bims-almceb Biomed News
on Acute Leukemia Metabolism and Cell Biology
Issue of 2021‒01‒24
nine papers selected by
Camila Kehl Dias
Federal University of Rio Grande do Sul

  1. Aging Cell. 2021 Jan 22. e13309
      Aging-associated declines in innate and adaptive immune responses are well documented and pose a risk for the growing aging population, which is predicted to comprise greater than 40 percent of the world's population by 2050. Efforts have been made to improve immunity in aged populations; however, safe and effective protocols to accomplish this goal have not been universally established. Aging-associated chronic inflammation is postulated to compromise immunity in aged mice and humans. Interleukin-37 (IL-37) is a potent anti-inflammatory cytokine, and we present data demonstrating that IL-37 gene expression levels in human monocytes significantly decline with age. Furthermore, we demonstrate that transgenic expression of interleukin-37 (IL-37) in aged mice reduces or prevents aging-associated chronic inflammation, splenomegaly, and accumulation of myeloid cells (macrophages and dendritic cells) in the bone marrow and spleen. Additionally, we show that IL-37 expression decreases the surface expression of programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) and augments cytokine production from aged T-cells. Improved T-cell function coincided with a youthful restoration of Pdcd1, Lat, and Stat4 gene expression levels in CD4+ T-cells and Lat in CD8+ T-cells when aged mice were treated with recombinant IL-37 (rIL-37) but not control immunoglobin (Control Ig). Importantly, IL-37-mediated rejuvenation of aged endogenous T-cells was also observed in aged chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells, where improved function significantly extended the survival of mice transplanted with leukemia cells. Collectively, these data demonstrate the potency of IL-37 in boosting the function of aged T-cells and highlight its therapeutic potential to overcome aging-associated immunosenescence.
    Keywords:  CAR T-cells; PD-1; T-cells; aging; cytokines; inflammation; leukemia; signaling
  2. Oncol Rep. 2021 Jan 14.
      Myeloid‑derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are an indispensable component of the tumor microenvironment (TME). Along with the role of MDSC immunosuppression and antitumor immunity, MDSCs facilitate tumor growth, differentiation, and metastasis in several ways that are yet to be explored. Like any other cell type, MDSCs also release a tremendous number of exosomes, or nanovesicles of endosomal origin, that participate in intercellular communications by dispatching biological macromolecules. There have been no investigational studies conducted to characterize the role of MDSC‑derived exosomes (MDSC exo) in modulating the TME. In this study, we isolated MDSC exo and demonstrated that they carry a significant level of proteins that play an indispensable role in tumor growth, invasion, angiogenesis, and immunomodulation. We observed a higher yield and more substantial immunosuppressive potential of exosomes isolated from MDSCs in the primary tumor area than those in the spleen or bone marrow. Our in vitro data suggest that MDSC exo are capable of hyper‑activating or exhausting CD8 T‑cells and induce reactive oxygen species production that elicits activation‑induced cell death. We confirmed the depletion of CD8 T‑cells in vivo by treating mice with MDSC exo. We also observed a reduction in pro‑inflammatory M1‑macrophages in the spleen of those animals. Our results indicate that the immunosuppressive and tumor‑promoting functions of MDSCs are also implemented by MDSC‑derived exosomes which would open up a new avenue of MDSC research and MDSC‑targeted therapy.
  3. Nat Commun. 2021 01 20. 12(1): 472
      Targeted DNA correction of disease-causing mutations in hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) may enable the treatment of genetic diseases of the blood and immune system. It is now possible to correct mutations at high frequencies in HSPCs by combining CRISPR/Cas9 with homologous DNA donors. Because of the precision of gene correction, these approaches preclude clonal tracking of gene-targeted HSPCs. Here, we describe Tracking Recombination Alleles in Clonal Engraftment using sequencing (TRACE-Seq), a methodology that utilizes barcoded AAV6 donor template libraries, carrying in-frame silent mutations or semi-randomized nucleotides outside the coding region, to track the in vivo lineage contribution of gene-targeted HSPC clones. By targeting the HBB gene with an AAV6 donor template library consisting of ~20,000 possible unique exon 1 in-frame silent mutations, we track the hematopoietic reconstitution of HBB targeted myeloid-skewed, lymphoid-skewed, and balanced multi-lineage repopulating human HSPC clones in mice. We anticipate this methodology could potentially be used for HSPC clonal tracking of Cas9 RNP and AAV6-mediated gene targeting outcomes in translational and basic research settings.
  4. Cancers (Basel). 2021 Jan 19. pii: E356. [Epub ahead of print]13(2):
      Aldehyde dehydrogenase 1A3 (ALDH1A3) belongs to an enzymatic superfamily composed by 19 different isoforms, with a scavenger role, involved in the oxidation of a plethora of aldehydes to the respective carboxylic acids, through a NAD+-dependent reaction. Previous clinical studies highlighted the high expression of ALDH1A3 in cancer stem cells (CSCs) correlated to a higher risk of cancer relapses, chemoresistance and a poor clinical outcome. We report on the structural, biochemical, and cellular characterization of NR6, a new selective ALDH1A3 inhibitor derived from an already published ALDH non-selective inhibitor with cytotoxic activity on glioblastoma and colorectal cancer cells. Crystal structure, through X-Ray analysis, showed that NR6 binds a non-conserved tyrosine residue of ALDH1A3 which drives the selectivity towards this isoform, as supported by computational binding simulations. Moreover, NR6 shows anti-metastatic activity in wound healing and invasion assays and induces the downregulation of cancer stem cell markers. Overall, our work confirms the role of ALDH1A3 as an important target in glioblastoma and colorectal cells and propose NR6 as a promising molecule for future preclinical studies.
    Keywords:  aldehyde dehydrogenases; biochemistry; cancer stem cells; cancer therapy; glioblastoma; structural biology; target validation
  5. Int J Mol Sci. 2021 Jan 14. pii: E764. [Epub ahead of print]22(2):
      Glucose is an essential nutrient for every cell but its metabolic fate depends on cellular phenotype. Normally, the product of cytosolic glycolysis, pyruvate, is transported into mitochondria and irreversibly converted to acetyl coenzyme A by pyruvate dehydrogenase complex (PDC). In some pathological cells, however, pyruvate transport into the mitochondria is blocked due to the inhibition of PDC by pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase. This altered metabolism is referred to as aerobic glycolysis (Warburg effect) and is common in solid tumors and in other pathological cells. Switching from mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation to aerobic glycolysis provides diseased cells with advantages because of the rapid production of ATP and the activation of pentose phosphate pathway (PPP) which provides nucleotides required for elevated cellular metabolism. Molecules, called glycolytics, inhibit aerobic glycolysis and convert cells to a healthier phenotype. Glycolytics often function by inhibiting hypoxia-inducible factor-1α leading to PDC disinhibition allowing for intramitochondrial conversion of pyruvate into acetyl coenzyme A. Melatonin is a glycolytic which converts diseased cells to the healthier phenotype. Herein we propose that melatonin's function as a glycolytic explains its actions in inhibiting a variety of diseases. Thus, the common denominator is melatonin's action in switching the metabolic phenotype of cells.
    Keywords:  aerobic glycolysis; hypoxia-inducible factor 1α; mitochondrial melatonin synthesis; pentose phosphate pathway; pyruvate dehydrogenase complex; pyruvate dehydrogenase kinase
  6. Nature. 2021 Jan 20.
      Ageing is characterized by the development of persistent pro-inflammatory responses that contribute to atherosclerosis, metabolic syndrome, cancer and frailty1-3. The ageing brain is also vulnerable to inflammation, as demonstrated by the high prevalence of age-associated cognitive decline and Alzheimer's disease4-6. Systemically, circulating pro-inflammatory factors can promote cognitive decline7,8, and in the brain, microglia lose the ability to clear misfolded proteins that are associated with neurodegeneration9,10. However, the underlying mechanisms that initiate and sustain maladaptive inflammation with ageing are not well defined. Here we show that in ageing mice myeloid cell bioenergetics are suppressed in response to increased signalling by the lipid messenger prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), a major modulator of inflammation11. In ageing macrophages and microglia, PGE2 signalling through its EP2 receptor promotes the sequestration of glucose into glycogen, reducing glucose flux and mitochondrial respiration. This energy-deficient state, which drives maladaptive pro-inflammatory responses, is further augmented by a dependence of aged myeloid cells on glucose as a principal fuel source. In aged mice, inhibition of myeloid EP2 signalling rejuvenates cellular bioenergetics, systemic and brain inflammatory states, hippocampal synaptic plasticity and spatial memory. Moreover, blockade of peripheral myeloid EP2 signalling is sufficient to restore cognition in aged mice. Our study suggests that cognitive ageing is not a static or irrevocable condition but can be reversed by reprogramming myeloid glucose metabolism to restore youthful immune functions.
  7. Acta Naturae. 2020 Oct-Dec;12(4):12(4): 5-14
      Recent studies have significantly expanded our understanding of the mechanisms of L-ascorbic acid (ASC, vitamin C) action, leading to the emergence of several hypotheses that validate the possibility of using ASC in clinical practice. ASC may be considered an epigenetic drug capable of reducing aberrant DNA and histone hypermethylation, which could be helpful in the treatment of some cancers and neurodegenerative diseases. The clinical potency of ASC is also associated with regenerative medicine; in particular with the production of iPSCs. The effect of ASC on somatic cell reprogramming is most convincingly explained by a combined enhancement of the activity of the enzymes involved in the active demethylation of DNA and histones. This review describes how ASC can affect the epigenetic status of a cell and how it can be used in anticancer therapy and stem cell reprogramming.
    Keywords:  cancer; chromatin; epigenome; stem cells; vitamin C
  8. J Pediatr Hematol Oncol. 2021 Jan 20.
      BACKGROUND: Overall survival of adolescents with relapsed T-cell lymphoblastic lymphoma (T-LL) remains poor with limited options for salvage therapy. The BCL-2 inhibitor venetoclax combined with hypomethylating agents like decitabine, has shown favorable responses in elderly patients with acute myeloid leukemia.OBSERVATION: We present the case of a 19-year-old adolescent with stage III relapsed and refractory T-LL who did not respond to 3 lines of salvage therapy. The patient was treated with venetoclax and decitabine and achieved a dramatic response.
    CONCLUSION: This case highlights the potential clinical activity of venetoclax and decitabine in relapsed T-LL.
  9. Nat Commun. 2021 01 19. 12(1): 444
      Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is the most common and aggressive form of primary brain cancer, for which effective therapies are urgently needed. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-based immunotherapy represents a promising therapeutic approach, but it is often impeded by highly immunosuppressive tumor microenvironments (TME). Here, in an immunocompetent, orthotopic GBM mouse model, we show that CAR-T cells targeting tumor-specific epidermal growth factor receptor variant III (EGFRvIII) alone fail to control fully established tumors but, when combined with a single, locally delivered dose of IL-12, achieve durable anti-tumor responses. IL-12 not only boosts cytotoxicity of CAR-T cells, but also reshapes the TME, driving increased infiltration of proinflammatory CD4+ T cells, decreased numbers of regulatory T cells (Treg), and activation of the myeloid compartment. Importantly, the immunotherapy-enabling benefits of IL-12 are achieved with minimal systemic effects. Our findings thus show that local delivery of IL-12 may be an effective adjuvant for CAR-T cell therapy for GBM.