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Abstract

BACKGROUND. Hypophosphatasia (HPP) is a rare genetic disorder resulting in variable alterations of bone formation and mineralization that are caused by mutations in the ALPL gene, encoding the tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (ALP) enzyme.

METHODS. In this phase IIA open-label, single-center, intra-patient, dose-escalating study, adult patients with HPP received 3 ascending intravenous doses of 5, 10, and 20 mg/kg BPS804, a fully human anti-sclerostin monoclonal antibody, on days 1, 15, and 29, respectively. Patients were followed for 16 weeks after the last dose. We assessed the pharmacodynamics, pharmacokinetics, preliminary efficacy, and safety of BPS804 administrations at specified intervals during treatment and follow-up.

RESULTS. Eight patients (mean age 47.8 years) were enrolled in the study (6 females, 2 males). BPS804 treatment increased mean ALP and bone-specific ALP enzymatic activity between days 2 and 29. Transient increases in the bone formation markers procollagen type-I N-terminal propeptide (PINP), osteocalcin, and parathyroid hormone as well as a transient decrease in the bone resorption marker C-telopeptide of type I collagen (CTX-1) were observed. Lumbar spine bone mineral density showed a mean increase by day 85 and at end of study. Treatment-associated adverse events were mild and transient.

CONCLUSION. BPS804 treatment was well tolerated and resulted in increases in bone formation biomarkers and bone mineral density, suggesting that sclerostin inhibition could be applied to enhance bone mineral density, stability, and regeneration in non-life-threatening clinical situations in adults with HPP.

TRIAL REGISTRATION. Clinicaltrials.gov NCT01406977.

FUNDING. Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research, Basel, Switzerland.

Authors

Lothar Seefried, Jasmin Baumann, Sarah Hemsley, Christine Hofmann, Erdmute Kunstmann, Beate Kiese, Yue Huang, Simon Chivers, Marie-Anne Valentin, Babul Borah, Ronenn Roubenoff, Uwe Junker, Franz Jakob

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Abstract

Inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) is characterized by dysregulation in both cytokines and responses to intestinal microbes, and proper regulation of pattern recognition receptor (PRR) signaling is critical for intestinal immune homeostasis. Altered functions for the IBD risk locus containing rs7554511, which encompasses the C1orf106 gene (recently named INAVA), and roles for the protein encoded by the INAVA gene are unknown. Here, we investigated the role of INAVA and INAVA genotype in regulating PRR-initiated outcomes in primary human cells. Both peripheral and intestinal myeloid cells expressed INAVA. Upon PRR stimulation, INAVA was required for optimal MAPK and NF-κB activation, cytokine secretion, and intracellular bacterial clearance. INAVA recruited 14-3-3τ, thereby contributing to recruitment of a signaling complex that amplified downstream signals and cytokines. Further, INAVA enhanced bacterial clearance by regulating reactive oxygen, reactive nitrogen, and autophagy pathways. Macrophages from rs7554511 C risk carriers expressed lower levels of INAVA RNA and protein. Lower expression was attributed in part to decreased transcription mediated directly by the intronic region containing the rs7554511 C variant. In rs7554511 C risk carrier macrophages, lower INAVA expression led to decreased PRR-induced activation of MAPK and NF-κB pathways, cytokines, and bacterial clearance pathways. Thus, IBD-associated polymorphisms in INAVA modulate PRR-initiated signaling, cytokines, and intracellular bacterial clearance, likely contributing to intestinal immune homeostasis.

Authors

Jie Yan, Matija Hedl, Clara Abraham

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Abstract

Therapies using T cells that are programmed to express chimeric antigen receptors (CAR T cells) consistently produce positive results in patients with hematologic malignancies. However, CAR T cell treatments are less effective in solid tumors for several reasons. First, lymphocytes do not efficiently target CAR T cells; second, solid tumors create an immunosuppressive microenvironment that inactivates T cell responses; and third, solid cancers are typified by phenotypic diversity and thus include cells that do not express proteins targeted by the engineered receptors, enabling the formation of escape variants that elude CAR T cell targeting. Here, we have tested implantable biopolymer devices that deliver CAR T cells directly to the surfaces of solid tumors, thereby exposing them to high concentrations of immune cells for a substantial time period. In immunocompetent orthotopic mouse models of pancreatic cancer and melanoma, we found that CAR T cells can migrate from biopolymer scaffolds and eradicate tumors more effectively than does systemic delivery of the same cells. We have also demonstrated that codelivery of stimulator of IFN genes (STING) agonists stimulates immune responses to eliminate tumor cells that are not recognized by the adoptively transferred lymphocytes. Thus, these devices may improve the effectiveness of CAR T cell therapy in solid tumors and help protect against the emergence of escape variants.

Authors

Tyrel T. Smith, Howell F. Moffett, Sirkka B. Stephan, Cary F. Opel, Amy G. Dumigan, Xiuyun Jiang, Venu G. Pillarisetty, Smitha P. S. Pillai, K. Dane Wittrup, Matthias T. Stephan

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Abstract

Congenital heart disease (CHD) represents the most prevalent inborn anomaly. Only a minority of CHD cases are attributed to genetic causes, suggesting a major role of environmental factors. Nonphysiological hypoxia during early pregnancy induces CHD, but the underlying reasons are unknown. Here, we have demonstrated that cells in the mouse heart tube are hypoxic, while cardiac progenitor cells (CPCs) expressing islet 1 (ISL1) in the secondary heart field (SHF) are normoxic. In ISL1+ CPCs, induction of hypoxic responses caused CHD by repressing Isl1 and activating NK2 homeobox 5 (Nkx2.5), resulting in decreased cell proliferation and enhanced cardiomyocyte specification. We found that HIF1α formed a complex with the Notch effector hes family bHLH transcription factor 1 (HES1) and the protein deacetylase sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) at the Isl1 gene. This complex repressed Isl1 in the hypoxic heart tube or following induction of ectopic hypoxic responses. Subsequently, reduced Isl1 expression abrogated ISL1-dependent recruitment of histone deacetylases HDAC1/5, inhibiting Nkx2.5 expression. Inactivation of Sirt1 in ISL1+ CPCs blocked Isl1 suppression via the HIF1α/HES1/SIRT1 complex and prevented CHDs induced by pathological hypoxia. Our results indicate that spatial differences in oxygenation of the developing heart serve as signals to control CPC expansion and cardiac morphogenesis. We propose that physiological hypoxia coordinates homeostasis of CPCs, providing mechanistic explanations for some nongenetic causes of CHD.

Authors

Xuejun Yuan, Hui Qi, Xiang Li, Fan Wu, Jian Fang, Eva Bober, Gergana Dobreva, Yonggang Zhou, Thomas Braun

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Abstract

Geminin expression is essential for embryonic development and the maintenance of chromosomal integrity. In spite of this protective role, geminin is also frequently overexpressed in human cancers and the molecular mechanisms underlying its role in tumor progression remain unclear. The histone deacetylase HDAC3 modulates transcription factors to activate or suppress transcription. Little is known about how HDAC3 specifies substrates for modulation among highly homologous transcription factor family members. Here, we have demonstrated that geminin selectively couples the transcription factor forkhead box O3 (FoxO3) to HDAC3, thereby specifically facilitating FoxO3 deacetylation. We determined that geminin–associated HDAC3 deacetylates FoxO3 to block its transcriptional activity, leading to downregulation of the downstream FoxO3 target Dicer, an RNase that suppresses metastasis. Breast cancer cells depleted of geminin or HDAC3 exhibited poor metastatic potential that was attributed to reduced suppression of the FoxO3-Dicer axis. Moreover, elevated levels of geminin, HDAC3, or both together with decreased FoxO3 acetylation and reduced Dicer expression were detected in aggressive human breast cancer specimens. These results underscore a prominent role for geminin in promoting breast cancer metastasis via the enzyme-substrate–coupling mechanism in HDAC3-FoxO3 complex formation.

Authors

Lei Zhang, Meizhen Cai, Zhicheng Gong, Bingchang Zhang, Yuanpei Li, Li Guan, Xiaonan Hou, Qing Li, Gang Liu, Zengfu Xue, Muh-hua Yang, Jing Ye, Y. Eugene Chin, Han You

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Abstract

Tissue-resident immune cells play a key role in local and systemic immune responses. The liver, in particular, hosts a large number of invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells, which are involved in diverse immune responses. However, the mechanisms that regulate survival and homeostasis of liver iNKT cells are poorly defined. Here we have found that liver iNKT cells constitutively express the costimulatory TNF superfamily receptor OX40 and that OX40 stimulation results in massive pyroptotic death of iNKT cells, characterized by the release of potent proinflammatory cytokines that induce liver injury. This OX40/NKT pyroptosis pathway also plays a key role in concanavalin A–induced murine hepatitis. Mechanistically, we demonstrated that liver iNKT cells express high levels of caspase 1 and that OX40 stimulation activates caspase 1 via TNF receptor–associated factor 6–mediated recruitment of the paracaspase MALT1. We also found that activation of caspase 1 in iNKT cells results in processing of pro–IL-1β to mature IL-1β as well as cleavage of the pyroptotic protein gasdermin D, which generates a membrane pore–forming fragment to produce pyroptotic cell death. Thus, our study has identified OX40 as a death receptor for iNKT cells and uncovered a molecular mechanism of pyroptotic cell death. These findings may have important clinical implications in the development of OX40-directed therapies.

Authors

Peixiang Lan, Yihui Fan, Yue Zhao, Xiaohua Lou, Howard P. Monsour, Xiaolong Zhang, Yongwon Choi, Yaling Dou, Naoto Ishii, Rafik M. Ghobrial, Xiang Xiao, Xian Chang Li

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Abstract

Mutations of the splicing factor–encoding gene U2AF1 are frequent in the myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS), a myeloid malignancy, and other cancers. Patients with MDS suffer from peripheral blood cytopenias, including anemia, and an increasing percentage of bone marrow myeloblasts. We studied the impact of the common U2AF1S34F mutation on cellular function and mRNA splicing in the main cell lineages affected in MDS. We demonstrated that U2AF1S34F expression in human hematopoietic progenitors impairs erythroid differentiation and skews granulomonocytic differentiation toward granulocytes. RNA sequencing of erythroid and granulomonocytic colonies revealed that U2AF1S34F induced a higher number of cassette exon splicing events in granulomonocytic cells than in erythroid cells. U2AF1S34F altered mRNA splicing of many transcripts that were expressed in both cell types in a lineage-specific manner. In hematopoietic progenitors, the introduction of isoform changes identified in the U2AF1S34F target genes H2AFY, encoding an H2A histone variant, and STRAP, encoding serine/threonine kinase receptor–associated protein, recapitulated phenotypes associated with U2AF1S34F expression in erythroid and granulomonocytic cells, suggesting a causal link. Furthermore, we showed that isoform modulation of H2AFY and STRAP rescues the erythroid differentiation defect in U2AF1S34F MDS cells, suggesting that splicing modulators could be used therapeutically. These data have critical implications for understanding MDS phenotypic heterogeneity and support the development of therapies targeting splicing abnormalities.

Authors

Bon Ham Yip, Violetta Steeples, Emmanouela Repapi, Richard N. Armstrong, Miriam Llorian, Swagata Roy, Jacqueline Shaw, Hamid Dolatshad, Stephen Taylor, Amit Verma, Matthias Bartenstein, Paresh Vyas, Nicholas C.P. Cross, Luca Malcovati, Mario Cazzola, Eva Hellström-Lindberg, Seishi Ogawa, Christopher W.J. Smith, Andrea Pellagatti, Jacqueline Boultwood

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April 2017

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April 2017 Issue

On the cover:
Prostaglandins drive pain aversion

Singh et al. identify a prostaglandin-driven neural circuit driving aversion in response to inflammatory pain. The cover image is a confocal micrograph showing cell-type–specific expression of Cre (green) and tryptophan hydroxylase, which is selectively expressed in serotonergic cells (purple), in the dorsal raphe nucleus of Sert-Cre mice.

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Jci tm 2017 04

April 2017 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

Nuclear Receptors

Series edited by Mitchell A. Lazar

Nuclear receptors are a class of intracellular proteins that sense and respond to a variety of endogenous hormones, vitamins, and xenobiotic endocrine disruptors by modulating gene expression. These proteins have well-established roles in the regulation of energy balance and the skeletal system, and they are emerging as important players in other areas of human physiology and disease. Humans have 48 nuclear receptors that all possess an N-terminal transactivation domain, a highly conserved central region DNA-binding domain, and a C-terminal ligand-binding domain. Ligand binding results in the transactivation of specific genes within a given tissue. Notably, a number of nuclear receptors do not have a known endogenous ligand and structural studies indicate that they may not bind ligands at all, but instead recruit other nuclear receptors or chromatin modifiers to control gene expression. Nuclear receptor activity can be modulated through interactions with other nuclear receptors or transcriptional coactivator or corepressor proteins, as well as through modulation by numerous growth factor and cytokine signaling cascades that induce various posttranslational modifications. Reviews in this series examine the role of nuclear receptors in metabolic syndrome, cardiovascular disease, liver function, hormone-dependent cancers, responses to common therapeutic agents, genetic disorders, the effects of vitamin D, and parasitic disease.

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