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<jats:title>ABSTRACT</jats:title><jats:p>Semaphorin-3A (Sema3A) regulates tumor angiogenesis, but its role in modulating anti-tumor immunity is unclear. We demonstrate that Sema3A secreted within the tumor microenvironment (TME) suppresses tumor-specific CD8+ T cell function via Neuropilin-1 (NRP1), a receptor that is upregulated upon activation with T cells’ cognate antigen. Sema3A inhibits T cell migration, assembly of the immunological synapse, and tumor killing. It achieves these functional effects through hyper-activating the acto-myosin system in T cells leading to cellular paralysis. Finally, using a clear cell renal cell carcinoma patient cohort, we demonstrate that human tumor-specific CD8+ T cells express NRP1 and are trapped in Sema3A rich regions of tumors. Our study establishes Sema3A as a potent inhibitor of anti-tumor immunity.</jats:p>
Recent advances in the biology of tumour hypoxia with relevance to diagnostic practice and tissue-based research.
In this review article, we examine the importance of low levels of oxygen (hypoxia) in cancer biology. We provide a brief description of how mammalian cells sense oxygen. The hypoxia-inducible factor (HIF) pathway is currently the best characterised oxygen-sensing system, but recent work has revealed that mammals also use an oxygen-sensing system found in plants to regulate the abundance of some proteins and peptides with an amino-terminal cysteine residue. We discuss how the HIF pathway is affected during the growth of solid tumours, which develop in microenvironments with gradients of oxygen availability. We then introduce the concept of 'pseudohypoxia', a state of constitutive, oxygen-independent HIF system activation that occurs due to oncogenic stimulation in a number of specific tumour types that are of immediate relevance to diagnostic histopathologists. We provide an overview of the different methods of quantifying tumour hypoxia, emphasising the importance of pre-analytic factors in interpreting the results of tissue-based studies. Finally, we review recent approaches to targeting hypoxia/HIF system activation for therapeutic benefit, the application of which may require knowledge of which hypoxia signalling components are being utilised by a given tumour. © 2020 The Authors. The Journal of Pathology published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd on behalf of Pathological Society of Great Britain and Ireland.
With novel therapies in development, there is an opportunity to consider asthma remission as a treatment goal. In this Rostrum, we present a generalized framework for clinical and complete remission in asthma, on and off treatment, developed on the basis of medical literature and expert consensus. A modified Delphi survey approach was used to ascertain expert consensus on core components of asthma remission as a treatment target. Phase 1 identified other chronic inflammatory diseases with remission definitions. Phase 2 evaluated components of those definitions as well as published definitions of spontaneous asthma remission. Phase 3 evaluated a remission framework created using consensus findings. Clinical remission comprised 12 or more months with (1) absence of significant symptoms by validated instrument, (2) lung function optimization/stabilization, (3) patient/provider agreement regarding remission, and (4) no use of systemic corticosteroids. Complete remission was defined as clinical remission plus objective resolution of asthma-related inflammation and, if appropriate, negative bronchial hyperresponsiveness. Remission off treatment required no asthma treatment for 12 or more months. The proposed framework is a first step toward developing asthma remission as a treatment target and should be refined through future research, patient input, and clinical study.
Evidence for HIV-1 cure after CCR5Δ32/Δ32 allogeneic haemopoietic stem-cell transplantation 30 months post analytical treatment interruption: a case report.
BACKGROUND:The London patient (participant 36 in the IciStem cohort) underwent allogeneic stem-cell transplantation with cells that did not express CCR5 (CCR5Δ32/Δ32); remission was reported at 18 months after analytical treatment interruption (ATI). Here, we present longer term data for this patient (up to 30 months after ATI), including sampling from diverse HIV-1 reservoir sites. METHODS:We used ultrasensitive viral load assays of plasma, semen, and cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) samples to detect HIV-1 RNA. In gut biopsy samples and lymph-node tissue, cell-copy number and total HIV-1 DNA levels were quantified in multiple replicates, using droplet digital PCR (ddPCR) and quantitative real-time PCR. We also analysed the presence of intact proviral DNA using multiplex ddPCR targeting the packaging signal (ψ) and envelope (env). We did intracellular cytokine staining to measure HIV-1-specific T-cell responses. We used low-sensitive and low-avidity antibody assays to measure the humoral response to HIV-1. We predicted the probability of rebound using a mathematical model and inference approach. FINDINGS:HIV-1 viral load in plasma remained undetectable in the London patient up to 30 months (last tested on March 4, 2020), using an assay with a detection limit of 1 copy per mL. The patient's CD4 count was 430 cells per μL (23·5% of total T cells) at 28 months. A very low-level positive signal for HIV-1 DNA was recorded in peripheral CD4 memory cells at 28 months. The viral load in semen was undetectable in both plasma (lower limit of detection [LLD] <12 copies per mL) and cells (LLD 10 copies per 106 cells) at 21 months. CSF was within normal parameters at 25 months, with HIV-1 RNA below the detection limit (LLD 1 copy per mL). HIV-1 DNA by ddPCR was negative in rectum, caecum, and sigmoid colon and terminal ileum tissue samples at 22 months. Lymph-node tissue from axilla was positive for the long-terminal repeat (33 copies per 106 cells) and env (26·1 copies per 106 cells), negative for ψ and integrase, and negative by the intact proviral DNA assay, at 27 months. HIV-1-specific CD4 and CD8 T-cell responses have remained absent at 27 months. Low-avidity Env antibodies have continued to decline. Mathematical modelling suggests that the probability of remission for life (cure) is 98% in the context of 80% donor chimerism in total HIV target cells and greater than 99% probability of remission for life with 90% donor chimerism. INTERPRETATION:The London patient has been in HIV-1 remission for 30 months with no detectable replication-competent virus in blood, CSF, intestinal tissue, or lymphoid tissue. Donor chimerism has been maintained at 99% in peripheral T cells. We propose that these findings represent HIV-1 cure. FUNDING:Wellcome Trust and amfAR (American Foundation for AIDS Research).
<jats:p> High-content screening to monitor disease-modifying phenotypes upon small-molecule addition has become an essential component of many drug and target discovery platforms. One of the most common phenotypic approaches, especially in the field of oncology research, is the assessment of cell viability. However, frequently used viability readouts employing metabolic proxy assays based on homogeneous colorimetric/fluorescent reagents are one-dimensional, provide limited information, and can in many cases yield conflicting or difficult-to-interpret results, leading to misinterpretation of data and wasted resources.The resurgence of high-content, phenotypic screening has significantly improved the quality and breadth of cell viability data, which can be obtained at the very earliest stages of drug and target discovery. Here, we describe a relatively inexpensive, high-throughput, high-content, multiparametric, fluorescent imaging protocol using a live-cell method of three fluorescent probes (Hoechst, Yo-Pro-3, and annexin V), that is amenable to the addition of further fluorophores. The protocol enables the accurate description and profiling of multiple cell death mechanisms, including apoptosis and necrosis, as well as accurate determination of compound IC<jats:sub>50</jats:sub>, and has been validated on a range of high-content imagers and image analysis software. To validate the protocol, we have used a small library of approximately 200 narrow-spectrum kinase inhibitors and clinically approved drugs. This fully developed, easy-to-use pipeline has subsequently been implemented in several academic screening facilities, yielding fast, flexible, and rich cell viability data for a range of early-stage high-throughput drug and target discovery programs. </jats:p>
Phosphoproteomics of CD2 signaling reveals AMPK-dependent regulation of lytic granule polarization in cytotoxic T cells.
Understanding the costimulatory signaling that enhances the activity of cytotoxic T cells (CTLs) could identify potential targets for immunotherapy. Here, we report that CD2 costimulation plays a critical role in target cell killing by freshly isolated human CD8+ T cells, which represent a challenging but valuable model to gain insight into CTL biology. We found that CD2 stimulation critically enhanced signaling by the T cell receptor in the formation of functional immune synapses by promoting the polarization of lytic granules toward the microtubule-organizing center (MTOC). To gain insight into the underlying mechanism, we explored the CD2 signaling network by phosphoproteomics, which revealed 616 CD2-regulated phosphorylation events in 373 proteins implicated in the regulation of vesicular trafficking, cytoskeletal organization, autophagy, and metabolism. Signaling by the master metabolic regulator AMP-activated protein kinase (AMPK) was a critical node in the CD2 network, which promoted granule polarization toward the MTOC in CD8+ T cells. Granule trafficking was driven by active AMPK enriched on adjacent lysosomes, revealing previously uncharacterized signaling cross-talk between vesicular compartments in CD8+ T cells. Our results thus establish CD2 signaling as key for mediating cytotoxic killing and granule polarization in freshly isolated CD8+ T cells and strengthen the rationale to choose CD2 and AMPK as therapeutic targets to enhance CTL activity.
Germline and somatic genetic variants in the p53 pathway interact to affect cancer risk, progression and drug response
<jats:title>Abstract</jats:title><jats:p>Insights into oncogenesis derived from cancer susceptibility loci could facilitate better cancer management and treatment through precision oncology. However, therapeutic applications have thus far been limited by our current lack of understanding regarding both their interactions with somatic cancer driver mutations and their influence on tumorigenesis. Here, by integrating germline datasets relating to cancer susceptibility with tumour data capturing somatically-acquired genetic variation, we provide evidence that single nucleotide polymorphism (SNPs) and somatic mutations in the p53 tumor suppressor pathway can interact to influence cancer development, progression and treatment response. We go on to provide human genetic evidence of a tumor-promoting role for the pro-survival activities of p53, which supports the development of more effective therapy combinations through their inhibition in cancers retaining wild-type p53.</jats:p><jats:sec><jats:title>Significance</jats:title><jats:p>We describe significant interactions between heritable and somatic genetic variants in the p53 pathway that affect cancer susceptibility, progression and treatment response. Our results offer evidence of how cancer susceptibility SNPs can interact with cancer driver genes to affect cancer progression and identify novel therapeutic targets.</jats:p></jats:sec>
LRRK2 Is Recruited to Phagosomes and Co-recruits RAB8 and RAB10 in Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Macrophages.
The Parkinson's disease-associated gene, LRRK2, is also associated with immune disorders and infectious disease and is expressed in immune subsets. Here, we characterize a platform for interrogating the expression and function of endogenous LRRK2 in authentic human phagocytes using human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived macrophages and microglia. Endogenous LRRK2 is expressed and upregulated by interferon-γ in these cells, including a 187-kDa cleavage product. Using LRRK2 knockout and G2019S isogenic repair lines, we find that LRRK2 is not involved in initial phagocytic uptake of bioparticles but is recruited to LAMP1+/RAB9+ "maturing" phagosomes, and LRRK2 kinase inhibition enhances its residency at the phagosome. Importantly, LRRK2 is required for RAB8a and RAB10 recruitment to phagosomes, implying that LRRK2 operates at the intersection between phagosome maturation and recycling pathways in these professional phagocytes.