Science Translational Medicine

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ISSN / EISSN : 1946-6234 / 1946-6242
Total articles ≅ 5,678
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Abishek Chandrashekar, Jinyan Liu, , Katherine McMahan, Lisa H. Tostanoski, Catherine Jacob-Dolan, Noe B. Mercado, Tochi Anioke, Aiquan Chang, Sarah Gardner, et al.
Science Translational Medicine; https://doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.abj2641

Abstract:
Severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants that result in increased transmissibility and partial evasion of neutralizing antibodies have recently emerged. Whether natural immunity induced by the original SARS-CoV-2 WA1/2020 strain protects against re-challenge with these SARS-CoV-2 variants remains a critical unresolved question. In this study, we show that natural immunity induced by the WA1/2020 strain leads to partial but incomplete protection against the SARS-CoV-2 variants B.1.1.7 (alpha) and B.1.351 (beta) in rhesus macaques. We challenged rhesus macaques with B.1.1.7 and B.1.351 and showed that infection with these variants resulted in high viral replication in the upper and lower respiratory tract. We then infected rhesus macaques with the WA1/2020 strain and re-challenged them on day 35 with the WA1/2020, B.1.1.7, or B.1.351 variants. Natural immunity to WA1/2020 led to robust protection against re-challenge with WA1/2020 but only partial protection against re-challenge with B.1.351. An intermediate degree of protection was observed in rhesus macaques against re-challenge with B.1.1.7. These data demonstrate partial but incomplete protective efficacy of natural immunity induced by WA1/2020 against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern. Our findings have important implications for both vaccination and public health strategies in the context of emerging SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.
Eric S. Lightcap, Pengfei Yu, Stephen Grossman, Keli Song, Mithun Khattar, Kristina Xega, Xingyue He, James M. Gavin, Hisashi Imaichi, James J. Garnsey, et al.
Science Translational Medicine, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aba7791

Abstract:
SUMOylation, the covalent conjugation of small ubiquitin-like modifier (SUMO) proteins to protein substrates, has been reported to suppress type I interferon (IFN1) responses. TAK-981, a selective small-molecule inhibitor of SUMOylation, pharmacologically reactivates IFN1 signaling and immune responses against cancers. In vivo treatment of wild-type mice with TAK-981 up-regulated IFN1 gene expression in blood cells and splenocytes. Ex vivo treatment of mouse and human dendritic cells promoted their IFN1-dependent activation, and vaccination studies in mice demonstrated stimulation of antigen cross-presentation and T cell priming in vivo. TAK-981 also directly stimulated T cell activation, driving enhanced T cell sensitivity and response to antigen ex vivo. Consistent with these observations, TAK-981 inhibited growth of syngeneic A20 and MC38 tumors in mice, dependent upon IFN1 signaling and CD8+ T cells, and associated with increased intratumoral T and natural killer cell number and activation. Combination of TAK-981 with anti-PD1 or anti-CTLA4 antibodies improved the survival of mice bearing syngeneic CT26 and MC38 tumors. In conclusion, TAK-981 is a first-in-class SUMOylation inhibitor that promotes antitumor immune responses through activation of IFN1 signaling. TAK-981 is currently being studied in phase 1 clinical trials (NCT03648372, NCT04074330, NCT04776018, and NCT04381650) for the treatment of patients with solid tumors and lymphomas.
Minggang Zhang, Zeguo Zhao, , Margaret Hannum, , , Viraj Sanghvi, Timothy A. Chan, Venkatraman Seshan, , et al.
Science Translational Medicine, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.abg4328

Abstract:
Adoptive T cell therapy (ACT) is a promising strategy for treating cancer, but it often fails because of cell intrinsic regulatory programs that limit the degree or duration of T cell function. In this study, we found that ectopic expression of microRNA-200c (miR-200c) markedly enhanced the antitumor activity of CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) during ACT in multiple mouse models. CTLs transduced with miR-200c exhibited reduced apoptosis during engraftment and enhanced in vivo persistence, accompanied by up-regulation of the transcriptional regulator T cell factor 1 (TCF1) and the inflammatory cytokine tumor necrosis factor (TNF). miR-200c elicited these changes by suppressing the transcription factor Zeb1 and thereby inducing genes characteristic of epithelial cells. Overexpression of one of these genes, Epcam, was sufficient to augment therapeutic T cell responses against both solid and liquid tumors. These results identify the miR-200c–EpCAM axis as an avenue for improving ACT and demonstrate that select genetic perturbations can produce phenotypically distinct T cells with advantageous therapeutic properties.
, , Rajendra Tangallapally, Mi-Kyung Yun, Anne Edwards, , , ,
Science Translational Medicine, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.abf5965

Abstract:
Propionic acidemia (PA) is a rare autosomal-recessive metabolic disease that arises from mutations in propionyl-CoA (C3-CoA) carboxylase. Reduced enzyme activity slows C3-CoA metabolism, leading to an elevated plasma C3:C2-carnitine ratio, the hallmark biomarker of PA. The metabolic imbalances experienced in PA are however poorly defined. Here, we used a hypomorphic PA mouse model to demonstrate that C3-CoA accumulation in liver reduced non-esterified CoA (CoASH) and acetyl-CoA (C2-CoA). Tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle intermediates that are normally metabolized instead accumulated in urine, providing direct evidence for compromised mitochondrial function in PA. Pantothenate kinase (PanK) is known to catalyze the rate-controlling step in CoA biosynthesis, and its inhibition by C3-CoA prevents an increase in CoA biosynthesis to alleviate CoASH sequestration. PZ-3022 is an allosteric PanK activator that counteracts C3-CoA inhibition. PZ-3022 therapy increased hepatic CoASH and C2-CoA and decreased C3-CoA in the PA mouse model, leading to improved intracellular C3:C2-CoA and plasma C3:C2-carnitine ratios. Elevated urinary malate is a major component of the metabolic signature for TCA cycle dysfunction in the PA mouse, and the 80% reduction in urine malate by PZ-3022 therapy indicates the restoration of mitochondrial function. Thus, CoASH sequestration in PA leads to reduced TCA cycle activity that is relieved by PZ-3022, providing preclinical proof of concept for PanK activators as a therapy to attenuate the underlying mitochondrial defect in PA.
Aadil Ali, Aizhou Wang, Rafaela V. P. Ribeiro, Erika L. Beroncal, Cristina Baciu, Marcos Galasso, Bruno Gomes, Andrea Mariscal, Olivia Hough, Edson Brambate, et al.
Science Translational Medicine, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.abf7601

Abstract:
Cold static preservation on ice (~4°C) remains the clinical standard of donor organ preservation. However, mitochondrial injury develops during prolonged storage, which limits the extent of time that organs can maintain viability. We explored the feasibility of prolonged donor lung storage at 10°C using a large animal model and investigated mechanisms related to mitochondrial protection. Functional assessments performed during ex vivo lung perfusion demonstrated that porcine lungs stored for 36 hours at 10°C had lower airway pressures, higher lung compliances, and better oxygenation capabilities, indicative of better pulmonary physiology, as compared to lungs stored conventionally at 4°C. Mitochondrial protective metabolites including itaconate, glutamine, and N-acetylglutamine were present in greater intensities in lungs stored at 10°C than at 4°C. Analysis of mitochondrial injury markers further confirmed that 10°C storage resulted in greater protection of mitochondrial health. We applied this strategy clinically to prolong preservation of human donor lungs beyond the currently accepted clinical preservation limit of about 6 to 8 hours. Five patients received donor lung transplants after a median preservation time of 10.4 hours (9.92 to 14.8 hours) for the first implanted lung and 12.1 hours (10.9 to 16.5 hours) for the second. All have survived the first 30 days after transplantation. There was no grade 3 primary graft dysfunction at 72 hours after transplantation, and median post-transplant mechanical ventilation time was 1.73 days (0.24 to 6.71 days). Preservation at 10°C could become the standard of care for prolonged pulmonary preservation, providing benefits to both patients and health care teams.
Jean-Christophe Delpech, Dhruba Pathak, , Srinidhi Venkatesan Kalavai, Emma C. Hays, , , Seiko Ikezu, , , et al.
Science Translational Medicine, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.abe8455

Abstract:
Abnormally phosphorylated tau, an early neuropathologic marker of Alzheimer’s disease (AD), first occurs in the brain’s entorhinal cortex layer II (ECII) and then spreads to the CA1 field of the hippocampus. Animal models of tau propagation aiming to recapitulate this phenomenon mostly show tau transfer from ECII stellate neurons to the dentate gyrus, but tau pathology in the dentate gyrus does not appear until advanced stages of AD. Wolframin-1–expressing (Wfs1+) pyramidal neurons have been shown functionally to modulate hippocampal CA1 neurons in mice. Here, we report that Wfs1+ pyramidal neurons are conserved in the ECII of postmortem human brain tissue and that Wfs1 colocalized with abnormally phosphorylated tau in brains from individuals with early AD. Wfs1+ neuron–specific expression of human P301L mutant tau in mouse ECII resulted in transfer of tau to hippocampal CA1 pyramidal neurons, suggesting spread of tau pathology as observed in the early Braak stages of AD. In mice expressing human mutant tau specifically in the ECII brain region, electrophysiological recordings of CA1 pyramidal neurons showed reduced excitability. Multielectrode array recordings of optogenetically stimulated Wfs1+ ECII axons resulted in reduced CA1 neuronal firing. Chemogenetic activation of CA1 pyramidal neurons showed a reduction in c-fos+ cells in the CA1. Last, a fear conditioning task revealed deficits in trace and contextual memory in mice overexpressing human mutant tau in the ECII. This work demonstrates tau transfer from the ECII to CA1 in mouse brain and provides an early Braak stage preclinical model of AD.
, Laura Heeb, , , , Lilian Roth, Kuno Lehmann, Udo Ungethüm, , , et al.
Science Translational Medicine, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.abc8188

Abstract:
Platelet-derived peripheral serotonin has pleiotropic effects on coagulation, metabolism, tissue regeneration, and cancer growth; however, the effect of serotonin on the tumor microenvironment remains understudied. Peripheral serotonin–deficient (Tph1−/−) mice displayed reduced growth of subcutaneous and orthotopically injected syngeneic murine pancreatic and colorectal cancers with enhanced accumulation of functional CD8+ T cells compared to control C57BL/6 mice, resulting in extended overall survival. Subcutaneous and orthotopic syngeneic tumors from Tph1−/− mice expressed less programmed cell death 1 ligand 1 (PD-L1), suggesting serotonin-mediated regulation. Serotonin enhanced expression of PD-L1 on mouse and human cancer cells in vitro via serotonylation, which is the formation of covalent bonds between glutamine residues and serotonin, resulting in activation of small G proteins. Serotonin concentrations in metastases of patients with abdominal tumors negatively correlated to the number of CD8+ tumor-infiltrating T cells. Depletion of serotonin cargo or inhibition of serotonin release from thrombocytes decreased growth of syngeneic pancreatic and colorectal tumors in wild-type mice, increased CD8+ T cell influx, and decreased PD-L1 expression. Pharmacological serotonin depletion with oral fluoxetine or intraperitoneal injection of the TPH1 inhibitor telotristat augmented the effects of programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) checkpoint blockade and triggered long-term tumor control in mice subcutaneously inoculated with syngeneic colorectal and pancreatic tumors. Overall, peripheral serotonin weakens effector functions of CD8+ T cells within tumors. Clinically approved serotonin targeting agents alone or in combination with PD-1 blockade provided long-term control of established tumors in murine models, warranting further investigation of the clinical translatability of these findings.
Hyeseon Cho, Kristina Kay Gonzales-Wartz, Deli Huang, Meng Yuan, Mary Peterson, Janie Liang, , , Yu Cong, Elena Postnikova, et al.
Science Translational Medicine; https://doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.abj5413

Abstract:
The emergence of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) variants of concern threatens the efficacy of existing vaccines and therapeutic antibodies and underscores the need for additional antibody-based tools that potently neutralize variants by targeting multiple sites of the spike protein. We isolated 216 monoclonal antibodies targeting SARS-CoV-2 from plasmablasts and memory B cells collected from patients with coronavirus disease 2019. The three most potent antibodies targeted distinct regions of the receptor-binding domain (RBD), and all three neutralized the SARS-CoV-2 Alpha and Beta variants. The crystal structure of the most potent antibody, CV503, revealed that it binds to the ridge region of SARS-CoV-2 RBD, competes with the angiotensin converting enzyme 2 receptor, and has limited contact with key variant residues K417, E484 and N501. We designed bispecific antibodies by combining non-overlapping specificities and identified five bispecific antibodies that inhibit SARS-CoV-2 infection at concentrations of less than 1 ng/mL. Through a distinct mode of action, three bispecific antibodies cross-linked adjacent spike proteins using dual N-terminal domain-RBD specificities. One bispecific antibody was greater than 100-fold more potent than a cocktail of its parent monoclonals in vitro and prevented clinical disease in a hamster model at a 2.5 mg/kg dose. Notably, two bispecific antibodies in our panel comparably neutralized the Alpha, Beta, Gamma and Delta variants and wild-type virus. Furthermore, a bispecific antibody that neutralized the Beta variant protected hamsters against SARS-CoV-2 expressing the E484K mutation. Thus, bispecific antibodies represent a promising next-generation countermeasure against SARS-CoV-2 variants of concern.
, James P. Strassner, Kingsley Essien, Maggi Ahmed Refat, Rachel L. Murphy, Anthony Coffin-Schmitt, , Andrea Tovar-Garza, , Xueli Fan, et al.
Science Translational Medicine, Volume 13; https://doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.abd8995

Abstract:
Vitiligo is an autoimmune skin disease characterized by the targeted destruction of melanocytes by T cells. Cytokine signaling between keratinocytes and T cells results in CD8+ T cell infiltration of vitiligo lesions, but the full scope of signals required to coordinate autoimmune responses is not completely understood. We performed single-cell RNA sequencing on affected and unaffected skin from patients with vitiligo, as well as healthy controls, to define the role of each cell type in coordinating autoimmunity during disease progression. We confirmed that type 1 cytokine signaling occupied a central role in disease, but we also found that this pathway was used by regulatory T cells (Tregs) to restrain disease progression in nonlesional skin. We determined that CCL5-CCR5 signaling served as a chemokine circuit between effector CD8+ T cells and Tregs, and mechanistic studies in a mouse model of vitiligo revealed that CCR5 expression on Tregs was required to suppress disease in vivo but not in vitro. CCR5 was not required for Treg recruitment to skin but appeared to facilitate Treg function by properly positioning these cells within the skin. Our data provide critical insights into the pathogenesis of vitiligo and uncover potential opportunities for therapeutic interventions.
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