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Issue published April 1, 2022 Previous issue

On the cover: Understanding virus-associated Merkel cell carcinoma

In this issue, Verhaegen et al. report development and characterization of a genetically engineered mouse model of virus-driven Merkel cell carcinoma. The cover image shows a murine cutaneous small cell carcinoma with nuclear molding (blue), SOX2 expression (green), and keratin clumping (red) — characteristic features of human Merkel cell carcinoma. Image credit: Monique E. Verhaegen.

News
Viewpoint
Review Series
Abstract

Rare genetic disorders, when considered together, are relatively common. Despite advancements in genetics and genomics technologies as well as increased understanding of genomic function and dysfunction, many genetic diseases continue to be difficult to diagnose. The goal of this Review is to increase the familiarity of genetic testing strategies for non-genetics providers. As genetic testing is increasingly used in primary care, many subspecialty clinics, and various inpatient settings, it is important that non-genetics providers have a fundamental understanding of the strengths and weaknesses of various genetic testing strategies as well as develop an ability to interpret genetic testing results. We provide background on commonly used genetic testing approaches, give examples of phenotypes in which the various genetic testing approaches are used, describe types of genetic and genomic variations, cover challenges in variant identification, provide examples in which next-generation sequencing (NGS) failed to uncover the variant responsible for a disease, and discuss opportunities for continued improvement in the application of NGS clinically. As genetic testing becomes increasingly a part of all areas of medicine, familiarity with genetic testing approaches and result interpretation is vital to decrease the burden of undiagnosed disease.

Authors

Bryce A. Schuler, Erica T. Nelson, Mary Koziura, Joy D. Cogan, Rizwan Hamid, John A. Phillips III

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Abstract

Next-generation sequencing (NGS) technology has advanced our understanding of the human microbiome by allowing for the discovery and characterization of unculturable microbes with prediction of their function. Key NGS methods include 16S rRNA gene sequencing, shotgun metagenomic sequencing, and RNA sequencing. The choice of which NGS methodology to pursue for a given purpose is often unclear for clinicians and researchers. In this Review, we describe the fundamentals of NGS, with a focus on 16S rRNA and shotgun metagenomic sequencing. We also discuss pros and cons of each methodology as well as important concepts in data variability, study design, and clinical metadata collection. We further present examples of how NGS studies of the human microbiome have advanced our understanding of human disease pathophysiology across diverse clinical contexts, including the development of diagnostics and therapeutics. Finally, we share insights as to how NGS might further be integrated into and advance microbiome research and clinical care in the coming years.

Authors

Caroline R. Wensel, Jennifer L. Pluznick, Steven L. Salzberg, Cynthia L. Sears

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Commentaries
Abstract

Although the memory capacity of innate immune cells, termed trained immunity (TI), is a conserved evolutionary trait, the cellular and molecular mechanisms involved are incompletely understood. One fundamental question is whether the induction of TI generates a homogeneous or heterogeneous population of trained cells. In this issue of the JCI, Zhang, Moorlag, and colleagues tackle this question by combining an in vitro model system of TI with single-cell RNA sequencing. The induction of TI in human monocytes resulted in three populations with distinct transcriptomic profiles. Interestingly, the presence of lymphocytes in the microenvironment of monocytes substantially impacted TI. The authors also identified a similar population of monocytes in various human diseases or in individuals vaccinated with bacillus Calmette-Guérin. These insights warrant in-depth analysis of TI in responsive versus nonresponsive immune cells and suggest that modulating TI may provide a strategy for treating infections and inflammatory diseases.

Authors

Erwan Pernet, Renaud Prevel, Maziar Divangahi

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Abstract

The prevalence of metabolic syndrome continues to increase globally and heightens the risk for cardiovascular disease (CVD). Insulin resistance is a core pathophysiologic mechanism that causes abnormal carbohydrate metabolism and atherogenic changes in circulating lipoprotein quantity and function. In particular, dysfunctional HDL is postulated to contribute to CVD risk in part via loss of HDL-associated sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P). In this issue of the JCI, Izquierdo et al. demonstrate that HDL from humans with insulin resistance contained lower levels of S1P. Apolipoprotein M (ApoM), a protein constituent of HDL that binds S1P and controls bioavailability was decreased in insulin-resistant db/db mice. Gain- and loss-of-function mouse models implicated the forkhead box O transcription factors (FoxO1,3,4) in the regulation of both ApoM and HDL-associated S1P. These data have important implications for potential FoxO-based therapies designed to treat lipid and carbohydrate abnormalities associated with human metabolic disease and CVD.

Authors

MacRae F. Linton, Patricia G. Yancey, Zoe M. Leuthner, Jonathan D. Brown

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Abstract

Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) promote metastasis and tumor cell extravasation, survival, and growth. In hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC), the presence of TAM subpopulations correlates with poor outcome. In this issue of the JCI, Ning et al. report on their use of cell culture, mouse models, and human data sets to investigate the interactions between aerobic glycolysis and carbonic anhydrase XII (CA12) expression in HCC. Aerobic glycolysis promoted CA12 upregulation in TAMs, which induced a protumoral phenotype to promote tumor growth and metastasis. Tumor cell factors derived from HCC samples induced CA12 upregulation in tumor-infiltrating TAMs via the HIF1α pathway. In preclinical models of HCC, CA12 inhibition reduced tumor growth and lung metastasis and reduced TAM infiltrate. Notably, dual treatment with anti-PD1 and CA12 inhibitors synergistically attenuated tumor growth and metastasis and enhanced survival compared with either treatment alone. These findings suggest that targeting CA12 in combination with immune-checkpoint blockade may provide treatment options for HCC.

Authors

Nicola Graham, Jeffrey W. Pollard

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Abstract

Antiretroviral therapy suppresses HIV replication but leaves a population of infected CD4+ T cells with integrated proviruses. While most of these proviruses contain defects, such as deletions, some intact proviruses persist and can reinitiate viral replication. In this issue of the JCI, Duette, Hiener, and colleagues performed a tour de force proviral landscape analysis on clinical samples collected over many years with in vitro functional assays. The researchers showed that effector memory CD4+ T cells provide partial sanctuary to intact proviruses from CD8+ T cells and this was associated with superior Nef-mediated MHC-I downregulation relative to less mature CD4+ T cell populations. This finding implicates differential immunoevasion as a cell-intrinsic property, influencing proviral persistence, and highlights Nef as a therapeutic target.

Authors

Louise Leyre, R. Brad Jones

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Research Articles
Abstract

Dysregulation of Toll-like receptor (TLR) signaling contributes to the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases. Here, we provide genetic evidence that tankyrase, a member of the poly(ADP-ribose) polymerase (PARP) family, negatively regulates TLR2 signaling. We show that mice lacking tankyrase in myeloid cells developed severe systemic inflammation with high serum inflammatory cytokine levels. We provide mechanistic evidence that tankyrase deficiency resulted in tyrosine phosphorylation and activation of TLR2 and show that phosphorylation of tyrosine 647 within the TIR domain by SRC and SYK kinases was critical for TLR2 stabilization and signaling. Last, we show that the elevated cytokine production and inflammation observed in mice lacking tankyrase in myeloid cells were dependent on the adaptor protein 3BP2, which is required for SRC and SYK activation. These data demonstrate that tankyrase provides a checkpoint on the TLR-mediated innate immune response.

Authors

Yoshinori Matsumoto, Ioannis D. Dimitriou, Jose La Rose, Melissa Lim, Susan Camilleri, Napoleon Law, Hibret A. Adissu, Jiefei Tong, Michael F. Moran, Andrzej Chruscinski, Fang He, Yosuke Asano, Takayuki Katsuyama, Ken-ei Sada, Jun Wada, Robert Rottapel

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Abstract

Multiple beneficial cardiovascular effects of HDL depend on sphingosine-1-phosphate (S1P). S1P associates with HDL by binding to apolipoprotein M (ApoM). Insulin resistance is a major driver of dyslipidemia and cardiovascular risk. However, the mechanisms linking alterations in insulin signaling with plasma lipoprotein metabolism are incompletely understood. The insulin-repressible FoxO transcription factors mediate key effects of hepatic insulin action on glucose and lipoprotein metabolism. This work tested whether hepatic insulin signaling regulates HDL-S1P and aimed to identify the underlying molecular mechanisms. We report that insulin-resistant, nondiabetic individuals had decreased HDL-S1P levels, but no change in total plasma S1P. This also occurred in insulin-resistant db/db mice, which had low ApoM and a specific reduction of S1P in the HDL fraction, with no change in total plasma S1P levels. Using mice lacking hepatic FoxOs (L-FoxO1,3,4), we found that hepatic FoxOs were required for ApoM expression. Total plasma S1P levels were similar to those in controls, but S1P was nearly absent from HDL and was instead increased in the lipoprotein-depleted plasma fraction. This phenotype was restored to normal by rescuing ApoM in L-FoxO1,3,4 mice. Our findings show that insulin resistance in humans and mice is associated with decreased HDL-associated S1P. Our study shows that hepatic FoxO transcription factors are regulators of the ApoM/S1P pathway.

Authors

María Concepción Izquierdo, Niroshan Shanmugarajah, Samuel X. Lee, Michael J. Kraakman, Marit Westerterp, Takumi Kitamoto, Michael Harris, Joshua R. Cook, Galina A. Gusarova, Kendra Zhong, Elijah Marbuary, InSug O-Sullivan, Nikolaus Rasmus, Stefania Camastra, Terry G. Unterman, Ele Ferrannini, Barry E. Hurwitz, Rebecca A. Haeusler

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Abstract

Trained immunity refers to the long-lasting memory traits of innate immunity. Recent studies have shown that trained immunity is orchestrated by sustained changes in epigenetic marks and metabolic pathways, leading to an altered transcriptional response to a second challenge. However, the potential heterogeneity of trained-immunity induction in innate immune cells has not been explored. In this study, we demonstrate cellular transcriptional programs in response to 4 different inducers of trained immunity in monocyte populations at single-cell resolution. Specifically, we identified 3 monocyte subpopulations upon the induction of trained immunity, and replicated these findings in an in vivo study. In addition, we found gene signatures consistent with these functional programs in patients with ulcerative colitis, sepsis, and COVID-19, suggesting the impact of trained-immunity programs in immune-mediated diseases.

Authors

Bowen Zhang, Simone J.C.F.M Moorlag, Jorge Dominguez-Andres, Özlem Bulut, Gizem Kilic, Zhaoli Liu, Reinout van Crevel, Cheng-Jian Xu, Leo A.B. Joosten, Mihai G. Netea, Yang Li

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Abstract

The tumor microenvironment (TME) is reprogrammed by cancer cells and participates in all stages of tumor progression. The contribution of stromal cells to the reprogramming of the TME is not well understood. Here, we provide evidence of the role of the cytokine oncostatin M (OSM) as central node for multicellular interactions between immune and nonimmune stromal cells and the epithelial cancer cell compartment. OSM receptor (OSMR) deletion in a multistage breast cancer model halted tumor progression. We ascribed causality to the stromal function of the OSM axis by demonstrating reduced tumor burden of syngeneic tumors implanted in mice lacking OSMR. Single-cell and bioinformatic analysis of murine and human breast tumors revealed that OSM expression was restricted to myeloid cells, whereas OSMR was detected predominantly in fibroblasts and, to a lower extent, cancer cells. Myeloid-derived OSM reprogrammed fibroblasts to a more contractile and tumorigenic phenotype and elicited the secretion of VEGF and proinflammatory chemokines CXCL1 and CXCL16, leading to increased myeloid cell recruitment. Collectively, our data support the notion that the stromal OSM/OSMR axis reprograms the immune and nonimmune microenvironment and plays a key role in breast cancer progression.

Authors

Angela M. Araujo, Andrea Abaurrea, Peio Azcoaga, Joanna I. López-Velazco, Sara Manzano, Javier Rodriguez, Ricardo Rezola, Leire Egia-Mendikute, Fátima Valdés-Mora, Juana M. Flores, Liam Jenkins, Laura Pulido, Iñaki Osorio-Querejeta, Patricia Fernández-Nogueira, Nicola Ferrari, Cristina Viera, Natalia Martín-Martín, Alexandar Tzankov, Serenella Eppenberger-Castori, Isabel Alvarez-Lopez, Ander Urruticoechea, Paloma Bragado, Nicholas Coleman, Asís Palazón, Arkaitz Carracedo, David Gallego-Ortega, Fernando Calvo, Clare M. Isacke, María M. Caffarel, Charles H. Lawrie

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Abstract

Merkel cell carcinoma (MCC) is an aggressive neuroendocrine skin cancer that frequently carries an integrated Merkel cell polyomavirus (MCPyV) genome and expresses viral transforming antigens (TAgs). MCC tumor cells also express signature genes detected in skin-resident, postmitotic Merkel cells, including atonal bHLH transcription factor 1 (ATOH1), which is required for Merkel cell development from epidermal progenitors. We now report the use of in vivo cellular reprogramming, using ATOH1, to drive MCC development from murine epidermis. We generated mice that conditionally expressed MCPyV TAgs and ATOH1 in epidermal cells, yielding microscopic collections of proliferating MCC-like cells arising from hair follicles. Immunostaining of these nascent tumors revealed p53 accumulation and apoptosis, and targeted deletion of transformation related protein 53 (Trp53) led to development of gross skin tumors with classic MCC histology and marker expression. Global transcriptome analysis confirmed the close similarity of mouse and human MCCs, and hierarchical clustering showed conserved upregulation of signature genes. Our data establish that expression of MCPyV TAgs in ATOH1-reprogrammed epidermal cells and their neuroendocrine progeny initiates hair follicle–derived MCC tumorigenesis in adult mice. Moreover, progression to full-blown MCC in this model requires loss of p53, mimicking the functional inhibition of p53 reported in human MCPyV-positive MCCs.

Authors

Monique E. Verhaegen, Paul W. Harms, Julia J. Van Goor, Jacob Arche, Matthew T. Patrick, Dawn Wilbert, Haley Zabawa, Marina Grachtchouk, Chia-Jen Liu, Kevin Hu, Michael C. Kelly, Ping Chen, Thomas L. Saunders, Stephan Weidinger, Li-Jyun Syu, John S. Runge, Johann E. Gudjonsson, Sunny Y. Wong, Isaac Brownell, Marcin Cieslik, Aaron M. Udager, Arul M. Chinnaiyan, Lam C. Tsoi, Andrzej A. Dlugosz

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Abstract

BACKGROUND Currently, there is no disease-specific therapy for osteogenesis imperfecta (OI). Preclinical studies demonstrate that excessive TGF-β signaling is a pathogenic mechanism in OI. Here, we evaluated TGF-β signaling in children with OI and conducted a phase I clinical trial of TGF-β inhibition in adults with OI.METHODS Histology and RNA-Seq were performed on bones obtained from children. Gene Ontology (GO) enrichment assay, gene set enrichment analysis (GSEA), and Ingenuity Pathway Analysis (IPA) were used to identify dysregulated pathways. Reverse-phase protein array, Western blot, and IHC were performed to evaluate protein expression. A phase I study of fresolimumab, a TGF-β neutralizing antibody, was conducted in 8 adults with OI. Safety and effects on bone remodeling markers and lumbar spine areal bone mineral density (LS aBMD) were assessed.RESULTS OI bone demonstrated woven structure, increased osteocytes, high turnover, and reduced maturation. SMAD phosphorylation was the most significantly upregulated GO molecular event. GSEA identified the TGF-β pathway as the top activated signaling pathway, and IPA showed that TGF-β1 was the most significant activated upstream regulator mediating the global changes identified in OI bone. Treatment with fresolimumab was well-tolerated and associated with increases in LS aBMD in participants with OI type IV, whereas participants with OI type III and VIII had unchanged or decreased LS aBMD.CONCLUSION Increased TGF-β signaling is a driver pathogenic mechanism in OI. Anti–TGF-β therapy could be a potential disease-specific therapy, with dose-dependent effects on bone mass and turnover.TRIAL REGISTRATION ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03064074.FUNDING Brittle Bone Disorders Consortium (U54AR068069), Clinical Translational Core of Baylor College of Medicine Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities Research Center (P50HD103555) from National Institute of Child Health and Human Development, USDA/ARS (cooperative agreement 58-6250-6-001), and Sanofi Genzyme.

Authors

I-Wen Song, Sandesh C.S. Nagamani, Dianne Nguyen, Ingo Grafe, Vernon Reid Sutton, Francis H. Gannon, Elda Munivez, Ming-Ming Jiang, Alyssa Tran, Maegen Wallace, Paul Esposito, Salma Musaad, Elizabeth Strudthoff, Sharon McGuire, Michele Thornton, Vinitha Shenava, Scott Rosenfeld, Shixia Huang, Roman Shypailo, Eric Orwoll, Brendan Lee

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Abstract

Macrophages constitute a major immune component in tumor tissues, but how these cells adapt to and survive in the nutrient-depleted and lactic acid–induced acidic tumor microenvironments is not yet fully understood. Here, we found that levels of carbonic anhydrase XII (CA12) expression were significantly and selectively upregulated on macrophages in human hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Transient glycolytic activation of peritumoral monocytes induced sustained expression of CA12 on tumor-infiltrating macrophages via autocrine cytokines and HIF1α pathways. On the one hand, CA12 mediated the survival of macrophages in relatively acidic tumor microenvironments, while on the other hand, it induced macrophage production of large amounts of C-C motif chemokine ligand 8 (CCL8), which enhanced cancer cell epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) and facilitated tumor metastasis. Consistently, the accumulation of CA12+ macrophages in tumor tissues was associated with increased tumor metastatic potential and reduced survival of patients with HCC. Selective targeting of tumor-infiltrating macrophages with a CA12 inhibitor reduced tumor growth in mice and was sufficient to synergistically enhance the therapeutic efficacy of immune-checkpoint blockade. We suggest that CA12 activity is a previously unappreciated mechanism regulating the accumulation and functions of macrophages in tumor microenvironments and therefore represents a selective vulnerability that could be exploited in future designs for antitumor immunotherapeutic strategies.

Authors

Wan-Ru Ning, Da Jiang, Xing-Chen Liu, Yu-Fan Huang, Zhi-Peng Peng, Ze-Zhou Jiang, Tiebang Kang, Shi-Mei Zhuang, Yan Wu, Limin Zheng

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Abstract

CD8+ T cell longevity regulated by metabolic activity plays important roles in cancer immunotherapy. Although in vitro–polarized, transferred IL-9–secreting CD8+ Tc9 (cytotoxic T lymphocyte subset 9) cells exert greater persistence and antitumor efficacy than Tc1 cells, the underlying mechanism remains unclear. Here, we show that tumor-infiltrating Tc9 cells display significantly lower lipid peroxidation than Tc1 cells in several mouse models, which is strongly correlated with their persistence. Using RNA-sequence and functional validation, we found that Tc9 cells exhibited unique lipid metabolic programs. Tc9 cell–derived IL-9 activated STAT3, upregulated fatty acid oxidation and mitochondrial activity, and rendered Tc9 cells with reduced lipid peroxidation and resistance to tumor- or ROS-induced ferroptosis in the tumor microenvironment. IL-9 signaling deficiency, inhibiting STAT3, or fatty acid oxidation increased lipid peroxidation and ferroptosis of Tc9 cells, resulting in impaired longevity and antitumor ability. Similarly, human Tc9 cells also exhibited lower lipid peroxidation than Tc1 cells and tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells expressed lower IL9 and higher lipid peroxidation– and ferroptosis-related genes than circulating CD8+ T cells in patients with melanoma. This study indicates that lipid peroxidation regulates Tc9 cell longevity and antitumor effects via the IL-9/STAT3/fatty acid oxidation pathway and regulating T cell lipid peroxidation can be used to enhance T cell–based immunotherapy in human cancer.

Authors

Liuling Xiao, Xingzhe Ma, Lingqun Ye, Pan Su, Wei Xiong, Enguang Bi, Qiang Wang, Miao Xian, Maojie Yang, Jianfei Qian, Qing Yi

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Abstract

Platelets have a wide range of functions including critical roles in hemostasis, thrombosis, and immunity. We hypothesized that during acute inflammation, such as in life-threatening sepsis, there are fundamental changes in the sites of platelet production and phenotypes of resultant platelets. Here, we showed during sepsis that the spleen was a major site of megakaryopoiesis and platelet production. Sepsis provoked an adrenergic-dependent mobilization of megakaryocyte-erythrocyte progenitors (MEPs) from the bone marrow to the spleen, where IL-3 induced their differentiation into megakaryocytes (MKs). In the spleen, immune-skewed MKs produced a CD40 ligandhi platelet population with potent immunomodulatory functions. Transfusions of post-sepsis platelets enriched from splenic production enhanced immune responses and reduced overall mortality in sepsis-challenged animals. These findings identify a spleen-derived protective platelet population that may be broadly immunomodulatory in acute inflammatory states such as sepsis.

Authors

Colin Valet, Mélia Magnen, Longhui Qiu, Simon J. Cleary, Kristin M. Wang, Serena Ranucci, Elodie Grockowiak, Rafik Boudra, Catharina Conrad, Yurim Seo, Daniel R. Calabrese, John R. Greenland, Andrew D. Leavitt, Emmanuelle Passegué, Simón Méndez-Ferrer, Filip K. Swirski, Mark R. Looney

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Abstract

Despite long-term antiretroviral therapy (ART), HIV-1 persists within a reservoir of CD4+ T cells that contribute to viral rebound if treatment is interrupted. Identifying the cellular populations that contribute to the HIV-1 reservoir and understanding the mechanisms of viral persistence are necessary to achieve an effective cure. In this regard, through Full-Length Individual Proviral Sequencing, we observed that the HIV-1 proviral landscape was different and changed with time on ART across naive and memory CD4+ T cell subsets isolated from 24 participants. We found that the proportion of genetically intact HIV-1 proviruses was higher and persisted over time in effector memory CD4+ T cells when compared with naive, central, and transitional memory CD4+ T cells. Interestingly, we found that escape mutations remained stable over time within effector memory T cells during therapy. Finally, we provided evidence that Nef plays a role in the persistence of genetically intact HIV-1. These findings posit effector memory T cells as a key component of the HIV-1 reservoir and suggest Nef as an attractive therapeutic target.

Authors

Gabriel Duette, Bonnie Hiener, Hannah Morgan, Fernando G. Mazur, Vennila Mathivanan, Bethany A. Horsburgh, Katie Fisher, Orion Tong, Eunok Lee, Haelee Ahn, Ansari Shaik, Rémi Fromentin, Rebecca Hoh, Charline Bacchus-Souffan, Najla Nasr, Anthony L. Cunningham, Peter W. Hunt, Nicolas Chomont, Stuart G. Turville, Steven G. Deeks, Anthony D. Kelleher, Timothy E. Schlub, Sarah Palmer

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Abstract

Glutamate is the predominant excitatory neurotransmitter in the mammalian central nervous system (CNS). Excitatory amino acid transporters (EAATs) regulate extracellular glutamate by transporting it into cells, mostly glia, to terminate neurotransmission and to avoid neurotoxicity. EAATs are also chloride (Cl–) channels, but the physiological role of Cl– conductance through EAATs is poorly understood. Mutations of human EAAT1 (hEAAT1) have been identified in patients with episodic ataxia type 6 (EA6). One mutation showed increased Cl– channel activity and decreased glutamate transport, but the relative contributions of each function of hEAAT1 to mechanisms underlying the pathology of EA6 remain unclear. Here we investigated the effects of 5 additional EA6-related mutations on hEAAT1 function in Xenopus laevis oocytes, and on CNS function in a Drosophila melanogaster model of locomotor behavior. Our results indicate that mutations resulting in decreased hEAAT1 Cl– channel activity but with functional glutamate transport can also contribute to the pathology of EA6, highlighting the importance of Cl– homeostasis in glial cells for proper CNS function. We also identified what we believe is a novel mechanism involving an ectopic sodium (Na+) leak conductance in glial cells. Together, these results strongly support the idea that EA6 is primarily an ion channelopathy of CNS glia.

Authors

Qianyi Wu, Azman Akhter, Shashank Pant, Eunjoo Cho, Jin Xin Zhu, Alastair Garner, Tomoko Ohyama, Emad Tajkhorshid, Donald J. van Meyel, Renae M. Ryan

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Abstract

Dysfunction of protein trafficking has been intensively associated with neurological diseases, including neurodegeneration, but whether and how protein transport contributes to oligodendrocyte (OL) maturation and myelin repair in white matter injury remains unclear. ER-to-Golgi trafficking of newly synthesized proteins is mediated by coat protein complex II (COPII). Here, we demonstrate that the COPII component Sec13 was essential for OL differentiation and postnatal myelination. Ablation of Sec13 in the OL lineage prevented OPC differentiation and inhibited myelination and remyelination after demyelinating injury in the central nervous system (CNS), while improving protein trafficking by tauroursodeoxycholic acid (TUDCA) or ectopic expression of COPII components accelerated myelination. COPII components were upregulated in OL lineage cells after demyelinating injury. Loss of Sec13 altered the secretome of OLs and inhibited the secretion of pleiotrophin (PTN), which was found to function as an autocrine factor to promote OL differentiation and myelin repair. These data suggest that Sec13-dependent protein transport is essential for OL differentiation and that Sec13-mediated PTN autocrine signaling is required for proper myelination and remyelination.

Authors

Zhixiong Liu, Minbiao Yan, Wanying Lei, Rencai Jiang, Wenxiu Dai, Jialin Chen, Chaomeng Wang, Li Li, Mei Wu, Ximing Nian, Daopeng Li, Di Sun, Xiaoqi Lv, Chaoying Wang, Changchuan Xie, Luming Yao, Caiming Wu, Jin Hu, Naian Xiao, Wei Mo, Zhanxiang Wang, Liang Zhang

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Abstract

The functional integrity of CD8+ T cells is tightly coupled to metabolic reprogramming, but how oxidative stress directs CD8+ T cell metabolic fitness in the tumor microenvironment (TME) remains elusive. Here, we report that SUMO-specific protease 7 (SENP7) senses oxidative stress to maintain the CD8+ T cell metabolic state and antitumor functions. SENP7-deficient CD8+ T cells exhibited decreased glycolysis and oxidative phosphorylation, resulting in attenuated proliferation in vitro and dampened antitumor functions in vivo. Mechanistically, CD8+ T cell–derived ROS triggered cytosolic SENP7–mediated PTEN deSUMOylation, thereby promoting PTEN degradation and preventing PTEN-dependent metabolic defects. Importantly, lowering T cell–intrinsic ROS restricted SENP7 cytosolic translocation and repressed CD8+ T cell metabolic and functional activity in human colorectal cancer samples. Our findings reveal that SENP7, as an oxidative stress sensor, sustains CD8+ T cell metabolic fitness and effector functions and unveil an oxidative stress–sensing machinery in tumor-infiltrating CD8+ T cells.

Authors

Zhongqiu Wu, Haiyan Huang, Qiaoqiao Han, Zhilin Hu, Xiao-Lu Teng, Rui Ding, Youqiong Ye, Xiaoyan Yu, Ren Zhao, Zhengting Wang, Qiang Zou

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Abstract

Targeted monoclonal antibody (mAb) therapies show great promise for the treatment of transplant rejection and autoimmune diseases by inducing more specific immunomodulatory effects than broadly immunosuppressive drugs routinely used. We recently described the therapeutic advantage of targeting CD45RC, expressed at high levels by conventional T (Tconv) cells (CD45RChi), their precursors, and terminally differentiated T (TEMRA) cells, but not by regulatory T cells (Tregs; CD45RClo/–). We demonstrated efficacy of anti-CD45RC mAb treatment in transplantation, but its potential has not been examined in autoimmune diseases. Autoimmune polyendocrinopathy–candidiasis–ectodermal dystrophy (APECED) is a rare genetic syndrome caused by loss-of-function mutations of autoimmune regulator (AIRE), a key central tolerance mediator, leading to abnormal autoreactive T cell responses and autoantibody production. Herein, we show that, in a rat model of APECED syndrome, anti-CD45RC mAb was effective for both prevention and treatment of autoimmune manifestations and inhibited autoantibody development. Anti-CD45RC mAb intervention depleted CD45RChi T cells, inhibited CD45RChi B cells, and restored the Treg/Tconv cell ratio and the altered Treg transcriptomic profile. In APECED patients, CD45RC was significantly increased in peripheral blood T cells, and lesioned organs from APECED patients were infiltrated by CD45RChi cells. Our observations highlight the potential role for CD45RChi cells in the pathogenesis of experimental and human APECED syndrome and the potential of anti-CD45RC antibody treatment.

Authors

Marine Besnard, Céline Sérazin, Jason Ossart, Anne Moreau, Nadège Vimond, Léa Flippe, Hanna Sein, Grace A. Smith, Stefania Pittaluga, Elise M.N. Ferré, Claire Usal, Ignacio Anegon, Annamari Ranki, Michail S. Lionakis, Pärt Peterson, Carole Guillonneau

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Abstract

Background Although recent epidemiological data suggest that pneumococci may contribute to the risk of SARS-CoV-2 disease, cases of coinfection with Streptococcus pneumoniae in patients with coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) during hospitalization have been reported infrequently. This apparent contradiction may be explained by interactions of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) and pneumococci in the upper airway, resulting in the escape of SARS-CoV-2 from protective host immune responses.Methods Here, we investigated the relationship of these 2 respiratory pathogens in 2 distinct cohorts of health care workers with asymptomatic or mildly symptomatic SARS-CoV-2 infection identified by systematic screening and patients with moderate to severe disease who presented to the hospital. We assessed the effect of coinfection on host antibody, cellular, and inflammatory responses to the virus.Results In both cohorts, pneumococcal colonization was associated with diminished antiviral immune responses, which primarily affected mucosal IgA levels among individuals with mild or asymptomatic infection and cellular memory responses in infected patients.Conclusion Our findings suggest that S. pneumoniae impair host immunity to SARS-CoV-2 and raise the question of whether pneumococcal carriage also enables immune escape of other respiratory viruses and facilitates reinfection.Trial registration ISRCTN89159899 (FASTER study) and ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03502291 (LAIV study).

Authors

Elena Mitsi, Jesús Reiné, Britta C. Urban, Carla Solórzano, Elissavet Nikolaou, Angela D. Hyder-Wright, Sherin Pojar, Ashleigh Howard, Lisa Hitchins, Sharon Glynn, Madlen C. Farrar, Konstantinos Liatsikos, Andrea M. Collins, Naomi F. Walker, Helen C. Hill, Esther L. German, Katerina S. Cheliotis, Rachel L. Byrne, Christopher T. Williams, Ana I. Cubas-Atienzar, Tom E. Fletcher, Emily R. Adams, Simon J. Draper, David Pulido, Rohini Beavon, Christian Theilacker, Elizabeth Begier, Luis Jodar, Bradford D. Gessner, Daniela M. Ferreira

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The ZIP8/SIRT1 axis regulates alveolar progenitor cell renewal in aging and idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis
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Abstract

AbstractType 2 alveolar epithelial cells (AEC2s) function as progenitor cells in the lung. We have shown previously that failure of AEC2 regeneration results in progressive lung fibrosis in mice and is a cardinal feature of idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF). In this study, we identified a deficiency of a specific zinc transporter SLC39A8 (ZIP8) in AEC2s from both IPF lungs and lungs of old mice. Loss of ZIP8 expression was associated with impaired renewal capacity of AEC2s and enhanced lung fibrosis. ZIP8 regulation of AEC2 progenitor function was dependent on SIRT1. Replenishment with exogenous zinc and SIRT1 activation promoted self-renewal and differentiation of AEC2s from lung tissues of IPF patients and old mice. Deletion of Zip8 in AEC2s in mice impaired AEC2 renewal, increased susceptibility of the mice to bleomycin injury, and the mice developed spontaneous lung fibrosis. Therapeutic strategies to restore zinc metabolism and appropriate SIRT1 signaling could improve AEC2 progenitor function and mitigate ongoing fibrogenesis.

Authors

Jiurong Liang, Guanling Huang, Xue Liu, Forough Taghavifar, Ningshan Liu, Yizhou Wang, Nan Deng, Changfu Yao, Ting Xie, Vrishika Kulur, Kristy Dai, Ankita Burman, Simon C. Rowan, S. Samuel Weigt, John Belperio, Barry Stripp, William C. Parks, Dianhua Jiang, Paul W. Noble

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Abstract

Subendothelial macrophage internalization of modified lipids and foam cell formation are hallmarks of atherosclerosis. Deubiquitinating enzymes (DUBs) are involved in various cellular activities; however, their role in foam cell formation is not fully understood. Here, using a loss-of-function lipid accumulation screening, we identified ubiquitin-specific peptidase 9 X-linked (USP9X) as a factor that suppressed lipid uptake in macrophages. We found that USP9X expression in lesional macrophages was reduced during atherosclerosis development in both humans and rodents. Atherosclerotic lesions from macrophage USP9X-deficient mice showed increased macrophage infiltration, lipid deposition, and necrotic core content than control apolipoprotein E-knockout (Apoe-/-) mice. Additionally, loss-of-function USP9X exacerbated lipid uptake, foam cell formation and inflammatory responses in macrophages. Mechanistically, the class A1 scavenger receptor (SR-A1) was identified as a USP9X substrate that removed the K63 polyubiquitin chain at the K27 site. Genetic or pharmacological inhibition of USP9X increased SR-A1 cell surface internalization following binding of oxidized low-density lipoprotein (ox-LDL). The K27R mutation of SR-A1 dramatically attenuated basal and USP9X knockdown-induced ox-LDL uptake. Moreover, blocking binding of USP9X to SR-A1 with a cell-penetrating peptide exacerbated foam cell formation and atherosclerosis. In this study, we identified macrophage USP9X as a beneficial regulator of atherosclerosis and revealed the specific mechanisms for the development of potential therapeutic strategies for atherosclerosis.

Authors

Biqing Wang, Xuening Tang, Liu Yao, Yuxin Wang, Zhipeng Chen, Mengqi Li, Naishi Wu, Dawei Wu, Xiangchen Dai, Hongfeng Jiang, Ding Ai

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Abstract

PRAME is a prominent member of the cancer germline antigen family of proteins, which triggers autologous T-cell mediated immune responses. Integrative genomic analysis in diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) uncovered recurrent, and highly focal deletions of 22q11.22 including the PRAME gene, which were associated with poor outcome. PRAME-deleted tumors showed cytotoxic T-cell immune escape and were associated with cold tumor microenvironments. In addition, PRAME down-modulation was strongly associated with somatic EZH2 Y641 mutations in DLBCL. In turn, PRC2-regulated genes were repressed in isogenic PRAME KO lymphoma cell lines and PRAME was found to directly interact with EZH2 as a negative regulator. EZH2 inhibition with EPZ-6438 abrogated these extrinsic and intrinsic effects leading to PRAME expression and microenvironment restoration in vivo. Our data highlight multiple functions of PRAME during lymphomagenesis, and provide a preclinical rationale for synergistic therapies combining epigenetic re-programming with PRAME-targeted therapies.

Authors

Katsuyoshi Takata, Lauren C. Chong, Daisuke Ennishi, Tomohiro Aoki, Michael Yu Li, Avinash Thakur, Shannon Healy, Elena Viganò, Tao Dao, Daniel Kwon, Gerben Duns, Julie S. Nielsen, Susana Ben-Neriah, Ethan Tse, Stacy S. Hung, Merrill Boyle, Sung Soo Mun, Christopher M. Bourne, Bruce Woolcock, Adèle H. Telenius, Makoto Kishida, Shinya Rai, Allen W. Zhang, Ali Bashashati, Saeed Saberi, Gianluca D' Antonio, Brad H. Nelson, Sohrab P. Shah, Pamela A. Hoodless, Ari M. Melnick, Randy D. Gascoyne, Joseph M. Connors, David A. Scheinberg, Wendy Béguelin, David W. Scott, Christian Steidl

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Abstract

Enhanced de novo lipogenesis mediated by sterol regulatory element-binding proteins (SREBPs) is thought to be involved in nonalcoholic steatohepatitis (NASH) pathogenesis. In this study, we assessed the impact of SREBP inhibition on NASH and liver cancer development in murine models. Unexpectedly, SREBP inhibition via deletion of the SREBP cleavage-activating protein (SCAP) in the liver exacerbated liver injury, fibrosis, and carcinogenesis, despite markedly reduced hepatic steatosis. These phenotypes were ameliorated by restoring SREBP function. Transcriptome and lipidome analyses revealed that SCAP–SREBP pathway inhibition altered the fatty acid (FA) composition of phosphatidylcholines due to both impaired FA synthesis and disorganized FA incorporation into phosphatidylcholine via lysophosphatidylcholine acyltransferase 3 (LPCAT3) downregulation, which led to endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress and hepatocyte injury. Supplementation of phosphatidylcholines significantly improved liver injury and ER stress induced by SCAP deletion. The activity of SCAP-SREBP-LPCAT3 axis was found inversely associated with liver fibrosis severity in human NASH. SREBP inhibition also cooperated with impaired autophagy to trigger liver injury. Thus, excessively strong and broad lipogenesis inhibition was counterproductive for NASH therapy, which will have important clinical implications in NASH treatment.

Authors

Satoshi Kawamura, Yuki Matsushita, Shigeyuki Kurosaki, Mizuki Tange, Naoto Fujiwara, Yuki Hayata, Yoku Hayakawa, Nobumi Suzuki, Masahiro Hata, Mayo Tsuboi, Takahiro Kishikawa, Hiroto Kinoshita, Takuma Nakatsuka, Masaya Sato, Yotaro Kudo, Yujin Hoshida, Atsushi Umemura, Akiko Eguchi, Tsuneo Ikenoue, Yoshihiro Hirata, Motonari Uesugi, Ryosuke Tateishi, Keisuke Tateishi, Mitsuhiro Fujishiro, Kazuhiko Koike, Hayato Nakagawa

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Abstract

Virus-specific CD8+ T cells play a central role in HIV-1 natural controllers to maintain suppressed viremia in the absence of antiretroviral therapy. These cells display a memory program that confers them stemness properties, high survival, polyfunctionality, proliferative capacity, metabolic plasticity, and antiviral potential. The development and maintenance of such qualities by memory CD8+ T cells appear crucial to achieving natural HIV-1 control. Here we show that targeting the signaling pathways Wnt/TCF-1 and mTORC through GSK3 inhibition to reprogram HIV-specific CD8+ T cells from non-controllers promoted functional capacities associated with natural control of infection. Features of such reprogrammed cells included the enrichment in TCF-1+ less-differentiated subsets, superior response to antigen, enhanced survival, polyfunctionality, metabolic plasticity, less mTORC1-dependency, improved response to γ-chain cytokines and stronger HIV suppressive capacity. Thus, such CD8+ T cell reprogramming, combined with other available immunomodulators, might represent a promising strategy for adoptive cell therapy in the search for an HIV-1 cure.

Authors

Federico Perdomo-Celis, Caroline Passaes, Valérie Monceaux, Stevenn Volant, Faroudy Boufassa, Pierre de Truchis, Morgane Marcou, Katia Bourdic, Laurence Weiss, Corinne Jung, Christine Bourgeois, Cécile Goujard, Laurence Meyer, Michaela Müller-Trutwin, Olivier Lambotte, Asier Sáez-Cirión

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April 2022 JCI This Month

JCI This Month is a digest of the research, reviews, and other features published each month.

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Review Series - More

New Therapeutic Targets in Cardiovascular Diseases

Series edited by Daniel P. Kelly

Cardiovascular diseases remain a leading cause of death worldwide, and treatment is complicated by the inadequacies of available therapies. This collection of reviews, developed by Daniel P. Kelly, explores emerging strategies for treating a range of cardiac pathologies, including: recent discoveries of epigenetic regulators that can be targeted to combat cardiac fibrosis, state of the art in genome-editing therapies, interactions of the vascular endothelium with metabolic tissues, current understanding of myosin modulators, and novel targets for treating dyslipidemia. Together, the reviews provide a broad update on numerous advances in cardiovascular medicine.

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