PIM kinase family members play a crucial role in promoting cell survival and proliferation via phosphorylation of their target substrates. In this study, we investigated the role of the PIM kinases with respect to T cell responses in transplantation and tumor immunity. We found that the PIM-2 isoform negatively regulated T cell responses to alloantigen, in contrast to the PIM-1 and PIM-3 isoforms, which acted as positive regulators. T cells deficient in PIM-2 demonstrated increased T cell differentiation toward Th1 subset, proliferation, and migration to target organs after allogeneic bone marrow transplantation, resulting in dramatically accelerated graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) severity. Restoration of PIM-2 expression markedly attenuated the pathogenicity of PIM-2–deficient T cells to induce GVHD. On the other hand, mice deficient in PIM-2 readily rejected syngeneic tumor, which was primarily dependent on CD8+ T cells. Furthermore, silencing PIM-2 in polyclonal or antigen-specific CD8+ T cells substantially enhanced their antitumor response in adoptive T cell immunotherapy. We conclude that PIM-2 kinase plays a prominent role in suppressing T cell responses, and provide a strong rationale to target PIM-2 for cancer immunotherapy.
Anusara Daenthanasanmak, Yongxia Wu, Supinya Iamsawat, Hung D. Nguyen, David Bastian, MengMeng Zhang, M. Hanief Sofi, Shilpak Chatterjee, Elizabeth G. Hill, Shikhar Mehrotra, Andrew S. Kraft, Xue-Zhong Yu
Vaccine responses vary by geographic location. We have previously described how HIV-associated inflammation leads to fibrosis of secondary lymph nodes (LNs) and T cell depletion. We hypothesized that other infections may cause LN inflammation and fibrosis, in a process similar to that seen in HIV infection, which may lead to T cell depletion and affect vaccine responses. We studied LNs of individuals from Kampala, Uganda, before and after yellow fever vaccination (YFV) and found fibrosis in LNs that was similar to that seen in HIV infection. We found blunted antibody responses to YFV that correlated to the amount of LN fibrosis and loss of T cells, including T follicular helper cells. These data suggest that LN fibrosis is not limited to HIV infection and may be associated with impaired immunologic responses to vaccines. This may have an impact on vaccine development, especially for infectious diseases prevalent in the developing world.
Cissy Kityo, Krystelle Nganou Makamdop, Meghan Rothenberger, Jeffrey G. Chipman, Torfi Hoskuldsson, Gregory J. Beilman, Bartosz Grzywacz, Peter Mugyenyi, Francis Ssali, Rama S. Akondy, Jodi Anderson, Thomas E. Schmidt, Thomas Reimann, Samuel P. Callisto, Jordan Schoephoerster, Jared Schuster, Proscovia Muloma, Patrick Ssengendo, Eirini Moysi, Constantinos Petrovas, Ray Lanciotti, Lin Zhang, Maria T. Arévalo, Benigno Rodriguez, Ted M. Ross, Lydie Trautmann, Rafick-Pierre Sekaly, Michael M. Lederman, Richard A. Koup, Rafi Ahmed, Cavan Reilly, Daniel C. Douek, Timothy W. Schacker
Adverse drug reactions (ADRs) are a major obstacle to drug development, and some of these, including hypersensitivity reactions to the HIV reverse transcriptase inhibitor abacavir (ABC), are associated with HLA alleles, particularly HLA-B*57:01. However, not all HLA-B*57:01+ patients develop ADRs, suggesting that in addition to the HLA genetic risk, other factors may influence the outcome of the response to the drug. To study HLA-linked ADRs in vivo, we generated HLA-B*57:01–Tg mice and show that, although ABC activated Tg mouse CD8+ T cells in vitro in a HLA-B*57:01–dependent manner, the drug was tolerated in vivo. In immunocompetent Tg animals, ABC induced CD8+ T cells with an anergy-like phenotype that did not lead to ADRs. In contrast, in vivo depletion of CD4+ T cells prior to ABC administration enhanced DC maturation to induce systemic ABC-reactive CD8+ T cells with an effector-like and skin-homing phenotype along with CD8+ infiltration and inflammation in drug-sensitized skin. B7 costimulatory molecule blockade prevented CD8+ T cell activation. These Tg mice provide a model for ABC tolerance and for the generation of HLA-B*57:01–restricted, ABC-reactive CD8+ T cells dependent on both HLA genetic risk and immunoregulatory host factors.
Marco Cardone, Karla Garcia, Mulualem E. Tilahun, Lisa F. Boyd, Sintayehu Gebreyohannes, Masahide Yano, Gregory Roderiquez, Adovi D. Akue, Leslie Juengst, Elliot Mattson, Suryatheja Ananthula, Kannan Natarajan, Montserrat Puig, David H. Margulies, Michael A. Norcross
Cancer progression is associated with alterations of intra- and extramedullary hematopoiesis to support a systemic tumor-promoting myeloid response. However, the functional specialty, mechanism, and clinical relevance of extramedullary hematopoiesis (EMH) remain unclear. Here we showed that the heightened splenic myelopoiesis in tumor-bearing hosts was not only characterized by the accumulation of myeloid precursors, but also associated with profound functional alterations of splenic early hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSPCs). With the distinct capability to produce and respond to granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF), these splenic HSPCs were “primed” and committed to generating immunosuppressive myeloid cells. Mechanistically, the CCL2-CCR2 axis-dependent recruitment and the subsequent local education by the splenic stroma were critical for eliciting this splenic HSPC response. Selective abrogation of this splenic EMH was sufficient to synergistically enhance the therapeutic efficacy of immune checkpoint blockade. Clinically, patients with different types of solid tumors exhibited increased splenic HSPC levels associated with poor survival. These findings reveal a unique and important role of splenic hematopoiesis in the tumor-associated myelopoiesis.
Chong Wu, Huiheng Ning, Mingyu Liu, Jie Lin, Shufeng Luo, Wenjie Zhu, Jing Xu, Wen-Chao Wu, Jing Liang, Chun-Kui Shao, Jiaqi Ren, Bin Wei, Jun Cui, Min-Shan Chen, Limin Zheng
Eya proteins are critical developmental regulators that are highly expressed in embryogenesis but downregulated after development. Amplification and/or re-expression of Eyas occurs in many tumor types. In breast cancer, Eyas regulate tumor progression by acting as transcriptional cofactors and tyrosine phosphatases. Intriguingly, Eyas harbor a separate threonine (Thr) phosphatase activity, which was previously implicated in innate immunity. Here we describe what we believe to be a novel role for Eya3 in mediating triple-negative breast cancer–associated immune suppression. Eya3 loss decreases tumor growth in immune-competent mice and is associated with increased numbers of infiltrated CD8+ T cells, which, when depleted, reverse the effects of Eya3 knockdown. Mechanistically, Eya3 utilizes its Thr phosphatase activity to dephosphorylate Myc at pT58, resulting in a stabilized form. We show that Myc is required for Eya3-mediated increases in PD-L1, and that rescue of PD-L1 in Eya3-knockdown cells restores tumor progression. Finally, we demonstrate that Eya3 significantly correlates with PD-L1 in human breast tumors, and that tumors expressing high levels of Eya3 have a decreased CD8+ T cell signature. Our data uncover a role for Eya3 in mediating tumor-associated immune suppression, and suggest that its inhibition may enhance checkpoint therapies.
Rebecca L. Vartuli, Hengbo Zhou, Lingdi Zhang, Rani K. Powers, Jared Klarquist, Pratyaydipta Rudra, Melanie Y. Vincent, Debashis Ghosh, James C. Costello, Ross M. Kedl, Jill E. Slansky, Rui Zhao, Heide L. Ford
Critical immune-suppressive pathways beyond programmed death 1 (PD-1) and programmed death ligand 1 (PD-L1) require greater attention. Nectins and nectin-like molecules might be promising targets for immunotherapy, since they play critical roles in cell proliferation and migration and exert immunomodulatory functions in pathophysiological conditions. Here, we show CD155 expression in both malignant cells and tumor-infiltrating myeloid cells in humans and mice. Cd155–/– mice displayed reduced tumor growth and metastasis via DNAM-1 upregulation and enhanced effector function of CD8+ T and NK cells, respectively. CD155-deleted tumor cells also displayed slower tumor growth and reduced metastases, demonstrating the importance of a tumor-intrinsic role of CD155. CD155 absence on host and tumor cells exerted an even greater inhibition of tumor growth and metastasis. Blockade of PD-1 or both PD-1 and CTLA4 was more effective in settings in which CD155 was limiting, suggesting the clinical potential of cotargeting PD-L1 and CD155 function.
Xian-Yang Li, Indrajit Das, Ailin Lepletier, Venkateswar Addala, Tobias Bald, Kimberley Stannard, Deborah Barkauskas, Jing Liu, Amelia Roman Aguilera, Kazuyoshi Takeda, Matthias Braun, Kyohei Nakamura, Sebastien Jacquelin, Steven W. Lane, Michele W.L. Teng, William C. Dougall, Mark J. Smyth
Little is known about the repertoire dynamics and persistence of pathogenic T cells in HLA-associated disorders. In celiac disease, a disorder with a strong association with certain HLA-DQ allotypes, presumed pathogenic T cells can be visualized and isolated with HLA-DQ:gluten tetramers, thereby enabling further characterization. Single and bulk populations of HLA-DQ:gluten tetramer–sorted CD4+ T cells were analyzed by high-throughput DNA sequencing of rearranged TCR-α and -β genes. Blood and gut biopsy samples from 21 celiac disease patients, taken at various stages of disease and in intervals of weeks to decades apart, were examined. Persistence of the same clonotypes was seen in both compartments over decades, with up to 53% overlap between samples obtained 16 to 28 years apart. Further, we observed that the recall response following oral gluten challenge was dominated by preexisting CD4+ T cell clonotypes. Public features were frequent among gluten-specific T cells, as 10% of TCR-α, TCR-β, or paired TCR-αβ amino acid sequences of total 1813 TCRs generated from 17 patients were observed in 2 or more patients. In established celiac disease, the T cell clonotypes that recognize gluten are persistent for decades, making up fixed repertoires that prevalently exhibit public features. These T cells represent an attractive therapeutic target.
Louise F. Risnes, Asbjørn Christophersen, Shiva Dahal-Koirala, Ralf S. Neumann, Geir K. Sandve, Vikas K. Sarna, Knut E.A. Lundin, Shuo-Wang Qiao, Ludvig M. Sollid
Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF) is an important mediator in numerous inflammatory diseases, e.g., in inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD). In IBD, acute increases in TNF production can lead to disease flares. Glucocorticoids (GCs), which are steroids that bind and activate the glucocorticoid receptor (GR), are able to protect animals and humans against acute TNF-induced inflammatory symptoms. Mice with a poor transcriptional response of GR-dimer-dependent target genes were studied in a model of TNF-induced lethal inflammation. In contrast to the GRwt/wt mice, these GRdim/dim mice displayed a significant increase in TNF sensitivity and a lack of protection by the GC dexamethasone (DEX). Unchallenged GRdim/dim mice had a strong interferon-stimulated gene (ISG) signature, along with STAT1 upregulation and phosphorylation. This ISG signature was gut specific and, based on our studies with antibiotics, depended on the gut microbiota. GR dimers directly bound to short DNA sequences in the STAT1 promoter known as inverted repeat negative GRE (IR-nGRE) elements. Poor control of STAT1 in GRdim/dim mice led to failure to repress ISG genes resulting in excessive necroptosis induction by TNF. Our findings support a critical interplay between gut microbiota, interferons, necroptosis and GR in both the basal response to acute inflammatory challenges and in the pharmacological intervention by GCs.
Marlies Ballegeer, Kelly Van Looveren, Steven Timmermans, Melanie Eggermont, Sofie Vandevyver, Fabien Thery, Karen Dendoncker, Jolien Souffriau, Jolien Vandewalle, Lise Van Wyngene, Riet De Rycke, Nozomi Takahashi, Peter Vandenabeele, Jan Tuckermann, Holger M. Reichardt, Francis Impens, Rudi Beyaert, Karolien De Bosscher, Roosmarijn E. Vandenbroucke, Claude Libert
Many Toll-like receptors (TLRs) signal through TNF receptor–associated factor 6 (TRAF6) to activate innate immune responses. Here, we show that somatic nuclear autoantigenic sperm protein (sNASP) binds to TRAF6 to prevent TRAF6 autoubiquitination in unstimulated macrophages. Following LPS stimulation, a complex consisting of sNASP, TRAF6, IRAK4, and casein kinase 2 (CK2) is formed. CK2 phosphorylates sNASP at serine 158, allowing sNASP to dissociate from TRAF6. Free TRAF6 is then autoubiquitinated, followed by activation of downstream signaling pathways. In sNasp S158A knockin (S158A-KI) mice, LPS-treated macrophages could not phosphorylate sNASP, which remained bound to TRAF6. S158A-KI mice were more susceptible to sepsis due to a marked reduction in IL-1β, TNF-α, and IFN-γ production accompanied by an inability to clear bacteria and recruit leukocytes. Furthermore, phosphorylation-regulated release of sNASP from TRAF6 is observed following activation of TLR-1, -2, -4, -5, and -6. Thus, sNASP is a negative regulator of TLR signaling to modulate the innate immune response.
Feng-Ming Yang, Yong Zuo, Wei Zhou, Chuan Xia, Bumsuk Hahm, Mark Sullivan, Jinke Cheng, Hui-Ming Chang, Edward T.H. Yeh
For gene therapy of gain-of-function autosomal dominant diseases, either correcting or deleting the disease allele is potentially curative. To test whether there may be an advantage of one approach over the other for WHIM (warts, hypogammaglobulinemia, infections and myelokathexis) syndrome — a primary immunodeficiency disorder caused by gain-of-function autosomal dominant mutations in chemokine receptor CXCR4 — we performed competitive transplantation experiments using both lethally irradiated wild-type (Cxcr4+/+) and unconditioned WHIM (Cxcr4+/w) recipient mice. In both models, hematopoietic reconstitution was markedly superior using bone marrow (BM) cells from donors hemizygous for Cxcr4 (Cxcr4+/o) compared with BM cells from Cxcr4+/+ donors. Remarkably, only ~6% Cxcr4+/o hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) chimerism post-transplantation in unconditioned Cxcr4+/w recipient BM supported >70% long-term donor myeloid chimerism in blood and corrected myeloid cell deficiency in blood. Donor Cxcr4+/o HSCs differentiated normally and did not undergo exhaustion as late as 465 days post-transplantation. Thus, disease allele deletion resulting in Cxcr4 haploinsufficiency was superior to disease allele repair in a mouse model of gene therapy for WHIM syndrome, allowing correction of leukopenia without recipient conditioning.
Ji-Liang Gao, Erin Yim, Marie Siwicki, Alexander Yang, Qian Liu, Ari Azani, Albert Owusu-Ansah, David H. McDermott, Philip M. Murphy