HSP27 is highly expressed in, and supports oncogene addiction of, many cancers. HSP27 phosphorylation is a limiting step for activation of this protein and a target for inhibition, but its highly disordered structure challenges rational structure-guided drug discovery. We performed multistep biochemical, structural, and computational experiments to define a spherical 24-monomer complex composed of 12 HSP27 dimers with a phosphorylation pocket flanked by serine residues between their N-terminal domains. Ivermectin directly binds this pocket to inhibit MAPKAP2-mediated HSP27 phosphorylation and depolymerization, thereby blocking HSP27-regulated survival signaling and client-oncoprotein interactions. Ivermectin potentiated activity of anti–androgen receptor and anti-EGFR drugs in prostate and EGFR/HER2-driven tumor models, respectively, identifying a repurposing approach for cotargeting stress-adaptive responses to overcome resistance to inhibitors of oncogenic pathway signaling.
Lucia Nappi, Adeleke H. Aguda, Nader Al Nakouzi, Barbara Lelj-Garolla, Eliana Beraldi, Nada Lallous, Marisa Thi, Susan Moore, Ladan Fazli, Dulguun Battsogt, Sophie Stoffeliene, Fuqiang Ban, Nham T. Nguyen, Neetu Saxena, Evgenia Dueva, Fan Zhang, Takeshi Yamazaki, Amina Zoubeidi, Artem Cherkasov, Gary D. Brayer, Martin Gleave
β-Thalassemia is a genetic anemia caused by partial or complete loss of β-globin synthesis, leading to ineffective erythropoiesis and RBCs with a short life span. Currently, there is no efficacious oral medication modifying anemia for patients with β-thalassemia. The inappropriately low levels of the iron regulatory hormone hepcidin enable excessive iron absorption by ferroportin, the unique cellular iron exporter in mammals, leading to organ iron overload and associated morbidities. Correction of unbalanced iron absorption and recycling by induction of hepcidin synthesis or treatment with hepcidin mimetics ameliorates β-thalassemia. However, hepcidin modulation or replacement strategies currently in clinical development all require parenteral drug administration. We identified oral ferroportin inhibitors by screening a library of small molecular weight compounds for modulators of ferroportin internalization. Restricting iron availability by VIT-2763, the first clinical stage oral ferroportin inhibitor, ameliorated anemia and the dysregulated iron homeostasis in the Hbbth3/+ mouse model of β-thalassemia intermedia. VIT-2763 not only improved erythropoiesis but also corrected the proportions of myeloid precursors in spleens of Hbbth3/+ mice. VIT-2763 is currently being developed as an oral drug targeting ferroportin for the treatment of β-thalassemia.
Vania Manolova, Naja Nyffenegger, Anna Flace, Patrick Altermatt, Ahmet Varol, Cédric Doucerain, Hanna Sundstrom, Franz Dürrenberger
Recent occurrences of filoviruses and the arenavirus Lassa virus (LASV) in overlapping endemic areas of Africa highlight the need for a prophylactic vaccine that would confer protection against all of these viruses that cause lethal hemorrhagic fever (HF). We developed a quadrivalent formulation of VesiculoVax that contains recombinant vesicular stomatitis virus (rVSV) vectors expressing filovirus glycoproteins and that also contains a rVSV vector expressing the glycoprotein of a lineage IV strain of LASV. Cynomolgus macaques were vaccinated twice with the quadrivalent formulation, followed by challenge 28 days after the boost vaccination with each of the 3 corresponding filoviruses (Ebola, Sudan, Marburg) or a heterologous contemporary lineage II strain of LASV. Serum IgG and neutralizing antibody responses specific for all 4 glycoproteins were detected in all vaccinated animals. A modest and balanced cell-mediated immune response specific for the glycoproteins was also detected in most of the vaccinated macaques. Regardless of the level of total glycoprotein-specific immune response detected after vaccination, all immunized animals were protected from disease and death following lethal challenges. These findings indicate that vaccination with attenuated rVSV vectors each expressing a single HF virus glycoprotein may provide protection against those filoviruses and LASV most commonly responsible for outbreaks of severe HF in Africa.
Robert W. Cross, Rong Xu, Demetrius Matassov, Stefan Hamm, Theresa E. Latham, Cheryl S. Gerardi, Rebecca M. Nowak, Joan B. Geisbert, Ayuko Ota-Setlik, Krystle N. Agans, Amara Luckay, Susan E. Witko, Lena Soukieh, Daniel J. Deer, Chad E. Mire, Heinz Feldmann, Christian Happi, Karla A. Fenton, John H. Eldridge, Thomas W. Geisbert
X-linked immunodeficiency with magnesium defect, EBV infection, and neoplasia (XMEN) disease is caused by deficiency of the magnesium transporter 1 (MAGT1) gene. We studied 23 patients with XMEN, 8 of whom were EBV naive. We observed lymphadenopathy (LAD), cytopenias, liver disease, cavum septum pellucidum (CSP), and increased CD4–CD8–B220–TCRαβ+ T cells (αβDNTs), in addition to the previously described features of an inverted CD4/CD8 ratio, CD4+ T lymphocytopenia, increased B cells, dysgammaglobulinemia, and decreased expression of the natural killer group 2, member D (NKG2D) receptor. EBV-associated B cell malignancies occurred frequently in EBV-infected patients. We studied patients with XMEN and patients with autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome (ALPS) by deep immunophenotyping (32 immune markers) using time-of-flight mass cytometry (CyTOF). Our analysis revealed that the abundance of 2 populations of naive B cells (CD20+CD27–CD22+IgM+HLA-DR+CXCR5+CXCR4++CD10+CD38+ and CD20+CD27–CD22+IgM+HLA-DR+CXCR5+CXCR4+CD10–CD38–) could differentially classify XMEN, ALPS, and healthy individuals. We also performed glycoproteomics analysis on T lymphocytes and show that XMEN disease is a congenital disorder of glycosylation that affects a restricted subset of glycoproteins. Transfection of MAGT1 mRNA enabled us to rescue proteins with defective glycosylation. Together, these data provide new clinical and pathophysiological foundations with important ramifications for the diagnosis and treatment of XMEN disease.
Juan C. Ravell, Mami Matsuda-Lennikov, Samuel D. Chauvin, Juan Zou, Matthew Biancalana, Sally J. Deeb, Susan Price, Helen C. Su, Giulia Notarangelo, Ping Jiang, Aaron Morawski, Chrysi Kanellopoulou, Kyle Binder, Ratnadeep Mukherjee, James T. Anibal, Brian Sellers, Lixin Zheng, Tingyan He, Alex B. George, Stefania Pittaluga, Astin Powers, David E. Kleiner, Devika Kapuria, Marc Ghany, Sally Hunsberger, Jeffrey I. Cohen, Gulbu Uzel, Jenna Bergerson, Lynne Wolfe, Camilo Toro, William Gahl, Les R. Folio, Helen Matthews, Pam Angelus, Ivan K. Chinn, Jordan S. Orange, Claudia M. Trujillo-Vargas, Jose Luis Franco, Julio Orrego-Arango, Sebastian Gutiérrez-Hincapié, Niraj Chandrakant Patel, Kimiyo Raymond, Turkan Patiroglu, Ekrem Unal, Musa Karakukcu, Alexandre G.R. Day, Pankaj Mehta, Evan Masutani, Suk S. De Ravin, Harry L. Malech, Grégoire Altan-Bonnet, V. Koneti Rao, Matthias Mann, Michael J. Lenardo
Although most patients with type 1 diabetes (T1D) retain some functional insulin-producing islet β cells at the time of diagnosis, the rate of further β cell loss varies across individuals. It is not clear what drives this differential progression rate. CD8+ T cells have been implicated in the autoimmune destruction of β cells. Here, we addressed whether the phenotype and function of autoreactive CD8+ T cells influence disease progression. We identified islet-specific CD8+ T cells using high-content, single-cell mass cytometry in combination with peptide-loaded MHC tetramer staining. We applied a new analytical method, DISCOV-R, to characterize these rare subsets. Autoreactive T cells were phenotypically heterogeneous, and their phenotype differed by rate of disease progression. Activated islet-specific CD8+ memory T cells were prevalent in subjects with T1D who experienced rapid loss of C-peptide; in contrast, slow disease progression was associated with an exhaustion-like profile, with expression of multiple inhibitory receptors, limited cytokine production, and reduced proliferative capacity. This relationship between properties of autoreactive CD8+ T cells and the rate of T1D disease progression after onset make these phenotypes attractive putative biomarkers of disease trajectory and treatment response and reveal potential targets for therapeutic intervention.
Alice E. Wiedeman, Virginia S. Muir, Mario G. Rosasco, Hannah A. DeBerg, Scott Presnell, Bertrand Haas, Matthew J. Dufort, Cate Speake, Carla J. Greenbaum, Elisavet Serti, Gerald T. Nepom, Gabriele Blahnik, Anna M. Kus, Eddie A. James, Peter S. Linsley, S. Alice Long
An excess of fecal bile acids (BAs) is thought to be one of the mechanisms for diarrhea-predominant irritable bowel syndrome (IBS-D). However, the factors causing excessive BA excretion remain incompletely studied. Given the importance of gut microbiota in BA metabolism, we hypothesized that gut dysbiosis might contribute to excessive BA excretion in IBS-D. By performing BA-related metabolic and metagenomic analyses in 290 IBS-D patients and 89 healthy volunteers, we found that 24.5% of IBS-D patients exhibited excessive excretion of total BAs and alteration of BA-transforming bacteria in feces. Notably, the increase in Clostridia bacteria (e.g., C. scindens) was positively associated with the levels of fecal BAs and serum 7α-hydroxy-4-cholesten-3-one (C4), but negatively correlated with serum fibroblast growth factor 19 (FGF19) concentration. Furthermore, colonization with Clostridia-rich IBS-D fecal microbiota or C. scindens individually enhanced serum C4 and hepatic conjugated BAs but reduced ileal FGF19 expression in mice. Inhibition of Clostridium species with vancomycin yielded opposite results. Clostridia-derived BAs suppressed the intestinal FGF19 expression in vitro and in vivo. In conclusion, this study demonstrates that the Clostridia-rich microbiota contributes to excessive BA excretion in IBS-D patients, which provides a mechanistic hypothesis with testable clinical implications.
Ling Zhao, Wei Yang, Yang Chen, Fengjie Huang, Lin Lu, Chengyuan Lin, Tao Huang, Ziwan Ning, Lixiang Zhai, Linda L.D. Zhong, Waiching Lam, Zhen Yang, Xuan Zhang, Chungwah Cheng, Lijuan Han, Qinwei Qiu, Xiaoxiao Shang, Runyue Huang, Haitao Xiao, Zhenxing Ren, Dongfeng Chen, Silong Sun, Hani El-Nezami, Zongwei Cai, Aiping Lu, Xiaodong Fang, Wei Jia, Zhaoxiang Bian
Alterations in gut microbiota impact the pathophysiology of several diseases, including cancer. Radiotherapy (RT), an established curative and palliative cancer treatment, exerts potent immune modulatory effects, inducing tumor-associated antigen (TAA) cross-priming with antitumor CD8+ T cell elicitation and abscopal effects. We tested whether the gut microbiota modulates antitumor immune response following RT distal to the gut. Vancomycin, an antibiotic that acts mainly on gram-positive bacteria and is restricted to the gut, potentiated the RT-induced antitumor immune response and tumor growth inhibition. This synergy was dependent on TAA cross presentation to cytolytic CD8+ T cells and on IFN-γ. Notably, butyrate, a metabolite produced by the vancomycin-depleted gut bacteria, abrogated the vancomycin effect. In conclusion, depletion of vancomycin-sensitive bacteria enhances the antitumor activity of RT, which has important clinical ramifications.
Mireia Uribe-Herranz, Stavros Rafail, Silvia Beghi, Luis Gil-de-Gómez, Ioannis Verginadis, Kyle Bittinger, Sergey Pustylnikov, Stefano Pierini, Renzo Perales-Linares, Ian A. Blair, Clementina A. Mesaros, Nathaniel W. Snyder, Frederic Bushman, Constantinos Koumenis, Andrea Facciabene
Patients with bladder cancer (BCa) with clinical lymph node (LN) metastasis have an extremely poor prognosis. VEGF-C has been demonstrated to play vital roles in LN metastasis in BCa. However, approximately 20% of BCa with LN metastasis exhibits low VEGF-C expression, suggesting a VEGF-C–independent mechanism for LN metastasis of BCa. Herein, we demonstrate that BCa cell–secreted exosome-mediated lymphangiogenesis promoted LN metastasis in BCa in a VEGF-C–independent manner. We identified an exosomal long noncoding RNA (lncRNA), termed lymph node metastasis-associated transcript 2 (LNMAT2), that stimulated human lymphatic endothelial cell (HLEC) tube formation and migration in vitro and enhanced tumor lymphangiogenesis and LN metastasis in vivo. Mechanistically, LNMAT2 was loaded to BCa cell–secreted exosomes by directly interacting with heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein A2B1 (hnRNPA2B1). Subsequently, exosomal LNMAT2 was internalized by HLECs and epigenetically upregulated prospero homeobox 1 (PROX1) expression by recruitment of hnRNPA2B1 and increasing the H3K4 trimethylation level in the PROX1 promoter, ultimately resulting in lymphangiogenesis and lymphatic metastasis. Therefore, our findings highlight a VEGF-C–independent mechanism of exosomal lncRNA-mediated LN metastasis and identify LNMAT2 as a therapeutic target for LN metastasis in BCa.
Changhao Chen, Yuming Luo, Wang He, Yue Zhao, Yao Kong, Hongwei Liu, Guangzheng Zhong, Yuting Li, Jun Li, Jian Huang, Rufu Chen, Tianxin Lin
Immunotherapy targeting programmed cell death-1 (PD-1) induces durable antitumor efficacy in many types of cancer. However, such clinical benefit is limited because of the insufficient reinvigoration of antitumor immunity with the drug alone; therefore, rational therapeutic combinations are required to improve its efficacy. In our preclinical study, we evaluated the antitumor effect of U3-1402, a human epidermal growth factor receptor 3–targeting (HER3–targeting) antibody-drug conjugate, and its potential synergism with PD-1 inhibition. Using a syngeneic mouse tumor model that is refractory to anti–PD-1 therapy, we found that treatment with U3-1402 exhibited an obvious antitumor effect via direct lysis of tumor cells. Disruption of tumor cells by U3-1402 enhanced the infiltration of innate and adaptive immune cells. Chemotherapy with exatecan derivative (Dxd, the drug payload of U3-1402) revealed that the enhanced antitumor immunity produced by U3-1402 was associated with the induction of alarmins, including high-mobility group box-1 (HMGB-1), via tumor-specific cytotoxicity. Notably, U3-1402 significantly sensitized the tumor to PD-1 blockade, as a combination of U3-1402 and the PD-1 inhibitor significantly enhanced antitumor immunity. Further, clinical analyses indicated that tumor-specific HER3 expression was frequently observed in patients with PD-1 inhibitor–resistant solid tumors. Overall, U3-1402 is a promising candidate as a partner of immunotherapy for such patients.
Koji Haratani, Kimio Yonesaka, Shiki Takamura, Osamu Maenishi, Ryoji Kato, Naoki Takegawa, Hisato Kawakami, Kaoru Tanaka, Hidetoshi Hayashi, Masayuki Takeda, Naoyuki Maeda, Takashi Kagari, Kenji Hirotani, Junji Tsurutani, Kazuto Nishio, Katsumi Doi, Masaaki Miyazawa, Kazuhiko Nakagawa
Tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) induce molecular remission in the majority of patients with chronic myelogenous leukemia (CML), but the persistence of CML stem cells hinders cure and necessitates indefinite TKI therapy. We report that CML stem cells upregulate the expression of pleiotrophin (PTN) and require cell-autonomous PTN signaling for CML pathogenesis in BCR/ABL+ mice. Constitutive PTN deletion substantially reduced the numbers of CML stem cells capable of initiating CML in vivo. Hematopoietic cell–specific deletion of PTN suppressed CML development in BCR/ABL+ mice, suggesting that cell-autonomous PTN signaling was necessary for CML disease evolution. Mechanistically, PTN promoted CML stem cell survival and TKI resistance via induction of Jun and the unfolded protein response. Human CML cells were also dependent on cell-autonomous PTN signaling, and anti-PTN antibody suppressed human CML colony formation and CML repopulation in vivo. Our results suggest that targeted inhibition of PTN has therapeutic potential to eradicate CML stem cells.
Heather A. Himburg, Martina Roos, Tiancheng Fang, Yurun Zhang, Christina M. Termini, Lauren Schlussel, Mindy Kim, Amara Pang, Jenny Kan, Liman Zhao, Hyung Suh, Joshua P. Sasine, Gopal Sapparapu, Peter M. Bowers, Gary Schiller, John P. Chute
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