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Abstract

A key mechanism of tumor resistance to immune cells is mediated by expression of peptide-loaded HLA class I molecule (HLA-E) in tumor cells, which suppresses NK cell activity via ligation of the NK inhibitory receptor CD94/NK group 2 member A (NKG2A). Gene expression data from approximately 10,000 tumor samples showed widespread HLAE expression, with levels correlating with those of KLRC1 (NKG2A) and KLRD1 (CD94). To bypass HLA-E inhibition, we developed a way to generate highly functional NK cells lacking NKG2A. Constructs containing a single-chain variable fragment derived from an anti-NKG2A antibody were linked to endoplasmic reticulum–retention domains. After retroviral transduction in human peripheral blood NK cells, these NKG2A protein expression blockers (PEBLs) abrogated NKG2A expression. The resulting NKG2Anull NK cells had higher cytotoxicity against HLA-E–expressing tumor cells. Transduction of anti-NKG2A PEBL produced more potent cytotoxicity than interference with an anti-NKG2A antibody and prevented de novo NKG2A expression without affecting NK cell proliferation. In immunodeficient mice, NKG2Anull NK cells were substantially more powerful than NKG2A+ NK cells against HLA-E–expressing tumors. Thus, NKG2A downregulation evades the HLA-E cancer immune checkpoint and increases the antitumor activity of NK cell infusions. Because this strategy is easily adaptable to current protocols for clinical-grade immune cell processing, its clinical testing is feasible and warranted.

Authors

Takahiro Kamiya, See Voon Seow, Desmond Wong, Murray Robinson, Dario Campana

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Abstract

BACKGROUND. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells can induce remission in highly refractory leukemia and lymphoma subjects, yet the parameters for achieving sustained relapse-free survival are not fully delineated. METHODS. We analyzed 43 pediatric and young adult subjects participating in a phase I trial of defined composition CD19 CAR T cells (ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02028455). CAR T cell phenotype, function, and expansion, as well as starting material T cell repertoire, were analyzed in relationship to therapeutic outcome (defined as achieving complete remission within 63 days) and duration of leukemia-free survival and B cell aplasia. RESULTS. These analyses reveal that initial therapeutic failures (n = 5) were associated with attenuated CAR T cell expansion and/or rapid attrition of functional CAR effector cells following adoptive transfer. The CAR T products were similar in phenotype and function when compared with products resulting in sustained remissions. However, the initial apheresed peripheral blood T cells could be distinguished by an increased frequency of LAG-3+/TNF-αlo CD8 T cells and, following adoptive transfer, the rapid expression of exhaustion markers. For the 38 subjects who achieved an initial sustained minimal residual disease–negative remission, 15 are still in remission, 10 of whom underwent allogenic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (alloHSCT) following CAR T treatment. Subsequent remission durability correlated with therapeutic products having increased frequencies of TNF-α–secreting CAR CD8+ T cells, but was dependent on a sufficiently high CD19+ antigen load at time of infusion to trigger CAR T cell proliferation. CONCLUSION. These parameters have the potential to prospectively identify patients at risk for therapeutic failure and support the development of approaches to boost CAR T cell activation and proliferation in patients with low levels of CD19 antigen. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ClinicalTrials.gov, NCT02028455. FUNDING. Partial funding for this study was provided by a Stand Up to Cancer and St. Baldrick’s Pediatric Dream Team Translational Research Grant (SU2C-AACR-DT1113), R01 CA136551-05, an Alex Lemonade Stand Phase I/II Infrastructure Grant, a Conquer Cancer Foundation Career Development Award, the Washington State Life Sciences Discovery Fund, the Ben Towne Foundation, the William Lawrence & Blanche Hughes Foundation, and Juno Therapeutics Inc., a Celgene Company.

Authors

Olivia C. Finney, Hannah Brakke, Stephanie Rawlings-Rhea, Roxana Hicks, Danielle Doolittle, Marisa Lopez, Ben Futrell, Rimas J. Orentas, Daniel Li, Rebecca Gardner, Michael C. Jensen

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Abstract

The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is one of the predominant tumor viruses in humans, but so far no therapeutic or prophylactic vaccination against this transforming pathogen is available. We demonstrated that heterologous prime-boost vaccination with the nuclear antigen 1 of EBV (EBNA1), either targeted to the DEC205 receptor on DCs or expressed from a recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) vector, improved priming of antigen-specific CD4+ T cell help. This help supported the expansion and maintenance of EBNA1-specific CD8+ T cells that are most efficiently primed by recombinant adenoviruses that encode EBNA1. These combined CD4+ and CD8+ T cell responses protected against EBNA1-expressing T and B cell lymphomas, including lymphoproliferations that emerged spontaneously after EBNA1 expression. In particular, the heterologous EBNA1-expressing adenovirus, boosted by EBNA1-encoding MVA vaccination, demonstrated protection as a prophylactic and therapeutic treatment for the respective lymphoma challenges. Our study shows that such heterologous prime-boost vaccinations against EBV-associated malignancies as well as symptomatic primary EBV infection should be further explored for clinical development.

Authors

Julia Rühl, Carmen Citterio, Christine Engelmann, Tracey Haigh, Andrzej Dzionek, Johannes Dreyer, Rajiv Khanna, Graham S. Taylor, Joanna B. Wilson, Carol S. Leung, Christian Münz

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Abstract

Diabetic individuals are at considerable risk for invasive infection by Staphylococcus aureus, however, the mechanisms underlying this enhanced susceptibility to infection are unclear. We observed increased mortality following i.v. S. aureus infection in diabetic mice compared with nondiabetic controls, correlating with increased numbers of low-density neutrophils (LDNs) and neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs). LDNs have been implicated in the inflammatory pathology of diseases such as lupus, given their release of large amounts of NETs. Our goal was to describe what drives LDN increases during S. aureus infection in the diabetic host and mechanisms that promote increased NET production by LDNs. LDN development is dependent on TGF-β, which we found to be more activated in the diabetic host. Neutralization of TGF-β, or the TGF-β–activating integrin αvβ8, reduced LDN numbers and improved survival during S. aureus infection. Targeting S. aureus directly with MEDI4893*, an α toxin–neutralizing monoclonal antibody, blocked TGF-β activation, reduced LDNs and NETs, and significantly improved survival. A comparison of gene and protein expression in high-density neutrophils and LDNs identified increased GPCRs and elevated phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) in the LDN subset. Inhibition of PTEN improved the survival of infected diabetic mice. Our data identify a population of neutrophils in infected diabetic mice that correlated with decreased survival and increased NET production and describe 3 therapeutic targets, a bacterial target and 2 host proteins, that prevented NET production and improved survival.

Authors

Taylor S. Cohen, Virginia Takahashi, Jessica Bonnell, Andrey Tovchigrechko, Raghothama Chaerkady, Wen Yu, Omari Jones-Nelson, Young Lee, Rajiv Raja, Sonja Hess, C. Kendall Stover, John J. Worthington, Mark A. Travis, Bret R. Sellman

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Abstract

Aside from its catalytic function in protein synthesis, leucyl-tRNA synthetase (LRS) has a nontranslational function in regulating cell growth via the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) complex 1 (mTORC1) pathway by sensing amino acid availability. mTOR also regulates skeletal myogenesis, but the signaling mechanism is distinct from that in cell growth regulation. A role of LRS in myogenesis has not been reported. Here we report that LRS negatively regulated myoblast differentiation in vitro. This function of LRS was independent of its regulation of protein synthesis, and it required leucine-binding but not tRNA charging activity of LRS. Local knock down of LRS accelerated muscle regeneration in a mouse injury model, and so did the knock down of Rag or Raptor. Further in vitro studies established a Rag-mTORC1 pathway, which inhibits the IRS1-PI3K-Akt pathway, to be the mediator of the nontranslational function of LRS in myogenesis. BC-LI-0186, an inhibitor reported to disrupt LRS-Rag interaction, promoted robust muscle regeneration with enhanced functional recovery, and this effect was abolished by cotreatment with an Akt inhibitor. Taken together, our findings revealed what we believe is a novel function for LRS in controlling the homeostasis of myogenesis, and suggested a potential therapeutic strategy to target a noncanonical function of a housekeeping protein.

Authors

Kook Son, Jae-Sung You, Mee-Sup Yoon, Chong Dai, Jong Hyun Kim, Nidhi Khanna, Aditi Banerjee, Susan A. Martinis, Gyoonhee Han, Jung Min Han, Sunghoon Kim, Jie Chen

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Abstract

Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells are an effective therapy for relapsed or refractory pediatric B cell leukemia. Analysis of the starting material, the T cells collected from the patient prior to CAR manufacture, reveals possible biomarkers of cells destined to perform poorly in patients. Long-term follow-up shows that long periods of B cell aplasia, a marker of in vivo CAR activity, are associated with longer remission but also a higher chance of antigen-negative relapse. The role of transplantation as consolidative therapy is unclear in this nonrandomized data, but clearly warrants further study.

Authors

David M. Barrett

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Abstract

Alveolar epithelium plays a pivotal role in protecting the lungs from inhaled infectious agents. Therefore, the regenerative capacity of the alveolar epithelium is critical for recovery from these insults in order to rebuild the epithelial barrier and restore pulmonary functions. Here, we show that sublethal infection of mice with Streptococcus pneumoniae, the most common pathogen of community-acquired pneumonia, led to exclusive damage in lung alveoli, followed by alveolar epithelial regeneration and resolution of lung inflammation. We show that surfactant protein C–expressing (SPC-expressing) alveolar epithelial type II cells (AECIIs) underwent proliferation and differentiation after infection, which contributed to the newly formed alveolar epithelium. This increase in AECII activities was correlated with increased nuclear expression of Yap and Taz, the mediators of the Hippo pathway. Mice that lacked Yap/Taz in AECIIs exhibited prolonged inflammatory responses in the lung and were delayed in alveolar epithelial regeneration during bacterial pneumonia. This impaired alveolar epithelial regeneration was paralleled by a failure to upregulate IκBa, the molecule that terminates NF-κB–mediated inflammatory responses. These results demonstrate that signals governing resolution of lung inflammation were altered in Yap/Taz mutant mice, which prevented the development of a proper regenerative niche, delaying repair and regeneration of alveolar epithelium during bacterial pneumonia.

Authors

Ryan LaCanna, Daniela Liccardo, Peggy Zhang, Lauren Tragesser, Yan Wang, Tongtong Cao, Harold A. Chapman, Edward E. Morrisey, Hao Shen, Walter J. Koch, Beata Kosmider, Marla R. Wolfson, Ying Tian

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Abstract

The Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) is estimated to infect a large part of the population and is associated with a variety of human tumors; therefore, EBV is an important target for vaccine development. In this issue of the JCI, Rühl et al. developed a promising heterologous prime-boost vaccination strategy for EBV-associated malignancies and symptomatic primary infection. The authors show that two prime-boost regimens, using either dendritic cells or an adenovirus approach targeting nuclear antigen EBNA1 followed by a modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA) booster, induced significant T cell–mediated, EBV-specific immune control and Ab production. These findings suggest that administration of heterologous prime-boost vaccinations targeting EBNA1 may result in potent CD4+ and CD8+ T cell–mediated EBV immune control and may be a promising clinical approach.

Authors

Sandhya Sharma, Rayne H. Rouce

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Abstract

The equilibrium of signaling through activating and inhibitory receptors dictates whether a given NK cell will execute cellular cytotoxicity. In this issue of the JCI, Kamiya et al. describe a novel approach to efficiently inhibiting surface expression of the inhibitory receptor CD94/NK group 2 member A (NKG2A) through retention of the protein in the endoplasmic reticulum. In adoptive transfer experiments into tumor-bearing immunodeficient mice, NKG2Anull NK cells were significantly more effective at eliminating HLA-E–expressing tumor cells than NKG2A+ NK cells. This study provides proof of concept for a new immunotherapeutic approach using NKG2Anull NK cells.

Authors

Frank Cichocki, Jeffrey S. Miller

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Abstract

Vacuolar H+-ATPase–dependent (V-ATPase–dependent) functions are critical for neural proteostasis and are involved in neurodegeneration and brain tumorigenesis. We identified a patient with fulminant neurodegeneration of the developing brain carrying a de novo splice site variant in ATP6AP2 encoding an accessory protein of the V-ATPase. Functional studies of induced pluripotent stem cell–derived (iPSC-derived) neurons from this patient revealed reduced spontaneous activity and severe deficiency in lysosomal acidification and protein degradation leading to neuronal cell death. These deficiencies could be rescued by expression of full-length ATP6AP2. Conditional deletion of Atp6ap2 in developing mouse brain impaired V-ATPase–dependent functions, causing impaired neural stem cell self-renewal, premature neuronal differentiation, and apoptosis resulting in degeneration of nearly the entire cortex. In vitro studies revealed that ATP6AP2 deficiency decreases V-ATPase membrane assembly and increases endosomal-lysosomal fusion. We conclude that ATP6AP2 is a key mediator of V-ATPase–dependent signaling and protein degradation in the developing human central nervous system.

Authors

Takuo Hirose, Alfredo Cabrera-Socorro, David Chitayat, Thomas Lemonnier, Olivier Féraud, Carmen Cifuentes-Diaz, Nicolas Gervasi, Cedric Mombereau, Tanay Ghosh, Loredana Stoica, Jeanne d’Arc Al Bacha, Hiroshi Yamada, Marcel A. Lauterbach, Marc Guillon, Kiriko Kaneko, Joy W. Norris, Komudi Siriwardena, Susan Blasér, Jérémie Teillon, Roberto Mendoza-Londono, Marion Russeau, Julien Hadoux, Sadayoshi Ito, Pierre Corvol, Maria G. Matheus, Kenton R. Holden, Kohji Takei, Valentina Emiliani, Annelise Bennaceur-Griscelli, Charles E. Schwartz, Genevieve Nguyen, Matthias Groszer

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Abstract

BACKGROUND. Systems vaccinology allows cutting-edge analysis of innate biomarkers of vaccine efficacy. We explored a strategy to shape the adaptive immune response by targeting innate immune cells through novel immunization routes. METHODS. This randomized phase I/II clinical study (n = 60 healthy subjects aged 18–45 years old) used transcriptomic analysis to discover early biomarkers of immune response quality after transcutaneous (t.c.), intradermal (i.d.), and intramuscular (i.m.) administration of a trivalent influenza vaccine (TIV, season 2012–2013, 1:1:1 ratio). Safety and immunogenicity (hemagglutinin inhibition [HI], microneutralization [MN] antibodies, and CD4+ and CD8+ effector T cells) were measured at baseline day 0 (d0) and at d21. Blood transcriptome was analyzed at d0 and d1. RESULTS. TIV-specific CD8+ granzyme B+ (GRZ) T cells appeared in more individuals immunized by the t.c. and i.d. routes, whereas immunization by the i.d. and i.m. routes prompted high levels of HI antibody titers and MN against A/H1N1 and A/H3N2 influenza viral strains. The early innate gene signature anticipated immunological outcome by discriminating 2 clusters of individuals with either distinct humoral or CD8 cytotoxic responses. Several pathways explained this dichotomy and confirmed that 9 genes and the serum level of CXCL10 were correlated with either TIV-specific cytotoxic CD8+GRZ+ T cell or antibody responses. A logistic regression analysis demonstrated that these 9 genes and the serum levels of CXCL10 at d1/d0 best predicted TIV-specific CD8+GRZ+ T cell and antibody responses at d21. CONCLUSION. This study provides new insight into the impact of immunization routes and innate signature in the quality of adaptive immune responses. TRIAL REGISTRATION. This study has been registered at ClinicalTrials.gov (NCT01707602). FUNDING. This work was supported by grants from the French Ministry of Health PHRCN 2012 – RCT 12061, INSERM-DGOS, the Fondation pour la Recherche Médicale, and the Société Française de Dermatologie (to AS). These funding sources had no direct role in any aspect of the research or article.

Authors

Eléna Gonçalves, Olivia Bonduelle, Angèle Soria, Pierre Loulergue, Alexandra Rousseau, Marine Cachanado, Henri Bonnabau, Rodolphe Thiebaut, Nicolas Tchitchek, Sylvie Behillil, Sylvie van der Werf, Annika Vogt, Tabassome Simon, Odile Launay, Behazine Combadière

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Abstract

BACKGROUND. Recent genomic and bioinformatic technological advances have made it possible to dissect the immune response to personalized neoantigens encoded by tumor-specific mutations. However, timely and efficient identification of neoantigens is still a major obstacle to personalized neoantigen-based cancer immunotherapy. METHODS. Two different pipelines of neoantigen identification were established in this study: (a) Clinical-grade targeted sequencing was performed in patients with refractory solid tumor, and mutant peptides with high variant allele frequency and predicted high HLA-binding affinity were synthesized de novo. (b) An inventory-shared neoantigen peptide library of common solid tumors was constructed, and patients’ hotspot mutations were matched to the neoantigen peptide library. The candidate neoepitopes were identified by recalling memory T cell responses in vitro. Subsequently, neoantigen-loaded dendritic cell vaccines and neoantigen-reactive T cells were generated for personalized immunotherapy in 6 patients. RESULTS. Immunogenic neoepitopes were recognized by autologous T cells in 3 of 4 patients who used the de novo synthesis mode and in 6 of 13 patients who used the shared neoantigen peptide library. A metastatic thymoma patient achieved a complete and durable response beyond 29 months after treatment. Immune-related partial response was observed in another patient with metastatic pancreatic cancer. The remaining 4 patients achieved prolonged stabilization of disease with a median progression-free survival of 8.6 months. CONCLUSION. The current study provides feasible pipelines for neoantigen identification. Implementing these strategies to individually tailor neoantigens could facilitate neoantigen-based translational immunotherapy research. TRIAL REGISTRATION. ChiCTR.org ChiCTR-OIC-16010092, ChiCTR-OIC-17011275, ChiCTR-OIC-17011913; ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03171220. FUNDING. This work was funded by grants from the National Key Research and Development Program of China (2017YFC1308900), the National Major Projects for “Major New Drugs Innovation and Development” (2018ZX09301048-003), the National Natural Science Foundation of China (81672367, 81572329, 81572601), and the Key Research and Development Program of Jiangsu Province (BE2017607).

Authors

Fangjun Chen, Zhengyun Zou, Juan Du, Shu Su, Jie Shao, Fanyan Meng, Ju Yang, Qiuping Xu, Naiqing Ding, Yang Yang, Qin Liu, Qin Wang, Zhichen Sun, Shujuan Zhou, Shiyao Du, Jia Wei, Baorui Liu

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Abstract

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a deadly disease with a poor prognosis and few treatment options. Pathological remodeling of the extracellular matrix (ECM) is a key factor that drives the disease pathogenesis, although the underlying mechanisms remain unknown. Alternative polyadenylation (APA) has recently been shown to play a major role in cellular responses to stress by driving the expression of fibrotic factors through the alteration of miRNA sensitivity, but a connection to IPF has not been established. Here, we demonstrated that CFIm25, a global regulator of APA, was downregulated in the lungs of patients with IPF and mice with pulmonary fibrosis, with its expression selectively reduced in α–smooth muscle actin–positive (α-SMA–positive) fibroblasts. Following CFIm25 knockdown in healthy human lung fibroblasts, we identified 808 genes with shortened 3′-UTRs, including those involved in the TGF-β signaling pathway, the Wnt signaling pathway, and cancer pathways. The expression of key profibrotic factors was suppressed by CFIm25 overexpression in IPF fibroblasts. Finally, we demonstrated that deletion of CFIm25 in fibroblasts or myofibroblast precursors using either the Col1a1 or the Foxd1 promoter enhanced pulmonary fibrosis after bleomycin exposure. Collectively, our results identified CFIm25 downregulation as an important mechanism for elevating profibrotic gene expression in pulmonary fibrosis.

Authors

Tingting Weng, Junsuk Ko, Chioniso P. Masamha, Zheng Xia, Yu Xiang, Ning-yuan Chen, Jose G. Molina, Scott Collum, Tinne C. Mertens, Fayong Luo, Kemly Philip, Jonathan Davies, Jingjing Huang, Cory Wilson, Rajarajan A. Thandavarayan, Brian A. Bruckner, Soma S.K. Jyothula, Kelly A. Volcik, Lei Li, Leng Han, Wei Li, Shervin Assassi, Harry Karmouty-Quintana, Eric J. Wagner, Michael R. Blackburn

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Abstract

The mesenchymal (MES) subtype of glioblastoma (GBM) stem cells (GSCs) represents a subpopulation of cancer cells that are notorious for their highly aggressive nature and resistance to conventional therapy. Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1A3 (ALDH1A3) has been recently suggested as a key determinant for the maintenance of MES features of GSCs. However, the mechanisms underpinning aberrant ALDH1A3 expression remain elusive. Here, we identified ubiquitin-specific protease 9X (USP9X) as a bona fide deubiquitinase of ALDH1A3 in MES GSCs. USP9X interacted with, depolyubiquitylated, and stabilized ALDH1A3. Moreover, we showed that FACS-sorted USP9Xhi cells were enriched for MES GSCs with high ALDH1A3 activity and potent tumorigenic capacity. Depletion of USP9X markedly downregulated ALDH1A3, resulting in a loss of self-renewal and tumorigenic capacity of MES GSCs, which could be largely rescued by ectopic expression of ALDH1A3. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the USP9X inhibitor WP1130 induced ALDH1A3 degradation and showed marked therapeutic efficacy in MES GSC–derived orthotopic xenograft models. Additionally, USP9X strongly correlated with ALDH1A3 expression in primary human GBM samples and had a prognostic value for patients with the MES subgroup. Collectively, our findings unveil USP9X as a key deubiquitinase for ALDH1A3 protein stabilization and a potential target for GSC-directed therapy.

Authors

Zhengxin Chen, Hong-Wei Wang, Shuai Wang, Ligang Fan, Shuang Feng, Xiaomin Cai, Chenghao Peng, Xiaoting Wu, Jiacheng Lu, Dan Chen, Yuanyuan Chen, Wenting Wu, Daru Lu, Ning Liu, Yongping You, Huibo Wang

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Abstract

Neuromyelitis optica (NMO) is an autoimmune CNS disorder mediated by pathogenic aquaporin-4 (AQP4) water channel autoantibodies (AQP4-IgG). Although AQP4-IgG–driven complement-dependent cytotoxicity (CDC) is critical for the formation of NMO lesions, the molecular mechanisms governing optimal classical pathway activation are unknown. We investigated the molecular determinants driving CDC in NMO using recombinant AQP4–specific autoantibodies (AQP4 rAbs) derived from affected patients. We identified a group of AQP4 rAbs targeting a distinct extracellular loop C epitope that demonstrated enhanced CDC on target cells. Targeted mutations of AQP4 rAb Fc domains that enhance or diminish C1q binding or antibody Fc-Fc interactions showed that optimal CDC was driven by the assembly of multimeric rAb platforms that increase multivalent C1q binding and facilitate C1q activation. A peptide that blocks antibody Fc-Fc interaction inhibited CDC induced by AQP4 rAbs and polyclonal NMO patient sera. Super-resolution microscopy revealed that AQP4 rAbs with enhanced CDC preferentially formed organized clusters on supramolecular AQP4 orthogonal arrays, linking epitope-dependent multimeric assembly with enhanced C1q binding and activation. The resulting model of AQP4-IgG CDC provides a framework for understanding classical complement activation in human autoantibody–mediated disorders and identifies a potential new therapeutic avenue for treating NMO.

Authors

John Soltys, Yiting Liu, Alanna Ritchie, Scott Wemlinger, Kristin Schaller, Hannah Schumann, Gregory P. Owens, Jeffrey L. Bennett

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Abstract

Cancer stem cells sustain propagation of the deadly primary brain cancer glioblastoma. Glioblastoma stem cells (GSCs) characterized by a mesenchymal phenotype are aggressive and resistant to therapies and represent a crucial therapeutic target. In this issue of the JCI, Chen et al. show that the intracellular levels of aldehyde dehydrogenase 1A3 (ALDH1A3), known as a functional marker of mesenchymal GSCs, are regulated posttranslationally by ubiquitin-specific protease 9X–mediated (USP9X-mediated) deubiquitination. Increased expression of USP9X stabilizes ALDH1A3, enabling GSCs to exhibit mesenchymal traits and the malignant phenotype. Thus, the USP9X-ALDH1A3 axis may offer a novel therapeutic target in glioblastoma.

Authors

Hiroaki Wakimoto

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Abstract

DCs undergo metabolic reprogramming from a predominantly oxidative phosphorylation (OXPHOS) to glycolysis to mount an immunogenic response. The mechanism underpinning the metabolic reprogramming remains elusive. We demonstrate that miRNA-142 (miR-142) is pivotal for this shift in metabolism, which regulates the tolerogenic and immunogenic responses of DCs. In the absence of miR-142, DCs fail to switch from OXPHOS and show reduced production of proinflammatory cytokines and the ability to activate T cells in vitro and in in vivo models of sepsis and alloimmunity. Mechanistic studies demonstrate that miR-142 regulates fatty acid (FA) oxidation, which causes the failure to switch to glycolysis. Loss- and gain-of-function experiments identified carnitine palmitoyltransferase -1a (CPT1a), a key regulator of the FA pathway, as a direct target of miR-142 that is pivotal for the metabolic switch. Thus, our findings show that miR-142 is central to the metabolic reprogramming that specifically favors glycolysis and immunogenic response by DCs.

Authors

Yaping Sun, Katherine Oravecz-Wilson, Sydney Bridges, Richard McEachin, Julia Wu, Stephanie H. Kim, Austin Taylor, Cynthia Zajac, Hideaki Fujiwara, Daniel Christopher Peltier, Thomas Saunders, Pavan Reddy

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Abstract

T cell heterogeneity is highly relevant to allergic disorders. We resolved the heterogeneity of human tissue CD3+ T cells during allergic inflammation, focusing on a tissue-specific allergic disease, eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE). We investigated 1088 single T cells derived from patients with a spectrum of disease activity. Eight disparate tissue T cell subtypes (designated T1–T8) were identified, with T7 and T8 enriched in the diseased tissue. The phenotypes of T7 and T8 resemble putative Treg (FOXP3+) and effector Th2-like (GATA3+) cells, respectively. Prodigious levels of IL-5 and IL-13 were confined to HPGDS+ CRTH2+IL-17RB+FFAR3+CD4+ T8 effector Th2 cells. EoE severity closely paralleled a lipid/fatty acid–induced activation node highlighted by the expression of the short-chain fatty acid receptor FFAR3. Ligands for FFAR3 induced Th2 cytokine production from human and murine T cells, including in an in vivo allergy model. Therefore, we elucidated the defining characteristics of tissue-residing CD3+ T cells in EoE, a specific enrichment of CD4+ Treg and effector Th2 cells, confinement of type 2 cytokine production to the CD4+ effector population, a highly likely role for FFAR3 in amplifying local Th2 responses in EoE, and a resource to further dissect tissue lymphocytes and allergic responses.

Authors

Ting Wen, Bruce J. Aronow, Yrina Rochman, Mark Rochman, Kiran KC, Phil J. Dexheimer, Philip Putnam, Vincent Mukkada, Heather Foote, Kira Rehn, Sam Darko, Daniel Douek, Marc E. Rothenberg

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Abstract

Eosinophilic esophagitis (EoE) is a recently described disease in which exposure to specific foods and allergens leads to type 2 inflammation, epithelial barrier dysfunction, and difficulty in swallowing. In the current issue of the JCI, Wen and colleagues investigate tissue T cell heterogeneity in patients with EoE using single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq). Esophageal epithelium from individuals with EoE convtained a prominent population of Th2 cells not seen in controls. The short-chain fatty acid (SCFA) receptor FFAR3 was found to be highly expressed in EoE Th2 cells. Experiments presented here provide evidence that SCFAs may promote type 2 inflammation in allergic diseases such as EoE and asthma. This study provides an early example of scRNA-seq for identifying relevant cell populations and mechanisms underlying allergic diseases.

Authors

Walter L. Eckalbar, David J. Erle

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Abstract

The serine/threonine kinases BRAF and CRAF are critical components of the MAPK signaling pathway that is activated in many cancer types. In approximately 1% of melanomas, BRAF or CRAF is activated through structural arrangements. We describe a metastatic melanoma with a GOLGA4-RAF1 fusion and pathogenic variants in catenin β 1 (CTNNB1) and cyclin-dependent kinase inhibitor 2A (CDKN2A). Anti–cytotoxic T-lymphocyte–associated protein 4/anti–programmed cell death 1 (anti-CTLA4/anti–PD-1) combination immunotherapy failed to control tumor progression. In the absence of other actionable variants, the patient was administered MEK inhibitor therapy on the basis of its potential action against RAF1 fusions. This resulted in a profound and clinically significant response. We demonstrated that GOLGA4-RAF1 expression was associated with ERK activation, elevated expression of the RAS/RAF downstream coeffector ETV5, and a high Ki67 index. These findings provide a rationale for the dramatic response to targeted therapy. This study shows that molecular characterization of treatment-resistant cancers can identify therapeutic targets and personalize therapy management, leading to improved patient outcomes.

Authors

Christopher R. McEvoy, Huiling Xu, Kortnye Smith, Dariush Etemadmoghadam, Huei San Leong, David Y. Choong, David J. Byrne, Amir Iravani, Sophie Beck, Linda Mileshkin, Richard W. Tothill, David D. Bowtell, Bindi M. Bates, Violeta Nastevski, Judy Browning, Anthony H. Bell, Chloe Khoo, Jayesh Desai, Andrew P. Fellowes, Stephen B. Fox, Owen W.J. Prall

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Abstract

Because of the less than robust response to therapy and impact on choice of optimal chemotherapy and prognosis, chronic kidney disease has drawn attention in the treatment of multiple myeloma, a malignant hematologic disorder that can produce significant amounts of monoclonal immunoglobulin free light chains. These low molecular weight proteins are relatively freely filtered through the glomerulus and are reabsorbed by the proximal tubule. The present study demonstrated that during the process of metabolism of immunoglobulin free light chains, reactive oxygen species activated the Signal Transducer and Activator of Transcription 1 (STAT1) pathway in proximal tubule epithelium. STAT1 activation served as the seminal signaling molecule that produced the pro-inflammatory molecule, Interleukin-1β, as well as the pro-fibrotic agent, Transforming Growth Factor-β, by this portion of the nephron. These effects occurred in vivo and were produced specifically by the generation of hydrogen peroxide by the VL domain of the light chain. To the extent that the experiments reflect the human condition, these studies offered new insights into the pathogenesis of progressive kidney failure in the setting of lymphoproliferative disorders, such as multiple myeloma, that feature increased circulating levels of monoclonal immunoglobulin fragments that require metabolism by the kidney.

Authors

Wei-Zhong Ying, Xingsheng Li, Sunil Rangarajan, Wenguang Feng, Lisa M. Curtis, Paul W. Sanders

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Abstract

Deep vein thrombosis (DVT), caused by alterations in venous homeostasis is the third most common cause of cardiovascular mortality; however, key molecular determinants in venous thrombosis have not been fully elucidated. Several lines of evidence indicate that DVT occurs at the intersection of dysregulated inflammation and coagulation. The enzyme ectonucleoside tri(di)phosphohydrolase (ENTPD1, also known as CD39) is a vascular ecto-apyrase on the surface of leukocytes and the endothelium that inhibits intravascular inflammation and thrombosis by hydrolysis of phosphodiester bonds from nucleotides released by activated cells. Here, we evaluated the contribution of CD39 to venous thrombosis in a restricted-flow model of murine inferior vena cava stenosis. CD39-deficiency conferred a >2-fold increase in venous thrombogenesis, characterized by increased leukocyte engagement, neutrophil extracellular trap formation, fibrin, and local activation of tissue factor in the thrombotic milieu. This was orchestrated by increased phosphorylation of the p65 subunit of NFκB, activation of the NLRP3 inflammasome, and interleukin-1β (IL-1β) release in CD39-deficient mice. Substantiating these findings, an IL-1β-neutralizing antibody attenuated the thrombosis risk in CD39-deficient mice. These data demonstrate that IL-1β is a key accelerant of venous thrombo-inflammation, which can be suppressed by CD39. CD39 inhibits in vivo crosstalk between inflammation and coagulation pathways, and is a critical vascular checkpoint in venous thrombosis.

Authors

Vinita Yadav, Liguo Chi, Raymond Zhao, Benjamin Tourdot, Srilakshmi Yalavarthi, Benjamin N. Jacobs, Alison Banka, Hui Liao, Sharon Koonse, Anuli C. Anyanwu, Scott Visovatti, Michael Holinstat, J. Michelle Kahlenberg, Jason S. Knight, David J. Pinsky, Yogendra Kanthi

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Abstract

The polarization of macrophages is regulated by transcription factors such as nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) and activator protein 1 (AP-1). In this manuscript, we delineated the role of the transcription factor Fos-related antigen 1 (Fra-1) during macrophage activation and development of arthritis. Network level interaction analysis of microarray data derived from Fra-1- or Fra-2-deficient macrophages revealed a central role of Fra-1, but not of Fra-2 in orchestrating the expression of genes related to wound response, toll-like receptor activation and interleukin signaling. Chromatin-immunoprecipitation (ChIP)-sequencing and standard ChIP analyses of macrophages identified arginase 1 (Arg1) as a target of Fra-1. Luciferase reporter assays revealed that Fra-1 down-regulated Arg1 expression by direct binding to the promoter region. Using macrophage-specific Fra-1- or Fra-2- deficient mice, we observed an enhanced expression and activity of Arg1 and a reduction of arthritis in the absence of Fra-1, but not of Fra-2. This phenotype was reversed by treatment with the arginase inhibitor Nω-hydroxy-nor-L-arginine, while ʟ-arginine supplementation increased arginase activity and alleviated arthritis, supporting the notion that reduced arthritis in macrophage-specific Fra-1-deficient mice resulted from enhanced Arg1 expression and activity. Moreover, patients with active RA showed increased Fra-1 expression in the peripheral blood and elevated Fra-1 protein in synovial macrophages compared to RA patients in remission. In addition, the Fra-1/ARG1 ratio in synovial macrophages was related to RA disease activity. In conclusion, these data suggest that Fra-1 orchestrates the inflammatory state of macrophages by inhibition of Arg1 expression and thereby impedes the resolution of inflammation.

Authors

Nicole Hannemann, Shan Cao, Daniel Eriksson, Anne Schnelzer, Jutta Jordan, Martin Eberhardt, Ulrike Schleicher, Jürgen Rech, Andreas Ramming, Steffen Uebe, Arif Ekici, Juan D. Cañete, Xiaoxiang Chen, Tobias Bäuerle, Julio Vera, Christian Bogdan, Georg Schett, Aline Bozec

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Abstract

Preclinical studies demonstrate that rapid acting antidepressants, including ketamine require stimulation of mTORC1 signaling. This pathway is regulated by neuronal activity, endocrine and metabolic signals, notably the amino acid leucine, which activates mTORC1 signaling via binding to the upstream regulator sestrin. Here, we examined the antidepressant actions of NV-5138, a novel highly selective small molecule modulator of sestrin that penetrates the blood brain barrier. The results demonstrate that a single dose of NV-5138 produced rapid and long-lasting antidepressant effects, and rapidly reversed anhedonia caused by chronic stress exposure. The antidepressant actions of NV-5138 required BDNF release as the behavioral responses are blocked by infusion of a BDNF neutralizing antibody into the medial prefrontal cortex (mPFC) or in mice with a knock-in of a BDNF polymorphism that blocks activity dependent BDNF release. NV-5138 administration also rapidly increased synapse number and function in the mPFC, and reversed the synaptic deficits caused by chronic stress. Together, the results demonstrate that NV-5138 produced rapid synaptic and antidepressant behavioral responses via activation of the mTORC1 pathway and BDNF signaling, indicating that pharmacological modulation of sestrin is a novel approach for development of rapid acting antidepressants.

Authors

Taro Kato, Santosh Pothula, Rong-Jian Liu, Catharine H. Duman, Rosemarie Terwilliger, George P. Vlasuk, Eddine Saiah, Seung Hahm, Ronald S. Duman

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Abstract

Increased urinary oxalate excretion (hyperoxaluria) promotes the formation of calcium oxalate crystals. Monogenic diseases due to hepatic enzymes deficiency result in chronic hyperoxaluria, promoting end-stage renal disease in children and young adults. Ethylene glycol poisoning also results in hyperoxaluria promoting acute renal failure and frequently death. Stiripentol is an antiepileptic drug used to treat children affected by Dravet syndrome, possibly by inhibiting neuronal lactate dehydrogenase 5 isoenzyme. As this isoenzyme is also the last step of hepatic oxalate production, we hypothesized that Stiripentol would potentially reduce hepatic oxalate production and urine oxalate excretion. In vitro, Stiripentol decreased in a dose-dependent manner the synthesis of oxalate by hepatocytes. In vivo, Stiripentol oral administration reduced significantly urine oxalate excretion in rats. Stiripentol protected kidneys against calcium oxalate crystal deposits in acute ethylene glycol intoxication and chronic calcium oxalate nephropathy models. In both models, Stiripentol improved significantly renal function. Patients affected by Dravet syndrome and treated with Stiripentol had a lower urine oxalate excretion than control patients. A young girl affected by severe type I hyperoxaluria received Stiripentol for several weeks: urine oxalate excretion decreased by two-thirds. Stiripentol is a promising potential therapy against genetic hyperoxaluria and ethylene glycol poisoning.

Authors

Marine Le Dudal, Lea Huguet, Joëlle Perez, Sophie Vandermeersch, Elise Bouderlique, Ellie Tang, Carole Martori, Nicole Chemaly, Rima Nabbout, Jean-Philippe Haymann, Vincent Frochot, Laurent Baud, Georges Deschênes, Michel Daudon, Emmanuel Letavernier

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April 2019

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April 2019 Issue

On the cover:
miR-30c represses fibrin-mediated tumor angiogenesis

To promote their growth, cancer cells misappropriate angiogenic signals, including endothelial cell–expressed Serpine1, which encodes the plasminogen activator inhibitor PAI-1. The inhibition of plasmin leads to persistent perivascular fibrin deposition and growth factor sequestration in the tumor microenvironment. In this issue of the JCI, McCann et al. reveal an essential role for miR-30c in controlling fibrin-mediated tumor angiogenesis. They discovered that TGF-β–driven reduction in miR-30c enhances PAI-1 expression and perivascular fibrin deposition in endothelial cells that support angiogenesis. They further demonstrate that miR-30c mimics decrease whereas miR-30c antagomiRs increase fibrin-mediated endothelial sprouting and tumor growth. The cover image shows endothelial cell sprouting in a fibrin matrix. Image credit: James McCann.

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Jci tm 04

April 2019 JCI This Month

JCI This Month is a digest of the research, reviews, and other features published each month.

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Review Series - More

Allergy

Series edited by Kari Nadeau

The increasing prevalence of allergies worldwide has spurred numerous efforts to better understand risk factors and mechanisms underlying these potentially life-threatening immune responses. Coordinated by Series Editor Kari Nadeau, these reviews address our evolving understanding of the shared and distinct mechanisms underlying allergic diseases of the skin, respiratory system, and gastrointestinal tract. In topics ranging from the molecular and cellular basis of allergy to the influence of the central nervous system, microbiome, and environment, leaders in the field highlight major insights into allergic responses as well as new concepts in treating and preventing allergy.

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