Subglutinol A (1) is an immunosuppressive natural product isolated from Fusarium subglutinans, an endophytic fungus from the vine Tripterygium wilfordii. We show that 1 exerts multimodal immune-suppressive effects on activated T cells in vitro: subglutinol A (1) effectively blocks T cell proliferation and survival while profoundly inhibiting pro-inflammatory IFN? and IL-17 production by fully differentiated effector Th1 and Th17 cells. Our data further reveal that 1 may exert its anti-inflammatory effects by exacerbating mitochondrial damage in T cells. Additionally, we demonstrate that 1 significantly reduces lymphocytic infiltration into the footpad and ameliorates footpad swelling in the mouse model of Th1-driven delayed-type hypersensitivity. These results suggest the potential of 1 as a novel therapeutic for inflammatory diseases.
CD8+ cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) have potent antitumor activity and therefore are leading candidates for use in tumor immunotherapy. The application of CTLs for clinical use has been limited by the susceptibility of ex vivo-expanded CTLs to become dysfunctional in response to immunosuppressive microenvironments. Here, we developed a microRNA-targeting (miRNA-targeting) approach that augments CTL cytotoxicity and preserves immunocompetence. Specifically, we screened for miRNAs that modulate cytotoxicity and identified miR-23a as a strong functional repressor of the transcription factor BLIMP-1, which promotes CTL cytotoxicity and effector cell differentiation. In a cohort of advanced lung cancer patients, miR-23a was upregulated in tumor-infiltrating CTLs, and expression correlated with impaired antitumor potential of patient CTLs. We determined that tumor-derived TGF-? directly suppresses CTL immune function by elevating miR-23a and downregulating BLIMP-1. Functional blocking of miR-23a in human CTLs enhanced granzyme B expression, and in mice with established tumors, immunotherapy with just a small number of tumor-specific CTLs in which miR-23a was inhibited robustly hindered tumor progression. Together, our findings provide a miRNA-based strategy that subverts the immunosuppression of CTLs that is often observed during adoptive cell transfer tumor immunotherapy and identify a TGF-?-mediated tumor immune-evasion pathway.
The effect of leucine-rich repeat kinase 2 (LRRK2) mutation I2020T on its kinase activity has been controversial, with both increased and decreased effects being reported. We conducted steady-state and pre-steady-state kinetic studies on LRRKtide and its analog LRRKtide(S). Their phosphorylation differs by the rate-limiting steps: product release is rate-limiting for LRRKtide and phosphoryl transfer is rate-limiting for LRRKtide(S). As a result, we observed that the I2020T mutant is more active than wild type (WT) LRRK2 for LRRKtide(S) phosphorylation, whereas it is less active than WT for LRRKtide phosphorylation. Our pre-steady-state kinetic data suggest that (i) the I2020T mutant accelerates the rates of phosphoryl transfer of both reactions by 3-7-fold; (ii) this increase is masked by a rate-limiting product release step for LRRKtide phosphorylation; and (iii) the observed lower activity of the mutant for LRRKtide phosphorylation is a consequence of its instability: the concentration of the active form of the mutant is 3-fold lower than WT. The I2020T mutant has a dramatically low KATP and therefore leads to resistance to ATP competitive inhibitors. Two well known DFG-out or type II inhibitors are also weaker toward the mutant because they inhibit the mutant in an unexpected ATP competitive mechanism. The I2020 residue lies next to the DYG motif of the activation loop of the LRRK2 kinase domain. Our modeling and metadynamic simulations suggest that the I2020T mutant stabilizes the DYG-in active conformation and creates an unusual allosteric pocket that can bind type II inhibitors but in an ATP competitive fashion.
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