Authors: Lingwood D, McTamney PM, Yassine HM, Whittle JR, Guo X, Boyington JC, Wei CJ, Nabel GJ
Journal: Nature. 2012 Sep 27;489(7417):566-70. doi: 10.1038/nature11371
Influenza viruses take a yearly toll on human life despite efforts to contain them with seasonal vaccines. These viruses evade human immunity through the evolution of variants that resist neutralization. The identification of antibodies that recognize invariant structures on the influenza haemagglutinin (HA) protein have invigorated efforts to develop universal influenza vaccines. Specifically, antibodies to the highly conserved stem region of HA neutralize diverse viral subtypes. These antibodies largely derive from a specific antibody gene, heavy-chain variable region IGHV1-69, after limited affinity maturation from their germline ancestors, but how HA stimulates naive B cells to mature and induce protective immunity is unknown. To address this question, we analysed the structural and genetic basis for their engagement and maturation into broadly neutralizing antibodies. Here we show that the germline-encoded precursors of these antibodies act as functional B-cell antigen receptors (BCRs) that initiate subsequent affinity maturation. Neither the germline precursor of a prototypic antibody, CR6261 (ref. 3), nor those of two other natural human IGHV1-69 antibodies, bound HA as soluble immunoglobulin-G (IgG). However, all three IGHV1-69 precursors engaged HA when the antibody was expressed as cell surface IgM. HA triggered BCR-associated tyrosine kinase signalling by germline transmembrane IgM. Recognition and virus neutralization was dependent solely on the heavy chain, and affinity maturation of CR6261 required only seven amino acids in the complementarity-determining region (CDR) H1 and framework region 3 (FR3) to restore full activity. These findings provide insight into the initial events that lead to the generation of broadly neutralizing antibodies to influenza, informing the rational design of vaccines to elicit such antibodies and providing a model relevant to other infectious diseases, including human immunodeficiency virus/AIDS. The data further suggest that selected immunoglobulin genes recognize specific protein structural 'patterns' that provide a substrate for further affinity maturation.
Authors: Cannon RE, Peart JC, Hawkins BT, Campos CR, Miller DS
Journal: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Sep 4. [Epub ahead of print]
P-glycoprotein, an ATP-driven drug efflux pump, is a major obstacle to the delivery of small-molecule drugs across the blood-brain barrier and into the CNS. Here we test a unique signaling-based strategy to overcome this obstacle. We used a confocal microscopy-based assay with isolated rat brain capillaries to map a signaling pathway that within minutes abolishes P-glycoprotein transport activity without altering transporter protein expression or tight junction permeability. This pathway encompasses elements of proinflammatory- (TNF-α) and sphingolipid-based signaling. Critical to this pathway was signaling through sphingosine-1-phosphate receptor 1 (S1PR1). In brain capillaries, S1P acted through S1PR1 to rapidly and reversibly reduce P-glycoprotein transport activity. Sphingosine reduced transport by a sphingosine kinase-dependent mechanism. Importantly, fingolimod (FTY720), a S1P analog recently approved for treatment of multiple sclerosis, also rapidly reduced P-glycoprotein activity; similar effects were found with the active, phosphorylated metabolite (FTY720P). We validated these findings in vivo using in situ brain perfusion in rats. Administration of S1P, FTY720, or FTY729P increased brain uptake of three radiolabeled P-glycoprotein substrates, (3)H-verapamil (threefold increase), (3)H-loperamide (fivefold increase), and (3)H-paclitaxel (fivefold increase); blocking S1PR1 abolished this effect. Tight junctional permeability, measured as brain (14)C-sucrose accumulation, was not altered. Therefore, targeting signaling through S1PR1 at the blood-brain barrier with the sphingolipid-based drugs, FTY720 or FTY720P, can rapidly and reversibly reduce basal P-glycoprotein activity and thus improve delivery of small-molecule therapeutics to the brain.
Authors: Wang C, Lee JE, Cho YW, Xiao Y, Jin Q, Liu C, Ge K
Journal: Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2012 Sep 18;109(38):15324-9
To investigate the role of histone H3K27 demethylase UTX in embryonic stem (ES) cell differentiation, we have generated UTX knockout (KO) and enzyme-dead knock-in male ES cells. Deletion of the X-chromosome-encoded UTX gene in male ES cells markedly decreases expression of the paralogous UTY gene encoded by Y chromosome, but has no effect on global H3K27me3 level, Hox gene expression, or ES cell self-renewal. However, UTX KO cells show severe defects in mesoderm differentiation and induction of Brachyury, a transcription factor essential for mesoderm development. Surprisingly, UTX regulates mesoderm differentiation and Brachyury expression independent of its enzymatic activity. UTY, which lacks detectable demethylase activity, compensates for the loss of UTX in regulating Brachyury expression. UTX and UTY bind directly to Brachyury promoter and are required for Wnt/β-catenin signaling-induced Brachyury expression in ES cells. Interestingly, male UTX KO embryos express normal levels of UTY and survive until birth. In contrast, female UTX KO mice, which lack the UTY gene, show embryonic lethality before embryonic day 11.5. Female UTX KO embryos show severe defects in both Brachyury expression and embryonic development of mesoderm-derived posterior notochord, cardiac, and hematopoietic tissues. These results indicate that UTX controls mesoderm differentiation and Brachyury expression independent of H3K27 demethylase activity, and suggest that UTX and UTY are functionally redundant in ES cell differentiation and early embryonic development.
Authors: Avram AV, Ozarslan E, Sarlls JE, Basser PJ
Journal: Neuroimage. 2012 Aug 25. [Epub ahead of print]
We report our design and implementation of a quadruple pulsed-field gradient (qPFG) diffusion MRI pulse sequence on a whole-body clinical scanner and demonstrate its ability to non-invasively detect restriction-induced microscopic anisotropy in human brain tissue. The microstructural information measured using qPFG diffusion MRI in white matter complements that provided by diffusion tensor imaging (DTI) and exclusively characterizes diffusion of water trapped in microscopic compartments with unique measures of average cell geometry. We describe the effect of white matter fiber orientation on the expected MR signal and highlight the importance of incorporating such information in the axon diameter measurement using a suitable mathematical framework. Integration of qPFG diffusion-weighted images (DWI) with fiber orientations measured using high-resolution DTI allows the estimation of average axon diameters in the corpus callosum of healthy human volunteers. Maps of inter-hemispheric average axon diameters reveal an anterior-posterior variation in good topographical agreement with anatomical measurements reported in previous post-mortem studies. With further technical refinements and additional clinical validation, qPFG diffusion MRI could provide a quantitative whole-brain histological assessment of white and gray matter, enabling a wide range of neuroimaging applications for improved diagnosis of neurodegenerative pathologies, monitoring neurodevelopmental processes, and mapping brain connectivity.
Authors: Anastasiou D, Yu Y, Israelsen WJ, Jiang JK, Boxer MB, Hong BS, Tempel W, Dimov S, Shen M, Jha A, Yang H, Mattaini KR, Metallo CM, Fiske BP, Courtney KD, Malstrom S, Khan TM, Kung C, Skoumbourdis AP, Veith H, Southall N, Walsh MJ, Brimacombe KR, Leister W, Lunt SY, Johnson ZR, Yen KE, Kunii K, Davidson SM, Christofk HR, Austin CP, Inglese J, Harris MH, Asara JM, Stephanopoulos G, Salituro FG, Jin S, Dang L, Auld DS, Park HW, Cantley LC, Thomas CJ, Vander Heiden MG
Journal: Nat Chem Biol. 2012 Aug 26. doi: 10.1038/nchembio.1060. [Epub ahead of print]
Cancer cells engage in a metabolic program to enhance biosynthesis and support cell proliferation. The regulatory properties of pyruvate kinase M2 (PKM2) influence altered glucose metabolism in cancer. The interaction of PKM2 with phosphotyrosine-containing proteins inhibits enzyme activity and increases the availability of glycolytic metabolites to support cell proliferation. This suggests that high pyruvate kinase activity may suppress tumor growth. We show that expression of PKM1, the pyruvate kinase isoform with high constitutive activity, or exposure to published small-molecule PKM2 activators inhibits the growth of xenograft tumors. Structural studies reveal that small-molecule activators bind PKM2 at the subunit interaction interface, a site that is distinct from that of the endogenous activator fructose-1,6-bisphosphate (FBP). However, unlike FBP, binding of activators to PKM2 promotes a constitutively active enzyme state that is resistant to inhibition by tyrosine-phosphorylated proteins. These data support the notion that small-molecule activation of PKM2 can interfere with anabolic metabolism.
Authors: Chen Y, Wang Y, Zhang J, Deng Y, Jiang L, Song E, Wu XS, Hammer JA, Xu T, Lippincott-Schwartz J
Journal: J Cell Biol. 2012 Aug 20;198(4):545-60
Rab proteins are important regulators of insulin-stimulated GLUT4 translocation to the plasma membrane (PM), but the precise steps in GLUT4 trafficking modulated by particular Rab proteins remain unclear. Here, we systematically investigate the involvement of Rab proteins in GLUT4 trafficking, focusing on Rab proteins directly mediating GLUT4 storage vesicle (GSV) delivery to the PM. Using dual-color total internal reflection fluorescence (TIRF) microscopy and an insulin-responsive aminopeptidase (IRAP)-pHluorin fusion assay, we demonstrated that Rab10 directly facilitated GSV translocation to and docking at the PM. Rab14 mediated GLUT4 delivery to the PM via endosomal compartments containing transferrin receptor (TfR), whereas Rab4A, Rab4B, and Rab8A recycled GLUT4 through the endosomal system. Myosin-Va associated with GSVs by interacting with Rab10, positioning peripherally recruited GSVs for ultimate fusion. Thus, multiple Rab proteins regulate the trafficking of GLUT4, with Rab10 coordinating with myosin-Va to mediate the final steps of insulin-stimulated GSV translocation to the PM.
Authors: Jaramillo R, Cohn RD, Crockett PW, Gowdy KM, Zeldin DC, Fessler MB
Journal: J Allergy Clin Immunol. 2012 Aug 23. [Epub ahead of print]
BACKGROUND: Although rodent studies indicate that atherosclerosis is a T(H)1-mediated disease and that atopic T(H)2 immunity is atheroprotective, findings in humans are conflicting. Total IgE (tIgE) is associated with atherosclerotic disease but has limited specificity for atopy.
OBJECTIVE: Our aim was to determine the relation between atopy, as indicated by a broad panel of serum allergen-specific IgE (sIgE), and past myocardial infarction (MI) in a sample representative of the US population.
METHODS: Data were analyzed from 4002 participants aged ≥20 years from the 2005-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey.
RESULTS: Subjects reporting a history of MI had lower summed sIgE (5.51 vs 7.71 kU/L; P < .001) and were less likely to have ≥1 positive sIgE test (29.9% vs 44.6%; P = .02) or current hay fever (3.3% vs 7.6%; P = .002). After adjustment for age, sex, race/ethnicity, diabetes mellitus, hypertension, family history of MI, smoking, total/high-density lipoprotein cholesterol, body mass index, and C-reactive protein, the odds ratio (OR) for MI was 0.91 (95% CI, 0.85-0.97) per positive sIgE; 0.70 (95% CI, 0.57-0.85) per 2-fold increase in sum[sIgE]; and 0.82 (95% CI, 0.69-0.98) per 10% increase in the ratio of sum[sIgE] to tIgE. Analysis with 7 data-driven, prespecified allergen clusters found that house dust mite is the only allergen cluster for which sIgE is associated with reduced odds for MI (fully adjusted OR, 0.36; 95% CI, 0.20-0.64).
CONCLUSION: Serum sIgE is inversely related to MI in the US population in a manner independent of multiple coronary risk factors.
Authors: Gierach GL, Ichikawa L, Kerlikowske K, Brinton LA, Farhat GN, Vacek PM, Weaver DL, Schairer C, Taplin SH, Sherman ME
Journal: J Natl Cancer Inst. 2012 Aug 22;104(16):1218-27. doi: 10.1093/jnci/djs327
BACKGROUND: Women with elevated mammographic density have an increased risk of developing breast cancer. However, among women diagnosed with breast cancer, it is unclear whether higher density portends reduced survival, independent of other factors.
METHODS: We evaluated relationships between mammographic density and risk of death from breast cancer and all causes within the US Breast Cancer Surveillance Consortium. We studied 9232 women diagnosed with primary invasive breast carcinoma during 1996-2005, with a mean follow-up of 6.6 years. Mammographic density was assessed using the Breast Imaging Reporting and Data System (BI-RADS) density classification. Hazard ratios (HRs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) were estimated by Cox proportional hazards regression; women with scattered fibroglandular densities (BI-RADS 2) were the referent group. All statistical tests were two-sided.
RESULTS: A total of 1795 women died, of whom 889 died of breast cancer. In multivariable analyses (adjusted for site, age at and year of diagnosis, American Joint Committee on Cancer stage, body mass index, mode of detection, treatment, and income), high density (BI-RADS 4) was not related to risk of death from breast cancer (HR = 0.92, 95% CI = 0.71 to 1.19) or death from all causes (HR = 0.83, 95% CI = 0.68 to 1.02). Analyses stratified by stage and other prognostic factors yielded similar results, except for an increased risk of breast cancer death among women with low density (BI-RADS 1) who were either obese (HR = 2.02, 95% CI = 1.37 to 2.97) or had tumors of at least 2.0 cm (HR = 1.55, 95% CI = 1.14 to 2.09).
CONCLUSIONS: High mammographic breast density was not associated with risk of death from breast cancer or death from any cause after accounting for other patient and tumor characteristics. Thus, risk factors for the development of breast cancer may not necessarily be the same as factors influencing the risk of death after breast cancer has developed.
Authors: Hussain S, Al-Nsour F, Rice AB, Marshburn J, Yingling B, Ji Z, Zink JI, Walker NJ, Garantziotis S
Journal: ACS Nano. 2012 Jul 24;6(7):5820-9
Cerium dioxide nanoparticles (CeO(2) NPs) have diversified industrial uses, and novel therapeutic applications are actively being pursued. There is a lack of mechanistic data concerning the effects of CeO(2) NPs on primary human cells. We aimed at characterizing the cytotoxic effects of CeO(2) NPs in human peripheral blood monocytes. CeO(2) NPs and their suspensions were thoroughly characterized, including using transmission electron microscopy (TEM), dynamic light scattering, and zeta potential analysis. Blood from healthy human volunteers was drawn through phlebotomy, and CD14+ cells were isolated. Cells were exposed to CeO(2) NPs (0.5-10 μg/mL) for 20 or 40 h, and mechanisms of cell injury were studied. TEM revealed that CeO(2) NPs are internalized by monocytes and are found either in vesicles or free in the cytoplasm. CeO(2) NP exposure leads to decrease in cell viability, and treated cells exhibit characteristic hallmarks of apoptosis (activation of Bax, loss of mitochondrial membrane potential, DNA fragmentation). CeO(2) NP toxicity is caused by mitochondrial damage and overexpression of apoptosis inducing factor, but is not due to caspase activation or reactive oxygen species production. Moreover, CeO(2) NP exposure leads to autophagy, which is further increased after pharmacological inhibition of tumor suppressor protein p53. Inhibition of autophagy partially reverses cell death by CeO(2) NPs. It is concluded that CeO(2) NPs are toxic to primary human monocytes at relatively low doses.
Authors: Fei C, Deroo LA, Sandler DP, Weinberg CR
Journal: J Natl Cancer Inst. 2012 Jul 3;104(13):1021-7
Background Fertility drugs stimulate hyperovulation, which may have implications for breast cancer. We examined the association between use of fertility drugs (clomiphene citrate [CC] and follicle-stimulating hormone [FSH]) and subsequent risk of young-onset (<50 years at diagnosis) breast cancer. Methods We conducted the Two Sister Study, a sister-matched case-control study, by enrolling 1422 women between September 2008 and December 2010, who were younger than age 50 years at diagnosis with breast cancer and were enrolled within 4 years of diagnosis, and 1669 breast cancer-free control sisters from the Sister Study. Participants reported their use of fertility drugs (CC and FSH) and ever-users reported whether a pregnancy had resulted that lasted 10 or more (10+) weeks. Conditional logistic regression was used to estimate confounder-adjusted odds ratios (ORs) and 95% confidence intervals (CIs) for fertility drug use with or without conception of a 10+ week pregnancy. Results A total of 288 participants reported having used ovulation-stimulating drugs (193 CC only, 29 FSH only, and 66 both). Overall, women who had used fertility drugs showed a non-statistically significantly decreased risk of breast cancer, compared with nonusers (OR = 0.82, 95% CI = 0.63 to 1.08). Women who had used fertility drugs but had not conceived a 10+ week pregnancy under treatment showed a statistically significantly decreased risk of breast cancer compared with nonusers (OR = 0.62, 95% CI = 0.43 to 0.89). Women who had used fertility drugs and conceived a 10+ week pregnancy under treatment showed a statistically significantly increased risk of breast cancer compared with unsuccessfully treated women (OR = 1.82, 95% CI = 1.10 to 3.00), although their risk was not increased compared with women who had not used fertility drugs (OR = 1.13, 95% CI = 0.78 to 1.64). Conclusions In the absence of a 10+ week pregnancy under treatment, exposure to ovulation-stimulating fertility drugs was associated with reduced risk of young-onset breast cancer. This apparent association was absent in women who conceived a 10+ week pregnancy under treatment, for whom risk was higher than that of unsuccessfully treated women, but similar to that of untreated women.