Synovial sarcoma (SS) is an aggressive soft-tissue sarcoma that is often discovered during adolescence and young adulthood. Despite the name, synovial sarcoma does not typically arise from a synoviocyte but instead arises in close proximity to bones. Previous work demonstrated that mice expressing the characteristic SS18-SSX fusion oncogene in myogenic factor 5–expressing (Myf5-expressing) cells develop fully penetrant sarcomagenesis, suggesting skeletal muscle progenitor cell origin. However, Myf5 is not restricted to committed myoblasts in embryos but is also expressed in multipotent mesenchymal progenitors. Here, we demonstrated that human SS and mouse tumors arising from SS18-SSX expression in the embryonic, but not postnatal, Myf5 lineage share an anatomic location that is frequently adjacent to bone. Additionally, we showed that SS can originate from periosteal cells expressing SS18-SSX alone and from preosteoblasts expressing the fusion oncogene accompanied by the added stabilization of β-catenin, which is a common secondary change in SS. Expression and secretion of the osteoclastogenesis inhibitory factor osteoprotegerin enabled early growth of SS18-SSX2–transformed cells, indicating a paracrine link between the bone and synovial sarcomagenesis. These findings explain the skeletal contact frequently observed in human SS and may provide alternate means of enabling SS18-SSX–driven oncogenesis in cells as differentiated as preosteoblasts.
Jared J. Barrott, Benjamin E. Illum, Huifeng Jin, Matthew L. Hedberg, Yanliang Wang, Allie Grossmann, Malay Haldar, Mario R. Capecchi, Kevin B. Jones
Retinitis pigmentosa (RP) is a major cause of blindness that affects 1.5 million people worldwide. Mutations in cyclic nucleotide-gated channel β 1 (CNGB1) cause approximately 4% of autosomal recessive RP. Gene augmentation therapy shows promise for treating inherited retinal degenerations; however, relevant animal models and biomarkers of progression in patients with RP are needed to assess therapeutic outcomes. Here, we evaluated RP patients with CNGB1 mutations for potential biomarkers of progression and compared human phenotypes with those of mouse and dog models of the disease. Additionally, we used gene augmentation therapy in a CNGβ1-deficient dog model to evaluate potential translation to patients. CNGB1-deficient RP patients and mouse and dog models had a similar phenotype characterized by early loss of rod function and slow rod photoreceptor loss with a secondary decline in cone function. Advanced imaging showed promise for evaluating RP progression in human patients, and gene augmentation using adeno-associated virus vectors robustly sustained the rescue of rod function and preserved retinal structure in the dog model. Together, our results reveal an early loss of rod function in CNGB1-deficient patients and a wide window for therapeutic intervention. Moreover, the identification of potential biomarkers of outcome measures, availability of relevant animal models, and robust functional rescue from gene augmentation therapy support future work to move CNGB1-RP therapies toward clinical trials.
Simon M. Petersen-Jones, Laurence M. Occelli, Paige A. Winkler, Winston Lee, Janet R. Sparrow, Mai Tsukikawa, Sanford L. Boye, Vince Chiodo, Jenina E. Capasso, Elvir Becirovic, Christian Schön, Mathias W. Seeliger, Alex V. Levin, Stylianos Michalakis, William W. Hauswirth, Stephen H. Tsang
The incorporation of excess saturated free fatty acids (SFAs) into membrane phospholipids within the ER promotes ER stress, insulin resistance, and hepatic gluconeogenesis. Thioesterase superfamily member 2 (Them2) is a mitochondria-associated long-chain fatty acyl-CoA thioesterase that is activated upon binding phosphatidylcholine transfer protein (PC-TP). Under fasting conditions, the Them2/PC-TP complex directs saturated fatty acyl-CoA toward β-oxidation. Here, we showed that during either chronic overnutrition or acute induction of ER stress, Them2 and PC-TP play critical roles in trafficking SFAs into the glycerolipid biosynthetic pathway to form saturated phospholipids, which ultimately reduce ER membrane fluidity. The Them2/PC-TP complex activated ER stress pathways by enhancing translocon-mediated efflux of ER calcium. The increased cytosolic calcium, in turn, led to the phosphorylation of calcium/calmodulin-dependent protein kinase II, which promoted both hepatic insulin resistance and gluconeogenesis. These findings delineate a mechanistic link between obesity and insulin resistance and establish the Them2/PC-TP complex as an attractive target for the management of hepatic steatosis and insulin resistance.
Baran A. Ersoy, Kristal M. Maner-Smith, Yingxia Li, Ipek Alpertunga, David E. Cohen
V617F driver mutation of JAK2 is the leading cause of the Philadelphia-chromosome-negative myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs). Although thrombosis is a leading cause of mortality and morbidity in MPNs, the mechanisms underlying their pathogenesis are unclear. Here, we identified pleckstrin-2 (Plek2) as a downstream target of the JAK2/STAT5 pathway in erythroid and myeloid cells, and showed that it is upregulated in a JAK2V617F-positive MPN mouse model and in patients with MPNs. Loss of Plek2 ameliorated JAK2V617F-induced myeloproliferative phenotypes including erythrocytosis, neutrophilia, thrombocytosis, and splenomegaly, thereby reverting the widespread vascular occlusions and lethality in JAK2V617F-knockin mice. Additionally, we demonstrated that a reduction in red blood cell mass was the main contributing factor in the reversion of vascular occlusions. Thus, our study identifies Plek2 as an effector of the JAK2/STAT5 pathway and a key factor in the pathogenesis of JAK2V617F-induced MPNs, pointing to Plek2 as a viable target for the treatment of MPNs.
Baobing Zhao, Yang Mei, Lan Cao, Jingxin Zhang, Ronen Sumagin, Jing Yang, Juehua Gao, Matthew J. Schipma, Yanfeng Wang, Chelsea Thorsheim, Liang Zhao, Timothy Stalker, Brady Stein, Qiang Jeremy Wen, John D. Crispino, Charles S. Abrams, Peng Ji
Humoral rejection is the most common cause of solid organ transplant failure. Here, we evaluated a cohort of 49 patients who were successfully grafted with allogenic islets and determined that the appearance of donor-specific anti-HLA antibodies (DSAs) did not accelerate the rate of islet graft attrition, suggesting resistance to humoral rejection. Murine DSAs bound to allogeneic targets expressed by islet cells and induced their destruction in vitro; however, passive transfer of the same DSAs did not affect islet graft survival in murine models. Live imaging revealed that DSAs were sequestrated in the circulation of the recipients and failed to reach the endocrine cells of grafted islets. We used murine heart transplantation models to confirm that endothelial cells were the only accessible targets for DSAs, which induced the development of typical microvascular lesions in allogeneic transplants. In contrast, the vasculature of DSA-exposed allogeneic islet grafts was devoid of lesions because sprouting of recipient capillaries reestablished blood flow in grafted islets. Thus, we conclude that endothelial chimerism combined with vascular sequestration of DSAs protects islet grafts from humoral rejection. The reduced immunoglobulin concentrations in the interstitial tissue, confirmed in patients, may have important implications for biotherapies such as vaccines and monoclonal antibodies.
Chien-Chia Chen, Eric Pouliquen, Alexis Broisat, Francesco Andreata, Maud Racapé, Patrick Bruneval, Laurence Kessler, Mitra Ahmadi, Sandrine Bacot, Carole Saison-Delaplace, Marina Marcaud, Jean-Paul Duong Van Huyen, Alexandre Loupy, Jean Villard, Sandrine Demuylder-Mischler, Thierry Berney, Emmanuel Morelon, Meng-Kun Tsai, Marie-Nathalie Kolopp-Sarda, Alice Koenig, Virginie Mathias, Stéphanie Ducreux, Catherine Ghezzi, Valerie Dubois, Antonino Nicoletti, Thierry Defrance, Olivier Thaunat
Natural and synthetic progestogens have been commonly used to prevent recurrent pregnancy loss in women with inadequate progesterone secretion or reduced progesterone sensitivity. However, the clinical efficacy of progesterone and its analogs for maintaining pregnancy is variable. Additionally, the underlying cause of impaired endometrial progesterone responsiveness during early pregnancy remains unknown. Here, we demonstrated that uterine-selective depletion of BMI1, a key component of the polycomb repressive complex-1 (PRC1), hampers uterine progesterone responsiveness and derails normal uterine receptivity, resulting in implantation failure in mice. We further uncovered genetic and biochemical evidence that BMI1 interacts with the progesterone receptor (PR) and the E3 ligase E6AP in a polycomb complex–independent manner and regulates the PR ubiquitination that is essential for normal progesterone responsiveness. A close association of aberrantly low endometrial BMI1 expression with restrained PR responsiveness in women who had previously had a miscarriage indicated that the role of BMI1 in endometrial PR function is conserved in mice and in humans. In addition to uncovering a potential regulatory mechanism of BMI1 that ensures normal endometrial progesterone responsiveness during early pregnancy, our findings have the potential to help clarify the underlying causes of spontaneous pregnancy loss in women.
Qiliang Xin, Shuangbo Kong, Junhao Yan, Jingtao Qiu, Bo He, Chan Zhou, Zhangli Ni, Haili Bao, Lin Huang, Jinhua Lu, Guoliang Xia, Xicheng Liu, Zi-Jiang Chen, Chao Wang, Haibin Wang
The NLRP3 inflammasome is a protein complex responsible for caspase-1–dependent maturation of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-18. Gain-of-function missense mutations in NLRP3 cause the disease spectrum known as the cryopyrin-associated periodic syndromes (CAPS). In this study, we generated Nlrp3-knockin mice on various KO backgrounds including Il1b/Il18-, caspase-1–, caspase-11– (Casp1/11-), and Tnf-deficient strains. The Nlrp3L351P Il1b–/– Il18–/– mutant mice survived and grew normally until adulthood and, at 6 months of age, exhibited marked splenomegaly and leukophilia. Injection of these mice with low-dose LPS resulted in elevated serum TNF levels compared with Nlrp3L351P Casp1/11–/– mice and Il1b–/– Il18–/– littermates. Treatment of Nlrp3A350V mice with the TNF inhibitor etanercept resulted in all pups surviving to adulthood, with normal body and spleen/body weight ratios. Nlrp3A350V Tnf–/– mice showed a similar phenotypic rescue, with marked reductions in serum IL-1β and IL-18, reduced myeloid inflammatory infiltrate in the skin and spleen, and substantial decreases in splenic mRNA expression of both inflammasome components (Nlrp3, Pycard, pro-Casp1) and pro-cytokines (Il1b, Il18). Likewise, we observed a reduction in the expression of both pro-Casp1 and pro-Il1b in cultured Nlrp3A350V Tnf–/– BM-derived DCs. Our data show that TNF is an important transcriptional regulator of NLRP3 inflammasome components in murine inflammasomopathies. Moreover, these results may have therapeutic implications for CAPS patients with partial responses to IL-1–targeted therapies.
Matthew D. McGeough, Alexander Wree, Maria E. Inzaugarat, Ariela Haimovich, Casey D. Johnson, Carla A. Peña, Raphaela Goldbach-Mansky, Lori Broderick, Ariel E. Feldstein, Hal M. Hoffman
Abnormal activity of the renin-angiotensin-aldosterone system plays a causal role in the development of hypertension, atherosclerosis, and associated cardiovascular events such as myocardial infarction, stroke, and heart failure. As both a vasoconstrictor and a proinflammatory mediator, angiotensin II (Ang II) is considered a potential link between hypertension and atherosclerosis. However, a role for Ang II–induced inflammation in atherosclerosis has not been clearly established, and the molecular mechanisms and intracellular signaling pathways involved are not known. Here, we demonstrated that the RhoA GEF Arhgef1 is essential for Ang II–induced inflammation. Specifically, we showed that deletion of Arhgef1 in a murine model prevents Ang II–induced integrin activation in leukocytes, thereby preventing Ang II–induced recruitment of leukocytes to the endothelium. Mice lacking both LDL receptor (LDLR) and Arhgef1 were protected from high-fat diet–induced atherosclerosis. Moreover, reconstitution of Ldlr–/– mice with Arhgef1-deficient BM prevented high-fat diet–induced atherosclerosis, while reconstitution of Ldlr–/– Arhgef1–/– with WT BM exacerbated atherosclerotic lesion formation, supporting Arhgef1 activation in leukocytes as causal in the development of atherosclerosis. Thus, our data highlight the importance of Arhgef1 in cardiovascular disease and suggest targeting Arhgef1 as a potential therapeutic strategy against atherosclerosis.
Maria Luigia Carbone, Gilliane Chadeuf, Sandrine Heurtebise-Chrétien, Xavier Prieur, Thibault Quillard, Yann Goueffic, Nathalie Vaillant, Marc Rio, Laure Castan, Maxim Durand, Céline Baron-Menguy, Julien Aureille, Juliette Desfrançois, Angela Tesse, Raul M. Torres, Gervaise Loirand
p120-Catenin (p120) functions as a tumor suppressor in intestinal cancer, but the mechanism is unclear. Here, using conditional p120 knockout in Apc-sensitized mouse models of intestinal cancer, we have identified p120 as an “obligatory” haploinsufficient tumor suppressor. Whereas monoallelic loss of p120 was associated with a significant increase in tumor multiplicity, loss of both alleles was never observed in tumors from these mice. Moreover, forced ablation of the second allele did not further enhance tumorigenesis, but instead induced synthetic lethality in combination with Apc loss of heterozygosity. In tumor-derived organoid cultures, elimination of both p120 alleles resulted in caspase-3–dependent apoptosis that was blocked by inhibition of Rho kinase (ROCK). With ROCK inhibition, however, p120-ablated organoids exhibited a branching phenotype and a substantial increase in cell proliferation. Access to data from Sleeping Beauty mutagenesis screens afforded an opportunity to directly assess the tumorigenic impact of p120 haploinsufficiency relative to other candidate drivers. Remarkably, p120 ranked third among the 919 drivers identified. Cofactors α-catenin and epithelial cadherin (E-cadherin) were also among the highest scoring candidates, indicating a mechanism at the level of the intact complex that may play an important role at very early stages of of intestinal tumorigenesis while simultaneously restricting outright loss via synthetic lethality.
Sarah P. Short, Jumpei Kondo, Whitney G. Smalley-Freed, Haruna Takeda, Michael R. Dohn, Anne E. Powell, Robert H. Carnahan, Mary K. Washington, Manish Tripathi, D. Michael Payne, Nancy A. Jenkins, Neal G. Copeland, Robert J. Coffey, Albert B. Reynolds
Transcriptional repression of ubiquitin B (UBB) is a cancer-subtype-specific alteration that occurs in a substantial population of patients with cancers of the female reproductive tract. UBB is 1 of 2 genes encoding for ubiquitin as a polyprotein consisting of multiple copies of ubiquitin monomers. Silencing of UBB reduces cellular UBB levels and results in an exquisite dependence on ubiquitin C (UBC), the second polyubiquitin gene. UBB is repressed in approximately 30% of high-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) patients and is a recurrent lesion in uterine carcinosarcoma and endometrial carcinoma. We identified ovarian tumor cell lines that retain UBB in a repressed state, used these cell lines to establish orthotopic ovarian tumors, and found that inducible expression of a UBC-targeting shRNA led to tumor regression, and substantial long-term survival benefit. Thus, we describe a recurrent cancer-specific lesion at the level of ubiquitin production. Moreover, these observations reveal the prognostic value of UBB repression and establish UBC as a promising therapeutic target for ovarian cancer patients with recurrent UBB silencing.
Alexia T. Kedves, Scott Gleim, Xiaoyou Liang, Dennis M. Bonal, Frederic Sigoillot, Fred Harbinski, Sneha Sanghavi, Christina Benander, Elizabeth George, Prafulla C. Gokhale, Quang-De Nguyen, Paul T. Kirschmeier, Robert J. Distel, Jeremy Jenkins, Michael S. Goldberg, William C. Forrester