On page 2191, Cole et al. present structural data for a specific human T cell receptor (TCR) clone from a type 1 diabetic patient that is known to mediate the destruction of insulin-expressing β cells. The cover image shows this TCR (green) interacting with a bacterial antigen (yellow sticks) presented by human leukocyte antigen A*0201 (purple).
Malaria remains a global public health threat, with half of the world’s population at risk. Despite numerous efforts in the past decade to develop new antimalarial drugs to surmount increasing resistance to common therapies, challenges remain in the expansion of the current antimalarial arsenal for the elimination of this disease. The requirement of prophylactic and radical cure activities for the next generation of antimalarial drugs demands that new research models be developed to support the investigation of the elusive liver stage of the malaria parasite. In this Review, we revisit current antimalarial therapies and discuss recent advances for in vitro and in vivo malaria research models of the liver stage and their importance in probing parasite biology and the discovery of novel drug candidates.
Rene Raphemot, Dora Posfai, Emily R. Derbyshire
RNA is likely to be the most rediscovered macromolecule in biology. Periodically, new non-canonical functions have been ascribed to RNA, such as the ability to act as a catalytic molecule or to work independently from its coding capacity. Recent annotations show that more than half of the transcriptome encodes for RNA molecules lacking coding activity. Here we illustrate how these transcripts affect skeletal muscle differentiation and related disorders. We discuss the most recent scientific discoveries that have led to the identification of the molecular circuitries that are controlled by RNA during the differentiation process and that, when deregulated, lead to pathogenic events. These findings will provide insights that can aid in the development of new therapeutic interventions for muscle diseases.
Monica Ballarino, Mariangela Morlando, Alessandro Fatica, Irene Bozzoni
Immune cell metabolism is dynamically regulated in parallel with the substantial changes in cellular function that accompany immune cell activation. While these changes in metabolism are important for facilitating the increased energetic and biosynthetic demands of activated cells, immune cell metabolism also has direct roles in controlling the functions of immune cells and shaping the immune response. A theme is emerging wherein nutrients, metabolic enzymes, and metabolites can act as an extension of the established immune signal transduction pathways, thereby adding an extra layer of complexity to the regulation of immunity. This Review will outline the metabolic configurations adopted by different immune cell subsets, describe the emerging roles for metabolic enzymes and metabolites in the control of immune cell function, and discuss the therapeutic implications of this emerging immune regulatory axis.
Nadine Assmann, David K. Finlay
The ability of a single T cell antigen receptor (TCR) to cross-react with multiple antigens allows the finite number of T cells within an organism to respond to the compendium of pathogen challenges faced during a lifetime. Effective immune surveillance, however, comes at a price. TCR cross-reactivity can allow molecular mimics to spuriously activate autoimmune T cells; it also underlies T cell rejection of organ transplants and drives graft-versus-host disease. In this issue of the
Brian D. Stadinski, Reinhard Obst, Eric S. Huseby
Inherited metabolic disorders are often characterized by the lack of an essential enzyme and are currently treated by dietary restriction and other strategies to replace the substrates or products of the missing enzyme. Patients with homocystinuria lack the enzyme cystathionine β-synthase (CBS), and many of these individuals do not respond to current treatment protocols. In this issue of the
Dwight D. Koeberl
In this issue of the
Jameel Iqbal, Tony Yuen, Li Sun, Mone Zaidi
A eubiotic microbiota influences many physiological processes in the metazoan host, including development and intestinal homeostasis. Here, we have shown that the intestinal microbiota modulates inflammatory responses caused by sex steroid deficiency, leading to trabecular bone loss. In murine models, sex steroid deficiency increased gut permeability, expanded Th17 cells, and upregulated the osteoclastogenic cytokines TNFα (TNF), RANKL, and IL-17 in the small intestine and the BM. In germ-free (GF) mice, sex steroid deficiency failed to increase osteoclastogenic cytokine production, stimulate bone resorption, and cause trabecular bone loss, demonstrating that the gut microbiota is central in sex steroid deficiency–induced trabecular bone loss. Furthermore, we demonstrated that twice-weekly treatment of sex steroid–deficient mice with the probiotics
Jau-Yi Li, Benoit Chassaing, Abdul Malik Tyagi, Chiara Vaccaro, Tao Luo, Jonathan Adams, Trevor M. Darby, M. Neale Weitzmann, Jennifer G. Mulle, Andrew T. Gewirtz, Rheinallt M. Jones, Roberto Pacifici
Skin homeostasis is maintained by the continuous proliferation and differentiation of epidermal cells. The skin forms a strong but flexible barrier against microorganisms as well as physical and chemical insults; however, the physiological mechanisms that maintain this barrier are not fully understood. Here, we have described a mutant mouse that spontaneously develops pruritic dermatitis as the result of an initial defect in skin homeostasis that is followed by induction of a Th2-biased immune response. These mice harbor a mutation that results in a single aa substitution in the JAK1 tyrosine kinase that results in hyperactivation, thereby leading to skin serine protease overexpression and disruption of skin barrier function. Accordingly, treatment with an ointment to maintain normal skin barrier function protected mutant mice from dermatitis onset. Pharmacological inhibition of JAK1 also delayed disease onset. Together, these findings indicate that JAK1-mediated signaling cascades in skin regulate the expression of proteases associated with the maintenance of skin barrier function and demonstrate that perturbation of these pathways can lead to the development of spontaneous pruritic dermatitis.
Takuwa Yasuda, Toshiyuki Fukada, Keigo Nishida, Manabu Nakayama, Masashi Matsuda, Ikuo Miura, Teruki Dainichi, Shinji Fukuda, Kenji Kabashima, Shinji Nakaoka, Bum-Ho Bin, Masato Kubo, Hiroshi Ohno, Takanori Hasegawa, Osamu Ohara, Haruhiko Koseki, Shigeharu Wakana, Hisahiro Yoshida
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is a devastating multisystemic autoimmune disorder. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying its pathogenesis remain elusive. Some patients with Noonan syndrome, a congenital disorder predominantly caused by gain-of-function mutations in the protein tyrosine phosphatase SH2 domain–containing PTP (SHP2), have been shown to develop SLE, suggesting a functional correlation between phosphatase activity and systemic autoimmunity. To test this directly, we measured SHP2 activity in spleen lysates isolated from lupus-prone MRL/
Jianxun Wang, Masayuki Mizui, Li-Fan Zeng, Roderick Bronson, Michele Finnell, Cox Terhorst, Vasileios C. Kyttaris, George C. Tsokos, Zhong-Yin Zhang, Maria I. Kontaridis
The rare patients who are able to spontaneously control HIV replication in the absence of therapy show signs of a particularly efficient cellular immune response. To identify the molecular determinants that underlie this response, we characterized the T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire directed at Gag293, the most immunoprevalent CD4 epitope in the HIV-1 capsid. HIV controllers from the ANRS CODEX cohort showed a highly skewed TCR repertoire that was characterized by a predominance of
Daniela Benati, Moran Galperin, Olivier Lambotte, Stéphanie Gras, Annick Lim, Madhura Mukhopadhyay, Alexandre Nouël, Kristy-Anne Campbell, Brigitte Lemercier, Mathieu Claireaux, Samia Hendou, Pierre Lechat, Pierre de Truchis, Faroudy Boufassa, Jamie Rossjohn, Jean-François Delfraissy, Fernando Arenzana-Seisdedos, Lisa A. Chakrabarti
IFN-γ is a critical mediator of host defense against
Andreas Kupz, Ulrike Zedler, Manuela Stäber, Carolina Perdomo, Anca Dorhoi, Roland Brosch, Stefan H.E. Kaufmann
Cameron J. Turtle, Laïla-Aïcha Hanafi, Carolina Berger, Theodore A. Gooley, Sindhu Cherian, Michael Hudecek, Daniel Sommermeyer, Katherine Melville, Barbara Pender, Tanya M. Budiarto, Emily Robinson, Natalia N. Steevens, Colette Chaney, Lorinda Soma, Xueyan Chen, Cecilia Yeung, Brent Wood, Daniel Li, Jianhong Cao, Shelly Heimfeld, Michael C. Jensen, Stanley R. Riddell, David G. Maloney
Matthew C. Frise, Hung-Yuan Cheng, Annabel H. Nickol, M. Kate Curtis, Karen A. Pollard, David J. Roberts, Peter J. Ratcliffe, Keith L. Dorrington, Peter A. Robbins
Alternatively activated (also known as M2) macrophages are involved in the repair of various types of organs. However, the contribution of M2 macrophages to cardiac repair after myocardial infarction (MI) remains to be fully characterized. Here, we identified CD206+F4/80+CD11b+ M2-like macrophages in the murine heart and demonstrated that this cell population predominantly increases in the infarct area and exhibits strengthened reparative abilities after MI. We evaluated mice lacking the kinase TRIB1 (
Manabu Shiraishi, Yasunori Shintani, Yusuke Shintani, Hidekazu Ishida, Rie Saba, Atsushi Yamaguchi, Hideo Adachi, Kenta Yashiro, Ken Suzuki
Lymphangiogenesis is supported by 2 homologous VEGFR3 ligands, VEGFC and VEGFD. VEGFC is required for lymphatic development, while VEGFD is not. VEGFC and VEGFD are proteolytically cleaved after cell secretion in vitro, and recent studies have implicated the protease a disintegrin and metalloproteinase with thrombospondin motifs 3 (ADAMTS3) and the secreted factor collagen and calcium binding EGF domains 1 (CCBE1) in this process. It is not well understood how ligand proteolysis is controlled at the molecular level or how this process regulates lymphangiogenesis, because these complex molecular interactions have been difficult to follow ex vivo and test in vivo. Here, we have developed and used biochemical and cellular tools to demonstrate that an ADAMTS3-CCBE1 complex can form independently of VEGFR3 and is required to convert VEGFC, but not VEGFD, into an active ligand. Consistent with these ex vivo findings, mouse genetic studies revealed that ADAMTS3 is required for lymphatic development in a manner that is identical to the requirement of VEGFC and CCBE1 for lymphatic development. Moreover, CCBE1 was required for in vivo lymphangiogenesis stimulated by VEGFC but not VEGFD. Together, these studies reveal that lymphangiogenesis is regulated by two distinct proteolytic mechanisms of ligand activation: one in which VEGFC activation by ADAMTS3 and CCBE1 spatially and temporally patterns developing lymphatics, and one in which VEGFD activation by a distinct proteolytic mechanism may be stimulated during inflammatory lymphatic growth.
Hung M. Bui, David Enis, Marius R. Robciuc, Harri J. Nurmi, Jennifer Cohen, Mei Chen, Yiqing Yang, Veerpal Dhillon, Kathy Johnson, Hong Zhang, Robert Kirkpatrick, Elizabeth Traxler, Andrey Anisimov, Kari Alitalo, Mark L. Kahn
Neurofibromin 1–mutant (
Rebecca Lock, Rachel Ingraham, Ophélia Maertens, Abigail L. Miller, Nelly Weledji, Eric Legius, Bruce M. Konicek, Sau-Chi B. Yan, Jeremy R. Graff, Karen Cichowski
The cross-reactivity of T cells with pathogen- and self-derived peptides has been implicated as a pathway involved in the development of autoimmunity. However, the mechanisms that allow the clonal T cell antigen receptor (TCR) to functionally engage multiple peptide–major histocompatibility complexes (pMHC) are unclear. Here, we studied multiligand discrimination by a human, preproinsulin reactive, MHC class-I–restricted CD8+ T cell clone (1E6) that can recognize over 1 million different peptides. We generated high-resolution structures of the 1E6 TCR bound to 7 altered peptide ligands, including a pathogen-derived peptide that was an order of magnitude more potent than the natural self-peptide. Evaluation of these structures demonstrated that binding was stabilized through a conserved lock-and-key–like minimal binding footprint that enables 1E6 TCR to tolerate vast numbers of substitutions outside of this so-called hotspot. Highly potent antigens of the 1E6 TCR engaged with a strong antipathogen-like binding affinity; this engagement was governed though an energetic switch from an enthalpically to entropically driven interaction compared with the natural autoimmune ligand. Together, these data highlight how T cell cross-reactivity with pathogen-derived antigens might break self-tolerance to induce autoimmune disease.
David K. Cole, Anna M. Bulek, Garry Dolton, Andrea J. Schauenberg, Barbara Szomolay, William Rittase, Andrew Trimby, Prithiviraj Jothikumar, Anna Fuller, Ania Skowera, Jamie Rossjohn, Cheng Zhu, John J. Miles, Mark Peakman, Linda Wooldridge, Pierre J. Rizkallah, Andrew K. Sewell
The histone demethylase PHF8 has been implicated in multiple pathological disorders, including X-linked mental retardation and tumorigenesis. However, it is not clear how the abundance and function of PHF8 are regulated. Here, we report that PHF8 physically associates with the deubiquitinase USP7. Specifically, we demonstrated that USP7 promotes deubiquitination and stabilization of PHF8, leading to the upregulation of a group of genes, including cyclin A2, that are critical for cell growth and proliferation. The USP7-encoding gene was also transcriptionally regulated by PHF8, via positive feedback. USP7 was overexpressed in breast carcinomas, and the level of expression positively correlated with expression of PHF8 and cyclin A2 and with the histological grade of breast cancer. We showed that USP7 promotes breast carcinogenesis by stabilizing PHF8 and upregulating cyclin A2 and that the interaction between USP7 and PHF8 is augmented during DNA damage. Moreover, USP7-promoted PHF8 stabilization conferred cellular resistance to genotoxic insults and was required for the recruitment of BLM and KU70, which are both essential for DNA double-strand break repair. Our study mechanistically links USP7 to epigenetic regulation and DNA repair. Moreover, these data support the pursuit of USP7 and PHF8 as potential targets for breast cancer intervention, especially in combination with chemo- or radiotherapies.
Qian Wang, Shuai Ma, Nan Song, Xin Li, Ling Liu, Shangda Yang, Xiang Ding, Lin Shan, Xing Zhou, Dongxue Su, Yue Wang, Qi Zhang, Xinhua Liu, Na Yu, Kai Zhang, Yongfeng Shang, Zhi Yao, Lei Shi
Autism spectrum disorder (ASD) is an increasingly common behavioral condition that frequently presents with gastrointestinal (GI) disturbances. It is not clear, however, how gut dysfunction relates to core ASD features. Multiple, rare hyperfunctional coding variants of the serotonin (5-HT) transporter (SERT, encoded by
Kara Gross Margolis, Zhishan Li, Korey Stevanovic, Virginia Saurman, Narek Israelyan, George M. Anderson, Isaac Snyder, Jeremy Veenstra-VanderWeele, Randy D. Blakely, Michael D. Gershon
Liver glycogen is important for the counterregulation of hypoglycemia and is reduced in individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Here, we examined the effect of varying hepatic glycogen content on the counterregulatory response to low blood sugar in dogs. During the first 4 hours of each study, hepatic glycogen was increased by augmenting hepatic glucose uptake using hyperglycemia and a low-dose intraportal fructose infusion. After hepatic glycogen levels were increased, animals underwent a 2-hour control period with no fructose infusion followed by a 2-hour hyperinsulinemic/hypoglycemic clamp. Compared with control treatment, fructose infusion caused a large increase in liver glycogen that markedly elevated the response of epinephrine and glucagon to a given hypoglycemia and increased net hepatic glucose output (NHGO). Moreover, prior denervation of the liver abolished the improved counterregulatory responses that resulted from increased liver glycogen content. When hepatic glycogen content was lowered, glucagon and NHGO responses to insulin-induced hypoglycemia were reduced. We conclude that there is a liver-brain counterregulatory axis that is responsive to liver glycogen content. It remains to be determined whether the risk of iatrogenic hypoglycemia in T1D humans could be lessened by targeting metabolic pathway(s) associated with hepatic glycogen repletion.
Jason J. Winnick, Guillaume Kraft, Justin M. Gregory, Dale S. Edgerton, Phillip Williams, Ian A. Hajizadeh, Maahum Z. Kamal, Marta Smith, Ben Farmer, Melanie Scott, Doss Neal, E. Patrick Donahue, Eric Allen, Alan D. Cherrington
Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) is an adult-onset degeneration of motor neurons that is commonly caused by mutations in the gene encoding superoxide dismutase 1 (SOD1). Both patients and Tg mice expressing mutant human SOD1 (hSOD1) develop aggregates of unknown importance. In Tg mice, 2 different strains of hSOD1 aggregates (denoted A and B) can arise; however, the role of these aggregates in disease pathogenesis has not been fully characterized. Here, minute amounts of strain A and B hSOD1 aggregate seeds that were prepared by centrifugation through a density cushion were inoculated into lumbar spinal cords of 100-day-old mice carrying a human
Elaheh Ekhtiari Bidhendi, Johan Bergh, Per Zetterström, Peter M. Andersen, Stefan L. Marklund, Thomas Brännström
The chromatin-remodeling enzyme CHD4 maintains vascular integrity at mid-gestation; however, it is unknown whether this enzyme contributes to later blood vessel or lymphatic vessel development. Here, we addressed this issue in mice harboring a deletion of
Patrick L. Crosswhite, Joanna J. Podsiadlowska, Carol D. Curtis, Siqi Gao, Lijun Xia, R. Sathish Srinivasan, Courtney T. Griffin
Zirong Chen, Jian-Liang Li, Shuibin Lin, Chunxia Cao, Nicholas T. Gimbrone, Rongqiang Yang, Dongtao A. Fu, Miranda B. Carper, Eric B. Haura, Matthew B. Schabath, Jianrong Lu, Antonio L. Amelio, W. Douglas Cress, Frederic J. Kaye, Lizi Wu
Patients with diabetic ketoacidosis (DKA) are uniquely predisposed to mucormycosis, an angioinvasive fungal infection with high mortality. Previously, we demonstrated that
Teclegiorgis Gebremariam, Lin Lin, Mingfu Liu, Dimitrios P. Kontoyiannis, Samuel French, John E. Edwards Jr., Scott G. Filler, Ashraf S. Ibrahim
Current antiretroviral therapy (ART) is not sufficient to completely suppress disease progression in the CNS, as indicated by the rising incidence of HIV-1–associated neurocognitive disorders (HAND) among infected individuals on ART. It is not clear why some HIV-1–infected patients develop HAND, despite effective repression of viral replication in the circulation. SIV-infected nonhuman primate models are widely used to dissect the mechanisms of viral pathogenesis in the CNS. Here, we identified 4 amino acid substitutions in the cytoplasmic tail of viral envelope glycoprotein gp41 of the neurovirulent virus SIVsm804E that enhance replication in macrophages and associate with enhanced antagonism of the host restriction factor BM stromal cell antigen 2 (BST-2). Rhesus macaques were inoculated with a variant of the parental virus SIVsmE543-3 that had been engineered to contain the 4 amino acid substitutions present in gp41 of SIVsm804E. Compared with WT virus–infected controls, animals infected with mutant virus exhibited higher viral load in cerebrospinal fluid. Together, these results are consistent with a potential role for BST-2 in the CNS microenvironment and suggest that BST-2 antagonists may serve as a possible target for countermeasures against HAND.
Kenta Matsuda, Chia-Yen Chen, Sonya Whitted, Elena Chertova, David J. Roser, Fan Wu, Ronald J. Plishka, Ilnour Ourmanov, Alicia Buckler-White, Jeffrey D. Lifson, Klaus Strebel, Vanessa M. Hirsch
The thyroid hormone–inactivating (TH-inactivating) enzyme type 3 iodothyronine deiodinase (D3) is an oncofetal protein that is rarely expressed in adult life but has been shown to be reactivated in the context of proliferation and neoplasms. D3 terminates TH action within the tumor microenvironment, thereby enhancing cancer cell proliferation. However, the pathological role of D3 and the contribution of TH metabolism in cancer have yet to be fully explored. Here, we describe a reciprocal regulation between TH action and the cancer-associated microRNA-21 (miR21) in basal cell carcinoma (BCC) skin tumors. We found that, besides being negatively regulated by TH at the transcriptional level, miR21 attenuates the TH signal by increasing D3 levels. The ability of miR21 to positively regulate D3 was mediated by the tumor suppressor gene
Daniela Di Girolamo, Raffaele Ambrosio, Maria A. De Stefano, Giuseppina Mancino, Tommaso Porcelli, Cristina Luongo, Emery Di Cicco, Giulia Scalia, Luigi Del Vecchio, Annamaria Colao, Andrzej A. Dlugosz, Caterina Missero, Domenico Salvatore, Monica Dentice
Cell ablation is a powerful tool for studying cell lineage and/or function; however, current cell-ablation models have limitations. Intermedilysin (ILY), a cytolytic pore-forming toxin that is secreted by
Dechun Feng, Shen Dai, Fengming Liu, Yosuke Ohtake, Zhou Zhou, Hua Wang, Yonggang Zhang, Alison Kearns, Xiao Peng, Faliang Zhu, Umar Hayat, Man Li, Yong He, Mingjiang Xu, Chunling Zhao, Min Cheng, Lining Zhang, Hong Wang, Xiaofeng Yang, Cynthia Ju, Elizabeth C. Bryda, Jennifer Gordon, Kamel Khalili, Wenhui Hu, Shuxin Li, Xuebin Qin, Bin Gao
Antibodies that target the immune checkpoint receptor programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) have resulted in prolonged and beneficial responses toward a variety of human cancers. However, anti–PD-1 therapy in some patients provides no benefit and/or results in adverse side effects. The factors that determine whether patients will be drug sensitive or resistant are not fully understood; therefore, genomic assessment of exceptional responders can provide important insight into patient response. Here, we identified a patient with endometrial cancer who had an exceptional response to the anti–PD-1 antibody pembrolizumab. Clinical grade targeted genomic profiling of a pretreatment tumor sample from this individual identified a mutation in DNA polymerase epsilon (
Janice M. Mehnert, Anshuman Panda, Hua Zhong, Kim Hirshfield, Sherri Damare, Katherine Lane, Levi Sokol, Mark N. Stein, Lorna Rodriguez-Rodriquez, Howard L. Kaufman, Siraj Ali, Jeffrey S. Ross, Dean C. Pavlick, Gyan Bhanot, Eileen P. White, Robert S. DiPaola, Ann Lovell, Jonathan Cheng, Shridar Ganesan
Vα24-invariant natural killer T cells (NKTs) localize to tumors and have inherent antitumor properties, making them attractive chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) carriers for redirected cancer immunotherapy. However, clinical application of CAR-NKTs has been impeded, as mechanisms responsible for NKT expansion and the in vivo persistence of these cells are unknown. Here, we demonstrated that antigen-induced expansion of primary NKTs in vitro associates with the accumulation of a CD62L+ subset and exhaustion of CD62L– cells. Only CD62L+ NKTs survived and proliferated in response to secondary stimulation. When transferred to immune-deficient NSG mice, CD62L+ NKTs persisted 5 times longer than CD62L– NKTs. Moreover, CD62L+ cells transduced with a CD19-specific CAR achieved sustained tumor regression in a B cell lymphoma model. Proliferating CD62L+ cells downregulated or maintained CD62L expression when activated via T cell receptor alone or in combination with costimulatory receptors. We generated HLAnull K562 cell clones that were engineered to express CD1d and costimulatory ligands. Clone B-8-2 (HLAnullCD1dmedCD86high4-1BBLmedOX40Lhigh) induced the highest rates of NKT expansion and CD62L expression. B-8-2–expanded CAR-NKTs exhibited prolonged in vivo persistence and superior therapeutic activities in models of lymphoma and neuroblastoma. Therefore, we have identified CD62L as a marker of a distinct NKT subset endowed with high proliferative potential and have developed artificial antigen-presenting cells that generate CD62L-enriched NKTs for effective cancer immunotherapy.
Gengwen Tian, Amy N. Courtney, Bipulendu Jena, Andras Heczey, Daofeng Liu, Ekaterina Marinova, Linjie Guo, Xin Xu, Hiroki Torikai, Qianxing Mo, Gianpietro Dotti, Laurence J. Cooper, Leonid S. Metelitsa
Palmoplantar keratoderma (PPK) are debilitating lesions that arise in individuals with pachyonychia congenita (PC) and feature upregulation of danger-associated molecular patterns and skin barrier regulators. The defining features of PC-associated PPK are reproduced in mice null for keratin 16 (
Michelle L. Kerns, Jill M.C. Hakim, Rosemary G. Lu, Yajuan Guo, Andreas Berroth, Roger L. Kaspar, Pierre A. Coulombe
The development of pathologic mucus, which is not readily cleared from the airways, is an important contributor to the morbidity and mortality associated with asthma. It is not clear how the major airway mucins MUC5AC and MUC5B are organized within the mucus gel or how this gel contributes to airway obstruction in asthma. Here, we demonstrated that mucus plugs from individuals with fatal asthma are heterogeneous gels with distinct MUC5AC- and MUC5B-containing domains. Stimulation of cultured human bronchial epithelial cells with IL-13, a key mediator in asthma, induced the formation of heterogeneous mucus gels and dramatically impaired mucociliary transport. Impaired transport was not associated with defects in ciliary function but instead was related to tethering of MUC5AC-containing mucus gel domains to mucus-producing cells in the epithelium. Replacement of tethered mucus with untethered mucus restored mucociliary transport. Together, our results indicate that tethering of MUC5AC-containing domains to the epithelium causes mucostasis and likely represents a major cause of mucus plugging in asthma.
Luke R. Bonser, Lorna Zlock, Walter Finkbeiner, David J. Erle
Homocystinuria, which typically results from cystathionine β-synthase (CBS) deficiency, is the most common defect of sulfur amino acid metabolism. CBS condenses homocysteine and serine to cystathionine that is then converted to cysteine. Individuals with homocystinuria have markedly elevated plasma levels of homocysteine and methionine and reduced concentrations of cystathionine and cysteine. Clinical disease manifestations include thromboembolism and neuropsychiatric, ocular, and skeletal complications. Here, we have shown that administration of PEGylated CBS into the circulation of homocystinuria model mice alters the extra- and intracellular equilibrium of sulfur amino acids, resulting in a decrease of approximately 75% in plasma total homocysteine (tHcy) and normalization of cysteine concentrations. Moreover, the decrease in homocysteine and the normalization of cysteine in PEGylated CBS–treated model mice were accompanied by improvement of histopathological liver symptoms and increased survival. Together, these data suggest that CBS enzyme replacement therapy (ERT) is a promising approach for the treatment of homocystinuria and that ERT for metabolic diseases may not necessitate introduction of the deficient enzyme into its natural intracellular compartment.
Erez M. Bublil, Tomas Majtan, Insun Park, Richard S. Carrillo, Helena Hůlková, Jakub Krijt, Viktor Kožich, Jan P. Kraus