Retinal degeneration can be improved using cell therapy approaches in preclinical models; however, transplanting embryonic stem cell–derived retinal progenitor cells carries a significant risk of tumor development in vivo. On page 1647, Cui et al. explore the determinants of tumorgenicity in a mouse retinal degeneration model and identify signaling through a WNT/TCF7 axis as an important regulator of both therapeutic efficacy and tumor development. They found that inhibition of WNT, TCF7, or downstream targets such as SOX2 and NESTIN resulted in lower incidence of tumors as well as improved retinal integration and vision.
The classical Mendelian genetic perspective has failed to adequately explain the biology and genetics of common metabolic and degenerative diseases. This is because these diseases are primarily systemic bioenergetic diseases, and the most important energy genes are located in the cytoplasmic mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Therefore, to understand these “complex” diseases, we must investigate their bioenergetic pathophysiology and consider the genetics of the thousands of copies of maternally inherited mtDNA, the more than 1,000 nuclear DNA (nDNA) bioenergetic genes, and the epigenomic and signal transduction systems that coordinate these dispersed elements of the mitochondrial genome.
Douglas C. Wallace
In 1998, we described a novel polymorphism in the promoter (G>C, rs1800795) of the IL-6 (
Patricia Woo, Steve E. Humphries
A 20-year-old man with intellectual disability and intractable multifocal epilepsy presented to a neurologist for further evaluation and management. His seizures began at 4 months, the night after his first DPT vaccine, and he continued to have frequent tonic-clonic seizures throughout his life. Several weeks after his visit, he was found facedown on the floor, dead, by his family. His autopsy was unremarkable, but genetic testing revealed a frame shift mutation in
Daniel Friedman, Janice Chyou, Orrin Devinsky
Reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) is the pathway by which cholesterol accumulated in peripheral tissues, including the artery wall, is transported to the liver for excretion. There is strong evidence suggesting that interventions that increase macrophage cholesterol efflux and RCT would be antiatherogenic. In this issue of the
Desmoglein-1 (DSG1), a desmosomal protein, maintains the structure of epidermis through its adhesive function. However, heterozygous mutations in DSG1 in humans result in abnormal differentiation, as does downregulation of DSG1 in human skin organ culture, suggesting that it may have important signaling functions. In this issue of the
Christoph M. Hammers, John R. Stanley
Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) hold great therapeutic promise for the regeneration of functional cell types and clinical applications. However, tumorigenic potential of stem cells in a transplanted host remains a major obstacle. In this issue of the
Hong Ouyang, Yehong Zhuo, Kang Zhang
The liver, a major site of body iron stores, mediates key responses that preserve systemic iron homeostasis. In this issue of the
Karin E. Finberg
Molecular mechanisms specific to colitis-associated cancers have been poorly characterized. Using comparative whole-genome expression profiling, we observed differential expression of epiregulin (EREG) in mouse models of colitis-associated, but not sporadic, colorectal cancer. Similarly, EREG expression was significantly upregulated in cohorts of patients with colitis-associated cancer. Furthermore, tumor-associated fibroblasts were identified as a major source of EREG in colitis-associated neoplasms. Functional studies showed that Ereg-deficient mice, although more prone to colitis, were strongly protected from colitis-associated tumors. Serial endoscopic studies revealed that EREG promoted tumor growth rather than initiation. Additionally, we demonstrated that fibroblast-derived EREG requires ERK activation to induce proliferation of intestinal epithelial cells (IEC) and tumor development in vivo. To demonstrate the functional relevance of EREG-producing tumor-associated fibroblasts, we developed a novel system for adoptive transfer of these cells via mini-endoscopic local injection. It was found that transfer of EREG-producing, but not Ereg-deficient, fibroblasts from tumors significantly augmented growth of colitis-associated neoplasms in vivo. In conclusion, our data indicate that EREG and tumor-associated fibroblasts play a crucial role in controlling tumor growth in colitis-associated neoplasms.
Clemens Neufert, Christoph Becker, Özlem Türeci, Maximilian J. Waldner, Ingo Backert, Katharina Floh, Imke Atreya, Moritz Leppkes, Andre Jefremow, Michael Vieth, Regine Schneider-Stock, Patricia Klinger, Florian R. Greten, David W. Threadgill, Ugur Sahin, Markus F. Neurath
Liver natural killer (NK) cells were recently reported to possess memory-like properties in contact hypersensitivity (CHS) models. However, the phenotype and origin of these “memory” NK cells cannot be distinguished from other NK cell subpopulations. Here, we define the transcriptional, phenotypic, and functional features of liver NK cell subsets and their roles in mediating CHS. Liver NK cells can be divided into two distinct subsets: CD49a+DX5– and CD49a–DX5+. Substantial transcriptional and phenotypic differences existed between liver CD49a+DX5– NK cells and other NK cell subsets. CD49a+DX5– NK cells possessed memory potential and conferred hapten-specific CHS responses upon hapten challenge. Importantly, CD49a+DX5– NK cells were liver resident and were present in the liver sinusoidal blood, but not the afferent and efferent blood of the liver. Moreover, they appeared to originate from hepatic hematopoietic progenitor/stem cells (HPCs/HSCs) but not from the bone marrow, and maintained their phenotypes in the steady state. Our findings of liver-resident NK cells shed new light on the acquisition of memory-like properties of NK cells.
Hui Peng, Xiaojun Jiang, Yonglin Chen, Dorothy K. Sojka, Haiming Wei, Xiang Gao, Rui Sun, Wayne M. Yokoyama, Zhigang Tian
Host-induced antibodies and their contributions to cancer inflammation are largely unexplored. IgG4 subclass antibodies are present in IL-10–driven Th2 immune responses in some inflammatory conditions. Since Th2-biased inflammation is a hallmark of tumor microenvironments, we investigated the presence and functional implications of IgG4 in malignant melanoma. Consistent with Th2 inflammation, CD22+ B cells and IgG4+-infiltrating cells accumulated in tumors, and IL-10, IL-4, and tumor-reactive IgG4 were expressed in situ. When compared with B cells from patient lymph nodes and blood, tumor-associated B cells were polarized to produce IgG4. Secreted B cells increased VEGF and IgG4, and tumor cells enhanced IL-10 secretion in cocultures. Unlike IgG1, an engineered tumor antigen-specific IgG4 was ineffective in triggering effector cell–mediated tumor killing in vitro. Antigen-specific and nonspecific IgG4 inhibited IgG1-mediated tumoricidal functions. IgG4 blockade was mediated through reduction of FcγRI activation. Additionally, IgG4 significantly impaired the potency of tumoricidal IgG1 in a human melanoma xenograft mouse model. Furthermore, serum IgG4 was inversely correlated with patient survival. These findings suggest that IgG4 promoted by tumor-induced Th2-biased inflammation may restrict effector cell functions against tumors, providing a previously unexplored aspect of tumor-induced immune escape and a basis for biomarker development and patient-specific therapeutic approaches.
Panagiotis Karagiannis, Amy E. Gilbert, Debra H. Josephs, Niwa Ali, Tihomir Dodev, Louise Saul, Isabel Correa, Luke Roberts, Emma Beddowes, Alexander Koers, Carl Hobbs, Silvia Ferreira, Jenny L.C. Geh, Ciaran Healy, Mark Harries, Katharine M. Acland, Philip J. Blower, Tracey Mitchell, David J. Fear, James F. Spicer, Katie E. Lacy, Frank O. Nestle, Sophia N. Karagiannis
After cell fate specification, differentiating cells must amplify the specific subcellular features required for their specialized function. How cells regulate such subcellular scaling is a fundamental unanswered question. Here, we show that the E3 ubiquitin ligase Mindbomb 1 (MIB1) is required for the apical secretory apparatus established by gastric zymogenic cells as they differentiate from their progenitors. When
Benjamin J. Capoccia, Ramon U. Jin, Young-Yun Kong, Richard M. Peek Jr., Matteo Fassan, Massimo Rugge, Jason C. Mills
Type II deiodinase (D2) activates thyroid hormone by converting thyroxine (T4) to 3,5,3′-triiodothyronine (T3). This allows plasma T4 to signal a negative feedback loop that inhibits production of thyrotropin-releasing hormone (TRH) in the mediobasal hypothalamus (MBH) and thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) in the pituitary. To determine the relative contributions of these D2 pathways in the feedback loop, we developed 2 mouse strains with pituitary- and astrocyte-specific
Tatiana L. Fonseca, Mayrin Correa-Medina, Maira P.O. Campos, Gabor Wittmann, Joao P. Werneck-de-Castro, Rafael Arrojo e Drigo, Magda Mora-Garzon, Cintia Bagne Ueta, Alejandro Caicedo, Csaba Fekete, Balazs Gereben, Ronald M. Lechan, Antonio C. Bianco
Mycolactone is a diffusible lipid secreted by the human pathogen
Laure Guenin-Macé, Romain Veyron-Churlet, Maria-Isabel Thoulouze, Guillaume Romet-Lemonne, Hui Hong, Peter F. Leadlay, Anne Danckaert, Marie-Thérèse Ruf, Serge Mostowy, Chiara Zurzolo, Philippe Bousso, Fabrice Chrétien, Marie-France Carlier, Caroline Demangel
Patients with cholestatic disease exhibit pruritus and analgesia, but the mechanisms underlying these symptoms are unknown. We report that bile acids, which are elevated in the circulation and tissues during cholestasis, cause itch and analgesia by activating the GPCR TGR5. TGR5 was detected in peptidergic neurons of mouse dorsal root ganglia and spinal cord that transmit itch and pain, and in dermal macrophages that contain opioids. Bile acids and a TGR5-selective agonist induced hyperexcitability of dorsal root ganglia neurons and stimulated the release of the itch and analgesia transmitters gastrin-releasing peptide and leucine-enkephalin. Intradermal injection of bile acids and a TGR5-selective agonist stimulated scratching behavior by gastrin-releasing peptide– and opioid-dependent mechanisms in mice. Scratching was attenuated in
Farzad Alemi, Edwin Kwon, Daniel P. Poole, TinaMarie Lieu, Victoria Lyo, Fiore Cattaruzza, Ferda Cevikbas, Martin Steinhoff, Romina Nassini, Serena Materazzi, Raquel Guerrero-Alba, Eduardo Valdez-Morales, Graeme S. Cottrell, Kristina Schoonjans, Pierangelo Geppetti, Stephen J. Vanner, Nigel W. Bunnett, Carlos U. Corvera
β-Thalassemia and HFE-related hemochromatosis are 2 of the most frequently inherited disorders worldwide. Both disorders are characterized by low levels of hepcidin (
Shuling Guo, Carla Casu, Sara Gardenghi, Sheri Booten, Mariam Aghajan, Raechel Peralta, Andy Watt, Sue Freier, Brett P. Monia, Stefano Rivella
BM mesenchymal stromal cells (BM-MSCs) support multiple myeloma (MM) cell growth, but little is known about the putative mechanisms by which the BM microenvironment plays an oncogenic role in this disease. Cell-cell communication is mediated by exosomes. In this study, we showed that MM BM-MSCs release exosomes that are transferred to MM cells, thereby resulting in modulation of tumor growth in vivo. Exosomal
Aldo M. Roccaro, Antonio Sacco, Patricia Maiso, Abdel Kareem Azab, Yu-Tzu Tai, Michaela Reagan, Feda Azab, Ludmila M. Flores, Federico Campigotto, Edie Weller, Kenneth C. Anderson, David T. Scadden, Irene M. Ghobrial
Genetic disorders of the Ras/MAPK pathway, termed RASopathies, produce numerous abnormalities, including cutaneous keratodermas. The desmosomal cadherin, desmoglein-1 (DSG1), promotes keratinocyte differentiation by attenuating MAPK/ERK signaling and is linked to striate palmoplantar keratoderma (SPPK). This raises the possibility that cutaneous defects associated with SPPK and RASopathies share certain molecular faults. To identify intermediates responsible for executing the inhibition of ERK by DSG1, we conducted a yeast 2-hybrid screen. The screen revealed that Erbin (also known as ERBB2IP), a known ERK regulator, binds DSG1. Erbin silencing disrupted keratinocyte differentiation in culture, mimicking aspects of DSG1 deficiency. Furthermore, ERK inhibition and the induction of differentiation markers by DSG1 required both Erbin and DSG1 domains that participate in binding Erbin. Erbin blocks ERK signaling by interacting with and disrupting Ras-Raf scaffolds mediated by SHOC2, a protein genetically linked to the RASopathy, Noonan-like syndrome with loose anagen hair (NS/LAH). DSG1 overexpression enhanced this inhibitory function, increasing Erbin-SHOC2 interactions and decreasing Ras-SHOC2 interactions. Conversely, analysis of epidermis from DSG1-deficient patients with SPPK demonstrated increased Ras-SHOC2 colocalization and decreased Erbin-SHOC2 colocalization, offering a possible explanation for the observed epidermal defects. These findings suggest a mechanism by which DSG1 and Erbin cooperate to repress MAPK signaling and promote keratinocyte differentiation.
Robert M. Harmon, Cory L. Simpson, Jodi L. Johnson, Jennifer L. Koetsier, Adi D. Dubash, Nicole A. Najor, Ofer Sarig, Eli Sprecher, Kathleen J. Green
Reverse cholesterol transport (RCT) refers to the mobilization of cholesterol on HDL particles (HDL-C) from extravascular tissues to plasma, ultimately for fecal excretion. Little is known about how HDL-C leaves peripheral tissues to reach plasma. We first used 2 models of disrupted lymphatic drainage from skin — 1 surgical and the other genetic — to quantitatively track RCT following injection of [3H]-cholesterol–loaded macrophages upstream of blocked or absent lymphatic vessels. Macrophage RCT was markedly impaired in both models, even at sites with a leaky vasculature. Inhibited RCT was downstream of cholesterol efflux from macrophages, since macrophage efflux of a fluorescent cholesterol analog (BODIPY-cholesterol) was not altered by impaired lymphatic drainage. We next addressed whether RCT was mediated by lymphatic vessels from the aortic wall by loading the aortae of donor atherosclerotic
Catherine Martel, Wenjun Li, Brian Fulp, Andrew M. Platt, Emmanuel L. Gautier, Marit Westerterp, Robert Bittman, Alan R. Tall, Shu-Hsia Chen, Michael J. Thomas, Daniel Kreisel, Melody A. Swartz, Mary G. Sorci-Thomas, Gwendalyn J. Randolph
Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) play a key immunosuppressive role in various types of cancer, including head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC). In this study, we characterized CD14+HLA-DR–/lo cells sorted from the tumors, draining lymph nodes, and peripheral blood of HNSCC patients. CD14+HLA-DR–/lo cells were phenotyped as CD11b+, CD33+, CD34+, arginase-I+, and ROS+. In all 3 compartments, they suppressed autologous, antigen-independent T cell proliferation in a differential manner. The abundance of MDSC correlated with stage, but did not correlate with previous treatment with radiation or subsites of HNSCC. Interestingly, MDSC from all 3 compartments showed high phosphorylated STAT3 levels that correlated with arginase-I expression levels and activity. Stattic, a STAT3-specific inhibitor, and STAT3-targeted siRNA abrogated MDSC’s suppressive function. Inhibition of STAT3 signaling also resulted in decreased arginase-I activity. Analysis of the human arginase-I promoter region showed multiple STAT3-binding elements, and ChIP demonstrated that phosphorylated STAT3 binds to multiple sites in the arginase-I promoter. Finally, rescue of arginase-I activity after STAT3 blockade restored MDSC’s suppressive function. Taken together, these results demonstrate that the suppressive function of arginase-I in both infiltrating and circulating MDSC is a downstream target of activated STAT3.
David Vasquez-Dunddel, Fan Pan, Qi Zeng, Mikhail Gorbounov, Emilia Albesiano, Juan Fu, Richard L. Blosser, Ada J. Tam, Tullia Bruno, Hao Zhang, Drew Pardoll, Young Kim
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is the main complication of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation. Current strategies to control GVHD rely on global immunosuppression. These strategies are incompletely effective and decrease the anticancer activity of the allogeneic graft. We previously identified Notch signaling in T cells as a new therapeutic target for preventing GVHD. Notch-deprived T cells showed markedly decreased production of inflammatory cytokines, but normal in vivo proliferation, increased accumulation of regulatory T cells, and preserved anticancer effects. Here, we report that γ-secretase inhibitors can block all Notch signals in alloreactive T cells, but lead to severe on-target intestinal toxicity. Using newly developed humanized antibodies and conditional genetic models, we demonstrate that Notch1/Notch2 receptors and the Notch ligands Delta-like1/4 mediate all the effects of Notch signaling in T cells during GVHD, with dominant roles for Notch1 and Delta-like4. Notch1 inhibition controlled GVHD, but led to treatment-limiting toxicity. In contrast, Delta-like1/4 inhibition blocked GVHD without limiting adverse effects while preserving substantial anticancer activity. Transient blockade in the peritransplant period provided durable protection. These findings open new perspectives for selective and safe targeting of individual Notch pathway components in GVHD and other T cell–mediated human disorders.
Ivy T. Tran, Ashley R. Sandy, Alexis J. Carulli, Christen Ebens, Jooho Chung, Gloria T. Shan, Vedran Radojcic, Ann Friedman, Thomas Gridley, Amy Shelton, Pavan Reddy, Linda C. Samuelson, Minhong Yan, Christian W. Siebel, Ivan Maillard
When a person consumes ethanol, the body quickly begins to convert it to acetic acid, which circulates in the blood and can serve as a source of energy for the brain and other organs. This study used 13C magnetic resonance spectroscopy to test whether chronic heavy drinking is associated with greater brain uptake and oxidation of acetic acid, providing a potential metabolic reward or adenosinergic effect as a consequence of drinking. Seven heavy drinkers, who regularly consumed at least 8 drinks per week and at least 4 drinks per day at least once per week, and 7 light drinkers, who consumed fewer than 2 drinks per week were recruited. The subjects were administered [2-13C]acetate for 2 hours and scanned throughout that time with magnetic resonance spectroscopy of the brain to observe natural 13C abundance of N-acetylaspartate (NAA) and the appearance of 13C-labeled glutamate, glutamine, and acetate. Heavy drinkers had approximately 2-fold more brain acetate relative to blood and twice as much labeled glutamate and glutamine. The results show that acetate transport and oxidation are faster in heavy drinkers compared with that in light drinkers. Our finding suggests that a new therapeutic approach to supply acetate during alcohol detoxification may be beneficial.
Lihong Jiang, Barbara Irene Gulanski, Henk M. De Feyter, Stuart A. Weinzimer, Brian Pittman, Elizabeth Guidone, Julia Koretski, Susan Harman, Ismene L. Petrakis, John H. Krystal, Graeme F. Mason
IL-11 and its receptor, IL-11Ra, are expressed in human cancers; however, the functional role of IL-11 in tumor progression is not known. We found that
Barbara Onnis, Nicole Fer, Annamaria Rapisarda, Victor S. Perez, Giovanni Melillo
The respiratory tract is exceptionally well defended against infection from inhaled bacteria, with multiple proinflammatory signaling cascades recruiting phagocytes to clear airway pathogens. However, organisms that efficiently activate damaging innate immune responses, such as those mediated by the inflammasome and caspase-1, may cause pulmonary damage and interfere with bacterial clearance. The extracellular, opportunistic pathogen
Taylor S. Cohen, Alice S. Prince
The identification of a gain-of-function mutation in
Kapil V. Ramachandran, Jessica A. Hennessey, Adam S. Barnett, Xinhe Yin, Harriett A. Stadt, Erika Foster, Raj A. Shah, Masayuki Yazawa, Ricardo E. Dolmetsch, Margaret L. Kirby, Geoffrey S. Pitt
Tumor formation constitutes a major obstacle to the clinical application of embryonic stem cell–derived (ESC-derived) cells. In an attempt to find major extracellular signaling and intrinsic factors controlling tumorigenicity and therapeutic functionality of transplanted ESC-derived retinal progenitor cells (ESC-RPCs), we evaluated multiple kinds of ESC-RPCs in a mouse retinal degeneration model and conducted genome-wide gene expression profiling. We identified canonical WNT signaling as a critical determinant for the tumorigenicity and therapeutic function of ESC-RPCs. The function of WNT signaling is primarily mediated by TCF7, which directly induces expression of
Lu Cui, Yuan Guan, Zepeng Qu, Jingfa Zhang, Bing Liao, Bo Ma, Jiang Qian, Dangsheng Li, Weiye Li, Guo-Tong Xu, Ying Jin
Liver glucose metabolism plays a central role in glucose homeostasis and may also regulate feeding and energy expenditure. Here we assessed the impact of glucose transporter 2 (
Pascal Seyer, David Vallois, Carole Poitry-Yamate, Frédéric Schütz, Salima Metref, David Tarussio, Pierre Maechler, Bart Staels, Bernard Lanz, Rolf Grueter, Julie Decaris, Scott Turner, Anabela da Costa, Frédéric Preitner, Kaori Minehira, Marc Foretz, Bernard Thorens
Human graft endothelial cells (ECs) can act as antigen-presenting cells to initiate allograft rejection by host memory T cells. Rapamycin, an mTOR inhibitor used clinically to suppress T cell responses, also acts on DCs, rendering them tolerogenic. Here, we report the effects of rapamycin on EC alloimmunogenicity. Compared with mock-treated cells, rapamycin-pretreated human ECs (rapa-ECs) stimulated less proliferation and cytokine secretion from allogeneic CD4+ memory cells, an effect mimicked by shRNA knockdown of mTOR or raptor in ECs. The effects of rapamycin persisted for several days and were linked to upregulation of the inhibitory molecules PD-L1 and PD-L2 on rapa-ECs. Additionally, rapa-ECs produced lower levels of the inflammatory cytokine IL-6. CD4+ memory cells activated by allogeneic rapa-ECs became hyporesponsive to restimulation in an alloantigen-specific manner and contained higher percentages of suppressive CD4+CD25hiCD127loFoxP3+ cells that did not produce effector cytokines. In a human-mouse chimeric model of allograft rejection, rapamycin pretreatment of human arterial allografts increased graft EC expression of PD-L1 and PD-L2 and reduced subsequent infiltration of allogeneic effector T cells into the artery intima and intimal expansion. Preoperative conditioning of allograft ECs with rapamycin could potentially reduce immune-mediated rejection.
Chen Wang, Tai Yi, Lingfeng Qin, Roberto A. Maldonado, Ulrich H. von Andrian, Sanjay Kulkarni, George Tellides, Jordan S. Pober
Commensal bacteria and their products provide beneficial effects to the mammalian gut by stimulating epithelial cell turnover and enhancing wound healing, without activating overt inflammation. We hypothesized that
Keqiang Chen, Mingyong Liu, Ying Liu, Teizo Yoshimura, Wei Shen, Yingying Le, Scott Durum, Wanghua Gong, Chunyan Wang, Ji-Liang Gao, Philip M. Murphy, Ji Ming Wang
Regulation of hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell (HSPC) steady-state egress from the bone marrow (BM) to the circulation is poorly understood. While glycogen synthase kinase-3β (GSK3β) is known to participate in HSPC proliferation, we revealed an unexpected role in the preferential regulation of CXCL12-induced migration and steady-state egress of murine HSPCs, including long-term repopulating HSCs, over mature leukocytes. HSPC egress, regulated by circadian rhythms of CXCL12 and CXCR4 levels, correlated with dynamic expression of GSK3β in the BM. Nevertheless, GSK3β signaling was CXCL12/CXCR4 independent, suggesting that synchronization of both pathways is required for HSPC motility. Chemotaxis of HSPCs expressing higher levels of GSK3β compared with mature cells was selectively enhanced by stem cell factor–induced activation of GSK3β. Moreover, HSPC motility was regulated by norepinephrine and insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1), which increased or reduced, respectively, GSK3β expression in BM HSPCs and their subsequent egress. Mechanistically, GSK3β signaling promoted preferential HSPC migration by regulating actin rearrangement and microtubuli turnover, including CXCL12-induced actin polarization and polymerization. Our study identifies a previously unknown role for GSK3β in physiological HSPC motility, dictating an active, rather than a passive, nature for homeostatic egress from the BM reservoir to the blood circulation.
Kfir Lapid, Tomer Itkin, Gabriele D’Uva, Yossi Ovadya, Aya Ludin, Giulia Caglio, Alexander Kalinkovich, Karin Golan, Ziv Porat, Massimo Zollo, Tsvee Lapidot
Myocardial hypertrophy is an adaptation to increased hemodynamic demands. An increase in heart tissue must be matched by a corresponding expansion of the coronary vasculature to maintain and adequate supply of oxygen and nutrients for the heart. The physiological mechanisms that underlie the coordination of angiogenesis and cardiomyocyte growth are unknown. We report that induction of myocardial angiogenesis promotes cardiomyocyte growth and cardiac hypertrophy through a novel NO-dependent mechanism. We used transgenic, conditional overexpression of placental growth factor (PlGF) in murine cardiac tissues to stimulate myocardial angiogenesis and increase endothelial-derived NO release. NO production, in turn, induced myocardial hypertrophy by promoting proteasomal degradation of regulator of G protein signaling type 4 (RGS4), thus relieving the repression of the Gβγ/PI3Kγ/AKT/mTORC1 pathway that stimulates cardiomyocyte growth. This hypertrophic response was prevented by concomitant transgenic expression of RGS4 in cardiomyocytes. NOS inhibitor L-NAME also significantly attenuated RGS4 degradation, and reduced activation of AKT/mTORC1 signaling and induction of myocardial hypertrophy in PlGF transgenic mice, while conditional cardiac-specific PlGF expression in eNOS knockout mice did not induce myocardial hypertrophy. These findings describe a novel NO/RGS4/Gβγ/PI3Kγ/AKT mechanism that couples cardiac vessel growth with myocyte growth and heart size.
Irina M. Jaba, Zhen W. Zhuang, Na Li, Yifeng Jiang, Kathleen A. Martin, Albert J. Sinusas, Xenophon Papademetris, Michael Simons, William C. Sessa, Lawrence H. Young, Daniela Tirziu
The molecular mechanisms that control the balance between antiangiogenic and proangiogenic factors and initiate the angiogenic switch in tumors remain poorly defined. By combining chemical genetics with multimodal imaging, we have identified an autocrine feed-forward loop in tumor cells in which tumor-derived VEGF stimulates VEGF production via VEGFR2-dependent activation of mTOR, substantially amplifying the initial proangiogenic signal. Disruption of this feed-forward loop by chemical perturbation or knockdown of VEGFR2 in tumor cells dramatically inhibited production of VEGF in vitro and in vivo. This disruption was sufficient to prevent tumor growth in vivo. In patients with lung cancer, we found that this VEGF:VEGFR2 feed-forward loop was active, as the level of VEGF/VEGFR2 binding in tumor cells was highly correlated to tumor angiogenesis. We further demonstrated that inhibition of tumor cell VEGFR2 induces feedback activation of the IRS/MAPK signaling cascade. Most strikingly, combined pharmacological inhibition of VEGFR2 (ZD6474) and MEK (PD0325901) in tumor cells resulted in dramatic tumor shrinkage, whereas monotherapy only modestly slowed tumor growth. Thus, a tumor cell-autonomous VEGF:VEGFR2 feed-forward loop provides signal amplification required for the establishment of fully angiogenic tumors in lung cancer. Interrupting this feed-forward loop switches tumor cells from an angiogenic to a proliferative phenotype that sensitizes tumor cells to MAPK inhibition.
Sampurna Chatterjee, Lukas C. Heukamp, Maike Siobal, Jakob Schöttle, Caroline Wieczorek, Martin Peifer, Davide Frasca, Mirjam Koker, Katharina König, Lydia Meder, Daniel Rauh, Reinhard Buettner, Jürgen Wolf, Rolf A. Brekken, Bernd Neumaier, Gerhard Christofori, Roman K. Thomas, Roland T. Ullrich
The ability to selectively inactivate immune cells with immunosuppressants is a much sought-after modality for the treatment of systemic lupus erythematosus and autoimmunity in general. Here, we designed and tested a novel nanogel drug delivery vehicle for the immunosuppressant mycophenolic acid (MPA). Treatment with MPA-loaded nanogels increased the median survival time (MST) of lupus-prone NZB/W F1 mice by 3 months with prophylactic use (MST was 50 weeks versus 38 weeks without treatment), and by 2 months when administered after the development of severe renal damage (MST after proteinuria onset was 12.5 weeks versus 4 weeks without treatment). Equivalent and greater doses of MPA administered in buffer were not efficacious. Nanogels had enhanced biodistribution to organs and association with immune cells. CD4-targeted nanogels yielded similar therapeutic results compared with nontargeted formulations, with protection from glomerulonephritis and decreases in IFN-γ–positive CD4 T cells. DCs that internalized nanogels helped mediate immunosuppression, as they had reduced production of inflammatory cytokines such as IFN-γ and IL-12. Our results demonstrate efficacy of nanogel-based lupus therapy and implicate a mechanism by which immunosuppression is enhanced, in part, by the targeting of antigen-presenting cells.
Michael Look, Eric Stern, Qin A. Wang, Leah D. DiPlacido, Michael Kashgarian, Joe Craft, Tarek M. Fahmy
Type 2 diabetes (T2D) has emerged as a major threat to human health in most parts of the world. Therapeutic strategies aimed at improving pancreatic β cell function are predicted to prove beneficial for the treatment of T2D. In the present study, we demonstrate that drug-mediated, chronic, and selective activation of β cell Gq signaling greatly improve β cell function and glucose homeostasis in mice. These beneficial metabolic effects were accompanied by the enhanced expression of many genes critical for β cell function, maintenance, and differentiation. By employing a combination of in vivo and in vitro approaches, we identified a novel β cell pathway through which receptor-activated Gq leads to the sequential activation of ERK1/2 and IRS2 signaling, thus triggering a series of events that greatly improve β cell function. Importantly, we found that chronic stimulation of a designer Gq-coupled receptor selectively expressed in β cells prevented both streptozotocin-induced diabetes and the metabolic deficits associated with the consumption of a high-fat diet in mice. Since β cells are endowed with numerous receptors that mediate their cellular effects via activation of Gq-type G proteins, our findings provide a rational basis for the development of novel antidiabetic drugs targeting this class of receptors.
Shalini Jain, Inigo Ruiz de Azua, Huiyan Lu, Morris F. White, Jean-Marc Guettier, Jürgen Wess
A highly complex network of intrinsic enteric neurons is required for the digestive and homeostatic functions of the gut. Nevertheless, the genetic and molecular mechanisms that regulate their assembly into functional neuronal circuits are currently unknown. Here we report that the planar cell polarity (PCP) genes
Valentina Sasselli, Werend Boesmans, Pieter Vanden Berghe, Fadel Tissir, André M. Goffinet, Vassilis Pachnis
Anti-neutrophil cytoplasmic antibody–associated (ANCA-associated) small vessel necrotizing vasculitis is caused by immune-mediated inflammation of the vessel wall and is diagnosed in some cases by the presence of myeloperoxidase-specific antibodies (MPO-ANCA). This multicenter study sought to determine whether differences in ANCA epitope specificity explain why, in some cases, conventional serologic assays do not correlate with disease activity, why naturally occurring anti-MPO autoantibodies can exist in disease-free individuals, and why ANCA are undetected in patients with ANCA-negative disease. Autoantibodies from human and murine samples were epitope mapped using a highly sensitive epitope excision/mass spectrometry approach. Data indicated that MPO autoantibodies from healthy individuals had epitope specificities different from those present in ANCA disease. Importantly, this methodology led to the discovery of MPO-ANCA in ANCA-negative disease that reacted against a sole linear sequence. Autoantibodies against this epitope had pathogenic properties, as demonstrated by their capacity to activate neutrophils in vitro and to induce nephritis in mice. The confounder for serological detection of these autoantibodies was the presence of a fragment of ceruloplasmin in serum, which was eliminated in purified IgG, allowing detection. These findings implicate immunodominant epitopes in the pathology of ANCA-associated vasculitis and suggest that autoantibody diversity may be common to other autoimmune diseases.
Aleeza J. Roth, Joshua D. Ooi, Jacob J. Hess, Mirjan M. van Timmeren, Elisabeth A. Berg, Caroline E. Poulton, JulieAnne McGregor, Madelyn Burkart, Susan L. Hogan, Yichun Hu, Witold Winnik, Patrick H. Nachman, Coen A. Stegeman, John Niles, Peter Heeringa, A. Richard Kitching, Stephen Holdsworth, J. Charles Jennette, Gloria A. Preston, Ronald J. Falk
Serine palmitoyltransferase (SPT) is the first and rate-limiting enzyme of the de novo biosynthetic pathway of sphingomyelin (SM). Both SPT and SM have been implicated in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis, the development of which is driven by macrophages; however, the role of SPT in macrophage-mediated atherogenesis is unknown. To address this issue, we have analyzed macrophage inflammatory responses and reverse cholesterol transport, 2 key mediators of atherogenesis, in SPT subunit 2–haploinsufficient (
Mahua Chakraborty, Caixia Lou, Chongmin Huan, Ming-Shang Kuo, Tae-Sik Park, Guoqing Cao, Xian-Cheng Jiang
Sudden unexpected death in epilepsy (SUDEP) is the most common cause of death in intractable epilepsies, but physiological mechanisms that lead to SUDEP are unknown. Dravet syndrome (DS) is an infantile-onset intractable epilepsy caused by heterozygous loss-of-function mutations in the
Franck Kalume, Ruth E. Westenbroek, Christine S. Cheah, Frank H. Yu, John C. Oakley, Todd Scheuer, William A. Catterall
Maple syrup urine disease (MSUD) is an inherited disorder of branched chain amino acid metabolism presenting with neonatal encephalopathy, episodic metabolic decompensation, and chronic amino acid imbalances. Dietary management enables survival and reduces risk of acute crises. Liver transplantation has emerged as an effective way to eliminate acute decompensation risk. Psychiatric illness is a reported MSUD complication, but has not been well characterized and remains poorly understood. We report the prevalence and characteristics of neuropsychiatric problems among 37 classical MSUD patients (ages 5–35 years, 26 on dietary therapy, 11 after liver transplantation) and explore their underlying mechanisms. Compared with 26 age-matched controls, MSUD patients were at higher risk for disorders of cognition, attention, and mood. Using quantitative proton magnetic resonance spectroscopy, we found lower brain glutamate, N-acetylaspartate (NAA), and creatine concentrations in MSUD patients, which correlated with specific neuropsychiatric outcomes. Asymptomatic neonatal course and stringent longitudinal biochemical control proved fundamental to optimizing long-term mental health. Neuropsychiatric morbidity and neurochemistry were similar among transplanted and nontransplanted MSUD patients. In conclusion, amino acid dysregulation results in aberrant neural networks with neurochemical deficiencies that persist after transplant and correlate with neuropsychiatric morbidities. These findings may provide insight into general mechanisms of psychiatric illness.
Emilie R. Muelly, Gregory J. Moore, Scott C. Bunce, Julie Mack, Don C. Bigler, D. Holmes Morton, Kevin A. Strauss
Aging is regulated by conserved signaling pathways. The glycogen synthase kinase-3 (GSK-3) family of serine/threonine kinases regulates several of these pathways, but the role of GSK-3 in aging is unknown. Herein, we demonstrate premature death and acceleration of age-related pathologies in the
Jibin Zhou, Theresa A. Freeman, Firdos Ahmad, Xiying Shang, Emily Mangano, Erhe Gao, John Farber, Yajing Wang, Xin-Liang Ma, James Woodgett, Ronald J. Vagnozzi, Hind Lal, Thomas Force
Spermatogonial stem cell (SSC) transplantation has been shown to restore fertility in several species and may have application for treating some cases of male infertility (e.g., secondary to gonadotoxic therapy for cancer). To ensure safety of this fertility preservation strategy, methods are needed to isolate and enrich SSCs from human testis cell suspensions and also remove malignant contamination. We used flow cytometry to characterize cell surface antigen expression on human testicular cells and leukemic cells (MOLT-4 and TF-1a). We demonstrated via FACS that EpCAM is expressed by human spermatogonia but not MOLT-4 cells. In contrast, HLA-ABC and CD49e marked >95% of MOLT-4 cells but were not expressed on human spermatogonia. A multiparameter sort of MOLT-4–contaminated human testicular cell suspensions was performed to isolate EpCAM+/HLA-ABC–/CD49e– (putative spermatogonia) and EpCAM–/HLA-ABC+/CD49e+ (putative MOLT-4) cell fractions. The EpCAM+/HLA-ABC–/CD49e– fraction was enriched for spermatogonial colonizing activity and did not form tumors following human-to–nude mouse xenotransplantation. The EpCAM–/HLA-ABC+/CD49e+ fraction produced tumors following xenotransplantation. This approach could be generalized with slight modification to also remove contaminating TF-1a leukemia cells. Thus, FACS provides a method to isolate and enrich human spermatogonia and remove malignant contamination by exploiting differences in cell surface antigen expression.
Serena L. Dovey, Hanna Valli, Brian P. Hermann, Meena Sukhwani, Julia Donohue, Carlos A. Castro, Tianjiao Chu, Joseph S. Sanfilippo, Kyle E. Orwig
Olga A. Mareninova, Kip Hermann, Samuel W. French, Mark S. O’Konski, Stephen J. Pandol, Paul Webster, Ann H. Erickson, Nobuhiko Katunuma, Fred S. Gorelick, Ilya Gukovsky, Anna S. Gukovskaya