Gene therapy slows vision loss in mouse models of retinal degeneration. Coverage by Medical Xpress on NRF2 promotes neuronal survival in neurodegeneration and acute nerve damage.
Insulin-resistance mutation discovery. Coverage by Diabetes.co.uk and Stanford Medicine on Identification and validation of N-acetyltransferase 2 as an insulin sensitivity gene.
Severity of RSV worsened by gene variation and environment. Coverage by Infection Control Today on TLR4 genotype and environmental LPS mediate RSV bronchiolitis through Th2 polarization.
Stem cell associated with leukemia. Coverage by The Michigan Daily, News-Medical.net , and Medical Xpress on Specific molecular signatures predict decitabine response in chronic myelomonocytic leukemia.
Pancreatic cell defect could lead to diabetes treatment. Coverage by Nephrology News & Issues on Calcium release channel RyR2 regulates insulin release and glucose homeostasis.
Metabolic compensation underlies drug resistance in glioblastoma. Coverage by Medical Xpress on Compensatory glutamine metabolism promotes glioblastoma resistance to mTOR inhibitor treatment.
Bone growth as possible therapy for osteoporosis and obesity. Coverage by Health Canal on S-nitrosoglutathione reductase–dependent PPARγ denitrosylation participates in MSC-derived adipogenesis and osteogenesis.
Study may identify new cause of brain bleeds in fetuses and newborns. Coverage by Medical Xpress on Maternal anti-platelet β3 integrins impair angiogenesis and cause intracranial hemorrhage.
Huntington's disease human clinical trial. Coverage by Metro News Canada on Quantification of mutant huntingtin protein in cerebrospinal fluid from Huntington’s disease patients.
Reprogramming hepatocyte memory of liver disease. Coverage by Nature on Resetting the transcription factor network reverses terminal chronic hepatic failure.
Biomarkers could enable TB test diagnosis and monitoring. Coverage by Healthcare Global, Vaccine News Daily, and Medical Xpress on Biomarkers on patient T cells diagnose active tuberculosis and monitor treatment response.
Identification of drug combinations that reverse HIV-1 latency. Coverage by Medical Xpress on Ex vivo analysis identifies effective HIV-1 latency–reversing drug combinations.
Novel drug combination may lead to effective colon and bladder cancer treatment. Coverage by Medical Xpress and Asian Scientist on Casein kinase 1α–dependent feedback loop controls autophagy in RAS-driven cancers.
Oxidative stress contributes to the loss of neurons in many disease conditions as well as during normal aging; however, small-molecule agents that reduce oxidation have not been successful in preventing neurodegeneration. Moreover, even if an efficacious systemic reduction of reactive oxygen and/or nitrogen species (ROS/NOS) could be achieved, detrimental side effects are likely, as these molecules regulate normal physiological processes. A more effective and targeted approach might be to augment the endogenous antioxidant defense mechanism only in the cells that suffer from oxidation. Here, we created several adeno-associated virus (AAV) vectors to deliver genes that combat oxidation. These vectors encode the transcription factors NRF2 and/or PGC1a, which regulate hundreds of genes that combat oxidation and other forms of stress, or enzymes such as superoxide dismutase 2 (SOD2) and catalase, which directly detoxify ROS. We tested the effectiveness of this approach in 3 models of photoreceptor degeneration and in a nerve crush model. AAV-mediated delivery of NRF2 was more effective than SOD2 and catalase, while expression of PGC1a accelerated photoreceptor death. Since the NRF2-mediated neuroprotective effects extended to photoreceptors and retinal ganglion cells, which are 2 very different types of neurons, these results suggest that this targeted approach may be broadly applicable to many diseases in which cells suffer from oxidative damage.
Wenjun Xiong, Alexandra E. MacColl Garfinkel, Yiqing Li, Larry I. Benowitz, Constance L. Cepko
Decreased insulin sensitivity, also referred to as insulin resistance (IR), is a
fundamental abnormality in patients with type 2 diabetes and a risk factor for
cardiovascular disease. While IR predisposition is heritable, the genetic basis remains
largely unknown. The GENEticS of Insulin Sensitivity consortium conducted a genome-wide
association study (GWAS) for direct measures of insulin sensitivity, such as euglycemic
clamp or insulin suppression test, in 2,764 European individuals, with replication in an
additional 2,860 individuals. The presence of a nonsynonymous variant of
N-acetyltransferase 2 (
Joshua W. Knowles, Weijia Xie, Zhongyang Zhang, Indumathi Chennemsetty, Themistocles L. Assimes, Jussi Paananen, Ola Hansson, James Pankow, Mark O. Goodarzi, Ivan Carcamo-Orive, Andrew P. Morris, Yii-Der I. Chen, Ville-Petteri Mäkinen, Andrea Ganna, Anubha Mahajan, Xiuqing Guo, Fahim Abbasi, Danielle M. Greenawalt, Pek Lum, Cliona Molony, Lars Lind, Cecilia Lindgren, Leslie J. Raffel, Philip S. Tsao, The RISC (Relationship between Insulin Sensitivity and Cardiovascular Disease) Consortium, The EUGENE2 (European Network on Functional Genomics of Type 2 Diabetes) Study, The GUARDIAN (Genetics UndeRlying DIAbetes in HispaNics) Consortium, The SAPPHIRe (Stanford Asian and Pacific Program for Hypertension and Insulin Resistance) Study, Eric E. Schadt, Jerome I. Rotter, Alan Sinaiko, Gerald Reaven, Xia Yang, Chao A. Hsiung, Leif Groop, Heather J. Cordell, Markku Laakso, Ke Hao, Erik Ingelsson, Timothy M. Frayling, Michael N. Weedon, Mark Walker, Thomas Quertermous
While 30%–70% of RSV-infected infants develop bronchiolitis, 2% require hospitalization. It is not clear why disease severity differs among healthy, full-term infants; however, virus titers, inflammation, and Th2 bias are proposed explanations. While TLR4 is associated with these disease phenotypes, the role of this receptor in respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) pathogenesis is controversial. Here, we evaluated the interaction between TLR4 and environmental factors in RSV disease and defined the immune mediators associated with severe illness. Two independent populations of infants with RSV bronchiolitis revealed that the severity of RSV infection is determined by the
Mauricio T. Caballero, M. Elina Serra, Patricio L. Acosta, Jacqui Marzec, Luz Gibbons, Maximiliano Salim, Andrea Rodriguez, Andrea Reynaldi, Alejandro Garcia, Daniela Bado, Ursula J. Buchholz, Diego R. Hijano, Silvina Coviello, Dawn Newcomb, Miguel Bellabarba, Fausto M. Ferolla, Romina Libster, Ada Berenstein, Susana Siniawaski, Valeria Blumetti, Marcela Echavarria, Leonardo Pinto, Andrea Lawrence, M. Fabiana Ossorio, Arnoldo Grosman, Cecilia G. Mateu, Carola Bayle, Alejandra Dericco, Mariana Pellegrini, Ignacio Igarza, Horacio A. Repetto, Luciano Alva Grimaldi, Prathyusha Gudapati, Norberto R. Polack, Fernando Althabe, Min Shi, Fernando Ferrero, Eduardo Bergel, Renato T. Stein, R. Stokes Peebles, Mark Boothby, Steven R. Kleeberger, Fernando P. Polack
Myelodysplastic syndromes and chronic myelomonocytic leukemia (CMML) are characterized by mutations in genes encoding epigenetic modifiers and aberrant DNA methylation. DNA methyltransferase inhibitors (DMTis) are used to treat these disorders, but response is highly variable, with few means to predict which patients will benefit. Here, we examined baseline differences in mutations, DNA methylation, and gene expression in 40 CMML patients who were responsive or resistant to decitabine (DAC) in order to develop a molecular means of predicting response at diagnosis. While somatic mutations did not differentiate responders from nonresponders, we identified 167 differentially methylated regions (DMRs) of DNA at baseline that distinguished responders from nonresponders using next-generation sequencing. These DMRs were primarily localized to nonpromoter regions and overlapped with distal regulatory enhancers. Using the methylation profiles, we developed an epigenetic classifier that accurately predicted DAC response at the time of diagnosis. Transcriptional analysis revealed differences in gene expression at diagnosis between responders and nonresponders. In responders, the upregulated genes included those that are associated with the cell cycle, potentially contributing to effective DAC incorporation. Treatment with CXCL4 and CXCL7, which were overexpressed in nonresponders, blocked DAC effects in isolated normal CD34+ and primary CMML cells, suggesting that their upregulation contributes to primary DAC resistance.
Kristen Meldi, Tingting Qin, Francesca Buchi, Nathalie Droin, Jason Sotzen, Jean-Baptiste Micol, Dorothée Selimoglu-Buet, Erico Masala, Bernardino Allione, Daniela Gioia, Antonella Poloni, Monia Lunghi, Eric Solary, Omar Abdel-Wahab, Valeria Santini, Maria E. Figueroa
The type 2 ryanodine receptor (RyR2) is a Ca2+ release channel on the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) of several types of cells, including cardiomyocytes and pancreatic β cells. In cardiomyocytes, RyR2-dependent Ca2+ release is critical for excitation-contraction coupling; however, a functional role for RyR2 in β cell insulin secretion and diabetes mellitus remains controversial. Here, we took advantage of rare RyR2 mutations that were identified in patients with a genetic form of exercise-induced sudden death (catecholaminergic polymorphic ventricular tachycardia [CPVT]). As these mutations result in a “leaky” RyR2 channel, we exploited them to assess RyR2 channel function in β cell dynamics. We discovered that CPVT patients with mutant leaky RyR2 present with glucose intolerance, which was heretofore unappreciated. In mice, transgenic expression of CPVT-associated RyR2 resulted in impaired glucose homeostasis, and an in-depth evaluation of pancreatic islets and β cells from these animals revealed intracellular Ca2+ leak via oxidized and nitrosylated RyR2 channels, activated ER stress response, mitochondrial dysfunction, and decreased fuel-stimulated insulin release. Additionally, we verified the effects of the pharmacological inhibition of intracellular Ca2+ leak in CPVT-associated RyR2-expressing mice, in human islets from diabetic patients, and in an established murine model of type 2 diabetes mellitus. Taken together, our data indicate that RyR2 channels play a crucial role in the regulation of insulin secretion and glucose homeostasis.
Gaetano Santulli, Gennaro Pagano, Celestino Sardu, Wenjun Xie, Steven Reiken, Salvatore Luca D’Ascia, Michele Cannone, Nicola Marziliano, Bruno Trimarco, Theresa A. Guise, Alain Lacampagne, Andrew R. Marks
The mechanistic target of rapamycin (mTOR) is hyperactivated in many types of cancer, rendering it a compelling drug target; however, the impact of mTOR inhibition on metabolic reprogramming in cancer is incompletely understood. Here, by integrating metabolic and functional studies in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) cell lines, preclinical models, and clinical samples, we demonstrate that the compensatory upregulation of glutamine metabolism promotes resistance to mTOR kinase inhibitors. Metabolomic studies in GBM cells revealed that glutaminase (GLS) and glutamate levels are elevated following mTOR kinase inhibitor treatment. Moreover, these mTOR inhibitor–dependent metabolic alterations were confirmed in a GBM xenograft model. Expression of GLS following mTOR inhibitor treatment promoted GBM survival in an α-ketoglutarate–dependent (αKG-dependent) manner. Combined genetic and/or pharmacological inhibition of mTOR kinase and GLS resulted in massive synergistic tumor cell death and growth inhibition in tumor-bearing mice. These results highlight a critical role for compensatory glutamine metabolism in promoting mTOR inhibitor resistance and suggest that rational combination therapy has the potential to suppress resistance.
Kazuhiro Tanaka, Takashi Sasayama, Yasuhiro Irino, Kumi Takata, Hiroaki Nagashima, Naoko Satoh, Katsusuke Kyotani, Takashi Mizowaki, Taichiro Imahori, Yasuo Ejima, Kenta Masui, Beatrice Gini, Huijun Yang, Kohkichi Hosoda, Ryohei Sasaki, Paul S. Mischel, Eiji Kohmura
Bone marrow–derived mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) are a common precursor of both adipocytes and osteoblasts. While it is appreciated that PPARγ regulates the balance between adipogenesis and osteogenesis, the roles of additional regulators of this process remain controversial. Here, we show that MSCs isolated from mice lacking S-nitrosoglutathione reductase, a denitrosylase that regulates protein S-nitrosylation, exhibited decreased adipogenesis and increased osteoblastogenesis compared with WT MSCs. Consistent with this cellular phenotype, S-nitrosoglutathione reductase–deficient mice were smaller, with reduced fat mass and increased bone formation that was accompanied by elevated bone resorption. WT and S-nitrosoglutathione reductase–deficient MSCs exhibited equivalent PPARγ expression; however, S-nitrosylation of PPARγ was elevated in S-nitrosoglutathione reductase–deficient MSCs, diminishing binding to its downstream target fatty acid–binding protein 4 (FABP4). We further identified Cys 139 of PPARγ as an S-nitrosylation site and demonstrated that S-nitrosylation of PPARγ inhibits its transcriptional activity, suggesting a feedback regulation of PPARγ transcriptional activity by NO-mediated S-nitrosylation. Together, these results reveal that S-nitrosoglutathione reductase–dependent modification of PPARγ alters the balance between adipocyte and osteoblast differentiation and provides checkpoint regulation of the lineage bifurcation of these 2 lineages. Moreover, these findings provide pathophysiological and therapeutic insights regarding MSC participation in adipogenesis and osteogenesis.
Yenong Cao, Samirah A. Gomes, Erika B. Rangel, Ellena C. Paulino, Tatiana L. Fonseca, Jinliang Li, Marilia B. Teixeira, Cecilia H. Gouveia, Antonio C. Bianco, Michael S. Kapiloff, Wayne Balkan, Joshua M. Hare
Fetal and neonatal alloimmune thrombocytopenia (FNAIT) is a life-threatening disease in which intracranial hemorrhage (ICH) is the major risk. Although thrombocytopenia, which is caused by maternal antibodies against β3 integrin and occasionally by maternal antibodies against other platelet antigens, such as glycoprotein GPIbα, has long been assumed to be the cause of bleeding, the mechanism of ICH has not been adequately explored. Utilizing murine models of FNAIT and a high-frequency ultrasound imaging system, we found that ICH only occurred in fetuses and neonates with anti–β3 integrin–mediated, but not anti-GPIbα–mediated, FNAIT, despite similar thrombocytopenia in both groups. Only anti–β3 integrin–mediated FNAIT reduced brain and retina vessel density, impaired angiogenic signaling, and increased endothelial cell apoptosis, all of which were abrogated by maternal administration of intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG). ICH and impairment of retinal angiogenesis were further reproduced in neonates by injection of anti–β3 integrin, but not anti-GPIbα antisera. Utilizing cultured human endothelial cells, we found that cell proliferation, network formation, and AKT phosphorylation were inhibited only by murine anti–β3 integrin antisera and human anti–HPA-1a IgG purified from mothers with FNAIT children. Our data suggest that fetal hemostasis is distinct and that impairment of angiogenesis rather than thrombocytopenia likely causes FNAIT-associated ICH. Additionally, our results indicate that maternal IVIG therapy can effectively prevent this devastating disorder.
Issaka Yougbaré, Sean Lang, Hong Yang, Pingguo Chen, Xu Zhao, Wei-She Tai, Darko Zdravic, Brian Vadasz, Conglei Li, Siavash Piran, Alexandra Marshall, Guangheng Zhu, Heidi Tiller, Mette Kjaer Killie, Shelley Boyd, Howard Leong-Poi, Xiao-Yan Wen, Bjorn Skogen, S. Lee Adamson, John Freedman, Heyu Ni
Edward J. Wild, Roberto Boggio, Douglas Langbehn, Nicola Robertson, Salman Haider, James R.C. Miller, Henrik Zetterberg, Blair R. Leavitt, Rainer Kuhn, Sarah J. Tabrizi, Douglas Macdonald, Andreas Weiss
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
Toidi Adekambi, Chris C. Ibegbu, Stephanie Cagle, Ameeta S. Kalokhe, Yun F. Wang, Yijuan Hu, Cheryl L. Day, Susan M. Ray, Jyothi Rengarajan
Reversal of HIV-1 latency by small molecules is a potential cure strategy. This approach will likely require effective drug combinations to achieve high levels of latency reversal. Using resting CD4+ T cells (rCD4s) from infected individuals, we developed an experimental and theoretical framework to identify effective latency-reversing agent (LRA) combinations. Utilizing ex vivo assays for intracellular HIV-1 mRNA and virion production, we compared 2-drug combinations of leading candidate LRAs and identified multiple combinations that effectively reverse latency. We showed that protein kinase C agonists in combination with bromodomain inhibitor JQ1 or histone deacetylase inhibitors robustly induce HIV-1 transcription and virus production when directly compared with maximum reactivation by T cell activation. Using the Bliss independence model to quantitate combined drug effects, we demonstrated that these combinations synergize to induce HIV-1 transcription. This robust latency reversal occurred without release of proinflammatory cytokines by rCD4s. To extend the clinical utility of our findings, we applied a mathematical model that estimates in vivo changes in plasma HIV-1 RNA from ex vivo measurements of virus production. Our study reconciles diverse findings from previous studies, establishes a quantitative experimental approach to evaluate combinatorial LRA efficacy, and presents a model to predict in vivo responses to LRAs.
Gregory M. Laird, C. Korin Bullen, Daniel I.S. Rosenbloom, Alyssa R. Martin, Alison L. Hill, Christine M. Durand, Janet D. Siliciano, Robert F. Siliciano
Activating mutations in the
Jit Kong Cheong, Fuquan Zhang, Pei Jou Chua, Boon Huat Bay, Andrew Thorburn, David M. Virshup