We used the cancer-intrinsic property of oncogene-induced DNA damage as the base for a conditional synthetic lethality approach. To target mechanisms important for cancer cell adaptation to genotoxic stress and thereby to achieve cancer cell–specific killing, we combined inhibition of the kinases ATR and Wee1. Wee1 regulates cell cycle progression, whereas ATR is an apical kinase in the DNA-damage response. In an orthotopic breast cancer model, tumor-selective synthetic lethality of the combination of bioavailable ATR and Wee1 inhibitors led to tumor remission and inhibited metastasis with minimal side effects. ATR and Wee1 inhibition had a higher synergistic effect in cancer stem cells than in bulk cancer cells, compensating for the lower sensitivity of cancer stem cells to the individual drugs. Mechanistically, the combination treatment caused cells with unrepaired or under-replicated DNA to enter mitosis leading to mitotic catastrophe. As these inhibitors of ATR and Wee1 are already in phase I/II clinical trials, this knowledge could soon be translated into the clinic, especially as we showed that the combination treatment targets a wide range of tumor cells. Particularly, the antimetastatic effect of combined Wee1/ATR inhibition and the low toxicity of ATR inhibitors compared with Chk1 inhibitors have great clinical potential.
Amirali B. Bukhari, Cody W. Lewis, Joanna J. Pearce, Deandra Luong, Gordon K. Chan, Armin M. Gamper
In the stomach, chronic inflammation causes metaplasia and creates a favorable environment for the evolution of gastric cancer. Glucocorticoids are steroid hormones that repress proinflammatory stimuli, but their role in the stomach is unknown. In this study, we show that endogenous glucocorticoids are required to maintain gastric homeostasis. Removal of circulating glucocorticoids in mice by adrenalectomy resulted in the rapid onset of spontaneous gastric inflammation, oxyntic atrophy, and spasmolytic polypeptide-expressing metaplasia (SPEM), a putative precursor of gastric cancer. SPEM and oxyntic atrophy occurred independently of lymphocytes. However, depletion of monocytes and macrophages by clodronate treatment or inhibition of gastric monocyte infiltration using the Cx3cr1 knockout mouse model prevented SPEM development. Our results highlight the requirement for endogenous glucocorticoid signaling within the stomach to prevent spontaneous gastric inflammation and metaplasia, and suggest that glucocorticoid deficiency may lead to gastric cancer development.
Jonathan T. Busada, Sivapriya Ramamoorthy, Derek W. Cain, Xiaojiang Xu, Donald N. Cook, John A. Cidlowski
Allergen immunotherapy for patients with allergies begins with weekly escalating doses of allergen under medical supervision to monitor and treat IgE mast cell–mediated anaphylaxis. There is currently no treatment to safely desensitize mast cells to enable robust allergen immunotherapy with therapeutic levels of allergen. Here, we demonstrated that liposomal nanoparticles bearing an allergen and a high-affinity glycan ligand of the inhibitory receptor CD33 profoundly suppressed IgE-mediated activation of mast cells, prevented anaphylaxis in Tg mice with mast cells expressing human CD33, and desensitized mice to subsequent allergen challenge for several days. We showed that high levels of CD33 were consistently expressed on human skin mast cells and that the antigenic liposomes with CD33 ligand prevented IgE-mediated bronchoconstriction in slices of human lung. The results demonstrated the potential of exploiting CD33 to desensitize mast cells to provide a therapeutic window for administering allergen immunotherapy without triggering anaphylaxis.
Shiteng Duan, Cynthia J. Koziol-White, William F. Jester Jr., Corwin M. Nycholat, Matthew S. Macauley, Reynold A. Panettieri Jr., James C. Paulson
Upon arterial injury, endothelial denudation leads to platelet activation and delivery of multiple agents (e.g., TXA2, PDGF), promoting VSMC dedifferentiation and proliferation (intimal hyperplasia) during injury repair. The process of resolution of vessel injury repair, and prevention of excessive repair (switching VSMCs back to a differentiated quiescent state), is poorly understood. We now report that internalization of APs by VSMCs promotes resolution of arterial injury by switching on VSMC quiescence. Ex vivo and in vivo studies using lineage tracing reporter mice (PF4-cre × mT/mG) demonstrated uptake of GFP-labeled platelets (mG) by mTomato red–labeled VSMCs (mT) upon arterial wire injury. Genome-wide miRNA sequencing of VSMCs cocultured with APs identified significant increases in platelet-derived miR-223. miR-223 appears to directly target PDGFRβ (in VSMCs), reversing the injury-induced dedifferentiation. Upon arterial injury, platelet miR-223–KO mice exhibited increased intimal hyperplasia, whereas miR-223 mimics reduced intimal hyperplasia. Diabetic mice with reduced expression of miR-223 exhibited enhanced VSMC dedifferentiation and proliferation and increased intimal hyperplasia. Our results suggest that horizontal transfer of platelet-derived miRNAs into VSMCs provides a novel mechanism for regulating VSMC phenotypic switching. Platelets thus play a dual role in vascular injury repair, initiating an immediate repair process and, concurrently, a delayed process to prevent excessive repair.
Zhi Zeng, Luoxing Xia, Xuejiao Fan, Allison C. Ostriker, Timur Yarovinsky, Meiling Su, Yuan Zhang, Xiangwen Peng, Yi Xie, Lei Pi, Xiaoqiong Gu, Sookja Kim Chung, Kathleen A. Martin, Renjing Liu, John Hwa, Wai Ho Tang
We identified 2 genes, histone deacetylase 1 (HDAC1) and HDAC2, contributing to the pathogenesis of proteinuric kidney diseases, the leading cause of end-stage kidney disease. mRNA expression profiling from proteinuric mouse glomeruli was linked to Connectivity Map databases, identifying HDAC1 and HDAC2 with the differentially expressed gene set reversible by HDAC inhibitors. In numerous progressive glomerular disease models, treatment with valproic acid (a class I HDAC inhibitor) or SAHA (a pan-HDAC inhibitor) mitigated the degree of proteinuria and glomerulosclerosis, leading to a striking increase in survival. Podocyte HDAC1 and HDAC2 activities were increased in mice podocytopathy models, and podocyte-associated Hdac1 and Hdac2 genetic ablation improved proteinuria and glomerulosclerosis. Podocyte early growth response 1 (EGR1) was increased in proteinuric patients and mice in an HDAC1- and HDAC2-dependent manner. Loss of EGR1 in mice reduced proteinuria and glomerulosclerosis. Longitudinal analysis of the multicenter Veterans Aging Cohort Study demonstrated a 30% reduction in mean annual loss of estimated glomerular filtration rate, and this effect was more pronounced in proteinuric patients receiving valproic acid. These results strongly suggest that inhibition of HDAC1 and HDAC2 activities may suppress the progression of human proteinuric kidney diseases through the regulation of EGR1.
Kazunori Inoue, Geliang Gan, Maria Ciarleglio, Yan Zhang, Xuefei Tian, Christopher E. Pedigo, Corey Cavanaugh, Janet Tate, Ying Wang, Elizabeth Cross, Marwin Groener, Nathan Chai, Zhen Wang, Amy Justice, Zhenhai Zhang, Chirag R. Parikh, Francis P. Wilson, Shuta Ishibe
It is widely believed that protection against acquisition of HIV or SIV infection requires anti-envelope (anti-Env) antibodies, and that cellular immunity may affect viral loads but not acquisition, except in special cases. Here we provide evidence to the contrary. Mucosal immunization may enhance HIV vaccine efficacy by eliciting protective responses at portals of exposure. Accordingly, we vaccinated macaques mucosally with HIV/SIV peptides, modified vaccinia Ankara–SIV (MVA-SIV), and HIV-gp120–CD4 fusion protein plus adjuvants, which consistently reduced infection risk against heterologous intrarectal SHIVSF162P4 challenge, both high dose and repeated low dose. Surprisingly, vaccinated animals exhibited no anti-gp120 humoral responses above background and Gag- and Env-specific T cells were induced but failed to correlate with viral acquisition. Instead, vaccine-induced gut microbiome alteration and myeloid cell accumulation in colorectal mucosa correlated with protection. Ex vivo stimulation of the myeloid cell–enriched population with SHIV led to enhanced production of trained immunity markers TNF-α and IL-6, as well as viral coreceptor agonist MIP1α, which correlated with reduced viral Gag expression and in vivo viral acquisition. Overall, our results suggest mechanisms involving trained innate mucosal immunity together with antigen-specific T cells, and also indicate that vaccines can have critical effects on the gut microbiome, which in turn can affect resistance to infection. Strategies to elicit similar responses may be considered for vaccine designs to achieve optimal protective efficacy.
Yongjun Sui, George K. Lewis, Yichuan Wang, Kurt Berckmueller, Blake Frey, Amiran Dzutsev, Diego Vargas-Inchaustegui, Venkatramanan Mohanram, Thomas Musich, Xiaoying Shen, Anthony DeVico, Timothy Fouts, David Venzon, James Kirk, Robert C. Waters, James Talton, Dennis Klinman, John Clements, Georgia D. Tomaras, Genoveffa Franchini, Marjorie Robert-Guroff, Giorgio Trinchieri, Robert C. Gallo, Jay A. Berzofsky
Local flow patterns determine the uneven distribution of atherosclerotic lesions. This research aims to elucidate the mechanism of regulation of nuclear translocation of Yes-associated protein (YAP) under oscillatory shear stress (OSS) in the atheroprone phenotype of endothelial cells (ECs). We report here that OSS led to tyrosine phosphorylation and strong, continuous nuclear translocation of YAP in ECs that is dependent on integrin α5β1 activation. YAP overexpression in ECs blunted the anti-atheroprone effect of an integrin α5β1–blocking peptide (ATN161) in Apoe–/– mice. Activation of integrin α5β1 induced tyrosine, but not serine, phosphorylation of YAP in ECs. Blockage of integrin α5β1 with ATN161 abolished the phosphorylation of YAP at Y357 induced by OSS. Mechanistic studies showed that c-Abl inhibitor attenuated the integrin α5β1–induced YAP tyrosine phosphorylation. Furthermore, the phosphorylation of c-Abl and YAPY357 was significantly increased in ECs in atherosclerotic vessels of mice and in human plaques versus normal vessels. Finally, bosutinib, a tyrosine kinase inhibitor, markedly reduced the level of YAPY357 and the development of atherosclerosis in Apoe–/– mice. The c-Abl/YAPY357 pathway serves as a mechanism for the activation of integrin α5β1 and the atherogenic phenotype of ECs in response to OSS, and provides a potential therapeutic strategy for atherogenesis.
Bochuan Li, Jinlong He, Huizhen Lv, Yajin Liu, Xue Lv, Chenghu Zhang, Yi Zhu, Ding Ai
Sphingolipid imbalance is the culprit in a variety of neurological diseases, some affecting the myelin sheath. We have used whole-exome sequencing in patients with undetermined leukoencephalopathies to uncover the endoplasmic reticulum lipid desaturase DEGS1 as the causative gene in 19 patients from 13 unrelated families. Shared features among the cases include severe motor arrest, early nystagmus, dystonia, spasticity, and profound failure to thrive. MRI showed hypomyelination, thinning of the corpus callosum, and progressive thalamic and cerebellar atrophy, suggesting a critical role of DEGS1 in myelin development and maintenance. This enzyme converts dihydroceramide (DhCer) into ceramide (Cer) in the final step of the de novo biosynthesis pathway. We detected a marked increase of the substrate DhCer and DhCer/Cer ratios in patients’ fibroblasts and muscle. Further, we used a knockdown approach for disease modeling in Danio rerio, followed by a preclinical test with the first-line treatment for multiple sclerosis, fingolimod (FTY720, Gilenya). The enzymatic inhibition of Cer synthase by fingolimod, 1 step prior to DEGS1 in the pathway, reduced the critical DhCer/Cer imbalance and the severe locomotor disability, increasing the number of myelinating oligodendrocytes in a zebrafish model. These proof-of-concept results pave the way to clinical translation.
Devesh C. Pant, Imen Dorboz, Agatha Schluter, Stéphane Fourcade, Nathalie Launay, Javier Joya, Sergio Aguilera-Albesa, Maria Eugenia Yoldi, Carlos Casasnovas, Mary J. Willis, Montserrat Ruiz, Dorothée Ville, Gaetan Lesca, Karine Siquier-Pernet, Isabelle Desguerre, Huifang Yan, Jingmin Wang, Margit Burmeister, Lauren Brady, Mark Tarnopolsky, Carles Cornet, Davide Rubbini, Javier Terriente, Kiely N. James, Damir Musaev, Maha S. Zaki, Marc C. Patterson, Brendan C. Lanpher, Eric W. Klee, Filippo Pinto e Vairo, Elizabeth Wohler, Nara Lygia de M. Sobreira, Julie S. Cohen, Reza Maroofian, Hamid Galehdari, Neda Mazaheri, Gholamreza Shariati, Laurence Colleaux, Diana Rodriguez, Joseph G. Gleeson, Cristina Pujades, Ali Fatemi, Odile Boespflug-Tanguy, Aurora Pujol
The development and function of stem and progenitor cells that produce blood cells are vital in physiology. GATA-binding protein 2 (GATA2) mutations cause GATA-2 deficiency syndrome involving immunodeficiency, myelodysplastic syndrome, and acute myeloid leukemia. GATA-2 physiological activities necessitate that it be strictly regulated, and cell type–specific enhancers fulfill this role. The +9.5 intronic enhancer harbors multiple conserved cis-elements, and germline mutations of these cis-elements are pathogenic in humans. Since mechanisms underlying how GATA2 enhancer disease mutations impact hematopoiesis and pathology are unclear, we generated mouse models of the enhancer mutations. While a multi-motif mutant was embryonically lethal, a single-nucleotide Ets motif mutant was viable, and steady-state hematopoiesis was normal. However, the Ets motif mutation abrogated stem/progenitor cell regeneration following stress. These results reveal a new mechanism in human genetics, in which a disease predisposition mutation inactivates enhancer regenerative activity, while sparing developmental activity. Mutational sensitization to stress that instigates hematopoietic failure constitutes a paradigm for GATA-2 deficiency syndrome and other contexts of GATA-2–dependent pathogenesis.
Alexandra A. Soukup, Ye Zheng, Charu Mehta, Jun Wu, Peng Liu, Miao Cao, Inga Hofmann, Yun Zhou, Jing Zhang, Kirby D. Johnson, Kyunghee Choi, Sunduz Keles, Emery H. Bresnick
Genetic variants at the PTPN2 locus, which encodes the tyrosine phosphatase PTPN2, cause reduced gene expression and are linked to rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and other autoimmune diseases. PTPN2 inhibits signaling through the T cell and cytokine receptors, and loss of PTPN2 promotes T cell expansion and CD4- and CD8-driven autoimmunity. However, it remains unknown whether loss of PTPN2 in FoxP3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs) plays a role in autoimmunity. Here we aimed to model human autoimmune-predisposing PTPN2 variants, the presence of which results in a partial loss of PTPN2 expression, in mouse models of RA. We identified that reduced expression of Ptpn2 enhanced the severity of autoimmune arthritis in the T cell–dependent SKG mouse model and demonstrated that this phenotype was mediated through a Treg-intrinsic mechanism. Mechanistically, we found that through dephosphorylation of STAT3, PTPN2 inhibits IL-6–driven pathogenic loss of FoxP3 after Tregs have acquired RORγt expression, at a stage when chromatin accessibility for STAT3-targeted IL-17–associated transcription factors is maximized. We conclude that PTPN2 promotes FoxP3 stability in mouse RORγt+ Tregs and that loss of function of PTPN2 in Tregs contributes to the association between PTPN2 and autoimmunity.
Mattias N.D. Svensson, Karen M. Doody, Benjamin J. Schmiedel, Sourya Bhattacharyya, Bharat Panwar, Florian Wiede, Shen Yang, Eugenio Santelli, Dennis J. Wu, Cristiano Sacchetti, Ravindra Gujar, Gregory Seumois, William B. Kiosses, Isabelle Aubry, Gisen Kim, Piotr Mydel, Shimon Sakaguchi, Mitchell Kronenberg, Tony Tiganis, Michel L. Tremblay, Ferhat Ay, Pandurangan Vijayanand, Nunzio Bottini
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