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1.
iScience ; 24(10): 103092, 2021 Oct 22.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34622147

ABSTRACT

The gut microbiota affects remote organ functions but its impact on organotypic endothelial cell (EC) transcriptomes remains unexplored. The liver endothelium encounters microbiota-derived signals and metabolites via the portal circulation. To pinpoint how gut commensals affect the hepatic sinusoidal endothelium, a magnetic cell sorting protocol, combined with fluorescence-activated cell sorting, was used to isolate hepatic sinusoidal ECs from germ-free (GF) and conventionally raised (CONV-R) mice for transcriptome analysis by RNA sequencing. This resulted in a comprehensive map of microbiota-regulated hepatic EC-specific transcriptome profiles. Gene Ontology analysis revealed that several functional processes in the hepatic endothelium were affected. The absence of microbiota influenced the expression of genes involved in cholesterol flux and angiogenesis. Specifically, genes functioning in hepatic endothelial sphingosine metabolism and the sphingosine-1-phosphate pathway showed drastically increased expression in the GF state. Our analyses reveal a prominent role for the microbiota in shaping the transcriptional landscape of the hepatic endothelium.

2.
Nat Commun ; 12(1): 4222, 2021 07 09.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34244514

ABSTRACT

The evolutionary transition towards multicellular life often involves growth in groups of undifferentiated cells followed by differentiation into soma and germ-like cells. Theory predicts that germ soma differentiation is facilitated by a convex trade-off between survival and reproduction. However, this has never been tested and these transitions remain poorly understood at the ecological and genetic level. Here, we study the evolution of cell groups in ten isogenic lines of the unicellular green algae Chlamydomonas reinhardtii with prolonged exposure to a rotifer predator. We confirm that growth in cell groups is heritable and characterized by a convex trade-off curve between reproduction and survival. Identical mutations evolve in all cell group isolates; these are linked to survival and reducing associated cell costs. Overall, we show that just 500 generations of predator selection were sufficient to lead to a convex trade-off and incorporate evolved changes into the prey genome.


Subject(s)
Biological Evolution , Chlamydomonas reinhardtii/physiology , Models, Biological , Animals , Cell Survival/physiology , Predatory Behavior , Rotifera/physiology
3.
Nature ; 594(7862): 265-270, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-34040261

ABSTRACT

Fast and reliable detection of patients with severe and heterogeneous illnesses is a major goal of precision medicine1,2. Patients with leukaemia can be identified using machine learning on the basis of their blood transcriptomes3. However, there is an increasing divide between what is technically possible and what is allowed, because of privacy legislation4,5. Here, to facilitate the integration of any medical data from any data owner worldwide without violating privacy laws, we introduce Swarm Learning-a decentralized machine-learning approach that unites edge computing, blockchain-based peer-to-peer networking and coordination while maintaining confidentiality without the need for a central coordinator, thereby going beyond federated learning. To illustrate the feasibility of using Swarm Learning to develop disease classifiers using distributed data, we chose four use cases of heterogeneous diseases (COVID-19, tuberculosis, leukaemia and lung pathologies). With more than 16,400 blood transcriptomes derived from 127 clinical studies with non-uniform distributions of cases and controls and substantial study biases, as well as more than 95,000 chest X-ray images, we show that Swarm Learning classifiers outperform those developed at individual sites. In addition, Swarm Learning completely fulfils local confidentiality regulations by design. We believe that this approach will notably accelerate the introduction of precision medicine.


Subject(s)
Blockchain , Clinical Decision-Making/methods , Confidentiality , Datasets as Topic , Machine Learning , Precision Medicine/methods , COVID-19/diagnosis , COVID-19/epidemiology , Disease Outbreaks , Female , Humans , Leukemia/diagnosis , Leukemia/pathology , Leukocytes/pathology , Lung Diseases/diagnosis , Machine Learning/trends , Male , Software , Tuberculosis/diagnosis
4.
Gastroenterology ; 160(7): 2354-2366.e11, 2021 06.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33667488

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: A large unmet therapeutic need exists in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Inhibition of interleukin (IL)-6 appears to be effective, but the therapeutic benefit of a complete IL6/IL6 receptor (IL6R) blockade is limited by profound immunosuppression. Evidence has emerged that chronic proinflammatory activity of IL6 is mainly mediated by trans-signaling via a complex of IL6 bound to soluble IL6R engaging the gp130 co-receptor without the need for membrane-bound IL6R. We have developed a decoy protein, sgp130Fc, that exclusively blocks IL6 proinflammatory trans-signaling and has shown efficacy in preclinical models of IBD, without signs of immunosuppression. METHODS: We present a 12-week, open-label, prospective phase 2a trial (FUTURE) in 16 patients with active IBD treated with the trans-signaling inhibitor olamkicept (sgp130Fc) to assess the molecular mechanisms, safety, and effectiveness of IL6 trans-signaling blockade in vivo. We performed in-depth molecular profiling at various timepoints before and after therapy induction to identify the mechanism of action of olamkicept. RESULTS: Olamkicept was well tolerated and induced clinical response in 44% and clinical remission in 19% of patients. Clinical effectiveness coincided with target inhibition (reduction of phosphorylated STAT3) and marked transcriptional changes in the inflamed mucosa. An olamkicept-specific transcriptional signature, distinguishable from remission signatures of anti-tumor necrosis factor (infliximab) or anti-integrin (vedolizumab) therapies was identified. CONCLUSIONS: Our data suggest that blockade of IL6 trans-signaling holds great promise for the therapy of IBD and should undergo full clinical development as a new immunoregulatory therapy for IBD. (EudraCT no., Nu 2016-000205-36).


Subject(s)
Colitis, Ulcerative/drug therapy , Crohn Disease/drug therapy , Interleukin-6/antagonists & inhibitors , Recombinant Fusion Proteins/pharmacology , Signal Transduction/drug effects , Adult , Aged , Colitis, Ulcerative/immunology , Crohn Disease/immunology , Female , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Prospective Studies , Receptors, Interleukin-6/metabolism , Severity of Illness Index , Treatment Outcome , Young Adult
5.
Front Immunol ; 11: 604464, 2020.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33324421

ABSTRACT

Immunophenotyping on the molecular and cellular level is a central aspect for characterization of patients with inflammatory diseases, both to better understand disease etiopathogenesis and based on this to develop diagnostic and prognostic biomarkers which allow patient stratification and tailor-made treatment strategies. Technology-driven developments have considerably expanded the range of analysis tools. Especially the analysis of adaptive immune responses, often regarded as central though mostly poorly characterized disease drivers, is a major focus of personalized medicine. The identification of the disease-relevant antigens and characterization of corresponding antigen-specific lymphocytes in individual patients benefits significantly from recent developments in cytometry by sequencing and proteomics. The aim of this workshop was to identify the important developments for state-of-the-art immunophenotyping for clinical application and precision medicine. We focused here on recent key developments in analysis of antigen-specific lymphocytes, sequencing, and proteomics approaches, their relevance in precision medicine and the discussion of the major challenges and opportunities for the future.


Subject(s)
Adaptive Immunity , B-Lymphocytes/immunology , Inflammation/immunology , T-Lymphocytes/immunology , Animals , B-Lymphocytes/metabolism , Congresses as Topic , High-Throughput Nucleotide Sequencing , Humans , Immunophenotyping , Inflammation/genetics , Inflammation/metabolism , Phenotype , Proteomics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/genetics , Receptors, Antigen, T-Cell/metabolism , T-Lymphocytes/metabolism
6.
Immunity ; 53(6): 1296-1314.e9, 2020 12 15.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33296687

ABSTRACT

Temporal resolution of cellular features associated with a severe COVID-19 disease trajectory is needed for understanding skewed immune responses and defining predictors of outcome. Here, we performed a longitudinal multi-omics study using a two-center cohort of 14 patients. We analyzed the bulk transcriptome, bulk DNA methylome, and single-cell transcriptome (>358,000 cells, including BCR profiles) of peripheral blood samples harvested from up to 5 time points. Validation was performed in two independent cohorts of COVID-19 patients. Severe COVID-19 was characterized by an increase of proliferating, metabolically hyperactive plasmablasts. Coinciding with critical illness, we also identified an expansion of interferon-activated circulating megakaryocytes and increased erythropoiesis with features of hypoxic signaling. Megakaryocyte- and erythroid-cell-derived co-expression modules were predictive of fatal disease outcome. The study demonstrates broad cellular effects of SARS-CoV-2 infection beyond adaptive immune cells and provides an entry point toward developing biomarkers and targeted treatments of patients with COVID-19.


Subject(s)
COVID-19/metabolism , Erythroid Cells/pathology , Megakaryocytes/physiology , Plasma Cells/physiology , SARS-CoV-2/physiology , Adult , Aged , Aged, 80 and over , Biomarkers , Blood Circulation , COVID-19/immunology , Cells, Cultured , Cohort Studies , Disease Progression , Female , Gene Expression Profiling , Humans , Male , Middle Aged , Proteomics , Sequence Analysis, RNA , Severity of Illness Index , Single-Cell Analysis
7.
Gastroenterology ; 159(4): 1357-1374.e10, 2020 10.
Article in English | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-32673694

ABSTRACT

BACKGROUND & AIMS: Excess and unresolved endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress in intestinal epithelial cells (IECs) promotes intestinal inflammation. Activating transcription factor 6 (ATF6) is one of the signaling mediators of ER stress. We studied the pathways that regulate ATF6 and its role for inflammation in IECs. METHODS: We performed an RNA interference screen, using 23,349 unique small interfering RNAs targeting 7783 genes and a luciferase reporter controlled by an ATF6-dependent ERSE (ER stress-response element) promoter, to identify proteins that activate or inhibit the ATF6 signaling pathway in HEK293 cells. To validate the screening results, intestinal epithelial cell lines (Caco-2 cells) were transfected with small interfering RNAs or with a plasmid overexpressing a constitutively active form of ATF6. Caco-2 cells with a CRISPR-mediated disruption of autophagy related 16 like 1 gene (ATG16L1) were used to study the effect of ATF6 on ER stress in autophagy-deficient cells. We also studied intestinal organoids derived from mice that overexpress constitutively active ATF6, from mice with deletion of the autophagy related 16 like 1 or X-Box binding protein 1 gene in IECs (Atg16l1ΔIEC or Xbp1ΔIEC, which both develop spontaneous ileitis), from patients with Crohn's disease (CD) and healthy individuals (controls). Cells and organoids were incubated with tunicamycin to induce ER stress and/or chemical inhibitors of newly identified activator proteins of ATF6 signaling, and analyzed by real-time polymerase chain reaction and immunoblots. Atg16l1ΔIEC and control (Atg16l1fl/fl) mice were given intraperitoneal injections of tunicamycin and were treated with chemical inhibitors of ATF6 activating proteins. RESULTS: We identified and validated 15 suppressors and 7 activators of the ATF6 signaling pathway; activators included the regulatory subunit of casein kinase 2 (CSNK2B) and acyl-CoA synthetase long chain family member 1 (ACSL1). Knockdown or chemical inhibition of CSNK2B and ACSL1 in Caco-2 cells reduced activity of the ATF6-dependent ERSE reporter gene, diminished transcription of the ATF6 target genes HSP90B1 and HSPA5 and reduced NF-κB reporter gene activation on tunicamycin stimulation. Atg16l1ΔIEC and or Xbp1ΔIEC organoids showed increased expression of ATF6 and its target genes. Inhibitors of ACSL1 or CSNK2B prevented activation of ATF6 and reduced CXCL1 and tumor necrosis factor (TNF) expression in these organoids on induction of ER stress with tunicamycin. Injection of mice with inhibitors of ACSL1 or CSNK2B significantly reduced tunicamycin-mediated intestinal inflammation and IEC death and expression of CXCL1 and TNF in Atg16l1ΔIEC mice. Purified ileal IECs from patients with CD had higher levels of ATF6, CSNK2B, and HSPA5 messenger RNAs than controls; early-passage organoids from patients with active CD show increased levels of activated ATF6 protein, incubation of these organoids with inhibitors of ACSL1 or CSNK2B reduced transcription of ATF6 target genes, including TNF. CONCLUSIONS: Ileal IECs from patients with CD have higher levels of activated ATF6, which is regulated by CSNK2B and HSPA5. ATF6 increases expression of TNF and other inflammatory cytokines in response to ER stress in these cells and in organoids from Atg16l1ΔIEC and Xbp1ΔIEC mice. Strategies to inhibit the ATF6 signaling pathway might be developed for treatment of inflammatory bowel diseases.


Subject(s)
Activating Transcription Factor 6/metabolism , Endoplasmic Reticulum Stress/physiology , Epithelial Cells/pathology , Ileum/metabolism , Ileum/pathology , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/metabolism , Animals , Autophagy , Caco-2 Cells , Cell Culture Techniques , HEK293 Cells , Humans , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/etiology , Inflammatory Bowel Diseases/pathology , Intestinal Mucosa/pathology , Mice , Signal Transduction
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