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Background - Helper T cell activity is dysregulated in a number of diseases including those associated with rheumatic autoimmunity. Treatment options are limited and usually consist of systemic immune suppression, resulting in undesirable consequences from compromised immunity. Hedgehog (Hh) signaling has been implicated in the activation of T cells and the formation of the immune synapse, but remains understudied in the context of autoimmunity. Modulation of Hh signaling has the potential to enable controlled immunosuppression but a potential therapy has not yet been developed to leverage this opportunity.
Methods - In this work, we developed biodegradable nanoparticles to enable targeted delivery of eggmanone (Egm), a specific Hh inhibitor, to CD4 T cell subsets. We utilized two FDA-approved polymers, poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) and polyethylene glycol, to generate hydrolytically degradable nanoparticles. Furthermore, we employed maleimide-thiol mediated conjugation chemistry to decorate nanoparticles with anti-CD4 F(ab') antibody fragments to enable targeted delivery of Egm.
Results - Our novel delivery system achieved a highly specific association with the majority of CD4 T cells present among a complex cell population. Additionally, we have demonstrated antigen-specific inhibition of CD4 T cell responses mediated by nanoparticle-formulated Egm.
Conclusion - This work is the first characterization of Egm's immunomodulatory potential. Importantly, this study also suggests the potential benefit of a biodegradable delivery vehicle that is rationally designed for preferential interaction with a specific immune cell subtype for targeted modulation of Hh signaling.
© 2020 Haycook et al.
Poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) is widely used as a vehicle for delivery of pharmaceutically relevant payloads. PLGA is readily fabricated as a nano- or microparticle (MP) matrix to load both hydrophobic and hydrophilic small molecular drugs as well as biomacromolecules such as nucleic acids and proteins. However, targeting such payloads to the cell cytosol is often limited by MP entrapment and degradation within acidic endolysosomes. Poly(propylacrylic acid) (PPAA) is a polyelectrolyte polymer with the membrane disruptive capability triggered at low pH. PPAA has been previously formulated in various carrier configurations to enable cytosolic payload delivery, but requires sophisticated carrier design. Taking advantage of PPAA functionality, we have incorporated PPAA into PLGA MPs as a simple polymer mixture to enhance cytosolic delivery of PLGA-encapsulated payloads. Rhodamine loaded PLGA and PPAA/PLGA blend MPs were prepared by a modified nanoprecipitation method. Incorporation of PPAA into PLGA MPs had little to no effect on the size, shape, or loading efficiency, and evidenced no toxicity in Chinese hamster ovary epithelial cells. Notably, incorporation of PPAA into PLGA MPs enabled pH-dependent membrane disruption in a hemolysis assay, and a three-fold increased endosomal escape and cytosolic delivery in dendritic cells after 2 h of MP uptake. These results demonstrate that a simple PLGA/PPAA polymer blend is readily fabricated into composite MPs, enabling cytosolic delivery of an encapsulated payload. © 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 106A: 1022-1033, 2018.
© 2017 Wiley Periodicals, Inc.
There has been tremendous and rapidly growing interest in understanding intermediary metabolism as a key aspect of both normal cellular function and as a participant in the molecular pathogenesis of many different complex diseases. This area of research naturally intersects at virtually every level with the substantial and expanding body of knowledge regarding mechanisms of cellular redox balance. In this Forum, the contributing authors address specifically the union of intermediary metabolism and redox biology through detailed consideration of the biochemistry and biology of nicotine adenine dinucleotides, the cell's "redox currency." From technical considerations of how to measure nicotine adenine dinucleotides all the way to detailed treatments of their potential roles in specific disease states, this Forum provides a thorough introduction to a topic that is positioned to be at the heart of the next wave of research in metabolism and redox biology. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 28, 165-166.
Cancer cells consume glucose and secrete lactate in culture. It is unknown whether lactate contributes to energy metabolism in living tumors. We previously reported that human non-small-cell lung cancers (NSCLCs) oxidize glucose in the tricarboxylic acid (TCA) cycle. Here, we show that lactate is also a TCA cycle carbon source for NSCLC. In human NSCLC, evidence of lactate utilization was most apparent in tumors with high fluorodeoxyglucose uptake and aggressive oncological behavior. Infusing human NSCLC patients with C-lactate revealed extensive labeling of TCA cycle metabolites. In mice, deleting monocarboxylate transporter-1 (MCT1) from tumor cells eliminated lactate-dependent metabolite labeling, confirming tumor-cell-autonomous lactate uptake. Strikingly, directly comparing lactate and glucose metabolism in vivo indicated that lactate's contribution to the TCA cycle predominates. The data indicate that tumors, including bona fide human NSCLC, can use lactate as a fuel in vivo.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
The present study investigated the immunoenhancing property of our newly designed nanovaccine, that is, its ability to induce antigen-specific immunity. This study also evaluated the synergistic effect of a novel compound PBS-44, an α-galactosylceramide analog, in boosting the immune response induced by our nanovaccine. The nanovaccine was prepared by encapsulating ovalbumin (ova) and an adjuvant within the poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) nanoparticles. Quantitative analysis of our study data showed that the encapsulated vaccine was physically and biologically stable; the core content of our nanovaccine was found to be released steadily and slowly, and nearly 90% of the core content was slowly released over the course of 25 days. The in vivo immunization studies exhibited that the nanovaccine induced stronger and longer immune responses compared to its soluble counterpart. Similarly, intranasal inhalation of the nanovaccine induced more robust antigen-specific CD8 T cell response than intraperitoneal injection of nanovaccine.
The development of biomaterials has significantly increased the potential for targeted drug delivery to a variety of cell and tissue types, including the pancreatic β-cells. In addition, biomaterial particles, hydrogels, and scaffolds also provide a unique opportunity to administer sustained, controllable drug delivery to β-cells in culture and in transplanted tissue models. These technologies allow the study of candidate β-cell proliferation factors using intact islets and a translationally relevant system. Moreover, determining the effectiveness and feasibility of candidate factors for stimulating β-cell proliferation in a culture system is critical before moving forward to in vivo models. Herein, we describe a method to co-culture intact mouse islets with biodegradable compound of interest (COI)-loaded poly(lactic-co-glycolic acid) (PLGA) microspheres for the purpose of assessing the effects of sustained in situ release of mitogenic factors on β-cell proliferation. This technique describes in detail how to generate PLGA microspheres containing a desired cargo using commercially available reagents. While the described technique uses recombinant human Connective tissue growth factor (rhCTGF) as an example, a wide variety of COI could readily be used. Additionally, this method utilizes 96-well plates to minimize the amount of reagents necessary to assess β-cell proliferation. This protocol can be readily adapted to use alternative biomaterials and other endocrine cell characteristics such as cell survival and differentiation status.
Helicobacter cinaedi is an emerging opportunistic pathogen associated with infections of diverse anatomic sites. Nevertheless, the species demonstrates fastidious axenic growth; it has been described as requiring a microaerobic atmosphere, along with a strong preference for supplemental H gas. In this context, we examined the hypothesis that in vitro growth of H. cinaedi could be enhanced by coculture with human epithelial cells. When inoculated (in Ham's F12 medium) over Caco-2 monolayers, the type strain (ATCC BAA-847) gained the ability to proliferate under H-free aerobic conditions. Identical results were observed during coculture with several other monolayer types (LS-174T, AGS, and HeLa). Under chemically defined conditions, 40 amino acids and carboxylates were screened for their effect on the organism's atmospheric requirements. Several molecules promoted H-free aerobic proliferation, although it occurred most prominently with millimolar concentrations of l-lactate. The growth response of H. cinaedi to Caco-2 cells and l-lactate was confirmed with a collection of 12 human-derived clinical strains. mRNA sequencing was next performed on the type strain under various growth conditions. In addition to providing a whole-transcriptome profile of H. cinaedi, this analysis demonstrated strong constitutive expression of the l-lactate utilization locus, as well as differential transcription of terminal respiratory proteins as a function of Caco-2 coculture and l-lactate supplementation. Overall, these findings challenge traditional views of H. cinaedi as an obligate microaerophile.
IMPORTANCE - H. cinaedi is an increasingly recognized pathogen in people with compromised immune systems. Atypical among other members of its bacterial class, H. cinaedi has been associated with infections of diverse anatomic sites. Growing H. cineadi in the laboratory is quite difficult, due in large part to the need for a specialized atmosphere. The suboptimal growth of H. cinaedi is an obstacle to clinical diagnosis, and it also limits investigation into the organism's biology. The current work shows that H. cinaedi has more flexible atmospheric requirements in the presence of host cells and a common host-derived molecule. This nutritional interplay raises new questions about how the organism behaves during human infections and provides insights for how to optimize its laboratory cultivation.
Copyright © 2016, American Society for Microbiology. All Rights Reserved.
An open-source hyperpolarizer producing (13)C hyperpolarized contrast agents using parahydrogen induced polarization (PHIP) for biomedical and other applications is presented. This PHIP hyperpolarizer utilizes an Arduino microcontroller in conjunction with a readily modified graphical user interface written in the open-source processing software environment to completely control the PHIP hyperpolarization process including remotely triggering an NMR spectrometer for efficient production of payloads of hyperpolarized contrast agent and in situ quality assurance of the produced hyperpolarization. Key advantages of this hyperpolarizer include: (i) use of open-source software and hardware seamlessly allowing for replication and further improvement as well as readily customizable integration with other NMR spectrometers or MRI scanners (i.e., this is a multiplatform design), (ii) relatively low cost and robustness, and (iii) in situ detection capability and complete automation. The device performance is demonstrated by production of a dose (∼2-3 mL) of hyperpolarized (13)C-succinate with %P13C ∼ 28% and 30 mM concentration and (13)C-phospholactate at %P13C ∼ 15% and 25 mM concentration in aqueous medium. These contrast agents are used for ultrafast molecular imaging and spectroscopy at 4.7 and 0.0475 T. In particular, the conversion of hyperpolarized (13)C-phospholactate to (13)C-lactate in vivo is used here to demonstrate the feasibility of ultrafast multislice (13)C MRI after tail vein injection of hyperpolarized (13)C-phospholactate in mice.
Metabolic reprogramming, in which altered utilization of glucose and glutamine supports rapid growth, is a hallmark of most cancers. Mutations in the oncogenes KRAS and BRAF drive metabolic reprogramming through enhanced glucose uptake, but the broader impact of these mutations on pathways of carbon metabolism is unknown. Global shotgun proteomic analysis of isogenic DLD-1 and RKO colon cancer cell lines expressing mutant and wild type KRAS or BRAF, respectively, failed to identify significant differences (at least 2-fold) in metabolic protein abundance. However, a multiplexed parallel reaction monitoring (PRM) strategy targeting 73 metabolic proteins identified significant protein abundance increases of 1.25-twofold in glycolysis, the nonoxidative pentose phosphate pathway, glutamine metabolism, and the phosphoserine biosynthetic pathway in cells with KRAS G13D mutations or BRAF V600E mutations. These alterations corresponded to mutant KRAS and BRAF-dependent increases in glucose uptake and lactate production. Metabolic reprogramming and glucose conversion to lactate in RKO cells were proportional to levels of BRAF V600E protein. In DLD-1 cells, these effects were independent of the ratio of KRAS G13D to KRAS wild type protein. A study of 8 KRAS wild type and 8 KRAS mutant human colon tumors confirmed the association of increased expression of glycolytic and glutamine metabolic proteins with KRAS mutant status. Metabolic reprogramming is driven largely by modest (<2-fold) alterations in protein expression, which are not readily detected by the global profiling methods most commonly employed in proteomic studies. The results indicate the superiority of more precise, multiplexed, pathway-targeted analyses to study functional proteome systems. Data are available through MassIVE Accession MSV000079486 at ftp://MSV000079486@massive.ucsd.edu.
© 2016 by The American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, Inc.
Liver glycogen is important for the counterregulation of hypoglycemia and is reduced in individuals with type 1 diabetes (T1D). Here, we examined the effect of varying hepatic glycogen content on the counterregulatory response to low blood sugar in dogs. During the first 4 hours of each study, hepatic glycogen was increased by augmenting hepatic glucose uptake using hyperglycemia and a low-dose intraportal fructose infusion. After hepatic glycogen levels were increased, animals underwent a 2-hour control period with no fructose infusion followed by a 2-hour hyperinsulinemic/hypoglycemic clamp. Compared with control treatment, fructose infusion caused a large increase in liver glycogen that markedly elevated the response of epinephrine and glucagon to a given hypoglycemia and increased net hepatic glucose output (NHGO). Moreover, prior denervation of the liver abolished the improved counterregulatory responses that resulted from increased liver glycogen content. When hepatic glycogen content was lowered, glucagon and NHGO responses to insulin-induced hypoglycemia were reduced. We conclude that there is a liver-brain counterregulatory axis that is responsive to liver glycogen content. It remains to be determined whether the risk of iatrogenic hypoglycemia in T1D humans could be lessened by targeting metabolic pathway(s) associated with hepatic glycogen repletion.