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Concept: Chronic granulomatous disease


Gene repair of CD34(+) hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPCs) may avoid problems associated with gene therapy, such as vector-related mutagenesis and dysregulated transgene expression. We used CRISPR (clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeat)/Cas9 (CRISPR-associated 9) to repair a mutation in the CYBB gene of CD34(+) HSPCs from patients with the immunodeficiency disorder X-linked chronic granulomatous disease (X-CGD). Sequence-confirmed repair of >20% of HSPCs from X-CGD patients restored the function of NADPH (nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide phosphate) oxidase and superoxide radical production in myeloid cells differentiated from these progenitor cells in vitro. Transplant of gene-repaired X-CGD HSPCs into NOD (nonobese diabetic) SCID (severe combined immunodeficient) γc(-/-) mice resulted in efficient engraftment and production of functional mature human myeloid and lymphoid cells for up to 5 months. Whole-exome sequencing detected no indels outside of the CYBB gene after gene correction. CRISPR-mediated gene editing of HSPCs may be applicable to other CGD mutations and other monogenic disorders of the hematopoietic system.

Concepts: Immune system, DNA, Gene, Genetics, Biotechnology, NADPH oxidase, Hematopoietic stem cell, Chronic granulomatous disease


Our previous studies identified an Fmoc-(S,R)-tryptophan-containing dipeptide derivative, , which selectively inhibited neutrophil elastase release induced by formyl-l-methionyl-l-leucyl-l-phenylalanine (FMLP) in human neutrophils. In an attempt to improve pharmacological activity, a series of tryptophan-containing dipeptides were synthesized and their pharmacological activities were investigated in human neutrophils. Of these, five compounds , , , , and exhibited potent and dual inhibitory effects on FMLP-induced superoxide anion (O2˙(-)) generation and neutrophil elastase release in neutrophils with IC50 values of 0.23/0.60, 1.88/2.47, 1.87/3.60, 0.12/0.37, and 1.32/1.03 μM, respectively. Further studies indicated that inhibition of superoxide production in human neutrophils by these dipeptides was associated with the selective inhibition of formyl peptide receptor 1 (FPR1). Furthermore, the results of structure-activity relationship studies concluded that the fragment N-benzoyl-Trp-Phe-OMe () was most suitable as a core structure for interaction with FPR1, and may be approved as a lead for the development of new drugs in the treatment of neutrophilic inflammatory diseases. As some of the synthesized compounds exhibited separable conformational isomers, and showed diverse bioactivities, the conformation analysis of these compounds is also discussed herein.

Concepts: Monocyte, Neutrophil granulocyte, Elastase, Chronic granulomatous disease, Alpha 1-antitrypsin, Conformational isomerism, Formyl peptide receptor, Neutrophil elastase


The direct effect of the four catecholamines (adrenaline, noradrenaline, dopamine and isoproterenol) on superoxide anion radicals (O2-•) was investigated. The reaction between 18-crown-6-ether and potassium superoxide in dimethylsulfoxide was used as a source of O2-•. The reactivity of catecholamines with O2-• was examined using chemiluminescence, reduction of nitroblue tetrazolium and electron paramagnetic resonance spin-trapping techniques. 5,5-Dimethyl-1-pyrroline-N-oxide was included as the spin trap. The results showed that the four catecholamines were effective and efficient in inhibiting chemiluminescence accompanying the potassium superoxide/18-crown-6-ether system in a dose-dependent manner over the range 0.05-2 mm in the following order: adrenaline > noradrenaline > dopamine > isoproterenol, with, IC(50)  = 0.15 ± 0.02 mm 0.21 ± 0.03 mm, 0.27 ± 0.03 mm and 0.50 ± 0.04 mm, respectively. The catecholamines examined also exhibited a strong scavenging effect towards O2-• when evaluated this property by the inhibition of nitroblue tetrazolium reduction (56-73% at 1 m concentration). A very similar capacity of O2-• scavenging was monitored in the 5,5-dimethyl-1-pyrroline-N-oxide spin-trapping assay. The results suggest that catecholamines tested may involve a direct effect on scavenging O2- radicals. Copyright © 2013 John Wiley & Sons, Ltd.

Concepts: Redox, NADPH oxidase, Epinephrine, Superoxide, Chronic granulomatous disease, Dopamine, Norepinephrine, Potassium superoxide


Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) patients have recurrent life-threatening bacterial and fungal infections. Olfactomedin 4 (OLFM4) is a neutrophil granule protein that negatively regulates host defense against bacterial infection. The goal of this study was to evaluate the impact of Olfm4 deletion on host defense against Staphylococcus aureus and Aspergillus fumigatus in a murine X-linked gp91phox-deficiency CGD model. We found that intracellular killing and in vivo clearance of S. aureus, as well as resistance to S. aureus sepsis, were significantly increased in gp91phox and Olfm4 double-deficient mice compared with CGD mice. The activities of cathepsin C and its downstream proteases (neutrophil elastase and cathepsin G) and serum levels of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-12p40, CXCL2, G-CSF, and GM-CSF in Olfm4-deficient as well as gp91phox and Olfm4 double-deficient mice were significantly higher than those in WT and CGD mice after challenge with S. aureus. We did not observe enhanced defense against A. fumigatus in Olfm4-deficient mice using a lung infection model. These results show that Olfm4 deletion can successfully enhance immune defense against S. aureus, but not A. fumigatus, in CGD mice. These data suggest that OLFM4 may be an important target in CGD patients for the augmentation of host defense against bacterial infection.

Concepts: Immune system, Infectious disease, Bacteria, Staphylococcus aureus, Infection, Neutrophil granulocyte, Chronic granulomatous disease, Osteomyelitis


Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is a primary immunodeficiency caused by a defect in production of phagocyte-derived reactive oxygen species, which leads to recurrent infections with a characteristic group of pathogens not previously known to include methylotrophs. Methylotrophs are versatile environmental bacteria that can use single-carbon organic compounds as their sole source of energy; they rarely cause disease in immunocompetent persons. We have identified 12 infections with methylotrophs (5 reported here, 7 previously reported) in patients with CGD. Methylotrophs identified were Granulibacter bethesdensis (9 cases), Acidomonas methanolica (2 cases), and Methylobacterium lusitanum (1 case). Two patients in Europe died; the other 10, from North and Central America, recovered after prolonged courses of antimicrobial drug therapy and, for some, surgery. Methylotrophs are emerging as disease-causing organisms in patients with CGD. For all patients, sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene was required for correct diagnosis. Geographic origin of the methylotroph strain may affect clinical management and prognosis.

Concepts: Immune system, Oxygen, Disease, Bacteria, Microbiology, Ribosomal RNA, 16S ribosomal RNA, Chronic granulomatous disease


Constitutively active neutrophil extracellular traps (NETs) and elevated plasma homocysteine are independent risk factors for Type 2 Diabetes (T2D) associated vascular diseases. Here, we show robust NETosis due to elevated plasma homocysteine levels in T2D subjects and increased components of NETs such as neutrophil elastase and cell free DNA. Cooperative NETs formation was observed in neutrophils exposed to homocysteine, IL-6 and high glucose suggesting acute temporal changes tightly regulate constitutive NETosis. Homocysteine induced NETs by NADPH oxidase dependent and independent mechanisms. Constitutively higher levels of calcium and mitochondrial superoxides under hyperglycemic conditions were further elevated in response to homocysteine leading to accelerated NETosis. Homocysteine showed robust interaction between neutrophils and platelets by inducing platelet aggregation and NETosis in an interdependent manner. Our data demonstrates that homocysteine can alter innate immune function by promoting NETs formation and disturbs homeostasis between platelets and neutrophils which may lead to T2D associated vascular diseases.

Concepts: Insulin, Diabetes mellitus type 2, Diabetes mellitus, Chemotherapy, Neutrophil granulocyte, Elastase, Chronic granulomatous disease, Homocysteine


Protein kinase RNA activated (PKR) is a crucial mediator of anti-viral responses but is reported to be activated by multiple non-viral stimuli. However, mechanisms underlying PKR activation, particularly in response to bacterial infection, remain poorly understood. We have investigated mechanisms of PKR activation in human primary monocyte-derived dendritic cells in response to infection by Chlamydia trachomatis. Infection resulted in potent activation of PKR that was dependent on TLR4 and MyD88 signalling. NADPH oxidase was dispensable for activation of PKR as cells from chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) patients, or mice that lack NADPH oxidase activity, had equivalent or elevated PKR activation. Significantly, stimulation of cells with endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress-inducing agents resulted in potent activation of PKR that was blocked by an inhibitor of IRE1α RNAse activity. Crucially, infection resulted in robust IRE1α RNAse activity that was dependent on TLR4 signalling whilst inhibition of IRE1α RNAse activity prevented PKR activation. Finally, we demonstrate that TLR4/IRE1α mediated PKR activation is required for the enhancement of interferon-β production following C. trachomatis infection. Thus, we provide evidence of a novel mechanism of PKR activation requiring ER stress signalling that occurs as a consequence of TLR4 stimulation during bacterial infection and contributes to inflammatory responses.

Concepts: Immune system, Bacteria, Endoplasmic reticulum, NADPH oxidase, Chronic granulomatous disease, Chlamydiae, Chlamydia, Chlamydia trachomatis


Invasive aspergillosis (IA) remains the primary cause of morbidity and mortality in chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) patients, often due to infection byAspergillusspecies refractory to antifungals. This motivates the search for alternative treatments, including immunotherapy. We investigated the effect of exogenous type I interferon (IFN) activation on the outcome of IA caused by threeAspergillusspecies,A. fumigatus,A. nidulans, andA. tanneri, in CGD mice. The animals were treated with poly(I):poly© carboxymethyl cellulose poly-l-lysine (PICLC), a mimetic of double-stranded RNA, 24 h preinfection and postinfection. The survival rates and lung fungal burdens were markedly improved by PICLC immunotherapy in animals infected with any one of the threeAspergillusspecies. While protection from IA was remarkable, PICLC induction of type I IFN in the lungs surged 24 h posttreatment and returned to baseline levels by 48 h, suggesting that PICLC altered early events in protection against IA. Immunophenotyping of recruited leukocytes and histopathological examination of tissue sections showed that PICLC induced similar cellular infiltrates as those in untreated-infected mice, in both cases dominated by monocytic cells and neutrophils. However, the PICLC immunotherapy resulted in a marked earlier recruitment of the leukocytes. Unlike with conidia, infection withA. nidulansgermlings reduced the protective effect of PICLC immunotherapy. Additionally, antibody depletion of neutrophils totally reversed the protection, suggesting that neutrophils are crucial for PICLC-mediated protection. Together, these data show that prophylactic PICLC immunotherapy prerecruits these cells, enabling them to attack the conidia and thus resulting in a profound protection from IA.IMPORTANCEPatients with chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) are highly susceptible to invasive aspergillosis (IA). WhileAspergillus fumigatusis the most-studiedAspergillusspecies, CGD patients often suffer IA caused byA. nidulans,A. tanneri, and other rare species. These non-fumigatus Aspergillusspecies are more resistant to antifungal drugs and cause higher fatality rates thanA. fumigatusTherefore, alternative therapies are needed to protect CGD patients. We report an effective immunotherapy of mice infected with threeAspergillusspecies via PICLC dosing. While protection from IA was long lasting, PICLC induction of type I IFN surged but quickly returned to baseline levels, suggesting that PICLC was altering early events in IA. Interestingly, we found responding immune cells to be similar between PICLC-treated and untreated-infected mice. However, PICLC immunotherapy resulted in an earlier recruitment of the leukocytes and suppressed fungal growth. This study highlights the value of type I IFN induction in CGD patients.

Concepts: Immune system, White blood cell, Monocyte, RNA, Fungus, Interferon, Neutrophil granulocyte, Chronic granulomatous disease


Tissue damage induces early recruitment of neutrophils through redox-regulated Src family kinase (SFK) signaling in neutrophils. Redox-SFK signaling in epithelium is also necessary for wound resolution and tissue regeneration. How neutrophil-mediated inflammation resolves remains unclear. In this paper, we studied the interactions between macrophages and neutrophils in response to tissue damage in zebrafish and found that macrophages contact neutrophils and induce resolution via neutrophil reverse migration. We found that redox-SFK signaling through p22phox and Yes-related kinase is necessary for macrophage wound attraction and the subsequent reverse migration of neutrophils. Importantly, macrophage-specific reconstitution of p22phox revealed that macrophage redox signaling is necessary for neutrophil reverse migration. Thus, redox-SFK signaling in adjacent tissues is essential for coordinated leukocyte wound attraction and repulsion through pathways that involve contact-mediated guidance.

Concepts: Immune system, White blood cell, Monocyte, Atherosclerosis, Macrophage, Neutrophil granulocyte, Granulocyte, Chronic granulomatous disease


The reactive-oxygen-species-(ROS)-generating-enzyme Nox2 is essential for leukocyte anti-microbial activity. However its role in cellular redox homeostasis and, consequently, in modulating intracellular signaling pathways remains unclear. Herein, we show Nox2 activation favors thioredoxin-1 (TRX-1)/p40phox interaction, which leads to exclusion of TRX-1 from the nucleus. In contrast, the genetic deficiency of Nox2 or its pharmacological inhibition with apocynin (APO) results in reductive stress after lipopolysaccharide-(LPS)-cell stimulation, which causes nuclear accumulation of TRX-1 and enhanced transcription of inflammatory mediators through nuclear-factor-(NF)-κB. The NF-κB overactivation is prevented by TRX-1 oxidation using inhibitors of thioredoxin reductase-1 (TrxR-1). The Nox2/TRX-1/NF-κB intracellular signaling pathway is involved in the pathophysiology of chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) and sepsis. In fact, TrxR-1 inhibition prevents nuclear accumulation of TRX-1 and LPS-stimulated hyperproduction of tumor-necrosis-factor-(TNF)-α by monocytes and neutrophils purified from blood of CGD patients, who have deficient Nox2 activity. TrxR-1 inhibitors, either lanthanum chloride (LaCl3) or auranofin (AUR), also increase survival rates of mice undergoing cecal-ligation-and-puncture-(CLP). Therefore, our results identify a hitherto unrecognized Nox2-mediated intracellular signaling pathway that contributes to hyperinflammation in CGD and in septic patients. Additionally, we suggest that TrxR-1 inhibitors could be potential drugs to treat patients with sepsis, particularly in those with CGD.

Concepts: Immune system, Inflammation, White blood cell, Signal transduction, Cell biology, Cell signaling, Neutrophil granulocyte, Chronic granulomatous disease