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Abstract

In addition to the infectious consequences of immunodeficiency, patients with Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome (WAS) often suffer from poorly understood exaggerated immune responses that result in autoimmunity and elevated levels of serum IgE. Here, we have shown that WAS patients and mice deficient in WAS protein (WASP) frequently develop IgE-mediated reactions to common food allergens. WASP-deficient animals displayed an adjuvant-free IgE-sensitization to chow antigens that was most pronounced for wheat and soy and occurred under specific pathogen–free as well as germ-free housing conditions. Conditional deletion of Was in FOXP3+ Tregs resulted in more severe Th2-type intestinal inflammation than that observed in mice with global WASP deficiency, indicating that allergic responses to food allergens are dependent upon loss of WASP expression in this immune compartment. While WASP-deficient Tregs efficiently contained Th1- and Th17-type effector differentiation in vivo, they failed to restrain Th2 effector responses that drive allergic intestinal inflammation. Loss of WASP was phenotypically associated with increased GATA3 expression in effector memory FOXP3+ Tregs, but not in naive-like FOXP3+ Tregs, an effect that occurred independently of increased IL-4 signaling. Our results reveal a Treg-specific role for WASP that is required for prevention of Th2 effector cell differentiation and allergic sensitization to dietary antigens.

Authors

Willem S. Lexmond, Jeremy A. Goettel, Jonathan J. Lyons, Justin Jacobse, Marion M. Deken, Monica G. Lawrence, Thomas H. DiMaggio, Daniel Kotlarz, Elizabeth Garabedian, Paul Sackstein, Celeste C. Nelson, Nina Jones, Kelly D. Stone, Fabio Candotti, Edmond H.H.M. Rings, Adrian J. Thrasher, Joshua D. Milner, Scott B. Snapper, Edda Fiebiger

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Abstract

Imatinib-insensitive leukemia stem cells (LSCs) are believed to be responsible for resistance to BCR-ABL tyrosine kinase inhibitors and relapse of chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML). Identifying therapeutic targets to eradicate CML LSCs may be a strategy to cure CML. In the present study, we discovered a positive feedback loop between BCR-ABL and protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5) in CML cells. Overexpression of PRMT5 was observed in human CML LSCs. Silencing PRMT5 with shRNA or blocking PRMT5 methyltransferase activity with the small-molecule inhibitor PJ-68 reduced survival, serial replating capacity, and long-term culture-initiating cells (LTC-ICs) in LSCs from CML patients. Further, PRMT5 knockdown or PJ-68 treatment dramatically prolonged survival in a murine model of retroviral BCR-ABL–driven CML and impaired the in vivo self-renewal capacity of transplanted CML LSCs. PJ-68 also inhibited long-term engraftment of human CML CD34+ cells in immunodeficient mice. Moreover, inhibition of PRMT5 abrogated the Wnt/β-catenin pathway in CML CD34+ cells by depleting dishevelled homolog 3 (DVL3). This study suggests that epigenetic methylation modification on histone protein arginine residues is a regulatory mechanism to control self-renewal of LSCs and indicates that PRMT5 may represent a potential therapeutic target against LSCs.

Authors

Yanli Jin, Jingfeng Zhou, Fang Xu, Bei Jin, Lijing Cui, Yun Wang, Xin Du, Juan Li, Peng Li, Ruibao Ren, Jingxuan Pan

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Abstract

Mast cells (MCs) influence intercellular communication during inflammation by secreting cytoplasmic granules that contain diverse mediators. Here, we have demonstrated that MCs decode different activation stimuli into spatially and temporally distinct patterns of granule secretion. Certain signals, including substance P, the complement anaphylatoxins C3a and C5a, and endothelin 1, induced human MCs rapidly to secrete small and relatively spherical granule structures, a pattern consistent with the secretion of individual granules. Conversely, activating MCs with anti-IgE increased the time partition between signaling and secretion, which was associated with a period of sustained elevation of intracellular calcium and formation of larger and more heterogeneously shaped granule structures that underwent prolonged exteriorization. Pharmacological inhibition of IKK-β during IgE-dependent stimulation strongly reduced the time partition between signaling and secretion, inhibited SNAP23/STX4 complex formation, and switched the degranulation pattern into one that resembled degranulation induced by substance P. IgE-dependent and substance P–dependent activation in vivo also induced different patterns of mouse MC degranulation that were associated with distinct local and systemic pathophysiological responses. These findings show that cytoplasmic granule secretion from MCs that occurs in response to different activating stimuli can exhibit distinct dynamics and features that are associated with distinct patterns of MC-dependent inflammation.

Authors

Nicolas Gaudenzio, Riccardo Sibilano, Thomas Marichal, Philipp Starkl, Laurent L. Reber, Nicolas Cenac, Benjamin D. McNeil, Xinzhong Dong, Joseph D. Hernandez, Ronit Sagi-Eisenberg, Ilan Hammel, Axel Roers, Salvatore Valitutti, Mindy Tsai, Eric Espinosa, Stephen J. Galli

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Abstract

Transcriptional reactivation of telomerase reverse transcriptase (TERT) reconstitutes telomerase activity in the majority of human cancers. Here, we found that ectopic TERT expression increases cell proliferation, while acute reductions in TERT levels lead to a dramatic loss of proliferation without any change in telomere length, suggesting that the effects of TERT could be telomere independent. We observed that TERT determines the growth rate of cancer cells by directly regulating global protein synthesis independently of its catalytic activity. Genome-wide TERT binding across 5 cancer cell lines and 2 embryonic stem cell lines revealed that endogenous TERT, driven by mutant promoters or oncogenes, directly associates with the RNA polymerase III (pol III) subunit RPC32 and enhances its recruitment to chromatin, resulting in increased RNA pol III occupancy and tRNA expression in cancers. TERT-deficient mice displayed marked delays in polyomavirus middle T oncogene–induced (PyMT-induced) mammary tumorigenesis, increased survival, and reductions in tRNA levels. Ectopic expression of either RPC32 or TERT restored tRNA levels and proliferation defects in TERT-depleted cells. Finally, we determined that levels of TERT and tRNA correlated in breast and liver cancer samples. Together, these data suggest the existence of a unifying mechanism by which TERT enhances translation in cells to regulate cancer cell proliferation.

Authors

Ekta Khattar, Pavanish Kumar, Chia Yi Liu, Semih Can Akıncılar, Anandhkumar Raju, Manikandan Lakshmanan, Julien Jean Pierre Maury, Yu Qiang, Shang Li, Ern Yu Tan, Kam M. Hui, Ming Shi, Yuin Han Loh, Vinay Tergaonkar

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Abstract

Cerebral malaria is characterized by cytoadhesion of Plasmodium falciparum–infected red blood cells (Pf-iRBCs) to endothelial cells in the brain, disruption of the blood-brain barrier, and cerebral microhemorrhages. No available antimalarial drugs specifically target the endothelial disruptions underlying this complication, which is responsible for the majority of malaria-associated deaths. Here, we have demonstrated that ruptured Pf-iRBCs induce activation of β-catenin, leading to disruption of inter–endothelial cell junctions in human brain microvascular endothelial cells (HBMECs). Inhibition of β-catenin–induced TCF/LEF transcription in the nucleus of HBMECs prevented the disruption of endothelial junctions, confirming that β-catenin is a key mediator of P. falciparum adverse effects on endothelial integrity. Blockade of the angiotensin II type 1 receptor (AT1) or stimulation of the type 2 receptor (AT2) abrogated Pf-iRBC–induced activation of β-catenin and prevented the disruption of HBMEC monolayers. In a mouse model of cerebral malaria, modulation of angiotensin II receptors produced similar effects, leading to protection against cerebral malaria, reduced cerebral hemorrhages, and increased survival. In contrast, AT2-deficient mice were more susceptible to cerebral malaria. The interrelation of the β-catenin and the angiotensin II signaling pathways opens immediate host-targeted therapeutic possibilities for cerebral malaria and other diseases in which brain endothelial integrity is compromised.

Authors

Julio Gallego-Delgado, Upal Basu-Roy, Maureen Ty, Matilde Alique, Cristina Fernandez-Arias, Alexandru Movila, Pollyanna Gomes, Ada Weinstock, Wenyue Xu, Innocent Edagha, Samuel C. Wassmer, Thomas Walther, Marta Ruiz-Ortega, Ana Rodriguez

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Abstract

The canonical atrial myocyte (AM) is characterized by sparse transverse tubule (TT) invaginations and slow intracellular Ca2+ propagation but exhibits rapid contractile activation that is susceptible to loss of function during hypertrophic remodeling. Here, we have identified a membrane structure and Ca2+-signaling complex that may enhance the speed of atrial contraction independently of phospholamban regulation. This axial couplon was observed in human and mouse atria and is composed of voluminous axial tubules (ATs) with extensive junctions to the sarcoplasmic reticulum (SR) that include ryanodine receptor 2 (RyR2) clusters. In mouse AM, AT structures triggered Ca2+ release from the SR approximately 2 times faster at the AM center than at the surface. Rapid Ca2+ release correlated with colocalization of highly phosphorylated RyR2 clusters at AT-SR junctions and earlier, more rapid shortening of central sarcomeres. In contrast, mice expressing phosphorylation-incompetent RyR2 displayed depressed AM sarcomere shortening and reduced in vivo atrial contractile function. Moreover, left atrial hypertrophy led to AT proliferation, with a marked increase in the highly phosphorylated RyR2-pS2808 cluster fraction, thereby maintaining cytosolic Ca2+ signaling despite decreases in RyR2 cluster density and RyR2 protein expression. AT couplon “super-hubs” thus underlie faster excitation-contraction coupling in health as well as hypertrophic compensatory adaptation and represent a structural and metabolic mechanism that may contribute to contractile dysfunction and arrhythmias.

Authors

Sören Brandenburg, Tobias Kohl, George S.B. Williams, Konstantin Gusev, Eva Wagner, Eva A. Rog-Zielinska, Elke Hebisch, Miroslav Dura, Michael Didié, Michael Gotthardt, Viacheslav O. Nikolaev, Gerd Hasenfuss, Peter Kohl, Christopher W. Ward, W. Jonathan Lederer, Stephan E. Lehnart

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Abstract

Recent findings have linked brain swelling to death in cerebral malaria (CM). These observations have prompted a number of investigations into the mechanisms of this pathology with the goal of identifying potential therapeutic targets. In this issue of the JCI, Gallego-Delgado and colleagues present evidence that implicates angiotensin receptors and the relocation of β-catenin to the endothelial cell nucleus in CM. This study provides a renewed focus on infected erythrocyte debris as the cause of endothelial damage and challenges previous work implicating direct effects of infected erythrocyte sequestration in the brain as the major driver of disease. While this work provides potential therapeutic avenues for CM, it leaves a number of questions unanswered.

Authors

Jens E.V. Petersen, Thomas Lavstsen, Alister Craig

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Abstract

Dysregulation of the type 2 immune system presents with various manifestations, including allergic inflammation, and has emerged as an alarming public health issue. The pathological mechanisms that underlie T helper type 2 cell–driven (Th2-driven) allergic diseases remain unclear. In particular, it is not completely understood how type 2 immunity is restricted in inflammatory responses. In this issue of the JCI, Lexmond et al. use Wiskott-Aldrich syndrome as a model disease and establish that the Wiskott-Aldrich gene product (WASP) serves an essential role in T regulatory cells to contain Th2 effector cell differentiation and prevent allergic sensitization to dietary antigens.

Authors

Yun Liang, Johann E. Gudjonsson

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Abstract

Atrial fibrillation (AF) is a cardiac arrhythmia that arises from electrical and contractile dysfunction in the atria. Atrial function is regulated by a variety of intracellular signaling networks that facilitate rapid communication and coordinate responses of atrial myocytes. In this issue of the JCI, Brandenburg and colleagues describe the identification and characterization of “super-hub” signaling nodes located on atrial axial tubules that regulate atrial contraction. Together, the results of this study provide important insight into the regulation of atrial contraction and describe potential therapeutic targets to be explored in future studies.

Authors

Thomas J. Hund, Peter J. Mohler

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Abstract

Mast cells (MCs) are present in various tissues and are responsible for initiating many of the early inflammatory responses to extrinsic challenges. Recent studies have demonstrated that MCs can tailor their responses, depending on the stimulus encountered and the tissue in which they are stimulated. In this issue of the JCI, Gaudenzio and colleagues examine the mechanistic differences between MC responses observed after engagement of Fcε receptor I and those seen after MC stimulation via the recently identified G protein–coupled receptor MRGPRX2. By showing that discrete cellular activation patterns affect the phenotype of the MC response in vivo and in vitro, the authors provide important information about how MCs differentially process various stimuli into distinct degranulation programs.

Authors

Jörn Karhausen, Soman N. Abraham

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September 2016

126 9 cover

September 2016 Issue

On the cover:
Transcription factor BCL6 is a druggable oncoprotein

On page 3351, Cardenas et al. report the development of a high-affinity small-molecule inhibitor for the transcription factor BCL6, which is an important driver of diffuse large B cell lymphoma. The cover image is a graphic depiction of FX1 (green) interacting with the BCL6 BTB domain lateral groove pocket and displacing its natural ligand. Image credit: Sam Shlomo Spaeth, CMI.

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Jci tm 2016 09

September 2016 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

Extracellular Vesicles

Series edited by Laurence Zitvogel

Cell-to-cell communication is an essential component in multicellular organisms, allowing for rapid, coordinated responses to changes within the environment. Classical signaling mediators include direct cell-cell contact as well as secreted factors, such as cytokines, metabolites, and hormones. In the past decade, extracellular vesicles (EVs), including exosomes, microvesicles, and apoptotic bodies, have emerged as important mediators of intercellular communication. EVs are double-membrane vesicles containing cargoes of multiple proteins, lipids, and nucleic acids, which are derived from their cells of origin, and EV cargoes can change depending on the status of their originating cells. Importantly, EVs are found in all body fluids and can carry their cargoes to distant sites within the body as well as neighboring cells. Reviews in this series discuss the role of EV-mediated signaling in physiological and pathophysiological conditions, including infection, host immune responses, and cancer. Additionally, these reviews cover the potential clinical use of EVs as therapeutics and diagnostic biomarkers.

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