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Chemokine receptors are a subset of G protein-coupled receptors defined by the distinct property of binding small protein ligands in the chemokine family. Chemokine receptors recognize their ligands by a mechanism that is distinct from other class A GPCRs that bind peptides or small molecules. For this reason, structural information on other ligand-GPCR interactions are only indirectly relevant to understanding the chemokine receptor interface. Additionally, the experimentally determined structures of chemokine-GPCR complexes represent less than 3% of the known interactions of this complex, multi-ligand/multi-receptor network. To enable predictive modeling of the remaining 97% of interactions, a general in silico protocol was designed to utilize existing chemokine receptor crystal structures, co-crystal structures, and NMR ensembles of chemokines bound to receptor fragments. This protocol was benchmarked on the ability to predict each of the three published co-crystal structures, while being blinded to the target structure. Averaging ensembles selected from the top-ranking models reproduced up to 84% of the intermolecular contacts found in the crystal structure, with the lowest Cα-RMSD of the complex at 3.3 Å. The chemokine receptor N-terminus, unresolved in crystal structures, was included in the modeling and recapitulates contacts with known sulfotyrosine binding pockets seen in structures derived from experimental NMR data. This benchmarking experiment suggests that realistic homology models of chemokine-GPCR complexes can be generated by leveraging current structural data.
Copyright © 2019 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Integrins, the extracellular matrix receptors that facilitate cell adhesion and migration, are necessary for organ morphogenesis; however, their role in maintaining adult tissue homeostasis is poorly understood. To define the functional importance of β1 integrin in adult mouse lung, we deleted it after completion of development in type 2 alveolar epithelial cells (AECs). Aged β1 integrin-deficient mice exhibited chronic obstructive pulmonary disease-like (COPD-like) pathology characterized by emphysema, lymphoid aggregates, and increased macrophage infiltration. These histopathological abnormalities were preceded by β1 integrin-deficient AEC dysfunction such as excessive ROS production and upregulation of NF-κB-dependent chemokines, including CCL2. Genetic deletion of the CCL2 receptor, Ccr2, in mice with β1 integrin-deficient type 2 AECs impaired recruitment of monocyte-derived macrophages and resulted in accelerated inflammation and severe premature emphysematous destruction. The lungs exhibited reduced AEC efferocytosis and excessive numbers of inflamed type 2 AECs, demonstrating the requirement for recruited monocytes/macrophages in limiting lung injury and remodeling in the setting of a chronically inflamed epithelium. These studies support a critical role for β1 integrin in alveolar homeostasis in the adult lung.
Chemokines are small secreted proteins that orchestrate migration and positioning of immune cells within the tissues. Chemokines are essential for the function of the immune system. Accumulating evidence suggest that chemokines play important roles in tumor microenvironment. In this review we discuss an association of chemokine expression and activity within the tumor microenvironment with cancer outcome. We summarize regulation of immune cell recruitment into the tumor by chemokine-chemokine receptor interactions and describe evidence implicating chemokines in promotion of the "inflamed" immune-cell enriched tumor microenvironment. We review both tumor-promoting function of chemokines, such as regulation of tumor metastasis, and beneficial chemokine roles, including stimulation of anti-tumor immunity and response to immunotherapy. Finally, we discuss the therapeutic strategies target tumor-promoting chemokines or induce/deliver beneficial chemokines within the tumor focusing on pre-clinical studies and clinical trials going forward. The goal of this review is to provide insight into comprehensive role of chemokines and their receptors in tumor pathobiology and treatment.
Poorly controlled diabetes leads to comorbidities and enhanced susceptibility to infections. While the immune components involved in wound healing in diabetes have been studied, the components involved in susceptibility to skin infections remain unclear. Here, we examined the effects of the inflammatory lipid mediator leukotriene B4 (LTB4) signaling through its receptor B leukotriene receptor 1 (BLT1) in the progression of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) skin infection in 2 models of diabetes. Diabetic mice produced higher levels of LTB4 in the skin, which correlated with larger nonhealing lesion areas and increased bacterial loads compared with nondiabetic mice. High LTB4 levels were also associated with dysregulated cytokine and chemokine production, excessive neutrophil migration but impaired abscess formation, and uncontrolled collagen deposition. Both genetic deletion and topical pharmacological BLT1 antagonism restored inflammatory response and abscess formation, followed by a reduction in the bacterial load and lesion area in the diabetic mice. Macrophage depletion in diabetic mice limited LTB4 production and improved abscess architecture and skin host defense. These data demonstrate that exaggerated LTB4/BLT1 responses mediate a derailed inflammatory milieu that underlies poor host defense in diabetes. Prevention of LTB4 production/actions could provide a new therapeutic strategy to restore host defense in diabetes.
There is a paucity of data on risk factors for lung cancer among never smokers. Here, we have carried out the first large study of circulating inflammation markers and lung cancer risk among female never smokers in Shanghai. A study of 248 lung cancer cases in female never smokers and 263 controls was nested within the Shanghai Women's Health Study (n = 75221), matched by dates of birth and blood collection (mean follow-up time = 7.5 years). Prediagnostic plasma levels of 65 inflammation markers were measured using a Luminex bead-based assay. Odds ratios (ORs) were estimated with multivariable logistic regression. Nine of 61 evaluable markers were statistically significantly associated with lung cancer risk among never smoking Chinese women (P-trend across categories <0.05). Soluble interleukin-6 receptor [sIL-6R; highest versus lowest category OR = 2.37; 95% confidence interval (CI) 1.40-4.02) and chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 2/monocyte chemotactic protein 1; (OR = 1.62; 95% CI 0.94-2.80) were associated with an increased risk of lung cancer, whereas interleukin (IL)-21 (OR = 0.53; 95%CI 0.31-0.93), chemokine (C-X3-C motif) ligand 1/fractalkine (OR = 0.54; 95% CI 0.30-0.96), soluble vascular endothelial growth factor receptor 2 (sVEGFR2, OR = 0.45; 95% CI 0.26-0.76), sVEGFR3 (OR = 0.53; 95% CI 0.32-0.90), soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor I (OR = 0.49; 95% CI 0.29-0.83), IL-10 (OR = 0.60; 95% CI 0.34-1.05) and C-reactive protein (OR = 0.63; 95% CI 0.37-1.06) were associated with a decreased risk. sIL-6R remained significantly associated with lung cancer risk >7.5 years prior to diagnosis. Markers involved in various aspects of the immune response were associated with subsequent lung cancer risk, implicating inflammation in the etiology of lung cancer among female never smokers.
Published by Oxford University Press 2017.
Inflammation is increasingly thought to be associated with diabetes; however, only a few inflammation markers have been assessed concurrently in relation to history of diabetes. In the most comprehensive evaluation of inflammation markers and diabetes to date using a Luminex bead-based assay, we measured 78 inflammation-, immune-, and metabolic-related markers detectable in at least 10% of serum samples collected from participants from the Prostate, Lung, Colorectal and Ovarian Cancer (PLCO) screening trial (n = 1,814). At baseline, 6.6% (n = 120) of PLCO participants self-reported a history of diabetes. Cross-sectional associations between these markers and self-reported diabetes were assessed using weighted logistic regression adjusting for sex, smoking status, blood draw age and year, body mass index, and cohort sub-study. Including chemokines [C-C motif ligand (CCL) 19, CCL20, CCL21, C-X-C motif ligand (CXCL) 6, CXCL10, and CXCL11] and soluble cytokine and chemokine receptors [soluble (s) interleukin (IL) 6 receptor (R), soluble tumor necrosis factor receptor (sTNFR) 1, sTNFR2, and sIL-R2], ten inflammation-related markers, were nominally associated with diabetes (P<0.05). In addition to these associations, higher levels of insulin, gastric inhibitory polypeptide, and pancreatic polypeptide remained significantly associated with self-reported diabetes with a false discovery rate <5%, indicating that the assay was able to detect markers associated with diabetes. In summary, self-reported diabetes was nominally associated with circulating cytokines, chemokines, and soluble cytokine and chemokine receptors in the most expansive examination of diabetes and inflammation- and immune-related markers to date. These results highlight the need to explore in future prospective studies the role of inflammation markers in diabetes.
In 2013, chikungunya virus (CHIKV) transmission was documented in the Western Hemisphere, and the virus has since spread throughout the Americas with more than 1.8 million people infected in more than 40 countries. CHIKV targets the joints, resulting in symmetric polyarthritis that clinically mimics rheumatoid arthritis and can endure for months to years. At present, no approved treatment is effective in preventing or controlling CHIKV infection or disease. We treated mice with eight different disease-modifying antirheumatic drugs and identified CLTA4-Ig (abatacept) and tofacitinib as candidate therapies based on their ability to decrease acute joint swelling. CTLA4-Ig reduced T cell accumulation in the joints of infected animals without affecting viral infection. Whereas monotherapy with CTLA4-Ig or a neutralizing anti-CHIKV human monoclonal antibody provided partial clinical improvement, therapy with both abolished swelling and markedly reduced levels of chemokines, proinflammatory cytokines, and infiltrating leukocytes. Thus, combination CTLA4-Ig and antiviral antibody therapy controls acute CHIKV infection and arthritis and may be a candidate for testing in humans.
Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.
EGFR signaling regulates macrophage function, but its role in bacterial infection has not been investigated. Here, we assessed the role of macrophage EGFR signaling during infection with Helicobacter pylori, a bacterial pathogen that causes persistent inflammation and gastric cancer. EGFR was phosphorylated in murine and human macrophages during H. pylori infection. In human gastric tissues, elevated levels of phosphorylated EGFR were observed throughout the histologic cascade from gastritis to carcinoma. Deleting Egfr in myeloid cells attenuated gastritis and increased H. pylori burden in infected mice. EGFR deficiency also led to a global defect in macrophage activation that was associated with decreased cytokine, chemokine, and NO production. We observed similar alterations in macrophage activation and disease phenotype in the Citrobacter rodentium model of murine infectious colitis. Mechanistically, EGFR signaling activated NF-κB and MAPK1/3 pathways to induce cytokine production and macrophage activation. Although deletion of Egfr had no effect on DC function, EGFR-deficient macrophages displayed impaired Th1 and Th17 adaptive immune responses to H. pylori, which contributed to decreased chronic inflammation in infected mice. Together, these results indicate that EGFR signaling is central to macrophage function in response to enteric bacterial pathogens and is a potential therapeutic target for infection-induced inflammation and associated carcinogenesis.
Allergic airway diseases are immune disorders associated with heightened type 2 immune responses and IL-5 and IL-13 production at the site of inflammation. We have previously reported that cyclooxygenase (COX) inhibition by indomethacin augmented allergic airway inflammation in a STAT6-independent manner. However, the key COX product(s) responsible for restraining indomethacin-mediated STAT6-independent allergic inflammation is unknown. In this study, using the mouse model of OVA-induced allergic airway inflammation, we identified that PGI2 receptor (IP) signaling was critical for indomethacin-induced, STAT6-independent proallergic effects. We demonstrated that IP deficiency increased inflammatory cell infiltration, eosinophilia, and IL-5 and IL-13 expression in the lung in a STAT6-independent manner. The augmented STAT6-independent allergic inflammation correlated with enhanced primary immune responses to allergic sensitization and elevated production of multiple inflammatory chemokines (CCL11, CCL17, CCL22, and CXCL12) in the lung after allergen challenge. We also showed that the PGI2 analogue cicaprost inhibited CD4 T cell proliferation and IL-5 and IL-13 expression in vitro, and IP deficiency diminished the stimulatory effect of indomethacin on STAT6-independent IL-5 and IL-13 responses in vivo. The inhibitory effects of PGI2 and the IP signaling pathway on CD4 T cell activation, inflammatory chemokine production, and allergic sensitization and airway inflammation suggest that PGI2 and its analogue iloprost, both Food and Drug Administration-approved drugs, may be useful in treating allergic diseases and asthma. In addition, inhibiting PGI2 signaling by drugs that either block PGI2 production or restrain IP signaling may augment STAT6-independent pathways of allergic inflammation.
Copyright © 2016 by The American Association of Immunologists, Inc.
Microfluidic devices have very broad applications in biological assays from simple chemotaxis assays to much more complicated 3D bioreactors. In this chapter, we describe the design and methods for performing chemotaxis assays using simple microfluidic chemotaxis chambers. With these devices, using real-time video microscopy we can examine the chemotactic responses of neutrophil-like cells under conditions of varying gradient steepness or flow rate and then utilize software programs to calculate the speed and angles of cell migration as gradient steepness and flow are varied. Considering the shearing force generated on the cells by the constant flow that is required to produce and maintain a stable gradient, the trajectories of the cell migration will reflect the net result of both shear force generated by flow and the chemotactic force resulting from the chemokine gradient. Moreover, the effects of mutations in chemokine receptors or the presence of inhibitors of intracellular signals required for gradient sensing can be evaluated in real time. We also describe a method to monitor intracellular signals required for cells to alter cell polarity in response to an abrupt switch in gradient direction. Lastly, we demonstrate an in vitro method for studying the interactions of human cancer cells with human endothelial cells, fibroblasts, and leukocytes, as well as environmental chemokines and cytokines, using 3D microbioreactors that mimic the in vivo microenvironment.
© 2016 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.