Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a devastating autoimmune disease in which hyperactive T cells play a critical role. Understanding molecular mechanisms underlying the T cell hyperactivity will lead to identification of specific therapeutic targets. Serine/arginine-rich splicing factor 1 (SRSF1) is an essential RNA-binding protein that controls posttranscriptional gene expression. We have demonstrated that SRSF1 levels are aberrantly decreased in T cells from patients with SLE and that they correlate with severe disease, yet the role of SRSF1 in T cell physiology and autoimmune disease is largely unknown. Here we show that T cell–restricted Srsf1-deficient mice develop systemic autoimmunity and lupus-nephritis. Mice exhibit increased frequencies of activated/effector T cells producing proinflammatory cytokines, and an elevated T cell activation gene signature. Mechanistically, we noted increased activity of the mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway and reduced expression of its repressor PTEN. The mTOR complex 1 (mTORC1) inhibitor rapamycin suppressed proinflammatory cytokine production by T cells and alleviated autoimmunity in Srsf1-deficient mice. Of direct clinical relevance, PTEN levels correlated with SRSF1 in T cells from patients with SLE, and SRSF1 overexpression rescued PTEN and suppressed mTORC1 activation and proinflammatory cytokine production. Our studies reveal the role of a previously unrecognized molecule, SRSF1, in restraining T cell activation, averting the development of autoimmune disease, and acting as a potential therapeutic target for lupus.
Takayuki Katsuyama, Hao Li, Denis Comte, George C. Tsokos, Vaishali R. Moulton
Both miRNAs and A-to-I RNA editing, a widespread nucleotide modification mechanism, have recently emerged as key players in cancer pathophysiology. However, the functional impact of RNA editing of miRNAs in cancer remains largely unexplored. Here, we focused on an ADAR2-catalyzed RNA editing site within the miR-379-5p seed region. This site was under-edited in tumors relative to normal tissues, with a high editing level being correlated with better patient survival times across cancer types. We demonstrated that in contrast to wild-type miRNA, edited miR-379-5p inhibited cell proliferation and promoted apoptosis in diverse tumor contexts in vitro, which was due to the ability of edited but not wild-type miR-379-5p to target CD97. Importantly, through nanoliposomal delivery, edited miR-379-5p mimics significantly inhibited tumor growth and extended survival of mice. Our study indicates a role of RNA editing in diversifying miRNA function during cancer progression and highlights the translational potential of edited miRNAs as a new class of cancer therapeutics.
Xiaoyan Xu, Yumeng Wang, Kamalika Mojumdar, Zhicheng Zhou, Kang Jin Jeong, Lingegowda S. Mangala, Shuangxing Yu, Yiu Huen Tsang, Cristian Rodriguez-Aguayo, Yiling Lu, Gabriel Lopez-Berestein, Anil K. Sood, Gordon B. Mills, Han Liang
Ankylosing spondylitis (AS) is a type of axial inflammation. Over time, some patients develop spinal ankylosis and permanent disability; however, current treatment strategies cannot arrest syndesmophyte formation completely. Here, we used mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) from AS patients (AS MSCs) within the enthesis involved in spinal ankylosis to delineate that the HLA-B27–mediated spliced X-box–binding protein 1 (sXBP1)/retinoic acid receptor-β (RARB)/tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (TNAP) axis accelerated the mineralization of AS MSCs, which was independent of Runt-related transcription factor 2 (Runx2). An animal model mimicking AS pathological bony appositions was established by implantation of AS MSCs into the lumbar spine of NOD-SCID mice. We found that TNAP inhibitors, including levamisole and pamidronate, inhibited AS MSC mineralization in vitro and blocked bony appositions in vivo. Furthermore, we demonstrated that the serum bone-specific TNAP (BAP) level was a potential prognostic biomarker to predict AS patients with a high risk for radiographic progression. Our study highlights the importance of the HLA-B27–mediated activation of the sXBP1/RARB/TNAP axis in AS syndesmophyte pathogenesis and provides a new strategy for the diagnosis and prevention of radiographic progression of AS.
Chin-Hsiu Liu, Sengupta Raj, Chun-Hsiung Chen, Kuo-Hsuan Hung, Chung-Tei Chou, Ing-Ho Chen, Jui-Teng Chien, I-Ying Lin, Shii-Yi Yang, Takashi Angata, Wen-Chan Tsai, James Cheng-Chung Wei, I-Shiang Tzeng, Shih-Chieh Hung, Kuo-I Lin
While the outcome of adoptive T cell therapy (ACT) is typically correlated with the functionality of the inoculated T cells, the role of the endogenous T cells is unknown. The success of checkpoint blockade therapy has demonstrated the potentially curative value of preexisting tumor-primed T cells in cancer treatment. Given the results from checkpoint blockade therapy, we hypothesized that endogenous T cells contribute to long-term survival following ACT. Here, we describe a therapeutic approach combining ACT with an oncolytic vaccine that allows simultaneous analysis of antitumor immunity mediated by transferred and endogenous T cells. We found that, in addition to promoting the expansion and tumor infiltration of the transferred T cells, oncolytic vaccines boosted tumor-primed host T cells. We determined that transferred T cells contributed to rapid destruction of large tumor masses while endogenous T cells concurrently prevented the emergence of antigen-loss variants. Moreover, while transferred T cells disappeared shortly after tumor regression, endogenous T cells secured long-term memory with a broad repertoire of antigen specificity. Our findings suggest that this combination strategy may exploit the full potential of ACT and tumor-primed host T cells to eliminate the primary tumor, prevent immune escape, and provide long-term protective memory.
Scott R. Walsh, Boris Simovic, Lan Chen, Donald Bastin, Andrew Nguyen, Kyle Stephenson, Talveer S. Mandur, Jonathan L. Bramson, Brian D. Lichty, Yonghong Wan
Polyunsaturated fatty acids such as docosahexaenoic acid (DHA) positively affect the outcome of retinopathy of prematurity (ROP). Given that DHA metabolism by cytochrome P450 and soluble epoxide hydrolase (sEH) enzymes affects retinal angiogenesis and vascular stability, we investigated the role of sEH in a mouse model of ROP. In WT mice, hyperoxia elicited tyrosine nitration and inhibition of sEH and decreased generation of the DHA-derived diol 19,20-dihydroxydocosapentaenoic acid (DHDP). Correspondingly, in a murine model of ROP, sEH–/– mice developed a larger central avascular zone and peripheral pathological vascular tuft formation than did their WT littermates. Astrocytes were the cells most affected by sEH deletion, and hyperoxia increased astrocyte apoptosis. In rescue experiments, 19,20-DHDP prevented astrocyte loss by targeting the mitochondrial membrane to prevent the hyperoxia-induced dissociation of presenilin-1 and presenilin-1–associated protein to attenuate poly ADP-ribose polymerase activation and mitochondrial DNA damage. Therapeutic intravitreal administration of 19,20-DHDP not only suppressed astrocyte loss but also reduced pathological vascular tuft formation in sEH–/– mice. Our data indicate that sEH activity is required for mitochondrial integrity and retinal astrocyte survival in ROP. Moreover, 19,20-DHDP may be more effective than DHA as a nutritional supplement for preventing retinopathy in preterm infants.
Jiong Hu, Sofia-Iris Bibli, Janina Wittig, Sven Zukunft, Jihong Lin, Hans-Peter Hammes, Rüdiger Popp, Ingrid Fleming
Beclin 1 (Becn1) is a key molecule in the autophagy pathway and has been implicated in cancer development. Due to the embryonic lethality of homozygous Becn1-deficient mice, the precise mechanisms and cell type–specific roles of Becn1 in regulating inflammation and cancer immunity remain elusive. Here, we report that myeloid-deficient Becn1 (Becn1ΔM) mice developed neutrophilia, were hypersusceptible to LPS-induced septic shock, and had a high risk of developing spontaneous precursor B cell (pre-B cell) lymphoma with elevated expressions of immunosuppressive molecules programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) and IL-10. Becn1 deficiency resulted in the stabilization of MEKK3 and aberrant p38 activation in neutrophils, and mediated neutrophil–B cell interaction through Cxcl9/Cxcr3 chemotaxis. Neutrophil–B cell interplay further led to the activation of IL-21/STAT3/IRF1 and CD40L/ERK signaling and PD-L1 expression and thus suppressed CD8+ T cell function. Ablation of p38 in Becn1ΔM mice prevented neutrophil inflammation and B cell tumorigenesis. Importantly, the low expression of Becn1 in human neutrophils was significantly correlated with the PD-L1 levels in pre-B acute lymphoblastic lymphoma (ALL) patients. Our findings have identified myeloid Becn1 as a key regulator of cancer immunity and therapeutic target for pre-B cell lymphomas.
Peng Tan, Lian He, Changsheng Xing, Jingrong Mao, Xiao Yu, Motao Zhu, Lixia Diao, Leng Han, Yubin Zhou, James M. You, Helen Y. Wang, Rong-Fu Wang
Dermal adipose tissue (also known as dermal white adipose tissue and herein referred to as dWAT) has been the focus of much discussion in recent years. However, dWAT remains poorly characterized. The fate of the mature dermal adipocytes and the origin of the rapidly reappearing dermal adipocytes at different stages remain unclear. Here, we isolated dermal adipocytes and characterized dermal fat at the cellular and molecular level. Together with dWAT’s dynamic responses to external stimuli, we established that dermal adipocytes are a distinct class of white adipocytes with high plasticity. By combining pulse-chase lineage tracing and single-cell RNA sequencing, we observed that mature dermal adipocytes undergo dedifferentiation and redifferentiation under physiological and pathophysiological conditions. Upon various challenges, the dedifferentiated cells proliferate and redifferentiate into adipocytes. In addition, manipulation of dWAT highlighted an important role for mature dermal adipocytes for hair cycling and wound healing. Altogether, these observations unravel a surprising plasticity of dermal adipocytes and provide an explanation for the dynamic changes in dWAT mass that occur under physiological and pathophysiological conditions, and highlight the important contributions of dWAT toward maintaining skin homeostasis.
Zhuzhen Zhang, Mengle Shao, Chelsea Hepler, Zhenzhen Zi, Shangang Zhao, Yu A. An, Yi Zhu, Alexandra L. Ghaben, May-yun Wang, Na Li, Toshiharu Onodera, Nolwenn Joffin, Clair Crewe, Qingzhang Zhu, Lavanya Vishvanath, Ashwani Kumar, Chao Xing, Qiong A. Wang, Laurent Gautron, Yingfeng Deng, Ruth Gordillo, Ilja Kruglikov, Christine M. Kusminski, Rana K. Gupta, Philipp E. Scherer
Growing evidence shows that alterations occurring at early developmental stages contribute to symptoms manifested in adulthood in the setting of neurodegenerative diseases. Here, we studied the molecular mechanisms causing giant axonal neuropathy (GAN), a severe neurodegenerative disease due to loss-of-function of the gigaxonin–E3 ligase. We showed that gigaxonin governs Sonic Hedgehog (Shh) induction, the developmental pathway patterning the dorso-ventral axis of the neural tube and muscles, by controlling the degradation of the Shh-bound Patched receptor. Similar to Shh inhibition, repression of gigaxonin in zebrafish impaired motor neuron specification and somitogenesis and abolished neuromuscular junction formation and locomotion. Shh signaling was impaired in gigaxonin-null zebrafish and was corrected by both pharmacological activation of the Shh pathway and human gigaxonin, pointing to an evolutionary-conserved mechanism regulating Shh signaling. Gigaxonin-dependent inhibition of Shh activation was also demonstrated in primary fibroblasts from patients with GAN and in a Shh activity reporter line depleted in gigaxonin. Our findings establish gigaxonin as a key E3 ligase that positively controls the initiation of Shh transduction, and reveal the causal role of Shh dysfunction in motor deficits, thus highlighting the developmental origin of GAN.
Yoan Arribat, Karolina S. Mysiak, Léa Lescouzères, Alexia Boizot, Maxime Ruiz, Mireille Rossel, Pascale Bomont
SH3 domain–binding protein that preferentially associates with Btk (SAB) is an outer-membrane docking protein for JNK-mediated impairment of mitochondrial function. Deletion of Sab in hepatocytes inhibits sustained JNK activation and cell death. The current study demonstrates that an increase in SAB expression enhanced the severity of acetaminophen-induced (APAP-induced) liver injury. Female mice were resistant to liver injury and exhibited markedly decreased hepatic SAB protein expression compared with male mice. The mechanism of SAB repression involved a pathway from ERα to p53 expression that induced miR34a-5p. miR34a-5p targeted the Sab mRNA coding region, thereby repressing SAB expression. Fulvestrant or p53 knockdown decreased miR34a-5p and increased SAB expression in female mice, leading to increased injury from APAP and TNF/galactosamine. In contrast, an ERα agonist increased p53 and miR34a-5p, which decreased SAB expression and hepatotoxicity in male mice. Hepatocyte-specific deletion of miR34a also increased the severity of liver injury in female mice, which was prevented by GalNAc-ASO knockdown of Sab. Similar to mice, premenopausal women expressed elevated levels of hepatic p53 and low levels of SAB, whereas age-matched men expressed low levels of p53 and high levels of SAB, but there was no difference in SAB expression between the sexes in the postmenopausal stage. In conclusion, SAB expression levels determined the severity of JNK-dependent liver injury. Female mice expressed low levels of hepatic SAB protein because of the ERα/p53/miR34a pathway, which repressed SAB expression and accounted for the resistance to liver injury seen in these females.
Sanda Win, Robert W.M. Min, Christopher Q. Chen, Jun Zhang, Yibu Chen, Meng Li, Ayako Suzuki, Manal F. Abdelmalek, Ying Wang, Mariam Aghajan, Filbert W.M. Aung, Anna Mae Diehl, Roger J. Davis, Tin A. Than, Neil Kaplowitz
Resolution of acute inflammation is an active process orchestrated by endogenous mediators and mechanisms pivotal in host defense and homeostasis. The macrophage mediator in resolving inflammation, maresin 1 (MaR1), is a potent immunoresolvent, stimulating resolution of acute inflammation and organ protection. Using an unbiased screening of greater than 200 GPCRs, we identified MaR1 as a stereoselective activator for human leucine-rich repeat containing G protein–coupled receptor 6 (LGR6), expressed in phagocytes. MaR1 specificity for recombinant human LGR6 activation was established using reporter cells expressing LGR6 and functional impedance sensing. MaR1-specific binding to LGR6 was confirmed using 3H-labeled MaR1. With human and mouse phagocytes, MaR1 (0.01–10 nM) enhanced phagocytosis, efferocytosis, and phosphorylation of a panel of proteins including the ERK and cAMP response element-binding protein. These MaR1 actions were significantly amplified with LGR6 overexpression and diminished by gene silencing in phagocytes. Thus, we provide evidence for MaR1 as an endogenous activator of human LGR6 and a novel role of LGR6 in stimulating MaR1’s key proresolving functions of phagocytes.
Nan Chiang, Stephania Libreros, Paul C. Norris, Xavier de la Rosa, Charles N. Serhan
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