The molecular events that drive Hepatitis B virus (HBV)-mediated transformation and tumorigenesis have remained largely unclear, due to the absence of a relevant primary model system. Here we propose the use of human liver organoids as a platform for modeling HBV infection and related tumorigenesis. We first describe a primary ex vivo HBV-infection model derived from healthy donor liver organoids after challenge with recombinant virus or HBV-infected patient serum. HBV infected organoids produced cccDNA, HBeAg, expressed intracellular HBV RNA and proteins, and produced infectious HBV. This ex vivo HBV infected primary differentiated hepatocyte organoid platform was amenable to drug screening for both anti-HBV activity as well as for drug-induced toxicity. We also studied HBV replication in transgenically modified organoids; liver organoids exogenously overexpressing the HBV receptor NTCP after lentiviral transduction were not more susceptible to HBV, suggesting the necessity for additional host factors for efficient infection. We also generated transgenic organoids harboring integrated HBV, representing a long-term culture system also suitable for viral production and the study of HBV transcription. Finally, we generated HBV-infected patient-derived liver organoids from non-tumor cirrhotic tissue of explants from liver transplant patients. Interestingly, transcriptomic analysis of patient-derived liver organoids indicated the presence of an aberrant early cancer gene signature, which clustered with the HCC cohort on the TCGA LIHC dataset and away from healthy liver tissue, and may provide invaluable novel biomarkers for the development of HCC and surveillance in HBV infected patients.
Sequencing data that support the findings of this study have been deposited in GEO with the accession code GSE 126798.
Human liver organoids; a patient-derived primary model for HBV Infection, Replication and Related Hepatocellular CarcinomaNCBI Gene Expression Omnibus, GSE126798.
- Tokameh Mahmoudi
- Tokameh Mahmoudi
- Elisa De Crignis
The funders had no role in study design, data collection and interpretation, or the decision to submit the work for publication.
Human subjects: The Medical Ethical Council of the Erasmus Medical Center approved the use of this material for research purposes (reference number: MEC-2014-060, Department of Surgery, Erasmus MC), and informed consent was provided from all patients.
- Melanie Ott, University of California, San Francisco, United States
© 2021, De Crignis et al.
This article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License permitting unrestricted use and redistribution provided that the original author and source are credited.
Typhoid toxin is an essential virulence factor for Salmonella Typhi, the cause of typhoid fever in humans. This toxin has an unusual biology in that it is produced by Salmonella Typhi only when located within host cells. Once synthesized, the toxin is secreted to the lumen of the Salmonella-containing vacuole from where it is transported to the extracellular space by vesicle carrier intermediates. Here we report the identification of the typhoid toxin sorting receptor and components of the cellular machinery that packages the toxin into vesicle carriers, and exports it to the extracellular space. We found that the cation-independent mannose-6-phosphate receptor serves as typhoid toxin sorting receptor and that the coat protein COPII and the GTPase Sar1 mediate its packaging into vesicle carriers. Formation of the typhoid toxin carriers requires the specific environment of the Salmonella Typhi-containing vacuole, which is determined by the activities of specific effectors of its type III protein secretion systems. We also found that Rab11B and its interacting protein Rip11 control the intracellular transport of the typhoid toxin carriers, and the SNARE proteins VAMP7, SNAP23, and Syntaxin 4 their fusion to the plasma membrane. Typhoid toxin's cooption of specific cellular machinery for its transport to the extracellular space illustrates the remarkable adaptation of an exotoxin to exert its function in the context of an intracellular pathogen.
Protozoa and fungi are known to have extraordinarily diverse mechanisms of genetic exchange. However, the presence and epidemiological relevance of genetic exchange in Trypanosoma cruzi, the agent of Chagas disease, has been controversial and debated for many years. Field studies have identified both predominantly clonal and sexually recombining natural populations. Two of six natural T. cruzi lineages (TcV and TcVI) show hybrid mosaicism, using analysis of single-gene locus markers. The formation of hybrid strains in vitro has been achieved and this provides a framework to study the mechanisms and adaptive significance of genetic exchange. Using whole genome sequencing of a set of experimental hybrids strains, we have confirmed that hybrid formation initially results in tetraploid parasites. The hybrid progeny showed novel mutations that were not attributable to either (diploid) parent showing an increase in amino acid changes. In long-term culture, up to 800 generations, there was a variable but gradual erosion of progeny genomes towards triploidy, yet retention of elevated copy number was observed at several core housekeeping loci. Our findings indicate hybrid formation by fusion of diploid T. cruzi, followed by sporadic genome erosion, but with substantial potential for adaptive evolution, as has been described as a genetic feature of other organisms, such as some fungi.