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Deimination of linker histones links neutrophil extracellular trap release with autoantibodies in systemic autoimmunity

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:00pm

Autoantibodies to nuclear antigens arise in human autoimmune diseases, but a unifying pathogenetic mechanism remains elusive. Recently we reported that exposure of neutrophils to inflammatory conditions induces the citrullination of core histones by peptidylarginine deiminase 4 (PAD4) and that patients with autoimmune disorders produce autoantibodies that recognize such citrullinated histones. Here we identify histone H1 as an additional substrate of PAD4, localize H1 within neutrophil extracellular traps, and detect autoantibodies to citrullinated H1 in 6% of sera from patients with systemic lupus erythematosus and Sjogren's syndrome. No preference for deiminated H1 was observed in healthy control sera and sera from patients with scleroderma or rheumatoid arthritis. We map binding to the winged helix of H1 and determine that citrulline 53 represents a key determinant of the autoantibody epitope. In addition, we quantitate RNA for H1 histone subtypes in mature human neutrophils and identify citrulline residues by liquid chromatography and tandem mass spectrometry. Our results indicate that deimination of linker histones generates new autoantibody epitopes with enhanced potential for stimulating autoreactive human B cells.-Dwivedi, N., Neeli, I., Schall, N., Wan, H., Desiderio, D. M., Csernok, E., Thompson, P. R., Dali, H., Briand, J.-P., Muller, S., Radic, M. Deimination of linker histones links neutrophil extracellular trap release with autoantibodies in systemic autoimmunity.

Mechanistic studies of protein arginine deiminase 2: evidence for a substrate-assisted mechanism

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:00pm

Citrullination, which is catalyzed by protein arginine deiminases (PADs 1-4 and 6), is a post-translational modification (PTM) that effectively neutralizes the positive charge of a guanidinium group by its replacement with a neutral urea. Given the sequence similarity of PAD2 across mammalian species and the genomic organization of the PAD2 gene, PAD2 is predicted to be the ancestral homologue of the PADs. Although PAD2 has long been known to play a role in myelination, it has only recently been linked to other cellular processes, including gene transcription and macrophage extracellular trap formation. For example, PAD2 deiminates histone H3 at R26, and this PTM leads to the increased transcription of more than 200 genes under the control of the estrogen receptor. Given that our understanding of PAD2 biology remains incomplete, we initiated mechanistic studies on this enzyme to aid the development of PAD2-specific inhibitors. Herein, we report that the substrate specificity and calcium dependence of PAD2 are similar to those of PADs 1, 3, and 4. However, unlike those isozymes, PAD2 appears to use a substrate-assisted mechanism of catalysis in which the positively charged substrate guanidinium depresses the pKa of the nucleophilic cysteine. By contrast, PADs 1, 3, and 4 use a reverse-protonation mechanism. These mechanistic differences will aid the development of isozyme-specific inhibitors.

Peptidylarginine deiminases: novel drug targets for prevention of neuronal damage following hypoxic ischemic insult (HI) in neonates.

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:00pm

Neonatal hypoxic ischaemic (HI) injury frequently causes neural impairment in surviving infants. Our knowledge of the underlying molecular mechanisms is still limited. Protein deimination is a post-translational modification caused by Ca(+2) -regulated peptidylarginine deiminases (PADs), a group of five isozymes that display tissue-specific expression and different preference for target proteins. Protein deimination results in altered protein conformation and function of target proteins, and is associated with neurodegenerative diseases, gene regulation and autoimmunity. In this study, we used the neonatal HI and HI/infection [lipopolysaccharide (LPS) stimulation] murine models to investigate changes in protein deimination. Brains showed increases in deiminated proteins, cell death, activated microglia and neuronal loss in affected brain areas at 48 h after hypoxic ischaemic insult. Upon treatment with the pan-PAD inhibitor Cl-amidine, a significant reduction was seen in microglial activation, cell death and infarct size compared with control saline or LPS-treated animals. Deimination of histone 3, a target protein of the PAD4 isozyme, was increased in hippocampus and cortex specifically upon LPS stimulation and markedly reduced following Cl-amidine treatment. Here, we demonstrate a novel role for PAD enzymes in neural impairment in neonatal HI Encephalopathy, highlighting their role as promising new candidates for drug-directed intervention in neurotrauma. Hypoxic Ischaemic Insult (HI) results in activation of peptidylarginine deiminases (PADs) because of calcium dysregulation. Target proteins undergo irreversible changes of protein bound arginine to citrulline, resulting in protein misfolding. Infection in synergy with HI causes up-regulation of TNFalpha, nuclear translocation of PAD4 and change in gene regulation as a result of histone deimination. Pharmacological PAD inhibition significantly reduced HI brain damage. Ltd on behalf of International Society for Neurochemistry.

A novel role for protein arginine deiminase 4 in pluripotency: the emerging role of citrullinated histone H1 in cellular programming.

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:00pm

Histone post-translational modifications (PTMs) alter the chromatin architecture, generating "open" and "closed" states, and these structural changes can modulate gene expression under specific cellular conditions. While methylation and acetylation are the best-characterized histone PTMs, citrullination by the protein arginine deiminases (PADs) represents another important player in this process. In addition to "fine tuning" chromatin structure at specific loci, histone citrullination can also promote rapid global chromatin decondensation during the formation of extracellular traps (ETs) in immune cells. Recent studies now show that PAD4-mediated citrullination of histone H1 at promoter elements can also promote localized chromatin decondensation in stem cells, thus regulating the pluripotent state. These observations suggest that PAD-mediated histone deimination profoundly affects chromatin structure, possibly above and beyond that of other PTMs. Additionally, these recent findings further enhance our understanding of PAD biology and the important contributions that these enzymes play in development, health, and disease.

Peptidylarginine deiminase inhibition disrupts NET formation and protects against kidney, skin and vascular disease in lupus-prone MRL/lpr mice.

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:00pm

OBJECTIVES: An imbalance between neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) formation and degradation has been described in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), potentially contributing to autoantigen externalisation, type I interferon synthesis and endothelial damage. We have demonstrated that peptidylarginine deiminase (PAD) inhibition reduces NET formation and protects against lupus-related vascular damage in the New Zealand Mixed model of lupus. However, another strategy for inhibiting NETs-knockout of NOX2-accelerates lupus in a different murine model, MRL/lpr. Here, we test the effects of PAD inhibition on MRL/lpr mice in order to clarify whether some NET inhibitory pathways may be consistently therapeutic across models of SLE.

METHODS: NET formation and autoantibodies to NETs were characterised in lupus-prone MRL/lpr mice. MRL/lpr mice were also treated with two different PAD inhibitors, Cl-amidine and the newly described BB-Cl-amidine. NET formation, endothelial function, interferon signature, nephritis and skin disease were examined in treated mice.

RESULTS: Neutrophils from MRL/lpr mice demonstrate accelerated NET formation compared with controls. MRL/lpr mice also form autoantibodies to NETs and have evidence of endothelial dysfunction. PAD inhibition markedly improves endothelial function, while downregulating the expression of type I interferon-regulated genes. PAD inhibition also reduces proteinuria and immune complex deposition in the kidneys, while protecting against skin disease.

CONCLUSIONS: PAD inhibition reduces NET formation, while protecting against lupus-related damage to the vasculature, kidneys and skin in various lupus models. The strategy by which NETs are inhibited will have to be carefully considered if human studies are to be undertaken.

Neutrophil extracellular trap-derived enzymes oxidize high-density lipoprotein: an additional proatherogenic mechanism in systemic lupus erythematosus.

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:00pm

OBJECTIVE: Oxidative stress and oxidized high-density lipoprotein (HDL) are implicated as risk factors for cardiovascular disease (CVD) in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Yet, how HDL is oxidized and rendered dysfunctional in SLE remains unclear. Neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs), the levels of which are elevated in lupus, possess oxidant-generating enzymes, including myeloperoxidase (MPO), NADPH oxidase (NOX), and nitric oxide synthase (NOS). We hypothesized that NETs mediate HDL oxidation, impairing cholesterol efflux capacity (CEC).

METHODS: Plasma MPO levels and CEC activity were examined in controls and lupus patients, and 3-chlorotyrosine (MPO specific) and 3-nitrotyrosine (derived from reactive nitrogen species) were quantified in human HDL. Multivariable linear models were used to estimate and test differences between groups. HDL was exposed to NETs from control and lupus neutrophils in the presence or absence of MPO, NOX, NOS inhibitors, and chloroquine (CQ). Murine HDL oxidation was quantified after NET inhibition in vivo.

RESULTS: SLE patients displayed higher MPO levels and diminished CEC compared to controls. SLE HDL had higher 3-nitrotyrosine and 3-chlorotyrosine content than control HDL, with site-specific oxidation signatures on apolipoprotein A-I. Experiments with human and murine NETs confirmed that chlorination was mediated by MPO and NOX, and nitration by NOS and NOX. Mice with lupus treated with the NET inhibitor Cl-amidine displayed significantly decreased HDL oxidation. CQ inhibited NET formation in vitro.

CONCLUSION: Active NOS, NOX, and MPO within NETs significantly modify HDL, rendering the lipoprotein proatherogenic. Since NET formation is enhanced in SLE, these findings support a novel role for NET-derived lipoprotein oxidation in SLE-associated CVD and identify additional proatherogenic roles of neutrophils and putative protective roles of antimalarials in autoimmunity. domain in the USA.

Protein arginine methyltransferase 5 catalyzes substrate dimethylation in a distributive fashion.

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:00pm

Protein arginine methyltransferase 5 (PRMT5) is a histone-modifying enzyme whose activity is aberrantly upregulated in various cancers and thereby contributes to a progrowth phenotype. Indeed, knockdown of PRMT5 leads to growth arrest and apoptosis, suggesting that inhibitors targeting this enzyme may have therapeutic utility in oncology. To aid the development of inhibitors targeting PRMT5, we initiated mechanistic studies geared to understand how PRMT5 selectively catalyzes the symmetric dimethylation of its substrates. Toward that end, we characterized the regiospecificity and processivity of bacterially expressed Caenorhabditis elegans PRMT5 (cPRMT5), insect cell-expressed human PRMT5 (hPRMT5), and human PRMT5 complexed with methylosome protein 50 (MEP50), i.e., the PRMT5.MEP50 complex. Our studies confirm that arginine 3 is the only site of methylation in both histone H4 and H4 tail peptide analogues and that sites distal to the site of methylation promote the efficient symmetric dimethylation of PRMT5 substrates by increasing the affinity of the monomethylated substrate for the enzyme. Additionally, we show for the first time that both cPRMT5 and the hPRMT5.MEP50 complex catalyze substrate dimethylation in a distributive manner, which is assisted by long-range interactions. Finally, our data confirm that MEP50 plays a key role in substrate recognition and activates PRMT5 activity by increasing its affinity for protein substrates. In total, our results suggest that it may be possible to allosterically inhibit PRMT5 by targeting binding pockets outside the active site.

Protein Arginine Deiminases and Associated Citrullination: Physiological Functions and Diseases Associated with Dysregulation.

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:00pm

Human proteins are subjected to more than 200 known post-translational modifications (PTMs) (e.g., phosphorylation, glycosylation, ubiquitination, S-nitrosylation, methylation, N-acetylation, and citrullination) and these PTMs can alter protein structure and function with consequent effects on the multitude of pathways necessary for maintaining the physiological homeostasis. When dysregulated, however, the enzymes that catalyze these PTMs can impact the genesis of countless diseases. In this review, we will focus on protein citrullination, a PTM catalyzed by the Protein Arginine Deiminase (PAD) family of enzymes. Specifically, we will describe the roles of the PADs in both normal human physiology and disease. The development of PAD inhibitors and their efficacy in a variety of autoimmune disorders and cancer will also be discussed.

Design, synthesis, and biological evaluation of tetrazole analogs of Cl-amidine as protein arginine deiminase inhibitors.

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:00pm

Protein arginine deiminases (PADs) catalyze the post-translational hydrolysis of arginine residues to form citrulline. This once obscure modification is now known to play a key role in the etiology of multiple autoimmune diseases (e.g., rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis, lupus, and ulcerative colitis) and in some forms of cancer. Among the five human PADs (PAD1, -2, -3, -4, and -6), it is unclear which isozyme contributes to disease pathogenesis. Toward the identification of potent, selective, and bioavailable PAD inhibitors that can be used to elucidate the specific roles of each isozyme, we describe tetrazole analogs as suitable backbone amide bond bioisosteres for the parent pan PAD inhibitor Cl-amidine. These tetrazole based analogs are highly potent and show selectivity toward particular isozymes. Importantly, one of the compounds, biphenyl tetrazole tert-butyl Cl-amidine (compound 13), exhibits enhanced cell killing in a PAD4 expressing osteosarcoma bone marrow (U2OS) cell line and can also block the formation of neutrophil extracellular traps. These bioisosteres represent an important step in our efforts to develop stable, bioavailable, and selective inhibitors for the PADs.

Inhibition of PAD4 activity is sufficient to disrupt mouse and human NET formation.

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:00pm

PAD4 has been strongly implicated in the pathogenesis of autoimmune, cardiovascular and oncological diseases through clinical genetics and gene disruption in mice. New selective PAD4 inhibitors binding a calcium-deficient form of the PAD4 enzyme have validated the critical enzymatic role of human and mouse PAD4 in both histone citrullination and neutrophil extracellular trap formation for, to our knowledge, the first time. The therapeutic potential of PAD4 inhibitors can now be explored.

Inhibiting protein arginine deiminases has antioxidant consequences.

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:00pm

Ulcerative colitis is a dynamic, idiopathic, chronic inflammatory condition that carries a high colon cancer risk. We previously showed that Cl-amidine, a small-molecule inhibitor of the protein arginine deiminases, suppresses colitis in mice. Because colitis is defined as inflammation of the colon associated with infiltration of white blood cells that release free radicals and citrullination is an inflammation-dependent process, we asked whether Cl-amidine has antioxidant properties. Here we show that colitis induced with azoxymethane via intraperitoneal injection + 2% dextran sulfate sodium in the drinking water is suppressed by Cl-amidine (also given in the drinking water). Inducible nitric oxide synthase, an inflammatory marker, was also downregulated in macrophages by Cl-amidine. Because epithelial cell DNA damage associated with colitis is at least in part a result of an oxidative burst from overactive leukocytes, we tested the hypothesis that Cl-amidine can inhibit leukocyte activation, as well as subsequent target epithelial cell DNA damage in vitro and in vivo. Results are consistent with this hypothesis, and because DNA damage is a procancerous mechanism, our data predict that Cl-amidine will not only suppress colitis, but we hypothesize that it may prevent colon cancer associated with colitis. Therapeutics.

Protein arginine deiminase 2 binds calcium in an ordered fashion: implications for inhibitor design

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:00pm

Protein arginine deiminases (PADs) are calcium-dependent histone-modifying enzymes whose activity is dysregulated in inflammatory diseases and cancer. PAD2 functions as an Estrogen Receptor (ER) coactivator in breast cancer cells via the citrullination of histone tail arginine residues at ER binding sites. Although an attractive therapeutic target, the mechanisms that regulate PAD2 activity are largely unknown, especially the detailed role of how calcium facilitates enzyme activation. To gain insights into these regulatory processes, we determined the first structures of PAD2 (27 in total), and through calcium-titrations by X-ray crystallography, determined the order of binding and affinity for the six calcium ions that bind and activate this enzyme. These structures also identified several PAD2 regulatory elements, including a calcium switch that controls proper positioning of the catalytic cysteine residue, and a novel active site shielding mechanism. Additional biochemical and mass-spectrometry-based hydrogen/deuterium exchange studies support these structural findings. The identification of multiple intermediate calcium-bound structures along the PAD2 activation pathway provides critical insights that will aid the development of allosteric inhibitors targeting the PADs.

Chemical Biology of Protein Arginine Modifications in Epigenetic Regulation

Mon, 06/15/2015 - 12:00pm

Review article on histone citrullination (arginine deimination), histone arginine methylation, and noncanonical histone arginine modifications.

UMass PCORI mammography ages 40-49 decision aid [English]

Fri, 06/12/2015 - 9:16am

This is a presentation developed as a decision aid to help consumers understand the recommendation of the US Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) that women in their 40s should learn about the benefits and harms of mammography and make their own decision, not just routinely get screened.

This decision aid was produced in 2013-2014 under research contract 1IP2PI000633 from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to the University of Massachusetts Medical School by personnel from: The University of Massachusetts Medical School, the University of Massachusetts Boston, and the Central Massachusetts Area Health Education Center.

UMass PCORI PSA decision aid [English]

Thu, 06/11/2015 - 8:38pm

This is a presentation developed as a decision aid to help consumers understand the May 2012 recommendations of the US Preventive Services Task Force against routine prostate cancer (PSA) screening and why that might be the right choice for them.

This decision aid was produced in 2013-2014 under research contract 1IP2PI000633 from the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI) to the University of Massachusetts Medical School by personnel from: The University of Massachusetts Medical School, the University of Massachusetts Boston, and the Central Massachusetts Area Health Education Center.

Vitamin D Status and Adiposity in Pediatric Malabsorption Syndromes

Thu, 06/11/2015 - 1:24pm

BACKGROUND: The combined effects of nutrient malabsorption and adiposity on vitamin D status are unclear in pediatric malabsorption syndromes.

AIM: To determine the relationship between adiposity and serum 25-hydroxyvitamin D (25(OH)D) in malabsorption disorders.

METHODS: Prepubertal children of ages 3-12 with either lactose intolerance (LI) (n = 38, age 8.61 ± 3.08, male/female 19/19), or celiac disease (CD) (n = 24) were compared to healthy controls (n = 49, age 7.95 ± 2.64, male/female 28/21). A separate cohort of combined prepubertal and pubertal subjects with inflammatory bowel disease (IBD) (n = 59, age 16.4 ± 2.2, male/female 31/27) were also compared to healthy controls (n = 116, male/female 49/67, age 14.6 ± 4.4). Vitamin D deficiency was defined as 25(OH)D of/l, overweight as body mass index (BMI) of ≥85th but <95th >percentile, and obesity as BMI ≥95th percentile.

RESULTS: Among the controls, 25(OH)D was significantly higher in the normal-weight prepubertal controls vs. the overweight/obese controls (p = 0.001), and similarly so for the combined cohort of prepubertal and pubertal controls (p = 0.031). In contrast, there was no significant difference in 25(OH)D concentration between the normal-weight vs. overweight/obese patients with LI (p = 0.335), CD (p = 0.387), and IBD (p = 0.883).

CONCLUSION: There is no association between adiposity and serum 25(OH)D in pediatric malabsorption syndromes. © 2015 S. Karger AG, Basel.

Immunity in Drosophila melanogaster--from microbial recognition to whole-organism physiology

Tue, 06/09/2015 - 1:48pm

Since the discovery of antimicrobial peptide responses 40 years ago, the fruit fly Drosophila melanogaster has proven to be a powerful model for the study of innate immunity. Early work focused on innate immune mechanisms of microbial recognition and subsequent nuclear factor-kappaB signal transduction. More recently, D. melanogaster has been used to understand how the immune response is regulated and coordinated at the level of the whole organism. For example, researchers have used this model in studies investigating interactions between the microbiota and the immune system at barrier epithelial surfaces that ensure proper nutritional and immune homeostasis both locally and systemically. In addition, studies in D. melanogaster have been pivotal in uncovering how the immune response is regulated by both endocrine and metabolic signalling systems, and how the immune response modifies these systems as part of a homeostatic circuit. In this Review, we briefly summarize microbial recognition and antiviral immunity in D. melanogaster, and we highlight recent studies that have explored the effects of organism-wide regulation of the immune response and, conversely, the effects of the immune response on organism physiology.

Differential activation of immune factors in neurons and glia contribute to individual differences in resilience/vulnerability to sleep disruption

Tue, 06/09/2015 - 1:48pm

Individuals frequently find themselves confronted with a variety of challenges that threaten their wellbeing. While some individuals face these challenges efficiently and thrive (resilient) others are unable to cope and may suffer persistent consequences (vulnerable). Resilience/vulnerability to sleep disruption may contribute to the vulnerability of individuals exposed to challenging conditions. With that in mind we exploited individual differences in a fly's ability to form short-term memory (STM) following 3 different types of sleep disruption to identify the underlying genes. Our analysis showed that in each category of flies examined, there are individuals that form STM in the face of sleep loss (resilient) while other individuals show dramatic declines in cognitive behavior (vulnerable). Molecular genetic studies revealed that Antimicrobial Peptides, factors important for innate immunity, were candidates for conferring resilience/vulnerability to sleep deprivation. Specifically, Metchnikowin (Mtk), drosocin (dro) and Attacin (Att) transcript levels seemed to be differentially increased by sleep deprivation in glia (Mtk), neurons (dro) or primarily in the head fat body (Att). Follow-up genetic studies confirmed that expressing Mtk in glia but not neurons, and expressing dro in neurons but not glia, disrupted memory while modulating sleep in opposite directions. These data indicate that various factors within glia or neurons can contribute to individual differences in resilience/vulnerability to sleep deprivation.

Involvement of Nod2 in the innate immune response elicited by malarial pigment hemozoin

Tue, 06/09/2015 - 1:48pm

In malaria, the evidence concerning the nucleotide-binding, oligomerization domain (NOD) 2 (NOD2) receptor is fragmented and the stimuli that might activate NOD2 are not well characterized. We investigated the role of NOD2 in vitro in the response of macrophages to Plasmodium falciparum products. Immortalized or primary bone marrow derived macrophages from wild type C57Bl/6 mice, or knockout mice for NOD2 or its adaptor proteins, were either primed with interferon gamma or left untreated, and stimulated with parasite products. Both lysates of infected erythrocytes or hemozoin induced higher levels of nitric oxide in primed than in unprimed wild type macrophages. When stimulated with hemozoin, primed macrophages knockout for NOD2, or for its adaptor proteins, produced significantly lower nitric oxide levels compared to wild type cells. Differently from hemozoin, the use of beta-hematin (synthetic hemozoin) as stimulus showed that NOD2 is dispensable. Furthermore, the production of inflammatory cytokines by wild type cells treated with hemozoin was not dependent on NOD2. These data indicate that parasite components present in the hemozoin, differently from beta-hematin, induce the production of nitric oxide through the activation of NOD2, whereas the production of inflammatory cytokines, like TNF-alpha or MIP-2 (CXCL2), seems to be NOD2 independent. reserved.

Identification of Aim2 as a sensor for DNA vaccines

Tue, 06/09/2015 - 1:48pm

Recent human study data have re-established the value of DNA vaccines, especially in priming high-level Ag-specific Ab responses, but also raised questions about the mechanisms responsible for such effects. Whereas previous reports have shown involvement of downstream signaling molecules in the innate immune system, the current study investigated the role of absent in melanoma 2 (Aim2) as a sensor for DNA vaccines. The Aim2 inflammasome directs maturation of the proinflammatory cytokines IL-1beta and IL-18 and an inflammatory form of cell death called pyroptosis. Both the humoral and cellular Ag-specific adaptive responses were significantly reduced in Aim2-deficient mice in an IL-1beta/IL-18-independent manner after DNA vaccination. Surprisingly, Aim2-deficient mice also exhibited significantly lower levels of IFN-alpha/beta at the site of injection. These results indicate a previously unreported link between DNA vaccine-induced pyroptotic cell death and vaccine immunogenicity that is instrumental in shaping the Ag-specific immune response to DNA vaccines.