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Found in Translation

The Tres Cantos Open Lab was founded a decade ago by GlaxoSmithKline to promote collaboration between academia and industry to study endemic infectious diseases. Calderón et al. discuss the Open Lab’s approach, structure, and what sets it apart from similar initiatives.


In this issue of JEM, Guo et al. examine the importance of tumor-derived astrocytes in SHH-medulloblastoma recurrence. They show that tumor cells transdifferentiate to tumor-derived astrocytes via bone morphogenetic proteins and Sox9, which excitingly can be targeted by BMP inhibitors.

Podstawka et al. show that B cells can limit neutrophil responses within the lung microvasculature by marginating and acting on marginated neutrophils. This study provides a new view of B cells and reveals a novel mechanism of cell-mediated intravascular regulation.

A recent study published in JEM describes the adipocyte–macrophage collaboration to foster cardiac fibrosis through the actions of angiotensin II in obesity.

Intestinal inflammation, in the absence of infection, occurs from contributions by genetics and environment. Chen et al. challenge this concept by demonstrating that a dominant transmissible dysbiotic microbial community predisposes to intestinal inflammation in absence of genetic alterations.

The NS1 protein of flaviviruses is taking center stage. Recent work has made it an attractive target for development of vaccines and immunotherapeutics. Cavazzoni and colleagues now reveal a dark side to NS1, linking it to the development of self-reactive antibodies.


Ahn and Wang discuss the translational potential of the bat model for treating human diseases.

Here, we will summarize the historical and current understanding of the stepwise assembly and function of factors that regulate ifnb gene transcription.


Neuro-Immune Interactions Focus
In Special Collection:
Neuroscience 2021

scRNA-seq analyses of microglial responses to AD pathology in patients and mouse models have provided fundamental insights but also exposed some heterogeneity and discrepancies. Here, we identify consistent microglial response patterns and discuss parallels and incongruities between humans and mice.

Neuro-Immune Interactions Focus
In Special Collection:
Neuroscience 2021

Astrocytes are glial cells of the central nervous system (CNS) that are strategically positioned to control CNS immunity in the context of health and disease. Here, Sanmarco, Polonio, Wheeler, and Quintana review progress in elucidating astrocyte–immune interactions in multiple sclerosis.

Technical Advances and Resources

Through scRNA-seq and ATAC-seq, Pisu et al. characterize specific lung macrophage subsets that either restrict or promote M. tuberculosis growth. Comparable macrophage populations are present in the human airways, and cells show evidence of epigenetic imprinting.

Transient genetic depletion of essential proteins in Mycobacterium tuberculosis leads to the establishment of latent infection in mice that reproducibly reactivates in a stable proportion of infected mice, mimicking aspects of latent tuberculosis and tuberculosis relapse in humans.

Skin index-sorted single-cell RNA sequencing reveals the transcriptional landscape of macrophages and dendritic cells in atopic and psoriatic skin and identifies CD14+ type 3 dendritic cells co-producing IL1B and IL23A in psoriatic skin.


BMP-Sox9 signaling drives tumor cells to transdifferentiate into astrocytes, which contributes to the recurrence of SHH-driven medulloblastoma, a common type of pediatric brain tumor.

Genetically diverse IgM+ peripheral B cells reside in the lung microvasculature and dampen neutrophil-mediated lung inflammation via lipoxins. Podstawka et al. reveal that transitional B cells marginate in the lung capillaries, where they dampen neutrophil inflammation. These discoveries help elucidate regulatory mechanisms that attenuate acute lung inflammation, which, when unchecked, can lead to acute respiratory distress syndrome and pulmonary failure.

In Special Collection:
Cardiovascular Biology 2021

The authors uncover a new interaction pattern between macrophage and adipocyte: that macrophage-derived uPA activates adipocyte-secreted PDGF-D, which finally accelerates AngII-induced cardiac remodeling in obese mice. Targeting the uPA/PDGF-D pathway might be a potential therapeutic tool for prevention of hypertensive cardiac injury during obesity.

The host-derived regulatory network that controls mucus secretion and thereby changes gut microbiota has not been fully illustrated. Here, we identify that Forkhead box protein O1 (Foxo1) is critical for gut commensalism and intestinal barrier integrity by regulating goblet cell function.

Using an immunocompetent mouse model of ZIKV infection, Cavazzoni et al. describe an immunodominant anti-NS1 humoral response characterized by autoreactive germinal center B cells, both cross-reactive and non-cross-reactive with NS1, exhibiting a paucity of somatic hypermutations, suggesting a broad breakage of self-tolerance in this viral infection model.

Plasmodium falciparum erythrocyte membrane and merozoite antigen 1 (PfEMMA1) is a newly characterized malaria protein expressed on the surface of parasitized erythrocytes and merozoites that induces protective antibodies in functional assays, a human epidemiological study, and a mouse immunization model.

Type 2 cytokines promote epithelial changes that help to expel worms during intestinal helminth infection. Oyesola et al. show that prostaglandin D2 and its receptor CRTH2 are novel negative regulators of this response, dampening the Type 2 cytokine–mediated program.

Using single-cell analysis of whole blood and intestinal tissue, Olaloye et al. identify a population of inflammatory monocytes that are potentially pathogenic in necrotizing enterocolitis. They identify distinct phenotypes of necrotizing enterocolitis based on the nature of neutrophils (immature, newly emigrated, and aged) and highlight a population of CD16+CD163+ monocytes/Mϕ involved in multiple aspects of inflammation that could be targeted for therapeutics development.

Mowat et al. show that anti-tumor immunity in dMMR CRCs relies on recruitment and retention of systemic CD8+ T cells. This is driven by extensive genomic instability that upregulates CCL5 and CXCL10 in the CRC cells by endogenously activating cGAS/STING and type I IFN signaling.

The regulatory mechanisms controlling natural killer (NK) cell maturation remain unknown. In this article, Tan et al. report that Zhx2 acts as a key negative regulator of NK cell maturation by controlling IL-15 signaling and transcription of Zeb2.

Fukuda et al. demonstrate that AIM2 expression in DCs within human melanoma is a poor prognostic sign and that AIM2-deficient DC vaccination enhances melanoma immunotherapeutic responses by promoting STING-induced IFN secretion as well as limiting IL-1β and IL-18 production.

Vendramin et al. demonstrate that the integrated stress response in melanoma promotes cell plasticity and drives therapy resistance by boosting mitochondrial translation. Therefore, repurposing of mitoribosome-targeting antibiotics offers a salvage strategy for the treatment of patients with limited therapeutic options.

Mechanisms negatively controlling activation of NLRP3 inflammasome remain unclear. Li et al. demonstrate that glutathionylation of ASC represses NLRP3 inflammasome activation, and that GSTO1-promoted deglutathionylation of ASC at ER, under metabolic control, is a checkpoint for activating NLRP3 inflammasome.

hnRNPC prevents release of inverted-repeat Alu double-stranded RNA into the cytosol by masking cryptic splice sites. Herzner et al. found that deficiency in hnRNPC led to dysregulation of splicing and increased abundance of intronic double-stranded RNA, which together with ADAR deficiency resulted in a synergistic increase in spontaneous MDA5-dependent IFN responses.

This study describes decreased production of reactive oxygen species by phagocytes of PKCδ-deficient patients as a possible mechanism by which inherited human PKCδ deficiency contributes to susceptibility to infectious diseases.

This work shows that Engrailed 1 (EN1) is a key mediator of TGFβ-induced myofibroblast differentiation and fibrotic tissue remodeling. Mechanistically, EN1 induces a profibrotic gene expression profile by modulating the activity of SP transcription factors to coordinate the microtubule–stress fiber cytoskeletal rearrangements required for fibroblast activation in a ROCK-dependent manner.

In Special Collection:
Cardiovascular Biology 2021

Following myocardial infarction, tissue ischemia leads to activation of hypoxia-inducible factors. DeBerge et al. demonstrate that HIF-1α and HIF-2α activation in myeloid cells antagonizes cardiac repair pathways through cleavage of cardioprotective MerTK and suppression of anti-inflammatory mitochondrial metabolism, respectively.

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