Pathology - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 379
The hypoxia imaging agent Cu-II(atsm) is neuroprotective and improves motor and cognitive functions in multiple animal models of Parkinson's disease
(ROCKEFELLER UNIV PRESS, 2012-04-09)
Parkinson's disease (PD) is a progressive, chronic disease characterized by dyskinesia, rigidity, instability, and tremors. The disease is defined by the presence of Lewy bodies, which primarily consist of aggregated α-synuclein protein, and is accompanied by the loss of monoaminergic neurons. Current therapeutic strategies only give symptomatic relief of motor impairment and do not address the underlying neurodegeneration. Hence, we have identified Cu(II)(atsm) as a potential therapeutic for PD. Drug administration to four different animal models of PD resulted in improved motor and cognition function, rescued nigral cell loss, and improved dopamine metabolism. In vitro, this compound is able to inhibit the effects of peroxynitrite-driven toxicity, including the formation of nitrated α-synuclein oligomers. Our results show that Cu(II)(atsm) is effective in reversing parkinsonian defects in animal models and has the potential to be a successful treatment of PD.
Cu-II(atsm) improves the neurological phenotype and survival of SOD1(G93A) mice and selectively increases enzymatically active SOD1 in the spinal cord
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2017-02-13)
Ubiquitous expression of mutant Cu/Zn-superoxide dismutase (SOD1) selectively affects motor neurons in the central nervous system (CNS), causing the adult-onset degenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). The CNS-specific impact of ubiquitous mutant SOD1 expression is recapitulated in transgenic mouse models of the disease. Here we present outcomes for the metallo-complex CuII(atsm) tested for therapeutic efficacy in mice expressing SOD1G93A on a mixed genetic background. Oral administration of CuII(atsm) delayed the onset of neurological symptoms, improved locomotive capacity and extended overall survival. Although the ALS-like phenotype of SOD1G93A mice is instigated by expression of the mutant SOD1, we show the improved phenotype of the CuII(atsm)-treated animals involves an increase in mature mutant SOD1 protein in the disease-affected spinal cord, where concomitant increases in copper and SOD1 activity are also evident. In contrast to these effects in the spinal cord, treating with CuII(atsm) had no effect in liver on either mutant SOD1 protein levels or its activity, indicating a CNS-selective SOD1 response to the drug. These data provide support for CuII(atsm) as a treatment option for ALS as well as insight to the CNS-selective effects of mutant SOD1.
Targeting Adenosine Receptor Signaling in Cancer Immunotherapy
The immune system plays a major role in the surveillance and control of malignant cells, with the presence of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) correlating with better patient prognosis in multiple tumor types. The development of 'checkpoint blockade' and adoptive cellular therapy has revolutionized the landscape of cancer treatment and highlights the potential of utilizing the patient's own immune system to eradicate cancer. One mechanism of tumor-mediated immunosuppression that has gained attention as a potential therapeutic target is the purinergic signaling axis, whereby the production of the purine nucleoside adenosine in the tumor microenvironment can potently suppress T and NK cell function. The production of extracellular adenosine is mediated by the cell surface ectoenzymes CD73, CD39, and CD38 and therapeutic agents have been developed to target these as well as the downstream adenosine receptors (A₁R, A2AR, A2BR, A₃R) to enhance anti-tumor immune responses. This review will discuss the role of adenosine and adenosine receptor signaling in tumor and immune cells with a focus on their cell-specific function and their potential as targets in cancer immunotherapy.
Altered biometal homeostasis is associated with CLN6 mRNA loss in mouse neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis
(COMPANY OF BIOLOGISTS LTD, 2013-06-15)
Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses, the most common fatal childhood neurodegenerative illnesses, share many features with more prevalent neurodegenerative diseases. Neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses are caused by mutations in CLN genes. CLN6 encodes a transmembrane endoplasmic reticulum protein with no known function. We characterized the behavioural phenotype of spontaneous mutant mice modeling CLN6 disease, and demonstrate progressive motor and visual decline and reduced lifespan in these mice, consistent with symptoms observed in neuronal ceroid lipofuscinosis patients. Alterations to biometal homeostasis are known to play a critical role in pathology in Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, Huntington's and motor neuron diseases. We have previously shown accumulation of the biometals, zinc, copper, manganese and cobalt, in CLN6 Merino and South Hampshire sheep at the age of symptom onset. Here we determine the physiological and disease-associated expression of CLN6, demonstrating regional CLN6 transcript loss, and concurrent accumulation of the same biometals in the CNS and the heart of presymptomatic CLN6 mice. Furthermore, increased expression of the ER/Golgi-localized cation transporter protein, Zip7, was detected in cerebellar Purkinje cells and whole brain fractions. Purkinje cells not only control motor function, an early symptomatic change in the CLN6 mice, but also display prominent neuropathological changes in mouse models and patients with different forms of neuronal ceroid lipofuscinoses. Whole brain fractionation analysis revealed biometal accumulation in fractions expressing markers for ER, Golgi, endosomes and lysosomes of CLN6 brains. These data are consistent with a link between CLN6 expression and biometal homeostasis in CLN6 disease, and provide further support for altered cation transporter regulation as a key factor in neurodegeneration.
HIV latency reversing agents act through Tat post translational modifications
BACKGROUND: Different classes of latency reversing agents (LRAs) are being evaluated to measure their effects in reactivating HIV replication from latently infected cells. A limited number of studies have demonstrated additive effects of LRAs with the viral protein Tat in initiating transcription, but less is known about how LRAs interact with Tat, particularly through basic residues that may be post-translationally modified to alter the behaviour of Tat for processive transcription and co-transcriptional RNA processing. RESULTS: Here we show that various lysine and arginine mutations reduce the capacity of Tat to induce both transcription and mRNA splicing. The lysine 28 and lysine 50 residues of Tat, or the acetylation and methylation modifications of these basic amino acids, were essential for Tat transcriptional control, and also for the proviral expression effects elicited by histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) or the bromodomain inhibitor JQ1. We also found that JQ1 was the only LRA tested that could induce HIV mRNA splicing in the absence of Tat, or rescue splicing for Tat lysine mutants in a BRD4-dependent manner. CONCLUSIONS: Our data provide evidence that Tat activities in both co-transcriptional RNA processing together with transcriptional initiation and processivity are crucial during reactivation of latent HIV infection. The HDACi and JQ1 LRAs act with Tat to increase transcription, but JQ1 also enables post-transcriptional mRNA splicing. Tat residues K28 and K50, or their modifications through acetylation or methylation, are critical for LRAs that function in conjunction with Tat.
Cu-II(atsm) Attenuates Neuroinflammation
(FRONTIERS MEDIA SA, 2018-09-24)
Background: Neuroinflammation and biometal dyshomeostasis are key pathological features of several neurodegenerative diseases, including Alzheimer's disease (AD). Inflammation and biometals are linked at the molecular level through regulation of metal buffering proteins such as the metallothioneins. Even though the molecular connections between metals and inflammation have been demonstrated, little information exists on the effect of copper modulation on brain inflammation. Methods: We demonstrate the immunomodulatory potential of the copper bis(thiosemicarbazone) complex CuII(atsm) in an neuroinflammatory model in vivo and describe its anti-inflammatory effects on microglia and astrocytes in vitro. Results: By using a sophisticated in vivo magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) approach, we report the efficacy of CuII(atsm) in reducing acute cerebrovascular inflammation caused by peripheral administration of bacterial lipopolysaccharide (LPS). CuII(atsm) also induced anti-inflammatory outcomes in primary microglia [significant reductions in nitric oxide (NO), monocyte chemoattractant protein 1 (MCP-1), and tumor necrosis factor (TNF)] and astrocytes [significantly reduced NO, MCP-1, and interleukin 6 (IL-6)] in vitro. These anti-inflammatory actions were associated with increased cellular copper levels and increased the neuroprotective protein metallothionein-1 (MT1) in microglia and astrocytes. Conclusion: The beneficial effects of CuII(atsm) on the neuroimmune system suggest copper complexes are potential therapeutics for the treatment of neuroinflammatory conditions.
Non-classical MHC Class I molecules regulating natural killer cell function
(TAYLOR & FRANCIS INC, 2013-03-01)
Natural killer (NK) cells possess effector and immunoregulatory functions that are controlled by a myriad of receptor-ligand pairs, including human killer inhibitory receptor (KIR) and mouse Ly49-MHC class I interactions. We have recently shown that the NK cell inhibitory molecule Ly49A binds the non-classical MHC molecule H2-M3, thus regulating host innate immune responses to tumor initiation and metastasis.
RAD51B in Familial Breast Cancer
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2016-05-05)
Common variation on 14q24.1, close to RAD51B, has been associated with breast cancer: rs999737 and rs2588809 with the risk of female breast cancer and rs1314913 with the risk of male breast cancer. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of RAD51B variants in breast cancer predisposition, particularly in the context of familial breast cancer in Finland. We sequenced the coding region of RAD51B in 168 Finnish breast cancer patients from the Helsinki region for identification of possible recurrent founder mutations. In addition, we studied the known rs999737, rs2588809, and rs1314913 SNPs and RAD51B haplotypes in 44,791 breast cancer cases and 43,583 controls from 40 studies participating in the Breast Cancer Association Consortium (BCAC) that were genotyped on a custom chip (iCOGS). We identified one putatively pathogenic missense mutation c.541C>T among the Finnish cancer patients and subsequently genotyped the mutation in additional breast cancer cases (n = 5259) and population controls (n = 3586) from Finland and Belarus. No significant association with breast cancer risk was seen in the meta-analysis of the Finnish datasets or in the large BCAC dataset. The association with previously identified risk variants rs999737, rs2588809, and rs1314913 was replicated among all breast cancer cases and also among familial cases in the BCAC dataset. The most significant association was observed for the haplotype carrying the risk-alleles of all the three SNPs both among all cases (odds ratio (OR): 1.15, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.11-1.19, P = 8.88 x 10-16) and among familial cases (OR: 1.24, 95% CI: 1.16-1.32, P = 6.19 x 10-11), compared to the haplotype with the respective protective alleles. Our results suggest that loss-of-function mutations in RAD51B are rare, but common variation at the RAD51B region is significantly associated with familial breast cancer risk.
DNA variant databases improve test accuracy and phenotype prediction in Alport syndrome
X-linked Alport syndrome is a form of progressive renal failure caused by pathogenic variants in the COL4A5 gene. More than 700 variants have been described and a further 400 are estimated to be known to individual laboratories but are unpublished. The major genetic testing laboratories for X-linked Alport syndrome worldwide have established a Web-based database for published and unpublished COL4A5 variants ( https://grenada.lumc.nl/LOVD2/COL4A/home.php?select_db=COL4A5 ). This conforms with the recommendations of the Human Variome Project: it uses the Leiden Open Variation Database (LOVD) format, describes variants according to the human reference sequence with standardized nomenclature, indicates likely pathogenicity and associated clinical features, and credits the submitting laboratory. The database includes non-pathogenic and recurrent variants, and is linked to another COL4A5 mutation database and relevant bioinformatics sites. Access is free. Increasing the number of COL4A5 variants in the public domain helps patients, diagnostic laboratories, clinicians, and researchers. The database improves the accuracy and efficiency of genetic testing because its variants are already categorized for pathogenicity. The description of further COL4A5 variants and clinical associations will improve our ability to predict phenotype and our understanding of collagen IV biochemistry. The database for X-linked Alport syndrome represents a model for databases in other inherited renal diseases.
The pre-metastatic niche: finding common ground
It is rapidly becoming evident that the formation of tumor-promoting pre-metastatic niches in secondary organs adds a previously unrecognized degree of complexity to the challenge of curing metastatic disease. Primary tumor cells orchestrate pre-metastatic niche formation through secretion of a variety of cytokines and growth factors that promote mobilization and recruitment of bone marrow-derived cells to future metastatic sites. Hypoxia within the primary tumor, and secretion of specific microvesicles termed exosomes, are emerging as important processes and vehicles for tumor-derived factors to modulate pre-metastatic sites. It has also come to light that reduced immune surveillance is a novel mechanism through which primary tumors create favorable niches in secondary organs. This review provides an overview of our current understanding of underlying mechanisms of pre-metastatic niche formation and highlights the common links as well as discrepancies between independent studies. Furthermore, the possible clinical implications, links to metastatic persistence and dormancy, and novel approaches for treatment of metastatic disease through reversal of pre-metastatic niche formation are identified and explored.
Sensitivity of a novel model of mammary cancer stem cell-like cells to TNF-related death pathways
Cancer stem cells (CSC) are resistant to radiation and chemotherapy and play a significant role in cancer recurrence and metastatic disease. It is therefore important to identify alternative strategies, such as immunotherapies that can be used to control this refractory population. A CD44(+)CD24(-/low) subpopulation of cells within the B6 PyMT-MMTV transgenic mouse-derived AT-3 mammary carcinoma cell line was identified, which had CSC-like characteristics, including pluripotency and a resistance to chemo- and radiotherapy. Therefore, unlike xenograph models that require immunocompromised settings, this novel system may provide a means to study immune-mediated responses against CSC-like cells. The immunobiology of the AT-3 CSC-like cell population was studied by their surface molecule expression profile and their sensitivity to specified cell death pathways. Comparable levels of Rae-1, CD155, CD54 and higher levels of Fas and DR5 were expressed on the AT-3 CSC-like cells compared to non-CSC-like tumor cells. Expression correlated with an in vitro sensitivity to cell death by NK cells or through the ligation of the death receptors (Fas or DR5), by their ligands or anti-Fas and anti-DR5 mAbs. Indeed, compared to the rest of the AT-3 tumor cells, the CD44(+)CD24(-/low) subpopulation of cells were more sensitive to both Fas- and TRAIL-mediated cell death pathways. Therefore, despite the refractory nature of CSC to other conventional therapies, these CSC-like cells were not inherently resistant to specified forms of immune-mediated cell death. These results encourage the continued investigation into immunotherapeutic strategies as a means of controlling breast CSC, particularly through their cell death pathways.
Serotype-Specific Anti-Pneumococcal IgG and Immune Competence: Critical Differences in Interpretation Criteria When Different Methods are Used
(SPRINGER/PLENUM PUBLISHERS, 2013-02-01)
BACKGROUND: Serotype-specific antibody responses to pneumococcal polysaccharide are important in evaluating humoral immune function. Multiplex technologies allow simultaneous quantitation of multiple serotype-specific antibodies however there has been limited validation against the gold-standard ELISA and assay performance in the clinical setting has not been examined. METHODS AND MATERIALS: Pre- and post-immunization samples were analysed by both methods. The ability to correctly identify an adequate response to polysaccharide vaccine (as defined by current AAAAI guidelines) was determined. RESULTS: The xMAP Pneumo 14 multiplex assay correlated poorly with the ELISA, particularly for pre-immunization and infant samples. An adequate response to pneumococcal immunization was 'correctly' predicted by xMAP Pneumo for 21 of 26 (81 %) adult pairs and 18 of 25 (72 %) infant pairs. Seven of 25 infants and 4 of 26 adults were identified as having an inadequate response by ELISA and an adequate response by xMAP. CONCLUSION: When applying current AAAAI guidelines, the xMAP Pneumo 14 assay does not allow reliable evaluation of antibody responses to polysaccharide antigens for the assessment of humoral immune competence. New guidelines for an adequate response should be established for new technologies when evaluating responses to polysaccharide vaccine in the clinical setting.