Authors: Englund EA, Wang D, Fujigaki H, Sakai H, Micklitsch CM, Ghirlando R, Martin-Manso G, Pendrak ML, Roberts DD, Durell SR, Appella DH
Journal: Nat Commun. 2012 Jan 10;3:614. doi: 10.1038/ncomms1629
Multivalent effects dictate the binding affinity of multiple ligands on one molecular entity to receptors. Integrins are receptors that mediate cell attachment through multivalent binding to peptide sequences within the extracellular matrix, and overexpression promotes the metastasis of some cancers. Multivalent display of integrin antagonists enhances their efficacy, but current scaffolds have limited ranges and precision for the display of ligands. Here we present an approach to studying multivalent effects across wide ranges of ligand number, density, and three-dimensional arrangement. Using L-lysine γ-substituted peptide nucleic acids, the multivalent effects of an integrin antagonist were examined over a range of 1-45 ligands. The optimal construct improves the inhibitory activity of the antagonist by two orders of magnitude against the binding of melanoma cells to the extracellular matrix in both in vitro and in vivo models.
Authors: Kim WG, Guigon CJ, Fozzatti L, Park JW, Lu C, Willingham MC, Cheng SY
Journal: Clin Cancer Res. 2012 Jan 23. [Epub ahead of print]
PURPOSE: Src is over-expressed or hyper-activated in a variety of human cancers including thyroid carcinoma. Src is a central mediator in multiple signaling pathways that are important in oncogenesis and cancer progression. In this study, we evaluated the effects of a Src inhibitor, SKI-606 (bosutinib), in a spontaneous metastatic thyroid cancer model with constitutively activated Src (ThrbPV/PVPten+/- mice).
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: ThrbPV/PVPten+/- mice were treated with SKI-606 or vehicle controls, beginning at 6 weeks of age until the mice succumbed to thyroid cancer. We assessed the effects of SKI-606 on thyroid cancer progression and analyzed the impact of SKI-606 on aberrant Src-mediated signaling.
RESULTS: SKI-606 effectively inhibited aberrant activation of Src and its downstream targets to markedly inhibit the growth of thyroid tumor, thereby prolonging the survival of treated mice. While Src inhibition did not induce cell apoptosis, it decreased cell proliferation by affecting the expression of key regulators of cell cycle progression. Importantly, SKI-606 dramatically prevented de-differentiation, vascular invasion, and lung metastasis of thyroid cancer cells. These responses were meditated by down-regulation of mitogen-activated protein kinase pathways and inhibition of the epithelial-mesenchymal transition.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that Src is critical in the progression of thyroid cancer, making oral SKI-606 a promising treatment strategy for refractory thyroid cancer.
Authors: Ledgerwood JE, Wei CJ, Hu Z, Gordon IJ, Enama ME, Hendel CS, McTamney PM, Pearce MB, Yassine HM, Boyington JC, Bailer R, Tumpey TM, Koup RA, Mascola JR, Nabel GJ, Graham BS; VRC 306 Study Team
Journal: Lancet Infect Dis. 2011 Dec;11(12):916-24
BACKGROUND: Because the general population is largely naive to H5N1 influenza, antibodies generated to H5 allow analysis of novel influenza vaccines independent of background immunity from previous infection. We assessed the safety and immunogenicity of DNA encoding H5 as a priming vaccine to improve antibody responses to inactivated influenza vaccination.
METHODS: In VRC 306 and VRC 310, two sequentially enrolled phase 1, open-label, randomised clinical trials, healthy adults (age 18-60 years) were randomly assigned to receive intramuscular H5 DNA (4 mg) at day 0 or twice, at day 0 and week 4, followed by H5N1 monovalent inactivated vaccine (MIV; 90 μg) at 4 or 24 weeks, and compared with a two-dose regimen of H5N1 MIV with either a 4 or 24 week interval. Antibody responses were assessed by haemagglutination inhibition (HAI), ELISA, neutralisation (ID(80)), and immunoassays for stem-directed antibodies. T cell responses were assessed by intracellular cytokine staining. After enrolment, investigators and individuals were not masked to group assignment. VRC 306 and VRC 310 are registered with ClinicalTrials.gov, numbers NCT00776711 and NCT01086657, respectively.
FINDINGS: In VRC 306, 60 individuals were randomly assigned to the four groups (15 in each) and 59 received the vaccinations. In VRC 310, of the 21 individuals enrolled, 20 received the vaccinations (nine received a two-dose regimen of H5N1 MIV and 11 received H5 DNA at day 0 followed by H5N1 MIV at week 24). H5 DNA priming was safe and enhanced H5-specific antibody titres following an H5N1 MIV boost, especially when the interval between DNA prime and MIV boost was extended to 24 weeks. In the two studies, DNA priming with a 24-week MIV boost interval induced protective HAI titres in 21 (81%) of 26 of individuals, with an increase in geometric mean titre (GMT) of more than four times that of individuals given the MIV-MIV regimen at 4 or 24 weeks (GMT 103-206 vs GMT 27-33). Additionally, neutralising antibodies directed to the conserved stem region of H5 were induced by this prime-boost regimen in several individuals. No vaccine-related serious adverse events were recorded.
INTERPRETATION: DNA priming 24 weeks in advance of influenza vaccine boosting increased the magnitude of protective antibody responses (HAI) and in some cases induced haemagglutinin-stem-specific neutralising antibodies. A DNA-MIV vaccine regimen could enhance the efficacy of H5 or other influenza vaccines and shows that anti-stem antibodies can be elicited by vaccination in man.
FUNDING: National Institutes of Health.
Authors: Wallen GR, Baker K, Stolar M, Miller-Davis C, Ames N, Yates J, Bolle J, Pereira D, Germain DS, Handel D, Berger A.
Journal: Qual Life Res. 2012 Apr;21(3):405-15. Epub 2011 Nov 19.
PURPOSE: To prospectively compare outcomes and processes of hospital-based early palliative care with standard care in surgical oncology patients (N = 152).
METHODS: A randomized, mixed methods, longitudinal study evaluated the effectiveness of a hospital-based Pain and Palliative Care Service (PPCS). Interviews were conducted presurgically and at follow-up visits up to 1 year. Primary outcome measures included the Gracely Pain Intensity and Unpleasantness Scales and the Symptom Distress Scale. Qualitative interviews assessed social support, satisfaction with care, and communication with providers. Survival analysis methods explored factors related to treatment crossover and study discontinuation. Models for repeated measures within subjects over time explored treatment and covariate effects on patient-reported pain and symptom distress.
RESULTS: None of the estimated differences achieved statistical significance; however, for those who remained on study for 12 months, the PPCS group performed better than their standard of care counterparts. Patients identified consistent communication, emotional support, and pain and symptom management as positive contributions delivered by the PPCS.
CONCLUSIONS: It is unclear whether lower pain perceptions despite greater symptom distress were clinically meaningful; however, when coupled with the patients' perceptions of their increased resources and alternatives for pain control, one begins to see the value of an integrated PPCS.
Authors: McLellan JS, Pancera M, Carrico C, Gorman J, Julien JP, Khayat R, Louder R, Pejchal R, Sastry M, Dai K, O'Dell S, Patel N, Shahzad-ul-Hussan S, Yang Y, Zhang B, Zhou T, Zhu J, Boyington JC, Chuang GY, Diwanji D, Georgiev I, Kwon YD, Lee D, Louder MK, Moquin S, Schmidt SD, Yang ZY, Bonsignori M, Crump JA, Kapiga SH, Sam NE, Haynes BF, Burton DR, Koff WC, Walker LM, Phogat S, Wyatt R, Orwenyo J, Wang LX, Arthos J, Bewley CA, Mascola JR, Nabel GJ, Schief WR, Ward AB, Wilson IA, Kwong PD
Journal: Nature. 2011 Nov 23;480(7377):336-43. doi: 10.1038/nature10696
Variable regions 1 and 2 (V1/V2) of human immunodeficiency virus-1 (HIV-1) gp120 envelope glycoprotein are critical for viral evasion of antibody neutralization, and are themselves protected by extraordinary sequence diversity and N-linked glycosylation. Human antibodies such as PG9 nonetheless engage V1/V2 and neutralize 80% of HIV-1 isolates. Here we report the structure of V1/V2 in complex with PG9. V1/V2 forms a four-stranded β-sheet domain, in which sequence diversity and glycosylation are largely segregated to strand-connecting loops. PG9 recognition involves electrostatic, sequence-independent and glycan interactions: the latter account for over half the interactive surface but are of sufficiently weak affinity to avoid autoreactivity. The structures of V1/V2-directed antibodies CH04 and PGT145 indicate that they share a common mode of glycan penetration by extended anionic loops. In addition to structurally defining V1/V2, the results thus identify a paradigm of antibody recognition for highly glycosylated antigens, which-with PG9-involves a site of vulnerability comprising just two glycans and a strand.
Authors: Oh HM, Yu CR, Lee Y, Chan CC, Maminishkis A, Egwuagu CE
Journal: J Immunol. 2011 Sep 15;187(6):3338-46
Organ-specific autoimmune diseases are usually characterized by repeated cycles of remission and recurrent inflammation. However, where the autoreactive memory T cells reside in between episodes of recurrent inflammation is largely unknown. In this study, we have established a mouse model of chronic uveitis characterized by progressive photoreceptor cell loss, retinal degeneration, focal retinitis, retinal vasculitis, multifocal choroiditis, and choroidal neovascularization, providing for the first time to our knowledge a useful model for studying long-term pathological consequences of chronic inflammation of the neuroretina. We show that several months after inception of acute uveitis, autoreactive memory T cells specific to retinal autoantigen, interphotoreceptor retinoid-binding protein (IRBP), relocated to bone marrow (BM). The IRBP-specific memory T cells (IL-7Rα(High)Ly6C(High)CD4(+)) resided in BM in resting state but upon restimulation converted to IL-17/IFN-γ-expressing effectors (IL-7Rα(Low)Ly6C(Low)CD4(+)) that mediated uveitis. We further show that T cells from STAT3-deficient (CD4-STAT3KO) mice are defective in α4β1 and osteopontin expression, defects that correlated with inability of IRBP-specific memory CD4-STAT3KO T cells to traffic into BM. We adoptively transferred uveitis to naive mice using BM cells from wild-type mice with chronic uveitis but not BM cells from CD4-STAT3KO, providing direct evidence that memory T cells that mediate uveitis reside in BM and that STAT3-dependent mechanism may be required for migration into and retention of memory T cells in BM. Identifying BM as a survival niche for T cells that cause uveitis suggests that BM stromal cells that provide survival signals to autoreactive memory T cells and STAT3-dependent mechanisms that mediate their relocation into BM are attractive therapeutic targets that can be exploited to selectively deplete memory T cells that drive chronic inflammation.
Authors: Murphy GE, Narayan K, Lowekamp BC, Hartnell LM, Heymann JA, Fu J, Subramaniam S
Journal: J Struct Biol [Epub ahead of print]
We report methodological advances that extend the current capabilities of ion-abrasion scanning electron microscopy (IA-SEM), also known as focused ion beam scanning electron microscopy, a newly emerging technology for high resolution imaging of large biological specimens in 3D. We establish protocols that enable the routine generation of 3D image stacks of entire plastic-embedded mammalian cells by IA-SEM at resolutions of ∼10-20nm at high contrast and with minimal artifacts from the focused ion beam. We build on these advances by describing a detailed approach for carrying out correlative live confocal microscopy and IA-SEM on the same cells. Finally, we demonstrate that by combining correlative imaging with newly developed tools for automated image processing, small 100nm-sized entities such as HIV-1 or gold beads can be localized in SEM image stacks of whole mammalian cells. We anticipate that these methods will add to the arsenal of tools available for investigating mechanisms underlying host-pathogen interactions, and more generally, the 3D subcellular architecture of mammalian cells and tissues.
Authors: Medic N, Desai A, Komarow H, Burch LH, Bandara G, Beaven MA, Metcalfe DD, Gilfillan AM
Journal: Cell Calcium [Epub ahead of print]
Mast cells are considered the primary initiators of allergic diseases as a consequence of the release of multiple inflammatory mediators on activation. Although predominately activated through antigen-mediated aggregation of IgE-occupied-FcɛRI, they can also be induced to release mediators by other receptors and environmental stimuli. Based on studies conducted in the RBL 2H3 rodent mast cell line, the transient receptor potential melastatin 8 (TRPM8) cation channel has been implicated in the activation of mast cells in response to cold and, by inference, the development of urticaria. Here we investigated the expression and role of TRPM8 receptor, in both human and mouse non-transformed cells, with the aim of exploring the potential link between TRPM8 and the pathology of cold urticaria in humans. Although expressed in mouse mast cells, we found no evidence of TRPM8 expression in human mast cells or functional mutations in TRPM8 in cold urticaria patients. Furthermore, neither mouse nor human primary cultured mast cells degranulated in response to cold challenge or TRPM8 agonists and mast cell reactivity was unaffected in Trpm8(-/-) mice. From these data, we conclude that TRPM8 is unlikely to directly regulate mast cell activation in cold urticaria. Thus, alternative mechanisms likely exist for the pathogenesis of this disease.
Authors: Manolio TA, Green ED.
Journal: Cell. 2011 Sep 30;147(1):14-6.
The potential for the burgeoning knowledge of genome structure and function to improve medical care has long been anticipated (Collins, 1999), but until very recently, the actual clinical application of genomics has been limited (Green and Guyer, 2011). Despite concerns about the pace of medically relevant genomic discoveries and the implementation of genomic medicine (clinical care based on or influenced by knowledge of a patient's specific genomic variants) (Varmus, 2010), growing numbers of encouraging examples are now in hand. Early case reports of genomic-based diagnoses leading to altered treatment and an improved clinical course, facilitated by advancing genomic technologies such as whole-exome and -genome sequencing, illustrate the potential of genomically informed medicine for improving clinical care. Such reports also demonstrate the critical role that basic science approaches play in characterizing implicated variants and pointing toward more effective treatments. Here, we describe several recent successes in genomic medicine that illustrate the critical interplay between basic and translational researchers that will be required to make the routine use of genomic medicine a reality.
Authors: Li Y, O'Dell S, Walker LM, Wu X, Guenaga J, Feng Y, Schmidt SD, McKee K, Louder MK, Ledgerwood JE, Graham BS, Haynes BF, Burton DR, Wyatt RT, Mascola JR
Journal: J Virol. 2011 Sep;85(17):8954-67. Epub 2011 Jun 29
The structure of VRC01 in complex with the HIV-1 gp120 core reveals that this broadly neutralizing CD4 binding site (CD4bs) antibody partially mimics the interaction of the primary virus receptor, CD4, with gp120. Here, we extended the investigation of the VRC01-gp120 core interaction to the biologically relevant viral spike to better understand the mechanism of VRC01-mediated neutralization and to define viral elements associated with neutralization resistance. In contrast to the interaction of CD4 or the CD4bs monoclonal antibody (MAb) b12 with the HIV-1 envelope glycoprotein (Env), occlusion of the VRC01 epitope by quaternary constraints was not a major factor limiting neutralization. Mutagenesis studies indicated that VRC01 contacts within the gp120 loop D, the CD4 binding loop, and the V5 region were necessary for optimal VRC01 neutralization, as suggested by the crystal structure. In contrast to interactions with the soluble gp120 monomer, VRC01 interaction with the native viral spike did not occur in a CD4-like manner; VRC01 did not induce gp120 shedding from the Env spike or enhance gp41 membrane proximal external region (MPER)-directed antibody binding to the Env spike. Finally, VRC01 did not display significant reactivity with human antigens, boding well for potential in vivo applications. The data indicate that VRC01 interacts with gp120 in the context of the functional spike in a manner distinct from that of CD4. It achieves potent neutralization by precisely targeting the CD4bs without requiring alterations of Env spike configuration and by avoiding steric constraints imposed by the quaternary structure of the functional Env spike.