The mechanisms that drive T cell aging are not understood. We report children and adult telomerase mutation carriers with short telomere length (TL) develop a T cell immunodeficiency that can manifest in the absence of bone marrow failure and causes life-threatening opportunistic infections. Mutation carriers shared T cell aging phenotypes seen in adults five decades older including depleted naïve T cells, increased apoptosis, and restricted T cell repertoire. T cell receptor excision circles (TRECs) were also undetectable or low, suggesting newborn screening may identify individuals with germline telomere maintenance defects. Telomerase null mice with short TL showed defects throughout T cell development including increased apoptosis of stimulated thymocytes, their intra-thymic precursors, in addition to depleted hematopoietic reserves. When we examined the transcriptional programs of T cells from telomerase mutation carriers, we found they diverged from older adults with normal TL. Short telomere T cells up-regulated DNA damage and intrinsic apoptosis pathways, while older adult T cells up-regulated extrinsic apoptosis pathways and PD-1 expression. T cells from mice with short TL also showed an active DNA damage response, in contrast to old wild-type mice, despite their shared propensity to apoptosis. Our data suggest there are telomere length-dependent and telomere length-independent mechanisms that differentially contribute to distinct molecular programs of T cell apoptosis with aging.
Christa L. Wagner, Vidya Sagar Hanumanthu, C. Conover Talbot Jr., Roshini S. Abraham, David Hamm, Dustin L. Gable, Christopher G. Kanakry, Carolyn D. Applegate, Janet Siliciano, J. Brooks Jackson, Stephen V. Desiderio, Jonathan K. Alder, Leo Luznik, Mary Armanios
Quantitative abnormalities of the von Willebrand factor–factor VIII (VWF-FVIII) complex associate with inherited bleeding or thrombotic disorders. Receptor-mediated interactions between plasma VWF-FVIII and phagocytic or immune cells can influence their hemostatic and immunogenic activities. Genetic association studies have demonstrated that variants in the STAB2 gene, which encodes the scavenger receptor stabilin-2, associate with plasma levels of VWF-FVIII. However, the mechanistic basis and pathophysiological consequences of this association are unknown. We have demonstrated that stabilin-2–expressing cells bind and internalize human VWF and FVIII in a VWF-dependent manner, and stabilin-2–deficient mice displayed prolonged human VWF-FVIII half-life compared with controls. The stabilin-2 variant p.E2377K significantly decreased stabilin-2 expression and impaired VWF endocytosis in a heterologous expression system, and common STAB2 variants associated with plasma VWF levels in type 1 von Willebrand disease patients. STAB2-deficient mice displayed a decreased immunogenic response to human VWF-FVIII complex, while coinfusion of human VWF-FVIII with the stabilin-2 ligand hyaluronic acid attenuated the immune response to exogenous FVIII. Collectively, these data suggest that stabilin-2 functions as both a clearance and an immunoregulatory receptor for VWF-FVIII, making stabilin-2 a novel molecular target for modification of the half-life of VWF-FVIII and the immune response to VWF-FVIII concentrates.
Laura L. Swystun, Jesse D. Lai, Colleen Notley, Ilinca Georgescu, A. Simonne Paine, Jeff Mewburn, Kate Nesbitt, Kai Schledzewski, Cyrill Géraud, Julia Kzhyshkowska, Sergij Goerdt, Wilma Hopman, Robert R. Montgomery, Paula D. James, David Lillicrap
Mutations underlie all cancers, and their identification and study are the foundation of cancer biology. We describe what we believe to be a novel approach to mutagenesis and cancer studies based on the DNA polymerase ε (POLE) ultramutator phenotype recently described in human cancers, in which a single amino acid substitution (most commonly P286R) in the proofreading domain results in error-prone DNA replication. We engineered a conditional PoleP286R allele in mice. PoleP286R/+ embryonic fibroblasts exhibited a striking mutator phenotype and immortalized more efficiently. PoleP286R/+ mice were born at Mendelian ratios but rapidly developed lethal cancers of diverse lineages, yielding the most cancer-prone monoallelic model described to date, to our knowledge. Comprehensive whole-genome sequencing analyses showed that the cancers were driven by high base substitution rates in the range of human cancers, overcoming a major limitation of previous murine cancer models. These data establish polymerase-mediated ultramutagenesis as an efficient in vivo approach for the generation of diverse animal cancer models that recapitulate the high mutational loads inherent to human cancers.
Hao-Dong Li, Ileana Cuevas, Musi Zhang, Changzheng Lu, Md Maksudul Alam, Yang-Xin Fu, M. James You, Esra A. Akbay, He Zhang, Diego H. Castrillon
Bi-allelic loss-of-function mutations of the NCF4 gene, encoding the p40phox subunit of the phagocyte NADPH oxidase, have been described in only one patient. We report 24 p40phox-deficient patients from 12 additional families in eight countries. These patients display eight different in-frame or out-of-frame mutations of NCF4, homozygous in 11 families and compound heterozygous in another. When overexpressed in NB4 neutrophil-like cells and EBV-transformed B cells in vitro, the mutant alleles were found to be loss-of-function, with the exception of the p.R58C and c.120_134del alleles, which were hypomorphic. Particle-induced NADPH oxidase activity was subnormal in the patients’ neutrophils, whereas PMA-induced DHR oxidation, which is widely used as a diagnostic test for CGD, was normal in some of the patients. Moreover, the NADPH oxidase activity of EBV-transformed B cells was also subnormal, whereas that of mononuclear phagocytes was normal. Finally, the killing of Candida albicans and Aspergillus fumigatus hyphae by neutrophils was conserved in these patients. The patients described here suffer from hyperinflammation and peripheral infections, but they do not display any of the invasive bacterial and fungal infections seen in CGD. In conclusion, inherited p40phox deficiency underlies a distinctive condition, resembling a mild, atypical form of CGD
Annemarie van de Geer, Alejandro Nieto-Patlán, Douglas B. Kuhns, Anton T.J. Tool, Andrés A. Arias, Matthieu Bouaziz, Martin de Boer, José Luis Franco, Roel P. Gazendam, John L. van Hamme, Michel van Houdt, Karin van Leeuwen, Paul J.H. Verkuijlen, Timo K. van den Berg, Juan F. Alzate, Carlos A. Arango-Franco, Vritika Batura, Andrea R. Bernasconi, Barbara Boardman, Claire Booth, Siobhan O. Burns, Felipe Cabarcas, Nadine Cerf Bensussan, Fabienne Charbit-Henrion, Anniek Corveleyn, Caroline Deswarte, María Esnaola Azcoiti, Dirk Foell, John I. Gallin, Carlos Garcés, Margarida Guedes, Claas H. Hinze, Steven M. Holland, Stephen M. Hughes, Patricio Ibañez, Harry L. Malech, Isabelle Meyts, Marcela Moncada-Velez, Kunihiko Moriya, Esmeralda Neves, Matias Oleastro, Laura Perez, Vimel Rattina, Carmen Oleaga-Quintas, Neil Warner, Aleixo M. Muise, Jeanet Serafin López, Eunice Trindade, Julia Vasconselos, Severine Vermeire, Helmut Wittkowski, Austen Worth, Laurent Abel, Mary C. Dinauer, Peter D. Arkwright, Dirk Roos, Jean-Laurent Casanova, Taco W. Kuijpers, Jacinta Bustamante
BACKGROUND. The circadian clock is a fundamental and pervasive biological program that coordinates 24-hour rhythms in physiology, metabolism and behaviour, and it is essential to health. Whereas time-of-day adapted therapy is increasingly reported to be highly successful, it needs to be personalized since internal circadian time is different for each individual. In addition, internal time is not a stable trait, but is influenced by many factors including genetic predisposition, age, gender, environmental light levels and season. An easy and convenient diagnostic tool is currently missing. METHODS. To establish a validated test, we followed a three-stage biomarker development strategy: (i) using circadian transcriptomics of blood monocytes from 12 individuals in a constant routine protocol combined with machine learning approaches, we identified biomarkers for internal time; (ii) these biomarkers were migrated to a clinically relevant gene expression-profiling platform (NanoString), and (iii) externally validated using an independent study with 28 early or late chronotypes. RESULTS. We developed a highly accurate and simple assay (BodyTime) to estimate the internal circadian time in humans from a single blood sample. Our assay needs only a small set of blood-based transcript biomarkers and is as accurate as the current gold standard dim light melatonin onset method at smaller monetary, time and sample number cost. CONCLUSION. The BodyTime assay provides a new diagnostic tool for personalization of healthcare according to the patient’s circadian clock. FUNDING. This study was supported by the Bundesministerium für Bildung und Forschung, Germany (FKZ: 13N13160 and 13N13162) and Intellux GmbH, Germany.
Nicole Wittenbrink, Bharath Ananthasubramaniam, Mirjam Münch, Barbara Koller, Bert Maier, Charlotte Weschke, Frederik Bes, Jan de Zeeuw, Claudia Nowozin, Amely Wahnschaffe, Sophia Wisniewski, Mandy Zaleska, Osnat Bartok, Reut Ashwal-Fluss, Hedwig Lammert, Hanspeter Herzel, Michael Hummel, Sebastian Kadener, Dieter Kunz, Achim Kramer
Ikaros/IKZF1 is an essential transcription factor expressed throughout hematopoiesis. IKZF1 is implicated in lymphocyte and myeloid differentiation and negative regulation of cell proliferation. In humans, somatic mutations in IKZF1 have been linked to the development of B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) in children and adults. Recently, heterozygous germline IKZF1 mutations have been identified in patients with a B cell immune deficiency mimicking common variable immunodeficiency. These mutations demonstrated incomplete penetrance and led to haploinsufficiency. Herein, we report 7 unrelated patients with a novel early-onset combined immunodeficiency associated with de novo germline IKZF1 heterozygous mutations affecting amino acid N159 located in the DNA-binding domain of IKZF1. Different bacterial and viral infections were diagnosed, but Pneumocystis jirovecii pneumonia was reported in all patients. One patient developed a T cell ALL. This immunodeficiency was characterized by innate and adaptive immune defects, including low numbers of B cells, neutrophils, eosinophils, and myeloid dendritic cells, as well as T cell and monocyte dysfunctions. Notably, most T cells exhibited a naive phenotype and were unable to evolve into effector memory cells. Functional studies indicated these mutations act as dominant negative. This defect expands the clinical spectrum of human IKZF1-associated diseases from somatic to germline, from haploinsufficient to dominant negative.
David Boutboul, Hye Sun Kuehn, Zoé Van de Wyngaert, Julie E. Niemela, Isabelle Callebaut, Jennifer Stoddard, Christelle Lenoir, Vincent Barlogis, Catherine Farnarier, Frédéric Vely, Nao Yoshida, Seiji Kojima, Hirokazu Kanegane, Akihiro Hoshino, Fabian Hauck, Ludovic Lhermitte, Vahid Asnafi, Philip Roehrs, Shaoying Chen, James W. Verbsky, Katherine R. Calvo, Ammar Husami, Kejian Zhang, Joseph Roberts, David Amrol, John Sleaseman, Amy P. Hsu, Steven M. Holland, Rebecca Marsh, Alain Fischer, Thomas A. Fleisher, Capucine Picard, Sylvain Latour, Sergio D. Rosenzweig
Epigenetic modifications control cancer development and clonal evolution in various cancer types. Here, we show that loss of the male-specific histone demethylase lysine-specific demethylase 5D (KDM5D) encoded on the Y chromosome epigenetically modifies histone methylation marks and alters gene expression, resulting in aggressive prostate cancer. Fluorescent in situ hybridization demonstrated that segmental or total deletion of the Y chromosome in prostate cancer cells is one of the causes of decreased KDM5D mRNA expression. The result of ChIP-sequencing analysis revealed that KDM5D preferably binds to promoter regions with coenrichment of the motifs of crucial transcription factors that regulate the cell cycle. Loss of KDM5D expression with dysregulated H3K4me3 transcriptional marks was associated with acceleration of the cell cycle and mitotic entry, leading to increased DNA-replication stress. Analysis of multiple clinical data sets reproducibly showed that loss of expression of KDM5D confers a poorer prognosis. Notably, we also found stress-induced DNA damage on the serine/threonine protein kinase ATR with loss of KDM5D. In KDM5D-deficient cells, blocking ATR activity with an ATR inhibitor enhanced DNA damage, which led to subsequent apoptosis. These data start to elucidate the biological characteristics resulting from loss of KDM5D and also provide clues for a potential novel therapeutic approach for this subset of aggressive prostate cancer.
Kazumasa Komura, Yuki Yoshikawa, Teppei Shimamura, Goutam Chakraborty, Travis A. Gerke, Kunihiko Hinohara, Kalyani Chadalavada, Seong Ho Jeong, Joshua Armenia, Shin-Yi Du, Ying Z. Mazzu, Kohei Taniguchi, Naokazu Ibuki, Clifford A. Meyer, Gouri J. Nanjangud, Teruo Inamoto, Gwo-Shu Mary Lee, Lorelei A. Mucci, Haruhito Azuma, Christopher J. Sweeney, Philip W. Kantoff
Neuronatin (Nnat) is an imprinted gene implicated in human obesity and widely expressed in neuroendocrine and metabolic tissues in a hormone and nutrient-sensitive manner. However, its molecular and cellular functions and precise role in organismal physiology remain only partly defined. Here we demonstrate that mice lacking Nnat globally or specifically in β cells display impaired glucose-stimulated insulin secretion leading to defective glucose handling under conditions of nutrient-excess. In contrast, we report no evidence for any feeding or body weight phenotypes in global Nnat null mice. At the molecular level neuronatin augments insulin signal peptide cleavage by binding to the signal peptidase complex and facilitates translocation of the nascent preprohormone. Loss of neuronatin expression in β cells therefore reduces insulin content and blunts glucose-stimulated insulin secretion. Nnat expression, in turn, is glucose-regulated. This mechanism therefore represents a novel site of nutrient-sensitive control of β cell function and whole animal glucose homeostasis. These data also suggest a potential wider role for Nnat in the regulation of metabolism through the modulation of peptide processing events.
Steven J. Millership, Gabriela da Silva Xavier, Agharul I. Choudhury, Sergio Bertazzo, Pauline Chabosseau, Silvia M.A. Pedroni, Elaine E. Irvine, Alex Montoya, Peter Faull, William R. Taylor, Julie Kerr-Conte, Francois Pattou, Jorge Ferrer, Mark Christian, Rosalind M. John, Mathieu Latreille, Ming Liu, Guy A. Rutter, James Scott, Dominic J. Withers
Precision medicine seeks to treat disease with molecular specificity. Advances in genome sequence analysis, gene delivery, and genome surgery have allowed clinician-scientists to treat genetic conditions at the level of their pathology. As a result, progress in treating retinal disease using genetic tools has advanced tremendously over the past several decades. Breakthroughs in gene delivery vectors, both viral and nonviral, have allowed the delivery of genetic payloads in preclinical models of retinal disorders and have paved the way for numerous successful clinical trials. Moreover, the adaptation of CRISPR-Cas systems for genome engineering have enabled the correction of both recessive and dominant pathogenic alleles, expanding the disease-modifying power of gene therapies. Here, we highlight the translational progress of gene therapy and genome editing of several retinal disorders, including RPE65-, CEP290-, and GUY2D-associated Leber congenital amaurosis, as well as choroideremia, achromatopsia, Mer tyrosine kinase– (MERTK–) and RPGR X-linked retinitis pigmentosa, Usher syndrome, neovascular age-related macular degeneration, X-linked retinoschisis, Stargardt disease, and Leber hereditary optic neuropathy.
James E. DiCarlo, Vinit B. Mahajan, Stephen H. Tsang
Receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) are important drivers of cancers. In addition to genomic alterations, aberrant activation of wild type RTKs plays an important role in driving cancer progression. However, the underlying mechanisms of how RTKs drive prostate cancer remain incompletely characterized. Here we show that non-proteolytic ubiquitination of RTK regulates its kinase activity and contributes to RTK-mediated prostate cancer metastasis. TRAF4, an E3 ubiquitin ligase, is highly expressed in metastatic prostate cancer. We demonstrated here that it is a key player in regulating RTK mediated prostate cancer metastasis. We further identified TrkA, a neurotrophin RTK, as TRAF4-targeted ubiquitination substrate that promotes cancer cell invasion and inhibition of TrkA activity abolished TRAF4-dependent cell invasion. TRAF4 promoted K27 and K29-linked ubiquitination at the TrkA kinase domain and increased its kinase activity. Mutation of TRAF4-targeted ubiquitination sites abolished TrkA tyrosine auto-phosphorylation and its interaction with downstream proteins. TRAF4 knockdown also suppressed NGF-stimulated TrkA downstream p38 MAPK activation and invasion-associated gene expression. Furthermore, elevated TRAF4 levels significantly correlated with increased NGF-stimulated invasion-associated gene expression in prostate cancer patients, indicating that this signaling axis is significantly activated during oncogenesis. Our results revealed a post-translational modification mechanism contributing to aberrant non-mutated RTK activation in cancer cells.
Ramesh Singh, Dileep Karri, Hong Shen, Jiangyong Shao, Subhamoy Dasgupta, Shixia Huang, Dean P. Edwards, Michael M. Ittmann, Bert W. O’Malley, Ping Yi