Despite recent therapeutic advances, prostate cancer remains a leading cause of cancer-related death. A subset of castration-resistant prostate cancers become androgen receptor (AR) signaling independent and develop neuroendocrine prostate cancer (NEPC) features through lineage plasticity. These NEPC tumors, associated with aggressive disease and poor prognosis, are driven, in part, by aberrant expression of N-Myc, through mechanisms that remain unclear. Integrative analysis of the N-Myc transcriptome, cistrome, and interactome using in vivo, in vitro, and ex vivo models (including patient-derived organoids) identified a lineage switch towards a neural identity associated with epigenetic reprogramming. N-Myc and known AR cofactors (e.g., FOXA1 and HOXB13) overlapped, independently of AR, at genomic loci implicated in neural lineage specification. Moreover, histone marks specifically associated with lineage-defining genes were reprogrammed by N-Myc. We also demonstrated that the N-Myc–induced molecular program accurately classifies our cohort of patients with advanced prostate cancer. Finally, we revealed the potential for enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) inhibition to reverse the N-Myc–induced suppression of epithelial lineage genes. Altogether, our data provide insights into how N-Myc regulates lineage plasticity and epigenetic reprogramming associated with lineage specification. The N-Myc signature we defined could also help predict the evolution of prostate cancer and thus better guide the choice of future therapeutic strategies.
Adeline Berger, Nicholas J. Brady, Rohan Bareja, Brian Robinson, Vincenza Conteduca, Michael A. Augello, Loredana Puca, Adnan Ahmed, Etienne Dardenne, Xiaodong Lu, Inah Hwang, Alyssa M. Bagadion, Andrea Sboner, Olivier Elemento, Jihye Paik, Jindan Yu, Christopher E. Barbieri, Noah Dephoure, Himisha Beltran, David S. Rickman
Resident and inflammatory mononuclear phagocytes (MPhs) with functional plasticity in the intestine are critically involved in the pathology of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBDs), the mechanism of which remains incompletely understood. In the present study, we found that increased expression of the E3 ligase F-box and WD repeat domain–containing 7 (FBXW) in the inflamed intestine was significantly correlated with IBD severity in both human diseases and in mouse models. Myeloid Fbxw7 deficiency protected mice from colitis induced by dextran sodium sulfate (DSS) or 2,6,4-trinitrobenzene sulfonic acid (TNBS). Fbxw7 deficiency resulted in decreased production of the chemokines CCL2 and CCL7 by colonic CX3CR1hi resident macrophages and reduced the accumulation of CX3CR1int proinﬂammatory MPhs in colitis-affected colon tissue. Mice that received adeno-associated virus–shFbxw7 (AAV-shFbxw7) showed significantly improved survival rates and alleviation of colitis. Mechanism screening demonstrated that FBXW7 suppressed H3K27me3 modification and promoted Ccl2 and Ccl7 expression via degradation of the histone-lysine N-methyltransferase enhancer of zeste homolog 2 (EZH2) in macrophages. Taken together, our results indicate that FBXW7 degrades EZH2 and increases Ccl2 and Ccl7 in CX3CR1hi macrophages, thereby promoting the recruitment of CX3CR1int proinﬂammatory MPhs into local colon tissues with colitis. Targeting FBXW7 might represent a potential therapeutic approach for the treatment of intestinal inflammation.
Jia He, Yinjing Song, Gaopeng Li, Peng Xiao, Yang Liu, Yue Xue, Qian Cao, Xintao Tu, Ting Pan, Zhinong Jiang, Xuetao Cao, Lihua Lai, Qingqing Wang
Induction of memory CD8+ T cells is important for controlling infections such as malaria and HIV/AIDS and for cancer immunotherapy. Accurate assessment of antigen-specific (Ag-specific) CD8+ T cells is critical for vaccine optimization and for defining correlates of protection. However, conditions for determining Ag-specific CD8+ T cell responses ex vivo using intracellular cytokine staining (ICS) may be variable, especially in humans with complex antigens. Here, we used an attenuated whole parasite malaria vaccine model in humans and various experimental infections in mice to show that the duration of antigenic stimulation and timing of brefeldin A (BFA) addition influence the magnitude of Ag-specific and bystander T cell responses. Indeed, after immunization with an attenuated whole sporozoite malaria vaccine in humans, significantly higher numbers of IFN-γ–producing memory CD8+ T cells comprising Ag-specific and bystander responses were detected when the duration of Ag stimulation prior to addition of BFA was increased. Mechanistic analyses of virus-specific CD8+ T cells in mice revealed that the increase in IFN-γ–producing CD8+ T cells was due to bystander activation of Ag-experienced memory CD8+ T cells, and correlated with the proportion of Ag-experienced CD8+ T cells in the stimulated populations. Incubation with anti-cytokine antibodies (e.g., IL-12) improved accuracy in detecting bona fide memory CD8+ T cell responses, suggesting this as the mechanism for the bystander activation. These data have important implications for accurate assessment of immune responses generated by vaccines intended to elicit protective memory CD8+ T cells.
Matthew D. Martin, Isaac J. Jensen, Andrew S. Ishizuka, Mitchell Lefebvre, Qiang Shan, Hai-Hui Xue, John T. Harty, Robert A. Seder, Vladimir P. Badovinac
Sialyl Lewis A (sLeA, also known as CA19-9), a tetrasaccharide selectively and highly expressed on advanced adenocarcinomas including colon, stomach, and pancreatic cancers, has long been considered as an attractive target for active and passive vaccination. While progress in antibodies targeting tumor-associated protein antigens resulted in an impressive array of therapeutics for cancer treatment, similar progress in exploiting tumor-associated carbohydrate antigens, such as sLeA, has been hampered by the lack of a detailed understanding of the singular characteristics of these antigens. We have addressed this issue by analyzing antibodies derived from patients immunized with an sLeA/KLH vaccine. These antibodies were engineered to mediate tumor clearance in vivo in preclinical models through Fc-FcγR interactions. However, in contrast to protein antigens in which hFcγRIIIA engagement was both necessary and sufficient to mediate tumor clearance in both preclinical and clinical settings, a similar selective dependence was not seen for anti-sLeA antibodies. Thus, re-engineering the Fc portion of sLeA-targeting antibodies to broadly enhance their affinity for activating FcγRs led to an enhanced therapeutic effect. These findings will facilitate the development of more efficient anticancer therapies and further advance this promising class of therapeutic antibodies into clinical use.
Polina Weitzenfeld, Stylianos Bournazos, Jeffrey V. Ravetch
Acyl-ghrelin administration increases food intake, body weight, and blood glucose. In contrast, mice lacking ghrelin or ghrelin receptors (GHSRs) exhibit life-threatening hypoglycemia during starvation-like conditions, but do not consistently exhibit overt metabolic phenotypes when given ad libitum food access. These results, and findings of ghrelin resistance in obese states, imply nutritional state dependence of ghrelin’s metabolic actions. Here, we hypothesized that liver-enriched antimicrobial peptide-2 (LEAP2), a recently characterized endogenous GHSR antagonist, blunts ghrelin action during obese states and postprandially. To test this hypothesis, we determined changes in plasma LEAP2 and acyl-ghrelin due to fasting, eating, obesity, Roux-en-Y gastric bypass (RYGB), vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG), oral glucose administration, and type 1 diabetes mellitus (T1DM) using humans and/or mice. Our results suggest that plasma LEAP2 is regulated by metabolic status: its levels increased with body mass and blood glucose and decreased with fasting, RYGB, and in postprandial states following VSG. These changes were mostly opposite of those of acyl-ghrelin. Furthermore, using electrophysiology, we showed that LEAP2 both hyperpolarizes and prevents acyl-ghrelin from activating arcuate NPY neurons. We predict that the plasma LEAP2/acyl-ghrelin molar ratio may be a key determinant modulating acyl-ghrelin activity in response to body mass, feeding status, and blood glucose.
Bharath K. Mani, Nancy Puzziferri, Zhenyan He, Juan A. Rodriguez, Sherri Osborne-Lawrence, Nathan P. Metzger, Navpreet Chhina, Bruce Gaylinn, Michael O. Thorner, E. Louise Thomas, Jimmy D. Bell, Kevin W. Williams, Anthony P. Goldstone, Jeffrey M. Zigman
The expression of the transmembrane protein 25 gene (Tmem25) is strongly influenced by glutamate ionotropic receptor kainate type subunit 4, and its function remains unknown. Here, we showed that TMEM25 was primarily localized to late endosomes in neurons. Electrophysiological experiments suggested that the effects of TMEM25 on neuronal excitability were likely mediated by N-methyl-d-aspartate receptors. TMEM25 affected the expression of the N-methyl-d-aspartate receptor NR2B subunit and interacted with NR2B, and both were colocalized to late endosome compartments. TMEM25 induced acidification changes in lysosome compartments and accelerated the degradation of NR2B. Furthermore, TMEM25 expression was decreased in brain tissues from patients with epilepsy and epileptic mice. TMEM25 overexpression attenuated the behavioral phenotypes of epileptic seizures, whereas TMEM25 downregulation exerted the opposite effect. These results provide some insights into TMEM25 biology in the brain and the functional relationship between TMEM25 and epilepsy.
Haiqing Zhang, Xin Tian, Xi Lu, Demei Xu, Yi Guo, Zhifang Dong, Yun Li, Yuanlin Ma, Chengzhi Chen, Yong Yang, Min Yang, Yi Yang, Feng Liu, Ruijiao Zhou, Miaoqing He, Fei Xiao, Xuefeng Wang
Nature exploits cage-like proteins for a variety of biological purposes, from molecular packaging and cargo delivery to catalysis. These cage-like proteins are of immense importance in nanomedicine due to their propensity to self-assemble from simple identical building blocks to highly ordered architecture and the design flexibility afforded by protein engineering. However, delivery of protein nanocages to the renal tubules remains a major challenge because of the glomerular filtration barrier, which effectively excludes conventional size nanocages. Here, we show that DNA-binding protein from starved cells (Dps) — the extremely small archaeal antioxidant nanocage — is able to cross the glomerular filtration barrier and is endocytosed by the renal proximal tubules. Using a model of endotoxemia, we present an example of the way in which proximal tubule–selective Dps nanocages can limit the degree of endotoxin-induced kidney injury. This was accomplished by amplifying the endogenous antioxidant property of Dps with addition of a dinuclear manganese cluster. Dps is the first-in-class protein cage nanoparticle that can be targeted to renal proximal tubules through glomerular filtration. In addition to its therapeutic potential, chemical and genetic engineering of Dps will offer a nanoplatform to advance our understanding of the physiology and pathophysiology of glomerular filtration and tubular endocytosis.
Masaki Uchida, Bernhard Maier, Hitesh Kumar Waghwani, Ekaterina Selivanovitch, S. Louise Pay, John Avera, EJun Yun, Ruben M. Sandoval, Bruce A. Molitoris, Amy Zollman, Trevor Douglas, Takashi Hato
A population of NK cells expressing the activating receptor NKG2C and the maturation marker CD57 expands in response to human CMV (HCMV) infection. CD3–CD56dimCD57+NKG2C+ NK cells are similar to CD8+ memory T cells with rapid and robust effector function upon restimulation, persistence, and epigenetic remodeling of the IFNG locus. Chronic antigen stimulation drives CD8+ memory T cell proliferation, while also inducing genome-wide epigenetic reprograming and dysfunction. We hypothesized that chronic stimulation could similarly induce epigenetic reprograming and dysfunction in NK cells. Here, we show that chronic stimulation of adaptive NK cells through NKG2C using plate-bound agonistic Abs in combination with IL-15 drove robust proliferation and activation of CD3–CD56dimCD57+NKG2C+ NK cells, while simultaneously inducing high expression of the checkpoint inhibitory receptors LAG-3 and PD-1. Marked induction of checkpoint inhibitory receptors was also observed on the surface of adaptive NK cells cocultured with HCMV-infected endothelial cells. Chronically stimulated adaptive NK cells were dysfunctional when challenged with tumor targets. These cells exhibited a pattern of epigenetic reprograming, with genome-wide alterations in DNA methylation. We believe our study has important implications for cancer immunotherapy and propose that exhausted NK cells could be targeted with inhibitory checkpoint receptor blockade.
Aimee Merino, Bin Zhang, Philip Dougherty, Xianghua Luo, Jinhua Wang, Bruce R. Blazar, Jeffrey S. Miller, Frank Cichocki
Although joint pain in rheumatoid arthritis (RA) is conventionally thought to result from inflammation, arthritis pain and joint inflammation are at least partially uncoupled. This suggests that additional pain mechanisms in RA remain to be explored. Here we show that FcγRI, an immune receptor for IgG immune complex (IgG-IC), is expressed in a subpopulation of joint sensory neurons and that, under naive conditions, FcγRI cross-linking by IgG-IC directly activates the somata and peripheral terminals of these neurons to evoke acute joint hypernociception without obvious concurrent joint inflammation. These effects were diminished in both global and sensory neuron–specific Fcgr1-knockout mice. In murine models of inflammatory arthritis, FcγRI signaling was upregulated in joint sensory neurons. Acute blockade or global genetic deletion of Fcgr1 significantly attenuated arthritis pain and hyperactivity of joint sensory neurons without measurably altering joint inflammation. Conditional deletion of Fcgr1 in sensory neurons produced similar analgesic effects in these models. We therefore suggest that FcγRI expressed in sensory neurons contributes to arthritis pain independently of its functions in inflammatory cells. These findings expand our understanding of the immunosensory capabilities of sensory neurons and imply that neuronal FcγRI merits consideration as a target for treating RA pain.
Li Wang, Xiaohua Jiang, Qin Zheng, Sang-Min Jeon, Tiane Chen, Yan Liu, Heather Kulaga, Randall Reed, Xinzhong Dong, Michael J. Caterina, Lintao Qu
We previously generated 32 rotavirus-specific (RV-specific) recombinant monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) derived from B cells isolated from human intestinal resections. Twenty-four of these mAbs were specific for the VP8* fragment of RV VP4, and most (20 of 24) were non-neutralizing when tested in the conventional MA104 cell–based assay. We reexamined the ability of these mAbs to neutralize RVs in human intestinal epithelial cells including ileal enteroids and HT-29 cells. Most (18 of 20) of the “non-neutralizing” VP8* mAbs efficiently neutralized human RV in HT-29 cells or enteroids. Serum RV neutralization titers in adults and infants were significantly higher in HT-29 than MA104 cells and adsorption of these sera with recombinant VP8* lowered the neutralization titers in HT-29 but not MA104 cells. VP8* mAbs also protected suckling mice from diarrhea in an in vivo challenge model. X-ray crystallographic analysis of one VP8* mAb (mAb9) in complex with human RV VP8* revealed that the mAb interaction site was distinct from the human histo-blood group antigen binding site. Since MA104 cells are the most commonly used cell line to detect anti-RV neutralization activity, these findings suggest that prior vaccine and other studies of human RV neutralization responses may have underestimated the contribution of VP8* antibodies to the overall neutralization titer.
Ningguo Feng, Liya Hu, Siyuan Ding, Mrinmoy Sanyal, Boyang Zhao, Banumathi Sankaran, Sasirekha Ramani, Monica McNeal, Linda L. Yasukawa, Yanhua Song, B.V. Venkatar Prasad, Harry B. Greenberg
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