Kulkarni
Recent large-scale GWAS and large epidemiologic studies have accelerated the discovery of genes and environmental factors that contribute to the risk of keratinocyte carcinoma (KC), which includes basal cell carcinoma (BCC) and squamous cell carcinoma (SCC). This Review summarizes the genomic regions associated with SCC and BCC risk, examines the genetic overlap between SCC and BCC, and discusses biological pathways involved in SCC and BCC development. Next, we review environmental factors that are associated with KC risk, including those that are shared between SCC and BCC as well as others that associated with only one type of KC. We conclude with a critical appraisal of current research and potential directions for future research.
Hélène Choquet, Sepideh Ashrafzadeh, Yuhree Kim, Maryam M. Asgari, Eric Jorgenson
Protection from relapse after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT) is partly due to donor T cell–mediated graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) immune responses. Relapse remains common in HCT recipients, but strategies to augment GVL could significantly improve outcomes after HCT. Donor T cells with αβ T cell receptors (TCRs) mediate GVL through recognition of minor histocompatibility antigens and alloantigens in HLA-matched and -mismatched HCT, respectively. αβ T cells specific for other leukemia-associated antigens, including nonpolymorphic antigens and neoantigens, may also deliver an antileukemic effect. γδ T cells may contribute to GVL, although their biology and specificity are less well understood. Vaccination or adoptive transfer of donor-derived T cells with natural or transgenic receptors are strategies with potential to selectively enhance αβ and γδ T cell GVL effects.
Melinda A. Biernacki, Vipul S. Sheth, Marie Bleakley
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