Authors: Yang, Kohler ME, Chien CD, Sauter CT, Jacoby E, Yan C, Hu Y, Wanhainen K, Qin H, Fry TJ
Journal: Sci Transl Med. 2017 Nov 22;9(417). pii: eaag1209. doi: 10.1126/scitranslmed.aag1209
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-expressing T cells induce durable remissions in patients with relapsed/refractory B cell malignancies. CARs are synthetic constructs that, when introduced into mature T cells, confer a second, non-major histocompatibility complex-restricted specificity in addition to the endogenous T cell receptor (TCR). The implications of TCR activation on CAR T cell efficacy has not been well defined. Using an immunocompetent, syngeneic murine model of CD19-targeted CAR T cell therapy for pre-B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia in which the CAR is introduced into T cells with known TCR specificity, we demonstrate loss of CD8 CAR T cell efficacy associated with T cell exhaustion and apoptosis when TCR antigen is present. CD4 CAR T cells demonstrate equivalent cytotoxicity to CD8 CAR T cells and, in contrast, retain in vivo efficacy despite TCR stimulation. Gene expression profiles confirm increased exhaustion and apoptosis of CD8 CAR T cells upon dual receptor stimulation compared to CD4 CAR T cells and indicate inherent differences between CD4 and CD8 CAR T cells in the use of T cell-associated signaling pathways. These results provide insights into important aspects of CAR T cell immune biology and indicate opportunities to rationally design CAR constructs to optimize clinical efficacy.
Authors: Steiner AZ, Pritchard D, Stanczyk FZ, Kesner JS, Meadows JW, Herring AH, Baird DD
Journal: JAMA. 2017 Oct 10;318(14):1367-1376. doi: 10.1001/jama.2017.14588.
IMPORTANCE: Despite lack of evidence of their utility, biomarkers of ovarian reserve are being promoted as potential markers of reproductivepotential.
OBJECTIVE: To determine the associations between biomarkers of ovarian reserve and reproductive potential among women of late reproductive age.
DESIGN, SETTING, AND PARTICIPANTS: Prospective time-to-pregnancy cohort study (2008 to date of last follow-up in March 2016) of women (N = 981) aged 30 to 44 years without a history of infertility who had been trying to conceive for 3 months or less, recruited from the community in the Raleigh-Durham, North Carolina, area.
EXPOSURES: Early-follicular-phase serum level of antimüllerian hormone (AMH), follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), and inhibin B and urinary level of FSH.
MAIN OUTCOMES AND MEASURES: The primary outcomes were the cumulative probability of conception by 6 and 12 cycles of attempt and relative fecundability (probability of conception in a given menstrual cycle). Conception was defined as a positive pregnancy test result.
RESULTS: A total of 750 women (mean age, 33.3 [SD, 3.2] years; 77% white; 36% overweight or obese) provided a blood and urine sample and were included in the analysis. After adjusting for age, body mass index, race, current smoking status, and recent hormonal contraceptive use, women with low AMH values (<0.7 ng/mL [n = 84]) did not have a significantly different predicted probability of conceiving by 6 cycles of attempt (65%; 95% CI, 50%-75%) compared with women (n = 579) with normal values (62%; 95% CI, 57%-66%) or by 12 cycles of attempt (84% [95% CI, 70%-91%] vs 75% [95% CI, 70%-79%], respectively). Women with high serum FSH values (>10 mIU/mL [n = 83]) did not have a significantly different predicted probability of conceiving after 6 cycles of attempt (63%; 95% CI, 50%-73%) compared with women (n = 654) with normal values (62%; 95% CI, 57%-66%) or after 12 cycles of attempt (82% [95% CI, 70%-89%] vs 75% [95% CI, 70%-78%], respectively). Women with high urinary FSH values (>11.5 mIU/mg creatinine [n = 69]) did not have a significantly different predicted probability of conceiving after 6 cycles of attempt (61%; 95% CI, 46%-74%) compared with women (n = 660) with normal values (62%; 95% CI, 58%-66%) or after 12 cycles of attempt (70% [95% CI, 54%-80%] vs 76% [95% CI, 72%-80%], respectively). Inhibin B levels (n = 737) were not associated with the probability of conceiving in a given cycle (hazard ratio per 1-pg/mL increase, 0.999; 95% CI, 0.997-1.001).
CONCLUSIONS AND RELEVANCE: Among women aged 30 to 44 years without a history of infertility who had been trying to conceive for 3 months or less, biomarkers indicating diminished ovarian reserve compared with normal ovarian reserve were not associated with reduced fertility. These findings do not support the use of urinary or blood follicle-stimulating hormone tests or antimüllerian hormone levels to assess natural fertility for women with these characteristics.
Authors: Guo TW, Bartesaghi A, Yang H, Falconieri V, Rao P, Merk A, Eng ET, Raczkowski AM, Fox T, Earl LA, Patel DJ, Subramaniam S
Journal: Cell. 2017 Oct 5;171(2):414-426.e12. doi: 10.1016/j.cell.2017.09.006.
Prokaryotic cells possess CRISPR-mediated adaptive immune systems that protect them from foreign genetic elements, such as invading viruses. A central element of this immune system is an RNA-guided surveillance complex capable of targeting non-self DNA or RNA for degradation in a sequence- and site-specific manner analogous to RNA interference. Although the complexes display considerable diversity in their composition and architecture, many basic mechanisms underlying target recognition and cleavage are highly conserved. Using cryoelectron microscopy (cryo-EM), we show that the binding of target double-stranded DNA (dsDNA) to a type I-F CRISPR system yersinia (Csy) surveillance complex leads to large quaternary and tertiary structural changes in the complex that are likely necessary in the pathway leading to target dsDNA degradation by a trans-acting helicase-nuclease. Comparison of the structure of the surveillance complex before and after dsDNA binding, or in complex with three virally encoded anti-CRISPR suppressors that inhibit dsDNA binding, reveals mechanistic details underlying target recognition and inhibition.
Authors: Kang HS1, Kumar D2, Liao G1, Lichti-Kaiser K1, Gerrish K3, Liao XH4, Refetoff S4,5, Jothi R2, Jetten AM
Journal: J Clin Invest. 2017 Oct 30. pii: 94417. doi: 10.1172/JCI94417. [Epub ahead of print]
Deficiency in Krüppel-like zinc finger transcription factor GLI-similar 3 (GLIS3) in humans is associated with the development of congenital hypothyroidism. However, the functions of GLIS3 in the thyroid gland and the mechanism by which GLIS3 dysfunction causes hypothyroidism are unknown. In the current study, we demonstrate that GLIS3 acts downstream of thyroid-stimulating hormone (TSH) and TSH receptor (TSHR) and is indispensable for TSH/TSHR-mediated proliferation of thyroid follicular cells and biosynthesis of thyroid hormone. Using ChIP-Seq and promoter analysis, we demonstrate that GLIS3 is critical for the transcriptional activation of several genes required for thyroidhormone biosynthesis, including the iodide transporters Nis and Pds, both of which showed enhanced GLIS3 binding at their promoters. The repression of cell proliferation of GLIS3-deficient thyroid follicular cells was due to the inhibition of TSH-mediated activation of the mTOR complex 1/ribosomal protein S6 (mTORC1/RPS6) pathway as well as the reduced expression of several cell division-related genes regulated directly by GLIS3. Consequently, GLIS3 deficiency in a murine model prevented the development of goiter as well as the induction of inflammatory and fibrotic genes during chronic elevation of circulating TSH. Our study identifies GLIS3 as a key regulator of TSH/TSHR-mediated thyroid hormone biosynthesis and proliferation of thyroid follicular cells and uncovers a mechanism by which GLIS3 deficiency causes neonatal hypothyroidism and prevents goiter development.
Authors: Cinghu S, Yang P, Kosak JP, Conway AE, Kumar D, Oldfield AJ, Adelman K, Jothi R
Journal: Mol Cell. 2017 Oct 5;68(1):104-117.e6. doi: 10.1016/j.molcel.2017.09.010
Eukaryotic gene transcription is regulated at many steps, including RNA polymerase II (Pol II) recruitment, transcription initiation, promoter-proximal Pol II pause release, and transcription termination; however, mechanisms regulating transcription during productive elongation remain poorly understood. Enhancers, which activate gene transcription, themselves undergo Pol II-mediated transcription, but our understanding of enhancer transcription and enhancer RNAs (eRNAs) remains incomplete. Here we show that transcription at intragenic enhancers interferes with and attenuates host gene transcription during productive elongation. While the extent of attenuation correlates positively with nascent eRNA expression, the act of intragenic enhancer transcription alone, but not eRNAs, explains the attenuation. Through CRISPR/Cas9-mediated deletions, we demonstrate a physiological role for intragenic enhancer-mediated transcription attenuation in cell fate determination. We propose that intragenic enhancers not only enhance transcription of one or more genes from a distance but also fine-tune transcription of their host gene through transcription interference, facilitating differential utilization of the same regulatory element for disparate functions.
Authors: Li P, Wang L, Bennett BD, Wang J, Li J, Qin Y, Takaku M, Wade PA, Wong J, Hu G
Journal: Nucleic Acids Res. 2017 Oct 11. doi: 10.1093/nar/gkx884. [Epub ahead of print]
Transposable elements, including endogenous retroviruses (ERVs), constitute a large fraction of the mammalian genome. They are transcriptionally silenced during early development to protect genome integrity and aberrant transcription. However, the mechanisms that control their repression are not fully understood. To systematically study ERV repression, we carried out an RNAi screen in mouse embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and identified a list of novel regulators. Among them, Rif1 displays the strongest effect. Rif1 depletion by RNAi or gene deletion led to increased transcription and increased chromatin accessibility at ERV regions and their neighboring genes. This transcriptional de-repression becomes more severe when DNA methylation is lost. On the mechanistic level, Rif1 directly occupies ERVs and is required for repressive histone mark H3K9me3 and H3K27me3 assembly and DNA methylation. It interacts with histone methyltransferases and facilitates their recruitment to ERV regions. Importantly, Rif1 represses ERVs in human ESCs as well, and the evolutionally-conserved HEAT-like domain is essential for its function. Finally, Rif1 acts as a barrier during somatic cell reprogramming, and its depletion significantly enhances reprogramming efficiency. Together, our study uncovered many previously uncharacterized repressors of ERVs, and defined an essential role of Rif1 in the epigenetic defense against ERV activation.
Authors: Venniro M, Caprioli D, Zhang M, Whitaker LR, Zhang S, Warren BL, Cifani C, Marchant NJ, Yizhar O, Bossert JM, Chiamulera C, Morales M, Shaham Y
Journal: Neuron. 2017 Oct 11;96(2):414-427.e8. doi: 10.1016/j.neuron.2017.09.024.
Despite decades of research on neurobiological mechanisms of psychostimulant addiction, the only effective treatment for many addicts is contingency management, a behavioral treatment that uses alternative non-drug reward to maintain abstinence. However, when contingency management is discontinued, most addicts relapse to drug use. The brain mechanisms underlying relapse after cessation of contingency management are largely unknown, and, until recently, an animal model of this human condition did not exist. Here we used a novel rat model, in which the availability of a mutually exclusive palatable food maintains prolonged voluntary abstinence from intravenous methamphetamine self-administration, to demonstrate that the activation of monosynaptic glutamatergic projections from anterior insular cortex to central amygdala is critical to relapse after the cessation of contingency management. We identified the anterior insular cortex-to-central amygdala projection as a new addiction- and motivation-related projection and a potential target for relapse prevention.
Authors: Ao M, Chavez MB, Chu EY, Hemstreet KC, Yin Y, Yadav MC, Millán JL, Fisher LW, Goldberg HA, Somerman MJ, Foster BL
Journal: Bone. 2017 Sep 1;105:134-147. doi: 10.1016/j.bone.2017.08.027. [Epub ahead of print]
Although acellular cementum is essential for tooth attachment, factors directing its development and regeneration remain poorly understood. Inorganic pyrophosphate (PPi), a mineralization inhibitor, is a key regulator of cementum formation: tissue-nonspecific alkaline phosphatase (Alpl/TNAP) null mice (increased PPi) feature deficient cementum, while progressive ankylosis protein (Ank/ANK) null mice (decreased PPi) feature increased cementum. Bone sialoprotein (Bsp/BSP) and osteopontin (Spp1/OPN) are multifunctional extracellular matrix components of cementum proposed to have direct and indirect effects on cell activities and mineralization. Studies on dentoalveolar development of Bsp knockout (Bsp-/-) mice revealed severely reduced acellular cementum, however underlying mechanisms remain unclear. The similarity in defective cementum phenotypes between Bsp-/- mice and Alpl-/- mice (the latter featuring elevated PPi and OPN), prompted us to examine whether BSP is operating by modulating PPi-associated genes. Genetic ablation of Bsp caused a 2-fold increase in circulating PPi, altered mRNA expression of Alpl, Spp1, and Ank, and increased OPN protein in the periodontia. Generation of a Bsp knock-out (KO) cementoblast cell line revealed significantly decreased mineralization capacity, 50% increased PPi in culture media, and increased Spp1 and Ank mRNA expression. While addition of 2μg/ml recombinant BSP altered Spp1, Ank, and Enpp1 expression in cementoblasts, changes resulting from this dose were not dependent on the integrin-binding RGD motif or MAPK/ERK signaling pathway. Decreasing PPi by genetic ablation of Ank on the Bsp-/- mouse background reestablished cementum formation, allowing >3-fold increased acellular cementum volume compared to wild-type (WT). However, deleting Ank did not fully compensate for the absence of BSP. Bsp-/-; Ank-/- double-deficient mice exhibited mean 20-27% reduced cementum thickness and volume compared to Ank-/- mice. From these data, we conclude that the perturbations in PPi metabolism are not solely driving the cementum pathology in Bsp-/- mice, and that PPi is more potent than BSP as a cementum regulator, as shown by the ability to override loss of BSP by lowering PPi. We propose that BSP and PPi work in concert to direct mineralization in cementum and likely other mineralized tissues.
Authors: McGowan CJ1, Kwok RK1, Engel LS1,2, Stenzel MR3, Stewart PA4, Sandler DP
Journal: Environ Health Perspect. 2017 Sep 15;125(9):097015. doi: 10.1289/EHP1677.
BACKGROUND: The large quantities of chemical oil dispersants used in the oil spill response and cleanup (OSRC) work following the Deepwater Horizon disaster provide an opportunity to study associations between dispersant exposure (Corexit™ EC9500A or EC9527A) and human health.
OBJECTIVES: Our objectives were to examine associations between potential exposure to the dispersants and adverse respiratory, dermal, and eye irritation symptoms.
METHODS: Using data from detailed Gulf Long-term Follow-up ( GuLF) Study enrollment interviews, we determined potential exposure to either dispersant from participant-reported tasks during the OSRC work. Between 27,659 and 29,468 participants provided information on respiratory, dermal, and eye irritation health. We estimated prevalence ratios (PRs) to measure associations with symptoms reported during the OSRC work and at study enrollment, adjusting for potential confounders including airborne total hydrocarbons exposure, use of cleaning chemicals, and participant demographics.
RESULTS: Potential exposure to either of the dispersants was significantly associated with all health outcomes at the time of the OSRC, with the strongest association for burning in the nose, throat, or lungs [adjusted PR (aPR)=1.61 (95% CI: 1.42, 1.82)], tightness in chest [aPR=1.58 (95% CI: 1.37, 1.81)], and burning eyes [aPR=1.48 (95% CI: 1.35, 1.64). Weaker, but still significant, associations were found between dispersant exposure and symptoms present at enrollment.
CONCLUSIONS: Potential exposure to Corexit™ EC9527A or EC9500A was associated with a range of health symptoms at the time of the OSRC, as well as at the time of study enrollment, 1-3 y after the spill. https://doi.org/10.1289/EHP1677.
Authors: Weng TY, Tsai SA, Su TP
Journal: J Biomed Sci. 2017 Sep 16;24(1):74. doi: 10.1186/s12929-017-0380-6.
The sigma-1 receptor (Sig-1R) is a chaperone that resides mainly at the mitochondrion-associated endoplasmic reticulum (ER) membrane (called the MAMs) and acts as a dynamic pluripotent modulator in living systems. At the MAM, the Sig-1R is known to play a role in regulating the Ca2+ signaling between ER and mitochondria and in maintaining the structural integrity of the MAM. The MAM serves as bridges between ER and mitochondria regulating multiple functions such as Ca2+ transfer, energy exchange, lipid synthesis and transports, and protein folding that are pivotal to cell survival and defense. Recently, emerging evidences indicate that the MAM is critical in maintaining neuronal homeostasis. Thus, given the specific localization of the Sig-1R at the MAM, we highlight and propose that the direct or indirect regulations of the Sig-1R on mitochondrial functions may relate to neurodegenerative diseases including Alzheimer's disease (AD), Parkinson's disease (PD), Huntington's disease (HD) and amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). In addition, the promising use of Sig-1R ligands to rescue mitochondrial dysfunction-induced neurodegeneration is addressed.