Healing the CNS. Coverage by Nature Immunology on "MHCII-independent CD4+ T cells protect injured CNS neurons via IL-4."
Preventing stillbirths. Coverage by Fox News and WXVU on "CXCR3 blockade protects against Listeria monocytogenes infection–induced fetal wastage."
Strengths and weaknesses of hepatitis C viruses. Coverage by News-Medical.net on "Naturally selected hepatitis C virus polymorphisms confer broad neutralizing antibody resistance."
Link between tooth decay and hair disorders. International Business Times on "Hair keratin mutations in tooth enamel increase dental decay risk."
Female smokers and emphysema. Coverage by MD Magazine on "Telomerase mutations in smokers with severe emphysema."
MAIT lymphocytes and metabolic dysfunction. Coverage by News Medical.net on "Mucosal-associated invariant T cell alterations in obese and type 2 diabetic patients."
Promise of bile duct cancer treatment from new study. Coverage by Oncology Nurse Advisor on "WNT signaling drives cholangiocarcinoma growth and can be pharmacologically inhibited."
Healing cirrhotic liver disease. Coverage by Medical Xpress on "Resetting the transcription factor network reverses terminal chronic hepatic failure."
BAl1 protein study may point to treatments for neurological disease. Coverage by Medical Xpress on "BAI1 regulates spatial learning and synaptic plasticity in the hippocampus."
Studying protein paterns of melanoma patients to predict patient response to genome therapy. Coverage by Oncology Nurse Advisor on "Co-clinical assessment identifies patterns of BRAF inhibitor resistance in melanoma."
Multiple mechanisms have been described that confer BRAF inhibitor resistance to melanomas, yet the basis of this resistance remains undefined in a sizable portion of patient samples. Here, we characterized samples from a set of patients with melanoma that included individuals at baseline diagnosis, on BRAF inhibitor treatment, and with resistant tumors at both the protein and RNA levels. Using RNA and DNA sequencing, we identified known resistance-conferring mutations in 50% (6 of 12) of the resistant samples. In parallel, targeted proteomic analysis by protein array categorized the resistant samples into 3 stable groups, 2 of which were characterized by reactivation of MAPK signaling to different levels and 1 that was MAPK independent. The molecular relevance of these classifications identified in patients was supported by both mutation data and the similarity of resistance patterns that emerged during a co-clinical trial in a genetically engineered mouse (GEM) model of melanoma that recapitulates the development of BRAF inhibitor resistance. Additionally, we defined candidate biomarkers in pre- and early-treatment patient samples that have potential for predicting clinical responses. On the basis of these observations, we suggest that BRAF inhibitor–resistant melanomas can be actionably classified using protein expression patterns, even without identification of the underlying genetic alteration.
Lawrence N. Kwong, Genevieve M. Boland, Dennie T. Frederick, Timothy L. Helms, Ahmad T. Akid, John P. Miller, Shan Jiang, Zachary A. Cooper, Xingzhi Song, Sahil Seth, Jennifer Kamara, Alexei Protopopov, Gordon B. Mills, Keith T. Flaherty, Jennifer A. Wargo, Lynda Chin
Synaptic plasticity is the ability of synapses to modulate the strength of neuronal connections; however, the molecular factors that regulate this feature are incompletely understood. Here, we demonstrated that mice lacking brain-specific angiogenesis inhibitor 1 (BAI1) have severe deficits in hippocampus-dependent spatial learning and memory that are accompanied by enhanced long-term potentiation (LTP), impaired long-term depression (LTD), and a thinning of the postsynaptic density (PSD) at hippocampal synapses. We showed that compared with WT animals, mice lacking
Dan Zhu, Chenchen Li, Andrew M. Swanson, Rosa M. Villalba, Jidong Guo, Zhaobin Zhang, Shannon Matheny, Tatsuro Murakami, Jason R. Stephenson, Sarah Daniel, Masaki Fukata, Randy A. Hall, Jeffrey J. Olson, Gretchen N. Neigh, Yoland Smith, Donald G. Rainnie, Erwin G. Van Meir
The cause of organ failure is enigmatic for many degenerative diseases, including end-stage liver disease. Here, using a CCl4-induced rat model of irreversible and fatal hepatic failure, which also exhibits terminal changes in the extracellular matrix, we demonstrated that chronic injury stably reprograms the critical balance of transcription factors and that diseased and dedifferentiated cells can be returned to normal function by re-expression of critical transcription factors, a process similar to the type of reprogramming that induces somatic cells to become pluripotent or to change their cell lineage. Forced re-expression of the transcription factor HNF4α induced expression of the other hepatocyte-expressed transcription factors; restored functionality in terminally diseased hepatocytes isolated from CCl4-treated rats; and rapidly reversed fatal liver failure in CCl4-treated animals by restoring diseased hepatocytes rather than replacing them with new hepatocytes or stem cells. Together, the results of our study indicate that disruption of the transcription factor network and cellular dedifferentiation likely mediate terminal liver failure and suggest reinstatement of this network has therapeutic potential for correcting organ failure without cell replacement.
Taichiro Nishikawa, Aaron Bell, Jenna M. Brooks, Kentaro Setoyama, Marta Melis, Bing Han, Ken Fukumitsu, Kan Handa, Jianmin Tian, Klaus H. Kaestner, Yoram Vodovotz, Joseph Locker, Alejandro Soto-Gutierrez, Ira J. Fox
Cholangiocarcinoma (CC) is typically diagnosed at an advanced stage and is refractory to surgical intervention and chemotherapy. Despite a global increase in the incidence of CC, little progress has been made toward the development of treatments for this cancer. Here we utilized human tissue; CC cell xenografts; a p53-deficient transgenic mouse model; and a non-transgenic, chemically induced rat model of CC that accurately reflects both the inflammatory and regenerative background associated with human CC pathology. Using these systems, we determined that the WNT pathway is highly activated in CCs and that inflammatory macrophages are required to establish this WNT-high state in vivo. Moreover, depletion of macrophages or inhibition of WNT signaling with one of two small molecule WNT inhibitors in mouse and rat CC models markedly reduced CC proliferation and increased apoptosis, resulting in tumor regression. Together, these results demonstrate that enhanced WNT signaling is a characteristic of CC and suggest that targeting WNT signaling pathways has potential as a therapeutic strategy for CC.
Luke Boulter, Rachel V. Guest, Timothy J. Kendall, David H. Wilson, Davina Wojtacha, Andrew J. Robson, Rachel A. Ridgway, Kay Samuel, Nico Van Rooijen, Simon T. Barry, Stephen J. Wigmore, Owen J. Sansom, Stuart J. Forbes
Obesity and type 2 diabetes (T2D) are associated with low-grade inflammation, activation of immune cells, and alterations of the gut microbiota. Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells, which are innate-like T cells that recognize bacterial ligands, are present in blood and enriched in mucosal and inflamed tissues. Here, we analyzed MAIT cells in the blood and adipose tissues of patients with T2D and/or severe obesity. We determined that circulating MAIT cell frequency was dramatically decreased in both patient groups, and this population was even undetectable in some obese patients. Moreover, in both patient groups, circulating MAIT cells displayed an activated phenotype that was associated with elevated Th1 and Th17 cytokine production. In obese patients, MAIT cells were more abundant in adipose tissue than in the blood and exhibited a striking IL-17 profile. Bariatric surgery in obese patients not only improved their metabolic parameters but also increased circulating MAIT cell frequency at 3 months after surgery. Similarly, cytokine production by blood MAIT cells was strongly decreased after surgery. This study reveals profound MAIT cell abnormalities in patients harboring metabolic disorders, suggesting their potential role in these pathologies.
Isabelle Magalhaes, Karine Pingris, Christine Poitou, Stéphanie Bessoles, Nicolas Venteclef, Badr Kiaf, Lucie Beaudoin, Jennifer Da Silva, Omran Allatif, Jamie Rossjohn, Lars Kjer-Nielsen, James McCluskey, Séverine Ledoux, Laurent Genser, Adriana Torcivia, Claire Soudais, Olivier Lantz, Christian Boitard, Judith Aron-Wisnewsky, Etienne Larger, Karine Clément, Agnès Lehuen
Mutations in the essential telomerase genes
Susan E. Stanley, Julian J.L. Chen, Joshua D. Podlevsky, Jonathan K. Alder, Nadia N. Hansel, Rasika A. Mathias, Xiaodong Qi, Nicholas M. Rafaels, Robert A. Wise, Edwin K. Silverman, Kathleen C. Barnes, Mary Armanios
Tooth enamel is the hardest substance in the human body and has a unique combination of hardness and fracture toughness that protects teeth from dental caries, the most common chronic disease worldwide. In addition to a high mineral content, tooth enamel comprises organic material that is important for mechanical performance and influences the initiation and progression of caries; however, the protein composition of tooth enamel has not been fully characterized. Here, we determined that epithelial hair keratins, which are crucial for maintaining the integrity of the sheaths that support the hair shaft, are expressed in the enamel organ and are essential organic components of mature enamel. Using genetic and intraoral examination data from 386 children and 706 adults, we found that individuals harboring known hair disorder–associated polymorphisms in the gene encoding keratin 75 (KRT75), KRT75A161T and KRT75E337K, are prone to increased dental caries. Analysis of teeth from individuals carrying the KRT75A161T variant revealed an altered enamel structure and a marked reduction of enamel hardness, suggesting that a functional keratin network is required for the mechanical stability of tooth enamel. Taken together, our results identify a genetic locus that influences enamel structure and establish a connection between hair disorders and susceptibility to dental caries.
Olivier Duverger, Takahiro Ohara, John R. Shaffer, Danielle Donahue, Patricia Zerfas, Andrew Dullnig, Christopher Crecelius, Elia Beniash, Mary L. Marazita, Maria I. Morasso
For hepatitis C virus (HCV) and other highly variable viruses, broadly neutralizing mAbs are an important guide for vaccine development. The development of resistance to anti-HCV mAbs is poorly understood, in part due to a lack of neutralization testing against diverse, representative panels of HCV variants. Here, we developed a neutralization panel expressing diverse, naturally occurring HCV envelopes (E1E2s) and used this panel to characterize neutralizing breadth and resistance mechanisms of 18 previously described broadly neutralizing anti-HCV human mAbs. The observed mAb resistance could not be attributed to polymorphisms in E1E2 at known mAb-binding residues. Additionally, hierarchical clustering analysis of neutralization resistance patterns revealed relationships between mAbs that were not predicted by prior epitope mapping, identifying 3 distinct neutralization clusters. Using this clustering analysis and envelope sequence data, we identified polymorphisms in E2 that confer resistance to multiple broadly neutralizing mAbs. These polymorphisms, which are not at mAb contact residues, also conferred resistance to neutralization by plasma from HCV-infected subjects. Together, our method of neutralization clustering with sequence analysis reveals that polymorphisms at noncontact residues may be a major immune evasion mechanism for HCV, facilitating viral persistence and presenting a challenge for HCV vaccine development.
Justin R. Bailey, Lisa N. Wasilewski, Anna E. Snider, Ramy El-Diwany, William O. Osburn, Zhenyong Keck, Steven K.H. Foung, Stuart C. Ray
Mammalian pregnancy requires protection against immunological rejection of the developing fetus bearing discordant paternal antigens. Immune evasion in this developmental context entails silenced expression of chemoattractant proteins (chemokines), thereby preventing harmful immune cells from penetrating the maternal-fetal interface. Here, we demonstrate that fetal wastage triggered by prenatal
Vandana Chaturvedi, James M. Ertelt, Tony T. Jiang, Jeremy M. Kinder, Lijun Xin, Kathryn J. Owens, Helen N. Jones, Sing Sing Way
A body of experimental evidence suggests that T cells mediate neuroprotection following CNS injury; however, the antigen specificity of these T cells and how they mediate neuroprotection are unknown. Here, we have provided evidence that T cell–mediated neuroprotection after CNS injury can occur independently of major histocompatibility class II (MHCII) signaling to T cell receptors (TCRs). Using two murine models of CNS injury, we determined that damage-associated molecular mediators that originate from injured CNS tissue induce a population of neuroprotective, IL-4–producing T cells in an antigen-independent fashion. Compared with wild-type mice, IL-4–deficient animals had decreased functional recovery following CNS injury; however, transfer of CD4+ T cells from wild-type mice, but not from IL-4–deficient mice, enhanced neuronal survival. Using a culture-based system, we determined that T cell–derived IL-4 protects and induces recovery of injured neurons by activation of neuronal IL-4 receptors, which potentiated neurotrophin signaling via the AKT and MAPK pathways. Together, these findings demonstrate that damage-associated molecules from the injured CNS induce a neuroprotective T cell response that is independent of MHCII/TCR interactions and is MyD88 dependent. Moreover, our results indicate that IL-4 mediates neuroprotection and recovery of the injured CNS and suggest that strategies to enhance IL-4–producing CD4+ T cells have potential to attenuate axonal damage in the course of CNS injury in trauma, inflammation, or neurodegeneration.
James T. Walsh, Sven Hendrix, Francesco Boato, Igor Smirnov, Jingjing Zheng, John R. Lukens, Sachin Gadani, Daniel Hechler, Greta Gölz, Karen Rosenberger, Thomas Kammertöns, Johannes Vogt, Christina Vogelaar, Volker Siffrin, Ali Radjavi, Anthony Fernandez-Castaneda, Alban Gaultier, Ralf Gold, Thirumala-Devi Kanneganti, Robert Nitsch, Frauke Zipp, Jonathan Kipnis