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Abstract

Manganese (Mn), an essential metal and nutrient, is toxic in excess. Toxicity classically results from inhalational exposures in individuals who work in industrial settings. The first known disease of inherited Mn excess, identified in 2012, is caused by mutations in the metal exporter SLC30A10 and is characterized by Mn excess, dystonia, cirrhosis, and polycythemia. To investigate the role of SLC30A10 in Mn homeostasis, we first generated whole-body Slc30a10–deficient mice, which developed severe Mn excess and impaired systemic and biliary Mn excretion. Slc30a10 localized to canalicular membranes of hepatocytes, but mice with liver Slc30a10 deficiency developed minimal Mn excess despite impaired biliary Mn excretion. Slc30a10 also localized to the apical membrane of enterocytes, but mice with Slc30a10 deficiency in small intestines developed minimal Mn excess despite impaired Mn export into the lumen of the small intestines. Finally, mice with Slc30a10 deficiency in liver and small intestines developed Mn excess that was less severe than that observed in mice with whole-body Slc30a10 deficiency, suggesting that additional sites of Slc30a10 expression contribute to Mn homeostasis. Overall, these results indicated that Slc30a10 is essential for Mn excretion by hepatocytes and enterocytes and could be an effective target for pharmacological intervention to treat Mn toxicity.

Authors

Courtney J. Mercadante, Milankumar Prajapati, Heather L. Conboy, Miriam E. Dash, Carolina Herrera, Michael A. Pettiglio, Layra Cintron-Rivera, Madeleine A. Salesky, Deepa B. Rao, Thomas B. Bartnikas

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Abstract

Myocardin (MYOCD) is the founding member of a class of transcriptional coactivators that bind the serum-response factor to activate gene expression programs critical in smooth muscle (SM) and cardiac muscle development. Insights into the molecular functions of MYOCD have been obtained from cell culture studies, and to date, knowledge about in vivo roles of MYOCD comes exclusively from experimental animals. Here, we defined an often lethal congenital human disease associated with inheritance of pathogenic MYOCD variants. This disease manifested as a massively dilated urinary bladder, or megabladder, with disrupted SM in its wall. We provided evidence that monoallelic loss-of-function variants in MYOCD caused congenital megabladder in males only, whereas biallelic variants were associated with disease in both sexes, with a phenotype additionally involving the cardiovascular system. These results were supported by cosegregation of MYOCD variants with the phenotype in 4 unrelated families by in vitro transactivation studies in which pathogenic variants resulted in abrogated SM gene expression and by the finding of megabladder in 2 distinct mouse models with reduced Myocd activity. In conclusion, we have demonstrated that variants in MYOCD result in human disease, and the collective findings highlight a vital role for MYOCD in mammalian organogenesis.

Authors

Arjan C. Houweling, Glenda M. Beaman, Alex V. Postma, T. Blair Gainous, Klaske D. Lichtenbelt, Francesco Brancati, Filipa M. Lopes, Ingeborg van der Made, Abeltje M. Polstra, Michael L. Robinson, Kevin D. Wright, Jamie M. Ellingford, Ashley R. Jackson, Eline Overwater, Rita Genesio, Silvio Romano, Letizia Camerota, Emanuela D’Angelo, Elizabeth J. Meijers-Heijboer, Vincent M. Christoffels, Kirk M. McHugh, Brian L. Black, William G. Newman, Adrian S. Woolf, Esther E. Creemers

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Abstract

Excessive alcohol consumption is associated with spontaneous burning pain, hyperalgesia, and allodynia. Although acetaldehyde has been implicated in the painful alcoholic neuropathy, the mechanism by which the ethanol metabolite causes pain symptoms is unknown. Acute ethanol ingestion caused delayed mechanical allodynia in mice. Inhibition of alcohol dehydrogenase (ADH) or deletion of transient receptor potential ankyrin 1 (TRPA1), a sensor for oxidative and carbonyl stress, prevented allodynia. Acetaldehyde generated by ADH in both liver and Schwann cells surrounding nociceptors was required for TRPA1-induced mechanical allodynia. Plp1-Cre Trpa1fl/fl mice with a tamoxifen-inducible specific deletion of TRPA1 in Schwann cells revealed that channel activation by acetaldehyde in these cells initiates a NADPH oxidase-1–dependent (NOX1-dependent) production of hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and 4-hydroxynonenal (4-HNE), which sustains allodynia by paracrine targeting of nociceptor TRPA1. Chronic ethanol ingestion caused prolonged mechanical allodynia and loss of intraepidermal small nerve fibers in WT mice. While Trpa1–/– or Plp1-Cre Trpa1fl/fl mice did not develop mechanical allodynia, they did not show any protection from the small-fiber neuropathy. Human Schwann cells express ADH/TRPA1/NOX1 and recapitulate the proalgesic functions of mouse Schwann cells. TRPA1 antagonists might attenuate some symptoms of alcohol-related pain.

Authors

Francesco De Logu, Simone Li Puma, Lorenzo Landini, Francesca Portelli, Alessandro Innocenti, Daniel Souza Monteiro de Araujo, Malvin N. Janal, Riccardo Patacchini, Nigel W. Bunnett, Pierangelo Geppetti, Romina Nassini

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Abstract

Oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) frequently invades the maxillary or mandibular bone, and this bone invasion is closely associated with poor prognosis and survival. Here, we show that CCL28 functions as a negative regulator of OSCC bone invasion. CCL28 inhibited invasion and epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT), and its inhibition of EMT was characterized by induced E-cadherin expression and reduced nuclear localization of β-catenin in OSCC cells with detectable RUNX3 expression levels. CCL28 signaling via CCR10 increased retinoic acid receptor-β (RARβ) expression by reducing the interaction between RARα and HDAC1. In addition, CCL28 reduced RANKL production in OSCC and osteoblastic cells and blocked RANKL-induced osteoclastogenesis in osteoclast precursors. Intraperitoneally administered CCL28 inhibited tumor growth and osteolysis in mouse calvaria and tibia inoculated with OSCC cells. RARβ expression was also increased in tumor tissues. In patients with OSCC, low CCL28, CCR10, and RARβ expression levels were highly correlated with bone invasion. Patients with OSCC who had higher expression of CCL28, CCR10, or RARβ had significantly better overall survival. These findings suggest that CCL28, CCR10, and RARβ are useful markers for the prediction and treatment of OSCC bone invasion. Furthermore, CCL28 upregulation in OSCC cells or CCL28 treatment can be a therapeutic strategy for OSCC bone invasion.

Authors

Junhee Park, Xianglan Zhang, Sun Kyoung Lee, Na-Young Song, Seung Hwa Son, Ki Rim Kim, Jae Hoon Shim, Kwang-Kyun Park, Won-Yoon Chung

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Abstract

Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a devastating autoimmune disease in which hyperactive T cells play a critical role. Understanding molecular mechanisms underlying the T cell hyperactivity will lead to identification of specific therapeutic targets. Serine/arginine-rich splicing factor 1 (SRSF1) is an essential RNA-binding protein that controls posttranscriptional gene expression. We have demonstrated that SRSF1 levels are aberrantly decreased in T cells from patients with SLE and that they correlate with severe disease, yet the role of SRSF1 in T cell physiology and autoimmune disease is largely unknown. Here we show that T cell–restricted Srsf1-deficient mice develop systemic autoimmunity and lupus-nephritis. Mice exhibit increased frequencies of activated/effector T cells producing proinflammatory cytokines, and an elevated T cell activation gene signature. Mechanistically, we noted increased activity of the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway and reduced expression of its repressor PTEN. The mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) inhibitor rapamycin suppressed proinflammatory cytokine production by T cells and alleviated autoimmunity in Srsf1-deficient mice. Of direct clinical relevance, PTEN levels correlated with SRSF1 in T cells from patients with SLE, and SRSF1 overexpression rescued PTEN and suppressed mTORC1 activation and proinflammatory cytokine production. Our studies reveal the role of a previously unrecognized molecule, SRSF1, in restraining T cell activation, averting the development of autoimmune disease, and acting as a potential therapeutic target for lupus.

Authors

Takayuki Katsuyama, Hao Li, Denis Comte, George C. Tsokos, Vaishali R. Moulton

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Abstract

Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder characterized by intellectual disability, lack of speech, ataxia, EEG abnormalities, and epilepsy. Seizures in individuals with AS are common, debilitating, and often drug resistant. Thus, there is an unmet need for better treatment options. Cannabidiol (CBD), a major phytocannabinoid constituent of cannabis, has shown antiseizure activity and behavioral benefits in preclinical and clinical studies for some disorders associated with epilepsy, suggesting that the same could be true for AS. Here, we show that acute CBD (100 mg/kg) treatment attenuated hyperthermia- and acoustically induced seizures in a mouse model of AS. However, neither acute CBD nor a 2-week-long course of CBD administered immediately after a kindling protocol could halt the proepileptogenic plasticity observed in AS model mice. CBD had a dose-dependent sedative effect but did not have an impact on motor performance. CBD abrogated the enhanced intracortical local field potential power, including the delta and theta rhythms observed in AS model mice, indicating that CBD administration could also help normalize the EEG deficits observed in individuals with AS. We believe our results provide critical preclinical evidence supporting CBD treatment of seizures and alleviation of EEG abnormalities in AS and will thus help guide the rational development of CBD as a treatment for AS.

Authors

Bin Gu, Manhua Zhu, Madison R. Glass, Marie Rougié, Viktoriya D. Nikolova, Sheryl S. Moy, Paul R. Carney, Benjamin D. Philpot

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Abstract

Both miRNAs and A-to-I RNA editing, a widespread nucleotide modification mechanism, have recently emerged as key players in cancer pathophysiology. However, the functional impact of RNA editing of miRNAs in cancer remains largely unexplored. Here, we focused on an ADAR2-catalyzed RNA editing site within the miR-379-5p seed region. This site was under-edited in tumors relative to normal tissues, with a high editing level being correlated with better patient survival times across cancer types. We demonstrated that in contrast to wild-type miRNA, edited miR-379-5p inhibited cell proliferation and promoted apoptosis in diverse tumor contexts in vitro, which was due to the ability of edited but not wild-type miR-379-5p to target CD97. Importantly, through nanoliposomal delivery, edited miR-379-5p mimics significantly inhibited tumor growth and extended survival of mice. Our study indicates a role of RNA editing in diversifying miRNA function during cancer progression and highlights the translational potential of edited miRNAs as a new class of cancer therapeutics.

Authors

Xiaoyan Xu, Yumeng Wang, Kamalika Mojumdar, Zhicheng Zhou, Kang Jin Jeong, Lingegowda S. Mangala, Shuangxing Yu, Yiu Huen Tsang, Cristian Rodriguez-Aguayo, Yiling Lu, Gabriel Lopez-Berestein, Anil K. Sood, Gordon B. Mills, Han Liang

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Abstract

Manganese (Mn) participates in a variety of distinct physiological processes, including acting as a cofactor for several enzymes and metalloenzymes, in addition to playing a role in immune function, endocrine function, hematopoiesis, and oxidative stress regulation. Mn homeostasis is tightly regulated via intestinal absorption and hepatobiliary and intestinal excretion. In this issue of the JCI, Mercadante and colleagues explored the role of the metal transporter Slc30a10 in vivo using a mouse model system. The authors used whole-body and tissue-specific gene knockouts to show that Slc30a10 is paramount for Mn excretion in the liver and small intestines. These findings provide further insights into mechanisms for Mn homeostasis as well as potential targets for addressing Mn-associated disorders or environmental exposures.

Authors

Nathan Katz, Daniel J. Rader

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Abstract

Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a type of axial inflammation. Over time, some patients develop spinal ankylosis and permanent disability; however, current treatment strategies cannot arrest syndesmophyte formation completely. Here, we used mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from AS patients (AS MSCs) within the enthesis involved in spinal ankylosis to delineate that the HLA-B27–mediated spliced X-box–binding protein 1 (sXBP1)/retinoic acid receptor-β (RARB)/tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP) axis accelerated the mineralization of AS MSCs, which was independent of Runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2). An animal model mimicking AS pathological bony appositions was established by implantation of AS MSCs into the lumbar spine of NOD-SCID mice. We found that TNAP inhibitors, including levamisole and pamidronate, inhibited AS MSC mineralization in vitro and blocked bony appositions in vivo. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the serum bone-specific TNAP (BAP) level was a potential prognostic biomarker to predict AS patients with a high risk for radiographic progression. Our study highlights the importance of the HLA-B27–mediated activation of the sXBP1/RARB/TNAP axis in AS syndesmophyte pathogenesis and provides a new strategy for the diagnosis and prevention of radiographic progression of AS.

Authors

Chin-Hsiu Liu, Sengupta Raj, Chun-Hsiung Chen, Kuo-Hsuan Hung, Chung-Tei Chou, Ing-Ho Chen, Jui-Teng Chien, I-Ying Lin, Shii-Yi Yang, Takashi Angata, Wen-Chan Tsai, James Cheng-Chung Wei, I-Shiang Tzeng, Shih-Chieh Hung, Kuo-I Lin

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Abstract

While the outcome of adoptive T cell therapy (ACT) is typically correlated with the functionality of the inoculated T cells, the role of the endogenous T cells is unknown. The success of checkpoint blockade therapy has demonstrated the potentially curative value of preexisting tumor-primed T cells in cancer treatment. Given the results from checkpoint blockade therapy, we hypothesized that endogenous T cells contribute to long-term survival following ACT. Here, we describe a therapeutic approach combining ACT with an oncolytic vaccine that allows simultaneous analysis of antitumor immunity mediated by transferred and endogenous T cells. We found that, in addition to promoting the expansion and tumor infiltration of the transferred T cells, oncolytic vaccines boosted tumor-primed host T cells. We determined that transferred T cells contributed to rapid destruction of large tumor masses while endogenous T cells concurrently prevented the emergence of antigen-loss variants. Moreover, while transferred T cells disappeared shortly after tumor regression, endogenous T cells secured long-term memory with a broad repertoire of antigen specificity. Our findings suggest that this combination strategy may exploit the full potential of ACT and tumor-primed host T cells to eliminate the primary tumor, prevent immune escape, and provide long-term protective memory.

Authors

Scott R. Walsh, Boris Simovic, Lan Chen, Donald Bastin, Andrew Nguyen, Kyle Stephenson, Talveer S. Mandur, Jonathan L. Bramson, Brian D. Lichty, Yonghong Wan

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Abstract

In patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML), 10% to 30% with the normal karyotype express mutations in regulators of DNA methylation, such as TET2 or DNMT3A, in conjunction with activating mutation in the receptor tyrosine kinase FLT3. These patients have a poor prognosis because they do not respond well to established therapies. Here, utilizing mouse models of AML that recapitulate cardinal features of the human disease and bear a combination of loss-of-function mutations in either Tet2 or Dnmt3a along with expression of Flt3ITD, we show that inhibition of the protein tyrosine phosphatase SHP2, which is essential for cytokine receptor signaling (including FLT3), by the small molecule allosteric inhibitor SHP099 impairs growth and induces differentiation of leukemic cells without impacting normal hematopoietic cells. We also show that SHP099 normalizes the gene expression program associated with increased cell proliferation and self-renewal in leukemic cells by downregulating the Myc signature. Our results provide a new and more effective target for treating a subset of patients with AML who bear a combination of genetic and epigenetic mutations.

Authors

Ruchi Pandey, Baskar Ramdas, Changlin Wan, George Sandusky, Morvarid Mohseni, Chi Zhang, Reuben Kapur

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Abstract

Polyunsaturated fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) positively affect the outcome of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Given that DHA metabolism by cytochrome P450 and soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) enzymes affects retinal angiogenesis and vascular stability, we investigated the role of sEH in a mouse model of ROP. In WT mice, hyperoxia elicited tyrosine nitration and inhibition of sEH and decreased generation of the DHA-derived diol 19,20-dihydroxydocosapentaenoic acid (DHDP). Correspondingly, in a murine model of ROP, sEH–/– mice developed a larger central avascular zone and peripheral pathological vascular tuft formation than did their WT littermates. Astrocytes were the cells most affected by sEH deletion, and hyperoxia increased astrocyte apoptosis. In rescue experiments, 19,20-DHDP prevented astrocyte loss by targeting the mitochondrial membrane to prevent the hyperoxia-induced dissociation of presenilin-1 and presenilin-1–associated protein to attenuate poly ADP-ribose polymerase activation and mitochondrial DNA damage. Therapeutic intravitreal administration of 19,20-DHDP not only suppressed astrocyte loss but also reduced pathological vascular tuft formation in sEH–/– mice. Our data indicate that sEH activity is required for mitochondrial integrity and retinal astrocyte survival in ROP. Moreover, 19,20-DHDP may be more effective than DHA as a nutritional supplement for preventing retinopathy in preterm infants.

Authors

Jiong Hu, Sofia-Iris Bibli, Janina Wittig, Sven Zukunft, Jihong Lin, Hans-Peter Hammes, Rüdiger Popp, Ingrid Fleming

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Abstract

HIV is a major driver of tuberculosis (TB) reactivation. Depletion of CD4+ T cells is assumed to be the basis behind TB reactivation in individuals with latent tuberculosis infection (LTBI) coinfected with HIV. Nonhuman primates (NHPs) coinfected with a mutant simian immunodeficiency virus (SIVΔGY) that does not cause depletion of tissue CD4+ T cells during infection failed to reactivate TB. To investigate the contribution of CD4+ T cell depletion relative to other mechanisms of SIV-induced reactivation of LTBI, we used CD4R1 antibody to deplete CD4+ T cells in animals with LTBI without lentiviral infection. The mere depletion of CD4+ T cells during LTBI was insufficient in generating reactivation of LTBI. Instead, direct cytopathic effects of SIV resulting in chronic immune activation, along with the altered effector T cell phenotypes and dysregulated T cell homeostasis, were likely mediators of reactivation of LTBI. These results revealed important implications for TB control in HIV-coinfected individuals.

Authors

Allison N. Bucşan, Ayan Chatterjee, Dhiraj K. Singh, Taylor W. Foreman, Tae-Hyung Lee, Breanna Threeton, Melanie G. Kirkpatrick, Mushtaq Ahmed, Nadia Golden, Xavier Alvarez, James A. Hoxie, Smriti Mehra, Jyothi Rengarajan, Shabaana A. Khader, Deepak Kaushal

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Abstract

Beclin 1 (Becn1) is a key molecule in the autophagy pathway and has been implicated in cancer development. Due to the embryonic lethality of homozygous Becn1-deficient mice, the precise mechanisms and cell type–specific roles of Becn1 in regulating inflammation and cancer immunity remain elusive. Here, we report that myeloid-deficient Becn1 (Becn1ΔM) mice developed neutrophilia, were hypersusceptible to LPS-induced septic shock, and had a high risk of developing spontaneous precursor B cell (pre-B cell) lymphoma with elevated expressions of immunosuppressive molecules programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) and IL-10. Becn1 deficiency resulted in the stabilization of MEKK3 and aberrant p38 activation in neutrophils, and mediated neutrophil–B cell interaction through Cxcl9/Cxcr3 chemotaxis. Neutrophil–B cell interplay further led to the activation of IL-21/STAT3/IRF1 and CD40L/ERK signaling and PD-L1 expression and thus suppressed CD8+ T cell function. Ablation of p38 in Becn1ΔM mice prevented neutrophil inflammation and B cell tumorigenesis. Importantly, the low expression of Becn1 in human neutrophils was significantly correlated with the PD-L1 levels in pre-B acute lymphoblastic lymphoma (ALL) patients. Our findings have identified myeloid Becn1 as a key regulator of cancer immunity and therapeutic target for pre-B cell lymphomas.

Authors

Peng Tan, Lian He, Changsheng Xing, Jingrong Mao, Xiao Yu, Motao Zhu, Lixia Diao, Leng Han, Yubin Zhou, James M. You, Helen Y. Wang, Rong-Fu Wang

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Abstract

Dermal adipose tissue (also known as dermal white adipose tissue and herein referred to as dWAT) has been the focus of much discussion in recent years. However, dWAT remains poorly characterized. The fate of the mature dermal adipocytes and the origin of the rapidly reappearing dermal adipocytes at different stages remain unclear. Here, we isolated dermal adipocytes and characterized dermal fat at the cellular and molecular level. Together with dWAT’s dynamic responses to external stimuli, we established that dermal adipocytes are a distinct class of white adipocytes with high plasticity. By combining pulse-chase lineage tracing and single-cell RNA sequencing, we observed that mature dermal adipocytes undergo dedifferentiation and redifferentiation under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Upon various challenges, the dedifferentiated cells proliferate and redifferentiate into adipocytes. In addition, manipulation of dWAT highlighted an important role for mature dermal adipocytes for hair cycling and wound healing. Altogether, these observations unravel a surprising plasticity of dermal adipocytes and provide an explanation for the dynamic changes in dWAT mass that occur under physiological and pathophysiological conditions, and highlight the important contributions of dWAT toward maintaining skin homeostasis.

Authors

Zhuzhen Zhang, Mengle Shao, Chelsea Hepler, Zhenzhen Zi, Shangang Zhao, Yu A. An, Yi Zhu, Alexandra L. Ghaben, May-yun Wang, Na Li, Toshiharu Onodera, Nolwenn Joffin, Clair Crewe, Qingzhang Zhu, Lavanya Vishvanath, Ashwani Kumar, Chao Xing, Qiong A. Wang, Laurent Gautron, Yingfeng Deng, Ruth Gordillo, Ilja Kruglikov, Christine M. Kusminski, Rana K. Gupta, Philipp E. Scherer

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Abstract

Growing evidence shows that alterations occurring at early developmental stages contribute to symptoms manifested in adulthood in the setting of neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we studied the molecular mechanisms causing giant axonal neuropathy (GAN), a severe neurodegenerative disease due to loss-of-function of the gigaxonin–E3 ligase. We showed that gigaxonin governs Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) induction, the developmental pathway patterning the dorso-ventral axis of the neural tube and muscles, by controlling the degradation of the Shh-bound Patched receptor. Similar to Shh inhibition, repression of gigaxonin in zebrafish impaired motor neuron specification and somitogenesis and abolished neuromuscular junction formation and locomotion. Shh signaling was impaired in gigaxonin-null zebrafish and was corrected by both pharmacological activation of the Shh pathway and human gigaxonin, pointing to an evolutionary-conserved mechanism regulating Shh signaling. Gigaxonin-dependent inhibition of Shh activation was also demonstrated in primary fibroblasts from patients with GAN and in a Shh activity reporter line depleted in gigaxonin. Our findings establish gigaxonin as a key E3 ligase that positively controls the initiation of Shh transduction, and reveal the causal role of Shh dysfunction in motor deficits, thus highlighting the developmental origin of GAN.

Authors

Yoan Arribat, Karolina S. Mysiak, Léa Lescouzères, Alexia Boizot, Maxime Ruiz, Mireille Rossel, Pascale Bomont

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Abstract

SH3 domain–binding protein that preferentially associates with Btk (SAB) is an outer-membrane docking protein for JNK-mediated impairment of mitochondrial function. Deletion of Sab in hepatocytes inhibits sustained JNK activation and cell death. The current study demonstrates that an increase in SAB expression enhanced the severity of acetaminophen-induced (APAP-induced) liver injury. Female mice were resistant to liver injury and exhibited markedly decreased hepatic SAB protein expression compared with male mice. The mechanism of SAB repression involved a pathway from ERα to p53 expression that induced miR34a-5p. miR34a-5p targeted the Sab mRNA coding region, thereby repressing SAB expression. Fulvestrant or p53 knockdown decreased miR34a-5p and increased SAB expression in female mice, leading to increased injury from APAP and TNF/galactosamine. In contrast, an ERα agonist increased p53 and miR34a-5p, which decreased SAB expression and hepatotoxicity in male mice. Hepatocyte-specific deletion of miR34a also increased the severity of liver injury in female mice, which was prevented by GalNAc-ASO knockdown of Sab. Similar to mice, premenopausal women expressed elevated levels of hepatic p53 and low levels of SAB, whereas age-matched men expressed low levels of p53 and high levels of SAB, but there was no difference in SAB expression between the sexes in the postmenopausal stage. In conclusion, SAB expression levels determined the severity of JNK-dependent liver injury. Female mice expressed low levels of hepatic SAB protein because of the ERα/p53/miR34a pathway, which repressed SAB expression and accounted for the resistance to liver injury seen in these females.

Authors

Sanda Win, Robert W.M. Min, Christopher Q. Chen, Jun Zhang, Yibu Chen, Meng Li, Ayako Suzuki, Manal F. Abdelmalek, Ying Wang, Mariam Aghajan, Filbert W.M. Aung, Anna Mae Diehl, Roger J. Davis, Tin A. Than, Neil Kaplowitz

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Abstract

Resolution of acute inflammation is an active process orchestrated by endogenous mediators and mechanisms pivotal in host defense and homeostasis. The macrophage mediator in resolving inflammation, maresin 1 (MaR1), is a potent immunoresolvent, stimulating resolution of acute inflammation and organ protection. Using an unbiased screening of greater than 200 GPCRs, we identified MaR1 as a stereoselective activator for human leucine-rich repeat containing G protein–coupled receptor 6 (LGR6), expressed in phagocytes. MaR1 specificity for recombinant human LGR6 activation was established using reporter cells expressing LGR6 and functional impedance sensing. MaR1-specific binding to LGR6 was confirmed using 3H-labeled MaR1. With human and mouse phagocytes, MaR1 (0.01–10 nM) enhanced phagocytosis, efferocytosis, and phosphorylation of a panel of proteins including the ERK and cAMP response element-binding protein. These MaR1 actions were significantly amplified with LGR6 overexpression and diminished by gene silencing in phagocytes. Thus, we provide evidence for MaR1 as an endogenous activator of human LGR6 and a novel role of LGR6 in stimulating MaR1’s key proresolving functions of phagocytes.

Authors

Nan Chiang, Stephania Libreros, Paul C. Norris, Xavier de la Rosa, Charles N. Serhan

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Abstract

Neutrophils are early wound healing and inflammation regulators that, due to functional plasticity, can adopt either pro- or antitumor functions. Until recently, beclin-1 was a protein known mainly for its role as a critical regulator of autophagy. In this issue of the JCI, Tan et al. describe the effects of the beclin-1 conditional myeloid cell–specific deletion in mice, in which immunostimulation resulted in hypersensitive neutrophils. The chronic proinflammatory effect of these neutrophils triggered spontaneous B cell malignancies to develop. Such tumorigenic effects were mediated primarily by IL-21 and CD40 signaling, leading to the upregulation of tolerogenic molecules, such as IL-10 and PD-L1. The authors went on to examine samples derived from patient lymphoid malignancies and showed that beclin-1 expression in neutrophils positively correlated with pre–B cell leukemia/lymphoma. Overall, the study provides an elegant model for neutrophil-driven carcinogenesis and identifies potential targets for immunotherapy of B cell malignancies.

Authors

Yu-Lin Su, Marcin Kortylewski

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Abstract

Cystic fibrosis (CF) is caused by mutations in the CF transmembrane conductance regulator (CFTR), with approximately 90% of patients harboring at least one copy of the disease-associated variant F508del. We utilized a yeast phenomic system to identify genetic modifiers of F508del-CFTR biogenesis, from which ribosomal protein L12 (RPL12/uL11) emerged as a molecular target. In the present study, we investigated mechanism(s) by which suppression of RPL12 rescues F508del protein synthesis and activity. Using ribosome profiling, we found that rates of translation initiation and elongation were markedly slowed by RPL12 silencing. However, proteolytic stability and patch-clamp assays revealed RPL12 depletion significantly increased F508del-CFTR steady-state expression, interdomain assembly, and baseline open-channel probability. We next evaluated whether Rpl12-corrected F508del-CFTR could be further enhanced with concomitant pharmacologic repair (e.g., using clinically approved modulators lumacaftor and tezacaftor) and demonstrated additivity of these treatments. Rpl12 knockdown also partially restored maturation of specific CFTR variants in addition to F508del, and WT Cftr biogenesis was enhanced in the pancreas, colon, and ileum of Rpl12 haplosufficient mice. Modulation of ribosome velocity therefore represents a robust method for understanding both CF pathogenesis and therapeutic response.

Authors

Kathryn E. Oliver, Robert Rauscher, Marjolein Mijnders, Wei Wang, Matthew J. Wolpert, Jessica Maya, Carleen M. Sabusap, Robert A. Kesterson, Kevin L. Kirk, Andras Rab, Ineke Braakman, Jeong S. Hong, John L. Hartman IV, Zoya Ignatova, Eric J. Sorscher

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Abstract

Interventions to prevent HIV-1 infection and alternative tools in HIV cure therapy remain pressing goals. Recently, numerous broadly neutralizing HIV-1 monoclonal antibodies (bNAbs) have been developed which possess the characteristics necessary for potential prophylactic or therapeutic approaches. However, formulation complexities especially for multi-antibody deliveries, long infusion times, and production issues could limit the use of these bNAbs when deployed globally impacting their potential application. Here, we describe an approach utilizing synthetic DNA-encoded monoclonal antibodies (dMAbs) for direct in vivo production of prespecified neutralizing activity. We designed 16 different bNAbs as dMAbs cassettes and studied their activity in small and large animals. Sera from animals administered dMAbs neutralized multiple HIV-1 isolates with similar activity to their parental recombinant MAbs. Delivery of multiple dMAbs to a single animal led to increased neutralization breadth. Two dMAbs, PGDM1400 and PGT121, were advanced into non-human primates for study. High peak circulating levels (between 6-34µg/ml) of these dMAbs were measured and the sera of all animals displayed broad neutralizing activity. The dMAb approach provides an important local delivery platform for the in vivo generation of HIV-1 bNAbs and for other infectious disease antibodies.

Authors

Megan C. Wise, Ziyang Xu, Edgar Tello-Ruiz, Charles Beck, Aspen Trautz, Ami Patel, Sarah T.C. Elliott, Neethu Chokkalingam, Sophie Kim, Melissa G. Kerkau, Kar Muthumani, Jingjing Jiang, Paul Fisher, Stephany J. Ramos, Trevor R.F. Smith, Janess Mendoza, Kate E. Broderick, David C. Montefiori, Guido Ferrari, Daniel W. Kulp, Laurent Humeau, David B. Weiner

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Abstract

Background: Chronic HCV-infection is characterized by a severe impairment of HCV-specific CD4 T cell help that is driven by chronic antigen stimulation. We aimed to study the fate of HCV-specific CD4 T cells after viral elimination. Methods:HCV-specific CD4 T cell responses were longitudinally analyzed using MHC class II tetramer-technology, multicolor flow cytometry and RNA sequencing in a cohort of chronically HCV-infected patients undergoing therapy with direct-acting antivirals. In addition, HCV-specific neutralizing antibodies and CXCL13 levels were analyzed. Results: We observed that the frequency of HCV-specific CD4 T cells increased within two weeks after initiation of DAA therapy. Multicolor flow cytometry revealed a downregulation of exhaustion and activation markers and an upregulation of memory-associated markers. While cells with a Th1 phenotype were the predominant subset at baseline, cells with phenotypic and transcriptional characteristics of follicular T helper cells increasingly shaped the circulating HCV-specific CD4 T cell repertoire, suggesting antigen-independent survival of this subset. These changes were accompanied by a decline of HCV-specific neutralizing antibodies and the germinal center activity. Conclusion: We identified a population of HCV-specific CD4 T cells with a follicular T helper cell signature that is maintained after therapy-induced elimination of persistent infection and may constitute an important target population for vaccination efforts to prevent re-infection and immunotherapeutic approaches for persistent viral infections.

Authors

Maike Smits, Katharina Zoldan, Naveed Ishaque, Zuguang Gu, Katharina Jechow, Dominik Wieland, Christian Conrad, Roland Eils, Catherine Fauvelle, Thomas F. Baumert, Florian Emmerich, Bertram Bengsch, Christoph Neumann-Haefelin, Maike Hofmann, Robert Thimme, Tobias Boettler

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Abstract

Successful infection by mucosal pathogens requires overcoming the mucus barrier. To better understand this key step, we performed a survey of the interactions between human respiratory mucus and the human pathogen S. pneumoniae. Pneumococcal adherence to adult human nasal fluid was seen only by isolates expressing pilus-1. Robust binding was independent of pilus-1 adhesive properties but required Fab-dependent recognition of RrgB, the pilus shaft protein, by naturally-acquired secretory immunoglobulin A (sIgA). Pilus-1 binding by specific sIgA led to bacterial agglutination, but adherence required interaction of agglutinated pneumococci and entrapment in mucus particles. To test the effect of these interactions in vivo, pneumococci were preincubated with human sIgA prior to intranasal challenge in a mouse model of colonization. sIgA-treatment resulted in rapid immune exclusion of pilus-expressing pneumococci. Our findings predict that immune exclusion would select for non-piliated isolates in individuals who acquired RrgB-specific sIgA from prior episodes of colonization with piliated strains. Accordingly, genomic data comparing isolates carried by mothers and their children showed that mothers are less likely to be colonized with pilus-expressing strains. Our study provides a specific example of immune exclusion involving naturally-acquired antibody in the human host, a major factor driving pneumococcal adaptation.

Authors

Ulrike Binsker, John A. Lees, Alexandria J. Hammond, Jeffrey N. Weiser

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Abstract

Glucocorticoids (GCs) are a central component of therapy for patients with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) and while resistance to GCs is a strong negative prognostic indicator in T-ALL, mechanisms of GC resistance remain poorly understood. Using diagnostic samples from patients enrolled on the frontline Children’s Oncology Group (COG) T-ALL clinical trial AALL1231, we demonstrated that one-third of primary T-ALLs were resistant to GCs when cultured in the presence of interleukin-7 (IL7), a cytokine that is critical for normal T-cell function and that plays a well-established role in leukemogenesis. We demonstrated that in these T-ALLs and in distinct populations of normal developing thymocytes, GCs paradoxically induced their own resistance by promoting upregulation of IL7 receptor (IL7R) expression. In the presence of IL7, this augmented downstream signal transduction resulting in increased STAT5 transcriptional output and upregulation of the pro-survival protein BCL-2. Taken together, we demonstrated that IL7 mediates an intrinsic and physiologic mechanism of GC resistance in normal thymocyte development that is retained during leukemogenesis in a subset of T-ALLs and is reversible with targeted inhibition of the IL7R/JAK/STAT5/BCL-2 axis.

Authors

Lauren K. Meyer, Benjamin J. Huang, Cristina Delgado-Martin, Ritu P. Roy, Aaron Hechmer, Anica M. Wandler, Tiffaney L. Vincent, Paolo Fortina, Adam B. Olshen, Brent L. Wood, Terzah M. Horton, Kevin M. Shannon, David T. Teachey, Michelle L. Hermiston

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Abstract

X-linked immunodeficiency with magnesium defect, Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) infection, and neoplasia (XMEN) disease is caused by deficiency of the magnesium transporter 1 gene (MAGT1). We studied 23 XMEN patients, 8 of whom were EBV-naïve. We observed lymphadenopathy (LAD), cytopenias, liver disease, cavum septum pellucidum, and increased CD4-CD8-B220-TCRalpha/beta+ T (abDNT) cells, in addition to the previously described features of an inverted CD4:CD8 ratio, CD4+ T lymphocytopenia, increased B cells, dysgammaglobulinemia, and decreased expression of the “Natural-Killer Group 2, member D” (NKG2D) receptor. EBV-associated B cell malignancies occurred frequently in EBV-infected patients. We investigated XMEN patients and autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS) patients by deep immunophenotyping (32 immune markers) using Time of Flight Mass Cytometry (CyTOF). Our analysis revealed that the abundance of two populations of naïve B cells (CD20+CD27-CD22+IgM+HLA-DR+CXCR5+CXCR4++CD10+CD38+ and CD20+CD27-CD22+IgM+HLA-DR+CXCR5+CXCR4+CD10-CD38-) could differentially classify XMEN, ALPS, and normal individuals. We also performed glycoproteomics analysis on T lymphocytes and show that XMEN disease is a congenital disorder of glycosylation that affects a restricted subset of glycoproteins. Transfection of MAGT1 mRNA enabled us to rescue proteins with defective glycosylation. Together, these data provide new clinical and pathophysiological foundations with important ramifications for the diagnosis and treatment of XMEN disease.

Authors

Juan C. Ravell, Mami Matsuda-Lennikov, Samuel D. Chauvin, Juan Zou, Matthew Biancalana, Sally J. Deeb, Susan Price, Helen C. Su, Giulia Notarangelo, Ping Jiang, Aaron Morawski, Chrysi Kanellopoulou, Kyle W. Binder, Ratnadeep Mukherjee, James T. Anibal, Brian Sellers, Lixin Zheng, Tingyan He, Alex B. George, Stefania Pittaluga, Astin Powers, David E. Kleiner, Devika Kapuria, Marc Ghany, Sally Hunsberger, Jeffrey I. Cohen, Gulbu Uzel, Jenna Bergerson, Lynne Wolfe, Camilo Toro, William Gahl, Les R. Folio, Helen Matthews, Pam Angelus, Ivan K. Chinn, Jordan S. Orange, Claudia M. Trujillo-Vargas, Jose Luis Franco, Julio Orrego-Arango, Sebastian Gutiérrez-Hincapié, Niraj Chandrakant Patel, Kimiyo Raymond, Turkan Patiroglu, Ekrem Unal, Musa Karakukcu, Alexandre G.R. Day, Pankaj Mehta, Evan Masutani, Suk S. De Ravin, Harry L. Malech, Grégoire Altan-Bonnet, V. Koneti Rao, Matthias Mann, Michael J. Lenardo

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November 2019

November 2019 Issue

On the cover:
ANGPTL4 destabilizes the retinal vasculature in diabetic macular edema

Anti-VEGF therapy, the standard of care for patients with diabetic macular edema (DME), does not substantially improve vision in many treated patients. In this issue of the JCI, Sodhi et al. explore the role of another protein, ANGPTL4, in driving vascular leakage in DME. Their work revealed that ANGPTL4 and VEGF work in concert to destabilize the retina’s vasculature. ANGPTL4’s binding to neuropilin 1 and 2 on endothelial cells disrupts vascular barriers by activating RhoA/ROCK signaling. Treating diabetic mice with a soluble neuropilin 1 fragment blocked ANGPTL1-induced vascular leakage, supporting a potential therapeutic avenue for interfering in ANGPTL4-mediated mechanisms in DME. This issue’s cover depicts the pathological leakage of the retinal vasculature in a patient with diabetic eye disease. Image courtesy of Wilmer Photography; modified by Isabella and Adriana Sodhi.

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November 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

Mechanisms Underlying the Metabolic Syndrome

Series edited by Philipp E. Scherer

Obesity often occurs with a quintessential array of metabolic abnormalities: elevations in blood pressure, visceral fat, and circulating blood lipids, and, importantly, insulin resistance. Together, this constellation of conditions constitutes the metabolic syndrome and forecasts an individual’s increased risk of developing cardiovascular diseases and type 2 diabetes. Although metabolic syndrome presents as dysfunction across multiple tissues, its onset stems from pathological increases in adipose tissue. The 9 review in this series, conceptualized by series editor Philipp Scherer, delve into the complex biology underlying the metabolic syndrome. These reviews address adipocyte and beta cell dysfunction in the metabolic syndrome; the functions of adipose tissue fibrosis, the microbiome, and exosomal communication in obesity; and the concepts we use to define metabolic health.

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