Lysine-63–linked (K63-linked) polyubiquitination of TRAF3 coordinates the engagement of pattern-recognition receptors with recruited adaptor proteins and downstream activator TBK1 in pathways that induce type I IFN. Whether autoubiquitination or other E3 ligases mediate K63-linked TRAF3 polyubiquitination remains unclear. We demonstrated that mice deficient in the E3 ligase gene Hectd3 remarkably increased host defense against infection by intracellular bacteria Francisella novicida, Mycobacterium, and Listeria by limiting bacterial dissemination. In the absence of HECTD3, type I IFN response was impaired during bacterial infection both in vivo and in vitro. HECTD3 regulated type I IFN production by mediating K63-linked polyubiquitination of TRAF3 at residue K138. The catalytic domain of HECTD3 regulated TRAF3 K63 polyubiquitination, which enabled TRAF3-TBK1 complex formation. Our study offers insights into mechanisms of TRAF3 modulation and provides potential therapeutic targets against infections by intracellular bacteria and inflammatory diseases.
Fubing Li, Yang Li, Huichun Liang, Tao Xu, Yanjie Kong, Maobo Huang, Ji Xiao, Xi Chen, Houjun Xia, Yingying Wu, Zhongmei Zhou, Xiaomin Guo, Chunmiao Hu, Chuanyu Yang, Xu Cheng, Ceshi Chen, Xiaopeng Qi
HIV posttreatment controllers (PTCs) represent a natural model of sustained HIV remission, but they are rare and little is known about their viral reservoir. We obtained 1,450 proviral sequences after near-full-length amplification for 10 PTCs and 16 posttreatment noncontrollers (NCs). Before treatment interruption, the median intact and total reservoir size in PTCs was 7-fold lower than in NCs, but the proportion of intact, defective, and total clonally expanded proviral genomes was not significantly different between the 2 groups. Quantification of total but not intact proviral genome copies predicted sustained HIV remission as 81% of NCs, but none of the PTCs had a total proviral genome greater than 4 copies per million peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). The results highlight the restricted intact and defective HIV reservoir in PTCs and suggest that total proviral genome burden could act as the first biomarker for identifying PTCs. Total and defective but not intact proviral copy numbers correlated with levels of cell-associated HIV RNA, activated NK cell percentages, and both HIV-specific CD4+ and CD8+ responses. These results support the concept that defective HIV genomes can lead to viral antigen production and interact with both the innate and adaptive immune systems.
Radwa Sharaf, Guinevere Q. Lee, Xiaoming Sun, Behzad Etemad, Layla M. Aboukhater, Zixin Hu, Zabrina L. Brumme, Evgenia Aga, Ronald J. Bosch, Ying Wen, Golnaz Namazi, Ce Gao, Edward P. Acosta, Rajesh T. Gandhi, Jeffrey M. Jacobson, Daniel Skiest, David M. Margolis, Ronald Mitsuyasu, Paul Volberding, Elizabeth Connick, Daniel R. Kuritzkes, Michael M. Lederman, Xu G. Yu, Mathias Lichterfeld, Jonathan Z. Li
Rearrangements involving the neurotrophic receptor kinase genes (NTRK1, NTRK2, and NTRK3; hereafter referred to as TRK) produce oncogenic fusions in a wide variety of cancers in adults and children. Although TRK fusions occur in fewer than 1% of all solid tumors, inhibition of TRK results in profound therapeutic responses, resulting in Breakthrough Therapy FDA approval of the TRK inhibitor larotrectinib for adult and pediatric patients with solid tumors, regardless of histology. In contrast to solid tumors, the frequency of TRK fusions and the clinical effects of targeting TRK in hematologic malignancies are unknown. Here, through an evaluation for TRK fusions across more than 7,000 patients with hematologic malignancies, we identified TRK fusions in acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), acute myeloid leukemia (AML), histiocytosis, multiple myeloma, and dendritic cell neoplasms. Although TRK fusions occurred in only 0.1% of patients (8 of 7,311 patients), they conferred responsiveness to TRK inhibition in vitro and in vivo in a patient-derived xenograft and a corresponding AML patient with ETV6-NTRK2 fusion. These data identify that despite their individual rarity, collectively, TRK fusions are present in a wide variety of hematologic malignancies and predict clinically significant therapeutic responses to TRK inhibition.
Justin Taylor, Dean Pavlick, Akihide Yoshimi, Christina Marcelus, Stephen S. Chung, Jaclyn F. Hechtman, Ryma Benayed, Emiliano Cocco, Benjamin H. Durham, Lillian Bitner, Daichi Inoue, Young Rock Chung, Kerry Mullaney, Justin M. Watts, Eli L. Diamond, Lee A. Albacker, Tariq I. Mughal, Kevin Ebata, Brian B. Tuch, Nora Ku, Maurizio Scaltriti, Mikhail Roshal, Maria Arcila, Siraj Ali, David M. Hyman, Jae H. Park, Omar Abdel-Wahab
BACKGROUND. The circadian clock is a fundamental and pervasive biological program that coordinates 24-hour rhythms in physiology, metabolism, and behavior, and it is essential to health. Whereas therapy adapted to time of day is increasingly reported to be highly successful, it needs to be personalized, since internal circadian time is different for each individual. In addition, internal time is not a stable trait, but is influenced by many factors, including genetic predisposition, age, sex, environmental light levels, and season. An easy and convenient diagnostic tool is currently missing. METHODS. To establish a validated test, we followed a 3-stage biomarker development strategy: (a) using circadian transcriptomics of blood monocytes from 12 individuals in a constant routine protocol combined with machine learning approaches, we identified biomarkers for internal time; and these biomarkers (b) were migrated to a clinically relevant gene expression profiling platform (NanoString) and (c) were externally validated using an independent study with 28 early or late chronotypes. RESULTS. We developed a highly accurate and simple assay (BodyTime) to estimate the internal circadian time in humans from a single blood sample. Our assay needs only a small set of blood-based transcript biomarkers and is as accurate as the current gold standard method, dim-light melatonin onset, at smaller monetary, time, and sample-number cost. CONCLUSION. The BodyTime assay provides a new diagnostic tool for personalization of health care according to the patient’s circadian clock. FUNDING. This study was supported by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, Germany (FKZ: 13N13160 and 13N13162) and Intellux GmbH, Germany.
Nicole Wittenbrink, Bharath Ananthasubramaniam, Mirjam Münch, Barbara Koller, Bert Maier, Charlotte Weschke, Frederik Bes, Jan de Zeeuw, Claudia Nowozin, Amely Wahnschaffe, Sophia Wisniewski, Mandy Zaleska, Osnat Bartok, Reut Ashwal-Fluss, Hedwig Lammert, Hanspeter Herzel, Michael Hummel, Sebastian Kadener, Dieter Kunz, Achim Kramer
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) densely accumulate into tumors and potently suppress antitumor immune responses, promoting tumor development. Targeting MDSCs in tumor immunotherapy has been hampered by lack of understanding of the molecular pathways that govern MDSC differentiation and function. Herein, we identify autophagy as a crucial pathway for MDSC-mediated suppression of antitumor immunity. Specifically, MDSCs in patients with melanoma and mouse melanoma exhibited increased levels of functional autophagy. Ablation of autophagy in myeloid cells markedly delayed tumor growth and endowed antitumor immune responses. Notably, tumor-infiltrating autophagy-deficient monocytic MDSCs (M-MDSCs) demonstrated impaired suppressive activity in vitro and in vivo, whereas transcriptome analysis revealed substantial differences in genes related to lysosomal function. Accordingly, autophagy-deficient M-MDSCs exhibited impaired lysosomal degradation, thereby enhancing surface expression of MHC class II molecules, resulting in efficient activation of tumor-specific CD4+ T cells. Finally, targeting of the membrane-associated RING-CH1 (MARCH1) E3 ubiquitin ligase that mediates the lysosomal degradation of MHC II in M-MDSCs attenuated their suppressive function, and resulted in markedly decreased tumor volume followed by development of a robust antitumor immunity. Collectively, these findings depict autophagy as a molecular target of MDSC-mediated suppression of antitumor immunity.
Themis Alissafi, Aikaterini Hatzioannou, Konstantinos Mintzas, Roza Maria Barouni, Aggelos Banos, Sundary Sormendi, Alexandros Polyzos, Maria Xilouri, Ben Wielockx, Helen Gogas, Panayotis Verginis
Pain signals are transmitted by multisynaptic glutamatergic pathways. Their first synapse between primary nociceptors and excitatory spinal interneurons gates the sensory load. In this pathway, glutamate release is orchestrated by Ca2+-sensor proteins, with N-terminal EF-hand Ca2+-binding protein 2 (NECAB2) being particular abundant. However, neither the importance of NECAB2+ neuronal contingents in dorsal root ganglia (DRGs) and spinal cord nor the function determination by NECAB2 has been defined. A combination of histochemical analyses and single-cell RNA-sequencing showed NECAB2 in small- and medium-sized C- and Aδ D-hair low-threshold mechanoreceptors in DRGs, as well as in protein kinase C γ excitatory spinal interneurons. NECAB2 was downregulated by peripheral nerve injury, leading to the hypothesis that NECAB2 loss of function could limit pain sensation. Indeed, Necab2–/– mice reached a pain-free state significantly faster after peripheral inflammation than did WT littermates. Genetic access to transiently activated neurons revealed that a mediodorsal cohort of NECAB2+ neurons mediates inflammatory pain in the mouse spinal dorsal horn. Here, besides dampening excitatory transmission in spinal interneurons, NECAB2 limited pronociceptive brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) release from sensory afferents. Hoxb8-dependent reinstatement of NECAB2 expression in Necab2–/– mice then demonstrated that spinal and DRG NECAB2 alone could control inflammation-induced sensory hypersensitivity. Overall, we identify NECAB2 as a critical component of pronociceptive pain signaling, whose inactivation offers substantial pain relief.
Ming-Dong Zhang, Jie Su, Csaba Adori, Valentina Cinquina, Katarzyna Malenczyk, Fatima Girach, Changgeng Peng, Patrik Ernfors, Peter Löw, Lotta Borgius, Ole Kiehn, Masahiko Watanabe, Mathias Uhlén, Nicholas Mitsios, Jan Mulder, Tibor Harkany, Tomas Hökfelt
Anaplastic thyroid carcinomas (ATCs) have a high prevalence of BRAF and TP53 mutations. A trial of vemurafenib in nonmelanoma BRAFV600E-mutant cancers showed significant, although short-lived, responses in ATCs, indicating that these virulent tumors remain addicted to BRAF despite their high mutation burden. To explore the mechanisms mediating acquired resistance to BRAF blockade, we generated mice with thyroid-specific deletion of p53 and dox-dependent expression of BRAFV600E, 50% of which developed ATCs after dox treatment. Upon dox withdrawal there was complete regression in all mice, although recurrences were later detected in 85% of animals. The relapsed tumors had elevated MAPK transcriptional output, and retained responses to the MEK/RAF inhibitor CH5126766 in vivo and in vitro. Whole-exome sequencing identified recurrent focal amplifications of chromosome 6, with a minimal region of overlap that included Met. Met-amplified recurrences overexpressed the receptor as well as its ligand Hgf. Growth, signaling, and viability of Met-amplified tumor cells were suppressed in vitro and in vivo by the Met kinase inhibitors PF-04217903 and crizotinib, whereas primary ATCs and Met-diploid relapses were resistant. Hence, recurrences are the rule after BRAF suppression in murine ATCs, most commonly due to activation of HGF/MET signaling, which generates exquisite dependency to MET kinase inhibitors.
Jeffrey A. Knauf, Kathleen A. Luckett, Kuen-Yuan Chen, Francesca Voza, Nicholas D. Socci, Ronald Ghossein, James A. Fagin
In the mid-1990s, whole-cell pertussis (wP) vaccines were associated with local and systemic adverse events that prompted their replacement with acellular pertussis (aP) vaccines in many high-income countries. In the past decade, rates of pertussis disease have increased in children receiving only aP vaccines. We compared the immune responses to aP boosters in individuals who received their initial doses with either wP or aP vaccines using activation-induced marker (AIM) assays. Specifically, we examined pertussis-specific memory CD4+ T cell responses ex vivo, highlighting a type 2/Th2 versus type 1/Th1 and Th17 differential polarization as a function of childhood vaccination. Remarkably, after a contemporary aP booster, cells from donors originally primed with aP were (a) associated with increased IL-4, IL-5, IL-13, IL-9, and TGF-β and decreased IFN-γ and IL-17 production, (b) defective in their ex vivo capacity to expand memory cells, and (c) less capable of proliferating in vitro. These differences appeared to be T cell specific, since equivalent increases of antibody titers and plasmablasts after aP boost were seen in both groups. In conclusion, our data suggest that there are long-lasting effects and differences in polarization and proliferation of T cell responses in adults originally vaccinated with aP compared with those that initially received wP, despite repeated acellular boosters.
Ricardo da Silva Antunes, Mariana Babor, Chelsea Carpenter, Natalie Khalil, Mario Cortese, Alexander J. Mentzer, Grégory Seumois, Christopher D. Petro, Lisa A. Purcell, Pandurangan Vijayanand, Shane Crotty, Bali Pulendran, Bjoern Peters, Alessandro Sette
While disorders of impaired vitamin D activation and action have long been appreciated, the consequences of abnormalities in pathways leading to the inactivation of vitamin D metabolites have only recently been identified. Two recent articles have shed new light on this area of vitamin D biology. The report by Martineau et al., published in the JCI, describes a pathway in which binding of the vitamin D metabolite 24R,25(OH)2D3 to its effector molecule FAM57B2 plays an important role in endochondral ossification during bone repair. This work follows, and adds to, another recent JCI publication by Roizen et al., showing that rapid inactivation of vitamin D metabolites causes vitamin D deficiency, leading to vitamin D–dependent rickets.
Marie B. Demay
Mutations underlie all cancers, and their identification and study are the foundation of cancer biology. We describe what we believe to be a novel approach to mutagenesis and cancer studies based on the DNA polymerase ε (POLE) ultramutator phenotype recently described in human cancers, in which a single amino acid substitution (most commonly P286R) in the proofreading domain results in error-prone DNA replication. We engineered a conditional PoleP286R allele in mice. PoleP286R/+ embryonic fibroblasts exhibited a striking mutator phenotype and immortalized more efficiently. PoleP286R/+ mice were born at Mendelian ratios but rapidly developed lethal cancers of diverse lineages, yielding the most cancer-prone monoallelic model described to date, to our knowledge. Comprehensive whole-genome sequencing analyses showed that the cancers were driven by high base substitution rates in the range of human cancers, overcoming a major limitation of previous murine cancer models. These data establish polymerase-mediated ultramutagenesis as an efficient in vivo approach for the generation of diverse animal cancer models that recapitulate the high mutational loads inherent to human cancers.
Hao-Dong Li, Ileana Cuevas, Musi Zhang, Changzheng Lu, Md Maksudul Alam, Yang-Xin Fu, M. James You, Esra A. Akbay, He Zhang, Diego H. Castrillon
The mechanisms responsible for the development of the impaired awareness of hypoglycemia often seen in insulin-treated patients with diabetes remain uncertain, but cerebral adaptations to recurrent hypoglycemia are frequently hypothesized. In this issue of the JCI, Ma et al. demonstrate that neuropeptide Y (NPY) secretion from adrenal chromaffin cells persists during exposure to recurrent hypoglycemia and activation of the sympathetic nerves at the same time that epinephrine secretion is reduced. This results in the inhibition of tyrosine hydroxylase, the rate-limiting enzyme for catecholamine synthesis. These observations suggest that a peripheral mechanism downstream from the brain contributes to the development of impaired awareness of hypoglycemia.
Elizabeth R. Seaquist
The introduction of a whole-cell vaccine against Bordetella pertussis, the causative agent of whooping cough, dramatically reduced disease incidence. Unfortunately, the whole-cell formulation also induces severe reactions in some infants. Because of this, acellular vaccines have been developed, but they are used exclusively in high-income countries. However, the acellular vaccines do not provide long-term protection, and despite the use of routine boosters, the disease is on the rise. In this issue of the JCI, da Silva Antunes and colleagues demonstrate that the whole-cell vaccines promote long-term polarization toward Th1 and Th17 responses, while the acellular vaccines induce Th2 polarization. Moreover, this polarization is long term, as the response to acellular boosters is dependent on the initial vaccine given in infancy. The authors speculate that Tregs may be induced by initial acellular vaccine administration. The results of this study have important implications for the development of pertussis vaccination strategies that would induce Th1 and Th17 polarization.
Stanley A. Plotkin
Although mutant forms of the gene encoding surfactant protein C (SFTPC) have been linked to interstitial lung disease, the mechanisms by which the most common of these mutations, SFTPCI73T, results in lung fibrosis are uncertain. In this issue of the JCI, Nureki et al. developed a knockin mouse model and showed that SFTPCI73T is expressed by alveolar type II (AT2) epithelial cells in the lungs. These mice developed an age-related fibrotic phenotype when the mutant allele was expressed at low levels and acute lung inflammation/injury followed by lung fibrosis when mutant SFTPCI73T expression was enhanced. This work provides important information regarding the impact of AT2 cell dysfunction on fibrotic remodeling in the lungs.
Timothy S. Blackwell
T cell–dependent germinal center (GC) reactions are the pinnacle of adaptive immune responses, with profound effects on human health and disease. It has long been known that ligands of an innate immune pattern recognition receptor subgroup, TLRs, amplify antibody responses; however, the mechanisms regulating this phenomenon are poorly understood. In this issue of the JCI, Raso et al. demonstrate that αvβ3 integrins regulate the magnitude and speed of TLR-augmented GC reactions, limiting both short- and long-term humoral immunity. This phenomenon is dependent on a noncanonical form of the autophagy pathway and Rubicon, a noncanonical autophagy-associated protein. B cell–specific deletion of the gene encoding αvβ3 integrin enhanced GC responses in mice and conferred a dramatic survival advantage compared with controls after influenza infection, confirming that B cell integrin manipulation represents a potential and exciting target for augmenting or inhibiting GC reactions.
Jeremy S. Leventhal
Cuoio Women's Sarto L Franco Dakota Boot RBCs are the most abundant circulating cells in humans and typically comprise 35% to 45% of the blood volume (hematocrit). Anemia is associated with an increase in bleeding, and epidemiological studies have shown an association between an elevated hematocrit and thrombosis. RBCs may contribute to hemostasis and thrombosis via mechanisms that include platelet margination leading to an increase in the near-wall platelet concentration, blood viscosity, thrombin generation, and platelet activation. In this issue of the JCI, Klatt et al. report that binding of the Fas ligand FasL on the surface of platelets to its cognate receptor FasR on the surface of RBCs increases thrombin generation in vitro and thrombosis in mouse models. This represents a new mechanism by which RBCs contribute to thrombosis.
Under normal conditions, there is a paucity of neutrophils within the intestinal mucosa; however, these innate immune cells rapidly infiltrate the mucosa in response to infection and are critical for pathogen control. Unfortunately, these cells can cause extensive damage to the intestine if the initial inflammatory influx is not resolved. Factors that promote resolution of inflammation are of great interest, as they have therapeutic potential for limiting uncontrolled inflammatory damage. In this issue of the JCI, Szabady et al. demonstrate that the multidrug resistance transporter P-glycoprotein (P-gp) secretes endocannabinoids into the intestinal lumen that counteract the proinflammatory actions of the eicosanoid hepoxilin A3, which is secreted into the lumen by the efflux pump MRP2 and serves as a potent neutrophil chemoattractant. Moreover, the antiinflammatory actions of P-gp–secreted endocannabinoids were mediated by peripheral cannabinoid receptor CB2 on neutrophils. Together, the results of this study identify an important mechanism by which endogenous endocannabinoids facilitate the resolution of inflammation; this mechanism has potential to be therapeutically exploited.
Andrew S. Neish
Over 40 years ago, Loeb and colleagues proposed that errors in DNA replication produce a mutator phenotype that is involved in generating the multiple mutations required for tumor development. In this issue of the JCI, Li, Castrillon, and colleagues describe a mouse model containing a single base change in the gene encoding replicative DNA polymerase ε (POLE) that mimics the “ultramutator” phenotype recently reported in many human tumors. Their seminal accomplishment validates Loeb’s hypothesis and the use of mutational signatures to understand the origins and potentially the treatment of human tumors, and it offers an exciting opportunity to further explore the mechanisms responsible for normal DNA replication fidelity and their perturbations.
Thomas A. Kunkel
Robert M. Wachter, Talmadge E. King Jr.
Congenital neutropenia is characterized by low absolute neutrophil numbers in blood, leading to recurrent bacterial infections, and patients often require life-long granulocyte CSF (G-CSF) support. X-linked neutropenia (XLN) is caused by gain-of-function mutations in the actin regulator Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome protein (WASp). To understand the pathophysiology in XLN and the role of WASp in neutrophils, we here examined XLN patients and 2 XLN mouse models. XLN patients had reduced myelopoiesis and extremely low blood neutrophil number. However, their neutrophils had a hyperactive phenotype and were present in normal numbers in XLN patient saliva. Murine XLN neutrophils were hyperactivated, with increased actin dynamics and migration into tissues. We provide molecular evidence that the hyperactivity of XLN neutrophils is caused by WASp in a constitutively open conformation due to contingent phosphorylation of the critical tyrosine-293 and plasma membrane localization. This renders WASp activity less dependent on regulation by PI3K. Our data show that the amplitude of WASp activity inside a cell could be enhanced by cell-surface receptor signaling even in the context in which WASp is already in an active conformation. Moreover, these data categorize XLN as an atypical congenital neutropenia in which constitutive activation of WASp in tissue neutrophils compensates for reduced myelopoiesis.
Marton Keszei, Julien Record, Joanna S. Kritikou, Hannah Wurzer, Chiara Geyer, Meike Thiemann, Paul Drescher, Hanna Brauner, Laura Köcher, Jaime James, Minghui He, Marisa A.P. Baptista, Carin I.M. Dahlberg, Amlan Biswas, Sonia Lain, David P. Lane, Wenxia Song, Katrin Pütsep, Peter Vandenberghe, Scott B. Snapper, Lisa S. Westerberg
Hypoglycemia activates the counterregulatory response (CRR), a neural-endocrine reflex that restores euglycemia. Although effective if occasionally activated, repeated induction of the CRR leads to a decline in responsiveness and prolonged exposure to hypoglycemia. The mechanism underlying this impairment is not known. We found that the reduction in epinephrine release that characterizes a suppressed CRR involves a long-lasting form of sympatho-adrenal synaptic plasticity. Using optogenetically evoked catecholamine release, we show that recurrent hypoglycemia reduced the secretory capacity of mouse adrenal chromaffin cells. Single activation of the CRR increased the adrenal levels of tyrosine hydroxylase (TH), the rate-limiting enzyme for catecholamine synthesis, but this was prevented by repeated activation. In contrast, the level of neuropeptide Y (NPY), an adrenal cotransmitter, remained elevated after recurrent hypoglycemia. Inhibition of NPY or Y1 signaling, either transgenically or pharmacologically, prevented the attenuation of both TH expression and epinephrine release. These results indicate that impairment of the CRR involves suppressed activity at the adrenal level. Interfering with the peripheral NPY–dependent negative feedback loop may provide a way to avoid the pathophysiological consequences of recurrent hypoglycemia which are common in the diabetic state.
Yunbing Ma, Qian Wang, Debria Joe, Manqi Wang, Matthew D. Whim
Red blood cells (RBCs) influence rheology, and release ADP, ATP, and nitric oxide, suggesting a role for RBCs in hemostasis and thrombosis. Here, we provide evidence for a significant contribution of RBCs to thrombus formation. Anemic mice showed enhanced occlusion times upon injury of the carotid artery. A small population of RBCs was located to platelet thrombi and enhanced platelet activation by a direct cell contact via the FasL/FasR (CD95) pathway known to induce apoptosis. Activation of platelets in the presence of RBCs led to platelet FasL exposure that activated FasR on RBCs responsible for externalization of phosphatidylserine (PS) on the RBC membrane. Inhibition or genetic deletion of either FasL or FasR resulted in reduced PS exposure of RBCs and platelets, decreased thrombin generation, and reduced thrombus formation in vitro and protection against arterial thrombosis in vivo. Direct cell contacts between platelets and RBCs via FasL/FasR were shown after ligation of the inferior vena cava (IVC) and in surgical specimens of patients after thrombectomy. In a flow restriction model of the IVC, reduced thrombus formation was observed in FasL–/– mice. Taken together, our data reveal a significant contribution of RBCs to thrombosis by the FasL/FasR pathway.
Christoph Klatt, Irena Krüger, Saskia Zey, Kim-Jürgen Krott, Martina Spelleken, Nina Sarah Gowert, Alexander Oberhuber, Lena Pfaff, Wiebke Lückstädt, Kerstin Jurk, Martin Schaller, Hadi Al-Hasani, Jürgen Schrader, Steffen Massberg, Konstantin Stark, Hubert Schelzig, Malte Kelm, Margitta Elvers
Early T cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ETP-ALL) is a new pathological entity with poor outcomes in T cell ALL (T-ALL) that is characterized by a high incidence of loss-of-function mutations in polycomb repressive complex 2 (PRC2) genes. We generated a mouse model of ETP-ALL by deleting Ezh2, one of the PRC2 genes, in p53-null hematopoietic cells. The loss of Ezh2 in p53-null hematopoietic cells impeded the differentiation of ETPs and eventually induced ETP-ALL–like disease in mice, indicating that PRC2 functions as a bona fide tumor suppressor in ETPs. A large portion of PRC2 target genes acquired DNA hypermethylation of their promoters following reductions in H3K27me3 levels upon the loss of Ezh2, which included pivotal T cell differentiation–regulating genes. The reactivation of a set of regulators by a DNA-demethylating agent, but not the transduction of single regulator genes, effectively induced the differentiation of ETP-ALL cells. Thus, PRC2 protects key T cell developmental regulators from DNA hypermethylation in order to keep them primed for activation upon subsequent differentiation phases, while its insufficiency predisposes ETPs to leukemic transformation. These results revealed a previously unrecognized epigenetic switch in response to PRC2 dysfunction and provide the basis for specific rational epigenetic therapy for ETP-ALL with PRC2 insufficiency.
Changshan Wang, Motohiko Oshima, Daisuke Sato, Hirotaka Matsui, Sho Kubota, Kazumasa Aoyama, Yaeko Nakajima-Takagi, Shuhei Koide, Jun Matsubayashi, Makiko Mochizuki-Kashio, Takako Nakano-Yokomizo, Jie Bai, Toshitaka Nagao, Akinori Kanai, Atsushi Iwama, Goro Sashida
Acute pancreatitis (AP), a human disease in which the pancreas digests itself, has substantial mortality with no specific therapy. The major causes of AP are alcohol abuse and gallstone complications, but it also occurs as an important side effect of the standard asparaginase-based therapy for childhood acute lymphoblastic leukemia. Previous investigations into the mechanisms underlying pancreatic acinar cell death induced by alcohol metabolites, bile acids, or asparaginase indicated that loss of intracellular ATP generation is an important factor. We now report that, in isolated mouse pancreatic acinar cells or cell clusters, removal of extracellular glucose had little effect on this ATP loss, suggesting that glucose metabolism was severely inhibited under these conditions. Surprisingly, we show that replacing glucose with galactose prevented or markedly reduced the loss of ATP and any subsequent necrosis. Addition of pyruvate had a similar protective effect. We also studied the effect of galactose in vivo in mouse models of AP induced either by a combination of fatty acids and ethanol or asparaginase. In both cases, galactose markedly reduced acinar necrosis and inflammation. Based on these data, we suggest that galactose feeding may be used to protect against AP.
Shuang Peng, Julia V. Gerasimenko, Tetyana M. Tsugorka, Oleksiy Gryshchenko, Sujith Samarasinghe, Ole H. Petersen, Oleg V. Gerasimenko
Impaired lymphangiogenesis is a complication of chronic complex diseases, including diabetes. VEGF-C/VEGFR3 signaling promotes lymphangiogenesis, but how this pathway is affected in diabetes remains poorly understood. We previously demonstrated that loss of epsins 1 and 2 in lymphatic endothelial cells (LECs) prevented VEGF-C–induced VEGFR3 from endocytosis and degradation. Here, we report that diabetes attenuated VEGF-C–induced lymphangiogenesis in corneal micropocket and Matrigel plug assays in WT mice but not in mice with inducible lymphatic-specific deficiency of epsins 1 and 2 (LEC-iDKO). Consistently, LECs isolated from diabetic LEC-iDKO mice elevated in vitro proliferation, migration, and tube formation in response to VEGF-C over diabetic WT mice. Mechanistically, ROS produced in diabetes induced c-Src–dependent but VEGF-C–independent VEGFR3 phosphorylation, and upregulated epsins through the activation of transcription factor AP-1. Augmented epsins bound to and promoted degradation of newly synthesized VEGFR3 in the Golgi, resulting in reduced availability of VEGFR3 at the cell surface. Preclinically, the loss of lymphatic-specific epsins alleviated insufficient lymphangiogenesis and accelerated the resolution of tail edema in diabetic mice. Collectively, our studies indicate that inhibiting expression of epsins in diabetes protects VEGFR3 against degradation and ameliorates diabetes-triggered inhibition of lymphangiogenesis, thereby providing a novel potential therapeutic strategy to treat diabetic complications.
Hao Wu, H.N. Ashiqur Rahman, Yunzhou Dong, Xiaolei Liu, Yang Lee, Aiyun Wen, Kim H.T. To, Li Xiao, Amy E. Birsner, Lauren Bazinet, Scott Wong, Kai Song, Megan L. Brophy, M. Riaj Mahamud, Baojun Chang, Xiaofeng Cai, Satish Pasula, Sukyoung Kwak, Wenxia Yang, Joyce Bischoff, Jian Xu, Diane R. Bielenberg, J. Brandon Dixon, Robert J. D’Amato, R. Sathish Srinivasan, Hong Chen
Dormant or slow-cycling tumor cells can form a residual chemoresistant reservoir responsible for relapse in patients, years after curative surgery and adjuvant therapy. We have adapted the pulse-chase expression of H2BeGFP for labeling and isolating slow-cycling cancer cells (SCCCs). SCCCs showed cancer initiation potential and enhanced chemoresistance. Cells at this slow-cycling status presented a distinctive nongenetic and cell-autonomous gene expression profile shared across different tumor types. We identified TET2 epigenetic enzyme as a key factor controlling SCCC numbers, survival, and tumor recurrence. 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine (5hmC), generated by TET2 enzymatic activity, labeled the SCCC genome in carcinomas and was a predictive biomarker of relapse and survival in cancer patients. We have shown the enhanced chemoresistance of SCCCs and revealed 5hmC as a biomarker for their clinical identification and TET2 as a potential drug target for SCCC elimination that could extend patients’ survival.
Isabel Puig, Stephan P. Tenbaum, Irene Chicote, Oriol Arqués, Jordi Martínez-Quintanilla, Estefania Cuesta-Borrás, Lorena Ramírez, Pilar Gonzalo, Atenea Soto, Susana Aguilar, Cristina Eguizabal, Ginevra Caratù, Aleix Prat, Guillem Argilés, Stefania Landolfi, Oriol Casanovas, Violeta Serra, Alberto Villanueva, Alicia G. Arroyo, Luigi Terracciano, Paolo Nuciforo, Joan Seoane, Juan A. Recio, Ana Vivancos, Rodrigo Dienstmann, Josep Tabernero, Héctor G. Palmer
Quantitative abnormalities of the von Willebrand factor–factor VIII (VWF-FVIII) complex associate with inherited bleeding or thrombotic disorders. Receptor-mediated interactions between plasma VWF-FVIII and phagocytic or immune cells can influence their hemostatic and immunogenic activities. Genetic association studies have demonstrated that variants in the STAB2 gene, which encodes the scavenger receptor stabilin-2, associate with plasma levels of VWF-FVIII. However, the mechanistic basis and pathophysiological consequences of this association are unknown. We have demonstrated that stabilin-2–expressing cells bind and internalize human VWF and FVIII in a VWF-dependent manner, and stabilin-2–deficient mice displayed prolonged human VWF-FVIII half-life compared with controls. The stabilin-2 variant p.E2377K significantly decreased stabilin-2 expression and impaired VWF endocytosis in a heterologous expression system, and common STAB2 variants associated with plasma VWF levels in type 1 von Willebrand disease patients. STAB2-deficient mice displayed a decreased immunogenic response to human VWF-FVIII complex, while coinfusion of human VWF-FVIII with the stabilin-2 ligand hyaluronic acid attenuated the immune response to exogenous FVIII. Collectively, these data suggest that stabilin-2 functions as both a clearance and an immunoregulatory receptor for VWF-FVIII, making stabilin-2 a novel molecular target for modification of the half-life of VWF-FVIII and the immune response to VWF-FVIII concentrates.
Laura L. Swystun, Jesse D. Lai, Colleen Notley, Ilinca Georgescu, A. Simonne Paine, Jeff Mewburn, Kate Nesbitt, Kai Schledzewski, Cyrill Géraud, Julia Kzhyshkowska, Sergij Goerdt, Wilma Hopman, Robert R. Montgomery, Paula D. James, David Lillicrap
DNA-damaging chemotherapy and radiation therapy are integrated into the treatment paradigm of the majority of cancer patients. Recently, immunotherapy that targets the immunosuppressive interaction between programmed death 1 (PD-1) and its ligand PD-L1 has been approved for malignancies including non–small cell lung cancer, melanoma, and head and neck squamous cell carcinoma. ATR is a DNA damage–signaling kinase activated at damaged replication forks, and ATR kinase inhibitors potentiate the cytotoxicity of DNA-damaging chemotherapies. We show here that the ATR kinase inhibitor AZD6738 combines with conformal radiation therapy to attenuate radiation-induced CD8+ T cell exhaustion and potentiate CD8+ T cell activity in mouse models of Kras-mutant cancer. Mechanistically, AZD6738 blocks radiation-induced PD-L1 upregulation on tumor cells and dramatically decreases the number of tumor-infiltrating Tregs. Remarkably, AZD6738 combines with conformal radiation therapy to generate immunologic memory in complete responder mice. Our work raises the possibility that a single pharmacologic agent may enhance the cytotoxic effects of radiation while concurrently potentiating radiation-induced antitumor immune responses.
Frank P. Vendetti, Pooja Karukonda, David A. Clump, Troy Teo, Ronald Lalonde, Katriana Nugent, Matthew Ballew, Brian F. Kiesel, Jan H. Beumer, Saumendra N. Sarkar, Thomas P. Conrads, Mark J. O’Connor, Robert L. Ferris, Phuoc T. Tran, Greg M. Delgoffe, Christopher J. Bakkenist
Cyclin D1 is an oncogene frequently overexpressed in human cancers that has a dual function as cell cycle and transcriptional regulator, although the latter is widely unexplored. Here, we investigated the transcriptional role of cyclin D1 in lymphoid tumor cells with cyclin D1 oncogenic overexpression. Cyclin D1 showed widespread binding to the promoters of most actively transcribed genes, and the promoter occupancy positively correlated with the transcriptional output of targeted genes. Despite this association, the overexpression of cyclin D1 in lymphoid cells led to a global transcriptional downmodulation that was proportional to cyclin D1 levels. This cyclin D1–dependent global transcriptional downregulation was associated with a reduced nascent transcription and an accumulation of promoter-proximal paused RNA polymerase II (Pol II) that colocalized with cyclin D1. Concordantly, cyclin D1 overexpression promoted an increase in the Poll II pausing index. This transcriptional impairment seems to be mediated by the interaction of cyclin D1 with the transcription machinery. In addition, cyclin D1 overexpression sensitized cells to transcription inhibitors, revealing a synthetic lethality interaction that was also observed in primary mantle cell lymphoma cases. This finding of global transcriptional dysregulation expands the known functions of oncogenic cyclin D1 and suggests the therapeutic potential of targeting the transcriptional machinery in cyclin D1–overexpressing tumors.
Robert Albero, Anna Enjuanes, Santiago Demajo, Giancarlo Castellano, Magda Pinyol, Noelia García, Cristina Capdevila, Guillem Clot, Helena Suárez-Cisneros, Mariko Shimada, Kennosuke Karube, Mónica López-Guerra, Dolors Colomer, Sílvia Beà, José Ignacio Martin-Subero, Elías Campo, Pedro Jares
The host immune system plays a pivotal role in the emergence of tumor cells that are refractory to multiple clinical interventions including immunotherapy, chemotherapy, and radiotherapy. Here, we examined the molecular mechanisms by which the immune system triggers cross-resistance to these interventions. By examining the biological changes in murine and tumor cells subjected to sequential rounds of in vitro or in vivo immune selection via cognate cytotoxic T lymphocytes, we found that multimodality resistance arises through a core metabolic reprogramming pathway instigated by epigenetic loss of the ATP synthase subunit ATP5H, which leads to ROS accumulation and HIF-1α stabilization under normoxia. Furthermore, this pathway confers to tumor cells a stem-like and invasive phenotype. In vivo delivery of antioxidants reverses these phenotypic changes and resensitizes tumor cells to therapy. ATP5H loss in the tumor is strongly linked to failure of therapy, disease progression, and poor survival in patients with cancer. Collectively, our results reveal a mechanism underlying immune-driven multimodality resistance to cancer therapy and demonstrate that rational targeting of mitochondrial metabolic reprogramming in tumor cells may overcome this resistance. We believe these results hold important implications for the clinical management of cancer.
Kwon-Ho Song, Jae-Hoon Kim, Young-Ho Lee, Hyun Cheol Bae, Hyo-Jung Lee, Seon Rang Woo, Se Jin Oh, Kyung-Mi Lee, Cassian Yee, Bo Wook Kim, Hanbyoul Cho, Eun Joo Chung, Joon-Yong Chung, Stephen M. Hewitt, Tae-Wook Chung, Ki-Tae Ha, Young-Ki Bae, Chih-Ping Mao, Andrew Yang, T.C. Wu, Tae Woo Kim
Neutrophil influx into the intestinal lumen is a critical response to infectious agents, but is also associated with severe intestinal damage observed in idiopathic inflammatory bowel disease. The chemoattractant hepoxilin A3, an eicosanoid secreted from intestinal epithelial cells by the apically restricted efflux pump multidrug resistance protein 2 (MRP2), mediates this neutrophil influx. Information about a possible counterbalance pathway that could signal the lack of or resolution of an apical inflammatory signal, however, has yet to be described. We now report a system with such hallmarks. Specifically, we identify endocannabinoids as the first known endogenous substrates of the apically restricted multidrug resistance transporter P-glycoprotein (P-gp) and reveal a mechanism, which we believe is novel, for endocannabinoid secretion into the intestinal lumen. Knockdown or inhibition of P-gp reduced luminal secretion levels of N-acyl ethanolamine–type endocannabinoids, which correlated with increased neutrophil transmigration in vitro and in vivo. Additionally, loss of CB2, the peripheral cannabinoid receptor, led to increased pathology and neutrophil influx in models of acute intestinal inflammation. These results define a key role for epithelial cells in balancing the constitutive secretion of antiinflammatory lipids with the stimulated secretion of proinflammatory lipids via surface efflux pumps in order to control neutrophil infiltration into the intestinal lumen and maintain homeostasis in the healthy intestine.
Rose L. Szabady, Christopher Louissaint, Anneke Lubben, Bailu Xie, Shaun Reeksting, Christine Tuohy, Zachary Demma, Sage E. Foley, Christina S. Faherty, Alejandro Llanos-Chea, Andrew J. Olive, Randall J. Mrsny, Beth A. McCormick
Biallelic loss-of-function (LOF) mutations of the NCF4 gene, encoding the p40phox subunit of the phagocyte NADPH oxidase, have been described in only 1 patient. We report on 24 p40phox-deficient patients from 12 additional families in 8 countries. These patients display 8 different in-frame or out-of-frame mutations of NCF4 that are homozygous in 11 of the families and compound heterozygous in another. When overexpressed in NB4 neutrophil-like cells and EBV-transformed B cells in vitro, the mutant alleles were found to be LOF, with the exception of the p.R58C and c.120_134del alleles, which were hypomorphic. Particle-induced NADPH oxidase activity was severely impaired in the patients’ neutrophils, whereas PMA-induced dihydrorhodamine-1,2,3 (DHR) oxidation, which is widely used as a diagnostic test for chronic granulomatous disease (CGD), was normal or mildly impaired in the patients. Moreover, the NADPH oxidase activity of EBV-transformed B cells was also severely impaired, whereas that of mononuclear phagocytes was normal. Finally, the killing of Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus hyphae by neutrophils was conserved in these patients, unlike in patients with CGD. The patients suffer from hyperinflammation and peripheral infections, but they do not have any of the invasive bacterial or fungal infections seen in CGD. Inherited p40phox deficiency underlies a distinctive condition, resembling a mild, atypical form of CGD.
Annemarie van de Geer, Alejandro Nieto-Patlán, Douglas B. Kuhns, Anton T.J. Tool, Andrés A. Arias, Matthieu Bouaziz, Martin de Boer, José Luis Franco, Roel P. Gazendam, John L. van Hamme, Michel van Houdt, Karin van Leeuwen, Paul J.H. Verkuijlen, Timo K. van den Berg, Juan F. Alzate, Carlos A. Arango-Franco, Vritika Batura, Andrea R. Bernasconi, Barbara Boardman, Claire Booth, Siobhan O. Burns, Felipe Cabarcas, Nadine Cerf Bensussan, Fabienne Charbit-Henrion, Anniek Corveleyn, Caroline Deswarte, María Esnaola Azcoiti, Dirk Foell, John I. Gallin, Carlos Garcés, Margarida Guedes, Claas H. Hinze, Steven M. Holland, Stephen M. Hughes, Patricio Ibañez, Harry L. Malech, Isabelle Meyts, Marcela Moncada-Velez, Kunihiko Moriya, Esmeralda Neves, Matias Oleastro, Laura Perez, Vimel Rattina, Carmen Oleaga-Quintas, Neil Warner, Aleixo M. Muise, Jeanet Serafín López, Eunice Trindade, Julia Vasconcelos, Séverine Vermeire, Helmut Wittkowski, Austen Worth, Laurent Abel, Mary C. Dinauer, Peter D. Arkwright, Dirk Roos, Jean-Laurent Casanova, Taco W. Kuijpers, Jacinta Bustamante
SUMOylation is involved in the development of several inflammatory diseases, but the physiological significance of SUMO-modulated c-Maf in autoimmune diabetes is not completely understood. Here, we report that an age-dependent attenuation of c-Maf SUMOylation in CD4+ T cells is positively correlated with the IL-21–mediated diabetogenesis in NOD mice. Using 2 strains of T cell–specific transgenic NOD mice overexpressing wild-type c-Maf (Tg-WTc) or SUMOylation site–mutated c-Maf (Tg-KRc), we demonstrated that Tg-KRc mice developed diabetes more rapidly than Tg-WTc mice in a CD4+ T cell–autonomous manner. Moreover, SUMO-defective c-Maf preferentially transactivated Il21 to promote the development of CD4+ T cells with an extrafollicular helper T cell phenotype and expand the numbers of granzyme B–producing effector/memory CD8+ T cells. Furthermore, SUMO-defective c-Maf selectively inhibited recruitment of Daxx/HDAC2 to the Il21 promoter and enhanced histone acetylation mediated by CREB-binding protein (CBP) and p300. Using pharmacological interference with CBP/p300, we illustrated that CBP30 treatment ameliorated c-Maf–mediated/IL-21–based diabetogenesis. Taken together, our results show that the SUMOylation status of c-Maf has a stronger regulatory effect on IL-21 than the level of c-Maf expression, through an epigenetic mechanism. These findings provide new insights into how SUMOylation modulates the pathogenesis of autoimmune diabetes in a T cell–restricted manner and on the basis of a single transcription factor.
Chao-Yuan Hsu, Li-Tzu Yeh, Shin-Huei Fu, Ming-Wei Chien, Yu-Wen Liu, Shi-Chuen Miaw, Deh-Ming Chang, Huey-Kang Sytwu
Controlling graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) remains a major unmet need in stem cell transplantation, and new, targeted therapies are being actively developed. CD28-CD80/86 costimulation blockade represents a promising strategy, but targeting CD80/CD86 with CTLA4-Ig may be associated with undesired blockade of coinhibitory pathways. In contrast, targeted blockade of CD28 exclusively inhibits T cell costimulation and may more potently prevent GVHD. Here, we investigated FR104, an antagonistic CD28-specific pegylated-Fab′, in the nonhuman primate (NHP) GVHD model and completed a multiparameter interrogation comparing it with CTLA4-Ig, with and without sirolimus, including clinical, histopathologic, flow cytometric, and transcriptomic analyses. We document that FR104 monoprophylaxis and combined prophylaxis with FR104/sirolimus led to enhanced control of effector T cell proliferation and activation compared with the use of CTLA4-Ig or CTLA4-Ig/sirolimus. Importantly, FR104/sirolimus did not lead to a beneficial impact on Treg reconstitution or homeostasis, consistent with control of conventional T cell activation and IL-2 production needed to support Tregs. While FR104/sirolimus had a salutary effect on GVHD-free survival, overall survival was not improved, due to death in the absence of GVHD in several FR104/sirolimus recipients in the setting of sepsis and a paralyzed INF-γ response. These results therefore suggest that effectively deploying CD28 in the clinic will require close scrutiny of both the benefits and risks of extensively abrogating conventional T cell activation after transplant.
Benjamin K. Watkins, Victor Tkachev, Scott N. Furlan, Daniel J. Hunt, Kayla Betz, Alison Yu, Melanie Brown, Nicolas Poirier, Hengqi Betty Zheng, Agne Taraseviciute, Lucrezia Colonna, Caroline Mary, Gilles Blancho, Jean-Paul Soulillou, Angela Panoskaltsis-Mortari, Prachi Sharma, Anapatricia Garcia, Elizabeth Strobert, Kelly Hamby, Aneesah Garrett, Taylor Deane, Bruce R. Blazar, Bernard Vanhove, Leslie S. Kean
Control of cellular metabolism is critical for efficient cell function, although little is known about the interplay between cell subset–specific metabolites in situ, especially in the tumor setting. Here, we determined how a macrophage-specific (Mϕ-specific) metabolite, itaconic acid, can regulate tumor progression in the peritoneum. We show that peritoneal tumors (B16 melanoma or ID8 ovarian carcinoma) elicited a fatty acid oxidation–mediated increase in oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) and glycolysis in peritoneal tissue–resident macrophages (pResMϕ). Unbiased metabolomics identified itaconic acid, the product of immune-responsive gene 1–mediated (Irg1-mediated) catabolism of mitochondrial cis-aconitate, among the most highly upregulated metabolites in pResMϕ of tumor-bearing mice. Administration of lentivirally encoded Irg1 shRNA significantly reduced peritoneal tumors. This resulted in reductions in OXPHOS and OXPHOS-driven production of ROS in pResMϕ and ROS-mediated MAPK activation in tumor cells. Our findings demonstrate that tumors profoundly alter pResMϕ metabolism, leading to the production of itaconic acid, which potentiates tumor growth. Monocytes isolated from ovarian carcinoma patients’ ascites fluid expressed significantly elevated levels of IRG1. Therefore, IRG1 in pResMϕ represents a potential therapeutic target for peritoneal tumors.
Jonathan M. Weiss, Luke C. Davies, Megan Karwan, Lilia Ileva, Michelle K. Ozaki, Robert Y.S. Cheng, Lisa A. Ridnour, Christina M. Annunziata, David A. Wink, Daniel W. McVicar
The t-SNARE protein SNAP23 conventionally functions as a component of the cellular machinery required for intracellular transport vesicle fusion with target membranes and has been implicated in the regulation of fasting glucose levels, BMI, and type 2 diabetes. Surprisingly, we observed that adipocyte-specific KO of SNAP23 in mice resulted in a temporal development of severe generalized lipodystrophy associated with adipose tissue inflammation, insulin resistance, hyperglycemia, liver steatosis, and early death. This resulted from adipocyte cell death associated with an inhibition of macroautophagy and lysosomal degradation of the proapoptotic regulator BAX, with increased BAX activation. BAX colocalized with LC3-positive autophagic vacuoles and was increased upon treatment with lysosome inhibitors. Moreover, BAX deficiency suppressed the lipodystrophic phenotype in the adipocyte-specific SNAP23-KO mice and prevented cell death. In addition, ATG9 deficiency phenocopied SNAP23 deficiency, whereas ATG7 deficiency had no effect on BAX protein levels, BAX activation, or apoptotic cell death. These data demonstrate a role for SNAP23 in the control of macroautophagy and programmed cell death through an ATG9-dependent, but ATG7-independent, pathway regulating BAX protein levels and BAX activation.
Daorong Feng, Dulguun Amgalan, Rajat Singh, Jianwen Wei, Jennifer Wen, Tszki Peter Wei, Timothy E. McGraw, Richard N. Kitsis, Jeffrey E. Pessin
Cancer cell dependence on activated oncogenes is therapeutically targeted, but acquired resistance is virtually unavoidable. Here we show that the treatment of addicted melanoma cells with BRAF inhibitors, and of breast cancer cells with HER2-targeted drugs, led to an adaptive rise in neuropilin-1 (NRP1) expression, which is crucial for the onset of acquired resistance to therapy. Moreover, NRP1 levels dictated the efficacy of MET oncogene inhibitors in addicted stomach and lung carcinoma cells. Mechanistically, NRP1 induced a JNK-dependent signaling cascade leading to the upregulation of alternative effector kinases EGFR or IGF1R, which in turn sustained cancer cell growth and mediated acquired resistance to BRAF, HER2, or MET inhibitors. Notably, the combination with NRP1-interfering molecules improved the efficacy of oncogene-targeted drugs and prevented or even reversed the onset of resistance in cancer cells and tumor models. Our study provides the rationale for targeting the NRP1-dependent upregulation of tyrosine kinases, which are responsible for loss of responsiveness to oncogene-targeted therapies.
Sabrina Rizzolio, Gabriella Cagnoni, Chiara Battistini, Stefano Bonelli, Claudio Isella, Jo A. Van Ginderachter, René Bernards, Federica Di Nicolantonio, Silvia Giordano, Luca Tamagnone
Epithelial cell dysfunction is postulated as an important component in the pathogenesis of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). Mutations in the surfactant protein C (SP-C) gene (SFTPC), an alveolar type II (AT2) cell–restricted protein, have been found in sporadic and familial IPF. To causally link these events, we developed a knockin mouse model capable of regulated expression of an IPF-associated isoleucine-to-threonine substitution at codon 73 (I73T) in Sftpc (SP-CI73T). Tamoxifen-treated SP-CI73T cohorts developed rapid increases in SftpcI73T mRNA and misprocessed proSP-CI73T protein accompanied by increased early mortality (days 7–14). This acute phase was marked by diffuse parenchymal lung injury, tissue infiltration by monocytes, polycellular alveolitis, and elevations in bronchoalveolar lavage and AT2 mRNA content of select inflammatory cytokines. Resolution of alveolitis (2–4 weeks), commensurate with a rise in TGF-β1, was followed by aberrant remodeling marked by collagen deposition, AT2 cell hyperplasia, α–smooth muscle actin–positive (α-SMA–positive) cells, and restrictive lung physiology. The translational relevance of the model was supported by detection of multiple IPF biomarkers previously reported in human cohorts. These data provide proof of principle that mutant SP-C expression in vivo causes spontaneous lung fibrosis, strengthening the role of AT2 cell dysfunction as a key upstream driver of IPF pathogenesis.
Shin-Ichi Nureki, Yaniv Tomer, Alessandro Venosa, Jeremy Katzen, Scott J. Russo, Sarita Jamil, Matthew Barrett, Vivian Nguyen, Meghan Kopp, Surafel Mulugeta, Michael F. Beers
Intestinal homeostasis depends on a slowly proliferating stem cell compartment in crypt cells, followed by rapid proliferation of committed progenitor cells in the transit amplifying (TA) compartment. The balance between proliferation and differentiation in intestinal stem cells (ISCs) is regulated by Wnt/β-catenin signaling, although the mechanism remains unclear. We previously targeted PORCN, an enzyme essential for all Wnt secretion, and demonstrated that stromal production of Wnts was required for intestinal homeostasis. Here, a PORCN inhibitor was used to acutely suppress Wnt signaling. Unexpectedly, the treatment induced an initial burst of proliferation in the stem cell compartment of the small intestine, due to conversion of ISCs into TA cells with a loss of intrinsic ISC self-renewal. This process involved MAPK pathway activation, as the proliferating cells in the base of the intestinal crypt contained phosphorylated ERK1/2, and a MEK inhibitor attenuated the proliferation of ISCs and their differentiation into TA cells. These findings suggest a role for Wnt signaling in suppressing the MAPK pathway at the crypt base to maintain a pool of ISCs. The interaction between Wnt and MAPK pathways in vivo has potential therapeutic applications in cancer and regenerative medicine.
Zahra Kabiri, Gediminas Greicius, Hamed Zaribafzadeh, Amanda Hemmerich, Christopher M. Counter, David M. Virshup
Women's Dakota Cuoio Franco L Boot Sarto Germinal centers (GCs) are major sites of clonal B cell expansion and generation of long-lived, high-affinity antibody responses to pathogens. Signaling through TLRs on B cells promotes many aspects of GC B cell responses, including affinity maturation, class switching, and differentiation into long-lived memory and plasma cells. A major challenge for effective vaccination is identifying strategies to specifically promote GC B cell responses. Here, we have identified a mechanism of regulation of GC B cell TLR signaling, mediated by αv integrins and noncanonical autophagy. Using B cell–specific αv-KO mice, we show that loss of αv-mediated TLR regulation increased GC B cell expansion, somatic hypermutation, class switching, and generation of long-lived plasma cells after immunization with virus-like particles (VLPs) or antigens associated with TLR ligand adjuvants. Furthermore, targeting αv-mediated regulation increased the magnitude and breadth of antibody responses to influenza virus vaccination. These data therefore identify a mechanism of regulation of GC B cells that can be targeted to enhance antibody responses to vaccination.
Fiona Raso, Sara Sagadiev, Samuel Du, Emily Gage, Tanvi Arkatkar, Genita Metzler, Lynda M. Stuart, Mark T. Orr, David J. Rawlings, Shaun W. Jackson, Adam Lacy-Hulbert, Mridu Acharya
Enhancer of zeste homolog 2–mediated (EZH2-mediated) epigenetic regulation of T cell differentiation and Treg function has been described previously; however, the role of EZH2 in T cell–mediated antitumor immunity, especially in the context of immune checkpoint therapy, is not understood. Here, we showed that genetic depletion of EZH2 in Tregs (FoxP3creEZH2fl/fl mice) leads to robust antitumor immunity. In addition, pharmacological inhibition of EZH2 in human T cells using CPI-1205 elicited phenotypic and functional alterations of the Tregs and enhanced cytotoxic activity of Teffs. We observed that ipilimumab (anti–CTLA-4) increased EZH2 expression in peripheral T cells from treated patients. We hypothesized that inhibition of EZH2 expression in T cells would increase the effectiveness of anti–CTLA-4 therapy, which we tested in murine models. Collectively, our data demonstrated that modulating EZH2 expression in T cells can improve antitumor responses elicited by anti–CTLA-4 therapy, which provides a strong rationale for a combination trial of CPI-1205 plus ipilimumab.
Sangeeta Goswami, Irina Apostolou, Jan Zhang, Jill Skepner, Swetha Anandhan, Xuejun Zhang, Liangwen Xiong, Patrick Trojer, Ana Aparicio, Sumit K. Subudhi, James P. Allison, Hao Zhao, Padmanee Sharma
Enterovirus 71 (EV-A71) receptors that have been identified to date cannot fully explain the pathogenesis of EV-A71, which is an important global cause of hand-foot-and-mouth disease and life-threatening encephalitis. We identified an interferon-gamma (IFNγ)-inducible EV-A71 cellular entry factor, human tryptophanyl-tRNA synthetase (hWARS), using genome-wide RNAi library screening. The importance of hWARS in mediating virus entry and infectivity was confirmed by virus attachment, in vitro pull-down, antibody/antigen blocking, and CRISPR/Cas9. Upon IFNγ treatment, induced hyperexpression and plasma membrane translocation of hWARS were observed, which sensitized semi-permissive (human neuronal NT2)/non-permissive (mouse fibroblast L929) cells to EV-A71 infection. Our hWARS-transduced mouse infection model showed pathological changes similar to patients with severe EV-A71 infection. The expression of hWARS is also required for productive infection by other human enteroviruses, including the clinically important CV-A16 and EV-D68. This is the first report on the discovery of an entry factor, hWARS, which can be induced by IFNγ for EV-A71. Given that a high level of IFNγ was observed in patients with severe EV-A71 infection, our findings extend the knowledge of the pathogenicity of EV-A71 in relation to the expression of entry factor upon IFNγ stimulation and the therapeutic options for treating severe EV-A71-associated complications.
Man Lung Yeung, Lilong Jia, Cyril C.Y. Yip, Jasper F.W. Chan, Jade L.L. Teng, Kwok-Hung Chan, Jian-Piao Cai, Chaoyu Zhang, Anna J. Zhang, Wan-Man Wong, Kin-Hang Kok, Susanna K.P. Lau, Patrick C.Y. Woo, Janice Y.C. Lo, Dong-Yan Jin, Shin-Ru Shih, Kwok-Yung Yuen
Cardiac two pore domain potassium channels (K2P) exist in organisms from Drosophila to humans, however their role in cardiac function is not known. We identified a K2P gene, CG8713 (sandman), in a Drosophila genetic screen and show that sandman is critical to cardiac function. Mice lacking an ortholog of sandman, TWIK related potassium channel (TREK-1 or Kcnk2), exhibit exaggerated pressure overload induced concentric hypertrophy and alterations in fetal gene expression, yet retain preserved systolic and diastolic cardiac function. While cardiomyocyte specific deletion of TREK-1 in response to in vivo pressure overload resulted in cardiac dysfunction, TREK-1 deletion in fibroblasts prevented deterioration in cardiac function. The absence of pressure overload induced dysfunction in TREK-1 KO mice was associated with diminished cardiac fibrosis and reduced activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase activity (JNK) in cardiomyocytes and fibroblasts. These findings indicate a central role for cardiac fibroblast TREK-1 in the pathogenesis of pressure overload-induced cardiac dysfunction and serve as a conceptual basis for its inhibition for as a potential therapy.
Dennis M. Abraham, Teresa E. Lee, Lewis J. Watson, Lan Mao, Gurangad S. Chandok, Hong-Gang Wang, Stephan Frangakis, Geoffrey S. Pitt, Svati H. Shah, Matthew J. Wolf, Howard A. Rockman
Chronic allergic inflammatory diseases are a major cause of morbidity, allergic asthma alone affecting over 300 million people worldwide. Epidemiological studies demonstrate that environmental stimuli are associated with either promotion or prevention of disease. Major reductions in asthma prevalence are documented in European and US farming communities. Protection is associated with exposure of mothers during pregnancy to microbial breakdown products present in farm dusts and unprocessed foods, and enhancement of innate immune competence in the children. We sought to develop a scientific rationale for progressing these findings towards clinical application for primary disease prevention. Treatment of pregnant mice with a defined clinically-approved immune-modulator was shown to markedly reduce susceptibility of their offspring to development of the hallmark clinical features of allergic airway inflammatory disease. Mechanistically, offspring displayed enhanced dendritic cell-dependent airway mucosal immune surveillance function, which resulted in more efficient generation of mucosal-homing T-regulatory cells in response to local inflammatory challenge. We provide evidence that the principal target for maternal treatment effects was the fetal dendritic cell progenitor compartment, equipping the offspring for accelerated functional maturation of the airway mucosal dendritic cell network following birth. These data provide proof-of-concept supporting the rationale for development of transplacental immune reprogramming approaches for primary disease prevention.
Kyle T. Mincham, Naomi M. Scott, Jean-Francois Lauzon-Joset, Jonatan Leffler, Alexander N. Larcombe, Philip A. Stumbles, Sarah A. Robertson, Christian Pasquali, Patrick G. Holt, Deborah H. Strickland
BACKGROUND. Evidence from rodent studies indicates that the sympathetic nervous system (SNS) regulates bone metabolism, principally via β2-adrenergic receptors (β2-ARs). Given conflicting human data, we used multiple approaches to evaluate the role of the SNS in regulating human bone metabolism. METHODS. (1) Bone biopsies were obtained from 19 young and 19 old women for assessment of ADRB1, ADRB2, and ADRB3 mRNA expression; (2) the relationship of β-blocker use to bone microarchitecture was assessed by high resolution-peripheral quantitative computed tomography in a population sample of 248 subjects; and (3) 155 postmenopausal women were randomized to one of five treatment groups for 20 weeks: placebo; propranolol, 20 mg twice a day (BID); propranolol, 40 mg BID; atenolol, 50 mg/d; and nebivolol, 5 mg/d. We took advantage of the β1-AR selectivity gradient of these drugs (propranolol [non-selective] << atenolol [relatively β1-AR selective] < nebivolol [highly β1-AR selective]) to define the β-AR selectivity for SNS effects on bone. RESULTS. (1) ADRB1and ADRB2, but not ADRB3, were expressed in human bone; (2) patients treated clinically with β1-AR selective blockers had better bone microarchitecture than non-users; and (3) relative to placebo, atenolol and nebivolol, but not propranolol, reduced the bone resorption marker serum C-telopeptide of type I collagen (by 19.5% and 20.6%, respectively; P < 0.01) and increased ultra-distal radius BMD (by 3.6% and 2.9%; P < 0.01 and P < 0.05, respectively). CONCLUSIONS. These three independent lines of evidence strongly support a role for adrenergic signaling in regulating bone metabolism in humans, principally via β1-ARs. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov NCT02467400. FUNDING. This research was supported by NIH grants AG004875, AR027065, and the Mayo Clinic CTSA (UL1 TR002377).
Sundeep Khosla, Matthew T. Drake, Tammie L. Volkman, Brianne S. Thicke, Sara J. Achenbach, Elizabeth J. Atkinson, Michael J. Joyner, Clifford J. Rosen, David G. Monroe, Joshua N. Farr
It is suggested that subtyping of complex inflammatory diseases can be based on genetic susceptibility and relevant environmental exposure (G+E). We propose that using matched cellular phenotypes in human subjects and corresponding pre-clinical models with the same G+E combinations are useful to this end. As an example, defective Paneth cells can subtype Crohn's disease (CD) subjects; Paneth cell defects have been linked to multiple CD susceptibility genes and are associated with poor outcome. We hypothesized that CD susceptibility genes interact with cigarette smoking, a major CD environmental risk factor, to trigger Paneth cell defects. We found that both CD subjects and mice with ATG16L1T300A (T300A; a prevalent CD susceptibility allele) developed Paneth cell defects triggered by tobacco smoke. Transcriptional analysis of full thickness ileum and Paneth cell-enriched crypt base cells showed the T300A-smoking combination altered distinct pathways, including pro-apoptosis, metabolic dysregulation, and selective down-regulation of the PPARγ pathway. Pharmacologic intervention by either apoptosis inhibitor or PPARγ agonist rosiglitazone prevented smoking-induced crypt apoptosis and Paneth cell defects in T300A mice and mice with conditional Paneth cell-specific knockout of Atg16l1. This study demonstrates how explicit G+E can drive disease relevant phenotype, and provides rational strategies to identify actionable targets.
Ta-Chiang Liu, Justin T. Kern, Kelli L. VanDussen, Shanshan Xiong, Gerard E. Kaiko, Craig B. Wilen, Michael W. Rajala, Roberta Caruso, Michael J. Holtzman, Feng Gao, Dermot P.B. McGovern, Gabriel Nunez, Richard D. Head, Thaddeus S. Stappenbeck
In this issue of the JCI, Kabiri et al. uncover an unexpected interaction between Wnt and MAPK signaling in regulating intestinal stem cell proliferation (ISC). They report that the Wnt pathway suppresses MAPK-driven proliferation in intestinal crypts to maintain stem cell self-renewal. On the cover, ISCs and their progeny are highlighted in yellow and red, respectively.
JCI This Month is a digest of the research, reviews, and other features published each month.
Mitochondria transform nutrients and oxygen into chemical energy that powers a multitude of cellular functions. In addition to generating the majority of a cell’s ATP, the byproducts of mitochondrial aerobic glycolysis have wide-ranging influences on cellular health and longevity. This review series, edited by Dr. Michael Sack, focuses on the many contributions of mitochondria to disease and aging. The reviews highlight evidence linking altered mitochondrial metabolism and oxidative stress to a range of pathophysiological phenomena: inflammation and immune dysfunction, heart failure, cancer development, metabolic disease, and more. In many diseases and conditions, mitochondrial dysfunction is considered the tipping point toward pathological progression. However, as these reviews discuss, therapeutic targeting of mitochondria may be a powerful strategy to subvert disease and aging processes.
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