Tumour cells evade immune surveillance by upregulating the surface expression of programmed death-ligand 1 (PD-L1), which interacts with programmed death-1 (PD-1) receptor on T cells to elicit the immune checkpoint response. Anti-PD-1 antibodies have shown remarkable promise in treating tumours, including metastatic melanoma. However, the patient response rate is low. A better understanding of PD-L1-mediated immune evasion is needed to predict patient response and improve treatment efficacy. Here we report that metastatic melanomas release extracellular vesicles, mostly in the form of exosomes, that carry PD-L1 on their surface. Stimulation with interferon-γ (IFN-γ) increases the amount of PD-L1 on these vesicles, which suppresses the function of CD8 T cells and facilitates tumour growth. In patients with metastatic melanoma, the level of circulating exosomal PD-L1 positively correlates with that of IFN-γ, and varies during the course of anti-PD-1 therapy. The magnitudes of the increase in circulating exosomal PD-L1 during early stages of treatment, as an indicator of the adaptive response of the tumour cells to T cell reinvigoration, stratifies clinical responders from non-responders. Our study unveils a mechanism by which tumour cells systemically suppress the immune system, and provides a rationale for the application of exosomal PD-L1 as a predictor for anti-PD-1 therapy.
Multilevel converters have been under research and development for more than three decades and have found successful industrial application. However, this is still a technology under development, and many new contributions and new commercial topologies have been reported in the last few years. The aim of this paper is to group and review these recent contributions, in order to establish the current state of the art and trends of the technology, to provide readers with a comprehensive and insightful review of where multilevel converter technology stands and is heading. This paper first presents a brief overview of well-established multilevel converters strongly oriented to their current state in industrial applications to then center the discussion on the new converters that have made their way into the industry. In addition, new promising topologies are discussed. Recent advances made in modulation and control of multilevel converters are also addressed. A great part of this paper is devoted to show nontraditional applications powered by multilevel converters and how multilevel converters are becoming an enabling technology in many industrial sectors. Finally, some future trends and challenges in the further development of this technology are discussed to motivate future contributions that address open problems and explore new possibilities.
Nanowires have attracted considerable interest as nanoscale interconnects and as the active components of both electronic and electromechanical devices. Nanomechanical measurements are a challenge, but remain key to the development and processing of novel nanowire-based devices. Here, we report a general method to measure the spectrum of nanowire mechanical properties based on nanowire bending under the lateral load from an atomic force microscope tip. We find that for Au nanowires, Young's modulus is essentially independent of diameter, whereas the yield strength is largest for the smallest diameter wires, with strengths up to 100 times that of bulk materials, and substantially larger than that reported for bulk nanocrystalline metals (BNMs). In contrast to BNMs, nanowire plasticity is characterized by strain-hardening, demonstrating that dislocation motion and pile-up is still operative down to diameters of 40 nm. Possible origins for the different mechanical properties of nanowires and BNMs are discussed.
Cellular messenger RNA levels are achieved by the combinatorial complexity of factors controlling transcription, yet the small number of molecules involved in these pathways fluctuates stochastically. It has not yet been experimentally possible to observe the activity of single polymerases on an endogenous gene to elucidate how these events occur in vivo. Here, we describe a method of fluctuation analysis of fluorescently labeled RNA to measure dynamics of nascent RNA—including initiation, elongation, and termination—at an active yeast locus. We find no transcriptional memory between initiation events, and elongation speed can vary by threefold throughout the cell cycle. By measuring the abundance and intranuclear mobility of an upstream transcription factor, we observe that the gene firing rate is directly determined by trans-activating factor search times.
MDA5, a viral double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) receptor, shares sequence similarity and signaling pathways with RIG-I yet plays essential functions in antiviral immunity through distinct specificity for viral RNA. Revealing the molecular basis for the functional divergence, we report here the crystal structure of MDA5 bound to dsRNA, which shows how, using the same domain architecture, MDA5 recognizes the internal duplex structure, whereas RIG-I recognizes the terminus of dsRNA. We further show that MDA5 uses direct protein-protein contacts to stack along dsRNA in a head-to-tail arrangement, and that the signaling domain (tandem CARD), which decorates the outside of the core MDA5 filament, also has an intrinsic propensity to oligomerize into an elongated structure that activates the signaling adaptor, MAVS. These data support a model in which MDA5 uses long dsRNA as a signaling platform to cooperatively assemble the core filament, which in turn promotes stochastic assembly of the tandem CARD oligomers for signaling.
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