ResearchPad - tumor-immunology https://www.researchpad.co Default RSS Feed en-us © 2020 Newgen KnowledgeWorks <![CDATA[Conversion of ATP to adenosine by CD39 and CD73 in multiple myeloma can be successfully targeted together with adenosine receptor A2A blockade]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_12564 PD1/PDL1-directed therapies have been unsuccessful for multiple myeloma (MM), an incurable cancer of plasma cells in the bone marrow (BM). Therefore, other immune checkpoints such as extracellular adenosine and its immunosuppressive receptor should be considered. CD39 and CD73 convert extracellular ATP to adenosine, which inhibits T-cell effector functions via the adenosine receptor A2A (A2AR). We set out to investigate whether blocking the adenosine pathway could be a therapy for MM.MethodsExpression of CD39 and CD73 on BM cells from patients and T-cell proliferation were determined by flow cytometry and adenosine production by Liquid chromatograpy-mass spectrometry (HPCL/MS). ENTPD1 (CD39) mRNA expression was determined on myeloma cells from patients enrolled in the publicly available CoMMpass study. Transplantable 5T33MM myeloma cells were used to determine the effect of inhibiting CD39, CD73 and A2AR in mice in vivo.ResultsElevated level of adenosine was found in BM plasma of MM patients. Myeloma cells from patients expressed CD39, and high gene expression indicated reduced survival. CD73 was found on leukocytes and stromal cells in the BM. A CD39 inhibitor, POM-1, and an anti-CD73 antibody inhibited adenosine production and reduced T-cell suppression in vitro in coculture of myeloma and stromal cells. Blocking the adenosine pathway in vivo with a combination of Sodium polyoxotungstate (POM-1), anti-CD73, and the A2AR antagonist AZD4635 activated immune cells, increased interferon gamma production, and reduced the tumor load in a murine model of MM.ConclusionsOur data suggest that the adenosine pathway can be successfully targeted in MM and blocking this pathway could be an alternative to PD1/PDL1 inhibition for MM and other hematological cancers. Inhibitors of the adenosine pathway are available. Some are in clinical trials and they could thus reach MM patients fairly rapidly. ]]> <![CDATA[Gut microbiota alterations affect glioma growth and innate immune cells involved in tumor immunosurveillance in mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/elastic_article_6822 Gut microbiota alteration due to antibiotic treatment is able to affect glioma growth in mice. Cytotoxic NK cell subsets and microglia functions are early impaired after antibiotics paving the way to glioma growth. The present study shows for the first time the presence of a functional gut–immune–brain tumor axis.

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<![CDATA[EpCAM-high liver cancer stem cells resist natural killer cell–mediated cytotoxicity by upregulating CEACAM1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N50daf376-c53c-466d-be71-50a0b71d69ca Natural killer (NK) cells can recognize and kill cancer cells directly, but their activity can be attenuated by various inhibitory molecules expressed on the surface. The expression of epithelial cell adhesion molecule (EpCAM), a potential marker for cancer stem cells (CSCs), is known to be strongly associated with poor clinical outcomes in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). NK cells targeting CSCs may be a promising strategy for anti-tumor therapy, but little is known about how they respond to EpCAMhigh CSCs in HCC.MethodsEpCAM expression was assessed by immunohistochemistry in 280 human HCC tissues obtained from curative surgery. To investigate the functional activity of NK cells against liver CSCs, EpCAMhigh and EpCAMlow Huh-7 cells were sorted by flow cytometry. The functional role of carcinoembryonic antigen-related cell adhesion molecule 1 (CEACAM1), which is related to NK cells, was determined by in vitro co-culture of NK cells and hepatoma cells using Hepa1–6 mouse hepatoma cells, as well as in vivo experiments using C57/BL6 mice.ResultsThe frequency of recurrence after curative surgery was higher in patients with positive EpCAM expression than in those with negative EpCAM expression. In subsequent analysis based on the anatomical location of EpCAM expression, patients with peritumoral EpCAM expression showed worse prognosis than those with pantumoral EpCAM expression. Co-culture experiments demonstrated that CEACAM1 was upregulated on the surface of EpCAMhigh HCC cells, resulting in resistance to NK cell-mediated cytotoxicity. Inversely, silencing CEACAM1 restored cytotoxicity of NK cells against EpCAMhigh Huh-7 cells. Moreover, neutralizing CEACAM1 on the NK cell surface enhanced killing of Huh-7 cells, suggesting that homophilic interaction of CEACAM1 is responsible for attenuated NK cell–mediated killing of CEACAM1high cells. In mouse experiments with Hepa1–6 cells, EpCAMhigh Hepa1–6 cells formed larger tumors and showed higher CEACAM1 expression after NK cell depletion. NK-mediated cytotoxicity was enhanced after blocking CEACAM1 expression using the anti-CEACAM1 antibody, thereby facilitating tumor regression. Moreover, CEACAM1 expression positively correlated with EpCAM expression in human HCC tissues, and serum CEACAM1 levels were also significantly higher in patients with EpCAM+ HCC.ConclusionOur data demonstrated that EpCAMhigh liver CSCs resist NK cell–mediated cytotoxicity by upregulation of CEACAM1 expression. ]]> <![CDATA[Autophagy induction by thiostrepton improves the efficacy of immunogenic chemotherapy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nd3157f93-7f20-4924-9250-988c22469c2f Immunogenic cell death (ICD) is a peculiar modality of cellular demise that elicits adaptive immune responses and triggers T cell-dependent immunity.MethodsFluorescent biosensors were employed for an unbiased drug screen approach aiming at the identification of ICD enhancers.ResultsHere, we discovered thiostrepton as an enhancer of ICD able to boost chemotherapy-induced ATP release, calreticulin exposure and high-mobility group box 1 exodus. Moreover, thiostrepton enhanced anticancer immune responses of oxaliplatin (OXA) in vivo in immunocompetent mice, yet failed to do so in immunodeficient animals. Consistently, thiostrepton combined with OXA altered the ratio of cytotoxic T lymphocytes to regulatory T cells, thus overcoming immunosuppression and reinstating anticancer immunosurveillance.ConclusionAltogether, these results indicate that thiostrepton can be advantageously combined with chemotherapy to enhance anticancer immunogenicity. ]]> <![CDATA[Cellular cytotoxicity is a form of immunogenic cell death]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nd6e481f2-86c2-4196-ab10-7aac2ad848d8 The immune response to cancer is often conceptualized with the cancer immunity cycle. An essential step in this interpretation is that antigens released by dying tumors are presented by dendritic cells to naive or memory T cells in the tumor-draining lymph nodes. Whether tumor cell death resulting from cytotoxicity, as mediated by T cells or natural killer (NK) lymphocytes, is actually immunogenic currently remains unknown.MethodsIn this study, tumor cells were killed by antigen-specific T-cell receptor (TCR) transgenic CD8 T cells or activated NK cells. Immunogenic cell death was studied analyzing the membrane exposure of calreticulin and the release of high mobility group box 1 (HMGB1) by the dying tumor cells. Furthermore, the potential immunogenicity of the tumor cell debris was evaluated in immunocompetent mice challenged with an unrelated tumor sharing only one tumor-associated antigen and by class I major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-multimer stainings. Mice deficient in Batf3, Ifnar1 and Sting1 were used to study mechanistic requirements.ResultsWe observe in cocultures of tumor cells and effector cytotoxic cells, the presence of markers of immunogenic cell death such as calreticulin exposure and soluble HMGB1 protein. Ovalbumin (OVA)-transfected MC38 colon cancer cells, exogenously pulsed to present the gp100 epitope are killed in culture by mouse gp100-specific TCR transgenic CD8 T cells. Immunization of mice with the resulting destroyed cells induces epitope spreading as observed by detection of OVA-specific T cells by MHC multimer staining and rejection of OVA+ EG7 lymphoma cells. Similar results were observed in mice immunized with cell debris generated by NK-cell mediated cytotoxicity. Mice deficient in Batf3-dependent dendritic cells (conventional dendritic cells type 1, cDC1) fail to develop an anti-OVA response when immunized with tumor cells killed by cytotoxic lymphocytes. In line with this, cultured cDC1 dendritic cells uptake and can readily cross-present antigen from cytotoxicity-killed tumor cells to cognate CD8+ T lymphocytes.ConclusionThese results support that an ongoing cytotoxic antitumor immune response can lead to immunogenic tumor cell death. ]]> <![CDATA[Downregulation of RIG-I mediated by ITGB3/c-SRC/STAT3 signaling confers resistance to interferon-α-induced apoptosis in tumor-repopulating cells of melanoma]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nebbc2604-a71e-41a7-aa39-390b7c4af5e7

Background

Interferon-α (IFN-α) plays a pivotal role in host antitumor immunity, and the evasion of IFN-α signaling pathway can lead to IFN-α resistance during the treatment of cancer. Although the interplay between IFN-α and tumor cells has been extensively investigated in differentiated tumor cells, much less attention has been directed to tumor-repopulating cells (TRCs).

Methods

Three-dimentional soft fibrin matrix was used to select and grow highly malignant and tumorigenic melanoma TRCs. The regulation of integrin β3 (ITGB3)-c-SRC-STAT signaling pathway in melanoma TRCs was investigated both in vitro and in vivo. The relevant mRNA and protein expression levels were analyzed by qRT-PCR and western blot analysis. Immunoprecipitation and chromatin immunoprecipitation (ChIP) followed by qPCR (ChIP-qPCR) assays were performed to detect protein-protein and protein-DNA interactions. The clinical impacts of retinoic acid inducible gene-I (RIG-I) were assessed in melanoma datasets obtained from The Cancer Genome Atlas and Gene Expression Omnibus profiles.

Results

IFN-α-induced apoptosis was decreased in melanoma TRCs. Compared with conventional flask-cultured cells, IFN-α-mediated STAT1 activation was diminished in melanoma TRCs. Decreased expression of RIG-I in melanoma TRCs led to diminished activation of STAT1 via enhancing the interaction between Src homology region 2 domain-containing phosphatase-1 and STAT1. In addition, low expression levels of RIG-I correlated with poor prognosis in patients with melanoma. STAT3 was highly phosphorylated in TRCs and knockdown of STAT3 reversed the downregulation of RIG-I in TRCs. Knockdown of STAT3 resulted in STAT1 activation and increased expression of the pro-apoptosis genes in IFN-α-treated TRCs. Combined treatment of STAT3 inhibitor and IFN-α increased the apoptosis rate of TRCs. Disruption of ITGB3/c-SRC/STAT3 signaling pathway significantly elevated the efficiency of IFN-α-induced apoptosis of TRCs.

Conclusions

In melanoma TRCs, ITGB3-c-SRC-STAT3 pathway caused RIG-I repression and then affect STAT1 activation to cause resistance to IFN-α-induced apoptosis. RIG-I is a prognostic marker in patients with melanoma. Combination of STAT3 inhibitor and IFN-α could enhance the efficacy of melanoma treatment. Our findings may provide a new concept of combinatorial treatment for future immunotherapy.

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<![CDATA[The multifaceted Foxp3fgfp allele enhances spontaneous and therapeutic immune surveillance of cancer in mice]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nceb1a0d2-897f-4548-92fb-8bf68521b007

Abstract

It is well established that therapeutic impairment of Foxp3+ Treg in mice and humans favors immune rejection of solid tumors. Less explored is the impact Foxp3 allelic variants may have on tumor incidence, progression and therapy. In this work, we tested and demonstrate that the Foxp3fgfp reporter allele, found previously to either enhance or reduce Treg function in specific autoimmunity settings, confers increased anti‐tumor immunity. Our conclusions stem out of the analysis of three tumor models of different tissue origin, in two murine genetic backgrounds. When compared to wild type animals, mice carrying the Foxp3fgfp allele spontaneously delay, reduce or prevent primary tumor growth, decrease metastasis growth, and potentiate the response to anti‐CTLA4 monotherapy. These findings suggest allelic variances at the Foxp3 locus may serve as predictive indicators for personalized therapy and prognostics, and point at possible new therapeutic targets.

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<![CDATA[Cancer cell-intrinsic expression of MHC II in lung cancer cell lines is actively restricted by MEK/ERK signaling and epigenetic mechanisms]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N755fcbcb-1806-47bd-86fa-12a69a2e88be Background
Programmed death 1/programmed death ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1) targeted immunotherapy affords clinical benefit in ~20% of unselected patients with lung cancer. The factor(s) that determine whether a tumor responds or fails to respond to immunotherapy remains an active area of investigation. We have previously defined divergent responsiveness of two KRAS-mutant cell lines to PD-1/PD-L1 blockade using an orthotopic, immunocompetent mouse model. Responsiveness to PD-1/PD-L1 checkpoint blockade correlates with an interferon gamma (IFNγ)-inducible gene signature and major histocompatibility complex class II (MHC II) expression by cancer cells. In the current study, we aim to identify therapeutic targets that can be manipulated in order to enhance cancer-cell-specific MHC II expression.
Methods
Responsiveness to IFNγ and induction of MHC II expression was assessed after various treatment conditions in mouse and human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell lines using mass cytometric and flow cytometric analysis.
Results
Single-cell analysis using mass and flow cytometry demonstrated that IFNγ consistently induced PD-L1 and MHC class I (MHC I) across multiple murine and human NSCLC cell lines. In contrast, MHC II showed highly variable induction following IFNγ treatment both between lines and within lines. In mouse models of NSCLC, MHC II induction was inversely correlated with basal levels of phosphorylated extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) 1/2, suggesting potential mitogen-activated protein (MAP) kinase-dependent antagonism of MHC II expression. To test this, cell lines were subjected to varying levels of stimulation with IFNγ, and assessed for MHC II expression in the presence or absence of mitogen-activated protein kinase kinase (MEK) inhibitors. IFNγ treatment in the presence of MEK inhibitors significantly enhanced MHC II induction across multiple lung cancer lines, with minimal impact on expression of either PD-L1 or MHC I. Inhibition of histone deacetylases (HDACs) also enhanced MHC II expression to a more modest extent. Combined MEK and HDAC inhibition led to greater MHC II expression than either treatment alone.
Conclusions
These studies emphasize the active inhibitory role that epigenetic and ERK signaling cascades have in restricting cancer cell-intrinsic MHC II expression in NSCLC, and suggest that combinatorial blockade of these pathways may engender new responsiveness to checkpoint therapies.
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<![CDATA[Targeting ANXA1 abrogates Treg-mediated immune suppression in triple-negative breast cancer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N4ab5fc9f-ce8a-400b-baf7-8762e937ce2d

Background

Regulatory T (Treg) cells play a negative role in anti-tumor immunity against triple-negative breast cancer, so it is of great significance to find the potential therapeutic target of Treg cells.

Methods

First, Annexin A1 (ANXA1) expression and survival of patients with breast cancer were analyzed using TCGA data. Then plasma ANXA1 levels in patients with malignant and benign breast tumors were detected by ELISA. Next, the effect of ANXA1 on Treg cells was studied through suppressive assays, and how ANXA1 regulates the function of Treg cells was detected by RNA sequencing. Finally, the in vivo experiment in balb/c mice was conducted to test whether the ANXA1 blocker Boc1 could shrink tumors and affect the function of Treg cells.

Results

Our data suggest that ANXA1 expression is associated with lower survival and a higher risk of breast malignancy. Suppressive assays show that ANXA1 can enhance the inhibition function of Treg cells. RNA-Sequencing results indicate that Boc1 could reduce the expression of granzyme A mRNA in Treg cells. Animal experiments have been done to show that Boc1 can reduce tumor size and down regulate Treg cell function.

Conclusions

ANXA1 can enhance the function of Treg cells and reduce the survival rate of patients with breast cancer. Targeting ANXA1 can reduce Treg cell function and shrink breast tumors.

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<![CDATA[ALKS 4230: a novel engineered IL-2 fusion protein with an improved cellular selectivity profile for cancer immunotherapy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/N020486a9-73e5-448e-8e8c-ddc393502034 Background
Interleukin-2 (IL-2) plays a pivotal role in immune homeostasis due to its ability to stimulate numerous lymphocyte subsets including natural killer (NK) cells, effector CD4+ and CD8+ T cells, and regulatory T cells (Tregs). Low concentrations of IL-2 induce signaling through the high-affinity IL-2 receptor (IL-2R) comprised of IL-2Rα, IL-2Rβ, and common γ chain (γc), preferentially expressed on Tregs. Higher concentrations of IL-2 are necessary to induce signaling through the intermediate-affinity IL-2R, composed of IL-2Rβ and γc, expressed on memory CD8+ T cells and NK cells. Recombinant human IL-2 (rhIL-2) is approved for treatment of metastatic melanoma and renal cell carcinoma (RCC), but adverse events including capillary leak syndrome, potentially mediated through interaction with the high-affinity IL-2R, limit its therapeutic use. Furthermore, antitumor efficacy of IL-2 may also be limited by preferential expansion of immunosuppressive Tregs. ALKS 4230 is an engineered fusion protein comprised of a circularly-permuted IL-2 with the extracellular domain of IL-2Rα, designed to selectively activate effector lymphocytes bearing the intermediate-affinity IL-2R.
Results
ALKS 4230 was equipotent to rhIL-2 in activating human cells bearing the intermediate-affinity IL-2R, and less potent than rhIL-2 on cells bearing the high-affinity IL-2R. As observed in vitro with primary human cells from healthy donors and advanced cancer patients, ALKS 4230 induced greater activation and expansion of NK cells with reduced expansion of Tregs relative to rhIL-2. Similarly, in mice, ALKS 4230 treatment stimulated greater expansion of NK cells and memory-phenotype CD8+ T cells at doses that did not expand or activate Tregs. ALKS 4230 treatment induced significantly lower levels of proinflammatory cytokines, including tumor necrosis factor alpha, interleukin-6, and interferon gamma relative to rhIL-2. Furthermore, ALKS 4230 exhibited superior antitumor efficacy in the mouse B16F10 lung tumor model, where ALKS 4230 could be administered via multiple routes of administration and dosing schedules while achieving equivalent antitumor efficacy.
Conclusions
ALKS 4230 exhibited enhanced pharmacokinetic and selective pharmacodynamic properties resulting in both improved antitumor efficacy and lower indices of toxicity relative to rhIL-2 in mice. These data highlight the potential of ALKS 4230 as a novel cancer immunotherapy, and as such, the molecule is being evaluated clinically.
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<![CDATA[Immune involvement of the contralateral hemisphere in a glioblastoma mouse model]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/Nf4c5414a-8f92-4f69-8937-47fb8479463f Background
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the most common and deadliest form of brain cancer in adults. Standard treatment, consisting of surgery and radiochemotherapy, only provides a modest survival benefit and is incapable of combating infiltrating GBM cells in other parts of the brain. New therapies in clinical trials, such as anti-programmed cell death 1 immunotherapy, have so far shown limited success in GBM. Moreover, it is unclear how the growth of GBM suppresses the immune system locally at the site of the brain tumor or if distant sites of tumor cell migration are also involved. Invasive GBM cells in brain tissue beyond the primary tumor limit the use of surgery, thus immunotherapy could be beneficial if activated/suppressed immune cells are present in the contralateral hemisphere.
Methods
Here, we used a syngeneic orthotopic GL26 GBM mouse model and multiparameter fluorescence-activated cell sorting analysis to study the phenotype of resident and infiltrating immune cells in both the brain tumor hemisphere and contralateral hemisphere.
Results
We show that lymphoid cells, including tumor antigen-specific CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) are present in the tumor and are characterized by a tolerogenic phenotype based on high immune checkpoint expression. Massive infiltration of myeloid cells is observed, expressing immune checkpoint ligands, suggesting an immune-dependent coinhibitory axis limiting TIL responses. Surprisingly, these phenotypes are paralleled in the contralateral hemisphere, showing that infiltrating immune cells are also present at distant sites, expressing key immune checkpoints and immune checkpoint ligands.
Conclusion
Whole-brain analysis indicates active immune involvement throughout the brain, both at the site of the primary tumor and in the contralateral hemisphere. Using the right combination and timing, immune checkpoint blockade could have the potential to activate immune cells at the site of the brain tumor and at distant sites, thereby also targeting diffusely infiltrating GBM cells.
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<![CDATA[Cancer Associated Aberrant Protein O-Glycosylation Can Modify Antigen Processing and Immune Response]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9efab0ee8fa60b6dfbf

Aberrant glycosylation of mucins and other extracellular proteins is an important event in carcinogenesis and the resulting cancer associated glycans have been suggested as targets in cancer immunotherapy. We assessed the role of O-linked GalNAc glycosylation on antigen uptake, processing, and presentation on MHC class I and II molecules. The effect of GalNAc O-glycosylation was monitored with a model system based on ovalbumin (OVA)-MUC1 fusion peptides (+/− glycosylation) loaded onto dendritic cells co-cultured with IL-2 secreting OVA peptide-specific T cell hybridomas. To evaluate the in vivo response to a cancer related tumor antigen, Balb/c or B6.Cg(CB)-Tg(HLA-A/H2-D)2Enge/J (HLA-A2 transgenic) mice were immunized with a non-glycosylated or GalNAc-glycosylated MUC1 derived peptide followed by comparison of T cell proliferation, IFN-γ release, and antibody induction. GalNAc-glycosylation promoted presentation of OVA-MUC1 fusion peptides by MHC class II molecules and the MUC1 antigen elicited specific Ab production and T cell proliferation in both Balb/c and HLA-A2 transgenic mice. In contrast, GalNAc-glycosylation inhibited the presentation of OVA-MUC1 fusion peptides by MHC class I and abolished MUC1 specific CD8+ T cell responses in HLA-A2 transgenic mice. GalNAc glycosylation of MUC1 antigen therefore facilitates uptake, MHC class II presentation, and antibody response but might block the antigen presentation to CD8+ T cells.

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<![CDATA[Inhibition of CSF-1R Supports T-Cell Mediated Melanoma Therapy]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da3bab0ee8fa60b880d9

Tumor associated macrophages (TAM) can promote angiogenesis, invasiveness and immunosuppression. The cytokine CSF-1 (or M-CSF) is an important factor of TAM recruitment and differentiation and several pharmacological agents targeting the CSF-1 receptor (CSF-1R) have been developed to regulate TAM in solid cancers. We show that the kinase inhibitor PLX3397 strongly dampened the systemic and local accumulation of macrophages driven by B16F10 melanomas, without affecting Gr-1+ myeloid derived suppressor cells. Removal of intratumoral macrophages was remarkably efficient and a modest, but statistically significant, delay in melanoma outgrowth was observed. Importantly, CSF-1R inhibition strongly enhanced tumor control by immunotherapy using tumor-specific CD8 T cells. Elevated IFNγ production by T cells was observed in mice treated with the combination of PLX3397 and immunotherapy. These results support the combined use of CSF-1R inhibition with CD8 T cell immunotherapy, especially for macrophage-stimulating tumors.

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<![CDATA[Solution Structure of Tensin2 SH2 Domain and Its Phosphotyrosine-Independent Interaction with DLC-1]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9f2ab0ee8fa60b6ebd4

Background

Src homology 2 (SH2) domain is a conserved module involved in various biological processes. Tensin family member was reported to be involved in tumor suppression by interacting with DLC-1 (deleted-in-liver-cancer-1) via its SH2 domain. We explore here the important questions that what the structure of tensin2 SH2 domain is, and how it binds to DLC-1, which might reveal a novel binding mode.

Principal Findings

Tensin2 SH2 domain adopts a conserved SH2 fold that mainly consists of five β-strands flanked by two α-helices. Most SH2 domains recognize phosphorylated ligands specifically. However, tensin2 SH2 domain was identified to interact with nonphosphorylated ligand (DLC-1) as well as phosphorylated ligand.

Conclusions

We determined the solution structure of tensin2 SH2 domain using NMR spectroscopy, and revealed the interactions between tensin2 SH2 domain and its ligands in a phosphotyrosine-independent manner.

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<![CDATA[T Cell Receptor-Like Recognition of Tumor In Vivo by Synthetic Antibody Fragment]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da81ab0ee8fa60b9a835

A major difficulty in treating cancer is the inability to differentiate between normal and tumor cells. The immune system differentiates tumor from normal cells by T cell receptor (TCR) binding of tumor-associated peptides bound to Major Histocompatibility Complex (pMHC) molecules. The peptides, derived from the tumor-specific proteins, are presented by MHC proteins, which then serve as cancer markers. The TCR is a difficult protein to use as a recombinant protein because of production issues and has poor affinity for pMHC; therefore, it is not a good choice for use as a tumor identifier outside of the immune system. We constructed a synthetic antibody-fragment (Fab) library in the phage-display format and isolated antibody-fragments that bind pMHC with high affinity and specificity. One Fab, fE75, recognizes our model cancer marker, the Human Epidermal growth factor Receptor 2 (HER2/neu) peptide, E75, bound to the MHC called Human Leukocyte Antigen-A2 (HLA-A2), with nanomolar affinity. The fE75 bound selectively to E75/HLA-A2 positive cancer cell lines in vitro. The fE75 Fab conjugated with 64Cu selectively accumulated in E75/HLA-A2 positive tumors and not in E75/HLA-A2 negative tumors in an HLA-A2 transgenic mouse as probed using positron emission tomography/computed tomography (PET/CT) imaging. Considering that hundreds to thousands of different peptides bound to HLA-A2 are present on the surface of each cell, the fact that fE75 arrives at the tumor at all shows extraordinary specificity. These antibody fragments have great potential for diagnosis and targeted drug delivery in cancer.

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<![CDATA[HLA Class I Expression and Its Alteration by Preoperative Hyperthermo-Chemoradiotherapy in Patients with Rectal Cancer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da27ab0ee8fa60b80fc2

Objective

Enhancing immunologic responses, including human leukocyte antigen (HLA) class I expression on tumor cells and recognition and elimination of tumor cells by tumor-specific cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL), is considered a novel concept of radiotherapy. The present study examined patients who underwent preoperative hyperthermo-chemoradiotherapy (HCRT) for locally advanced rectal cancer to assess the correlation between HLA class I expression and clinical outcome.

Materials and Methods

Seventy-eight patients with locally advanced rectal adenocarcinoma who received preoperative HCRT were enrolled. The median age of the patients was 64 years (range, 33–85 years) and 4, 18, and 56 patients had clinical stage I, II and III disease, respectively. Formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded tissues excised before and after HCRT were subjected to immunohistochemical analysis with an anti-HLA class I-A, B, C antibody. HLA class I expression was graded according to tumor cell positivity.

Results

In pre-HCRT, the number of specimens categorized as Grade 0 and 1 were 19 (24%) and 58 (74%), respectively. Only 1 patient (1%) showed Grade 2 expression. However, 6 (8%), 27 (35%), 7 (9%), and 12 (15%) post-HCRT specimens were graded as Grade 0, 1, 2, and 3, respectively. There was a significant increase in HLA class I expression in post-HCRT specimens (p<0.01). However, neither pre- nor post-HCRT HLA class I expression affected overall survival and distant metastasis-free survival in clinical stage III patients. Univariate analysis revealed that Post-HCRT HLA class I expression showed a significant negative relationship with LC (p<0.05). Nevertheless, multivariate analysis showed that there was no correlation between HLA class I expression and clinical outcome.

Conclusion

HCRT increased HLA class I expression in rectal cancer patients. However, multivariate analysis failed to show any correlation between the level of HLA class I expression and prognosis.

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<![CDATA[In Vivo Elimination of MHC-I-Deficient Lymphocytes by Activated Natural Killer Cells Is Independent of Granzymes A and B]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da6dab0ee8fa60b936a3

NK cells kill target cells mainly via exocytosis of granules containing perforin (perf) and granzymes (gzm). In vitro, gzm delivery into the target cell cytosol results in apoptosis, and induction of apoptosis is severely impaired in the absence of gzm A and B. However, their importance for in vivo cytotoxicity by cytotoxic T cells has been questioned. We used an in vivo NK cytotoxicity assay, in which splenocytes from wild-type and β2microglobulin-deficient (MHC-Ineg) mice are co-injected into recipients whose NK cells were activated by virus infection or synthetic Toll-like receptor ligands. Elimination of adoptively transferred MHC-Ineg splenocytes was unimpaired in the absence of gzmA and gzmB, but dependent on perforin. This target cell rejection was NK cell dependent, since NK cell depletion abrogated it. Furthermore, target cell elimination in vivo was equally rapid in both wild-type and gzmAxB-deficient recipients, with the majority of specific target cells lost from lymphoid tissue within less than one to two hours after transfer. Thus, similar to T cell cytotoxicity, the contribution of gzmA and B to in vivo target cell elimination remains unresolved.

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<![CDATA[NY-ESO-1 Cancer Testis Antigen Demonstrates High Immunogenicity in Triple Negative Breast Cancer]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989d9e2ab0ee8fa60b6a195

Purpose

NY-ESO-1 cancer testis (CT) antigen is an attractive candidate for immunotherapy as a result of its high immunogenicity. The aim of this study was to explore the potential for NY-ESO-1 antigen directed immunotherapy in triple negative breast cancer (TNBC) by determining the frequency of expression by immunohistochemistry (IHC) and the degree of inherent immunogenicity to NY-ESO-1.

Experimental Design

168 TNBC and 47 ER+/HER2- primary breast cancer specimens were used to determine NY-ESO-1 frequency by IHC. As previous studies have shown that patients with a robust innate humoral immune response to CT antigens are more likely to develop CD8 T-cell responses to NY-ESO-1 peptides, we evaluated the degree to which patients with NY-ESO-1 expression had inherent immunogenicity by measuring antibodies. The relationship between NY-ESO-1 expression and CD8+ T lymphocytes was also examined.

Results

The frequency of NY-ESO-1 expression in the TNBC cohort was 16% versus 2% in ER+/HER2- patients. A higher NY-ESO-1 score was associated with a younger age at diagnosis in the TNBC patients with NY-ESO-1 expression (p = 0.026). No differences in OS (p = 0.278) or PFS (p = 0.238) by NY-ESO-1 expression status were detected. Antibody responses to NY-ESO-1 were found in 73% of TNBC patients whose tumors were NY-ESO-1 positive. NY-ESO-1 positive patients had higher CD8 counts than negative patients (p = 0.018).

Conclusion

NY-ESO-1 is expressed in a substantial subset of TNBC patients and leads to a high humoral immune response in a large proportion of these individuals. Given these observations, patients with TNBC may benefit from targeted therapies directed against NY-ESO-1.

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<![CDATA[Human Tumour Immune Evasion via TGF-β Blocks NK Cell Activation but Not Survival Allowing Therapeutic Restoration of Anti-Tumour Activity]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989daf5ab0ee8fa60bc2961

Immune evasion is now recognized as a key feature of cancer progression. In animal models, the activity of cytotoxic lymphocytes is suppressed in the tumour microenvironment by the immunosuppressive cytokine, Transforming Growth Factor (TGF)-β. Release from TGF-β-mediated inhibition restores anti-tumour immunity, suggesting a therapeutic strategy for human cancer. We demonstrate that human natural killer (NK) cells are inhibited in a TGF-β dependent manner following chronic contact-dependent interactions with tumour cells in vitro. In vivo, NK cell inhibition was localised to the human tumour microenvironment and primary ovarian tumours conferred TGF-β dependent inhibition upon autologous NK cells ex vivo. TGF-β antagonized the interleukin (IL)-15 induced proliferation and gene expression associated with NK cell activation, inhibiting the expression of both NK cell activation receptor molecules and components of the cytotoxic apparatus. Interleukin-15 also promotes NK cell survival and IL-15 excluded the pro-apoptotic transcription factor FOXO3 from the nucleus. However, this IL-15 mediated pathway was unaffected by TGF-β treatment, allowing NK cell survival. This suggested that NK cells in the tumour microenvironment might have their activity restored by TGF-β blockade and both anti-TGF-β antibodies and a small molecule inhibitor of TGF-β signalling restored the effector function of NK cells inhibited by autologous tumour cells. Thus, TGF-β blunts NK cell activation within the human tumour microenvironment but this evasion mechanism can be therapeutically targeted, boosting anti-tumour immunity.

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<![CDATA[Inhibition of Breast Cancer Resistance Protein (ABCG2) in Human Myeloid Dendritic Cells Induces Potent Tolerogenic Functions during LPS Stimulation]]> https://www.researchpad.co/article/5989da96ab0ee8fa60ba1e4e

Breast cancer resistance protein (ABCG2), a member of the ATP-binding cassette transporters has been identified as a major determinant of multidrug resistance (MDR) in cancer cells, but ABC transporter inhibition has limited therapeutic value in vivo. In this research, we demonstrated that inhibition of efflux transporters ABCG2 induced the generation of tolerogenic DCs from human peripheral blood myeloid DCs (mDCs). ABCG2 expression was present in mDCs and was further increased by LPS stimulation. Treatment of CD1c+ mDCs with an ABCG2 inhibitor, Ko143, during LPS stimulation caused increased production of IL-10 and decreased production of pro-inflammatory cytokines and decreased expression of CD83 and CD86. Moreover, inhibition of ABCG2 in monocyte-derived DCs (MDDCs) abrogated the up-regulation of co-stimulatory molecules and production of pro-inflammatory cytokines in these cells in response to LPS. Furthermore, CD1c+ mDCs stimulated with LPS plus Ko143 inhibited the proliferation of allogeneic and superantigen-specific syngenic CD4+ T cells and promoted expansion of CD25+FOXP3+ regulatory T (Treg) cells in an IL-10-dependent fashion. These tolerogenic effects of ABCG2 inhibition could be abolished by ERK inhibition. Thus, we demonstrated that inhibition of ABCG2 in LPS-stimulated mDCs can potently induce tolerogenic potentials in these cells, providing crucial new information that could lead to development of better strategies to combat MDR cancer.

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