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1.  TSC–mTOR maintains quiescence and function of hematopoietic stem cells by repressing mitochondrial biogenesis and reactive oxygen species 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2008;205(10):2397-2408.
The tuberous sclerosis complex (TSC)–mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway is a key regulator of cellular metabolism. We used conditional deletion of Tsc1 to address how quiescence is associated with the function of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs). We demonstrate that Tsc1 deletion in the HSCs drives them from quiescence into rapid cycling, with increased mitochondrial biogenesis and elevated levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS). Importantly, this deletion dramatically reduced both hematopoiesis and self-renewal of HSCs, as revealed by serial and competitive bone marrow transplantation. In vivo treatment with an ROS antagonist restored HSC numbers and functions. These data demonstrated that the TSC–mTOR pathway maintains the quiescence and function of HSCs by repressing ROS production. The detrimental effect of up-regulated ROS in metabolically active HSCs may explain the well-documented association between quiescence and the “stemness” of HSCs.
PMCID: PMC2556783  PMID: 18809716
2.  LPS-induced down-regulation of signal regulatory protein α contributes to innate immune activation in macrophages 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2007;204(11):2719-2731.
Activation of the mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) and nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) cascades after Toll-like receptor (TLR) stimulation contributes to innate immune responses. Signal regulatory protein (SIRP) α, a member of the SIRP family that is abundantly expressed in macrophages, has been implicated in regulating MAPK and NF-κB signaling pathways. In addition, SIRPα can negatively regulate the phagocytosis of host cells by macrophages, indicating an inhibitory role of SIRPα in innate immunity. We provide evidences that SIRPα is an essential endogenous regulator of the innate immune activation upon lipopolysaccharide (LPS) exposure. SIRPα expression was promptly reduced in macrophages after LPS stimulation. The decrease in SIRPα expression levels was required for initiation of LPS-induced innate immune responses because overexpression of SIRPα reduced macrophage responses to LPS. Knockdown of SIRPα caused prolonged activation of MAPKs and NF-κB pathways and augmented production of proinflammatory cytokines and type I interferon (IFN). Mice transferred with SIRPα-depleted macrophages were highly susceptible to endotoxic shock, developing multiple organ failure and exhibiting a remarkable increase in mortality. SIRPα may accomplish this mainly through its association and sequestration of the LPS signal transducer SHP-2. Thus, SIRPα functions as a biologically important modulator of TLR signaling and innate immunity.
PMCID: PMC2118489  PMID: 17954568
3.  B7H Costimulates Clonal Expansion of, and Cognate Destruction of Tumor Cells by, CD8+ T Lymphocytes In Vivo 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2001;194(9):1339-1348.
B7H/B7RP (hereby called B7H) is a new member of the B7 family of costimulatory molecules and interacts with inducible costimulatory molecule (ICOS). Its function for CD8 T cells has not been reported. We report here that expression of B7H on the tumor cells reduced tumorigenicity and induced immunity to subsequent challenge with parental tumor cells. The immune protection correlates with an enhanced cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response against P1A, the major tumor antigen expressed in the J558 tumor. To understand the mechanism of immune protection, we adoptively transferred transgenic T cells specific for tumor antigen P1A into mice that bore P1A-expressing tumors. We found that while the transgenic T cells divided faster in mice bearing the B7H+ tumors, optimal B7H-induced clonal expansion of P1CTL required costimulation by B7–1 and B7–2 on the endogenous host antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Interestingly, when B7H+ and B7H− tumors were coinjected, P1CTL selectively eliminated the B7H+ tumor cells. Moreover, B7H expressed on the tumor cells made them highly susceptible to destruction by CTL in vivo, even if the CTL was administrated into mice with large tumor burdens. Tumors that recurred in the P1CTL-treated mice lost transfected B7H and/or H-2Ld, the class I molecule that presents the P1A peptide. Taken together, our results reveal that B7H costimulates clonal expansion of, and cognate destruction by CD8+ T lymphocytes in vivo.
PMCID: PMC2195972  PMID: 11696598
cytotoxic T lymphocytes; tumor immunity; B7H; effector function; clonal expansion
4.  The aminobisphosphonate pamidronate controls influenza pathogenesis by expanding a γδ T cell population in humanized mice 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2011;208(7):1511-1522.
As shown in humanized mice, a population of Vγ9Vδ2 T cells can reduce the severity and mortality of disease caused by infection with human and avian influenza viruses.
There are few antiviral drugs for treating influenza, and the emergence of antiviral resistance has further limited the available therapeutic options. Furthermore, antivirals are not invariably effective in severe influenza, such as that caused by H5N1 viruses. Thus, there is an urgent need to develop alternative therapeutic strategies. Here, we show that human Vγ9Vδ2 T cells expanded by the aminobisphosphonate pamidronate (PAM) kill influenza virus–infected cells and inhibit viral replication in vitro. In Rag2−/−γc−/− immunodeficient mice reconstituted with human peripheral mononuclear cells (huPBMCs), PAM reduces disease severity and mortality caused by human seasonal H1N1 and avian H5N1 influenza virus, and controls the lung inflammation and viral replication. PAM has no such effects in influenza virus–infected Rag2−/−γc−/− mice reconstituted with Vγ9Vδ2 T cell–depleted huPBMCs. Our study provides proof-of-concept of a novel therapeutic strategy for treating influenza by targeting the host rather than the virus, thereby reducing the opportunity for the emergence of drug-resistant viruses. As PAM has been commonly used to treat osteoporosis and Paget’s disease, this new application of an old drug potentially offers a safe and readily available option for treating influenza.
PMCID: PMC3135369  PMID: 21708931
5.  A novel subset of CD4+ TH2 memory/effector cells that produce inflammatory IL-17 cytokine and promote the exacerbation of chronic allergic asthma 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2010;207(11):2479-2491.
Memory CD4+ T cells that produce both Th2 and Th17 cytokines are increased in the blood of patients with atopic asthma and in the lungs of asthmatic mice, where they contribute to inflammation.
The inflammatory cytokine interleukin (IL)-17 is involved in the pathogenesis of allergic diseases. However, the identity and functions of IL-17–producing T cells during the pathogenesis of allergic diseases remain unclear. Here, we report a novel subset of TH2 memory/effector cells that coexpress the transcription factors GATA3 and RORγt and coproduce TH17 and TH2 cytokines. Classical TH2 memory/effector cells had the potential to produce IL-17 after stimulation with proinflammatory cytokines IL-1β, IL-6, and IL-21. The number of IL-17-TH2 cells was significantly increased in blood of patients with atopic asthma. In a mouse model of allergic lung diseases, IL-17–producing CD4+ TH2 cells were induced in the inflamed lung and persisted as the dominant IL-17–producing T cell population during the chronic stage of asthma. Treating cultured bronchial epithelial cells with IL-17 plus TH2 cytokines induced strong up-regulation of chemokine eotaxin-3, Il8, Mip1b, and Groa gene expression. Compared with classical TH17 and TH2 cells, antigen-specific IL-17–producing TH2 cells induced a profound influx of heterogeneous inflammatory leukocytes and exacerbated asthma. Our findings highlight the plasticity of TH2 memory cells and suggest that IL-17–producing TH2 cells may represent the key pathogenic TH2 cells promoting the exacerbation of allergic asthma.
PMCID: PMC2964570  PMID: 20921287
6.  NOD2 regulates hematopoietic cell function during graft-versus-host disease 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2009;206(10):2101-2110.
Nucleotide-binding oligomerization domain 2 (NOD2) polymorphisms are independent risk factors for Crohn's disease and graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). In Crohn's disease, the proinflammatory state resulting from NOD2 mutations have been associated with a loss of antibacterial function of enterocytes such as paneth cells. NOD2 has not been studied in experimental allogeneic bone marrow transplantation (allo-BMT). Using chimeric recipients with NOD2−/− hematopoietic cells, we demonstrate that NOD2 deficiency in host hematopoietic cells exacerbates GVHD. We found that proliferation and activation of donor T cells was enhanced in NOD-deficient allo-BMT recipients, suggesting that NOD2 plays a role in the regulation of host antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Next, we used bone marrow chimeras in an experimental colitis model and observed again that NOD2 deficiency in the hematopoietic cells results in increased intestinal inflammation. We conclude that NOD2 regulates the development of GVHD through its inhibitory effect on host APC function.
PMCID: PMC2757869  PMID: 19737867
7.  Innate NKT lymphocytes confer superior adaptive immunity via tumor-capturing dendritic cells 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2005;202(11):1507-1516.
If irradiated tumor cells could be rendered immunogenic, they would provide a safe, broad, and patient-specific array of antigens for immunotherapies. Prior approaches have emphasized genetic transduction of live tumor cells to express cytokines, costimulators, and surrogate foreign antigens. We asked if immunity could be achieved by delivering irradiated, major histocompatibility complex–negative plasmacytoma cells to maturing mouse dendritic cells (DCs) within lymphoid organs. Tumor cells injected intravenously (i.v.) were captured by splenic DCs, whereas subcutaneous (s.c.) injection led only to weak uptake in lymph node or spleen. The natural killer T (NKT) cells mobilizing glycolipid α-galactosyl ceramide, used to mature splenic DCs, served as an effective adjuvant to induce protective immunity. This adjuvant function was mimicked by a combination of poly IC and agonistic αCD40 antibody. The adjuvant glycolipid had to be coadministered with tumor cells i.v. rather than s.c. Specific resistance was generated both to a plasmacytoma and lymphoma. The resistance afforded by a single vaccination lasted >2 mo and required both CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Mature tumor capturing DCs stimulated the differentiation of P1A tumor antigen-specific, CD8+ T cells and uniquely transferred tumor resistance to naive mice. Therefore, the access of dying tumor cells to DCs that are maturing to activated NKT cells efficiently induces long-lived adaptive resistance.
PMCID: PMC2213343  PMID: 16330814
8.  CD24 Controls Expansion and Persistence of Autoreactive T Cells in the Central Nervous System during Experimental Autoimmune Encephalomyelitis 
In the development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), a model for multiple sclerosis (MS), autoreactive T cells must be activated and clonally expand in the lymphoid organs, and then migrate into the central nervous system (CNS) where they undergo further activation. It is unclear whether the autoreactive T cells further expand in the CNS and if so, what interactions are required for this process. We have demonstrated previously that expression by the host cells of the heat-stable antigen (CD24), which was recently identified as a genetic modifier for MS, is essential for their susceptibility to EAE. Here we show that CD24 is essential for local clonal expansion and persistence of T cells after their migration into the CNS, and that expression of CD24 on either hematopoietic cells or nonhematopoietic antigen-presenting cells in the recipient is sufficient to confer susceptibility to EAE.
PMCID: PMC2211938  PMID: 15314074
costimulatory molecules; autoimmune diseases; central nervous system; multiple sclerosis; clonal expansion
9.  B7DC/PDL2 Promotes Tumor Immunity by a PD-1–independent Mechanism 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2003;197(12):1721-1730.
B7H1 (PDL1) and B7DC (PDL2) are two new members of the B7 family that can interact with PD-1, a putative negative regulator for immune function. Recent studies have provided evidence for inhibitory functions of both members via PD-1. Meanwhile, compelling evidence exists for costimulatory function of both members. Here we demonstrate that expression of B7DC on the tumor cells promotes CD8 T cell–mediated rejection of tumor cells, at both the induction and effector phase of antitumor immunity. Moreover, B7DC binds to PD-1(−/−) cells and enhances T cell killing in a PD-1–independent mechanism. Our results demonstrate a novel pathway for B7DC to promote tumor immunity and may reconcile the apparently contradictory findings on the function of B7DC.
PMCID: PMC2193953  PMID: 12810690
tumor immunity; costimulatory molecules; cytolytic T lymphocytes
10.  Perinatal Blockade of B7-1 and B7-2 Inhibits Clonal Deletion of Highly Pathogenic Autoreactive T Cells 
A number of in vitro studies have suggested that costimulatory molecules B7-1 and B7-2 and their receptor CD28 can promote clonal deletion, and limited in vivo studies have indicated that CD28 is involved in the clonal deletion of some T cells. However, the significance of B7-mediated clonal deletion in preventing autoimmune diseases has not been studied systematically. Here we report that the perinatal blockade of B7-1 and B7-2 substantially inhibits the clonal deletion of T cells in the thymus and leads to an accumulation of T cells capable of inducing fatal multiorgan inflammation. These results reveal a critical role for costimulatory molecules B7-1 and B7-2 in deleting pathogenic autoreactive T cells in the thymus. The critical role of B7-1 and B7-2 in T cell clonal deletion may explain, at least in part, the paradoxical increase of autoimmune disease in mice deficient for this family of costimulatory molecules, such as cytotoxic T lymphocyte associated molecule 4, CD28, and B7-2. The strong pathogenicity of the self-reactive T cells supports a central hypothesis in immunology, which is that clonal deletion plays an important role in preventing autoimmune diseases.
PMCID: PMC2193695  PMID: 11956287
autoimmunity; clonal deletion; B7-1 and B7-2; CD28; CTLA-4
11.  Enhanced HIV-1 immunotherapy by commonly arising antibodies that target virus escape variants 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2014;211(12):2361-2372.
Klein et al. find that frequently arising antibodies that normally fail to control HIV-1 infection can synergize with passively transferred bNAbs to prevent the emergence of bNAb viral escape variants.
Antibody-mediated immunotherapy is effective in humanized mice when combinations of broadly neutralizing antibodies (bNAbs) are used that target nonoverlapping sites on the human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) envelope. In contrast, single bNAbs can control simian–human immunodeficiency virus (SHIV) infection in immune-competent macaques, suggesting that the host immune response might also contribute to the control of viremia. Here, we investigate how the autologous antibody response in intact hosts can contribute to the success of immunotherapy. We find that frequently arising antibodies that normally fail to control HIV-1 infection can synergize with passively administered bNAbs by preventing the emergence of bNAb viral escape variants.
PMCID: PMC4235636  PMID: 25385756
12.  Cytosolic carboxypeptidase CCP6 is required for megakaryopoiesis by modulating Mad2 polyglutamylation 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2014;211(12):2439-2454.
Ye et al. identify cytosolic carboxypeptidase CCP6 as a protein required for the regulation of bone marrow megakaryopoiesis in mice. The authors find that Mad2 (a core component of spindle checkpoint in mitosis) is a substrate of CCP6 in megakaryocytes and is polyglutamylated by proteins TTLL6 and TTLL4, subsequently affecting the activity of Aurora B kinase. Mad2 is thus additionally implicated in megakaryopoiesis regulation.
Bone marrow progenitor cells develop into mature megakaryocytes (MKs) to produce platelets for hemostasis and other physiological functions. However, the molecular mechanisms underlying megakaryopoiesis are not completely defined. We show that cytosolic carboxypeptidase (CCP) 6 deficiency in mice causes enlarged spleens and increased platelet counts with underdeveloped MKs and dysfunctional platelets. The prominent phenotypes of CCP6 deficiency are different from those of CCP1-deficient mice. We found that CCP6 and tubulin tyrosine ligase-like family (TTLL) members TTLL4 and TTLL6 are highly expressed in MKs. We identify Mad2 (mitotic arrest deficient 2) as a novel substrate for CCP6 and not CCP1. Mad2 can be polyglutamylated by TTLL4 and TTLL6 to modulate the maturation of MKs. CCP6 deficiency causes hyperglutamylation of Mad2 to promote activation of Aurora B, leading to suppression of MK maturation. We reveal that Mad2 polyglutamylation plays a critical role in the regulation of megakaryopoiesis.
PMCID: PMC4235637  PMID: 25332286
14.  CARD9 mediates Dectin-1–induced ERK activation by linking Ras-GRF1 to H-Ras for antifungal immunity 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2014;211(11):2307-2321.
CARD9 is dispensable for NF-κB activation induced by Dectin-1 ligands in mice. However, Dectin-1–induced H-Ras activation is mediated by a complex with CARD9, which leads to ERK activation for host innate immune responses to Candida albicans infection.
Dectin-1 functions as a pattern recognition receptor for sensing fungal infection. It has been well-established that Dectin-1 induces innate immune responses through caspase recruitment domain-containing protein 9 (CARD9)–mediated NF-κB activation. In this study, we find that CARD9 is dispensable for NF-κB activation induced by Dectin-1 ligands, such as curdlan or Candida albicans yeast. In contrast, we find that CARD9 regulates H-Ras activation by linking Ras-GRF1 to H-Ras, which mediates Dectin-1–induced extracellular signal-regulated protein kinase (ERK) activation and proinflammatory responses when stimulated by their ligands. Mechanistically, Dectin-1 engagement initiates spleen tyrosine kinase (Syk)–dependent Ras-GRF1 phosphorylation, and the phosphorylated Ras-GRF1 recruits and activates H-Ras through forming a complex with CARD9, which leads to activation of ERK downstream. Finally, we show that inhibiting ERK activation significantly accelerates the death of C. albicans–infected mice, and this inhibitory effect is dependent on CARD9. Together, our studies reveal a molecular mechanism by which Dectin-1 induces H-Ras activation that leads to ERK activation for host innate immune responses against fungal infection.
PMCID: PMC4203953  PMID: 25267792
15.  Regulation of proximal T cell receptor signaling and tolerance induction by deubiquitinase Usp9X 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2014;211(10):1947-1955.
Naik et al. show that the deubiquitinating enzyme Usp9X is a regulator of T cell activation and its loss induces the development of a lupuslike autoimmune disease in mice.
The T cell hyperproliferation and autoimmune phenotypes that manifest in mice lacking E3 ubiquitin ligases such as Cbl, ITCH, or GRAIL highlight the importance of ubiquitination for the maintenance of peripheral T cell tolerance. Less is known, however, about the deubiquitinating enzymes that regulate T cell proliferation and effector function. Here, we define a cell intrinsic role for the deubiquitinase Usp9X during proximal TCR signaling. Usp9X-deficient T cells were hypoproliferative, yet mice with T cell–specific Usp9x deletion had elevated numbers of antigen-experienced T cells and expanded PD-1 and OX40-expressing populations consistent with immune hyperactivity. Aged Usp9x KO mice developed lupus-like autoimmunity and lymphoproliferative disease, indicating that ubiquitin ligases and deubiquitinases maintain the delicate balance between effective immunity and self-tolerance.
PMCID: PMC4172213  PMID: 25200027
16.  ETO family protein Mtg16 regulates the balance of dendritic cell subsets by repressing Id2 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2014;211(8):1623-1635.
Transcriptional cofactor of the ETO family Mtg16 promotes pDCs and restricts cDC differentiation in part by repressing Id2.
Dendritic cells (DCs) comprise two major subsets, the interferon (IFN)-producing plasmacytoid DCs (pDCs) and antigen-presenting classical DCs (cDCs). The development of pDCs is promoted by E protein transcription factor E2-2, whereas E protein antagonist Id2 is specifically absent from pDCs. Conversely, Id2 is prominently expressed in cDCs and promotes CD8+ cDC development. The mechanisms that control the balance between E and Id proteins during DC subset specification remain unknown. We found that the loss of Mtg16, a transcriptional cofactor of the ETO protein family, profoundly impaired pDC development and pDC-dependent IFN response. The residual Mtg16-deficient pDCs showed aberrant phenotype, including the expression of myeloid marker CD11b. Conversely, the development of cDC progenitors (pre-DCs) and of CD8+ cDCs was enhanced. Genome-wide expression and DNA-binding analysis identified Id2 as a direct target of Mtg16. Mtg16-deficient cDC progenitors and pDCs showed aberrant induction of Id2, and the deletion of Id2 facilitated the impaired development of Mtg16-deficient pDCs. Thus, Mtg16 promotes pDC differentiation and restricts cDC development in part by repressing Id2, revealing a cell-intrinsic mechanism that controls subset balance during DC development.
PMCID: PMC4113936  PMID: 24980046
17.  A molecular basis underpinning the T cell receptor heterogeneity of mucosal-associated invariant T cells 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2014;211(8):1585-1600.
A novel MAIT cell antagonist, Ac-6-FP, stabilizes MR1 and can inhibit MAIT cell activation with the flexible TCR β-chain serving to fine-tune the affinity of the TCR for antigen-MR1 complexes.
Mucosal-associated invariant T (MAIT) cells express an invariant T cell receptor (TCR) α-chain (TRAV1-2 joined to TRAJ33, TRAJ20, or TRAJ12 in humans), which pairs with an array of TCR β-chains. MAIT TCRs can bind folate- and riboflavin-based metabolites restricted by the major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-related class I−like molecule, MR1. However, the impact of MAIT TCR and MR1-ligand heterogeneity on MAIT cell biology is unclear. We show how a previously uncharacterized MR1 ligand, acetyl-6-formylpterin (Ac-6-FP), markedly stabilized MR1, potently up-regulated MR1 cell surface expression, and inhibited MAIT cell activation. These enhanced properties of Ac-6-FP were attributable to structural alterations in MR1 that subsequently affected MAIT TCR recognition via conformational changes within the complementarity-determining region (CDR) 3β loop. Analysis of seven TRBV6-1+ MAIT TCRs demonstrated how CDR3β hypervariability impacted on MAIT TCR recognition by altering TCR flexibility and contacts with MR1 and the Ag itself. Ternary structures of TRBV6-1, TRBV6-4, and TRBV20+ MAIT TCRs in complex with MR1 bound to a potent riboflavin-based antigen (Ag) showed how variations in TRBV gene usage exclusively impacted on MR1 contacts within a consensus MAIT TCR-MR1 footprint. Moreover, differential TRAJ gene usage was readily accommodated within a conserved MAIT TCR-MR1-Ag docking mode. Collectively, MAIT TCR heterogeneity can fine-tune MR1 recognition in an Ag-dependent manner, thereby modulating MAIT cell recognition.
PMCID: PMC4113946  PMID: 25049336
18.  Differential roles of microglia and monocytes in the inflamed central nervous system 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2014;211(8):1533-1549.
Phagocytic monocyte-derived macrophages associate with the nodes of Ranvier and initiate demyelination while microglia clear debris and display a suppressed metabolic gene signature in EAE.
In the human disorder multiple sclerosis (MS) and in the model experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), macrophages predominate in demyelinated areas and their numbers correlate to tissue damage. Macrophages may be derived from infiltrating monocytes or resident microglia, yet are indistinguishable by light microscopy and surface phenotype. It is axiomatic that T cell–mediated macrophage activation is critical for inflammatory demyelination in EAE, yet the precise details by which tissue injury takes place remain poorly understood. In the present study, we addressed the cellular basis of autoimmune demyelination by discriminating microglial versus monocyte origins of effector macrophages. Using serial block-face scanning electron microscopy (SBF-SEM), we show that monocyte-derived macrophages associate with nodes of Ranvier and initiate demyelination, whereas microglia appear to clear debris. Gene expression profiles confirm that monocyte-derived macrophages are highly phagocytic and inflammatory, whereas those arising from microglia demonstrate an unexpected signature of globally suppressed cellular metabolism at disease onset. Distinguishing tissue-resident macrophages from infiltrating monocytes will point toward new strategies to treat disease and promote repair in diverse inflammatory pathologies in varied organs.
PMCID: PMC4113947  PMID: 25002752
19.  Regulation of mammalian siderophore 2,5-DHBA in the innate immune response to infection 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2014;211(6):1197-1213.
Bacteria can utilize a mammalian host siderophore to usurp host iron; however, the host can respond by down-regulating siderophore expression and up-regulating expression of an inhibitory siderophore-binding protein.
Competition for iron influences host–pathogen interactions. Pathogens secrete small iron-binding moieties, siderophores, to acquire host iron. In response, the host secretes siderophore-binding proteins, such as lipocalin 24p3, which limit siderophore-mediated iron import into bacteria. Mammals produce 2,5-dihydroxy benzoic acid, a compound that resembles a bacterial siderophore. Our data suggest that bacteria use both mammalian and bacterial siderophores. In support of this idea, supplementation with mammalian siderophore enhances bacterial growth in vitro. In addition, mice lacking the mammalian siderophore resist E. coli infection. Finally, we show that the host responds to infection by suppressing siderophore synthesis while up-regulating lipocalin 24p3 expression via TLR signaling. Thus, reciprocal regulation of 24p3 and mammalian siderophore is a protective mechanism limiting microbial access to iron.
PMCID: PMC4042634  PMID: 24863067
20.  Co-inhibition of NF-κB and JNK is synergistic in TNF-expressing human AML 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2014;211(6):1093-1108.
TNF signaling inactivation sensitizes AML cells to NF-kB inhibition but protects healthy hematopoietic stem progenitor cells from this treatment.
Leukemic stem cells (LSCs) isolated from acute myeloid leukemia (AML) patients are more sensitive to nuclear factor κB (NF-κB) inhibition-induced cell death when compared with hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) in in vitro culture. However, inadequate anti-leukemic activity of NF-κB inhibition in vivo suggests the presence of additional survival/proliferative signals that can compensate for NF-κB inhibition. AML subtypes M3, M4, and M5 cells produce endogenous tumor necrosis factor α (TNF). Although stimulating HSPC with TNF promotes necroptosis and apoptosis, similar treatment with AML cells (leukemic cells, LCs) results in an increase in survival and proliferation. We determined that TNF stimulation drives the JNK–AP1 pathway in a manner parallel to NF-κB, leading to the up-regulation of anti-apoptotic genes in LC. We found that we can significantly sensitize LC to NF-κB inhibitor treatment by blocking the TNF–JNK–AP1 signaling pathway. Our data suggest that co-inhibition of both TNF–JNK–AP1 and NF-κB signals may provide a more comprehensive treatment paradigm for AML patients with TNF-expressing LC.
PMCID: PMC4042653  PMID: 24842373
21.  12-hydroxyheptadecatrienoic acid promotes epidermal wound healing by accelerating keratinocyte migration via the BLT2 receptor 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2014;211(6):1063-1078.
Endogenous 12-HHT, or a synthetic BLT2 agonist promotes epidermal wound closure by stimulating BLT2 on keratinocytes, inducing TNF and MMP production.
Leukotriene B4 (LTB4) receptor type 2 (BLT2) is a G protein–coupled receptor (GPCR) for 12(S)-hydroxyheptadeca-5Z,8E,10E-trienoic acid (12-HHT) and LTB4. Despite the well-defined proinflammatory roles of BLT1, the in vivo functions of BLT2 remain elusive. As mouse BLT2 is highly expressed in epidermal keratinocytes, we investigated the role of the 12-HHT/BLT2 axis in skin wound healing processes. 12-HHT accumulated in the wound fluid in mice, and BLT2-deficient mice exhibited impaired re-epithelialization and delayed wound closure after skin punching. Aspirin administration reduced 12-HHT production and resulted in delayed wound closure in wild-type mice, which was abrogated in BLT2-deficient mice. In vitro scratch assay using primary keratinocytes and a keratinocyte cell line also showed that the 12-HHT/BLT2 axis accelerated wound closure through the production of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF) and matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs). A synthetic BLT2 agonist accelerated wound closure in cultured cells as well as in C57BL/6J and diabetic mice. These results identify a novel mechanism underlying the action of the 12-HHT/BLT2 axis in epidermal keratinocytes and accordingly suggest the use of BLT2 agonists as therapeutic agents to accelerate wound healing, particularly for intractable wounds, such as diabetic ulcers.
PMCID: PMC4042643  PMID: 24821912
22.  Lymphatic function is required prenatally for lung inflation at birth 
Neonatal mice lacking lymphatic vessels due to loss of lymphangiogenic factor CCBE1 or VEGFR3 function fail to inflate their lungs, suggestive of respiratory failure in infants with congenital pulmonary lymphangiectasia.
Mammals must inflate their lungs and breathe within minutes of birth to survive. A key regulator of neonatal lung inflation is pulmonary surfactant, a lipoprotein complex which increases lung compliance by reducing alveolar surface tension (Morgan, 1971). Whether other developmental processes also alter lung mechanics in preparation for birth is unknown. We identify prenatal lymphatic function as an unexpected requirement for neonatal lung inflation and respiration. Mice lacking lymphatic vessels, due either to loss of the lymphangiogenic factor CCBE1 or VEGFR3 function, appear cyanotic and die shortly after birth due to failure of lung inflation. Failure of lung inflation is not due to reduced surfactant levels or altered development of the lung but is associated with an elevated wet/dry ratio consistent with edema. Embryonic studies reveal active lymphatic function in the late gestation lung, and significantly reduced total lung compliance in late gestation embryos that lack lymphatics. These findings reveal that lymphatic vascular function plays a previously unrecognized mechanical role in the developing lung that prepares it for inflation at birth. They explain respiratory failure in infants with congenital pulmonary lymphangiectasia, and suggest that inadequate late gestation lymphatic function may also contribute to respiratory failure in premature infants.
PMCID: PMC4010903  PMID: 24733830
23.  Co-targeting of convergent nucleotide biosynthetic pathways for leukemia eradication 
Co-targeting of both de novo and salvage pathways for dCTP biosynthesis shows efficacy in T-ALL and B-ALL.
Pharmacological targeting of metabolic processes in cancer must overcome redundancy in biosynthetic pathways. Deoxycytidine (dC) triphosphate (dCTP) can be produced both by the de novo pathway (DNP) and by the nucleoside salvage pathway (NSP). However, the role of the NSP in dCTP production and DNA synthesis in cancer cells is currently not well understood. We show that acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) cells avoid lethal replication stress after thymidine (dT)-induced inhibition of DNP dCTP synthesis by switching to NSP-mediated dCTP production. The metabolic switch in dCTP production triggered by DNP inhibition is accompanied by NSP up-regulation and can be prevented using DI-39, a new high-affinity small-molecule inhibitor of the NSP rate-limiting enzyme dC kinase (dCK). Positron emission tomography (PET) imaging was useful for following both the duration and degree of dCK inhibition by DI-39 treatment in vivo, thus providing a companion pharmacodynamic biomarker. Pharmacological co-targeting of the DNP with dT and the NSP with DI-39 was efficacious against ALL models in mice, without detectable host toxicity. These findings advance our understanding of nucleotide metabolism in leukemic cells, and identify dCTP biosynthesis as a potential new therapeutic target for metabolic interventions in ALL and possibly other hematological malignancies.
PMCID: PMC3949575  PMID: 24567448
24.  USP21 negatively regulates antiviral response by acting as a RIG-I deubiquitinase 
The deubiquitinase USP21 targets RIG-I for deubiquitination, thus dampening interferon production and activation of IFN-responsive genes in response to RNA viruses.
Lys63-linked polyubiquitination of RIG-I is essential in antiviral immune defense, yet the molecular mechanism that negatively regulates this critical step is poorly understood. Here, we report that USP21 acts as a novel negative regulator in antiviral responses through its ability to bind to and deubiquitinate RIG-I. Overexpression of USP21 inhibited RNA virus–induced RIG-I polyubiquitination and RIG-I–mediated interferon (IFN) signaling, whereas deletion of USP21 resulted in elevated RIG-I polyubiquitination, IRF3 phosphorylation, IFN-α/β production, and antiviral responses in MEFs in response to RNA virus infection. USP21 also restricted antiviral responses in peritoneal macrophages (PMs) and bone marrow–derived dendritic cells (BMDCs). USP21-deficient mice spontaneously developed splenomegaly and were more resistant to VSV infection with elevated production of IFNs. Chimeric mice with USP21-deficient hematopoietic cells developed virus-induced splenomegaly and were more resistant to VSV infection. Functional comparison of three deubiquitinases (USP21, A20, and CYLD) demonstrated that USP21 acts as a bona fide RIG-I deubiquitinase to down-regulate antiviral response independent of the A20 ubiquitin-editing complex. Our studies identify a previously unrecognized role for USP21 in the negative regulation of antiviral response through deubiquitinating RIG-I.
PMCID: PMC3920558  PMID: 24493797
25.  2B4 (CD244) induced by selective CD28 blockade functionally regulates allograft-specific CD8+ T cell responses 
Blockade of CD28 signals results in the up-regulation of 2B4 on primary CD8+ effectors and plays a critical role in controlling antigen-specific CD8+ T cell responses.
Mounting evidence in models of both autoimmunity and chronic viral infection suggests that the outcome of T cell activation is critically impacted by the constellation of co-stimulatory and co-inhibitory receptors expressed on the cell surface. Here, we identified a critical role for the co-inhibitory SLAM family member 2B4 (CD244) in attenuating primary antigen-specific CD8+ T cell responses in the presence of immune modulation with selective CD28 blockade. Our results reveal a specific up-regulation of 2B4 on antigen-specific CD8+ T cells in animals in which CD28 signaling was blocked. However, 2B4 up-regulation was not observed in animals treated with CTLA-4 Ig (abatacept) or CD28 blockade in the presence of anti–CTLA-4 mAb. 2B4 up-regulation after CD28 blockade was functionally significant, as the inhibitory impact of CD28 blockade was diminished when antigen-specific CD8+ T cells were deficient in 2B4. In contrast, 2B4 deficiency had no effect on CD8+ T cell responses during unmodified rejection or in the presence of CTLA-4 Ig. We conclude that blockade of CD28 signals in the presence of preserved CTLA-4 signals results in the unique up-regulation of 2B4 on primary CD8+ effectors, and that this 2B4 expression plays a critical functional role in controlling antigen-specific CD8+ T cell responses.
PMCID: PMC3920565  PMID: 24493803

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