Bio21 - Research Publications
Now showing items 1-12 of 308
Butyrophilin 2A1 is essential for phosphoantigen reactivity by gamma delta T cells
(American Association for the Advancement of Science, 2020-02-07)
Gamma delta (γδ) T cells are essential to protective immunity. In humans, most γδ T cells express Vγ9Vδ2+ T cell receptors (TCRs) that respond to phosphoantigens (pAgs) produced by cellular pathogens and overexpressed by cancers. However, the molecular targets recognized by these γδTCRs are unknown. Here, we identify butyrophilin 2A1 (BTN2A1) as a key ligand that binds to the Vγ9+ TCR γ chain. BTN2A1 associates with another butyrophilin, BTN3A1, and these act together to initiate responses to pAg. Furthermore, binding of a second ligand, possibly BTN3A1, to a separate TCR domain incorporating Vδ2 is also required. This distinctive mode of Ag-dependent T cell activation advances our understanding of diseases involving pAg recognition and creates opportunities for the development of γδ T cell-based immunotherapies.
Plasma Lipid Profiling Shows Similar Associations with Prediabetes and Type 2 Diabetes
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2013-09-27)
The relationship between lipid metabolism with prediabetes (impaired fasting glucose and impaired glucose tolerance) and type 2 diabetes mellitus is poorly defined. We hypothesized that a lipidomic analysis of plasma lipids might improve the understanding of this relationship. We performed lipidomic analysis measuring 259 individual lipid species, including sphingolipids, phospholipids, glycerolipids and cholesterol esters, on fasting plasma from 117 type 2 diabetes, 64 prediabetes and 170 normal glucose tolerant participants in the Australian Diabetes, Obesity and Lifestyle Study (AusDiab) then validated our findings on 1076 individuals from the San Antonio Family Heart Study (SAFHS). Logistic regression analysis of identified associations with type 2 diabetes (135 lipids) and prediabetes (134 lipids), after adjusting for multiple covariates. In addition to the expected associations with diacylglycerol, triacylglycerol and cholesterol esters, type 2 diabetes and prediabetes were positively associated with ceramide, and its precursor dihydroceramide, along with phosphatidylethanolamine, phosphatidylglycerol and phosphatidylinositol. Significant negative associations were observed with the ether-linked phospholipids alkylphosphatidylcholine and alkenylphosphatidylcholine. Most of the significant associations in the AusDiab cohort (90%) were subsequently validated in the SAFHS cohort. The aberration of the plasma lipidome associated with type 2 diabetes is clearly present in prediabetes, prior to the onset of type 2 diabetes. Lipid classes and species associated with type 2 diabetes provide support for a number of existing paradigms of dyslipidemia and suggest new avenues of investigation.
Preclinical screening of histone deacetylase inhibitors combined with ABT-737, rhTRAIL/MD5-1 or 5-azacytidine using syngeneic Vk*MYC multiple myeloma
(NATURE PUBLISHING GROUP, 2013-09-01)
Multiple myeloma (MM) is an incurable malignancy with an unmet need for innovative treatment options. Histone deacetylase inhibitors (HDACi) are a new class of anticancer agent that have demonstrated activity in hematological malignancies. Here, we investigated the efficacy and safety of HDACi (vorinostat, panobinostat, romidepsin) and novel combination therapies using in vitro human MM cell lines and in vivo preclinical screening utilizing syngeneic transplanted Vk*MYC MM. HDACi were combined with ABT-737, which targets the intrinsic apoptosis pathway, recombinant human tumour necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (rhTRAIL/MD5-1), that activates the extrinsic apoptosis pathway or the DNA methyl transferase inhibitor 5-azacytidine. We demonstrate that in vitro cell line-based studies provide some insight into drug activity and combination therapies that synergistically kill MM cells; however, they do not always predict in vivo preclinical efficacy or toxicity. Importantly, utilizing transplanted Vk*MYC MM, we report that panobinostat and 5-azacytidine synergize to prolong the survival of tumor-bearing mice. In contrast, combined HDACi/rhTRAIL-based strategies, while efficacious, demonstrated on-target dose-limiting toxicities that precluded prolonged treatment. Taken together, our studies provide evidence that the transplanted Vk*MYC model of MM is a useful screening tool for anti-MM drugs and should aid in the prioritization of novel drug testing in the clinic.
Ceramides Contained in LDL Are Elevated in Type 2 Diabetes and Promote Inflammation and Skeletal Muscle Insulin Resistance
(AMER DIABETES ASSOC, 2013-02-01)
Dysregulated lipid metabolism and inflammation are linked to the development of insulin resistance in obesity, and the intracellular accumulation of the sphingolipid ceramide has been implicated in these processes. Here, we explored the role of circulating ceramide on the pathogenesis of insulin resistance. Ceramide transported in LDL is elevated in the plasma of obese patients with type 2 diabetes and correlated with insulin resistance but not with the degree of obesity. Treating cultured myotubes with LDL containing ceramide promoted ceramide accrual in cells and was accompanied by reduced insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, Akt phosphorylation, and GLUT4 translocation compared with LDL deficient in ceramide. LDL-ceramide induced a proinflammatory response in cultured macrophages via toll-like receptor-dependent and -independent mechanisms. Finally, infusing LDL-ceramide into lean mice reduced insulin-stimulated glucose uptake, and this was due to impaired insulin action specifically in skeletal muscle. These newly identified roles of LDL-ceramide suggest that strategies aimed at reducing hepatic ceramide production or reducing ceramide packaging into lipoproteins may improve skeletal muscle insulin action.
Dietary Sphingomyelin Lowers Hepatic Lipid Levels and Inhibits Intestinal Cholesterol Absorption in High-Fat-Fed Mice
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2013-02-07)
Controlling intestinal lipid absorption is an important strategy for maintaining lipid homeostasis. Accumulation of lipids in the liver is a major risk factor for metabolic syndrome and nonalcoholic fatty liver disease. It is well-known that sphingomyelin (SM) can inhibit intestinal cholesterol absorption. It is, however, unclear if dietary SM also lowers liver lipid levels. In the present study (i) the effect of pure dietary egg SM on hepatic lipid metabolism and intestinal cholesterol absorption was measured with [(14)C]cholesterol and [(3)H]sitostanol in male C57BL/6 mice fed a high-fat (HF) diet with or without 0.6% wt/wt SM for 18 days; and (ii) hepatic lipid levels and gene expression were determined in mice given a HF diet with or without egg SM (0.3, 0.6 or 1.2% wt/wt) for 4 weeks. Mice supplemented with SM (0.6% wt/wt) had significantly increased fecal lipid and cholesterol output and reduced hepatic [(14)C]cholesterol levels after 18 days. Relative to HF-fed mice, SM-supplemented HF-fed mice had significantly lower intestinal cholesterol absorption (-30%). Liver weight was significantly lower in the 1.2% wt/wt SM-supplemented mice (-18%). Total liver lipid (mg/organ) was significantly reduced in the SM-supplemented mice (-33% and -40% in 0.6% wt/wt and 1.2% wt/wt SM, respectively), as were triglyceride and cholesterol levels. The reduction in liver triglycerides was due to inactivation of the LXR-SREBP-1c pathway. In conclusion, dietary egg SM has pronounced hepatic lipid-lowering properties in mice maintained on an obesogenic diet.
The Exported Protein PbCP1 Localises to Cleft-Like Structures in the Rodent Malaria Parasite Plasmodium berghei
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2013-04-26)
Protein export into the host red blood cell is one of the key processes in the pathobiology of the malaria parasite Plasmodiumtrl falciparum, which extensively remodels the red blood cell to ensure its virulence and survival. In this study, we aimed to shed further light on the protein export mechanisms in the rodent malaria parasite P. berghei and provide further proof of the conserved nature of host cell remodeling in Plasmodium spp. Based on the presence of an export motif (R/KxLxE/Q/D) termed PEXEL (Plasmodium export element), we have generated transgenic P. berghei parasite lines expressing GFP chimera of putatively exported proteins and analysed one of the newly identified exported proteins in detail. This essential protein, termed PbCP1 (P. berghei Cleft-like Protein 1), harbours an atypical PEXEL motif (RxLxY) and is further characterised by two predicted transmembrane domains (2TMD) in the C-terminal end of the protein. We have functionally validated the unusual PEXEL motif in PbCP1 and analysed the role of the 2TMD region, which is required to recruit PbCP1 to discrete membranous structures in the red blood cell cytosol that have a convoluted, vesico-tubular morphology by electron microscopy. Importantly, this study reveals that rodent malaria species also induce modifications to their host red blood cell.
cAMP Response Element Binding Protein1 Is Essential for Activation of Steroyl Co-Enzyme A Desaturase 1 (Scd1) in Mouse Lung Type II Epithelial Cells
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2013-04-18)
Cyclic AMP Response Element-Binding Protein 1 (Creb1) is a transcription factor that mediates cyclic adenosine 3', 5'-monophosphate (cAMP) signalling in many tissues. Creb1(-/-) mice die at birth due to respiratory failure and previous genome-wide microarray analysis of E17.5 Creb1(-/-) fetal mouse lung identified important Creb1-regulated gene targets during lung development. The lipogenic enzymes stearoyl-CoA desaturase 1 (Scd1) and fatty acid synthase (Fasn) showed highly reduced gene expression in Creb1(-/-) lungs. We therefore hypothesized that Creb1 plays a crucial role in the transcriptional regulation of genes involved in pulmonary lipid biosynthetic pathways during lung development. In this study we confirmed that Scd1 and Fasn mRNA levels were down regulated in the E17.5 Creb1(-/-) mouse lung while the lipogenic-associated transcription factors SrebpF1, C/ebpα and Pparγ were increased. In vivo studies using germline (Creb1(-/-) ) and lung epithelial-specific (Creb1(EpiΔ/Δ) ) Creb1 knockout mice showed strongly reduced Scd1, but not Fasn gene expression and protein levels in lung epithelial cells. In vitro studies using mouse MLE-15 epithelial cells showed that forskolin-mediated activation of Creb1 increased both Scd1 gene expression and protein synthesis. Additionally, MLE15 cells transfected with a dominant-negative ACreb vector blocked forskolin-mediated stimulation of Scd1 gene expression. Lipid profiling in MLE15 cells showed that dominant-negative ACreb suppressed forskolin-induced desaturation of ether linked lipids to produce plasmalogens, as well as levels of phosphatidylethanolamine, ceramide and lysophosphatidylcholine. Taken together these results demonstrate that Creb1 is essential for the induction and maintenance of Scd1 in developing fetal mouse lung epithelial cells.
A Purpose-Synthesised Anti-Fibrotic Agent Attenuates Experimental Kidney Diseases in the Rat
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2012-10-10)
BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: Locally-active growth factors have been implicated in the pathogenesis of many diseases in which organ fibrosis is a characteristic feature. In the setting of chronic kidney disease (CKD), two such pro-fibrotic factors, transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β) and platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) have emerged as lead potential targets for intervention. Given the incomplete organ protection afforded by blocking the actions of TGF-β or PDGF individually, we sought to determine whether an agent that inhibited the actions of both may have broader effects in ameliorating the key structural and functional abnormalities of CKD. EXPERIMENTAL APPROACH: Accordingly, we studied the effects of a recently described, small molecule anti-fibrotic drug, 3-methoxy-4-propargyloxycinnamoyl anthranilate (FT011, Fibrotech Therapeutics, Australia), which should have these effects. KEY RESULTS: In the in vitro setting, FT011 inhibited both TGF-β1 and PDGF-BB induced collagen production as well as PDGF-BB-mediated mesangial proliferation. Consistent with these in vitro actions, when studied in a robust model of non-diabetic kidney disease, the 5/6 nephrectomised rat, FT011 attenuated the decline in GFR, proteinuria and glomerulosclerosis (p<0.05 for all). Similarly, in the streptozotocin-diabetic Ren-2 rat, a model of advanced diabetic nephropathy, FT011 reduced albuminuria, glomerulosclerosis and tubulointerstitial fibrosis. CONCLUSIONS AND IMPLICATIONS: Together these studies suggest that broadly antagonising growth factor actions, including those of TGF-β1 and PDGF-BB, has the potential to protect the kidney from progressive injury in both the diabetic and non-diabetic settings.
A Mouse Model of Harlequin Ichthyosis Delineates a Key Role for Abca12 in Lipid Homeostasis
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2008-09-01)
Harlequin Ichthyosis (HI) is a severe and often lethal hyperkeratotic skin disease caused by mutations in the ABCA12 transport protein. In keratinocytes, ABCA12 is thought to regulate the transfer of lipids into small intracellular trafficking vesicles known as lamellar bodies. However, the nature and scope of this regulation remains unclear. As part of an original recessive mouse ENU mutagenesis screen, we have identified and characterised an animal model of HI and showed that it displays many of the hallmarks of the disease including hyperkeratosis, loss of barrier function, and defects in lipid homeostasis. We have used this model to follow disease progression in utero and present evidence that loss of Abca12 function leads to premature differentiation of basal keratinocytes. A comprehensive analysis of lipid levels in mutant epidermis demonstrated profound defects in lipid homeostasis, illustrating for the first time the extent to which Abca12 plays a pivotal role in maintaining lipid balance in the skin. To further investigate the scope of Abca12's activity, we have utilised cells from the mutant mouse to ascribe direct transport functions to the protein and, in doing so, we demonstrate activities independent of its role in lamellar body function. These cells have severely impaired lipid efflux leading to intracellular accumulation of neutral lipids. Furthermore, we identify Abca12 as a mediator of Abca1-regulated cellular cholesterol efflux, a finding that may have significant implications for other diseases of lipid metabolism and homeostasis, including atherosclerosis.
Genetic partitioning of interleukin-6 signalling in mice dissociates Stat3 from Smad3-mediated lung fibrosis
Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a fatal disease that is unresponsive to current therapies and characterized by excessive collagen deposition and subsequent fibrosis. While inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-6, are elevated in IPF, the molecular mechanisms that underlie this disease are incompletely understood, although the development of fibrosis is believed to depend on canonical transforming growth factor (TGF)-β signalling. We examined bleomycin-induced inflammation and fibrosis in mice carrying a mutation in the shared IL-6 family receptor gp130. Using genetic complementation, we directly correlate the extent of IL-6-mediated, excessive Stat3 activity with inflammatory infiltrates in the lung and the severity of fibrosis in corresponding gp130(757F) mice. The extent of fibrosis was attenuated in B lymphocyte-deficient gp130(757F);µMT(-/-) compound mutant mice, but fibrosis still occurred in their Smad3(-/-) counterparts consistent with the capacity of excessive Stat3 activity to induce collagen 1α1 gene transcription independently of canonical TGF-β/Smad3 signalling. These findings are of therapeutic relevance, since we confirmed abundant STAT3 activation in fibrotic lungs from IPF patients and showed that genetic reduction of Stat3 protected mice from bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis.
Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor is a key mediator in experimental osteoarthritis pain and disease development
(BIOMED CENTRAL LTD, 2012-01-01)
INTRODUCTION: Granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) has been shown to be important in the development of inflammatory models of rheumatoid arthritis and there is encouraging data that its blockade may have clinical relevance in patients with rheumatoid arthritis. The aims of the current study were to determine whether GM-CSF may also be important for disease and pain development in a model of osteoarthritis. METHODS: The role of GM-CSF was investigated using the collagenase-induced instability model of osteoarthritis. We studied both GM-CSF-/- mice and wild-type (C57BL/6) mice treated prophylactically or therapeutically with a monoclonal antibody to GM-CSF. Disease development (both early and late) was evaluated by histology and knee pain development was measured by assessment of weight distribution. RESULTS: In the absence of GM-CSF, there was less synovitis and matrix metalloproteinase-mediated neoepitope expression at week 2 post disease induction, and less cartilage damage at week 6. GM-CSF was absolutely required for pain development. Therapeutic neutralization of GM-CSF not only abolished the pain within 3 days but also led to significantly reduced cartilage damage. CONCLUSIONS: GM-CSF is key to the development of experimental osteoarthritis and its associated pain. Importantly, GM-CSF neutralization by a therapeutic monoclonal antibody-based protocol rapidly and completely abolished existing arthritic pain and suppressed the degree of arthritis development. Our results suggest that it would be worth exploring the importance of GM-CSF for pain and disease in other osteoarthritis models and perhaps clinically for this form of arthritis.
Fetuin-A-Containing Calciprotein Particles Reduce Mineral Stress in the Macrophage
(PUBLIC LIBRARY SCIENCE, 2013-04-08)
The formation of fetuin-A-containing calciprotein particles (CPP) may facilitate the clearance of calcium phosphate nanocrystals from the extracellular fluid. These crystals may otherwise seed extra-osseous mineralization. Fetuin-A is a partially phosphorylated glycoprotein that plays a critical role in stabilizing these particles, inhibiting crystal growth and aggregation. CPP removal is thought to be predominantly mediated by cells of the reticuloendothelial system via type I and type II class A scavenger receptor (SR-AI/II). Naked calcium phosphate crystals are known to stimulate macrophages and other cell types in vitro, but little is known of the effect of CPP on these cells. We report here, for the first time, that CPP induce expression and secretion of tumour necrosis factor (TNF)-α, interleukin (IL)-1β in murine RAW 264.7 macrophages. Importantly, however, CPP induced significantly lower cytokine secretion than hydroxyapatite (HAP) crystals of equivalent size and calcium content. Furthermore, CPP only had a modest effect on macrophage viability and apoptosis, even at very high levels, compared to HAP crystals, which were strongly pro-apoptotic at much lower levels. Fetuin-A phosphorylation was found to modulate the effect of CPP on cytokine secretion and apoptosis, but not uptake via SR-AI/II. Prolonged exposure of macrophages to CPP was found to result in up-regulated expression of SR-AI/II. CPP formation may help protect against some of the pro-inflammatory and harmful effects of calcium phosphate nanocrystals, perhaps representing a natural defense system for calcium mineral stress. However, in pathological states where production exceeds clearance capacity, these particles may still stimulate pro-inflammatory and pro-apoptotic cascades in macrophages, which may be important in the pathogenesis of vascular calcification.