Cell ablation is a powerful tool for studying cell lineage and/or function; however, current cell-ablation models have limitations. Intermedilysin (ILY), a cytolytic pore-forming toxin that is secreted by
Dechun Feng, Shen Dai, Fengming Liu, Yosuke Ohtake, Zhou Zhou, Hua Wang, Yonggang Zhang, Alison Kearns, Xiao Peng, Faliang Zhu, Umar Hayat, Man Li, Yong He, Mingjiang Xu, Chunling Zhao, Min Cheng, Lining Zhang, Hong Wang, Xiaofeng Yang, Cynthia Ju, Elizabeth C. Bryda, Jennifer Gordon, Kamel Khalili, Wenhui Hu, Shuxin Li, Xuebin Qin, Bin Gao
Hemodynamic shear forces are intimately linked with cardiac development, during which trabeculae form a network of branching outgrowths from the myocardium. Mutations that alter Notch signaling also result in trabeculation defects. Here, we assessed whether shear stress modulates trabeculation to influence contractile function. Specifically, we acquired 4D (3D + time) images with light sheets by selective plane illumination microscopy (SPIM) for rapid scanning and deep axial penetration during zebrafish morphogenesis. Reduction of blood viscosity via
Juhyun Lee, Peng Fei, René R. Sevag Packard, Hanul Kang, Hao Xu, Kyung In Baek, Nelson Jen, Junjie Chen, Hilary Yen, C.-C. Jay Kuo, Neil C. Chi, Chih-Ming Ho, Rongsong Li, Tzung K. Hsiai
Here, we have described and validated a strategy for monitoring skeletal muscle protein synthesis rates in rodents and humans over days or weeks from blood samples. We based this approach on label incorporation into proteins that are synthesized specifically in skeletal muscle and escape into the circulation. Heavy water labeling combined with sensitive tandem mass spectrometric analysis allowed integrated synthesis rates of proteins in muscle tissue across the proteome to be measured over several weeks. Fractional synthesis rate (FSR) of plasma creatine kinase M-type (CK-M) and carbonic anhydrase 3 (CA-3) in the blood, more than 90% of which is derived from skeletal muscle, correlated closely with FSR of CK-M, CA-3, and other proteins of various ontologies in skeletal muscle tissue in both rodents and humans. Protein synthesis rates across the muscle proteome generally changed in a coordinate manner in response to a sprint interval exercise training regimen in humans and to denervation or clenbuterol treatment in rodents. FSR of plasma CK-M and CA-3 revealed changes and interindividual differences in muscle tissue proteome dynamics. In human subjects, sprint interval training primarily stimulated synthesis of structural and glycolytic proteins. Together, our results indicate that this approach provides a virtual biopsy, sensitively revealing individualized changes in proteome-wide synthesis rates in skeletal muscle without a muscle biopsy. Accordingly, this approach has potential applications for the diagnosis, management, and treatment of muscle disorders.
Mahalakshmi Shankaran, Chelsea L. King, Thomas E. Angel, William E. Holmes, Kelvin W. Li, Marc Colangelo, John C. Price, Scott M. Turner, Christopher Bell, Karyn L. Hamilton, Benjamin F. Miller, Marc K. Hellerstein
Magnetic resonance–guided focused ultrasound (MRgFUS) facilitates noninvasive image-guided conformal thermal therapy of cancer. Yet in many scenarios, the sensitive tissues surrounding the tumor constrain the margins of ablation; therefore, augmentation of MRgFUS with chemotherapy may be required to destroy remaining tumor. Here, we used 64Cu-PET-CT, MRI, autoradiography, and fluorescence imaging to track the kinetics of long-circulating liposomes in immunocompetent mammary carcinoma–bearing FVB/n and BALB/c mice. We observed a 5-fold and 50-fold enhancement of liposome and drug concentration, respectively, within MRgFUS thermal ablation–treated tumors along with dense accumulation within the surrounding tissue rim. Ultrasound-enhanced drug accumulation was rapid and durable and greatly increased total tumor drug exposure over time. In addition, we found that the small molecule gadoteridol accumulates around and within ablated tissue. We further demonstrated that dilated vasculature, loss of vascular integrity resulting in extravasation of blood cells, stromal inflammation, and loss of cell-cell adhesion and tissue architecture all contribute to the enhanced accumulation of the liposomes and small molecule probe. The locally enhanced liposome accumulation was preserved even after a multiweek protocol of doxorubicin-loaded liposomes and partial ablation. Finally, by supplementing ablation with concurrent liposomal drug therapy, a complete and durable response was obtained using protocols for which a sub-mm rim of tumor remained after ablation.
Andrew W. Wong, Brett Z. Fite, Yu Liu, Azadeh Kheirolomoom, Jai W. Seo, Katherine D. Watson, Lisa M. Mahakian, Sarah M. Tam, Hua Zhang, Josquin Foiret, Alexander D. Borowsky, Katherine W. Ferrara
Increased sodium influx via incomplete inactivation of the major cardiac sodium channel NaV1.5 is correlated with an increased incidence of atrial fibrillation (AF) in humans. Here, we sought to determine whether increased sodium entry is sufficient to cause the structural and electrophysiological perturbations that are required to initiate and sustain AF. We used mice expressing a human NaV1.5 variant with a mutation in the anesthetic-binding site (F1759A-NaV1.5) and demonstrated that incomplete Na+ channel inactivation is sufficient to drive structural alterations, including atrial and ventricular enlargement, myofibril disarray, fibrosis and mitochondrial injury, and electrophysiological dysfunctions that together lead to spontaneous and prolonged episodes of AF in these mice. Using this model, we determined that the increase in a persistent sodium current causes heterogeneously prolonged action potential duration and rotors, as well as wave and wavelets in the atria, and thereby mimics mechanistic theories that have been proposed for AF in humans. Acute inhibition of the sodium-calcium exchanger, which targets the downstream effects of enhanced sodium entry, markedly reduced the burden of AF and ventricular arrhythmias in this model, suggesting a potential therapeutic approach for AF. Together, our results indicate that these mice will be important for assessing the cellular mechanisms and potential effectiveness of antiarrhythmic therapies.
Elaine Wan, Jeffrey Abrams, Richard L. Weinberg, Alexander N. Katchman, Joseph Bayne, Sergey I. Zakharov, Lin Yang, John P. Morrow, Hasan Garan, Steven O. Marx
Optical imaging of whole, living animals has proven to be a powerful tool in multiple areas of preclinical research and has allowed noninvasive monitoring of immune responses, tumor and pathogen growth, and treatment responses in longitudinal studies. However, fluorescence-based studies in animals are challenging because tissue absorbs and autofluoresces strongly in the visible light spectrum. These optical properties drive development and use of fluorescent labels that absorb and emit at longer wavelengths. Here, we present a far-red absorbing fluoromodule–based reporter/probe system and show that this system can be used for imaging in living mice. The probe we developed is a fluorogenic dye called SC1 that is dark in solution but highly fluorescent when bound to its cognate reporter, Mars1. The reporter/probe complex, or fluoromodule, produced peak emission near 730 nm. Mars1 was able to bind a variety of structurally similar probes that differ in color and membrane permeability. We demonstrated that a tool kit of multiple probes can be used to label extracellular and intracellular reporter–tagged receptor pools with 2 colors. Imaging studies may benefit from this far-red excited reporter/probe system, which features tight coupling between probe fluorescence and reporter binding and offers the option of using an expandable family of fluorogenic probes with a single reporter gene.
Ming Zhang, Subhasish K. Chakraborty, Padma Sampath, Juan J. Rojas, Weizhou Hou, Saumya Saurabh, Steve H. Thorne, Marcel P. Bruchez, Alan S. Waggoner
Cyclic dinucleotides (CDNs) are agonists of stimulator of IFN genes (STING) and have potential as vaccine adjuvants. However, cyclic di-GMP (cdGMP) injected s.c. shows minimal uptake into lymphatics/draining lymph nodes (dLNs) and instead is rapidly distributed to the bloodstream, leading to systemic inflammation. Here, we encapsulated cdGMP within PEGylated lipid nanoparticles (NP-cdGMP) to redirect this adjuvant to dLNs. Compared with unformulated CDNs, encapsulation blocked systemic dissemination and markedly enhanced dLN accumulation in murine models. Delivery of NP-cdGMP increased CD8+ T cell responses primed by peptide vaccines and enhanced therapeutic antitumor immunity. A combination of a poorly immunogenic liposomal HIV gp41 peptide antigen and NP-cdGMP robustly induced type I IFN in dLNs, induced a greater expansion of vaccine-specific CD4+ T cells, and greatly increased germinal center B cell differentiation in dLNs compared with a combination of liposomal HIV gp41 and soluble CDN. Further, NP-cdGMP promoted durable antibody titers that were substantially higher than those promoted by the well-studied TLR agonist monophosphoryl lipid A and comparable to a much larger dose of unformulated cdGMP, without the systemic toxicity of the latter. These results demonstrate that nanoparticulate delivery safely targets CDNs to the dLNs and enhances the efficacy of this adjuvant. Moreover, this approach can be broadly applied to other small-molecule immunomodulators of interest for vaccines and immunotherapy.
Melissa C. Hanson, Monica P. Crespo, Wuhbet Abraham, Kelly D. Moynihan, Gregory L. Szeto, Stephanie H. Chen, Mariane B. Melo, Stefanie Mueller, Darrell J. Irvine
Current strategies to alter disease-associated epigenetic modifications target ubiquitously expressed epigenetic regulators. This approach does not allow specific genes to be controlled in specific cell types; therefore, tools to selectively target epigenetic modifications in the desired cell type and strategies to more efficiently correct aberrant gene expression in disease are needed. Here, we have developed a method for directing DNA methylation to specific gene loci by conjugating catalytic domains of DNA methyltransferases (DNMTs) to engineered transcription activator–like effectors (TALEs). We demonstrated that these TALE-DNMTs direct DNA methylation specifically to the targeted gene locus in human cells. Further, we determined that minimizing direct nucleotide sequence repeats within the TALE moiety permits efficient lentivirus transduction, allowing easy targeting of primary cell types. Finally, we demonstrated that directed DNA methylation with a TALE-DNMT targeting the
Diana L. Bernstein, John E. Le Lay, Elena G. Ruano, Klaus H. Kaestner
Adoptive transfer of tumor-reactive T cells can successfully reduce tumor burden; however, in rare cases, lethal on-target/off-tumor effects have been reported. A noninvasive method to track engineered cells with high sensitivity and resolution would allow observation of correct cell homing and/or identification of dangerous off-target locations in preclinical and clinical applications. Human deoxycytidine kinase triple mutant (hdCK3mut) is a nonimmunogenic PET reporter that was previously shown to be an effective tool to monitor whole-body hematopoiesis. Here, we engineered a construct in which hdCK3mut is coexpressed with the anti-melanoma T cell receptor F5, introduced this construct into human CD34 cells or PBMCs, and evaluated this approach in multiple immunotherapy models. Expression of hdCK3mut allowed engrafted cells to be visualized within recipient bone marrow, while accumulation of [18F]-L-FMAU in hdCK3mut-expressing T cells permitted detection of intratumoral homing. Animals that received T cells coexpressing hdCK3mut and the anti-melanoma T cell receptor had demonstrably higher signals in HLA-matched tumors compared with those in animals that received cells solely expressing hdCK3mut. Engineered T cells caused cytotoxicity in HLA/antigen-matched tumors and induced IFN-γ production and activation. Moreover, hdCK3mut permitted simultaneous monitoring of engraftment and tumor infiltration, without affecting T cell function. Our findings suggest that hdCK3mut reporter imaging can be applied in clinical immunotherapies for whole-body detection of engineered cell locations.
Melissa N. McCracken, Dimitrios N. Vatakis, Dhaval Dixit, Jami McLaughlin, Jerome A. Zack, Owen N. Witte
Respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) is the most common cause of serious viral bronchiolitis in infants, young children, and the elderly. Currently, there is not an FDA-approved vaccine available for RSV, though the mAb palivizumab is licensed to reduce the incidence of RSV disease in premature or at-risk infants. The palivizumab epitope is a well-characterized, approximately 24-aa helix-loop-helix structure on the RSV fusion (F) protein (F254–277). Here, we genetically inserted this epitope and multiple site variants of this epitope within a versatile woodchuck hepadnavirus core–based virus-like particle (WHcAg-VLP) to generate hybrid VLPs that each bears 240 copies of the RSV epitope in a highly immunogenic arrayed format. A challenge of such an epitope-focused approach is that to be effective, the conformational F254–277 epitope must elicit antibodies that recognize the intact virus. A number of hybrid VLPs containing RSV F254–277 were recognized by palivizumab in vitro and elicited high-titer and protective neutralizing antibody in rodents. Together, the results from this proof-of-principle study suggest that the WHcAg-VLP technology may be an applicable approach to eliciting a response to other structural epitopes.
Jeanne H. Schickli, David C. Whitacre, Roderick S. Tang, Jasmine Kaur, Heather Lawlor, Cory J. Peters, Joyce E. Jones, Darrell L. Peterson, Michael P. McCarthy, Gary Van Nest, David R. Milich