Publications by authors named "Douglas A Lauffenburger"

296 Publications

Therapeutically reprogrammed nutrient signalling enhances nanoparticulate albumin bound drug uptake and efficacy in KRAS-mutant cancer.

Nat Nanotechnol 2021 May 6. Epub 2021 May 6.

Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital Research Institute, Boston, MA, USA.

Nanoparticulate albumin bound paclitaxel (nab-paclitaxel, nab-PTX) is among the most widely prescribed nanomedicines in clinical use, yet it remains unclear how nanoformulation affects nab-PTX behaviour in the tumour microenvironment. Here, we quantified the biodistribution of the albumin carrier and its chemotherapeutic payload in optically cleared tumours of genetically engineered mouse models, and compared the behaviour of nab-PTX with other clinically relevant nanoparticles. We found that nab-PTX uptake is profoundly and distinctly affected by cancer-cell autonomous RAS signalling, and RAS/RAF/MEK/ERK inhibition blocked its selective delivery and efficacy. In contrast, a targeted screen revealed that IGF1R kinase inhibitors enhance uptake and efficacy of nab-PTX by mimicking glucose deprivation and promoting macropinocytosis via AMPK, a nutrient sensor in cells. This study thus shows how nanoparticulate albumin bound drug efficacy can be therapeutically improved by reprogramming nutrient signalling and enhancing macropinocytosis in cancer cells.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41565-021-00897-1DOI Listing
May 2021

Systematic in silico analysis of clinically tested drugs for reducing amyloid-beta plaque accumulation in Alzheimer's disease.

Alzheimers Dement 2021 May 2. Epub 2021 May 2.

Applied Biomath, Concord, Massachusetts, USA.

Introduction: Despite strong evidence linking amyloid beta (Aβ) to Alzheimer's disease, most clinical trials have shown no clinical efficacy for reasons that remain unclear. To understand why, we developed a quantitative systems pharmacology (QSP) model for seven therapeutics: aducanumab, crenezumab, solanezumab, bapineuzumab, elenbecestat, verubecestat, and semagacestat.

Methods: Ordinary differential equations were used to model the production, transport, and aggregation of Aβ; pharmacology of the drugs; and their impact on plaque.

Results: The calibrated model predicts that endogenous plaque turnover is slow, with an estimated half-life of 2.75 years. This is likely why beta-secretase inhibitors have a smaller effect on plaque reduction. Of the mechanisms tested, the model predicts binding to plaque and inducing antibody-dependent cellular phagocytosis is the best approach for plaque reduction.

Discussion: A QSP model can provide novel insights to clinical results. Our model explains the results of clinical trials and provides guidance for future therapeutic development.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/alz.12312DOI Listing
May 2021

COVID-19 mRNA vaccines drive differential Fc-functional profiles in pregnant, lactating, and non-pregnant women.

bioRxiv 2021 Apr 5. Epub 2021 Apr 5.

Significant immunological changes occur throughout pregnancy to tolerize the mother and allow growth of the fetal graft. However, additional local and systemic immunological adaptations also occur, allowing the maternal immune system to continue to protect the dyad against foreign invaders both during pregnancy and after birth through lactation. This fine balance of tolerance and immunity, along with physiological and hormonal changes, contribute to increased susceptibility to particular infections in pregnancy, including more severe COVID-19 disease. Whether these changes also make pregnant women less responsive to vaccination or induce altered immune responses to vaccination remains incompletely understood. To holistically define potential changes in vaccine response during pregnancy and lactation, we deeply profiled the humoral vaccine response in a group of pregnant and lactating women and non-pregnant age-matched controls. Vaccine-specific titers were comparable, albeit slightly lower, between pregnant and lactating women, compared to non-pregnant controls. Among pregnant women, we found higher antibody titers and functions in those vaccinated with the Moderna vaccine. FcR-binding and antibody effector functions were induced with delayed kinetics in both pregnant and lactating women compared to non-pregnant women. Antibody boosting resulted in high FcR-binding titers in breastmilk. These data point to an immune resistance to generate highly inflammatory antibodies during pregnancy and lactation, and a critical need to follow prime/boost timelines in this vulnerable population to ensure full immunity is attained.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2021.04.04.438404DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8043455PMC
April 2021

Synergistic Action of Diclofenac with Endotoxin-Mediated Inflammation Exacerbates Intestinal Injury .

ACS Infect Dis 2021 04 21;7(4):838-848. Epub 2021 Mar 21.

Department of Chemical Engineering, Northeastern University, Boston, Massachusetts 02115, United States.

Intestinal homeostasis is tightly regulated by the orchestrated actions of a multitude of cell types, including enterocytes, goblet cells, and immune cells. Disruption of intestinal barrier function can increase susceptibility to pathogen invasion and destabilize commensal microbial-epithelial-immune interaction, manifesting in various intestinal and systemic pathologies. However, a quantitative understanding of how these cell types communicate and collectively contribute to tissue function in health and disease is lacking. Here, we utilized a human intestinal epithelial-dendritic cell model and multivariate analysis of secreted factors to investigate the cellular crosstalk in response to physiological and/or pathological cues (e.g., endotoxin, nonsteroidal anti-inflammation drug (NSAID)). Specifically, we demonstrated that treatment with diclofenac (DCF), an NSAID commonly used to treat inflammation associated with acute infection and other conditions, globally suppressed cytokine secretion when dosed in isolation. However, the disruption of barrier function induced by DCF allowed for luminal lipopolysaccharide (LPS) translocation and activation of resident immune cells that overrode the anti-inflammatory influence of DCF. DCF-facilitated inflammation in the presence of LPS was in part mediated by upregulation of macrophage migration inhibitory factor (MIF), an important regulator of innate immunity. However, while neutralization of MIF activity normalized inflammation, it did not lead to intestinal healing. Our data suggest that systems-wide suppression of inflammation alone is insufficient to achieve mucosal healing, especially in the presence of DCF, the target of which, the COX-prostaglandin pathway, is central to mucosal homeostasis. Indeed, DCF removal postinjury enabled partial recovery of intestinal epithelium functions, and this recovery phase was associated with upregulation of a subset of cytokines and chemokines, implicating their potential contribution to intestinal healing. The results highlight the utility of an intestinal model capturing immune function, coupled with multivariate analysis, in understanding molecular mechanisms governing response to microbial factors, supporting application in studying host-pathogen interactions.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/acsinfecdis.0c00762DOI Listing
April 2021

Immunogenicity of the Ad26.COV2.S Vaccine for COVID-19.

JAMA 2021 04;325(15):1535-1544

Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Massachusetts.

Importance: Control of the global COVID-19 pandemic will require the development and deployment of safe and effective vaccines.

Objective: To evaluate the immunogenicity of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine (Janssen/Johnson & Johnson) in humans, including the kinetics, magnitude, and phenotype of SARS-CoV-2 spike-specific humoral and cellular immune responses.

Design, Setting, And Participants: Twenty-five participants were enrolled from July 29, 2020, to August 7, 2020, and the follow-up for this day 71 interim analysis was completed on October 3, 2020; follow-up to assess durability will continue for 2 years. This study was conducted at a single clinical site in Boston, Massachusetts, as part of a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 1 clinical trial of Ad26.COV2.S.

Interventions: Participants were randomized to receive 1 or 2 intramuscular injections with 5 × 1010 viral particles or 1 × 1011 viral particles of Ad26.COV2.S vaccine or placebo administered on day 1 and day 57 (5 participants in each group).

Main Outcomes And Measures: Humoral immune responses included binding and neutralizing antibody responses at multiple time points following immunization. Cellular immune responses included immunospot-based and intracellular cytokine staining assays to measure T-cell responses.

Results: Twenty-five participants were randomized (median age, 42; age range, 22-52; 52% women, 44% male, 4% undifferentiated), and all completed the trial through the day 71 interim end point. Binding and neutralizing antibodies emerged rapidly by day 8 after initial immunization in 90% and 25% of vaccine recipients, respectively. By day 57, binding and neutralizing antibodies were detected in 100% of vaccine recipients after a single immunization. On day 71, the geometric mean titers of spike-specific binding antibodies were 2432 to 5729 and the geometric mean titers of neutralizing antibodies were 242 to 449 in the vaccinated groups. A variety of antibody subclasses, Fc receptor binding properties, and antiviral functions were induced. CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell responses were induced.

Conclusion And Relevance: In this phase 1 study, a single immunization with Ad26.COV2.S induced rapid binding and neutralization antibody responses as well as cellular immune responses. Two phase 3 clinical trials are currently underway to determine the efficacy of the Ad26.COV2.S vaccine.

Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov Identifier: NCT04436276.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1001/jama.2021.3645DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7953339PMC
April 2021

Viral Rebound Kinetics Correlate with Distinct HIV Antibody Features.

mBio 2021 03 9;12(2). Epub 2021 Mar 9.

Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

Plasma viremia reoccurs in most HIV-infected individuals once antiretroviral therapy (ART) is interrupted. The kinetics of viral rebound, specifically the time until plasma virus becomes detectable, differ quite substantially between individuals, and associations with virological and immunological factors have been suggested. Standard clinical measures, like CD4 T-cell counts and plasma HIV RNA levels, however, are poor predictive markers. Antibody features, including Fc functionality and Fc glycosylation have been identified as sensitive surrogates for disease activity in multiple diseases. Here, we analyzed HIV-specific antibody quantities and qualitative differences like antibody-mediated functions, Fc gamma receptor (FcγR) binding, and IgG Fc glycosylation as well as cytokine profiles and cellular HIV DNA and RNA levels in 23 ART-suppressed individuals prior to undergoing an analytical ART interruption (ATI). We found that antibodies with distinct functional properties and Fc glycan signatures separated individuals into early and delayed viral rebounders (≤4 weeks versus >4 weeks) and tracked with levels of inflammatory cytokines and transcriptional activity of the viral reservoir. Specifically, individuals with early viral rebound exhibited higher levels of total HIV-specific IgGs carrying inflammatory Fc glycans, while delayed rebounders showed an enrichment of highly functional antibodies. Overall, only four features, including enhanced antibody-mediated NK cell activation in delayed rebounders, were necessary to discriminate the groups. These data suggest that antibody features can be used as sensitive indicators of HIV disease activity and could be included in future ATI studies. Plasma viremia reoccurs in most HIV-infected individuals once antiretroviral therapy is interrupted, and interindividual differences in the kinetics of viral rebound have been associated with virological and immunological factors. Antibody features, including Fc functionality and Fc glycosylation, have been identified as sensitive surrogates for disease activity in multiple diseases. Here, we systematically analyzed HIV-specific antibody quantities and qualitative differences in 23 ART-suppressed individuals prior to undergoing an analytical ART interruption (ATI). We found that antibodies with distinct functional properties and Fc glycan signatures separated individuals into early and delayed viral rebounders and tracked with levels of inflammatory cytokines and transcriptional activity of the viral reservoir. These data suggest that antibody features can be used as sensitive indicators of HIV disease activity and could be included in future HIV eradication studies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.00170-21DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8092214PMC
March 2021

Humoral signatures of protective and pathological SARS-CoV-2 infection in children.

Nat Med 2021 03 12;27(3):454-462. Epub 2021 Feb 12.

Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA, USA.

The severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) pandemic continues to spread relentlessly, associated with a high frequency of respiratory failure and mortality. Children experience largely asymptomatic disease, with rare reports of multisystem inflammatory syndrome in children (MIS-C). Identifying immune mechanisms that result in these disparate clinical phenotypes in children could provide critical insights into coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pathogenesis. Using systems serology, in this study we observed in 25 children with acute mild COVID-19 a functional phagocyte and complement-activating IgG response to SARS-CoV-2, similar to the acute responses generated in adults with mild disease. Conversely, IgA and neutrophil responses were significantly expanded in adults with severe disease. Moreover, weeks after the resolution of SARS-CoV-2 infection, children who develop MIS-C maintained highly inflammatory monocyte-activating SARS-CoV-2 IgG antibodies, distinguishable from acute disease in children but with antibody levels similar to those in convalescent adults. Collectively, these data provide unique insights into the potential mechanisms of IgG and IgA that might underlie differential disease severity as well as unexpected complications in children infected with SARS-CoV-2.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-021-01263-3DOI Listing
March 2021

Discrete SARS-CoV-2 antibody titers track with functional humoral stability.

Nat Commun 2021 02 15;12(1):1018. Epub 2021 Feb 15.

Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, MA, USA.

Antibodies serve as biomarkers of infection, but if sustained can confer long-term immunity. Yet, for most clinically approved vaccines, binding antibody titers only serve as a surrogate of protection. Instead, the ability of vaccine induced antibodies to neutralize or mediate Fc-effector functions is mechanistically linked to protection. While evidence has begun to point to persisting antibody responses among SARS-CoV-2 infected individuals, cases of re-infection have begun to emerge, calling the protective nature of humoral immunity against this highly infectious pathogen into question. Using a community-based surveillance study, we aimed to define the relationship between titers and functional antibody activity to SARS-CoV-2 over time. Here we report significant heterogeneity, but limited decay, across antibody titers amongst 120 identified seroconverters, most of whom had asymptomatic infection. Notably, neutralization, Fc-function, and SARS-CoV-2 specific T cell responses were only observed in subjects that elicited RBD-specific antibody titers above a threshold. The findings point to a switch-like relationship between observed antibody titer and function, where a distinct threshold of activity-defined by the level of antibodies-is required to elicit vigorous humoral and cellular response. This response activity level may be essential for durable protection, potentially explaining why re-infections occur with SARS-CoV-2 and other common coronaviruses.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-21336-8DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7884400PMC
February 2021

Human physiomimetic model integrating microphysiological systems of the gut, liver, and brain for studies of neurodegenerative diseases.

Sci Adv 2021 Jan 29;7(5). Epub 2021 Jan 29.

Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, USA.

Slow progress in the fight against neurodegenerative diseases (NDs) motivates an urgent need for highly controlled in vitro systems to investigate organ-organ- and organ-immune-specific interactions relevant for disease pathophysiology. Of particular interest is the gut/microbiome-liver-brain axis for parsing out how genetic and environmental factors contribute to NDs. We have developed a mesofluidic platform technology to study gut-liver-cerebral interactions in the context of Parkinson's disease (PD). It connects microphysiological systems (MPSs) of the primary human gut and liver with a human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived cerebral MPS in a systemically circulated common culture medium containing CD4 regulatory T and T helper 17 cells. We demonstrate this approach using a patient-derived cerebral MPS carrying the PD-causing A53T mutation, gaining two important findings: (i) that systemic interaction enhances features of in vivo-like behavior of cerebral MPSs, and (ii) that microbiome-associated short-chain fatty acids increase expression of pathology-associated pathways in PD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.abd1707DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7846169PMC
January 2021

Correlates of protection against SARS-CoV-2 in rhesus macaques.

Nature 2021 02 4;590(7847):630-634. Epub 2020 Dec 4.

Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Recent studies have reported the protective efficacy of both natural and vaccine-induced immunity against challenge with severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) in rhesus macaques. However, the importance of humoral and cellular immunity for protection against infection with SARS-CoV-2 remains to be determined. Here we show that the adoptive transfer of purified IgG from convalescent rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) protects naive recipient macaques against challenge with SARS-CoV-2 in a dose-dependent fashion. Depletion of CD8 T cells in convalescent macaques partially abrogated the protective efficacy of natural immunity against rechallenge with SARS-CoV-2, which suggests a role for cellular immunity in the context of waning or subprotective antibody titres. These data demonstrate that relatively low antibody titres are sufficient for protection against SARS-CoV-2 in rhesus macaques, and that cellular immune responses may contribute to protection if antibody responses are suboptimal. We also show that higher antibody titres are required for treatment of SARS-CoV-2 infection in macaques. These findings have implications for the development of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines and immune-based therapeutic agents.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-03041-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7906955PMC
February 2021

Compromised Humoral Functional Evolution Tracks with SARS-CoV-2 Mortality.

Cell 2020 12 3;183(6):1508-1519.e12. Epub 2020 Nov 3.

Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard, Cambridge, MA, USA. Electronic address:

The urgent need for an effective SARS-CoV-2 vaccine has forced development to progress in the absence of well-defined correlates of immunity. While neutralization has been linked to protection against other pathogens, whether neutralization alone will be sufficient to drive protection against SARS-CoV-2 in the broader population remains unclear. Therefore, to fully define protective humoral immunity, we dissected the early evolution of the humoral response in 193 hospitalized individuals ranging from moderate to severe. Although robust IgM and IgA responses evolved in both survivors and non-survivors with severe disease, non-survivors showed attenuated IgG responses, accompanied by compromised Fcɣ receptor binding and Fc effector activity, pointing to deficient humoral development rather than disease-enhancing humoral immunity. In contrast, individuals with moderate disease exhibited delayed responses that ultimately matured. These data highlight distinct humoral trajectories associated with resolution of SARS-CoV-2 infection and the need for early functional humoral immunity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.10.052DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7608014PMC
December 2020

Epidemiological and immunological features of obesity and SARS-CoV-2.

medRxiv 2020 Nov 13. Epub 2020 Nov 13.

Obesity is established as a key correlate of severe SARS-CoV-2 outcomes. Multiple other epidemiological and immunological features are less well-defined including if obesity enhances susceptibility to SARS-CoV-2 infection, influences symptom phenotype, or impedes or alters the immune response to infection. Given the substantial global burden of obesity and given these uncertainties, we examined the epidemiology and immunology of obesity and SARS-CoV-2.

Methods: Industry employees were invited to participate in a prospective SARS-CoV-2 serology-based cohort study. Blood and baseline survey measures that included demographics, comorbidities, and prior COVID-19 compatible symptoms were collected. Serological testing and interim symptom reporting were conducted monthly. SARS-CoV-2 immunoassays included an IgG ELISA targeting the spike RBD, multiarray Luminex targeting 20 viral antigens, pseudovirus neutralization, and T cell ELISPOT assays. Unadjusted and adjusted analyses were used to identify differences in seroprevalence, clinical features, and immune parameters by BMI.

Results: Of 4469 individuals enrolled, 322 (7.21%) were seropositive. Adjusted seroprevalence was non-significantly lower with higher BMI. Obesity was associated with increased reporting of fever (OR 3.43 [95% CI 1.58-7.60]) and multiple other symptoms and aggregate measures. There were no identifiable differences in immune response between obese and non-obese individuals.

Discussion: We present benchmark data from a prospective serology-based cohort on the immunoepidemiology of BMI and SARS-CoV-2. Our findings suggest obesity is not linked to an increased risk of SARS-CoV-2 infection; that symptom phenotype is strongly influenced by obesity; and that despite evidence of obesity-associated immune dysregulation in severe COVID-19, there is no evidence of a muted or suppressed immune response across multiple immune measures among non-severe infections.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1101/2020.11.11.20229724DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7668749PMC
November 2020

Quick COVID-19 Healers Sustain Anti-SARS-CoV-2 Antibody Production.

Cell 2020 12 3;183(6):1496-1507.e16. Epub 2020 Nov 3.

Department of Medicine, Division of Allergy and Immunology, Division of Genetics, Brigham and Women's Hospital, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA; Massachusetts Consortium on Pathogen Readiness, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Electronic address:

Antibodies are key immune effectors that confer protection against pathogenic threats. The nature and longevity of the antibody response to SARS-CoV-2 infection are not well defined. We charted longitudinal antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 in 92 subjects after symptomatic COVID-19. Antibody responses to SARS-CoV-2 are unimodally distributed over a broad range, with symptom severity correlating directly with virus-specific antibody magnitude. Seventy-six subjects followed longitudinally to ∼100 days demonstrated marked heterogeneity in antibody duration dynamics. Virus-specific IgG decayed substantially in most individuals, whereas a distinct subset had stable or increasing antibody levels in the same time frame despite similar initial antibody magnitudes. These individuals with increasing responses recovered rapidly from symptomatic COVID-19 disease, harbored increased somatic mutations in virus-specific memory B cell antibody genes, and had persistent higher frequencies of previously activated CD4 T cells. These findings illuminate an efficient immune phenotype that connects symptom clearance speed to differential antibody durability dynamics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.10.051DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7608032PMC
December 2020

Receptor-Driven ERK Pulses Reconfigure MAPK Signaling and Enable Persistence of Drug-Adapted BRAF-Mutant Melanoma Cells.

Cell Syst 2020 11 27;11(5):478-494.e9. Epub 2020 Oct 27.

Laboratory of Systems Pharmacology, Department of Systems Biology, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02115, USA. Electronic address:

Targeted inhibition of oncogenic pathways can be highly effective in halting the rapid growth of tumors but often leads to the emergence of slowly dividing persister cells, which constitute a reservoir for the selection of drug-resistant clones. In BRAF melanomas, RAF and MEK inhibitors efficiently block oncogenic signaling, but persister cells emerge. Here, we show that persister cells escape drug-induced cell-cycle arrest via brief, sporadic ERK pulses generated by transmembrane receptors and growth factors operating in an autocrine/paracrine manner. Quantitative proteomics and computational modeling show that ERK pulsing is enabled by rewiring of mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) signaling: from an oncogenic BRAF monomer-driven configuration that is drug sensitive to a receptor-driven configuration that involves Ras-GTP and RAF dimers and is highly resistant to RAF and MEK inhibitors. Altogether, this work shows that pulsatile MAPK activation by factors in the microenvironment generates a persistent population of melanoma cells that rewires MAPK signaling to sustain non-genetic drug resistance.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cels.2020.10.002DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC8009031PMC
November 2020

Mining for humoral correlates of HIV control and latent reservoir size.

PLoS Pathog 2020 10 13;16(10):e1008868. Epub 2020 Oct 13.

Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard, Cambridge, United States of America.

While antiretroviral therapy (ART) has effectively revolutionized HIV care, the virus is never fully eliminated. Instead, immune dysfunction, driven by persistent non-specific immune activation, ensues and progressively leads to premature immunologic aging. Current biomarkers monitoring immunologic changes encompass generic inflammatory biomarkers, that may also change with other infections or disease states, precluding the antigen-specific monitoring of HIV-infection associated changes in disease. Given our growing appreciation of the significant changes in qualitative and quantitative properties of disease-specific antibodies in HIV infection, we used a systems approach to explore humoral profiles associated with HIV control. We found that HIV-specific antibody profiles diverge by spontaneous control of HIV, treatment status, viral load and reservoir size. Specifically, HIV-specific antibody profiles representative of changes in viral load were largely quantitative, reflected by differential HIV-specific antibody levels and Fc-receptor binding. Conversely, HIV-specific antibody features that tracked with reservoir size exhibited a combination of quantitative and qualitative changes marked by more distinct subclass selection profiles and unique HIV-specific Fc-glycans. Our analyses suggest that HIV-specific antibody Fc-profiles provide antigen-specific resolution on both cell free and cell-associated viral loads, pointing to potentially novel biomarkers to monitor reservoir activity.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1371/journal.ppat.1008868DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7553335PMC
October 2020

Passive Transfer of Vaccine-Elicited Antibodies Protects against SIV in Rhesus Macaques.

Cell 2020 10;183(1):185-196.e14

Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT, and Harvard, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA; Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA 02215, USA. Electronic address:

Several HIV-1 and SIV vaccine candidates have shown partial protection against viral challenges in rhesus macaques. However, the protective efficacy of vaccine-elicited polyclonal antibodies has not previously been demonstrated in adoptive transfer studies in nonhuman primates. In this study, we show that passive transfer of purified antibodies from vaccinated macaques can protect naive animals against SIVmac251 challenges. We vaccinated 30 rhesus macaques with Ad26-SIV Env/Gag/Pol and SIV Env gp140 protein vaccines and assessed the induction of antibody responses and a putative protective signature. This signature included multiple antibody functions and correlated with upregulation of interferon pathways in vaccinated animals. Adoptive transfer of purified immunoglobulin G (IgG) from the vaccinated animals with the most robust protective signatures provided partial protection against SIVmac251 challenges in naive recipient rhesus macaques. These data demonstrate the protective efficacy of purified vaccine-elicited antiviral antibodies in this model, even in the absence of virus neutralization.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.cell.2020.08.033DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7534693PMC
October 2020

Ad26 vaccine protects against SARS-CoV-2 severe clinical disease in hamsters.

Nat Med 2020 11 3;26(11):1694-1700. Epub 2020 Sep 3.

Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

Coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) in humans is often a clinically mild illness, but some individuals develop severe pneumonia, respiratory failure and death. Studies of severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) infection in hamsters and nonhuman primates have generally reported mild clinical disease, and preclinical SARS-CoV-2 vaccine studies have demonstrated reduction of viral replication in the upper and lower respiratory tracts in nonhuman primates. Here we show that high-dose intranasal SARS-CoV-2 infection in hamsters results in severe clinical disease, including high levels of virus replication in tissues, extensive pneumonia, weight loss and mortality in a subset of animals. A single immunization with an adenovirus serotype 26 vector-based vaccine expressing a stabilized SARS-CoV-2 spike protein elicited binding and neutralizing antibody responses and protected against SARS-CoV-2-induced weight loss, pneumonia and mortality. These data demonstrate vaccine protection against SARS-CoV-2 clinical disease. This model should prove useful for preclinical studies of SARS-CoV-2 vaccines, therapeutics and pathogenesis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41591-020-1070-6DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7671939PMC
November 2020

Dissecting the antibody-OME: past, present, and future.

Curr Opin Immunol 2020 08 2;65:89-96. Epub 2020 Aug 2.

Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA. Electronic address:

Humoral immunity is key to protection for nearly all licensed vaccines. Yet, the design of vaccines has been more difficult for some of our most deadly killers (e.g. HIV, influenza, Dengue virus, etc.), likely due to our incomplete understanding of the precise immunological mechanisms associated with protection. Humoral immunity is governed both by B-cells and their bi-functional secreted antibodies, all of which have a unique capacity to evolve during an immune response. Current OMIC technologies capture individual features of the humoral immune response, providing a glimpse into humoral components (Fab/Fc/B-cell-omic), but fail to provide a wholistic view of the humoral response as a collective functional arm. Here, we dissect current OMIC strategies reviewing experimental and computational approaches, that if integrated could provide a true systems-level view of the humoral immune response.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.coi.2020.06.003DOI Listing
August 2020

An interspecies translation model implicates integrin signaling in infliximab-resistant inflammatory bowel disease.

Sci Signal 2020 08 4;13(643). Epub 2020 Aug 4.

Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

Anti-tumor necrosis factor (anti-TNF) therapy resistance is a major clinical challenge in inflammatory bowel disease (IBD), due, in part, to insufficient understanding of disease-site, protein-level mechanisms. Although proteomics data from IBD mouse models exist, data and phenotype discrepancies contribute to confounding translation from preclinical animal models of disease to clinical cohorts. We developed an approach called translatable components regression (TransComp-R) to overcome interspecies and trans-omic discrepancies between mouse models and human subjects. TransComp-R combines mouse proteomic data with patient pretreatment transcriptomic data to identify molecular features discernable in the mouse data that are predictive of patient response to therapy. Interrogating the TransComp-R models revealed activated integrin pathway signaling in patients with anti-TNF-resistant colonic Crohn's disease (cCD) and ulcerative colitis (UC). As a step toward validation, we performed single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq) on biopsies from a patient with cCD and analyzed publicly available immune cell proteomics data to characterize the immune and intestinal cell types contributing to anti-TNF resistance. We found that was expressed in T cells and that interactions between these cells and intestinal cell types were associated with resistance to anti-TNF therapy. We experimentally showed that the α integrin subunit mediated the effectiveness of anti-TNF therapy in human immune cells. Thus, TransComp-R identified an integrin signaling mechanism with potential therapeutic implications for overcoming anti-TNF therapy resistance. We suggest that TransComp-R is a generalizable framework for addressing species, molecular, and phenotypic discrepancies between model systems and patients to translationally deliver relevant biological insights.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scisignal.aay3258DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7459361PMC
August 2020

Single-shot Ad26 vaccine protects against SARS-CoV-2 in rhesus macaques.

Nature 2020 10 30;586(7830):583-588. Epub 2020 Jul 30.

Center for Virology and Vaccine Research, Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Harvard Medical School, Boston, MA, USA.

A safe and effective vaccine for severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2) may be required to end the coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic. For global deployment and pandemic control, a vaccine that requires only a single immunization would be optimal. Here we show the immunogenicity and protective efficacy of a single dose of adenovirus serotype 26 (Ad26) vector-based vaccines expressing the SARS-CoV-2 spike (S) protein in non-human primates. Fifty-two rhesus macaques (Macaca mulatta) were immunized with Ad26 vectors that encoded S variants or sham control, and then challenged with SARS-CoV-2 by the intranasal and intratracheal routes. The optimal Ad26 vaccine induced robust neutralizing antibody responses and provided complete or near-complete protection in bronchoalveolar lavage and nasal swabs after SARS-CoV-2 challenge. Titres of vaccine-elicited neutralizing antibodies correlated with protective efficacy, suggesting an immune correlate of protection. These data demonstrate robust single-shot vaccine protection against SARS-CoV-2 in non-human primates. The optimal Ad26 vector-based vaccine for SARS-CoV-2, termed Ad26.COV2.S, is currently being evaluated in clinical trials.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41586-020-2607-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7581548PMC
October 2020

Mapping functional humoral correlates of protection against malaria challenge following RTS,S/AS01 vaccination.

Sci Transl Med 2020 07;12(553)

GSK Vaccine, 1300 Wavre, Belgium.

Vaccine development has the potential to be accelerated by coupling tools such as systems immunology analyses and controlled human infection models to define the protective efficacy of prospective immunogens without expensive and slow phase 2b/3 vaccine studies. Among human challenge models, controlled human malaria infection trials have long been used to evaluate candidate vaccines, and RTS,S/AS01 is the most advanced malaria vaccine candidate, reproducibly demonstrating 40 to 80% protection in human challenge studies in malaria-naïve individuals. Although antibodies are critical for protection after RTS,S/AS01 vaccination, antibody concentrations are inconsistently associated with protection across studies, and the precise mechanism(s) by which vaccine-induced antibodies provide protection remains enigmatic. Using a comprehensive systems serological profiling platform, the humoral correlates of protection against malaria were identified and validated across multiple challenge studies. Rather than antibody concentration, qualitative functional humoral features robustly predicted protection from infection across vaccine regimens. Despite the functional diversity of vaccine-induced immune responses across additional RTS,S/AS01 vaccine studies, the same antibody features, antibody-mediated phagocytosis and engagement of Fc gamma receptor 3A (FCGR3A), were able to predict protection across two additional human challenge studies. Functional validation using monoclonal antibodies confirmed the protective role of Fc-mediated antibody functions in restricting parasite infection both in vitro and in vivo, suggesting that these correlates may mechanistically contribute to parasite restriction and can be used to guide the rational design of an improved vaccine against malaria.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/scitranslmed.abb4757DOI Listing
July 2020

In vivo microscopy reveals macrophage polarization locally promotes coherent microtubule dynamics in migrating cancer cells.

Nat Commun 2020 07 14;11(1):3521. Epub 2020 Jul 14.

Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital Research Institute, Boston, MA, 02114, USA.

Microtubules (MTs) mediate mitosis, directional signaling, and are therapeutic targets in cancer. Yet in vivo analysis of cancer cell MT behavior within the tumor microenvironment remains challenging. Here we developed an imaging pipeline using plus-end tip tracking and intravital microscopy to quantify MT dynamics in live xenograft tumor models. Among analyzed features, cancer cells in vivo displayed higher coherent orientation of MT dynamics along their cell major axes compared with 2D in vitro cultures, and distinct from 3D collagen gel cultures. This in vivo MT phenotype was reproduced in vitro when cells were co-cultured with IL4-polarized MΦ. MΦ depletion, MT disruption, targeted kinase inhibition, and altered MΦ polarization via IL10R blockade all reduced MT coherence and/or tumor cell elongation. We show that MT coherence is a defining feature for in vivo tumor cell dynamics and migration, modulated by local signaling from pro-tumor macrophages.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-17147-yDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7360550PMC
July 2020

Efficient blockade of locally reciprocated tumor-macrophage signaling using a TAM-avid nanotherapy.

Sci Adv 2020 May 22;6(21):eaaz8521. Epub 2020 May 22.

Center for Systems Biology, Massachusetts General Hospital Research Institute, Boston, MA, USA.

Interpreting how multicellular interactions in the tumor affect resistance pathways to BRAF and MEK1/2 MAPK inhibitors (MAPKi) remains a challenge. To investigate this, we profiled global ligand-receptor interactions among tumor and stromal/immune cells from biopsies of MAPK-driven disease. MAPKi increased tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) in some patients, which correlated with poor clinical response, and MAPKi coamplified bidirectional tumor-TAM signaling via receptor tyrosine kinases (RTKs) including AXL, MERTK, and their ligand GAS6. In xenograft tumors, intravital microscopy simultaneously monitored in situ single-cell activities of multiple kinases downstream of RTKs, revealing MAPKi increased TAMs and enhanced bypass signaling in TAM-proximal tumor cells. As a proof-of-principle strategy to block this signaling, we developed a multi-RTK kinase inhibitor nanoformulation that accumulated in TAMs and delayed disease progression. Thus, bypass signaling can reciprocally amplify across nearby cell types, offering new opportunities for therapeutic design.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/sciadv.aaz8521DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7244320PMC
May 2020

Multiplexed relative and absolute quantitative immunopeptidomics reveals MHC I repertoire alterations induced by CDK4/6 inhibition.

Nat Commun 2020 06 2;11(1):2760. Epub 2020 Jun 2.

Koch Institute for Integrative Cancer Research, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA, 02142, USA.

Peptides bound to class I major histocompatibility complexes (MHC) play a critical role in immune cell recognition and can trigger an antitumor immune response in cancer. Surface MHC levels can be modulated by anticancer agents, altering immunity. However, understanding the peptide repertoire's response to treatment remains challenging and is limited by quantitative mass spectrometry-based strategies lacking normalization controls. We describe an experimental platform that leverages recombinant heavy isotope-coded peptide MHCs (hipMHCs) and multiplex isotope tagging to quantify peptide repertoire alterations using low sample input. HipMHCs improve quantitative accuracy of peptide repertoire changes by normalizing for variation across analyses and enable absolute quantification using internal calibrants to determine copies per cell of MHC antigens, which can inform immunotherapy design. Applying this platform in melanoma cell lines to profile the immunopeptidome response to CDK4/6 inhibition and interferon-γ - known modulators of antigen presentation - uncovers treatment-specific alterations, connecting the intracellular response to extracellular immune presentation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1038/s41467-020-16588-9DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7265461PMC
June 2020

Coagulopathy signature precedes and predicts severity of end-organ heat stroke pathology in a mouse model.

J Thromb Haemost 2020 08 25;18(8):1900-1910. Epub 2020 Jun 25.

Thermal and Mountain Medicine Division, United States Army Research Institute of Environmental Medicine, Natick, MA, USA.

Background: Immune challenge is known to increase heat stroke risk, although the mechanism of this increased risk is unclear.

Objectives: We sought to understand the effect of immune challenge on heat stroke pathology.

Patients/methods: Using a mouse model of classic heat stroke, we examined the impact of prior viral or bacterial infection on hematological aspects of recovery. Mice were exposed to heat either 48 or 72 hours following polyinosinic:polycytidylic acid (poly I:C) or lipopolysaccharide injection, time points when symptoms of illness (fever, lethargy, anorexia) were minimized or completely absent.

Results: Employing multivariate supervised machine learning to identify patterns of molecular and cellular markers associated with heat stroke, we found that prior viral infection simulated with poly I:C injection resulted in heat stroke presenting with high levels of factors indicating coagulopathy. Despite a decreased number of platelets in the blood, platelets are large and non-uniform in size, suggesting younger, more active platelets. Levels of D-dimer and soluble thrombomodulin were increased in more severe heat stroke, and in cases of the highest level of organ damage markers D-dimer levels dropped, indicating potential fibrinolysis-resistant thrombosis. Genes corresponding to immune response, coagulation, hypoxia, and vessel repair were up-regulated in kidneys of heat-challenged animals; these correlated with both viral treatment and distal organ damage while appearing before discernible tissue damage to the kidney itself.

Conclusions: Heat stroke-induced coagulopathy may be a driving mechanistic force in heat stroke pathology, especially when exacerbated by prior infection. Coagulation markers may serve as accessible biomarkers for heat stroke severity and therapeutic strategies.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1111/jth.14875DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7496969PMC
August 2020

Translating preclinical models to humans.

Science 2020 Feb;367(6479):742-743

Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA 02139, USA.

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http://dx.doi.org/10.1126/science.aay8086DOI Listing
February 2020

Robustness and applicability of transcription factor and pathway analysis tools on single-cell RNA-seq data.

Genome Biol 2020 02 12;21(1):36. Epub 2020 Feb 12.

Institute for Computational Biomedicine, Bioquant, Heidelberg University, Faculty of Medicine, and Heidelberg University Hospital, Heidelberg, Germany.

Background: Many functional analysis tools have been developed to extract functional and mechanistic insight from bulk transcriptome data. With the advent of single-cell RNA sequencing (scRNA-seq), it is in principle possible to do such an analysis for single cells. However, scRNA-seq data has characteristics such as drop-out events and low library sizes. It is thus not clear if functional TF and pathway analysis tools established for bulk sequencing can be applied to scRNA-seq in a meaningful way.

Results: To address this question, we perform benchmark studies on simulated and real scRNA-seq data. We include the bulk-RNA tools PROGENy, GO enrichment, and DoRothEA that estimate pathway and transcription factor (TF) activities, respectively, and compare them against the tools SCENIC/AUCell and metaVIPER, designed for scRNA-seq. For the in silico study, we simulate single cells from TF/pathway perturbation bulk RNA-seq experiments. We complement the simulated data with real scRNA-seq data upon CRISPR-mediated knock-out. Our benchmarks on simulated and real data reveal comparable performance to the original bulk data. Additionally, we show that the TF and pathway activities preserve cell type-specific variability by analyzing a mixture sample sequenced with 13 scRNA-seq protocols. We also provide the benchmark data for further use by the community.

Conclusions: Our analyses suggest that bulk-based functional analysis tools that use manually curated footprint gene sets can be applied to scRNA-seq data, partially outperforming dedicated single-cell tools. Furthermore, we find that the performance of functional analysis tools is more sensitive to the gene sets than to the statistic used.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s13059-020-1949-zDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7017576PMC
February 2020

-Associated Antibiotics Alter Human Mucosal Barrier Functions by Microbiome-Independent Mechanisms.

Antimicrob Agents Chemother 2020 03 24;64(4). Epub 2020 Mar 24.

Department of Biological Engineering, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA

A clinically relevant risk factor for -associated disease (CDAD) is recent antibiotic treatment. Although broad-spectrum antibiotics have been shown to disrupt the structure of the gut microbiota, some antibiotics appear to increase CDAD risk without being highly active against intestinal anaerobes, suggesting direct nonantimicrobial effects. We examined cell biological effects of antibiotic exposure that may be involved in bacterial pathogenesis using an germfree human colon epithelial culture model. We found a marked loss of mucosal barrier and immune function with exposure to the CDAD-associated antibiotics clindamycin and ciprofloxacin, distinct from the results of pretreatment with an antibiotic unassociated with CDAD, tigecycline, which did not reduce innate immune or mucosal barrier functions. Importantly, pretreatment with CDAD-associated antibiotics sensitized mucosal barriers to toxin activity in primary cell-derived enteroid monolayers. These data implicate commensal-independent gut mucosal barrier changes in the increased risk of CDAD with specific antibiotics and warrant further studies in systems. We anticipate this work to suggest potential avenues of research for host-directed treatment and preventive therapies for CDAD.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/AAC.01404-19DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC7179307PMC
March 2020

Pharmacometrics and Systems Pharmacology 2030.

Clin Pharmacol Ther 2020 01 23;107(1):76-78. Epub 2019 Nov 23.

Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, Seattle, Washington, USA.

In 2012, a new journal was launched from the ASCPT family, CPT: Pharmacometrics and Systems Pharmacology (PSP) as both quantitative system pharmacology (QSP) and pharmacometrics were growing fields in pharmacology, drug development, and drug use. In this Perspective, the present editors and associate editors of PSP want to share their strategic vision of where these two fields, separately and together, should, would, or could be 10 years from now.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/cpt.1683DOI Listing
January 2020