Soluble urokinase plasminogen activator receptor (suPAR) is an immune-derived circulating signaling molecule that has been implicated in chronic kidney disease, such as focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS). Typically, native uPAR (isoform 1) translates to a 3-domain protein capable of binding and activating integrins, yet the function of additional isoforms generated by alternative splicing is unknown. Here, we characterized mouse uPAR isoform 2 (msuPAR2), encoding domain I and nearly one-half of domain II, as a dimer in solution, as revealed by 3D electron microscopy structural analysis. In vivo, msuPAR2 transgenic mice exhibited signs of severe renal disease characteristic of FSGS with proteinuria, loss of kidney function, and glomerulosclerosis. Sequencing of the glomerular RNAs from msuPAR2-Tg mice revealed a differentially expressed gene signature that includes upregulation of the suPAR receptor Itgb3, encoding β3 integrin. Crossing msuPAR2-transgenic mice with 3 different integrin β3 deficiency models rescued msuPAR2-mediated kidney function. Further analyses indicated a central role for β3 integrin and c-Src in msuPAR2 signaling and in human FSGS kidney biopsies. Administration of Src inhibitors reduced proteinuria in msuPAR2-transgenic mice. In conclusion, msuPAR2 may play an important role in certain forms of scarring kidney disease.
Changli Wei, Jing Li, Brian D. Adair, Ke Zhu, Jian Cai, Michael Merchant, Beata Samelko, Zhongji Liao, Kwi Hye Koh, Nicholas J. Tardi, Ranadheer R. Dande, Shuangxin Liu, Jianchao Ma, Salvatore Dibartolo, Stefan Hägele, Vasil Peev, Salim S. Hayek, David J. Cimbaluk, Melissa Tracy, Jon Klein, Sanja Sever, Sanford J. Shattil, M. Amin Arnaout, Jochen Reiser
The antileukemic effect of inhibiting bromodomain and extra-terminal domain-containing (BET-containing) proteins (BETPs) such as BRD4 has largely been largely attributed to transcriptional downregulation of cellular anabolic and antiapoptotic processes, but its effect on the bone marrow microenvironment, a sanctuary favoring the persistence of leukemic stem/progenitor cells, is unexplored. Sustained degradation of BETP with the small-molecule BET proteolysis-targeting chimera (PROTAC) ARV-825 resulted in a marked downregulation of surface CXCR4 and CD44, key proteins in leukemia-microenvironment interactions, in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells. Abrogation of surface CXCR4 expression impaired SDF-1α–directed migration and was mediated through transcriptional downregulation of PIM1 kinase, which in turn phosphorylates CXCR4 and facilitates its surface localization. Downregulation of CD44, including isoforms CD44v8–10 impaired cystine uptake, lowered intracellular reduced glutathione, and increased oxidative stress. More important, BETP degradation markedly decreased the CD34+CD38–CD90–CD45RA+ leukemic stem cell population and, alone or in combination with cytarabine, prolonged survival in a mouse model of human leukemia that included AML patient-derived xenografts (AML-PDX). Gene expression profiling and single-cell proteomics confirmed a downregulation of the gene signatures associated with “stemness” in AML and Wnt/β-catenin and Myc pathways. Hence, BETP degradation by ARV-825 simultaneously targets cell-intrinsic signaling, stromal interactions, and metabolism in AML.
Sujan Piya, Hong Mu, Seemana Bhattacharya, Philip L. Lorenzi, R. Eric Davis, Teresa McQueen, Vivian Ruvolo, Natalia Baran, Zhiqiang Wang, Yimin Qian, Craig M. Crews, Marina Konopleva, Jo Ishizawa, M. James You, Hagop Kantarjian, Michael Andreeff, Gautam Borthakur
It remains unknown what causes inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), including signaling networks perpetuating chronic gastrointestinal inflammation in Crohn’s disease (CD) and ulcerative colitis (UC), in humans. According to an analysis of up to 500 patients with IBD and 100 controls, we report that key transcripts of the IL-7 receptor (IL-7R) pathway are accumulated in inflamed colon tissues of severe CD and UC patients not responding to either immunosuppressive/corticosteroid, anti-TNF, or anti-α4β7 therapies. High expression of both IL7R and IL-7R signaling signature in the colon before treatment is strongly associated with nonresponsiveness to anti-TNF therapy. While in mice IL-7 is known to play a role in systemic inflammation, we found that in humans IL-7 also controlled α4β7 integrin expression and imprinted gut-homing specificity on T cells. IL-7R blockade reduced human T cell homing to the gut and colonic inflammation in vivo in humanized mouse models, and altered effector T cells in colon explants from UC patients grown ex vivo. Our findings show that failure of current treatments for CD and UC is strongly associated with an overexpressed IL-7R signaling pathway and point to IL-7R as a relevant therapeutic target and potential biomarker to fill an unmet need in clinical IBD detection and treatment.
Lyssia Belarif, Richard Danger, Laetitia Kermarrec, Véronique Nerrière-Daguin, Sabrina Pengam, Tony Durand, Caroline Mary, Elise Kerdreux, Vanessa Gauttier, Aneta Kucik, Virginie Thepenier, Jerome C. Martin, Christie Chang, Adeeb Rahman, Nina Salabert-Le Guen, Cécile Braudeau, Ahmed Abidi, Grégoire David, Florent Malard, Celine Takoudju, Bernard Martinet, Nathalie Gérard, Isabelle Neveu, Michel Neunlist, Emmanuel Coron, Thomas T. MacDonald, Pierre Desreumaux, Hoa-Le Mai, Stephanie Le Bas-Bernardet, Jean-François Mosnier, Miriam Merad, Régis Josien, Sophie Brouard, Jean-Paul Soulillou, Gilles Blancho, Arnaud Bourreille, Philippe Naveilhan, Bernard Vanhove, Nicolas Poirier
IL-26 is an antimicrobial protein secreted by Th17 cells that has the ability to directly kill extracellular bacteria. To ascertain whether IL-26 contributes to host defense against intracellular bacteria, we studied leprosy, caused by the obligate intracellular pathogen Mycobacterium leprae, as a model. Analysis of leprosy skin lesions by gene expression profiling and immunohistology revealed that IL-26 was more strongly expressed in lesions from the self-limited tuberculoid compared with expression in progressive lepromatous patients. IL-26 directly bound to M. leprae in axenic culture and reduced bacteria viability. Furthermore, IL-26, when added to human monocyte–derived macrophages infected with M. leprae, entered the infected cell, colocalized with the bacterium, and reduced bacteria viability. In addition, IL-26 induced autophagy via the cytoplasmic DNA receptor stimulator of IFN genes (STING), as well as fusion of phagosomes containing bacilli with lysosomal compartments. Altogether, our data suggest that the Th17 cytokine IL-26 contributes to host defense against intracellular bacteria.
Angeline Tilly Dang, Rosane M.B. Teles, David I. Weiss, Kislay Parvatiyar, Euzenir N. Sarno, Maria T. Ochoa, Genhong Cheng, Michel Gilliet, Barry R. Bloom, Robert L. Modlin
The impact of food antigens on intestinal homeostasis and immune function is poorly understood. Here, we explored the impact of dietary antigens on the phenotype and fate of intestinal T cells. Physiological uptake of dietary proteins generated a highly activated CD44+Helios+CD4+ T cell population predominantly in Peyer patches. These cells are distinct from regulatory T cells and develop independently of the microbiota. Alimentation with a protein-free, elemental diet led to an atrophic small intestine with low numbers of activated T cells, including Tfh cells and decreased amounts of intestinal IgA and IL-10. Food-activated CD44+Helios+CD4+ T cells in the Peyer patches are controlled by the immune checkpoint molecule PD-1. Blocking the PD-1 pathway rescued these T cells from apoptosis and triggered proinflammatory cytokine production, which in IL-10–deficient mice was associated with intestinal inflammation. In support of these findings, our study of patients with Crohn’s disease revealed significantly reduced frequencies of apoptotic CD4+ T cells in Peyer patches as compared with healthy controls. These results suggest that apoptosis of diet-activated T cells is a hallmark of the healthy intestine.
Alexander Visekruna, Sabrina Hartmann, Yasmina Rodriguez Sillke, Rainer Glauben, Florence Fischer, Hartmann Raifer, Hans Mollenkopf, Wilhelm Bertrams, Bernd Schmeck, Matthias Klein, Axel Pagenstecher, Michael Lohoff, Ralf Jacob, Oliver Pabst, Paul William Bland, Maik Luu, Rossana Romero, Britta Siegmund, Krishnaraj Rajalingam, Ulrich Steinhoff
Bone osteogenic sarcoma has a poor prognosis, as the exact cell of origin and the signaling pathways underlying tumor formation remain undefined. Here, we report an osteogenic tumor mouse model based on the conditional knockout of liver kinase b1 (Lkb1, also known as Stk11) in Cathepsin K–Cre–expressing (Ctsk-Cre–expressing) cells. Lineage-tracing studies demonstrated that Ctsk-Cre could label a population of periosteal cells. The cells functioned as mesenchymal progenitors with regard to markers and functional properties. LKB1 deficiency increased proliferation and osteoblast differentiation of Ctsk+ periosteal cells, while downregulation of mTORC1 activity, using a Raptor genetic mouse model or mTORC1 inhibitor treatment, ameliorated tumor progression of Ctsk-Cre Lkb1fllfl mice. Xenograft mouse models using human osteosarcoma cell lines also demonstrated that LKB1 deficiency promoted tumor formation, while mTOR inhibition suppressed xenograft tumor growth. In summary, we identified periosteum-derived Ctsk-Cre–expressing cells as a cell of origin for osteogenic tumor and suggested the LKB1/mTORC1 pathway as a promising target for treatment of osteogenic tumor.
Yujiao Han, Heng Feng, Jun Sun, Xiaoting Liang, Zhuo Wang, Wenhui Xing, Qinggang Dai, Yang Yang, Anjia Han, Zhanying Wei, Qing Bi, Hongbin Ji, Tiebang Kang, Weiguo Zou
Gastrointestinal stromal tumor (GIST) is the most common human sarcoma, frequently characterized by an oncogenic mutation in the KIT or PDGFRA gene. We performed RNA sequencing of 75 human GIST tumors from 75 patients, comprising what we believe to be the largest cohort of GISTs sequenced to date, in order to discover differences in the immune infiltrates of KIT- and PDGFRA-mutant GIST. Through bioinformatics, immunohistochemistry, and flow cytometry, we found that in PDGFRA-mutant GISTs, immune cells were more numerous and had higher cytolytic activity than in KIT-mutant GISTs. PDGFRA-mutant GISTs expressed many chemokines, such as CXCL14, at a significantly higher level when compared with KIT-mutant GISTs and exhibited more diverse driver-derived neoepitope:HLA binding, both of which may contribute to PDGFRA-mutant GIST immunogenicity. Through machine learning, we generated gene expression–based immune profiles capable of differentiating KIT- and PDGFRA-mutant GISTs, and identified additional immune features of high–PD-1– and –PD-L1–expressing tumors across all GIST mutational subtypes, which may provide insight into immunotherapeutic opportunities and limitations in GIST.
Gerardo A. Vitiello, Timothy G. Bowler, Mengyuan Liu, Benjamin D. Medina, Jennifer Q. Zhang, Nesteene J. Param, Jennifer K. Loo, Rachel L. Goldfeder, Frederic Chibon, Ferdinand Rossi, Shan Zeng, Ronald P. DeMatteo
Because metastasis is associated with the majority of cancer-related deaths, its prevention is a clinical aspiration. Prostanoids are a large family of bioactive lipids derived from the activity of cyclooxygenase-1 (COX-1) and COX-2. Aspirin impairs the biosynthesis of all prostanoids through the irreversible inhibition of both COX isoforms. Long-term administration of aspirin leads to reduced distant metastases in murine models and clinical trials, but the COX isoform, downstream prostanoid, and cell compartment responsible for this effect are yet to be determined. Here, we have shown that aspirin dramatically reduced lung metastasis through inhibition of COX-1 while the cancer cells remained intravascular and that inhibition of platelet COX-1 alone was sufficient to impair metastasis. Thromboxane A2 (TXA2) was the prostanoid product of COX-1 responsible for this antimetastatic effect. Inhibition of the COX-1/TXA2 pathway in platelets decreased aggregation of platelets on tumor cells, endothelial activation, tumor cell adhesion to the endothelium, and recruitment of metastasis-promoting monocytes/macrophages, and diminished the formation of a premetastatic niche. Thus, platelet-derived TXA2 orchestrates the generation of a favorable intravascular metastatic niche that promotes tumor cell seeding and identifies COX-1/TXA2 signaling as a target for the prevention of metastasis.
Serena Lucotti, Camilla Cerutti, Magali Soyer, Ana M. Gil-Bernabé, Ana L. Gomes, Philip D. Allen, Sean Smart, Bostjan Markelc, Karla Watson, Paul C. Armstrong, Jane A. Mitchell, Timothy D. Warner, Anne J. Ridley, Ruth J. Muschel
Understanding the tumor immune microenvironment (TIME) promises to be key for optimal cancer therapy, especially in triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC). Integrating spatial resolution of immune cells with laser capture microdissection gene expression profiles, we defined distinct TIME stratification in TNBC, with implications for current therapies including immune checkpoint blockade. TNBCs with an immunoreactive microenvironment exhibited tumoral infiltration of granzyme B+CD8+ T cells (GzmB+CD8+ T cells), a type 1 IFN signature, and elevated expression of multiple immune inhibitory molecules including indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase (IDO) and programmed cell death ligand 1 (PD-L1), and resulted in good outcomes. An “immune-cold” microenvironment with an absence of tumoral CD8+ T cells was defined by elevated expression of the immunosuppressive marker B7-H4, signatures of fibrotic stroma, and poor outcomes. A distinct poor-outcome immunomodulatory microenvironment, hitherto poorly characterized, exhibited stromal restriction of CD8+ T cells, stromal expression of PD-L1, and enrichment for signatures of cholesterol biosynthesis. Metasignatures defining these TIME subtypes allowed us to stratify TNBCs, predict outcomes, and identify potential therapeutic targets for TNBC.
Tina Gruosso, Mathieu Gigoux, Venkata Satya Kumar Manem, Nicholas Bertos, Dongmei Zuo, Irina Perlitch, Sadiq Mehdi Ismail Saleh, Hong Zhao, Margarita Souleimanova, Radia Marie Johnson, Anne Monette, Valentina Muñoz Ramos, Michael Trevor Hallett, John Stagg, Réjean Lapointe, Atilla Omeroglu, Sarkis Meterissian, Laurence Buisseret, Gert Van den Eyden, Roberto Salgado, Marie-Christine Guiot, Benjamin Haibe-Kains, Morag Park
Soluble urokinase receptor (suPAR) is a circulatory molecule that activates αvβ3 integrin on podocytes, causes foot process effacement, and contributes to proteinuric kidney disease. While active integrin can be targeted by antibodies and small molecules, endogenous inhibitors haven’t been discovered yet. Here we report what we believe is a novel renoprotective role for the inducible costimulator ligand (ICOSL) in early kidney disease through its selective binding to podocyte αvβ3 integrin. Contrary to ICOSL’s immune-regulatory role, ICOSL in nonhematopoietic cells limited the activation of αvβ3 integrin. Specifically, ICOSL contains the arginine-glycine-aspartate (RGD) motif, which allowed for a high-affinity and selective binding to αvβ3 and modulation of podocyte adhesion. This binding was largely inhibited either by a synthetic RGD peptide or by a disrupted RGD sequence in ICOSL. ICOSL binding favored the active αvβ3 rather than the inactive form and showed little affinity for other integrins. Consistent with the rapid induction of podocyte ICOSL by inflammatory stimuli, glomerular ICOSL expression was increased in biopsies of early-stage human proteinuric kidney diseases. Icosl deficiency in mice resulted in an increased susceptibility to proteinuria that was rescued by recombinant ICOSL. Our work identified a potentially novel role for ICOSL, which serves as an endogenous αvβ3-selective antagonist to maintain glomerular filtration.
Kwi Hye Koh, Yanxia Cao, Steve Mangos, Nicholas J. Tardi, Ranadheer R. Dande, Ha Won Lee, Beata Samelko, Mehmet M. Altintas, Vincent P. Schmitz, Hyun Lee, Kamalika Mukherjee, Vasil Peev, David J. Cimbaluk, Jochen Reiser, Eunsil Hahm
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