Publications by authors named "Rolf E Kuestner"

10 Publications

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Loss of inter-cellular cooperation by complete epithelial-mesenchymal transition supports favorable outcomes in basal breast cancer patients.

Oncotarget 2018 Apr 13;9(28):20018-20033. Epub 2018 Apr 13.

Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle, WA, USA.

According to the sequential metastasis model, aggressive mesenchymal (M) metastasis-initiating cells (MICs) are generated by an epithelial-mesenchymal transition (EMT) which eventually is reversed by a mesenchymal-epithelial transition (MET) and outgrowth of life-threatening epithelial (E) macrometastases. Paradoxically, in breast cancer M signatures are linked with more favorable outcomes than E signatures, and M cells are often dispensable for metastasis in mouse models. Here we present evidence at the cellular and patient level for the cooperation metastasis model, according to which E cells are MICs, while M cells merely support E cell persistence through cooperation. We tracked the fates of co-cultured E and M clones and of fluorescent CDH1-promoter-driven cell lines reporting the E state derived from basal breast cancer HMLER cells. Cells were placed in suspension state and allowed to reattach and select an EMT cell fate. Flow cytometry, single cell and bulk gene expression analyses revealed that only pre-existing E cells generated E cells, mixed E/M populations, or stem-like hybrid E/M cells after suspension and that complete EMT manifest in M clones and CDH1-negative reporter cells resulted in loss of cell plasticity, suggesting full transdifferentiation. Mechanistically, E-M coculture experiments supported the persistence of pre-existing E cells where M cells inhibited EMT of E cells in a mutual cooperation via direct cell-cell contact. Consistently, M signatures were associated with more favorable patient outcomes compared to E signatures in breast cancer, specifically in basal breast cancer patients. These findings suggest a potential benefit of complete EMT for basal breast cancer patients.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.18632/oncotarget.25034DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5929443PMC
April 2018

Prior infection with Type A Francisella tularensis antagonizes the pulmonary transcriptional response to an aerosolized Toll-like receptor 4 agonist.

BMC Genomics 2015 Oct 28;16:874. Epub 2015 Oct 28.

Institute for Systems Biology, 401 Terry Ave. N, Seattle, WA, 98109, USA.

Background: Francisella infection attenuates immune cell infiltration and expression of selected pro-inflammatory cytokines in response to endogenous LPS, suggesting the bacteria is actively antagonizing at least some part of the response to Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) engagement. The ability of different Francisella strains to inhibit the ability of E. coli LPS to induce a pulmonary inflammatory response, as measured by gene expression profiling, was examined to define the scope of modulation and identify of inflammatory genes/pathways that are specifically antagonized by a virulent F. tularensis infection.

Results: Prior aerosol exposure to F. tularensis subsp. tularensis, but not the live attenuated strain (LVS) of F. tularensis subsp. holarctica or F. novicida, significantly antagonized the transcriptional response in the lungs of infected mice exposed to aerosolized E. coli LPS. The response to E. coli LPS was not completely inhibited, suggesting that the bacteria is targeting further downstream of the TLR4 molecule. Analysis of the promotors of LPS-responsive genes that were perturbed by Type A Francisella infection identified candidate transcription factors that were potentially modulated by the bacteria, including multiple members of the forkhead transcription factor family (FoxA1, Foxa2, FoxD1, Foxd3, Foxf2, FoxI1, Fox03, Foxq1), IRF1, CEBPA, and Mef2. The annotated functional roles of the affected genes suggested that virulent Francisella infection suppressed cellular processes including mRNA processing, antiviral responses, intracellular trafficking, and regulation of the actin cytoskeleton. Surprisingly, despite the broad overall suppression of LPS-induced genes by virulent Francisella, and contrary to what was anticipated from prior studies, Type A Francisella did not inhibit the expression of the majority of LPS-induced cytokines, nor the expression of many classic annotated inflammatory genes.

Conclusions: Collectively, this analysis demonstrates clear differences in the ability of different Francisella strains to modulate TLR4 signaling and identifies genes/pathways that are specifically targeted by virulent Type A Francisella.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1186/s12864-015-2022-2DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4625460PMC
October 2015

1918 pandemic influenza virus and Streptococcus pneumoniae co-infection results in activation of coagulation and widespread pulmonary thrombosis in mice and humans.

J Pathol 2016 Jan 14;238(1):85-97. Epub 2015 Oct 14.

Viral Pathogenesis and Evolution Section, Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), NIH, Bethesda, MD, 20892, USA.

To study bacterial co-infection following 1918 H1N1 influenza virus infection, mice were inoculated with the 1918 influenza virus, followed by Streptococcus pneumoniae (SP) 72 h later. Co-infected mice exhibited markedly more severe disease, shortened survival time and more severe lung pathology, including widespread thrombi. Transcriptional profiling revealed activation of coagulation only in co-infected mice, consistent with the extensive thrombogenesis observed. Immunohistochemistry showed extensive expression of tissue factor (F3) and prominent deposition of neutrophil elastase on endothelial and epithelial cells in co-infected mice. Lung sections of SP-positive 1918 autopsy cases showed extensive thrombi and prominent staining for F3 in alveolar macrophages, monocytes, neutrophils, endothelial and epithelial cells, in contrast to co-infection-positive 2009 pandemic H1N1 autopsy cases. This study reveals that a distinctive feature of 1918 influenza virus and SP co-infection in mice and humans is extensive expression of tissue factor and activation of the extrinsic coagulation pathway leading to widespread pulmonary thrombosis.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/path.4638DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4789761PMC
January 2016

Stemness of the hybrid Epithelial/Mesenchymal State in Breast Cancer and Its Association with Poor Survival.

PLoS One 2015 28;10(5):e0126522. Epub 2015 May 28.

Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle, WA 98109, United States of America.

Breast cancer stem cells (CSCs) are thought to drive recurrence and metastasis. Their identity has been linked to the epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) but remains highly controversial since--depending on the cell-line studied--either epithelial (E) or mesenchymal (M) markers, alone or together have been associated with stemness. Using distinct transcript expression signatures characterizing the three different E, M and hybrid E/M cell-types, our data support a novel model that links a mixed EM signature with stemness in 1) individual cells, 2) luminal and basal cell lines, 3) in vivo xenograft mouse models, and 4) in all breast cancer subtypes. In particular, we found that co-expression of E and M signatures was associated with poorest outcome in luminal and basal breast cancer patients as well as with enrichment for stem-like cells in both E and M breast cell-lines. This link between a mixed EM expression signature and stemness was explained by two findings: first, mixed cultures of E and M cells showed increased cooperation in mammosphere formation (indicative of stemness) compared to the more differentiated E and M cell-types. Second, single-cell qPCR analysis revealed that E and M genes could be co-expressed in the same cell. These hybrid E/M cells were generated by both E or M cells and had a combination of several stem-like traits since they displayed increased plasticity, self-renewal, mammosphere formation, and produced ALDH1+ progenies, while more differentiated M cells showed less plasticity and E cells showed less self-renewal. Thus, the hybrid E/M state reflecting stemness and its promotion by E-M cooperation offers a dual biological rationale for the robust association of the mixed EM signature with poor prognosis, independent of cellular origin. Together, our model explains previous paradoxical findings that breast CSCs appear to be M in luminal cell-lines but E in basal breast cancer cell-lines. Our results suggest that targeting E/M heterogeneity by eliminating hybrid E/M cells and cooperation between E and M cell-types could improve breast cancer patient survival independent of breast cancer-subtype.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0126522PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4447403PMC
April 2016

Treatment with the reactive oxygen species scavenger EUK-207 reduces lung damage and increases survival during 1918 influenza virus infection in mice.

Free Radic Biol Med 2014 Feb 17;67:235-47. Epub 2013 Oct 17.

Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, MD 20892, USA.

The 1918 influenza pandemic caused over 40 million deaths worldwide, with 675,000 deaths in the United States alone. Studies in several experimental animal models showed that 1918 influenza virus infection resulted in severe lung pathology associated with dysregulated immune and cell death responses. To determine if reactive oxygen species produced by host inflammatory responses play a central role in promoting severity of lung pathology, we treated 1918 influenza virus-infected mice with the catalytic catalase/superoxide dismutase mimetic, salen-manganese complex EUK-207 beginning 3 days postinfection. Postexposure treatment of mice infected with a lethal dose of the 1918 influenza virus with EUK-207 resulted in significantly increased survival and reduced lung pathology without a reduction in viral titers. In vitro studies also showed that EUK-207 treatment did not affect 1918 influenza viral replication. Immunohistochemical analysis showed a reduction in the detection of the apoptosis marker cleaved caspase-3 and the oxidative stress marker 8-oxo-2'-deoxyguanosine in lungs of EUK-207-treated animals compared to vehicle controls. High-throughput sequencing and RNA expression microarray analysis revealed that treatment resulted in decreased expression of inflammatory response genes and increased lung metabolic and repair responses. These results directly demonstrate that 1918 influenza virus infection leads to an immunopathogenic immune response with excessive inflammatory and cell death responses that can be limited by treatment with the catalytic antioxidant EUK-207.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.freeradbiomed.2013.10.014DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3927540PMC
February 2014

Francisella tularensis subsp. tularensis induces a unique pulmonary inflammatory response: role of bacterial gene expression in temporal regulation of host defense responses.

PLoS One 2013 14;8(5):e62412. Epub 2013 May 14.

Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle, Washington, USA.

Pulmonary exposure to Francisella tularensis is associated with severe lung pathology and a high mortality rate. The lack of induction of classical inflammatory mediators, including IL1-β and TNF-α, during early infection has led to the suggestion that F. tularensis evades detection by host innate immune surveillance and/or actively suppresses inflammation. To gain more insight into the host response to Francisella infection during the acute stage, transcriptomic analysis was performed on lung tissue from mice exposed to virulent (Francisella tularensis ssp tularensis SchuS4). Despite an extensive transcriptional response in the lungs of animals as early as 4 hrs post-exposure, Francisella tularensis was associated with an almost complete lack of induction of immune-related genes during the initial 24 hrs post-exposure. This broad subversion of innate immune responses was particularly evident when compared to the pulmonary inflammatory response induced by other lethal (Yersinia pestis) and non-lethal (Legionella pneumophila, Pseudomonas aeruginosa) pulmonary infections. However, the unique induction of a subset of inflammation-related genes suggests a role for dysregulation of lymphocyte function and anti-inflammatory pathways in the extreme virulence of Francisella. Subsequent activation of a classical inflammatory response 48 hrs post-exposure was associated with altered abundance of Francisella-specific transcripts, including those associated with bacterial surface components. In summary, virulent Francisella induces a unique pulmonary inflammatory response characterized by temporal regulation of innate immune pathways correlating with altered bacterial gene expression patterns. This study represents the first simultaneous measurement of both host and Francisella transcriptome changes that occur during in vivo infection and identifies potential bacterial virulence factors responsible for regulation of host inflammatory pathways.
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http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0062412PLOS
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3653966PMC
December 2013

SILAC compatible strain of Pichia pastoris for expression of isotopically labeled protein standards and quantitative proteomics.

J Proteome Res 2011 Nov 14;10(11):5251-9. Epub 2011 Oct 14.

Institute for Systems Biology, Seattle, WA 98109, USA.

The methylotrophic yeast Pichia pastoris is a powerful eukaryotic platform for the production of heterologous protein. Recent publication of the P. pastoris genome has facilitated strain development toward biopharmaceutical and environmental science applications and has advanced the organism as a model system for the study of peroxisome biogenesis and methanol metabolism. Here we report the development of a P. pastoris arg-/lys- auxotrophic strain compatible with SILAC (stable isotope labeling by amino acids in cell culture) proteomic studies, which is capable of generating large quantities of isotopically labeled protein for mass spectrometry-based biomarker measurements. We demonstrate the utility of this strain to produce high purity human serum albumin uniformly labeled with isotopically heavy arginine and lysine. In addition, we demonstrate the first quantitative proteomic analysis of methanol metabolism in P. pastoris, reporting new evidence for a malate-aspartate NADH shuttle mechanism in the organism. This strain will be a useful model organism for the study of metabolism and peroxisome generation.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1021/pr200551eDOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3361967PMC
November 2011

Lethal synergism of 2009 pandemic H1N1 influenza virus and Streptococcus pneumoniae coinfection is associated with loss of murine lung repair responses.

mBio 2011 20;2(5). Epub 2011 Sep 20.

Viral Pathogenesis and Evolution Section, Laboratory of Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, National Institutes of Health, Bethesda, Maryland, USA.

Unlabelled: Secondary bacterial infections increase disease severity of influenza virus infections and contribute greatly to increased morbidity and mortality during pandemics. To study secondary bacterial infection following influenza virus infection, mice were inoculated with sublethal doses of 2009 seasonal H1N1 virus (NIH50) or pandemic H1N1 virus (Mex09) followed by inoculation with Streptococcus pneumoniae 48 h later. Disease was characterized by assessment of weight loss and survival, titration of virus and bacteria by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR), histopathology, expression microarray, and immunohistochemistry. Mice inoculated with virus alone showed 100% survival for all groups. Mice inoculated with Mex09 plus S. pneumoniae showed severe weight loss and 100% mortality with severe alveolitis, denuded bronchiolar epithelium, and widespread expression of apoptosis marker cleaved caspase 3. In contrast, mice inoculated with NIH50 plus S. pneumoniae showed increased weight loss, 100% survival, and slightly enhanced lung pathology. Mex09-S. pneumoniae coinfection also resulted in increased S. pneumoniae replication in lung and bacteremia late in infection. Global gene expression profiling revealed that Mex09-S. pneumoniae coinfection did not induce significantly more severe inflammatory responses but featured significant loss of epithelial cell reproliferation and repair responses. Histopathological examination for cell proliferation marker MCM7 showed significant staining of airway epithelial cells in all groups except Mex09-S. pneumoniae-infected mice. This study demonstrates that secondary bacterial infection during 2009 H1N1 pandemic virus infection resulted in more severe disease and loss of lung repair responses than did seasonal influenza viral and bacterial coinfection. Moreover, this study provides novel insights into influenza virus and bacterial coinfection by showing correlation of lethal outcome with loss of airway basal epithelial cells and associated lung repair responses.

Importance: Secondary bacterial pneumonias lead to increased disease severity and have resulted in a significant percentage of deaths during influenza pandemics. To understand the biological basis for the interaction of bacterial and viral infections, mice were infected with sublethal doses of 2009 seasonal H1N1 and pandemic H1N1 viruses followed by infection with Streptococcus pneumoniae 48 h later. Only infection with 2009 pandemic H1N1 virus and S. pneumoniae resulted in severe disease with a 100% fatality rate. Analysis of the host response to infection during lethal coinfection showed a significant loss of responses associated with lung repair that was not observed in any of the other experimental groups. This group of mice also showed enhanced bacterial replication in the lung. This study reveals that the extent of lung damage during viral infection influences the severity of secondary bacterial infections and may help explain some differences in mortality during influenza pandemics.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1128/mBio.00172-11DOI Listing
http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3175626PMC
January 2012

Identification of the IL-17 receptor related molecule IL-17RC as the receptor for IL-17F.

J Immunol 2007 Oct;179(8):5462-73

Department of Molecular and Cell Based Discovery, ZymoGenetics Incroporated, Seattle, WA 98102, USA.

The proinflammatory cytokines IL-17A and IL-17F have a high degree of sequence similarity and share many biological properties. Both have been implicated as factors contributing to the progression of inflammatory and autoimmune diseases. Moreover, reagents that neutralize IL-17A significantly ameliorate disease severity in several mouse models of human disease. IL-17A mediates its effects through interaction with its cognate receptor, the IL-17 receptor (IL-17RA). We report here that the IL-17RA-related molecule, IL-17RC is the receptor for IL-17F. Notably, both IL-17A and IL-17F bind to IL-17RC with high affinity, leading us to suggest that a soluble form of this molecule may serve as an effective therapeutic antagonist of IL-17A and IL-17F. We generated a soluble form of IL-17RC and demonstrate that it effectively blocks binding of both IL-17A and IL-17F, and that it inhibits signaling in response to these cytokines. Collectively, our work indicates that IL-17RC functions as a receptor for both IL-17A and IL-17F and that a soluble version of this protein should be an effective antagonist of IL-17A and IL-17F mediated inflammatory diseases.
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http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2849293PMC
http://dx.doi.org/10.4049/jimmunol.179.8.5462DOI Listing
October 2007

Expression of IL-17B in neurons and evaluation of its possible role in the chromosome 5q-linked form of Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease.

Neuromuscul Disord 2002 Feb;12(2):141-50

ZymoGenetics Inc, 1201 Eastlake Avenue East, Seattle, WA 98102, USA.

IL-17B is a recently identified homolog of IL-17. Northern analysis revealed that IL-17B mRNA is expressed at very high levels in spinal cord and at much lower and more variable levels in trachea, prostate, lung, small intestine, testes, adrenal, and pancreas. In developing mouse embryos IL-17B expression was first detected at day 11 and appeared to peak at day 15. In situ analysis of mouse spinal cord, dorsal root ganglia, and brain demonstrated that IL-17B mRNA is primarily expressed by the neurons. Immunohistochemical analysis of human spinal cord, dorsal root ganglia, cerebral cortex, cerebellum, and hippocampus demonstrated that IL-17B protein is primarily localized to the neuronal cell bodies and axons. Radiation hybrid mapping localized the IL-17B gene to a region on human chromosome 5q that is associated with a rare autosomal recessive form of Charcot-Marie-Tooth demyelinating disease. However, no changes were found in the coding regions, splice junctions, intron 1, or the 5' and 3' untranslated regions of IL-17B genes of patients affected with this disease.
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http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/s0960-8966(01)00250-4DOI Listing
February 2002