Publications by authors named "Brent S McKenzie"

43 Publications

Genetic inactivation of RIP1 kinase activity in rats protects against ischemic brain injury.

Cell Death Dis 2021 Apr 7;12(4):379. Epub 2021 Apr 7.

Department of Neuroscience, Genentech, South San Francisco, 94080, CA, USA.

RIP1 kinase-mediated inflammatory and cell death pathways have been implicated in the pathology of acute and chronic disorders of the nervous system. Here, we describe a novel animal model of RIP1 kinase deficiency, generated by knock-in of the kinase-inactivating RIP1(D138N) mutation in rats. Homozygous RIP1 kinase-dead (KD) rats had normal development, reproduction and did not show any gross phenotypes at baseline. However, cells derived from RIP1 KD rats displayed resistance to necroptotic cell death. In addition, RIP1 KD rats were resistant to TNF-induced systemic shock. We studied the utility of RIP1 KD rats for neurological disorders by testing the efficacy of the genetic inactivation in the transient middle cerebral artery occlusion/reperfusion model of brain injury. RIP1 KD rats were protected in this model in a battery of behavioral, imaging, and histopathological endpoints. In addition, RIP1 KD rats had reduced inflammation and accumulation of neuronal injury biomarkers. Unbiased proteomics in the plasma identified additional changes that were ameliorated by RIP1 genetic inactivation. Together these data highlight the utility of the RIP1 KD rats for target validation and biomarker studies for neurological disorders.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41419-021-03651-6DOI Listing
April 2021

NINJ1 mediates plasma membrane rupture during lytic cell death.

Nature 2021 Mar 20;591(7848):131-136. Epub 2021 Jan 20.

Department of Physiological Chemistry, Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, CA, USA.

Plasma membrane rupture (PMR) is the final cataclysmic event in lytic cell death. PMR releases intracellular molecules known as damage-associated molecular patterns (DAMPs) that propagate the inflammatory response. The underlying mechanism of PMR, however, is unknown. Here we show that the cell-surface NINJ1 protein, which contains two transmembrane regions, has an essential role in the induction of PMR. A forward-genetic screen of randomly mutagenized mice linked NINJ1 to PMR. Ninj1 macrophages exhibited impaired PMR in response to diverse inducers of pyroptotic, necrotic and apoptotic cell death, and were unable to release numerous intracellular proteins including HMGB1 (a known DAMP) and LDH (a standard measure of PMR). Ninj1 macrophages died, but with a distinctive and persistent ballooned morphology, attributable to defective disintegration of bubble-like herniations. Ninj1 mice were more susceptible than wild-type mice to infection with Citrobacter rodentium, which suggests a role for PMR in anti-bacterial host defence. Mechanistically, NINJ1 used an evolutionarily conserved extracellular domain for oligomerization and subsequent PMR. The discovery of NINJ1 as a mediator of PMR overturns the long-held idea that cell death-related PMR is a passive event.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-021-03218-7DOI Listing
March 2021

Integration of innate immune signalling by caspase-8 cleavage of N4BP1.

Nature 2020 11 24;587(7833):275-280. Epub 2020 Sep 24.

Department of Physiological Chemistry, Genentech, South San Francisco, CA, USA.

Mutations in the death receptor FAS or its ligand FASL cause autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome, whereas mutations in caspase-8 or its adaptor FADD-which mediate cell death downstream of FAS and FASL-cause severe immunodeficiency in addition to autoimmune lymphoproliferative syndrome. Mouse models have corroborated a role for FADD-caspase-8 in promoting inflammatory responses, but the mechanisms that underlie immunodeficiency remain undefined. Here we identify NEDD4-binding protein 1 (N4BP1) as a suppressor of cytokine production that is cleaved and inactivated by caspase-8. N4BP1 deletion in mice increased the production of select cytokines upon stimulation of the Toll-like receptor (TLR)1-TLR2 heterodimer (referred to herein as TLR1/2), TLR7 or TLR9, but not upon engagement of TLR3 or TLR4. N4BP1 did not suppress TLR3 or TLR4 responses in wild-type macrophages, owing to TRIF- and caspase-8-dependent cleavage of N4BP1. Notably, the impaired production of cytokines in response to TLR3 and TLR4 stimulation of caspase-8-deficient macrophages was largely rescued by co-deletion of N4BP1. Thus, the persistence of intact N4BP1 in caspase-8-deficient macrophages impairs their ability to mount robust cytokine responses. Tumour necrosis factor (TNF), like TLR3 or TLR4 agonists, also induced caspase-8-dependent cleavage of N4BP1, thereby licensing TRIF-independent TLRs to produce higher levels of inflammatory cytokines. Collectively, our results identify N4BP1 as a potent suppressor of cytokine responses; reveal N4BP1 cleavage by caspase-8 as a point of signal integration during inflammation; and offer an explanation for immunodeficiency caused by mutations of FADD and caspase-8.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2796-5DOI Listing
November 2020

The kinase IRAK4 promotes endosomal TLR and immune complex signaling in B cells and plasmacytoid dendritic cells.

Sci Signal 2020 06 2;13(634). Epub 2020 Jun 2.

Research, Genentech, 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.

The dysregulation of multiple signaling pathways, including those through endosomal Toll-like receptors (TLRs), Fc gamma receptors (FcγR), and antigen receptors in B cells (BCR), promote an autoinflammatory loop in systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Here, we used selective small-molecule inhibitors to assess the regulatory roles of interleukin-1 receptor (IL-1R)-associated kinase 4 (IRAK4) and Bruton's tyrosine kinase (BTK) in these pathways. The inhibition of IRAK4 repressed SLE immune complex- and TLR7-mediated activation of human plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs). Correspondingly, the expression of interferon (IFN)-responsive genes (IRGs) in cells and in mice was positively regulated by the kinase activity of IRAK4. Both IRAK4 and BTK inhibition reduced the TLR7-mediated differentiation of human memory B cells into plasmablasts. TLR7-dependent inflammatory responses were differentially regulated by IRAK4 and BTK by cell type: In pDCs, IRAK4 positively regulated NF-κB and MAPK signaling, whereas in B cells, NF-κB and MAPK pathways were regulated by both BTK and IRAK4. In the pristane-induced lupus mouse model, inhibition of IRAK4 reduced the expression of IRGs during disease onset. Mice engineered to express kinase-deficient IRAK4 were protected from both chemical (pristane-induced) and genetic (NZB/W_F1 hybrid) models of lupus development. Our findings suggest that kinase inhibitors of IRAK4 might be a therapeutic in patients with SLE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scisignal.aaz1053DOI Listing
June 2020

Discovery of Potent Benzolactam IRAK4 Inhibitors with Robust in Vivo Activity.

ACS Med Chem Lett 2020 Mar 11;11(3):327-333. Epub 2019 Nov 11.

Genentech, Inc., One DNA Way, South San Francisco, California 94080, United States.

IRAK4 kinase activity transduces signaling from multiple IL-1Rs and TLRs to regulate cytokines and chemokines implicated in inflammatory diseases. As such, there is high interest in identifying selective IRAK4 inhibitors for the treatment of these disorders. We previously reported the discovery of potent and selective dihydrobenzofuran inhibitors of IRAK4. Subsequent studies, however, showed inconsistent inhibition in disease-relevant pharmacodynamic models. Herein, we describe application of a human whole blood assay to the discovery of a series of benzolactam IRAK4 inhibitors. We identified potent molecule that achieves robust in vivo inhibition of cytokines relevant to human disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsmedchemlett.9b00380DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7073891PMC
March 2020

RIP1 kinase activity is critical for skin inflammation but not for viral propagation.

J Leukoc Biol 2020 06 27;107(6):941-952. Epub 2020 Jan 27.

Early Discovery Biochemistry, Genentech, South San Francisco, California, USA.

Receptor interacting protein kinase 1 (RIP1) is a critical effector of inflammatory responses and cell death activation. Cell death pathways regulated by RIP1 include caspase-dependent apoptosis and caspase-independent necroptosis. The kinase activity of RIP1 has been associated with a number of inflammatory, neurodegenerative, and oncogenic diseases. In this study, we use the RIP1 kinase inhibitor GNE684 to demonstrate that RIP1 inhibition can effectively block skin inflammation and immune cell infiltrates in livers of Sharpin mutant (Cpdm; chronic proliferative dermatitis) mice in an interventional setting, after disease onset. On the other hand, genetic inactivation of RIP1 (RIP1 KD) or ablation of RIP3 (RIP3 KO) or MLKL (MLKL KO) did not affect testicular pathology of aging male mice. Likewise, infection with vaccinia virus or with mouse gammaherpesvirus MHV68 resulted in similar viral clearance in wild-type, RIP1 KD, and RIP3 KO mice. In summary, this study highlights the benefits of inhibiting RIP1 in skin inflammation, as opposed to its lack of relevance for testicular longevity and the response to certain viral infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/JLB.3MA1219-398RDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7317411PMC
June 2020

RIP1 inhibition blocks inflammatory diseases but not tumor growth or metastases.

Cell Death Differ 2020 01 17;27(1):161-175. Epub 2019 May 17.

Department of Early Discovery Biochemistry, Genentech, 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA, 94080, USA.

The kinase RIP1 acts in multiple signaling pathways to regulate inflammatory responses and it can trigger both apoptosis and necroptosis. Its kinase activity has been implicated in a range of inflammatory, neurodegenerative, and oncogenic diseases. Here, we explore the effect of inhibiting RIP1 genetically, using knock-in mice that express catalytically inactive RIP1 D138N, or pharmacologically, using the murine-potent inhibitor GNE684. Inhibition of RIP1 reduced collagen antibody-induced arthritis, and prevented skin inflammation caused by mutation of Sharpin, or colitis caused by deletion of Nemo from intestinal epithelial cells. Conversely, inhibition of RIP1 had no effect on tumor growth or survival in pancreatic tumor models driven by mutant Kras, nor did it reduce lung metastases in a B16 melanoma model. Collectively, our data emphasize a role for the kinase activity of RIP1 in certain inflammatory disease models, but question its relevance to tumor progression and metastases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41418-019-0347-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7206119PMC
January 2020

Development of Potent and Selective Pyrazolopyrimidine IRAK4 Inhibitors.

J Med Chem 2019 07 24;62(13):6223-6240. Epub 2019 May 24.

Genentech, Inc. , One DNA Way , South San Francisco , California 94080 , United States.

A series of pyrazolopyrimidine inhibitors of IRAK4 were developed from a high-throughput screen (HTS). Modification of an HTS hit led to a series of bicyclic heterocycles with improved potency and kinase selectivity but lacking sufficient solubility to progress in vivo. Structure-based drug design, informed by cocrystal structures with the protein and small-molecule crystal structures, yielded a series of dihydrobenzofurans. This semisaturated bicycle provided superior druglike properties while maintaining excellent potency and selectivity. Improved physicochemical properties allowed for progression into in vivo experiments, where lead molecules exhibited low clearance and showed target-based inhibition of IRAK4 signaling in an inflammation-mediated PK/PD mouse model.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.9b00439DOI Listing
July 2019

Inflammatory Bowel Disease Susceptibility Gene Regulates Intestinal Epithelial Permeability.

Immunohorizons 2018 05 30;2(5):164-171. Epub 2018 May 30.

Department of Immunology Discovery, Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, CA 94080;

Intestinal epithelial cells form a physical barrier that is tightly regulated to control intestinal permeability. Proinflammatory cytokines, such as TNF-α, increase epithelial permeability through disruption of epithelial junctions. The regulation of the epithelial barrier in inflammatory gastrointestinal disease remains to be fully characterized. In this article, we show that the human inflammatory bowel disease genetic susceptibility gene plays a key role in regulating gut epithelial permeability. C1ORF106 directly interacts with cytohesins to maintain functional epithelial cell junctions. -deficient mice are hypersensitive to TNF-α-induced increase in epithelial permeability, and this is associated with increased diarrhea. This study identifies C1ORF106 as an epithelial cell junction protein, and the loss of C1ORF106 augments TNF-α-induced intestinal epithelial leakage and diarrhea that may play a critical role in the development of inflammatory bowel disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/immunohorizons.1800027DOI Listing
May 2018

Lung-restricted inhibition of Janus kinase 1 is effective in rodent models of asthma.

Sci Transl Med 2018 11;10(468)

Department of Immunology Discovery, Genentech, 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.

Preclinical and clinical evidence indicates that a subset of asthma is driven by type 2 cytokines such as interleukin-4 (IL-4), IL-5, IL-9, and IL-13. Additional evidence predicts pathogenic roles for IL-6 and type I and type II interferons. Because each of these cytokines depends on Janus kinase 1 (JAK1) for signal transduction, and because many of the asthma-related effects of these cytokines manifest in the lung, we hypothesized that lung-restricted JAK1 inhibition may confer therapeutic benefit. To test this idea, we synthesized iJak-381, an inhalable small molecule specifically designed for local JAK1 inhibition in the lung. In pharmacodynamic models, iJak-381 suppressed signal transducer and activator of transcription 6 activation by IL-13. Furthermore, iJak-381 suppressed ovalbumin-induced lung inflammation in both murine and guinea pig asthma models and improved allergen-induced airway hyperresponsiveness in mice. In a model driven by human allergens, iJak-381 had a more potent suppressive effect on neutrophil-driven inflammation compared to systemic corticosteroid administration. The inhibitor iJak-381 reduced lung pathology, without affecting systemic Jak1 activity in rodents. Our data show that local inhibition of Jak1 in the lung can suppress lung inflammation without systemic Jak inhibition in rodents, suggesting that this strategy might be effective for treating asthma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.aao2151DOI Listing
November 2018

Micro-CT imaging and structural analysis of glomeruli in a model of Adriamycin-induced nephropathy.

Am J Physiol Renal Physiol 2019 01 26;316(1):F76-F89. Epub 2018 Sep 26.

Biomedical Imaging, Genentech, South San Francisco, California.

Glomeruli number and size are important for determining the pathogenesis of glomerular disease, chronic kidney disease, and hypertension. Moreover, renal injury can occur in specific cortical layers and alter glomerular spatial distribution. In this study, we present a comprehensive structural analysis of glomeruli in a model of Adriamycin (doxorubicin) nephropathy. Glomeruli are imaged (micro-CT at 10 × 10 × 10 μm) in kidney specimens from C57Bl/6 mouse cohorts: control treated with saline ( n = 9) and Adriamycin treated with 20 mg/kg Adriamycin ( n = 7). Several indices were examined, including glomerular number, glomerular volume, glomerular volume heterogeneity, and spatial density at each glomerulus and in each cortical layer (superficial, midcortical, and juxtamedullary). In the Adriamycin-treated animals, glomerular number decreased significantly in the left kidney [control: 8,298 ± 221, Adriamycin: 6,781 ± 630 (mean ± SE)] and right kidney (control: 7,317 ± 367, Adriamycin: 5,522 ± 508), and glomerular volume heterogeneity increased significantly in the left kidney (control: 0.642 ± 0.015, Adriamycin: 0.786 ± 0.018) and right kidney (control: 0.739 ± 0.016, Adriamycin: 0.937 ± 0.023). Glomerular spatial density was not affected. Glomerular volume heterogeneity increased significantly in the superficial and midcortical layers of the Adriamycin cohort. Adriamycin did not affect glomerular volume or density metrics in the juxtamedullary region, suggesting a compensatory mechanism of juxtamedullary glomeruli to injury in the outer cortical layers. Left/right asymmetry was observed in kidney size and various glomeruli metrics. The methods presented here can be used to evaluate renal disease models with subtle changes in glomerular endowment locally or across the entire kidney, and they provide an imaging tool to investigate diverse interventions and therapeutic drugs.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1152/ajprenal.00331.2018DOI Listing
January 2019

Discovery of GDC-0853: A Potent, Selective, and Noncovalent Bruton's Tyrosine Kinase Inhibitor in Early Clinical Development.

J Med Chem 2018 03 23;61(6):2227-2245. Epub 2018 Feb 23.

Genentech, Inc. , 1 DNA Way , South San Francisco , California 94080 , United States.

Bruton's tyrosine kinase (Btk) is a nonreceptor cytoplasmic tyrosine kinase involved in B-cell and myeloid cell activation, downstream of B-cell and Fcγ receptors, respectively. Preclinical studies have indicated that inhibition of Btk activity might offer a potential therapy in autoimmune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus. Here we disclose the discovery and preclinical characterization of a potent, selective, and noncovalent Btk inhibitor currently in clinical development. GDC-0853 (29) suppresses B cell- and myeloid cell-mediated components of disease and demonstrates dose-dependent activity in an in vivo rat model of inflammatory arthritis. It demonstrates highly favorable safety, pharmacokinetic (PK), and pharmacodynamic (PD) profiles in preclinical and Phase 2 studies ongoing in patients with rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, and chronic spontaneous urticaria. On the basis of its potency, selectivity, long target residence time, and noncovalent mode of inhibition, 29 has the potential to be a best-in-class Btk inhibitor for a wide range of immunological indications.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acs.jmedchem.7b01712DOI Listing
March 2018

NF-κB inducing kinase is a therapeutic target for systemic lupus erythematosus.

Nat Commun 2018 01 12;9(1):179. Epub 2018 Jan 12.

Department of Immunology Discovery, Genentech, 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA-94080, USA.

NF-κB-inducing kinase (NIK) mediates non-canonical NF-κB signaling downstream of multiple TNF family members, including BAFF, TWEAK, CD40, and OX40, which are implicated in the pathogenesis of systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE). Here, we show that experimental lupus in NZB/W F1 mice can be treated with a highly selective and potent NIK small molecule inhibitor. Both in vitro as well as in vivo, NIK inhibition recapitulates the pharmacological effects of BAFF blockade, which is clinically efficacious in SLE. Furthermore, NIK inhibition also affects T cell parameters in the spleen and proinflammatory gene expression in the kidney, which may be attributable to inhibition of OX40 and TWEAK signaling, respectively. As a consequence, NIK inhibition results in improved survival, reduced renal pathology, and lower proteinuria scores. Collectively, our data suggest that NIK inhibition is a potential therapeutic approach for SLE.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-017-02672-0DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5766581PMC
January 2018

TPL2 kinase action and control of inflammation.

Pharmacol Res 2018 03 26;129:188-193. Epub 2017 Nov 26.

Genentech Research, Genentech Inc., 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA, 94080, USA. Electronic address:

Tumor progression locus 2 (TPL2, also known as COT or MAP3K8) is a mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MAP3K) activated downstream of TNFαR, IL1R, TLR, CD40, IL17R, and some GPCRs. TPL2 regulates the MEK1/2 and ERK1/2 pathways to regulate a cascade of inflammatory responses. In parallel to this, TPL2 also activates p38α and p38δ to drive the production of various inflammatory mediators in neutrophils. We discuss the implications of this finding in the context of various inflammatory diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.phrs.2017.11.031DOI Listing
March 2018

Ubiquilin1 promotes antigen-receptor mediated proliferation by eliminating mislocalized mitochondrial proteins.

Elife 2017 09 21;6. Epub 2017 Sep 21.

Department of Infectious Disease, Genentech, South San Francisco, United States.

Ubiquilins (Ubqlns) are a family of ubiquitin receptors that promote the delivery of hydrophobic and aggregated ubiquitinated proteins to the proteasome for degradation. We carried out a proteomic analysis of a B cell lymphoma-derived cell line, BJAB, that requires UBQLN1 for survival to identify UBQLN1 client proteins. When UBQLN1 expression was acutely inhibited, 120 mitochondrial proteins were enriched in the cytoplasm, suggesting that the accumulation of mitochondrial client proteins in the absence of UBQLN1 is cytostatic. Using a mouse strain, we found that B cell receptor (BCR) ligation of B cells led to a defect in cell cycle entry. As in BJAB cells, mitochondrial proteins accumulated in BCR-stimulated cells, leading to protein synthesis inhibition and cell cycle block. Thus, UBQLN1 plays an important role in clearing mislocalized mitochondrial proteins upon cell stimulation, and its absence leads to suppression of protein synthesis and cell cycle arrest.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.7554/eLife.26435DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5608509PMC
September 2017

The kinase TPL2 activates ERK and p38 signaling to promote neutrophilic inflammation.

Sci Signal 2017 Apr 18;10(475). Epub 2017 Apr 18.

Genentech Research, Genentech Inc., 1 DNA Way, South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.

Tumor progression locus 2 (TPL2; also known as MAP3K8) is a mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) kinase kinase (MAP3K) that phosphorylates the MAPK kinases MEK1 and MEK2 (MEK1/2), which, in turn, activate the MAPKs extracellular signal-regulated kinase 1 (ERK1) and ERK2 (ERK1/2) in macrophages stimulated through the interleukin-1 receptor (IL-1R), Toll-like receptors (TLRs), or the tumor necrosis factor receptor (TNFR). We describe a conserved and critical role for TPL2 in mediating the effector functions of neutrophils through the activation of the p38 MAPK signaling pathway. Gene expression profiling and functional studies of neutrophils and monocytes revealed a MEK1/2-independent branch point downstream of TPL2 in neutrophils. Biochemical analyses identified the MAPK kinases MEK3 and MEK6 and the MAPKs p38α and p38δ as downstream effectors of TPL2 in these cells. Genetic ablation of the catalytic activity of TPL2 or therapeutic intervention with a TPL2-specific inhibitor reduced the production of inflammatory mediators by neutrophils in response to stimulation with the TLR4 agonist lipopolysaccharide (LPS) in vitro, as well as in rodent models of inflammatory disease. Together, these data suggest that TPL2 is a drug target that activates not only MEK1/2-dependent but also MEK3/6-dependent signaling to promote inflammatory responses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scisignal.aah4273DOI Listing
April 2017

Therapeutic Targeting of the G-CSF Receptor Reduces Neutrophil Trafficking and Joint Inflammation in Antibody-Mediated Inflammatory Arthritis.

J Immunol 2016 12 2;197(11):4392-4402. Epub 2016 Nov 2.

CSL Ltd., Bio21 Institute, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia.

G-CSF is a hemopoietic growth factor that has a role in steady state granulopoiesis, as well as in mature neutrophil activation and function. G-CSF- and G-CSF receptor-deficient mice are profoundly protected in several models of rheumatoid arthritis, and Ab blockade of G-CSF also protects against disease. To further investigate the actions of blocking G-CSF/G-CSF receptor signaling in inflammatory disease, and as a prelude to human studies of the same approach, we developed a neutralizing mAb to the murine G-CSF receptor, which potently antagonizes binding of murine G-CSF and thereby inhibits STAT3 phosphorylation and G-CSF receptor signaling. Anti-G-CSF receptor rapidly halted the progression of established disease in collagen Ab-induced arthritis in mice. Neutrophil accumulation in joints was inhibited, without rendering animals neutropenic, suggesting an effect of G-CSF receptor blockade on neutrophil homing to inflammatory sites. Consistent with this, neutrophils in the blood and arthritic joints of anti-G-CSF receptor-treated mice showed alterations in cell adhesion receptors, with reduced CXCR2 and increased CD62L expression. Furthermore, blocking neutrophil trafficking with anti-G-CSF receptor suppressed local production of proinflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6) and chemokines (KC, MCP-1) known to drive tissue damage. Differential gene expression analysis of joint neutrophils showed a switch away from an inflammatory phenotype following anti-G-CSF receptor therapy in collagen Ab-induced arthritis. Importantly, G-CSF receptor blockade did not adversely affect viral clearance during influenza infection in mice. To our knowledge, we describe for the first time the effect of G-CSF receptor blockade in a therapeutic model of inflammatory joint disease and provide support for pursuing this therapeutic approach in treating neutrophil-associated inflammatory diseases.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.1600121DOI Listing
December 2016

GM-CSF primes cardiac inflammation in a mouse model of Kawasaki disease.

J Exp Med 2016 09 5;213(10):1983-98. Epub 2016 Sep 5.

The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Melbourne, Victoria 3052, Australia Department of Medical Biology, University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Victoria 3052, Australia Rheumatology Unit, The Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Victoria 3050, Australia

Kawasaki disease (KD) is the leading cause of pediatric heart disease in developed countries. KD patients develop cardiac inflammation, characterized by an early infiltrate of neutrophils and monocytes that precipitates coronary arteritis. Although the early inflammatory processes are linked to cardiac pathology, the factors that regulate cardiac inflammation and immune cell recruitment to the heart remain obscure. In this study, using a mouse model of KD (induced by a cell wall Candida albicans water-soluble fraction [CAWS]), we identify an essential role for granulocyte/macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) in orchestrating these events. GM-CSF is rapidly produced by cardiac fibroblasts after CAWS challenge, precipitating cardiac inflammation. Mechanistically, GM-CSF acts upon the local macrophage compartment, driving the expression of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, whereas therapeutically, GM-CSF blockade markedly reduces cardiac disease. Our findings describe a novel role for GM-CSF as an essential initiating cytokine in cardiac inflammation and implicate GM-CSF as a potential target for therapeutic intervention in KD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20151853DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5030799PMC
September 2016

G-CSF and Neutrophils Are Nonredundant Mediators of Murine Experimental Autoimmune Uveoretinitis.

Am J Pathol 2016 Jan;186(1):172-84

Department of Medical Biology, The Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia; Department of Rheumatology, Royal Melbourne Hospital, Parkville, Victoria, Australia; Department of Medicine, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria, Australia. Electronic address:

Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) is a regulator of neutrophil production, function, and survival. Herein, we investigated the role of G-CSF in a murine model of human uveitis-experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis. Experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis was dramatically reduced in G-CSF-deficient mice and in anti-G-CSF monoclonal antibody-treated, wild-type (WT) mice. Flow cytometric analysis of the ocular infiltrate in WT mice with experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis showed a mixed population, comprising neutrophils, macrophages, and T cells. The eyes of G-CSF-deficient and anti-G-CSF monoclonal antibody-treated WT mice had minimal neutrophil infiltrate, but no change in other myeloid-derived inflammatory cells. Antigen-specific T-cell responses were maintained, but the differentiation of pathogenic type 17 helper T cells in experimental autoimmune uveoretinitis was reduced with G-CSF deficiency. We show that G-CSF controls the ocular neutrophil infiltrate by modulating the expression of C-X-C chemokine receptors 2 and 4 on peripheral blood neutrophils, as well as actin polymerization and migration. These data reveal an integral role for G-CSF-driven neutrophil responses in ocular autoimmunity, operating within and outside of the bone marrow, and also identify G-CSF as a potential therapeutic target in the treatment of human uveoretinitis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ajpath.2015.09.008DOI Listing
January 2016

Inhibition of the kinase ITK in a mouse model of asthma reduces cell death and fails to inhibit the inflammatory response.

Sci Signal 2015 Dec 1;8(405):ra122. Epub 2015 Dec 1.

Department of Immunology, Genentech Inc., South San Francisco, CA 94080, USA.

Interleukin-2 (IL-2)-inducible T cell kinase (ITK) mediates T cell receptor (TCR) signaling primarily to stimulate the production of cytokines, such as IL-4, IL-5, and IL-13, from T helper 2 (TH2) cells. Compared to wild-type mice, ITK knockout mice are resistant to asthma and exhibit reduced lung inflammation and decreased amounts of TH2-type cytokines in the bronchoalveolar lavage fluid. We found that a small-molecule selective inhibitor of ITK blocked TCR-mediated signaling in cultured TH2 cells, including the tyrosine phosphorylation of phospholipase C-γ1 (PLC-γ1) and the secretion of IL-2 and TH2-type cytokines. Unexpectedly, inhibition of the kinase activity of ITK during or after antigen rechallenge in an ovalbumin-induced mouse model of asthma failed to reduce airway hyperresponsiveness and inflammation. Rather, in mice, pharmacological inhibition of ITK resulted in T cell hyperplasia and the increased production of TH2-type cytokines. Thus, our studies predict that inhibition of the kinase activity of ITK may not be therapeutic in patients with asthma.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scisignal.aab0949DOI Listing
December 2015

Granulocyte Macrophage Colony-Stimulating Factor-Activated Eosinophils Promote Interleukin-23 Driven Chronic Colitis.

Immunity 2015 Jul;43(1):187-99

Kennedy Institute of Rheumatology, Nuffield Department of Orthopaedics, Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Sciences, University of Oxford, Roosevelt Drive, Oxford OX3 7FY, UK; Translational Gastroenterology Unit, Experimental Medicine Division Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford OX3 9DU, UK. Electronic address:

The role of intestinal eosinophils in immune homeostasis is enigmatic and the molecular signals that drive them from protective to tissue damaging are unknown. Most commonly associated with Th2 cell-mediated diseases, we describe a role for eosinophils as crucial effectors of the interleukin-23 (IL-23)-granulocyte macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) axis in colitis. Chronic intestinal inflammation was characterized by increased bone marrow eosinopoiesis and accumulation of activated intestinal eosinophils. IL-5 blockade or eosinophil depletion ameliorated colitis, implicating eosinophils in disease pathogenesis. GM-CSF was a potent activator of eosinophil effector functions and intestinal accumulation, and GM-CSF blockade inhibited chronic colitis. By contrast neutrophil accumulation was GM-CSF independent and dispensable for colitis. In addition to TNF secretion, release of eosinophil peroxidase promoted colitis identifying direct tissue-toxic mechanisms. Thus, eosinophils are key perpetrators of chronic inflammation and tissue damage in IL-23-mediated immune diseases and it suggests the GM-CSF-eosinophil axis as an attractive therapeutic target.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2015.07.008DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4518500PMC
July 2015

Therapeutic effect of IVIG on inflammatory arthritis in mice is dependent on the Fc portion and independent of sialylation or basophils.

J Immunol 2014 Jun 23;192(11):5031-8. Epub 2014 Apr 23.

CSL Behring, Research and Development, CH-3000 Bern, Switzerland;

High-dose i.v. Ig (IVIG) is used to treat various autoimmune and inflammatory diseases; however, the mechanism of action remains unclear. Based on the K/BxN serum transfer arthritis model in mice, IVIG suppression of inflammation has been attributed to a mechanism involving basophils and the binding of highly sialylated IgG Fc to DC-SIGN-expressing myeloid cells. The requirement for sialylation was examined in the collagen Ab-induced arthritis (CAbIA) and K/BxN serum transfer arthritis models in mice. High-dose IVIG (1-2 g/kg body weight) suppressed inflammatory arthritis when given prophylactically. The same doses were also effective in the CAbIA model when given subsequent to disease induction. In this therapeutic CAbIA model, the anti-inflammatory effect of IVIG was dependent on IgG Fc but not F(ab')2 fragments. Removal of sialic acid residues by neuraminidase had no impact on the anti-inflammatory activity of IVIG or Fc fragments. Treatment of mice with basophil-depleting mAbs did not abrogate the suppression of either CAbIA or K/BxN arthritis by IVIG. Our data confirm the therapeutic benefit of IVIG and IgG Fc in Ab-induced arthritis but fail to support the significance of sialylation and basophil involvement in the mechanism of action of IVIG therapy.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.1301611DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4025610PMC
June 2014

Interleukin-11 is the dominant IL-6 family cytokine during gastrointestinal tumorigenesis and can be targeted therapeutically.

Cancer Cell 2013 Aug;24(2):257-71

Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Melbourne, VIC 3050, Australia.

Among the cytokines linked to inflammation-associated cancer, interleukin (IL)-6 drives many of the cancer "hallmarks" through downstream activation of the gp130/STAT3 signaling pathway. However, we show that the related cytokine IL-11 has a stronger correlation with elevated STAT3 activation in human gastrointestinal cancers. Using genetic mouse models, we reveal that IL-11 has a more prominent role compared to IL-6 during the progression of sporadic and inflammation-associated colon and gastric cancers. Accordingly, in these models and in human tumor cell line xenograft models, pharmacologic inhibition of IL-11 signaling alleviated STAT3 activation, suppressed tumor cell proliferation, and reduced the invasive capacity and growth of tumors. Our results identify IL-11 signaling as a potential therapeutic target for the treatment of gastrointestinal cancers.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.ccr.2013.06.017DOI Listing
August 2013

Biomarkers of Therapeutic Response in the IL-23 Pathway in Inflammatory Bowel Disease.

Clin Transl Gastroenterol 2012 Feb 16;3:e10. Epub 2012 Feb 16.

Merck Research Laboratories (formerly Schering-Plough Biopharma), Palo Alto, California, USA.

Objectives: Interleukin-23 (IL-23) has emerged as a new therapeutic target for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). As biomarkers of disease state and treatment efficacy are becoming increasingly important in drug development, we sought to identify efficacy biomarkers for anti-IL-23 therapy in Crohn's disease (CD).

Methods: Candidate IL-23 biomarkers, downstream of IL-23 signaling, were identified using shotgun proteomic analysis of feces and colon lavages obtained from a short-term mouse IBD model (anti-CD40 Rag2(-/-)) treated preventively with monoclonal antibodies (mAbs) to the IL-23 receptor (IL-23R). The biomarkers were then measured in an IBD T-cell transfer model treated therapeutically with a mAb to IL-23 (p19), confirming their association with IBD. To assess the clinical relevance of these markers, we assessed their concentrations in clinical serum, colon tissue, and feces from CD patients.

Results: We identified 57 proteins up or downregulated in diseased animals that returned to control values when the mice were treated with mAbs to IL-23R. Among those, S100A8, S100A9, regenerating protein 3β (REG), REG3γ, lipocalin 2 (LCN2), deleted in malignant tumor 1 (DMBT1), and macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF) mRNA levels correlated with disease score and dose titration of mAbs to IL-23R or IL-23(p19). All biomarkers, except DMBT1, were also downregulated after therapeutic administration of mAbs to IL-23(p19) in a T-cell transfer IBD mouse model. In sera from CD patients, we confirmed a significant upregulation of S100A8/A9 (43%), MIF (138%), pancreatitis-associated protein (PAP, human homolog of REG3β/γ; 49%), LCN2 (520%), and CCL20 (1280%), compared with control samples, as well as a significant upregulation of S100A8/A9 (887%), PAP (401%), and LCN2 (783%) in human feces from CD patients compared with normal controls.

Conclusions: These studies identify multiple protein biomarkers downstream of IL-23 that could be valuable tools to assess the efficacy of this new therapeutic agent.Clinical and Translational Gastroenterology (2012) 3, e10; doi:10.1038/ctg.2012.2; published online 16 February 2012.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ctg.2012.2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3365674PMC
February 2012

Dysregulated hematopoietic stem and progenitor cell activity promotes interleukin-23-driven chronic intestinal inflammation.

Immunity 2012 Dec 29;37(6):1116-29. Epub 2012 Nov 29.

Translational Gastroenterology Unit, Experimental Medicine Division Nuffield Department of Clinical Medicine, University of Oxford, John Radcliffe Hospital, Oxford, UK.

In interleukin-23 (IL-23)-dependent colitis, there is excessive accumulation of short-lived neutrophils and inflammatory monocytes in the intestine. It is unknown whether this reflects changes in mature cell populations or whether the IL-23-driven colitogenic T cell program regulates upstream hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells (HSPC). Here we have shown dysregulation of hematopoiesis in colitis mediated by inflammatory cytokines. First, there was an interferon-gamma-dependent accumulation of proliferating hematopoietic stem cells in the bone marrow and spleen. Second, there was a strong skew toward granulocyte-monocyte progenitor (GMP) production at the expense of erythroid and lymphoid progenitors. Extramedullary hematopoiesis was also evident, and granulocyte macrophage-colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) blockade reduced the accumulation of splenic and colonic GMPs, resulting in amelioration of colitis. Importantly, transfer of GMPs exacerbated colitis. These data identify HSPCs as a major target of the IL-23-driven inflammatory axis suggesting therapeutic strategies for the treatment of inflammatory bowel disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.immuni.2012.08.025DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3664922PMC
December 2012

Genetic partitioning of interleukin-6 signalling in mice dissociates Stat3 from Smad3-mediated lung fibrosis.

EMBO Mol Med 2012 Sep 8;4(9):939-51. Epub 2012 Jun 8.

Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, Melbourne - Parkville Branch, Parkville, Victoria, Australia.

Idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) is a fatal disease that is unresponsive to current therapies and characterized by excessive collagen deposition and subsequent fibrosis. While inflammatory cytokines, including interleukin (IL)-6, are elevated in IPF, the molecular mechanisms that underlie this disease are incompletely understood, although the development of fibrosis is believed to depend on canonical transforming growth factor (TGF)-β signalling. We examined bleomycin-induced inflammation and fibrosis in mice carrying a mutation in the shared IL-6 family receptor gp130. Using genetic complementation, we directly correlate the extent of IL-6-mediated, excessive Stat3 activity with inflammatory infiltrates in the lung and the severity of fibrosis in corresponding gp130(757F) mice. The extent of fibrosis was attenuated in B lymphocyte-deficient gp130(757F);µMT(-/-) compound mutant mice, but fibrosis still occurred in their Smad3(-/-) counterparts consistent with the capacity of excessive Stat3 activity to induce collagen 1α1 gene transcription independently of canonical TGF-β/Smad3 signalling. These findings are of therapeutic relevance, since we confirmed abundant STAT3 activation in fibrotic lungs from IPF patients and showed that genetic reduction of Stat3 protected mice from bleomycin-induced lung fibrosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/emmm.201100604DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3491826PMC
September 2012

G-CSF and GM-CSF as therapeutic targets in rheumatoid arthritis.

Nat Rev Rheumatol 2009 Oct;5(10):554-9

Autoimmunity and Transplantation Division, Walter and Eliza Hall Institute of Medical Research, Parkville, Vic, Australia.

Granulocyte colony-stimulating factor (G-CSF) and granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor (GM-CSF) are well-recognized regulators of hematopoiesis and have an established role as growth factors in clinical practice. G-CSF and GM-CSF regulate myeloid cell production, differentiation and activation, and might also be important for driving inflammatory responses. Inappropriate engagement of this pathway could be a critical amplification mechanism when maladaptive immune responses predispose to autoimmunity and sterile tissue inflammation. We postulate that antagonism of G-CSF or GM-CSF could represent a novel therapeutic approach for a variety of autoimmune-mediated inflammatory diseases, including rheumatoid arthritis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/nrrheum.2009.178DOI Listing
October 2009

Prostaglandin E2 regulates Th17 cell differentiation and function through cyclic AMP and EP2/EP4 receptor signaling.

J Exp Med 2009 Mar 9;206(3):535-48. Epub 2009 Mar 9.

Department of Immunology, Schering-Plough Biopharma, Palo Alto, CA 94304, USA.

Prostaglandins, particularly prostaglandin E2 (PGE2), play an important role during inflammation. This is exemplified by the clinical use of cyclooxygenase 2 inhibitors, which interfere with PGE2 synthesis, as effective antiinflammatory drugs. Here, we show that PGE2 directly promotes differentiation and proinflammatory functions of human and murine IL-17-producing T helper (Th17) cells. In human purified naive T cells, PGE2 acts via prostaglandin receptor EP2- and EP4-mediated signaling and cyclic AMP pathways to up-regulate IL-23 and IL-1 receptor expression. Furthermore, PGE2 synergizes with IL-1beta and IL-23 to drive retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor (ROR)-gammat, IL-17, IL-17F, CCL20, and CCR6 expression, which is consistent with the reported Th17 phenotype. While enhancing Th17 cytokine expression mainly through EP2, PGE2 differentially regulates interferon (IFN)-gamma production and inhibits production of the antiinflammatory cytokine IL-10 in Th17 cells predominantly through EP4. Furthermore, PGE2 is required for IL-17 production in the presence of antigen-presenting cells. Hence, the combination of inflammatory cytokines and noncytokine immunomodulators, such as PGE2, during differentiation and activation determines the ultimate phenotype of Th17 cells. These findings, together with the altered IL-12/IL-23 balance induced by PGE2 in dendritic cells, further highlight the crucial role of the inflammatory microenvironment in Th17 cell development and regulation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1084/jem.20082293DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2699124PMC
March 2009

Diverse cytokine production by NKT cell subsets and identification of an IL-17-producing CD4-NK1.1- NKT cell population.

Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A 2008 Aug 6;105(32):11287-92. Epub 2008 Aug 6.

Department of Microbiology and Immunology, University of Melbourne, Parkville, Victoria 3010, Australia.

NKT cell subsets can be divided based on CD4 and NK1.1 expression and tissue of origin, but the developmental and functional relationships between the different subsets still are poorly understood. A comprehensive study of 19 cytokines across different NKT cell subsets revealed that no two NKT subpopulations exhibited the same cytokine profile, and, remarkably, the amounts of each cytokine produced varied by up to 100-fold or more among subsets. This study also revealed the existence of a population of CD4(-)NK1.1(-) NKT cells that produce high levels of the proinflammatory cytokine IL-17 within 2-3 h of activation. On intrathymic transfer these cells develop into mature CD4(-)NK1.1(+) but not into CD4(+)NK1.1(+) NKT cells, indicating that CD4(-)NK1.1(-) NKT cells include an IL-17-producing subpopulation, and also mark the elusive branch point for CD4(+) and CD4(-) NKT cell sublineages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1073/pnas.0801631105DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2516267PMC
August 2008

Development, cytokine profile and function of human interleukin 17-producing helper T cells.

Nat Immunol 2007 Sep 5;8(9):950-7. Epub 2007 Aug 5.

Department of Discovery Research, Schering-Plough Biopharma (formerly DNAX Research), Palo Alto, California 94304-1104, USA.

T(H)-17 cells are a distinct lineage of proinflammatory T helper cells that are essential for autoimmune disease. In mice, commitment to the T(H)-17 lineage is dependent on transforming growth factor-beta and interleukin 6 (IL-6). Here we demonstrate that IL-23 and IL-1beta induced the development of human T(H)-17 cells expressing IL-17A, IL-17F, IL-22, IL-26, interferon-gamma, the chemokine CCL20 and transcription factor RORgammat. In situ, T(H)-17 cells were identified by expression of the IL-23 receptor and the memory T cell marker CD45RO. Psoriatic skin lesions contained IL-23-producing dendritic cells and were enriched in the cytokines produced by human T(H)-17 cells that promote the production of antimicrobial peptides in human keratinocytes. Our data collectively indicate that human and mouse T(H)-17 cells require distinct factors during differentiation and that human T(H)-17 cells may regulate innate immunity in epithelial cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/ni1497DOI Listing
September 2007