Gene therapy approaches are being deployed to treat recessive genetic disorders by restoring the expression of mutated genes. However, the feasibility of these approaches for dominantly inherited diseases — where treatment may require reduction in the expression of a toxic mutant protein resulting from a gain-of-function allele — is unclear. Here we show the efficacy of allele-specific RNAi as a potential therapy for Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease type 2D (CMT2D), caused by dominant mutations in glycyl-tRNA synthetase (GARS). A de novo mutation in GARS was identified in a patient with a severe peripheral neuropathy, and a mouse model precisely recreating the mutation was produced. These mice developed a neuropathy by 3–4 weeks of age, validating the pathogenicity of the mutation. RNAi sequences targeting mutant GARS mRNA, but not wild-type, were optimized and then packaged into AAV9 for in vivo delivery. This almost completely prevented the neuropathy in mice treated at birth. Delaying treatment until after disease onset showed modest benefit, though this effect decreased the longer treatment was delayed. These outcomes were reproduced in a second mouse model of CMT2D using a vector specifically targeting that allele. The effects were dose dependent, and persisted for at least 1 year. Our findings demonstrate the feasibility of AAV9-mediated allele-specific knockdown and provide proof of concept for gene therapy approaches for dominant neuromuscular diseases.
Kathryn H. Morelli, Laurie B. Griffin, Nettie K. Pyne, Lindsay M. Wallace, Allison M. Fowler, Stephanie N. Oprescu, Ryuichi Takase, Na Wei, Rebecca Meyer-Schuman, Dattatreya Mellacheruvu, Jacob O. Kitzman, Samuel G. Kocen, Timothy J. Hines, Emily L. Spaulding, James R. Lupski, Alexey Nesvizhskii, Pedro Mancias, Ian J. Butler, Xiang-Lei Yang, Ya-Ming Hou, Anthony Antonellis, Scott Q. Harper, Robert W. Burgess
The microphthalmia family of transcription factors (MiT/TFEs) controls lysosomal biogenesis and is negatively regulated by the nutrient sensor mTORC1. However, the mechanisms by which cells with constitutive mTORC1 signaling maintain lysosomal catabolism remain to be elucidated. Using the murine epidermis as a model system, we found that epidermal Tsc1 deletion resulted in a phenotype characterized by wavy hair and curly whiskers, and was associated with increased EGFR and HER2 degradation. Unexpectedly, constitutive mTORC1 activation with Tsc1 loss increased lysosomal content via upregulated expression and activity of MiT/TFEs, whereas genetic deletion of Rheb or Rptor or prolonged pharmacologic mTORC1 inactivation had the reverse effect. This paradoxical increase in lysosomal biogenesis by mTORC1 was mediated by feedback inhibition of AKT, and a resulting suppression of AKT-induced MiT/TFE downregulation. Thus, inhibiting hyperactive AKT signaling in the context of mTORC1 loss-of-function fully restored MiT/TFE expression and activity. These data suggest that signaling feedback loops work to restrain or maintain cellular lysosomal content during chronically inhibited or constitutively active mTORC1 signaling, respectively, and reveal a mechanism by which mTORC1 regulates upstream receptor tyrosine kinase signaling.
Kaushal Asrani, Sanjana Murali, Brandon Lam, Chan-Hyun Na, Pornima Phatak, Akshay Sood, Harsimar Kaur, Zoya Khan, Michaël Noë, Ravi K. Anchoori, C. Conover Talbot Jr., Barbara Smith, Michael Skaro, Tamara L. Lotan
Catecholamines released by sympathetic nerves can activate adrenergic receptors present on nearly every cell type, including myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs). Using in vitro systems, murine tumor models in wild-type and genetically modified (β2-AR–/–) mice, and adoptive transfer approaches, we found that the degree of β2-AR signaling significantly influences MDSC frequency and survival in tumors and other tissues. It also modulates their expression of immunosuppressive molecules such as arginase-I and PD-L1 and alters their ability to suppress the proliferation of T cells. The regulatory functions of β2-AR signaling in MDSCs were also found to be dependent upon STAT3 phosphorylation. Moreover, we observed that the β2-AR–mediated increase in MDSC survival is dependent upon Fas-FasL interactions, and this is consistent with gene expression analyses, which reveal a greater expression of apoptosis-related genes in β2-AR–/– MDSCs. Our data reveal the potential of β2-AR signaling to increase the generation of MDSCs from both murine and human peripheral blood cells and that the immunosuppressive function of MDSCs can be mitigated by treatment with β-AR antagonists, or enhanced by β-AR agonists. This strongly supports the possibility that reducing stress-induced activation of β2-ARs could help to overcome immune suppression and enhance the efficacy of immunotherapy and other cancer therapies.
Hemn Mohammadpour, Cameron R. MacDonald, Guanxi Qiao, Minhui Chen, Bowen Dong, Bonnie L. Hylander, Philip L. McCarthy, Scott I. Abrams, Elizabeth A. Repasky
Deep venous thrombosis (DVT) and secondary pulmonary embolism cause approximately 100,000 deaths per year in the United States. Physical immobility is the most significant risk factor for DVT, but a molecular and cellular basis for this link has not been defined. We found that the endothelial cells surrounding the venous valve, where DVTs originate, express high levels of FOXC2 and PROX1, transcription factors known to be activated by oscillatory shear stress. The perivalvular venous endothelial cells exhibited a powerful antithrombotic phenotype characterized by low levels of the prothrombotic proteins vWF, P-selectin, and ICAM1 and high levels of the antithrombotic proteins thrombomodulin (THBD), endothelial protein C receptor (EPCR), and tissue factor pathway inhibitor (TFPI). The perivalvular antithrombotic phenotype was lost following genetic deletion of FOXC2 or femoral artery ligation to reduce venous flow in mice, and at the site of origin of human DVT associated with fatal pulmonary embolism. Oscillatory blood flow was detected at perivalvular sites in human veins following muscular activity, but not in the immobile state or after activation of an intermittent compression device designed to prevent DVT. These findings support a mechanism of DVT pathogenesis in which loss of muscular activity results in loss of oscillatory shear–dependent transcriptional and antithrombotic phenotypes in perivalvular venous endothelial cells, and suggest that prevention of DVT and pulmonary embolism may be improved by mechanical devices specifically designed to restore perivalvular oscillatory flow.
John D. Welsh, Mark H. Hoofnagle, Sharika Bamezai, Michael Oxendine, Lillian Lim, Joshua D. Hall, Jisheng Yang, Susan Schultz, James Douglas Engel, Tsutomu Kume, Guillermo Oliver, Juan M. Jimenez, Mark L. Kahn
microRNA-21 (miR-21) is the most commonly upregulated miRNA in solid tumors. This cancer-associated microRNA (oncomiR) regulates various downstream effectors associated with tumor pathogenesis during all stages of carcinogenesis. In this study, we analyzed the function of miR-21 in noncancer cells of the tumor microenvironment to further evaluate its contribution to tumor progression. We report that the expression of miR-21 in cells of the tumor immune infiltrate, and in particular in macrophages, was responsible for promoting tumor growth. Absence of miR-21 expression in tumor- associated macrophages (TAMs), caused a global rewiring of their transcriptional regulatory network that was skewed toward a proinflammatory angiostatic phenotype. This promoted an antitumoral immune response characterized by a macrophage-mediated improvement of cytotoxic T-cell responses through the induction of cytokines and chemokines, including IL-12 and C-X-C motif chemokine 10. These effects translated to a reduction in tumor neovascularization and an induction of tumor cell death that led to decreased tumor growth. Additionally, using the carrier peptide pH (low) insertion peptide, we were able to target miR-21 in TAMs, which decreased tumor growth even under conditions where miR-21 expression was deficient in cancer cells. Consequently, miR-21 inhibition in TAMs induced an angiostatic and immunostimulatory activation with potential therapeutic implications.
Mahnaz Sahraei, Balkrishna Chaube, Yuting Liu, Jonathan Sun, Alanna Kaplan, Nathan L. Price, Wen Ding, Stanley Oyaghire, Rolando García-Milian, Sameet Mehta, Yana K. Reshetnyak, Raman Bahal, Paolo Fiorina, Peter M. Glazer, David L. Rimm, Carlos Fernández-Hernando, Yajaira Suárez
CD8 cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) rely on rapid reorganization of the branched F-actin network to drive the polarized secretion of lytic granules, initiating target cell death during the adaptive immune response. Branched F-actin is generated by the nucleation factor actin-related protein 2/3 (Arp2/3) complex. Patients with mutations in the actin-related protein complex 1B (ARPC1B) subunit of Arp2/3 show combined immunodeficiency, with symptoms of immune dysregulation, including recurrent viral infections and reduced CD8+ T cell count. Here, we show that loss of ARPC1B led to loss of CTL cytotoxicity, with the defect arising at 2 different levels. First, ARPC1B is required for lamellipodia formation, cell migration, and actin reorganization across the immune synapse. Second, we found that ARPC1B is indispensable for the maintenance of TCR, CD8, and GLUT1 membrane proteins at the plasma membrane of CTLs, as recycling via the retromer and WASH complexes was impaired in the absence of ARPC1B. Loss of TCR, CD8, and GLUT1 gave rise to defects in T cell signaling and proliferation upon antigen stimulation of ARPC1B-deficient CTLs, leading to a progressive loss of CD8+ T cells. This triggered an activation-induced immunodeficiency of CTL activity in ARPC1B-deficient patients, which could explain the susceptibility to severe and prolonged viral infections.
Lyra O. Randzavola, Katharina Strege, Marie Juzans, Yukako Asano, Jane C. Stinchcombe, Christian M. Gawden-Bone, Matthew N.J. Seaman, Taco W. Kuijpers, Gillian M. Griffiths
Consuming a high-fat diet (HFD) is a risk factor for obesity and diabetes; both of these diseases are also associated with systemic inflammation, similar to HIV infection. A HFD induces intestinal dysbiosis and impairs liver function and coagulation, with a potential negative impact on HIV/SIV pathogenesis. We administered a HFD rich in saturated fats and cholesterol to nonpathogenic (African green monkeys) and pathogenic (pigtailed macaques) SIV hosts. The HFD had a negative impact on SIV disease progression in both species. Thus, increased cell-associated SIV DNA and RNA occurred in the HFD-receiving nonhuman primates, indicating a potential reservoir expansion. The HFD induced prominent immune cell infiltration in the adipose tissue, an important SIV reservoir, and heightened systemic immune activation and inflammation, altering the intestinal immune environment and triggering gut damage and microbial translocation. Furthermore, HFD altered lipid metabolism and HDL oxidation and also induced liver steatosis and fibrosis. These metabolic disturbances triggered incipient atherosclerosis and heightened cardiovascular risk in the SIV-infected HFD-receiving nonhuman primates. Our study demonstrates that dietary intake has a discernable impact on the natural history of HIV/SIV infections and suggests that dietary changes can be used as adjuvant approaches for HIV-infected subjects, to reduce inflammation and the risk of non-AIDS comorbidities and possibly other infectious diseases.
Tianyu He, Cuiling Xu, Noah Krampe, Stephanie M. Dillon, Paola Sette, Elizabeth Falwell, George S. Haret-Richter, Tiffany Butterfield, Tammy L. Dunsmore, William M. McFadden Jr., Kathryn J. Martin, Benjamin B. Policicchio, Kevin D. Raehtz, Ellen P. Penn, Russell P. Tracy, Ruy M. Ribeiro, Daniel N. Frank, Cara C. Wilson, Alan L. Landay, Cristian Apetrei, Ivona Pandrea
Immune checkpoint inhibitors (ICIs), although promising, have variable benefit in head and neck cancer (HNC). We noted that tumor galectin-1 (Gal1) levels were inversely correlated with treatment response and survival in patients with HNC who were treated with ICIs. Using multiple HNC mouse models, we show that tumor-secreted Gal1 mediates immune evasion by preventing T cell migration into the tumor. Mechanistically, Gal1 reprograms the tumor endothelium to upregulate cell-surface programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) and galectin-9. Using genetic and pharmacological approaches, we show that Gal1 blockade increases intratumoral T cell infiltration, leading to a better response to anti-PD1 therapy with or without radiotherapy. Our study reveals the function of Gal1 in transforming the tumor endothelium into an immune-suppressive barrier and that its inhibition synergizes with ICIs.
Dhanya K. Nambiar, Todd Aguilera, Hongbin Cao, Shirley Kwok, Christina Kong, Joshua Bloomstein, Zemin Wang, Vangipuram S. Rangan, Dadi Jiang, Rie von Eyben, Rachel Liang, Sonya Agarwal, A. Dimitrios Colevas, Alan Korman, Clint T. Allen, Ravindra Uppaluri, Albert C. Koong, Amato Giaccia, Quynh Thu Le
The proximal tubule has a remarkable capacity for repair after acute injury, but the cellular lineage and molecular mechanisms underlying this repair response are incompletely understood. Here, we developed a Kim1-GFPCreERt2 knockin mouse line (Kim1-GCE) in order to perform genetic lineage tracing of dedifferentiated cells while measuring the cellular transcriptome of proximal tubule during repair. Acutely injured genetically labeled clones coexpressed KIM1, VIMENTIN, SOX9, and KI67, indicating a dedifferentiated and proliferative state. Clonal analysis revealed clonal expansion of Kim1+ cells, indicating that acutely injured, dedifferentiated proximal tubule cells, rather than fixed tubular progenitor cells, account for repair. Translational profiling during injury and repair revealed signatures of both successful and unsuccessful maladaptive repair. The transcription factor Foxm1 was induced early in injury, was required for epithelial proliferation in vitro, and was dependent on epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) stimulation. In conclusion, dedifferentiated proximal tubule cells effect proximal tubule repair, and we reveal an EGFR/FOXM1-dependent signaling pathway that drives proliferative repair after injury.
Monica Chang-Panesso, Farid F. Kadyrov, Matthew Lalli, Haojia Wu, Shiyo Ikeda, Eirini Kefaloyianni, Mai M. Abdelmageed, Andreas Herrlich, Akio Kobayashi, Benjamin D. Humphreys
Manganese (Mn), an essential metal and nutrient, is toxic in excess. Toxicity classically results from inhalational exposures in individuals who work in industrial settings. The first known disease of inherited Mn excess, identified in 2012, is caused by mutations in the metal exporter SLC30A10 and is characterized by Mn excess, dystonia, cirrhosis, and polycythemia. To investigate the role of SLC30A10 in Mn homeostasis, we first generated whole-body Slc30a10–deficient mice, which developed severe Mn excess and impaired systemic and biliary Mn excretion. Slc30a10 localized to canalicular membranes of hepatocytes, but mice with liver Slc30a10 deficiency developed minimal Mn excess despite impaired biliary Mn excretion. Slc30a10 also localized to the apical membrane of enterocytes, but mice with Slc30a10 deficiency in small intestines developed minimal Mn excess despite impaired Mn export into the lumen of the small intestines. Finally, mice with Slc30a10 deficiency in liver and small intestines developed Mn excess that was less severe than that observed in mice with whole-body Slc30a10 deficiency, suggesting that additional sites of Slc30a10 expression contribute to Mn homeostasis. Overall, these results indicated that Slc30a10 is essential for Mn excretion by hepatocytes and enterocytes and could be an effective target for pharmacological intervention to treat Mn toxicity.
Courtney J. Mercadante, Milankumar Prajapati, Heather L. Conboy, Miriam E. Dash, Carolina Herrera, Michael A. Pettiglio, Layra Cintron-Rivera, Madeleine A. Salesky, Deepa B. Rao, Thomas B. Bartnikas
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