Diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL) is stratified into prognostically favorable germinal center B-cell (GCB)–like and unfavorable activated B-cell (ABC)–like subtypes based on gene expression signatures. In this study, we analyzed 893 de novo DLBCL patients treated with R-CHOP (rituximab, cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin, vincristine, and prednisone). We show that MYC/BCL2 protein coexpression occurred significantly more commonly in the ABC subtype. Patients with the ABC or GCB subtype of DLBCL had similar prognoses with MYC/BCL2 coexpression and without MYC/BCL2 coexpression. Consistent with the notion that the prognostic difference between the 2 subtypes is attributable to MYC/BCL2 coexpression, there is no difference in gene expression signatures between the 2 subtypes in the absence of MYC/BCL2 coexpression. DLBCL with MYC/BCL2 coexpression demonstrated a signature of marked downregulation of genes encoding extracellular matrix proteins, those involving matrix deposition/remodeling and cell adhesion, and upregulation of proliferation-associated genes. We conclude that MYC/BCL2 coexpression in DLBCL is associated with an aggressive clinical course, is more common in the ABC subtype, and contributes to the overall inferior prognosis of patients with ABC-DLBCL. In conclusion, the data suggest that MYC/BCL2 coexpression, rather than cell-of-origin classification, is a better predictor of prognosis in patients with DLBCL treated with R-CHOP.
Although direct oral anticoagulants do not need laboratory testing for dose adjustment, there are instances when laboratory measurement of the drug anticoagulant effect may be useful. They include before initiation of treatment, before surgical or invasive procedures, on the occasion of hemorrhagic or thrombotic events, and whenever immediate reversal of anticoagulation is needed. Choice of tests should be primarily based on their prompt availability. Accordingly, the dilute-thrombin or the ecarin clotting times are best suited for dabigatran and the prothrombin time or the anti-FXa for rivaroxaban.
In 1988, the gene responsible for the autosomal recessive disease ataxia- telangiectasia (A-T) was localized to 11q22.3-23.1. It was eventually cloned in 1995. Many independent laboratories have since demonstrated that in replicating cells, ataxia telangiectasia mutated (ATM) is predominantly a nuclear protein that is involved in the early recognition and response to double-stranded DNA breaks. ATM is a high-molecular-weight PI3K-family kinase. ATM also plays many important cytoplasmic roles where it phosphorylates hundreds of protein substrates that activate and coordinate cell-signaling pathways involved in cell-cycle checkpoints, nuclear localization, gene transcription and expression, the response to oxidative stress, apoptosis, nonsense-mediated decay, and others. Appreciating these roles helps to provide new insights into the diverse clinical phenotypes exhibited by A-T patients—children and adults alike—which include neurodegeneration, high cancer risk, adverse reactions to radiation and chemotherapy, pulmonary failure, immunodeficiency, glucose transporter aberrations, insulin-resistant diabetogenic responses, and distinct chromosomal and chromatin changes. An exciting recent development is the ATM-dependent pathology encountered in mitochondria, leading to inefficient respiration and energy metabolism and the excessive generation of free radicals that themselves create life-threatening DNA lesions that must be repaired within minutes to minimize individual cell losses.
The objective of this study was to examine the association of the intensity of treatment, ranging from high-dose intensive factor VIII (FVIII) treatment to prophylactic treatment, with the inhibitor incidence among previously untreated patients with severe hemophilia A. This cohort study aimed to include consecutive patients with a FVIII activity < 0.01 IU/mL, born between 2000 and 2010, and observed during their first 75 FVIII exposure days. Intensive FVIII treatment of hemorrhages or surgery at the start of treatment was associated with an increased inhibitor risk (adjusted hazard ratio [aHR], 2.0; 95% confidence interval [CI], 1.3-3.0). High-dose FVIII treatment was associated with a higher inhibitor risk than low-dose FVIII treatment (aHR, 2.3; 95% CI, 1.0-4.8). Prophylaxis was only associated with a decreased overall inhibitor incidence after 20 exposure days of FVIII. The association with prophylaxis was more pronounced in patients with low-risk F8 genotypes than in patients with high-risk F8 genotypes (aHR, 0.61, 95% CI, 0.19-2.0 and aHR, 0.85, 95% CI, 0.51-1.4, respectively). In conclusion, our findings suggest that in previously untreated patients with severe hemophilia A, high-dosed intensive FVIII treatment increases inhibitor risk and prophylactic FVIII treatment decreases inhibitor risk, especially in patients with low-risk F8 mutations.
We aimed to improve the outcome of t(8;21) acute myeloid leukemia (AML) in the first complete remission (CR1) by applying risk-directed therapy based on minimal residual disease (MRD) determined by RUNX1/RUNX1T1 transcript levels. Risk-directed therapy included recommending allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (allo-HSCT) for high-risk patients and chemotherapy/autologous-HSCT (auto-HSCT) for low-risk patients. Among 116 eligible patients, MRD status after the second consolidation rather than induction or first consolidation could discriminate high-risk relapse patients (P = .001). Allo-HSCT could reduce relapse and improve survival compared with chemotherapy for high-risk patients (cumulative incidence of relapse [CIR]: 22.1% vs 78.9%, P < .0001; disease-free survival [DFS]: 61.7% vs 19.6%, P = .001), whereas chemotherapy/auto-HSCT achieved a low relapse rate (5.3%) and high DFS (94.7%) for low-risk patients. Multivariate analysis revealed that MRD status and treatment choice were independent prognostic factors for relapse, DFS, and OS. We concluded that MRD status after the second consolidation may be the best timing for treatment choice. MRD-directed risk stratification treatment may improve the outcome of t(8;21) AML in CR1. This trial was registered at http://www.chictr.org as #ChiCTR-OCH-12002406.
Emerging evidence suggests that adenomatous polyposis coli (Apc) plays a critical role in the maintenance of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells (HSCs/HPCs). The molecular pathways responsible for the function of Apc in HSCs/HPCs remain unclear. By genetic approach, we demonstrated that inactivation of β-catenin rescued the exhaustion of Apc-deficient HSCs/HPCs, thereby preventing bone marrow failure in Apc-deficient mice. β-catenin loss inhibited the excessive proliferation and apoptosis of Apc-deficient HSCs/HPCs, as well as their defects in myeloid and erythroid differentiation. In addition, loss of β-catenin reversed the down-regulation of Cdkn1a, Cdkn1b, and Mcl1 induced by Apc ablation in Lin–Sca+c-Kit+. In assays of long-term stem cell function, the HSCs with deficiency of both Apc and β-catenin displayed a significantly enhanced self-renewal capacity compared with β-catenin–deficient and control HSCs. Our findings suggest that Apc regulates the survival, proliferation, and differentiation of HSCs/HPCs largely through a β-catenin–mediated pathway. They also indicate that multiple downstream targets of Apc including β-catenin may coordinately regulate HSC self-renewal.
Dendritic cells (DCs) are master regulators of the immune system, but molecular regulation of early DC differentiation has been poorly understood. Here, we report that the transcription factor C/EBPα coordinates the development of progenitor cells required for production of multiple categories of DCs. C/EBPα was needed for differentiation from stem/progenitor cells to common DC progenitors (CDPs), but not for transition of CDP to mature DCs. C/EBPα deletion in mature DCs did not affect their numbers or function, suggesting that this transcription factor is not needed for maintenance of DCs in lymphoid tissues. ChIP-seq and microarrays were used to identify candidate genes regulated by C/EBPα and required for DC formation. Genes previously shown to be critical for DC formation were bound by C/EBPα, and their expression was decreased in the earliest hematopoietic compartments in the absence of C/EBPα. These data indicate that C/EBPα is important for the earliest stages of steady-state DC differentiation.
Direct transduction of the homeobox (HOX) protein HOXB4 promotes the proliferation of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) without induction of leukemogenesis, but requires frequent administration to overcome its short protein half-life (~1 hour). We demonstrate here that HOXB4 protein levels are post-translationally regulated by the CUL4 ubiquitin ligase, and define the degradation signal sequence (degron) of HOXB4 required for CUL4-mediated destruction. Additional HOX paralogs share the conserved degron in the homeodomain and are also subject to CUL4-mediated degradation, indicating that CUL4 likely controls the stability of all HOX proteins. Moreover, we engineered a degradation-resistant HOXB4 that conferred a growth advantage over wild-type HOXB4 in myeloid progenitor cells. Direct transduction of recombinant degradation-resistant HOXB4 protein to human adult HSCs significantly enhanced their maintenance in a more primitive state both in vitro and in transplanted NOD/SCID/IL2R-null mice compared with transduction with wild-type HOXB4 protein. Our studies demonstrate the feasibility of engineering a stable HOXB4 variant to overcome a major technical hurdle in the ex vivo expansion of adult HSCs and early progenitors for human therapeutic use.
As a result of its interaction with transcription factors, HIV type 1 (HIV-1) Tat can modulate the expression of both HIV and cellular genes. In antigen-presenting cells Tat induces the expression of a subset of interferon (IFN)-stimulated genes (ISGs) in the absence of IFNs. We investigated the genome-wide Tat association with promoters in immature dendritic cells and in monocyte-derived macrophages. Among others, Tat associated with the MAP2K6, MAP2K3, and IRF7 promoters that are functionally part of IL-1 and p38 mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling pathways. The association correlated with their increased gene expression, increased activation of p38 MAPK and of phosphorylated signal transducer and activator of transcription 1 (STAT1), and consequent induction of ISGs. Probing these pathways with RNA interference, pharmacological p38 MAPK inhibition, and in cell lines lacking STAT1s or the type I IFN receptor chain confirmed the role of MAPKKs and IRF7 in Tat-mediated modulation of ISGs and excluded the involvement of IFNs in this modulation. Tat interaction with the 2 MAPKK and IRF7 promoters in HIV-1–infected cells and the resulting persistent activation of ISGs, which include inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, can contribute to the increased immune activation that characterizes HIV infection.
It is not known how naive B cells compute divergent chemoattractant signals of the T-cell area and B-cell follicles during in vivo migration. Here, we used two-photon microscopy of peripheral lymph nodes (PLNs) to analyze the prototype G-protein–coupled receptors (GPCRs) CXCR4, CXCR5, and CCR7 during B-cell migration, as well as the integrin LFA-1 for stromal guidance. CXCR4 and CCR7 did not influence parenchymal B-cell motility and distribution, despite their role during B-cell arrest in venules. In contrast, CXCR5 played a nonredundant role in B-cell motility in follicles and in the T-cell area. B-cell migration in the T-cell area followed a random guided walk model, arguing against directed migration in vivo. LFA-1, but not α4 integrins, contributed to B-cell motility in PLNs. However, stromal network guidance was LFA-1 independent, uncoupling integrin-dependent migration from stromal attachment. Finally, we observed that despite a 20-fold reduction of chemokine expression in virus-challenged PLNs, CXCR5 remained essential for B-cell screening of antigen-presenting cells. Our data provide an overview of the contribution of prototype GPCRs and integrins during naive B-cell migration and shed light on the local chemokine availability that these cells compute.
Plasma cells (PCs) are terminally differentiated cells of the B-cell lineage that secrete antibodies at a high rate and are thought to lack the expression of the B-cell receptor (BCR). Here, we report that human IgA and IgM, unlike IgG, PCs express a membrane functional BCR associated with the Igα/Igβ heterodimer. BCR cross-linking on IgA and IgM PCs led to Ca2+ mobilization and extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1/2 and AKT phosphorylation and impacted survival of IgA PCs. These findings demonstrate a significant difference between human IgG, IgM, and IgA PCs and suggest that the IgA PC repertoire may be modulated by specific antigens with implications for the regulation of the mucosal immune system.
To identify molecular determinants of histone deacetylase inhibitor (HDI) resistance, we selected HuT78 cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) cells with romidepsin in the presence of P-glycoprotein inhibitors to prevent transporter upregulation. Resistant sublines were 250- to 385-fold resistant to romidepsin and were resistant to apoptosis induced by apicidin, entinostat, panobinostat, belinostat, and vorinostat. A custom TaqMan array identified increased insulin receptor (INSR) gene expression; immunoblot analysis confirmed increased protein expression and a four- to eightfold increase in mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase (MEK) phosphorylation in resistant cells compared with parental cells. Resistant cells were exquisitely sensitive to MEK inhibitors, and apoptosis correlated with restoration of proapoptotic Bim. Romidepsin combined with MEK inhibitors yielded greater apoptosis in cells expressing mutant KRAS compared with romidepsin treatment alone. Gene expression analysis of samples obtained from patients with CTCL enrolled on the NCI1312 phase 2 study of romidepsin in T-cell lymphoma suggested perturbation of the MAPK pathway by romidepsin. Immunohistochemical analysis of Bim expression demonstrated decreased expression in some skin biopsies at disease progression. These findings implicate increased activation of MEK and decreased Bim expression as a resistance mechanism to HDIs, supporting combination of romidepsin with MEK inhibitors in clinical trials.
The cell-surface glycoprotein CD44 is expressed in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), but its functional role in this disease is poorly characterized. We therefore investigated the contribution of CD44 to CLL in a murine disease model, the Eµ-TCL1 transgenic mouse, and in CLL patients. Surface CD44 increased during murine CLL development. CD44 expression in human CLL was induced by stimulation with interleukin 4/soluble CD40 ligand and by stroma cell contact. Engagement of CD44 by its natural ligands, hyaluronic acid or chondroitin sulfate, protected CLL cells from apoptosis, while anti-CD44 small interfering RNAs impaired tumor cell viability. Deletion of CD44 during TCL1-driven murine leukemogenesis reduced the tumor burden in peripheral blood and spleen and led to a prolonged overall survival. The leukemic cells from these CD44 knockout animals revealed lower levels of antiapoptotic MCL1, a higher propensity to apoptosis, and a diminished B-cell receptor kinase response. The inhibitory anti-CD44 antibodies IM7 and A3D8 impaired the viability of CLL cells in suspension cultures, in stroma contact models, and in vivo via MCL1 reduction and by effector caspase activation. Taken together, CD44 expression in CLL is mediated by the tumor microenvironment. As a coreceptor, CD44 promotes leukemogenesis by regulating stimuli of MCL1 expression. Moreover, CD44 can be addressed therapeutically in CLL by specific antibodies.
Immunotherapy that facilitates endogenous T-cell activity has the potential to target therapy-resistant tumor clones. In vitro studies have demonstrated that lenalidomide repairs the T-cell immunologic synapse defect in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). Pentostatin, cyclophosphamide, and rituximab (PCR) in CLL is clinically active with modest toxicity, indicating suitability of this chemoimmunotherapy (CIT) platform for combination with immunotherapy. Here we report on a trial of PCR followed by lenalidomide consolidation. Of 34 patients who received lenalidomide, 24% improved their quality of response and 4 patients converted to minimal residual disease negative status. Retrospective comparison to a historical PCR trial indicated that lenalidomide consolidation extends time to progression requiring salvage therapy. Longitudinal analysis showed that antitumor T-cell immune synapse activity improved post-PCR and was further enhanced after lenalidomide consolidation. These novel data showing repair of T-cell defects provide proof-of-principle that lenalidomide-based consolidation after CIT could have a beneficial clinical and immunologic role in CLL.
Ecotropic viral integration site 1 (Evi1) is one of the master regulators in the development of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and myelodysplastic syndrome. High expression of Evi1 is found in 10% of patients with AML and indicates a poor outcome. Several recent studies have indicated that Evi1 requires collaborative factors to induce AML. Therefore, the search for candidate factors that collaborate with Evi1 in leukemogenesis is one of the key issues in uncovering the mechanism of Evi1-related leukemia. Previously, we succeeded in making a mouse model of Evi1-related leukemia using a bone marrow transplantation (BMT) system. In the Evi1-induced leukemic cells, we identified frequent retroviral integrations near the CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein β (C/EBPβ) gene and overexpression of its protein. These findings imply that C/EBPβ is a candidate gene that collaborates with Evi1 in leukemogenesis. Cotransduction of Evi1 and the shortest isoform of C/EBPβ, liver inhibitory protein (LIP), induced AML with short latencies in a mouse BMT model. Overexpression of LIP alone also induced AML with longer latencies. However, excision of all 3 isoforms of C/EBPβ (LAP*/LAP/LIP) did not inhibit the development of Evi1-induced leukemia. Therefore, isoform-specific intervention that targets LIP is required when we consider C/EBPβ as a therapeutic target.
The association between somatic JAK2 mutation and myeloproliferative neoplasms (MPNs) is now well established. However, because JAK2 mutations are associated with heterogeneous clinical phenotypes and often occur as secondary genetic events, some aspects of JAK2 mutation biology remain to be understood. We recently described a germline JAK2V617I mutation in a family with hereditary thrombocytosis and herein characterize the hematopoietic and signaling impact of JAK2V617I. Through targeted sequencing of MPN-associated mutations, exome sequencing, and clonality analysis, we demonstrate that JAK2V617I is likely to be the sole driver mutation in JAK2V617I-positive individuals with thrombocytosis. Phenotypic hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) were increased in the blood and bone marrow of JAK2V617I-positive individuals and were sustained at higher levels than controls after xenotransplantation. In signaling and transcriptional assays, JAK2V617I demonstrated more activity than wild-type JAK2 but substantially less than JAK2V617F. After cytokine stimulation, JAK2V617I resulted in markedly increased downstream signaling compared with wild-type JAK2 and comparable with JAK2V617F. These findings demonstrate that JAK2V617I induces sufficient cytokine hyperresponsiveness in the absence of other molecular events to induce a homogeneous MPN-like phenotype. We also provide evidence that the JAK2V617I mutation may expand the HSC pool, providing insights into both JAK2 mutation biology and MPN disease pathogenesis.
Chromosomal region maintenance 1 (CRM1) is a nuclear export receptor recognizing proteins bearing a leucine-rich nuclear export signal. CRM1 is involved in nuclear export of tumor suppressors such as p53. We investigated the prognostic significance of CRM1 in acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and effects of a novel small-molecule selective inhibitor of CRM1. CRM1 protein expression was determined in 511 newly diagnosed AML patients and was correlated with mouse double minute 2 (MDM2) and p53 levels. High CRM1 expression was associated with short survival of patients and remained an adverse prognostic factor in multivariate analysis. CRM1 inhibitor KPT-185 induced mainly full-length p53 and apoptosis in a p53-dependent manner, whereas inhibition of proliferation was p53 independent. Patient samples with p53 mutations showed low sensitivity to KPT-185. Nuclear retention of p53 induced by CRM1 inhibition synergized with increased levels of p53 induced by MDM2 inhibition in apoptosis induction. KPT-185 and Nutlin-3a, alone and in combination, induced synergistic apoptosis in patient-derived CD34+/CD38– AML, but not in normal progenitor cells. Data suggest that CRM1 exerts an antiapoptotic function and is highly prognostic in AML. We propose a novel combinatorial approach for the therapy of AML, aimed at maximal activation of p53-mediated apoptosis by concomitant MDM2 and CRM1 inhibition.
Genomic instability is a hallmark of chronic myeloid leukemia in chronic phase (CML-CP) resulting in BCR-ABL1 mutations encoding resistance to tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKIs) and/or additional chromosomal aberrations leading to disease relapse and/or malignant progression. TKI-naive and TKI-treated leukemia stem cells (LSCs) and leukemia progenitor cells (LPCs) accumulate high levels of reactive oxygen species (ROS) and oxidative DNA damage. To determine the role of TKI-refractory LSCs in genomic instability, we used a murine model of CML-CP where ROS-induced oxidative DNA damage was elevated in LSCs, including quiescent LSCs, but not in LPCs. ROS-induced oxidative DNA damage in LSCs caused clinically relevant genomic instability in CML-CP–like mice, such as TKI-resistant BCR-ABL1 mutations (E255K, T315I, H396P), deletions in Ikzf1 and Trp53, and additions in Zfp423 and Idh1. Despite inhibition of BCR-ABL1 kinase, imatinib did not downregulate ROS and oxidative DNA damage in TKI-refractory LSCs to the levels detected in normal cells, and CML-CP–like mice treated with imatinib continued to accumulate clinically relevant genetic aberrations. Inhibition of class I p21-activated protein kinases by IPA3 downregulated ROS in TKI-naive and TKI-treated LSCs. Altogether, we postulate that genomic instability may originate in the most primitive TKI-refractory LSCs in TKI-naive and TKI-treated patients.
Recruitment of polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) to sites of acute inflammation critically depends on β2 integrins (CD11/CD18). Recently, the mammalian actin-binding protein 1 (mAbp1) was identified as an important adaptor protein regulating PMN trafficking downstream of β2 integrins. Here, we show that mAbp1 constitutively co-immunoprecipitated with hematopoietic progenitor kinase 1 (HPK1) in neutrophil-like differentiated HL-60 (dHL-60) cells. HPK1 was enriched at the lamellipodium of polarized dHL-60 cells, where it colocalized with mAbp1 and actin. Functional analysis of PMNs from HPK1-deficient mice showed that HPK1 was critical for CXCL1-induced lymphocyte function-associated antigen 1 (LFA-1)–mediated PMN adhesion to ICAM-1 under flow conditions. Accordingly, CXCL1-mediated induction of high-affinity LFA-1 required HPK1, but macrophage antigen 1 (Mac-1) affinity regulation was independent of HPK1. Intravital microscopy of the mouse cremaster muscle confirmed the defect of CXCL1-induced leukocyte adhesion in HPK1-deficient mice. Furthermore, β2 integrin–mediated post-adhesion processes—adhesion strengthening, spreading, and directed mechanotactic crawling of PMNs under flow conditions—involved HPK1 in vitro and in vivo. Upon intrascrotal administration of tumor necrosis factor α (TNF-α), PMN adhesion and extravasation were severely compromised in HPK1-deficient mice. In summary, our results indicate that HPK1 is critically involved in LFA-1–mediated PMN trafficking during acute inflammation.
Myeloperoxidase (MPO) is important in intracellular microbial killing by neutrophils but extracellularly causes tissue damage. Its role in adaptive immunity and T-cell–mediated diseases is poorly understood. Here, T-cell responses in lymph nodes (LNs) were enhanced by MPO deletion or in vivo inhibition, causing enhanced skin delayed-type hypersensitivity and antigen (Ag)-induced arthritis. Responses of adoptively transferred OT-II T cells were greater in MPO-deficient than wild-type (WT) recipients. MPO, deposited by neutrophils in LNs after Ag injection, interacted with dendritic cells (DCs) in vivo. Culture of murine or human DCs with purified MPO or neutrophil supernatant showed that enzymatically dependent MPO-mediated inhibition of DC activation occurs via MPO-generated reactive intermediates and involves DC Mac-1. Transfer of DCs cultured with WT, but not MPO-deficient, neutrophil supernatant attenuated Ag-specific immunity in vivo. MPO deficiency or in vivo inhibition increased DC activation in LNs after immunization. Studies with DQ-ovalbumin showed that MPO inhibits Ag uptake/processing by DCs. In vivo DC transfer and in vitro studies showed that MPO inhibits DC migration to LNs by reducing their expression of CCR7. Therefore, MPO, via its catalytic activity, inhibits the generation of adaptive immunity by suppressing DC activation, Ag uptake/processing, and migration to LNs to limit pathological tissue inflammation.
The SH2 domain-containing protein-tyrosine phosphatases Shp1 and Shp2 have been implicated in regulating signaling from a variety of platelet and megakaryocyte receptors. In this study, we investigate the functions of Shp1 and Shp2 in megakaryocytes and platelets. Megakaryocyte/platelet (MP)-specific deletion of Shp1 in mice resulted in platelets being less responsive to collagen-related peptide due to reduced GPVI expression and signaling via the Src family kinase (SFK)-Syk-PLC2 pathway, and fibrinogen due to reduced SFK activity. By contrast, deletion of Shp2 in the MP lineage resulted in macrothrombocytopenia and platelets being hyper-responsive to anti-CLEC-2 antibody and fibrinogen. Shp1- and Shp2-deficient megakaryocytes had partial blocks at 2N/4N ploidy; however, only the latter exhibited reduced proplatelet formation, thrombopoietin, and integrin signaling. Mice deficient in both Shp1 and Shp2 were severely macrothrombocytopenic and had reduced platelet surface glycoprotein expression, including GPVI, αIIbβ3, and GPIbα. Megakaryocytes from these mice were blocked at 2N/4N ploidy and did not survive ex vivo. Deletion of the immunoreceptor tyrosine-based inhibition motif-containing receptor G6b-B in the MP lineage phenocopied multiple features of Shp1/2-deficient mice, suggesting G6b-B is a critical regulator of Shp1 and Shp2. This study establishes Shp1 and Shp2 as major regulators of megakaryocyte development, platelet production, and function.
Semaphorin 4D (Sema4D) is a transmembrane protein that supports contact-dependent amplification of platelet activation by collagen before being gradually cleaved by the metalloprotease ADAM17, as we have previously shown. Cleavage releases a soluble 120-kDa exodomain fragment for which receptors exist on platelets and endothelial cells. Here we have examined the mechanism that regulates Sema4D exodomain cleavage. The results show that the membrane-proximal cytoplasmic domain of Sema4D contains a binding site for calmodulin within the polybasic region Arg762-Lys779. Coprecipitation studies show that Sema4D and calmodulin are associated in resting platelets, forming a complex that dissociates upon platelet activation by the agonists that trigger Sema4D cleavage. Inhibiting calmodulin with W7 or introducing a membrane-permeable peptide corresponding to the calmodulin-binding site is sufficient to trigger the dissociation of Sema4D from calmodulin and initiate cleavage. Conversely, deletion of the calmodulin-binding site causes constitutive shedding of Sema4D. These results show that (1) Sema4D is a calmodulin-binding protein with a site of interaction in its membrane-proximal cytoplasmic domain, (2) platelet agonists cause dissociation of the calmodulin–Sema4D complex, and (3) dissociation of the complex is sufficient to trigger ADAM17-dependent cleavage of Sema4D, releasing a bioactive fragment.
The graft-versus-tumor (GVT) effect after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT) represents an effective form of immunotherapy against many malignancies. Meaningful separation of the potentially curative GVT responses from graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), the most serious toxicity following T-cell replete allo-HCT, has been an elusive goal. GVHD is initiated by alloantigens, although both alloantigens and tumor-specific antigens (TSAs) initiate GVT responses. Emerging data have illuminated a role for antigen-presenting cells (APCs) in inducing alloantigen-specific responses. By using multiple clinically relevant murine models, we show that a specific subset of host-derived APCs—CD8+ dendritic cells (DCs)—enhances TSA responses and is required for optimal induction of GVT. Stimulation of TLR3, which among host hematopoietic APC subsets is predominantly expressed on CD8+ DCs, enhanced GVT without exacerbating GVHD. Thus, strategies that modulate host APC subsets without direct manipulation of donor T cells could augment GVT responses and enhance the efficacy of allo-HCT.
Corneal transparency is a prerequisite for optimal vision and in turn relies on an absence of blood and lymphatic vessels, which is remarkable given the cornea’s proximity to vascularized tissues. Membrane-bound vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 3 (VEGFR-3), with its cognate ligand vascular endothelial growth factor C (VEGF-C), is a major mediator of lymphangiogenesis. Here, we demonstrate that the cornea expresses a novel truncated isoform of this molecule, soluble VEGFR-3 (sVEGFR-3), which is critical for corneal alymphaticity, by sequestering VEGF-C. sVEGFR-3 binds and sequesters VEGF-C, thereby blocking signaling through VEGFR-3 and suppressing lymphangiogenesis induced by VEGF-C. sVEGFR-3 knockdown leads to lymphangiogenesis and hemangiogenesis in the mouse cornea, while overexpression of sVEGFR-3 inhibits lymphangiogenesis and hemangiogenesis in a murine suture injury model. Pax6+/– mice spontaneously develop corneal and lymphatic vessels and are deficient in sVEGFR-3. sVEGFR-3 suppresses hemangiogenesis by blocking VEGF-C–induced phosphorylation of VEGFR-2. Overexpression of sVEGFR-3 leads to a 5-fold increase in corneal transplant survival in mouse models. sVEGFR-3 holds promise as a molecule to control and regress lymphatic-vessel–based dysfunction. Therefore, sVEGFR-3 has the potential to protect the injured cornea from opacification secondary to infection, inflammation, or transplant rejection.