Pyrin is an inflammasome sensor that promotes caspase-1–mediated pyroptotic cell death and maturation of proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β and IL-18. Familial Mediterranean fever (FMF), an autoinflammatory disorder, is associated with mutations in the gene encoding pyrin (MEFV). FMF-knockin (FMF-KI) mice that express chimeric pyrin protein with FMF mutation (MefvV726A/V726A) exhibit an autoinflammatory disorder mediated by autoactivation of the pyrin inflammasome. Increase in the levels of TNF are observed in FMF-KI mice, and many features of FMF overlap with the autoinflammatory disorder associated with TNF receptor signaling. In this study, we assessed the contribution of TNF signaling to pyrin inflammasome activation and its consequent role in distinct FMF pathologies. TNF signaling promoted the expression of pyrin in response to multiple stimuli and was required for inflammasome activation in response to canonical pyrin stimuli and in myeloid cells from FMF-KI mice. TNF signaling promoted systemic wasting, anemia, and neutrophilia in the FMF-KI mice. Further, TNF-induced pathology was induced specifically through the TNFR1 receptor, while TNFR2-mediated signaling was distinctly protective in colitis and ankle joint inflammation. Overall, our data show that TNF is a critical modulator of pyrin expression, inflammasome activation, and pyrin-inflammasomopathy. Further, specific blockade of TNFR1 or activation of TNFR2 could provide substantial protection against FMF pathologies.
Deepika Sharma, Ankit Malik, Clifford Guy, Peter Vogel, Thirumala-Devi Kanneganti
Vaccines are among the most effective public health tools for combating certain infectious diseases such as influenza. The role of the humoral immune system in vaccine-induced protection is widely appreciated; however, our understanding of how antibody specificities relate to B cell function remains limited due to the complexity of polyclonal antibody responses. To address this, we developed the Spec-seq framework, which allows for simultaneous monoclonal antibody (mAb) characterization and transcriptional profiling from the same single cell. Here, we present the first application of the Spec-seq framework, which we applied to human plasmablasts after influenza vaccination in order to characterize transcriptional differences governed by B cell receptor (BCR) isotype and vaccine reactivity. Our analysis did not find evidence of long-term transcriptional specialization between plasmablasts of different isotypes. However, we did find enhanced transcriptional similarity between clonally related B cells, as well as distinct transcriptional signatures ascribed by BCR vaccine recognition. These data suggest IgG and IgA vaccine–positive plasmablasts are largely similar, whereas IgA vaccine–negative cells appear to be transcriptionally distinct from conventional, terminally differentiated, antigen-induced peripheral blood plasmablasts.
Karlynn E. Neu, Jenna J. Guthmiller, Min Huang, Jennifer La, Marcos C. Vieira, Kangchon Kim, Nai-Ying Zheng, Mario Cortese, Micah E. Tepora, Natalie J. Hamel, Karla Thatcher Rojas, Carole Henry, Dustin Shaw, Charles L. Dulberger, Bali Pulendran, Sarah Cobey, Aly A. Khan, Patrick C. Wilson
Angelman syndrome (AS) is a neurodevelopmental disorder in which epilepsy is common (~90%) and often refractory to antiepileptics. AS is caused by mutation of the maternal allele encoding the ubiquitin protein ligase E3A (UBE3A), but it is unclear how this genetic insult confers vulnerability to seizure development and progression (i.e., epileptogenesis). Here, we implemented the flurothyl kindling and retest paradigm in AS model mice to assess epileptogenesis and to gain mechanistic insights owed to loss of maternal Ube3a. AS model mice kindled similarly to wild-type mice, but they displayed a markedly increased sensitivity to flurothyl-, kainic acid–, and hyperthermia-induced seizures measured a month later during retest. Pathological characterization revealed enhanced deposition of perineuronal nets in the dentate gyrus of the hippocampus of AS mice in the absence of overt neuronal loss or mossy fiber sprouting. This pro-epileptogenic phenotype resulted from Ube3a deletion in GABAergic but not glutamatergic neurons, and it was rescued by pancellular reinstatement of Ube3a at postnatal day 21 (P21), but not during adulthood. Our results suggest that epileptogenic susceptibility in AS patients is a consequence of the dysfunctional development of GABAergic circuits, which may be amenable to therapies leveraging juvenile reinstatement of UBE3A.
Bin Gu, Kelly E. Carstens, Matthew C. Judson, Katherine A. Dalton, Marie Rougié, Ellen P. Clark, Serena M. Dudek, Benjamin D. Philpot
Targeted therapy with small molecules directed at essential survival pathways in leukemia represents a major advance, including the phosphatidylinositol-3′-kinase (PI3K) p110δ inhibitor idelalisib. Here, we found that genetic inactivation of p110δ (p110δD910A/D910A) in the Eμ-TCL1 murine chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) model impaired B cell receptor signaling and B cell migration, and significantly delayed leukemia pathogenesis. Regardless of TCL1 expression, p110δ inactivation led to rectal prolapse in mice resembling autoimmune colitis in patients receiving idelalisib. Moreover, we showed that p110δ inactivation in the microenvironment protected against CLL and acute myeloid leukemia. After receiving higher numbers of TCL1 leukemia cells, half of p110δD910A/D910A mice spontaneously recovered from high disease burden and resisted leukemia rechallenge. Despite disease resistance, p110δD910A/D910A mice exhibited compromised CD4+ and CD8+ T cell response, and depletion of CD4+ or CD8+ T cells restored leukemia. Interestingly, p110δD910A/D910A mice showed significantly impaired Treg expansion that associated with disease clearance. Reconstitution of p110δD910A/D910A mice with p110δWT/WT Tregs reversed leukemia resistance. Our findings suggest that p110δ inhibitors may have direct antileukemic and indirect immune-activating effects, further supporting that p110δ blockade may have a broader immune-modulatory role in types of leukemia that are not sensitive to p110δ inhibition.
Shuai Dong, Bonnie K. Harrington, Eileen Y. Hu, Joseph T. Greene, Amy M. Lehman, Minh Tran, Ronni L. Wasmuth, Meixiao Long, Natarajan Muthusamy, Jennifer R. Brown, Amy J. Johnson, John C. Byrd
Mutations in CDCA7 and HELLS that respectively encode a CXXC-type zinc finger protein and an SNF2 family chromatin remodeler cause immunodeficiency, centromeric instability, and facial anomalies (ICF) syndrome types 3 and 4. Here, we demonstrate that the classical nonhomologous end joining (C-NHEJ) proteins Ku80 and Ku70, as well as HELLS, coimmunoprecipitated with CDCA7. The coimmunoprecipitation of the repair proteins was sensitive to nuclease treatment and an ICF3 mutation in CDCA7 that impairs its chromatin binding. The functional importance of these interactions was strongly suggested by the compromised C-NHEJ activity and significant delay in Ku80 accumulation at DNA damage sites in CDCA7- and HELLS-deficient HEK293 cells. Consistent with the repair defect, these cells displayed increased apoptosis, abnormal chromosome segregation, aneuploidy, centrosome amplification, and significant accumulation of γH2AX signals. Although less prominent, cells with mutations in the other ICF genes DNMT3B and ZBTB24 (responsible for ICF types 1 and 2, respectively) showed similar defects. Importantly, lymphoblastoid cells from ICF patients shared the same changes detected in the mutant HEK293 cells to varying degrees. Although the C-NHEJ defect alone did not cause CG hypomethylation, CDCA7 and HELLS are involved in maintaining CG methylation at centromeric and pericentromeric repeats. The defect in C-NHEJ may account for some common features of ICF cells, including centromeric instability, abnormal chromosome segregation, and apoptosis.
Motoko Unoki, Hironori Funabiki, Guillaume Velasco, Claire Francastel, Hiroyuki Sasaki
Graft-versus-tumor (GVT) effects have been thought to mostly result from allogeneic transplants; however, there is a growing body of research that supports a possible autologous GVT effect. In early clinical studies, a positive correlation between lymphocyte count recovery after autologous transplantation and overall survival has been observed. However, mechanistic studies to identify the mediators of autologous GVT responses have been lacking. In this issue of the JCI, Vuckovic et al. observed a T cell–dependent autologous GVT effect in the Vk*MYC myeloma model. Moreover, the authors showed that CD8+ T cells mediate myeloma control through IFN-γ secretion, which could be further augmented with a CD137 agonist, suggesting a therapeutic approach for enhancing autologous GVT.
Shuai Dong, Irene M. Ghobrial
Glioblastoma is highly enriched with macrophages, and osteopontin (OPN) expression levels correlate with glioma grade and the degree of macrophage infiltration; thus, we studied whether OPN plays a crucial role in immune modulation. Quantitative PCR, immunoblotting, and ELISA were used to determine OPN expression. Knockdown of OPN was achieved using complementary siRNA, shRNA, and CRISPR/Cas9 techniques, followed by a series of in vitro functional migration and immunological assays. OPN gene–deficient mice were used to examine the roles of non-tumor-derived OPN on survival of mice harboring intracranial gliomas. Patients with mesenchymal glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) show high OPN expression, a negative survival prognosticator. OPN is a potent chemokine for macrophages, and its blockade significantly impaired the ability of glioma cells to recruit macrophages. Integrin αvβ5 (ITGαvβ5) is highly expressed on glioblastoma-infiltrating macrophages and constitutes a major OPN receptor. OPN maintains the M2 macrophage gene signature and phenotype. Both tumor-derived and host-derived OPN were critical for glioma development. OPN deficiency in either innate immune or glioma cells resulted in a marked reduction in M2 macrophages and elevated T cell effector activity infiltrating the glioma. Furthermore, OPN deficiency in the glioma cells sensitized them to direct CD8+ T cell cytotoxicity. Systemic administration in mice of 4-1BB–OPN bispecific aptamers was efficacious, increasing median survival time by 68% (P < 0.05). OPN is thus an important chemokine for recruiting macrophages to glioblastoma, mediates crosstalk between tumor cells and the innate immune system, and has the potential to be exploited as a therapeutic target.
Jun Wei, Anantha Marisetty, Brett Schrand, Konrad Gabrusiewicz, Yuuri Hashimoto, Martina Ott, Zacharia Grami, Ling-Yuan Kong, Xiaoyang Ling, Hillary Caruso, Shouhao Zhou, Y. Alan Wang, Gregory N. Fuller, Jason Huse, Eli Gilboa, Nannan Kang, Xingxu Huang, Roel Verhaak, Shulin Li, Amy B. Heimberger
Transplantation with autologous hematopoietic progenitors remains an important consolidation treatment for patients with multiple myeloma (MM) and is thought to prolong the disease plateau phase by providing intensive cytoreduction. However, transplantation induces inflammation in the context of profound lymphodepletion that may cause hitherto unexpected immunological effects. We developed preclinical models of bone marrow transplantation (BMT) for MM using Vk*MYC myeloma–bearing recipient mice and donor mice that were myeloma naive or myeloma experienced to simulate autologous transplantation. Surprisingly, we demonstrated broad induction of T cell–dependent myeloma control, most efficiently from memory T cells within myeloma-experienced grafts, but also through priming of naive T cells after BMT. CD8+ T cells from mice with controlled myeloma had a distinct T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire and higher clonotype overlap relative to myeloma-free BMT recipients. Furthermore, T cell–dependent myeloma control could be adoptively transferred to secondary recipients and was myeloma cell clone specific. Interestingly, donor-derived IL-17A acted directly on myeloma cells expressing the IL-17 receptor to induce a transcriptional landscape that promoted tumor growth and immune escape. Conversely, donor IFN-γ secretion and signaling were critical to protective immunity and were profoundly augmented by CD137 agonists. These data provide new insights into the mechanisms of action of transplantation in myeloma and provide rational approaches to improving clinical outcomes.
Slavica Vuckovic, Simone A. Minnie, David Smith, Kate H. Gartlan, Thomas S. Watkins, Kate A. Markey, Pamela Mukhopadhyay, Camille Guillerey, Rachel D. Kuns, Kelly R. Locke, Antonia L. Pritchard, Peter A. Johansson, Antiopi Varelias, Ping Zhang, Nicholas D. Huntington, Nicola Waddell, Marta Chesi, John J. Miles, Mark J. Smyth, Geoffrey R. Hill
People with diabetes mellitus have increased infection risk. With diabetes, urinary tract infection (UTI) is more common and has worse outcomes. Here, we investigate how diabetes and insulin resistance impact the kidney’s innate defenses and urine sterility. We report that type 2 diabetic mice have increased UTI risk. Moreover, insulin-resistant prediabetic mice have increased UTI susceptibility, independent of hyperglycemia or glucosuria. To identify how insulin resistance affects renal antimicrobial defenses, we genetically deleted the insulin receptor in the kidney’s collecting tubules and intercalated cells. Intercalated cells, located within collecting tubules, contribute to epithelial defenses by acidifying the urine and secreting antimicrobial peptides (AMPs) into the urinary stream. Collecting duct and intercalated cell–specific insulin receptor deletion did not impact urine acidification, suppressed downstream insulin-mediated targets and AMP expression, and increased UTI susceptibility. Specifically, insulin receptor–mediated signaling regulates AMPs, including lipocalin 2 and ribonuclease 4, via phosphatidylinositol-3-kinase signaling. These data suggest that insulin signaling plays a critical role in renal antibacterial defenses.
Matthew J. Murtha, Tad Eichler, Kristin Bender, Jackie Metheny, Birong Li, Andrew L. Schwaderer, Claudia Mosquera, Cindy James, Laura Schwartz, Brian Becknell, John David Spencer
Notch signaling critically controls cell fate decisions in mammals, both during embryogenesis and in adults. In the skeleton, Notch suppresses osteoblast differentiation and sustains bone marrow mesenchymal progenitors during postnatal life. Stabilizing mutations of Notch2 cause Hajdu-Cheney syndrome, which is characterized by early-onset osteoporosis in humans, but the mechanism whereby Notch inhibits bone accretion is not fully understood. Here, we report that activation of Notch signaling by either Jagged1 or the Notch2 intracellular domain suppresses glucose metabolism and osteoblast differentiation in primary cultures of bone marrow mesenchymal progenitors. Importantly, deletion of Notch2 in the limb mesenchyme increases both glycolysis and bone formation in the long bones of postnatal mice, whereas pharmacological reduction of glycolysis abrogates excessive bone formation. Mechanistically, Notch reduces the expression of glycolytic and mitochondrial complex I genes, resulting in a decrease in mitochondrial respiration, superoxide production, and AMPK activity. Forced activation of AMPK restores glycolysis in the face of Notch signaling. Thus, suppression of glucose metabolism contributes to the mechanism, whereby Notch restricts osteoblastogenesis from bone marrow mesenchymal progenitors.
Seung-Yon Lee, Fanxin Long
The agonistic/antagonistic biocharacter of selective estrogen receptor modulators (SERMs) can have therapeutic advantages, particularly in the case of premenopausal breast cancers. Although the contradictory effects of these modulators have been studied in terms of crosstalk between the estrogen receptor α (ER) and coactivator dynamics and growth factor signaling, the molecular basis of these mechanisms is still obscure. We identify a series of regulatory mechanisms controlling cofactor dynamics on ER and SERM function, whose activities require F-box protein 22 (Fbxo22). Skp1, Cullin1, F-box–containing complex (SCFFbxo22) ubiquitylated lysine demethylase 4B (KDM4B) complexed with tamoxifen-bound (TAM-bound) ER, whose degradation released steroid receptor coactivator (SRC) from ER. Depletion of Fbxo22 resulted in ER-dependent transcriptional activation via transactivation function 1 (AF1) function, even in the presence of SERMs. In living cells, TAM released SRC and KDM4B from ER in a Fbxo22-dependent manner. SRC release by TAM required Fbxo22 on almost all ER-SRC–bound enhancers and promoters. TAM failed to prevent the growth of Fbxo22-depleted, ER-positive breast cancers both in vitro and in vivo. Clinically, a low level of Fbxo22 in tumor tissues predicted a poorer outcome in ER-positive/human epidermal growth factor receptor type 2–negative (HER2-negative) breast cancers with high hazard ratios, independently of other markers such as Ki-67 and node status. We propose that the level of Fbxo22 in tumor tissues defines a new subclass of ER-positive breast cancers for which SCFFbxo22-mediated KDM4B degradation in patients can be a therapeutic target for the next generation of SERMs.
Yoshikazu Johmura, Ichiro Maeda, Narumi Suzuki, Wenwen Wu, Atsushi Goda, Mariko Morita, Kiyoshi Yamaguchi, Mizuki Yamamoto, Satoi Nagasawa, Yasuyuki Kojima, Koichiro Tsugawa, Natsuko Inoue, Yasuo Miyoshi, Tomo Osako, Futoshi Akiyama, Reo Maruyama, Jun-ichiro Inoue, Yoichi Furukawa, Tomohiko Ohta, Makoto Nakanishi
Nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD) arises from mitochondrial dysfunction under sustained imbalance between energy intake and expenditure, but the underlying mechanisms controlling mitochondrial respiration have not been entirely understood. Heterotrimeric G proteins converge with activated GPCRs to modulate cell-signaling pathways to maintain metabolic homeostasis. Here, we investigated the regulatory role of G protein α12 (Gα12) on hepatic lipid metabolism and whole-body energy expenditure in mice. Fasting increased Gα12 levels in mouse liver. Gα12 ablation markedly augmented fasting-induced hepatic fat accumulation. cDNA microarray analysis from Gna12-KO liver revealed that the Gα12-signaling pathway regulated sirtuin 1 (SIRT1) and PPARα, which are responsible for mitochondrial respiration. Defective induction of SIRT1 upon fasting was observed in the liver of Gna12-KO mice, which was reversed by lentivirus-mediated Gα12 overexpression in hepatocytes. Mechanistically, Gα12 stabilized SIRT1 protein through transcriptional induction of ubiquitin-specific peptidase 22 (USP22) via HIF-1α increase. Gα12 levels were markedly diminished in liver biopsies from NAFLD patients. Consistently, Gna12-KO mice fed a high-fat diet displayed greater susceptibility to diet-induced liver steatosis and obesity due to decrease in energy expenditure. Our results demonstrate that Gα12 regulates SIRT1-dependent mitochondrial respiration through HIF-1α–dependent USP22 induction, identifying Gα12 as an upstream molecule that contributes to the regulation of mitochondrial energy expenditure.
Tae Hyun Kim, Yoon Mee Yang, Chang Yeob Han, Ja Hyun Koo, Hyunhee Oh, Su Sung Kim, Byoung Hoon You, Young Hee Choi, Tae-Sik Park, Chang Ho Lee, Hitoshi Kurose, Mazen Noureddin, Ekihiro Seki, Yu-Jui Yvonne Wan, Cheol Soo Choi, Sang Geon Kim
The pathogenesis of ischemic diseases remains unclear. Here we demonstrate the induction of microRNA-668 (miR-668) in ischemic acute kidney injury (AKI) in human patients, mice, and renal tubular cells. The induction was HIF-1 dependent, as HIF-1 deficiency in cells and kidney proximal tubules attenuated miR-668 expression. We further identified a functional HIF-1 binding site in the miR-668 gene promoter. Anti–miR-668 increased apoptosis in renal tubular cells and enhanced ischemic AKI in mice, whereas miR-668 mimic was protective. Mechanistically, anti–miR-668 induced mitochondrial fragmentation, whereas miR-668 blocked mitochondrial fragmentation during hypoxia. We analyzed miR-668 target genes through immunoprecipitation of microRNA-induced silencing complexes followed by RNA deep sequencing and identified 124 protein-coding genes as likely targets of miR-668. Among these genes, only mitochondrial protein 18 kDa (MTP18) has been implicated in mitochondrial dynamics. In renal cells and mouse kidneys, miR-668 mimic suppressed MTP18, whereas anti–miR-668 increased MTP18 expression. Luciferase microRNA target reporter assay further verified MTP18 as a direct target of miR-668. In renal tubular cells, knockdown of MTP18 suppressed mitochondrial fragmentation and apoptosis. Together, the results suggest that miR-668 is induced via HIF-1 in ischemic AKI and that, upon induction, miR-668 represses MTP18 to preserve mitochondrial dynamics for renal tubular cell survival and kidney protection.
Qingqing Wei, Haipeng Sun, Shuwei Song, Yong Liu, Pengyuan Liu, Man Jiang Livingston, Jianwen Wang, Mingyu Liang, Qing-Sheng Mi, Yuqing Huo, Norris Stanley Nahman, Changlin Mei, Zheng Dong
People with diabetes mellitus are at higher risk of developing serious ascending infections of the urinary tract. The traditional explanation has focused on the role of glycosuria in promoting bacterial growth. Using mouse models, Murtha et al. demonstrate that when the intracellular insulin signaling pathway is compromised, antimicrobial defenses are compromised too, and the mice are unable to effectively handle uropathogenic E. coli introduced experimentally into the urinary tract. These observations strongly support the hypothesis that the antimicrobial defenses of the kidney are dependent on insulin, and the urinary tract infections associated with diabetes occur due to reduced expression of these key effectors of innate immunity.
Activating mutations in the Wnt pathway drive a variety of cancers, but the specific targets and pathways activated by Wnt ligands are not fully understood. To bridge this knowledge gap, we performed a comprehensive time-course analysis of Wnt-dependent signaling pathways in an orthotopic model of Wnt-addicted pancreatic cancer, using a porcupine (PORCN) inhibitor currently in clinical trials, and validated key results in additional Wnt-addicted models. The temporal analysis of the drug-perturbed transcriptome demonstrated direct and indirect regulation of more than 3,500 Wnt-activated genes (23% of the transcriptome). Regulation was both via Wnt/β-catenin and through the modulation of protein abundance of important transcription factors, including MYC, via Wnt-dependent stabilization of proteins (Wnt/STOP). Our study identifies a central role of Wnt/β-catenin and Wnt/STOP signaling in controlling ribosome biogenesis, a key driver of cancer proliferation.
Babita Madan, Nathan Harmston, Gahyathiri Nallan, Alex Montoya, Peter Faull, Enrico Petretto, David M. Virshup
Heart failure (HF) remains a major source of morbidity and mortality in the US. The multifunctional Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII) has emerged as a critical regulator of cardiac hypertrophy and failure, although the mechanisms remain unclear. Previous studies have established that the cytoskeletal protein βIV-spectrin coordinates local CaMKII signaling. Here, we sought to determine the role of a spectrin-CaMKII complex in maladaptive remodeling in HF. Chronic pressure overload (6 weeks of transaortic constriction [TAC]) induced a decrease in cardiac function in WT mice but not in animals expressing truncated βIV-spectrin lacking spectrin-CaMKII interaction (qv3J mice). Underlying the observed differences in function was an unexpected differential regulation of STAT3-related genes in qv3J TAC hearts. In vitro experiments demonstrated that βIV-spectrin serves as a target for CaMKII phosphorylation, which regulates its stability. Cardiac-specific βIV-spectrin–KO (βIV-cKO) mice showed STAT3 dysregulation, fibrosis, and decreased cardiac function at baseline, similar to what was observed with TAC in WT mice. STAT3 inhibition restored normal cardiac structure and function in βIV-cKO and WT TAC hearts. Our studies identify a spectrin-based complex essential for regulation of the cardiac response to chronic pressure overload. We anticipate that strategies targeting the new spectrin-based “statosome” will be effective at suppressing maladaptive remodeling in response to chronic stress.
Sathya D. Unudurthi, Drew Nassal, Amara Greer-Short, Nehal Patel, Taylor Howard, Xianyao Xu, Birce Onal, Tony Satroplus, Deborah Hong, Cemantha Lane, Alyssa Dalic, Sara N. Koenig, Adam C. Lehnig, Lisa A. Baer, Hassan Musa, Kristin I. Stanford, Sakima Smith, Peter J. Mohler, Thomas J. Hund
Ischemia-reperfusion (I/R) sets off a devastating cascade of events, leading to cell death and possible organ failure. Treatments to limit I/R-associated damage are lacking, and the pathways that drive injury are poorly understood. In this issue of the JCI, Wei and colleagues identify microRNA-668 (miR-668) as a protective factor in acute kidney injury (AKI). miR-668 was shown to repress mitochondrial fission–associated protein MTP18, thereby inhibiting pathogenic mitochondrial fragmentation. In murine models of I/R-induced AKI, treatment with a miR-668 mimetic reduced mitochondrial fragmentation and improved renal function. Moreover, HIF-1α was shown to be required for miR-688 expression in response to I/R. Importantly, Wei et al. show miR-668 upregulation in a cohort of human patients with AKI. Together, these results identify a HIF-1α/miR-668/MTP18 axis that may have potential as a therapeutic target for AKI.
Nicholas Chun, Steven G. Coca, John Cijiang He
Mutations in CNGA3 and CNGB3, the genes encoding the subunits of the tetrameric cone photoreceptor cyclic nucleotide–gated ion channel, cause achromatopsia, a congenital retinal disorder characterized by loss of cone function. However, a small number of patients carrying the CNGB3/c.1208G>A;p.R403Q mutation present with a variable retinal phenotype ranging from complete and incomplete achromatopsia to moderate cone dysfunction or progressive cone dystrophy. By exploring a large patient cohort and published cases, we identified 16 unrelated individuals who were homozygous or (compound-)heterozygous for the CNGB3/c.1208G>A;p.R403Q mutation. In-depth genetic and clinical analysis revealed a co-occurrence of a mutant CNGA3 allele in a high proportion of these patients (10 of 16), likely contributing to the disease phenotype. To verify these findings, we generated a Cngb3R403Q/R403Q mouse model, which was crossbred with Cnga3-deficient (Cnga3–/–) mice to obtain triallelic Cnga3+/– Cngb3R403Q/R403Q mutants. As in human subjects, there was a striking genotype-phenotype correlation, since the presence of 1 Cnga3-null allele exacerbated the cone dystrophy phenotype in Cngb3R403Q/R403Q mice. These findings strongly suggest a digenic and triallelic inheritance pattern in a subset of patients with achromatopsia/severe cone dystrophy linked to the CNGB3/p.R403Q mutation, with important implications for diagnosis, prognosis, and genetic counseling.
Markus Burkard, Susanne Kohl, Timm Krätzig, Naoyuki Tanimoto, Christina Brennenstuhl, Anne E. Bausch, Katrin Junger, Peggy Reuter, Vithiyanjali Sothilingam, Susanne C. Beck, Gesine Huber, Xi-Qin Ding, Anja K. Mayer, Britta Baumann, Nicole Weisschuh, Ditta Zobor, Gesa-Astrid Hahn, Ulrich Kellner, Sascha Venturelli, Elvir Becirovic, Peter Charbel Issa, Robert K. Koenekoop, Günther Rudolph, John Heckenlively, Paul Sieving, Richard G. Weleber, Christian Hamel, Xiangang Zong, Martin Biel, Robert Lukowski, Matthias W. Seeliger, Stylianos Michalakis, Bernd Wissinger, Peter Ruth
βIV-Spectrin, along with ankyrin and Ca2+/calmodulin-dependent kinase II (CaMKII), has been shown to form local signaling domains at the intercalated disc, while playing a key role in the regulation of Na+ and K+ channels in cardiomyocytes. In this issue of the JCI, Unudurthi et al. show that under chronic pressure overload conditions, CaMKII activation leads to βIV-spectrin degradation, resulting in the release of sequestered STAT3 from the intercalated discs. This in turn leads to dysregulation of STAT3-mediated gene transcription, maladaptive remodeling, fibrosis, and decreased cardiac function. Overall, this study presents interesting findings regarding the role of CaMKII and βIV-spectrin under physiological as well as pathological conditions.
Mohit Hulsurkar, Ann P. Quick, Xander H.T. Wehrens
ASXL1 is frequently mutated in myeloid malignancies and is known to co-occur with other gene mutations. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying the leukemogenesis associated with ASXL1 and cooperating mutations remain to be elucidated. Here, we report that Asxl1 loss cooperated with haploinsufficiency of Nf1, a negative regulator of the RAS signaling pathway, to accelerate the development of myeloid leukemia in mice. Loss of Asxl1 and Nf1 in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells resulted in a gain-of-function transcriptional activation of multiple pathways such as MYC, NRAS, and BRD4 that are critical for leukemogenesis. The hyperactive MYC and BRD9 transcription programs were correlated with elevated H3K4 trimethylation at the promoter regions of genes involving these pathways. Furthermore, pharmacological inhibition of both the MAPK pathway and BET bromodomain prevented leukemia initiation and inhibited disease progression in Asxl1Δ/Δ Nf1Δ/Δ mice. Concomitant mutations of ASXL1 and RAS pathway genes were associated with aggressive progression of myeloid malignancies in patients. This study sheds light on the effect of cooperation between epigenetic alterations and signaling pathways on accelerating the progression of myeloid malignancies and provides a rational therapeutic strategy for the treatment of myeloid malignancies with ASXL1 and RAS pathway gene mutations.
Peng Zhang, Fuhong He, Jie Bai, Shohei Yamamoto, Shi Chen, Lin Zhang, Mengyao Sheng, Lei Zhang, Ying Guo, Na Man, Hui Yang, Suyun Wang, Tao Cheng, Stephen D. Nimer, Yuan Zhou, Mingjiang Xu, Qian-Fei Wang, Feng-Chun Yang