Tumors are capable of coopting hematopoietic cells to create a suitable microenvironment to support malignant growth. Here, we have demonstrated that upregulation of kinase insert domain receptor (KDR), also known as VEGFR2, in a myeloid cell sublineage is necessary for malignant progression of gliomas in transgenic murine models and is associated with high-grade tumors in patients. KDR expression increased in myeloid cells as myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) accumulated, which was associated with the transformation and progression of low-grade fibrillary astrocytoma to high-grade anaplastic gliomas. KDR deficiency in murine BM-derived cells (BMDCs) suppressed the differentiation of myeloid lineages and reduced granulocytic/monocytic populations. The depletion of myeloid-derived KDR compromised its proangiogenic function, which inhibited the angiogenic switch necessary for malignant progression of low-grade to high-grade tumors. We also identified inhibitor of DNA binding protein 2 (ID2) as a key upstream regulator of KDR activation during myeloid differentiation. Deficiency of ID2 in BMDCs led to downregulation of KDR, suppression of proangiogenic myeloid cells, and prevention of low-grade to high-grade transition. Tumor-secreted TGF-β and granulocyte-macrophage CSF (GM-CSF) enhanced the KDR/ID2 signaling axis in BMDCs. Our results suggest that modulation of KDR/ID2 signaling may restrict tumor-associated myeloid cells and could potentially be a therapeutic strategy for preventing transformation of premalignant gliomas.
Yujie Huang, Prajwal Rajappa, Wenhuo Hu, Caitlin Hoffman, Babacar Cisse, Joon-Hyung Kim, Emilie Gorge, Rachel Yanowitch, William Cope, Emma Vartanian, Raymond Xu, Tuo Zhang, David Pisapia, Jenny Xiang, Jason Huse, Irina Matei, Hector Peinado, Jacqueline Bromberg, Eric Holland, Bi-sen Ding, Shahin Rafii, David Lyden, Jeffrey Greenfield
Worldwide epidemics of metabolic diseases, including liver steatosis, are associated with an increased frequency of malignancies, showing the highest positive correlation for liver cancer. The heterogeneity of liver cancer represents a clinical challenge. In liver, the transcription factor PPARγ promotes metabolic adaptations of lipogenesis and aerobic glycolysis under the control of Akt2 activity, but the role of PPARγ in liver tumorigenesis is unknown. Here we have combined preclinical mouse models of liver cancer and genetic studies of a human liver biopsy atlas with the aim of identifying putative therapeutic targets in the context of liver steatosis and cancer. We have revealed a protumoral interaction of Akt2 signaling with hepatocyte nuclear factor 1α (HNF1α) and PPARγ, transcription factors that are master regulators of hepatocyte and adipocyte differentiation, respectively. Akt2 phosphorylates and inhibits HNF1α, thus relieving the suppression of hepatic PPARγ expression and promoting tumorigenesis. Finally, we observed that pharmacological inhibition of PPARγ is therapeutically effective in a preclinical murine model of steatosis-associated liver cancer. Taken together, our studies in humans and mice reveal that Akt2 controls hepatic tumorigenesis through crosstalk between HNF1α and PPARγ.
Cecilia Patitucci, Gabrielle Couchy, Alessia Bagattin, Tatiana Cañeque, Aurélien de Reyniès, Jean-Yves Scoazec, Raphaël Rodriguez, Marco Pontoglio, Jessica Zucman-Rossi, Mario Pende, Ganna Panasyuk
Cancer cells preferentially utilize glucose and glutamine, which provide macromolecules and antioxidants that sustain rapid cell division. Metabolic reprogramming in cancer drives an increased glycolytic rate that supports maximal production of these nutrients. The folate cycle, through transfer of a carbon unit between tetrahydrofolate and its derivatives in the cytoplasmic and mitochondrial compartments, produces other metabolites that are essential for cell growth, including nucleotides, methionine, and the antioxidant NADPH. Here, using hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) as a cancer model, we have observed a reduction in growth rate upon withdrawal of folate. We found that an enzyme in the folate cycle, methylenetetrahydrofolate dehydrogenase 1–like (MTHFD1L), plays an essential role in support of cancer growth. We determined that MTHFD1L is transcriptionally activated by NRF2, a master regulator of redox homeostasis. Our observations further suggest that MTHFD1L contributes to the production and accumulation of NADPH to levels that are sufficient to combat oxidative stress in cancer cells. The elevation of oxidative stress through MTHFD1L knockdown or the use of methotrexate, an antifolate drug, sensitizes cancer cells to sorafenib, a targeted therapy for HCC. Taken together, our study identifies MTHFD1L in the folate cycle as an important metabolic pathway in cancer cells with the potential for therapeutic targeting.
Derek Lee, Iris Ming-Jing Xu, David Kung-Chun Chiu, Robin Kit-Ho Lai, Aki Pui-Wah Tse, Lynna Lan Li, Cheuk-Ting Law, Felice Ho-Ching Tsang, Larry Lai Wei, Cerise Yuen-Ki Chan, Chun-Ming Wong, Irene Oi-Lin Ng, Carmen Chak-Lui Wong
Gain-of-function (GOF) p53 mutations are observed frequently in most intractable human cancers and establish dependency for tumor maintenance and progression. While some of the genes induced by GOF p53 have been implicated in more rapid cell proliferation compared with p53-null cancer cells, the mechanism for dependency of tumor growth on mutant p53 is unknown. This report reveals a therapeutically targetable mechanism for GOF p53 dependency. We have shown that GOF p53 increases DNA replication origin firing, stabilizes replication forks, and promotes micronuclei formation, thus facilitating the proliferation of cells with genomic abnormalities. In contrast, absence or depletion of GOF p53 leads to decreased origin firing and a higher frequency of fork collapse in isogenic cells, explaining their poorer proliferation rate. Following genome-wide analyses utilizing ChIP-Seq and RNA-Seq, GOF p53–induced origin firing, micronuclei formation, and fork protection were traced to the ability of GOF p53 to transactivate cyclin A and CHK1. Highlighting the therapeutic potential of CHK1’s role in GOF p53 dependency, experiments in cell culture and mouse xenografts demonstrated that inhibition of CHK1 selectively blocked proliferation of cells and tumors expressing GOF p53. Our data suggest the possibility that checkpoint inhibitors could efficiently and selectively target cancers expressing GOF p53 alleles.
Shilpa Singh, Catherine A. Vaughan, Rebecca A. Frum, Steven R. Grossman, Sumitra Deb, Swati Palit Deb
Mutations in the X-linked gene encoding methyl-CpG–binding protein 2 (MeCP2) cause Rett syndrome (RTT), a neurological disorder affecting cognitive development, respiration, and motor function. Genetic restoration of MeCP2 expression reverses RTT-like phenotypes in mice, highlighting the need to search for therapeutic approaches. Here, we have developed knockin mice recapitulating the most common RTT-associated missense mutation, MeCP2 T158M. We found that the T158M mutation impaired MECP2 binding to methylated DNA and destabilized MeCP2 protein in an age-dependent manner, leading to the development of RTT-like phenotypes in these mice. Genetic elevation of MeCP2 T158M expression ameliorated multiple RTT-like features, including motor dysfunction and breathing irregularities, in both male and female mice. These improvements were accompanied by increased binding of MeCP2 T158M to DNA. Further, we found that the ubiquitin/proteasome pathway was responsible for MeCP2 T158M degradation and that proteasome inhibition increased MeCP2 T158M levels. Together, these findings demonstrate that increasing MeCP2 T158M protein expression is sufficient to mitigate RTT-like phenotypes and support the targeting of MeCP2 T158M expression or stability as an alternative therapeutic approach.
Janine M. Lamonica, Deborah Y. Kwon, Darren Goffin, Polina Fenik, Brian S. Johnson, Yue Cui, Hengyi Guo, Sigrid Veasey, Zhaolan Zhou
Developing erythrocytes take up exceptionally large amounts of iron, which must be transferred to mitochondria for incorporation into heme. This massive iron flux must be precisely controlled to permit the coordinated synthesis of heme and hemoglobin while avoiding the toxic effects of chemically reactive iron. In cultured animal cells, iron chaperones
Moon-Suhn Ryu, Deliang Zhang, Olga Protchenko, Minoo Shakoury-Elizeh, Caroline C. Philpott
Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is the most common complication for patients undergoing allogeneic stem cell transplantation. Despite extremely aggressive therapy targeting donor T cells, patients with grade III or greater aGVHD of the lower GI tract, who do not respond to therapy with corticosteroids, have a dismal prognosis. Thus, efforts to improve understanding of the function of local immune and non-immune cells in regulating the inflammatory process in the GI tract during aGVHD are needed. Here, we demonstrate, using murine models of allogeneic BMT, that type 2 innate lymphoid cells (ILC2s) in the lower GI tract are sensitive to conditioning therapy and show very limited ability to repopulate from donor bone marrow. Infusion of donor ILC2s was effective in reducing the lethality of aGVHD and in treating lower GI tract disease. ILC2 infusion was associated with reduced donor proinflammatory Th1 and Th17 cells, accumulation of donor myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) mediated by ILC2 production of IL-13, improved GI tract barrier function, and a preserved graft-versus-leukemia (GVL) response. Collectively, these findings suggest that infusion of donor ILC2s to restore gastrointestinal tract homeostasis may improve treatment of severe lower GI tract aGVHD.
Danny W. Bruce, Heather E. Stefanski, Benjamin G. Vincent, Trisha A. Dant, Shannon Reisdorf, Hemamalini Bommiasamy, David A. Serody, Justin E. Wilson, Karen P. McKinnon, Warren D. Shlomchik, Paul M. Armistead, Jenny P.Y. Ting, John T. Woosley, Bruce R. Blazar, Dietmar M.W. Zaiss, Andrew N.J. McKenzie, James M. Coghill, Jonathan S. Serody
The growth factor receptor Kit is involved in hematopoietic and nonhematopoietic development. Mice bearing
Pierre Cunin, Loka R. Penke, Jonathan N. Thon, Paul A. Monach, Tatiana Jones, Margaret H. Chang, Mary M. Chen, Imene Melki, Steve Lacroix, Yoichiro Iwakura, Jerry Ware, Michael F. Gurish, Joseph E. Italiano, Eric Boilard, Peter A. Nigrovic
Despite the benefit of insulin, blockade of autoimmune attack and regeneration of pancreatic islets are ultimate goals for the complete cure of type 1 diabetes (T1D). Long-term consumption of ω-3 polyunsaturated fatty acids (PUFAs) is known to suppress inflammatory processes, making these fatty acids candidates for the prevention and amelioration of autoimmune diseases. Here, we explored the preventative and therapeutic effects of ω-3 PUFAs on T1D. In NOD mice, dietary intervention with ω-3 PUFAs sharply reduced the incidence of T1D, modulated the differentiation of Th cells and Tregs, and decreased the levels of IFN-γ, IL-17, IL-6, and TNF-α. ω-3 PUFAs exerted similar effects on the differentiation of CD4+ T cells isolated from human peripheral blood mononuclear cells. The regulation of CD4+ T cell differentiation was mediated at least in part through ω-3 PUFA eicosanoid derivatives and by mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) inhibition. Importantly, therapeutic intervention in NOD mice through nutritional supplementation or lentivirus-mediated expression of an ω-3 fatty acid desaturase, m
Xinyun Bi, Fanghong Li, Shanshan Liu, Yan Jin, Xin Zhang, Tao Yang, Yifan Dai, Xiaoxi Li, Allan Zijian Zhao
Dominantly inherited isolated polycystic liver disease (PCLD) consists of liver cysts that are radiologically and pathologically identical to those seen in autosomal dominant polycystic kidney disease, but without clinically relevant kidney cysts. The causative genes are known for fewer than 40% of PCLD index cases. Here, we have used whole exome sequencing in a discovery cohort of 102 unrelated patients who were excluded for mutations in the 2 most common PCLD genes,
Whitney Besse, Ke Dong, Jungmin Choi, Sohan Punia, Sorin V. Fedeles, Murim Choi, Anna-Rachel Gallagher, Emily B. Huang, Ashima Gulati, James Knight, Shrikant Mane, Esa Tahvanainen, Pia Tahvanainen, Simone Sanna-Cherchi, Richard P. Lifton, Terry Watnick, York P. Pei, Vicente E. Torres, Stefan Somlo
Paradoxically, during early tumor development in many cancer types, TGF-β acts as a tumor suppressor, whereas in the advanced stages of these cancers, increased TGF-β expression is linked to high metastasis and poor prognosis. These findings suggest that unidentified mechanisms may function to rewire TGF-β signaling toward its prometastatic role in cancer cells. Our current study using non–small-cell lung carcinoma (NSCLC) cell lines, animal models, and clinical specimens demonstrates that suppression of SMAD2, with SMAD3 function intact, switches TGF-β–induced transcriptional responses to a prometastatic state. Importantly, we identified chaperonin containing TCP1 subunit 6A (CCT6A) as an inhibitor and direct binding protein of SMAD2 and found that CCT6A suppresses SMAD2 function in NSCLC cells and promotes metastasis. Furthermore, selective inhibition of SMAD3 or CCT6A efficiently suppresses TGF-β–mediated metastasis. Our findings provide a mechanism that directs TGF-β signaling toward its prometastatic arm and may contribute to the development of therapeutic strategies targeting TGF-β for NSCLC.
Zhe Ying, Han Tian, Yun Li, Rong Lian, Wei Li, Shanshan Wu, Hui-Zhong Zhang, Jueheng Wu, Lei Liu, Junwei Song, Hongyu Guan, Junchao Cai, Xun Zhu, Jun Li, Mengfeng Li
The integration of somatosensory information is generally assumed to be a function of the central nervous system (CNS). Here we describe fully functional GABAergic communication within rodent peripheral sensory ganglia and show that it can modulate transmission of pain-related signals from the peripheral sensory nerves to the CNS. We found that sensory neurons express major proteins necessary for GABA synthesis and release and that sensory neurons released GABA in response to depolarization. In vivo focal infusion of GABA or GABA reuptake inhibitor to sensory ganglia dramatically reduced acute peripherally induced nociception and alleviated neuropathic and inflammatory pain. In addition, focal application of GABA receptor antagonists to sensory ganglia triggered or exacerbated peripherally induced nociception. We also demonstrated that chemogenetic or optogenetic depolarization of GABAergic dorsal root ganglion neurons in vivo reduced acute and chronic peripherally induced nociception. Mechanistically, GABA depolarized the majority of sensory neuron somata, yet produced a net inhibitory effect on the nociceptive transmission due to the filtering effect at nociceptive fiber T-junctions. Our findings indicate that peripheral somatosensory ganglia represent a hitherto underappreciated site of somatosensory signal integration and offer a potential target for therapeutic intervention.
Xiaona Du, Han Hao, Yuehui Yang, Sha Huang, Caixue Wang, Sylvain Gigout, Rosmaliza Ramli, Xinmeng Li, Ewa Jaworska, Ian Edwards, Jim Deuchars, Yuchio Yanagawa, Jinlong Qi, Bingcai Guan, David B. Jaffe, Hailin Zhang, Nikita Gamper
Duane retraction syndrome (DRS) is the most common form of congenital paralytic strabismus in humans and can result from α2-chimaerin (
Alicia A. Nugent, Jong G. Park, Yan Wei, Alan P. Tenney, Nicole M. Gilette, Michelle M. DeLisle, Wai-Man Chan, Long Cheng, Elizabeth C. Engle
Mature B cell pools retain a substantial proportion of polyreactive and self-reactive clonotypes, suggesting that activation checkpoints exist to reduce the initiation of autoreactive B cell responses. Here, we have described a relationship among the B cell receptor (BCR), TLR9, and cytokine signals that regulate B cell responses to DNA-containing antigens. In both mouse and human B cells, BCR ligands that deliver a TLR9 agonist induce an initial proliferative burst that is followed by apoptotic death. The latter mechanism involves p38-dependent G1 cell-cycle arrest and subsequent intrinsic mitochondrial apoptosis and is shared by all preimmune murine B cell subsets and CD27– human B cells. Survival or costimulatory signals rescue B cells from this fate, but the outcome varies depending on the signals involved. B lymphocyte stimulator (BLyS) engenders survival and antibody secretion, whereas CD40 costimulation with IL-21 or IFN-γ promotes a T-bet+ B cell phenotype. Finally, in vivo immunization studies revealed that when protein antigens are conjugated with DNA, the humoral immune response is blunted and acquires features associated with T-bet+ B cell differentiation. We propose that this mechanism integrating BCR, TLR9, and cytokine signals provides a peripheral checkpoint for DNA-containing antigens that, if circumvented by survival and differentiative cues, yields B cells with the autoimmune-associated T-bet+ phenotype.
Vishal J. Sindhava, Michael A. Oropallo, Krishna Moody, Martin Naradikian, Lauren E. Higdon, Lin Zhou, Arpita Myles, Nathaniel Green, Kerstin Nündel, William Stohl, Amanda M. Schmidt, Wei Cao, Stephanie Dorta-Estremera, Taku Kambayashi, Ann Marshak-Rothstein, Michael P. Cancro
It is well established that somatic genomic changes can influence phenotypes in cancer, but the role of adaptive changes in developmental disorders is less well understood. Here we have used next-generation sequencing approaches to identify de novo heterozygous mutations in sterile α motif domain–containing protein 9 (
Federica Buonocore, Peter Kühnen, Jenifer P. Suntharalingham, Ignacio Del Valle, Martin Digweed, Harald Stachelscheid, Noushafarin Khajavi, Mohammed Didi, Angela F. Brady, Oliver Blankenstein, Annie M. Procter, Paul Dimitri, Jerry K.H. Wales, Paolo Ghirri, Dieter Knöbl, Brigitte Strahm, Miriam Erlacher, Marcin W. Wlodarski, Wei Chen, George K. Kokai, Glenn Anderson, Deborah Morrogh, Dale A. Moulding, Shane A. McKee, Charlotte M. Niemeyer, Annette Grüters, John C. Achermann
Many cancer-associated mutations that deregulate cellular metabolic responses to hypoxia also reprogram carbon metabolism to promote utilization of glutamine. In renal cell carcinoma (RCC), cells deficient in the von Hippel–Lindau (
Arimichi Okazaki, Paulo A. Gameiro, Danos Christodoulou, Laura Laviollette, Meike Schneider, Frances Chaves, Anat Stemmer-Rachamimov, Stephanie A. Yazinski, Richard Lee, Gregory Stephanopoulos, Lee Zou, Othon Iliopoulos
Alloimmune T cell responses induce graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), a serious complication of allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (allo-BMT). Although Notch signaling mediated by Delta-like 1/4 (DLL1/4) Notch ligands has emerged as a major regulator of GVHD pathogenesis, little is known about the timing of essential Notch signals and the cellular source of Notch ligands after allo-BMT. Here, we have shown that critical DLL1/4-mediated Notch signals are delivered to donor T cells during a short 48-hour window after transplantation in a mouse allo-BMT model. Stromal, but not hematopoietic, cells were the essential source of Notch ligands during in vivo priming of alloreactive T cells. GVHD could be prevented by selective inactivation of
Jooho Chung, Christen L. Ebens, Eric Perkey, Vedran Radojcic, Ute Koch, Leonardo Scarpellino, Alexander Tong, Frederick Allen, Sherri Wood, Jiane Feng, Ann Friedman, David Granadier, Ivy T. Tran, Qian Chai, Lucas Onder, Minhong Yan, Pavan Reddy, Bruce R. Blazar, Alex Y. Huang, Todd V. Brennan, D. Keith Bishop, Burkhard Ludewig, Christian W. Siebel, Freddy Radtke, Sanjiv A. Luther, Ivan Maillard
Loss of phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) and activation of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway are hallmarks of prostate cancer (PCa). However, these alterations alone are insufficient for cells to acquire metastatic traits. Here, we have shown that the histone dimethyl transferase WHSC1 critically drives indolent PTEN-null tumors to become metastatic PCa. In a PTEN-null murine PCa model, WHSC1 overexpression in prostate epithelium cooperated with
Ni Li, Wei Xue, Huairui Yuan, Baijun Dong, Yufeng Ding, Yongfeng Liu, Min Jiang, Shan Kan, Tongyu Sun, Jiale Ren, Qiang Pan, Xiang Li, Peiyuan Zhang, Guohong Hu, Yan Wang, Xiaoming Wang, Qintong Li, Jun Qin
Mutations in the isocitrate dehydrogenase genes
Gary Kohanbash, Diego A. Carrera, Shruti Shrivastav, Brian J. Ahn, Naznin Jahan, Tali Mazor, Zinal S. Chheda, Kira M. Downey, Payal B. Watchmaker, Casey Beppler, Rolf Warta, Nduka A. Amankulor, Christel Herold-Mende, Joseph F. Costello, Hideho Okada
The mTOR pathway is a critical determinant of cell persistence and growth wherein mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) mediates a balance between growth factor stimuli and nutrient availability. Amino acids or glucose facilitates mTORC1 activation by inducing RagA GTPase recruitment of mTORC1 to the lysosomal outer surface, enabling activation of mTOR by the Ras homolog Rheb. Thereby, RagA alters mTORC1-driven growth in times of nutrient abundance or scarcity. Here, we have evaluated differential nutrient-sensing dependence through RagA and mTORC1 in hematopoietic progenitors, which dynamically drive mature cell production, and hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), which provide a quiescent cellular reserve. In nutrient-abundant conditions, RagA-deficient HSC were functionally unimpaired and upregulated mTORC1 via nutrient-insensitive mechanisms. RagA was also dispensable for HSC function under nutritional stress conditions. Similarly, hyperactivation of RagA did not affect HSC function. In contrast, RagA deficiency markedly altered progenitor population function and mature cell output. Therefore, RagA is a molecular mechanism that distinguishes the functional attributes of reactive progenitors from a reserve stem cell pool. The indifference of HSC to nutrient sensing through RagA contributes to their molecular resilience to nutritional stress, a characteristic that is relevant to organismal viability in evolution and in modern HSC transplantation approaches.
Demetrios Kalaitzidis, Dongjun Lee, Alejo Efeyan, Youmna Kfoury, Naema Nayyar, David B. Sykes, Francois E. Mercier, Ani Papazian, Ninib Baryawno, Gabriel D. Victora, Donna Neuberg, David M. Sabatini, David T. Scadden