Smilow Center for Translational Research

Philadelphia, PA, United States

Smilow Center for Translational Research

Philadelphia, PA, United States
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Lin W.,Smilow Center for Translational Research | Vann D.R.,University of Pennsylvania | Doulias P.-T.,Children's Hospital of Philadelphia | Wang T.,Smilow Center for Translational Research | And 9 more authors.
Journal of Clinical Investigation | Year: 2017

Genetic variants at the solute carrier family 39 member 8 (SLC39A8) gene locus are associated with the regulation of wholeblood manganese (Mn) and multiple physiological traits. SLC39A8 encodes ZIP8, a divalent metal ion transporter best known for zinc transport. Here, we hypothesized that ZIP8 regulates Mn homeostasis and Mn-dependent enzymes to influence metabolism. We generated Slc39a8-inducible global-knockout (ZIP8-iKO) and liver-specific-knockout (ZIP8-LSKO) mice and observed markedly decreased Mn levels in multiple organs and whole blood of both mouse models. By contrast, liver-specific overexpression of human ZIP8 (adeno-associated virus-ZIP8 [AAV-ZIP8]) resulted in increased tissue and whole blood Mn levels. ZIP8 expression was localized to the hepatocyte canalicular membrane, and bile Mn levels were increased in ZIP8-LSKO and decreased in AAV-ZIP8 mice. ZIP8-LSKO mice also displayed decreased liver and kidney activity of the Mn-dependent enzyme arginase. Both ZIP8-iKO and ZIP8-LSKO mice had defective protein N-glycosylation, and humans homozygous for the minor allele at the lead SLC39A8 variant showed hypogalactosylation, consistent with decreased activity of another Mndependent enzyme, β-1,4-galactosyltransferase. In summary, hepatic ZIP8 reclaims Mn from bile and regulates whole-body Mn homeostasis, thereby modulating the activity of Mn-dependent enzymes. This work provides a mechanistic basis for the association of SLC39A8 with whole-blood Mn, potentially linking SLC39A8 variants with other physiological traits.

Liu L.,National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases | Liu L.,Smilow Center for Translational Research | Patel B.,National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases | Ghanem M.H.,National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases | And 6 more authors.
Journal of Virology | Year: 2015

Adoptive transfer of CD8 T cells genetically engineered to express "chimeric antigen receptors" (CARs) represents a potential approach toward an HIV infection "functional cure" whereby durable virologic suppression is sustained after discontinuation of antiretroviral therapy. We describe a novel bispecific CAR in which a CD4 segment is linked to a single-chain variable fragment of the 17b human monoclonal antibody recognizing a highly conserved CD4-induced epitope on gp120 involved in coreceptor binding. We compared a standard CD4 CAR with CD4-17b CARs where the polypeptide linker between the CD4 and 17b moieties is sufficiently long (CD4-35-17b CAR) versus too short (CD4-10-17b) to permit simultaneous binding of the two moieties to a single gp120 subunit. When transduced into a peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) or T cells thereof, all three CD4- based CARs displayed specific functional activities against HIV-1 Env-expressing target cells, including stimulation of gamma interferon (IFN-γ) release, specific target cell killing, and suppression of HIV-1 pseudovirus production. In assays of spreading infection of PBMCs with genetically diverse HIV-1 primary isolates, the CD4-10-17b CAR displayed enhanced potency compared to the CD4 CAR whereas the CD4-35-17b CAR displayed diminished potency. Importantly, both CD4-17b CARs were devoid of a major undesired activity observed with the CD4 CAR, namely, rendering the transduced CD8+ T cells susceptible to HIV-1 infection. Likely mechanisms for the superior potency of the CD4-10-17b CAR over the CD4-35-17b CAR include the greater potential of the former to engage in the serial antigen binding required for efficient T cell activation and the ability of two CD4-10-17b molecules to simultaneously bind a single gp120 subunit. IMPORTANCE: HIV research has been energized by prospects for a cure for HIV infection or, at least, for a "functional cure" whereby antiretroviral therapy can be discontinued without virus rebound. This report describes a novel CD4-based "chimeric antigen receptor" (CAR) which, when genetically engineered into T cells, gives them the capability to selectively respond to and kill HIV-infected cells. This CAR displays enhanced features compared to previously described CD4-based CARs, namely, increased potency and avoidance of the undesired rendering of the genetically modified CD8 T cells susceptible to HIV infection. When adoptively transferred back to the individual, the genetically modified T cells will hopefully provide durable killing of infected cells and sustained virus suppression without continued antiretroviral therapy, i.e., a functional cure. © 2015, American Society for Microbiology.

PubMed | Eli Lilly and Company, Smilow Center for Translational Research, Atreca Inc., Stanford University and 26 more.
Type: | Journal: Journal for immunotherapy of cancer | Year: 2016

The efficacy of PD-1/PD-L1 targeted therapies in addition to anti-CTLA-4 solidifies immunotherapy as a modality to add to the anticancer arsenal. Despite raising the bar of clinical efficacy, immunologically targeted agents raise new challenges to conventional drug development paradigms by highlighting the limited relevance of assessing standard pharmacokinetics (PK) and pharmacodynamics (PD). Specifically, systemic and intratumoral immune effects have not consistently correlated with standard relationships between systemic dose, toxicity, and efficacy for cytotoxic therapies. Hence, PK and PD paradigms remain inadequate to guide the selection of doses and schedules, both starting and recommended Phase 2 for immunotherapies. The promise of harnessing the immune response against cancer must also be considered in light of unique and potentially serious toxicities. Refining immune endpoints to better inform clinical trial design represents a high priority challenge. The Cancer Immunotherapy Trials Network investigators review the immunodynamic effects of specific classes of immunotherapeutic agents to focus immune assessment modalities and sites, both systemic and importantly intratumoral, which are critical to the success of the rapidly growing field of immuno-oncology.

Stine R.R.,Institute for Diabetes | Stine R.R.,Smilow Center for Translational Research | Shapira S.N.,Institute for Diabetes | Shapira S.N.,Smilow Center for Translational Research | And 10 more authors.
Molecular Metabolism | Year: 2016

Objective: The induction of beige/brite adipose cells in white adipose tissue (WAT) is associated with protection against high fat diet-induced obesity and insulin resistance in animals. The helix-loop-helix transcription factor Early B-Cell Factor-2 (EBF2) regulates brown adipose tissue development. Here, we asked if EBF2 regulates beige fat cell biogenesis and protects animals against obesity. Methods: In addition to primary cell culture studies, we used Ebf2 knockout mice and mice overexpressing EBF2 in the adipose tissue to study the necessity and sufficiency of EBF2 to induce beiging in vivo. Results: We found that EBF2 is required for beige adipocyte development in mice. Subcutaneous WAT or primary adipose cell cultures from Ebf2 knockout mice did not induce Uncoupling Protein 1 (UCP1) or a thermogenic program following adrenergic stimulation. Conversely, over-expression of EBF2 in adipocyte cultures induced UCP1 expression and a brown-like/beige fat-selective differentiation program. Transgenic expression of Ebf2 in adipose tissues robustly stimulated beige adipocyte development in the WAT of mice, even while housed at thermoneutrality. EBF2 overexpression was sufficient to increase mitochondrial function in WAT and protect animals against high fat diet-induced weight gain. Conclusions: Taken together, our results demonstrate that EBF2 controls the beiging process and suggest that activation of EBF2 in WAT could be used to reduce obesity. © 2015 The Authors.

Margulies K.B.,University of Pennsylvania | Margulies K.B.,Smilow Center for Translational Research | Hernandez A.F.,Duke Clinical Research Institute | Redfield M.M.,Mayo Medical School | And 12 more authors.
JAMA - Journal of the American Medical Association | Year: 2016

Importance: Abnormal cardiac metabolism contributes to the pathophysiology of advanced heart failure with reduced left ventricular ejection fraction (LVEF). Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) agonists have shown cardioprotective effects in early clinical studies of patients with advanced heart failure, irrespective of type 2 diabetes status. Objective: To test whether therapy with a GLP-1 agonist improves clinical stability following hospitalization for acute heart failure. Design, Setting, and Participants: Phase 2, double-blind, placebo-controlled randomized clinical trial of patients with established heart failure and reduced LVEF who were recently hospitalized. Patients were enrolled between August 2013 and March 2015 at 24 US sites. Interventions: The GLP-1 agonist liraglutide (n = 154) or placebo (n = 146) via a daily subcutaneous injection; study drug was advanced to a dosage of 1.8mg/d during the first 30 days as tolerated and continued for 180 days. Main Outcomes and Measures: The primary end point was a global rank score in which all patients, regardless of treatment assignment, were ranked across 3 hierarchical tiers: time to death, time to rehospitalization for heart failure, and time-averaged proportional change in N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide level from baseline to 180 days. Higher values indicate better health (stability). Exploratory secondary outcomes included primary end point components, cardiac structure and function, 6-minute walk distance, quality of life, and combined events. Results: Among the 300 patients whowere randomized (median age, 61 years [interquartile range {IQR}, 52-68 years]; 64 [21%] women; 178 [59%] with type 2 diabetes; median LVEF of 25% [IQR, 19%-33%]; median N-terminal pro-B-type natriuretic peptide level of 2049 pg/mL [IQR, 1054-4235 pg/mL]), 271 completed the study. Compared with placebo, liraglutide had no significant effect on the primary end point (mean rank of 146 for the liraglutide group vs 156 for the placebo group, P = .31). Therewere no significant between-group differences in the number of deaths (19 [12%] in the liraglutide group vs 16 [11%] in the placebo group; hazard ratio, 1.10 [95%CI, 0.57-2.14]; P = .78) or rehospitalizations for heart failure (63 [41%] vs 50 [34%], respectively; hazard ratio, 1.30 [95%CI, 0.89-1.88]; P = .17) or for the exploratory secondary end points. Prespecified subgroup analyses in patients with diabetes did not reveal any significant between-group differences. The number of investigator-reported hyperglycemic eventswas 16 (10%) in the liraglutide group vs 27 (18%) in the placebo group and hypoglycemic eventswere infrequent (2 [1%] vs 4 [3%], respectively). Conclusions and Relevance: Among patients recently hospitalized with heart failure and reduced LVEF, the use of liraglutide did not lead to greater posthospitalization clinical stability. These findings do not support the use of liraglutide in this clinical situation. © 2016 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved.

Tebas P.,University of Pennsylvania | Stein D.,Yeshiva University | Tang W.W.,Sangamo BioSciences | Frank I.,University of Pennsylvania | And 17 more authors.
New England Journal of Medicine | Year: 2014

BACKGROUND: CCR5 is the major coreceptor for human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). We investigated whether site-specific modification of the gene ("gene editing") - in this case, the infusion of autologous CD4 T cells in which the CCR5 gene was rendered permanently dysfunctional by a zinc-finger nuclease (ZFN) - is safe. METHODS: We enrolled 12 patients in an open-label, nonrandomized, uncontrolled study of a single dose of ZFN-modified autologous CD4 T cells. The patients had chronic aviremic HIV infection while they were receiving highly active antiretroviral therapy. Six of them underwent an interruption in antiretroviral treatment 4 weeks after the infusion of 10 billion autologous CD4 T cells, 11 to 28% of which were genetically modified with the ZFN. The primary outcome was safety as assessed by treatment-related adverse events. Secondary outcomes included measures of immune reconstitution and HIV resistance. RESULTS: One serious adverse event was associated with infusion of the ZFN-modified autologous CD4 T cells and was attributed to a transfusion reaction. The median CD4 T-cell count was 1517 per cubic millimeter at week 1, a significant increase from the preinfusion count of 448 per cubic millimeter (P<0.001). The median concentration of CCR5-modified CD4 T cells at 1 week was 250 cells per cubic millimeter. This constituted 8.8% of circulating peripheral-blood mononuclear cells and 13.9% of circulating CD4 T cells. Modified cells had an estimated mean half-life of 48 weeks. During treatment interruption and the resultant viremia, the decline in circulating CCR5-modified cells (-1.81 cells per day) was significantly less than the decline in unmodified cells (-7.25 cells per day) (P = 0.02). HIV RNA became undetectable in one of four patients who could be evaluated. The blood level of HIV DNA decreased in most patients. CONCLUSIONS: CCR5-modified autologous CD4 T-cell infusions are safe within the limits of this study. Copyright © 2014 Massachusetts Medical Society.

Barz C.S.,RWTH Aachen | Bessaih T.,Paris-Sorbonne University | Bessaih T.,French National Center for Scientific Research | Bessaih T.,French Institute of Health and Medical Research | And 5 more authors.
Brain Structure and Function | Year: 2016

Schizophrenic patients show altered sensory perception as well as changes in electrical and magnetic brain responses to sustained, frequency-modulated sensory stimulation. Both the amplitude and temporal precision of the neural responses differ in patients as compared to control subjects, and these changes are most pronounced for stimulation at gamma frequencies (20–40 Hz). In addition, patients display enhanced spontaneous gamma oscillations, which has been interpreted as ‘neural noise’ that may interfere with normal stimulus processing. To investigate electrophysiological markers of aberrant sensory processing in a model of schizophrenia, we recorded neuronal activity in primary somatosensory cortex of mice heterozygous for the schizophrenia susceptibility gene Neuregulin 1. Sensory responses to sustained 20–70 Hz whisker stimulation were analyzed with respect to firing rates, spike precision (phase locking) and gamma oscillations, and compared to baseline conditions. The mutants displayed elevated spontaneous firing rates, a reduced gain in sensory-evoked spiking and gamma activity, and reduced spike precision of 20–40 Hz responses. These findings present the first in vivo evidence of the linkage between a genetic marker and altered stimulus encoding, thus suggesting a novel electrophysiological endophenotype of schizophrenia. © 2014, Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg.

Armour S.M.,Harvard University | Armour S.M.,Smilow Center for Translational Research | Bennett E.J.,Harvard University | Bennett E.J.,University of California at San Diego | And 7 more authors.
Molecular and Cellular Biology | Year: 2013

Although many functions and targets have been attributed to the histone and protein deacetylase SIRT1, a comprehensive analysis of SIRT1 binding proteins yielding a high-confidence interaction map has not been established. Using a comparative statistical analysis of binding partners, we have assembled a high-confidence SIRT1 interactome. Employing this method, we identified the deubiquitinating enzyme ubiquitin-specific protease 22 (USP22), a component of the deubiquitinating module (DUBm) of the SAGA transcriptional coactivating complex, as a SIRT1-interacting partner. We found that this interaction is highly specific, requires the ZnF-UBP domain of USP22, and is disrupted by the inactivating H363Y mutation within SIRT1. Moreover, we show that USP22 is acetylated on multiple lysine residues and that alteration of a single lysine (K129) within the ZnF-UBP domain is sufficient to alter interaction of the DUBm with the core SAGA complex. Furthermore, USP22-mediated recruitment of SIRT1 activity promotes the de cetylation of individual SAGA complex components. Our results indicate an important role of SIRT1- mediated deacetylation in regulating the formation of DUBm subcomplexes within the larger SAGA complex. © 2013, American Society for Microbiology.

Khera A.V.,Massachusetts General Hospital | Qamar A.,Smilow Center for Translational Research | Qamar A.,Cardiovascular Institute | Reilly M.P.,Smilow Center for Translational Research | And 5 more authors.
American Journal of Cardiology | Year: 2015

Recent trials demonstrated substantial improvement in lipid parameters with inhibition of proprotein convertase subtilisin-like/kexin type 9 (PCSK9). Although statins and fibrates have been reported to increase plasma PCSK9 levels, the effect of niacin on PCSK9 is unknown. We investigated the impact of niacin, atorvastatin, and fenofibrate on PCSK9 levels in 3 distinct studies. A statin-only study randomized 74 hypercholesterolemic patients to placebo, atorvastatin 10 mg/day, or atorvastatin 80 mg/day for 16 weeks. A dose-related increase in PCSK9 was noted such that atorvastatin 80 mg increased PCSK9 by a mean +27% (95% confidence interval [CI] +12 to +42), confirming the effect of statin therapy on raising PCSK9. A second study randomized 70 patients with carotid atherosclerosis to simvastatin 20 mg/day, simvastatin 80 mg/day, or simvastatin 20 mg/extended-release (ER) niacin 2 g/day. PCSK9 levels were increased with statin therapy, but decreased with the simvastatin 20 mg/ER niacin combination (mean -13%, CI -3 to -23). A final study involved 19 dyslipidemic participants on atorvastatin 10 mg with serial addition of fenofibric acid 135 mg followed by ER niacin 2 g/day. Fenofibric acid led to a +23% (CI +10 to +36, p = 0.001) increase in PCSK9; the addition of niacin resulted in a subsequent -17% decrease (CI -19 to -5, p = 0.004). A positive association was noted between change in PCSK9 and low-density lipoprotein cholesterol levels (r = 0.62, p = 0.006) with the addition of niacin. In conclusion, niacin therapy offsets the increase in PCSK9 levels noted with statin and fibrate therapy. A portion of the low-density lipoprotein cholesterol reduction seen with niacin therapy may be due to reduction in PCSK9. © 2015 Elsevier Inc.

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