Retinaldehyde dehydrogenase 2 as a molecular adjuvant for enhancement of mucosal immunity during DNA vaccination.
ABSTRACT: In order for vaccines to induce efficacious immune responses against mucosally transmitted pathogens, such as HIV-1, activated lymphocytes must efficiently migrate to and enter targeted mucosal sites. We have previously shown that all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) can be used as a vaccine adjuvant to enhance mucosal CD8+ T cell responses during vaccination and improve protection against mucosal viral challenge. However, the ATRA formulation is incompatible with most recombinant vaccines, and the teratogenic potential of ATRA at high doses limits its usage in many clinical settings. We hypothesized that increasing in vivo production of retinoic acid (RA) during vaccination with a DNA vector expressing retinaldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (RALDH2), the rate-limiting enzyme in RA biosynthesis, could similarly provide enhanced programming of mucosal homing to T cell responses while avoiding teratogenic effects. Administration of a RALDH2- expressing plasmid during immunization with a HIVgag DNA vaccine resulted in increased systemic and mucosal CD8+ T cell numbers with an increase in both effector and central memory T cells. Moreover, mice that received RALDH2 plasmid during DNA vaccination were more resistant to intravaginal challenge with a recombinant vaccinia virus expressing the same HIVgag antigen (VACVgag). Thus, RALDH2 can be used as an alternative adjuvant to ATRA during DNA vaccination leading to an increase in both systemic and mucosal T cell immunity and better protection from viral infection at mucosal sites.
Project description:Alcohol consumption during pregnancy induces Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorder (FASD), which has been proposed to arise from competitive inhibition of retinoic acid (RA) biosynthesis. We provide biochemical and developmental evidence identifying acetaldehyde as responsible for this inhibition. In the embryo, RA production by RALDH2 (ALDH1A2), the main retinaldehyde dehydrogenase expressed at that stage, is inhibited by ethanol exposure. Pharmacological inhibition of the embryonic alcohol dehydrogenase activity, prevents the oxidation of ethanol to acetaldehyde that in turn functions as a RALDH2 inhibitor. Acetaldehyde-mediated reduction of RA can be rescued by RALDH2 or retinaldehyde supplementation. Enzymatic kinetic analysis of human RALDH2 shows a preference for acetaldehyde as a substrate over retinaldehyde. RA production by hRALDH2 is efficiently inhibited by acetaldehyde but not by ethanol itself. We conclude that acetaldehyde is the teratogenic derivative of ethanol responsible for the reduction in RA signaling and induction of the developmental malformations characteristic of FASD. This competitive mechanism will affect tissues requiring RA signaling when exposed to ethanol throughout life.
Project description:Vaccine-induced memory T cells localized at mucosal sites can provide rapid protection from viral infection. All-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) has been shown to act physiologically to induce the expression of gut-homing receptors on lymphocytes. We tested whether the administration of exogenous ATRA during a systemic vaccination of mice could enhance the generation of mucosal CD8(+) T cell immunity, which might represent a strategy for establishing better protection from viral infection via mucosal routes. ATRA induced the expression of CCR9 and ?4?7 on both mouse and human CD8(+) T cells activated in vitro. The administration of ATRA to mice during in vivo priming with a replication-defective recombinant adenovirus vector expressing the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus glycoprotein (LCMVgp) (Ad5gp) increased numbers of both effector and memory T cells in intestinal mucosal tissues and showed higher frequencies of systemic central memory-like T cells that exhibited enhanced proliferation during boosting immunization with recombinant modified vaccinia virus Ankara expressing LCMVgp (MVAgp). Mice that received ATRA during Ad5gp vaccination were more resistant to intravaginal challenge by recombinant vaccinia virus expressing LCMVgp (VVgp), reflecting in part stronger T cell recall responses in situ. Thus, ATRA appears to be useful as an adjuvant during vaccination to increase memory T cell responses and protection from viral infection at mucosal sites and may facilitate the development of more effective vaccines against mucosally transmitted pathogens such as HIV.
Project description:All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) has a key role in dendritic cells (DCs) and affects T cell subtype specification and gut homing. However, the identity of the permissive cell types and the required steps of conversion of vitamin A to biologically active ATRA bringing about retinoic acid receptor-regulated signaling remains elusive. Here we present that only a subset of murine and human DCs express the necessary enzymes, including RDH10, RALDH2, and transporter cellular retinoic acid binding protein (CRABP)2, to produce ATRA and efficient signaling. These permissive cell types include CD103(+) DCs, granulocyte-macrophage colony-stimulating factor, and interleukin-4-treated bone marrow-derived murine DCs and human monocyte-derived DCs (mo-DCs). Importantly, in addition to RDH10 and RALDH2, CRABP2 also appears to be regulated by the fatty acid-sensing nuclear receptor peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor ? (PPAR?) and colocalize in human gut-associated lymphoid tissue DCs. In our model of human mo-DCs, all three proteins (RDH10, RALDH2, and CRABP2) appeared to be required for ATRA production induced by activation of PPAR? and therefore form a linear pathway. This now functionally validated PPAR?-regulated ATRA producing and signaling axis equips the cells with the capacity to convert precursors to active retinoids in response to receptor-activating fatty acids and is potentially amenable to intervention in diseases involving or affecting mucosal immunity.
Project description:All-trans-retinoic acid (atRA) has been implicated in the local regulation of scleral proteoglycan synthesis in vivo. The purpose of the present study was to identify the enzymes involved in the synthesis of atRA during visually guided ocular growth, the cells involved in modulation of atRA biosynthesis in the choroid, and the effect of choroid-derived atRA on scleral proteoglycan synthesis.Myopia was induced in White leghorn chicks by form deprivation for 10 days, followed by up to 15 days of unrestricted vision (recovery). Expression of atRA synthesizing enzymes was evaluated by semiquantitative qRT-PCR, in situ hybridization, and immunohistochemistry. atRA synthesis was measured in organ cultures of isolated choroids using LC-tandem MS quantification. Scleral proteoglycan synthesis was measured in vitro by the incorporation of (35)SO(4) in CPC-precipitable glycosaminoglycans. RESULTS; RALDH2 was the predominant RALDH transcript in the choroid (> 100-fold that of RALDH3). RALDH2 mRNA was elevated after 12 and 24 hours of recovery (60% and 188%, respectively; P < 0.01). The atRA concentration was significantly higher in cultures of choroids from 24-hour to 15-day recovering eyes than in paired controls (-195%; P < 0.01). Choroid conditioned medium from recovering choroids inhibited proteoglycan synthesis to 43% of controls (P < 0.02, paired t-test; n = 16) and produced a relative inhibition corresponding to a RA concentration of 7.20 × 10(-8) M.The results of this study suggest that RALDH2 is the major retinal dehydrogenase in the chick choroid and is responsible for increased atRA synthesis in response to myopic defocus.
Project description:Vaccination is an important tool for enhancing immune responses against mucosal pathogens. Intramuscularly administered adenovirus (Ad) vectors have been demonstrated to be strong inducers of both systemic and mucosal immune responses. Further enhancement of immune responses following Ad vaccination is highly desirable. All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA), a biologically active vitamin A metabolite, has been explored as an adjuvant for primary immune responses following vaccination. In this study, we investigated the effect of ATRA on a heterologous Ad prime boost regimen. ATRA co-administration during priming increased mucosal and systemic antibody responses as well as mucosal but not systemic CD8(+) T cell responses. However, this effect was no longer apparent after boosting regardless of whether ATRA was administered at the time of priming, at the time of boosting, or at both immunizations. Our findings confirm ATRA as an adjuvant for primary immune responses and suggest that the adjuvant effect does not extend to secondary immune responses.
Project description:Zebrafish heart regeneration occurs through the activation of cardiomyocyte proliferation in areas of trauma. Here, we show that within 3 hr of ventricular injury, the entire endocardium undergoes morphological changes and induces expression of the retinoic acid (RA)-synthesizing enzyme raldh2. By one day posttrauma, raldh2 expression becomes localized to endocardial cells at the injury site, an area that is supplemented with raldh2-expressing epicardial cells as cardiogenesis begins. Induced transgenic inhibition of RA receptors or expression of an RA-degrading enzyme blocked regenerative cardiomyocyte proliferation. Injured hearts of the ancient fish Polypterus senegalus also induced and maintained robust endocardial and epicardial raldh2 expression coincident with cardiomyocyte proliferation, whereas poorly regenerative infarcted murine hearts did not. Our findings reveal that the endocardium is a dynamic, injury-responsive source of RA in zebrafish, and indicate key roles for endocardial and epicardial cells in targeting RA synthesis to damaged heart tissue and promoting cardiomyocyte proliferation.
Project description:Retinoic acid (RA) plays pivotal roles in organogenesis, and both excessive and reduced amounts of RA cause developmental abnormalities. Reproductive organs are susceptible to teratogen toxigenicity, and the genital tubercle (GT) is one such representative organ. The physiological function of endogenous RA signaling and the mechanisms of RA-induced teratogenicity are poorly understood during the GT development. The objective of this study is to understand the developmental and teratogenic roles of RA during GT development by analyzing genetically modified mouse models. We found dynamic patterns of gene expression for the RA-synthesizing enzyme, Raldh2, and for the RA-catabolizing enzyme, Cyp26b1, during GT development. Rarb, an indicator gene for RA signaling, starts its expression in the prospective corpus cavernosum penis and in the urethral plate epithelium (UE), which plays central roles during GT development. Excessive RA signaling in Cyp26b1(-/-) mutants leads to abnormal extents of cell proliferation and differentiation during GT development, and also upregulates expression of growth factor signalings. They include Sonic hedgehog (Shh) signaling and Bone morphogenetic protein (Bmp) signaling, which are expressed in the UE and its bilateral mesenchyme. RA signaling positively regulatesShh and Bmp4 expression during GT development as testified also by the experiment of RA administration and analyses of loss-of-function of RA signaling mutants. Thus, RA signaling is involved in the developmental cascade necessary for UE formation and GT development.
Project description:Retinaldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (RALDH2) has been implicated in regulating all-trans-retinoic acid (atRA) synthesis in response to visual signals in animal models of myopia. To explore the potential role of retinaldehyde dehydrogenase (RALDH) enzymes and atRA in human postnatal ocular growth, RALDH activity, along with the distribution of RALDH1, RALDH2, and RALDH3 in the postnatal eye was determined.Retina, retinal pigment epithelium (RPE), choroid, and sclera were isolated from donor human eyes. RALDH catalytic activity was measured in tissue homogenates using an in vitro atRA synthesis assay together with HPLC quantification of synthesized atRA. Homogenates were compared by western blotting for RALDH1, RALDH2, and RALDH3 protein. Immunohistochemistry was used to determine RALDH1 and RALDH2 localization in posterior fundal layers of the human eye.In the postnatal human eye, RALDH catalytic activity was detected in the choroid (6.84 ± 1.20 pmol/hr/ug), RPE (5.46 ± 1.18 pmol/hr/ug), and retina (4.21 ± 1.55 pmol/hr/ug), indicating the presence of active RALDH enzymes in these tissues. RALDH2 was most abundant in the choroid and RPE, in moderate abundance in the retina, and in relatively low abundance in sclera. RALDH1 was most abundant in the choroid, in moderate abundance in the sclera, and substantially reduced in the retina and RPE. RALDH3 was undetectable in human ocular fundal tissues. In the choroid, RALDH1 and RALDH2 localized to slender cells in the stroma, some of which were closely associated with blood vessels.Results of this study demonstrated that: 1) Catalytically active RALDH is present in postnatal human retina, RPE, and choroid, 2) RALDH1 and RALDH2 isoforms are present in these ocular tissues, and 3) RALDH1 and RALDH2 are relatively abundant in the choroid and/or RPE. Taken together, these results suggest that RALDH1 and 2 may play a role in the regulation of postnatal ocular growth in humans through the synthesis of atRA.
Project description:Retinoic acid (RA) is an important biological signal that directly differentiates cells during embryonic development and tumorigenesis. However, the molecular mechanism of RA-mediated differentiation in hepatic cancer stem cells (hCSCs) is not well understood. In this study, we found that mRNA expressions of RA-biosynthesis-related dehydrogenases were highly expressed in hepatocellular carcinoma. All-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) differentiated hCSCs through inhibiting the function of ?-catenin in vitro. ATRA also inhibited the function of PI3K-AKT and enhanced GSK-3?-dependent degradation of phosphorylated ?-catenin. Furthermore, ATRA and ?-catenin silencing both increased hCSC sensitivity to docetaxel treatment. Our results suggest that targeting ?-catenin will provide extra benefits for ATRA-mediated treatment of hepatic cancer patients.
Project description:Human embryos exposed to alcohol (ethanol) develop a complex developmental phenotype known as fetal alcohol spectrum disorder (FASD). In Xenopus embryos, ethanol reduces the levels of retinoic acid (RA) signaling during gastrulation. RA, a metabolite of vitamin A (retinol), is required for vertebrate embryogenesis, and deviation from its normal levels results in developmental malformations. Retinaldehyde dehydrogenase 2 (RALDH2) is required to activate RA signaling at the onset of gastrulation. We studied the effect of alcohol on embryogenesis by manipulating retinaldehyde dehydrogenase activity in ethanol-treated embryos. In alcohol-treated embryos, we analyzed RA signaling levels, phenotypes induced and changes in gene expression. Developmental defects that were characteristic of high ethanol concentrations were phenocopied by a low ethanol concentration combined with partial RALDH inhibition, whereas Raldh2 overexpression rescued the developmental malformations induced by high ethanol. RALDH2 knockdown resulted in similar RA signaling levels when carried out alone or in combination with ethanol treatment, suggesting that RALDH2 is the main target of ethanol. The biochemical evidence that we present shows that, at the onset of RA signaling during early gastrulation, the ethanol effect centers on the competition for the available retinaldehyde dehydrogenase activity. In light of the multiple regulatory roles of RA, continued embryogenesis in the presence of abnormally low RA levels provides an etiological explanation for the malformations observed in individuals with FASD.