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On February 23, 2018, PubMed Central Canada (PMC Canada) will be taken offline permanently. No author manuscripts will be deleted, and the approximately 2,900 manuscripts authored by Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR)-funded researchers currently in the archive will be copied to the National Research Council’s (NRC) Digital Repository over the coming months. These manuscripts along with all other content will also remain publicly searchable on PubMed Central (US) and Europe PubMed Central, meaning such manuscripts will continue to be compliant with the Tri-Agency Open Access Policy on Publications.

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Cancer research  2016;76(21):6230-6240.
T regulatory cells (Treg) avert autoimmunity but their increased levels in melanoma confer a poor prognosis. To explore the basis for Treg accumulation in melanoma, we evaluated chemokine expression in patients. A 5-fold increase was documented in the Treg chemoattractants CCL22 and CCL1 in melanoma-affected skin versus unaffected skin, as accompanied by infiltrating FoxP3+ T cells. In parallel, there was a ~2-fold enhancement in expression of CCR4 in circulating Treg but not T effector cells. We hypothesized that redirecting Treg away from tumors might suppress autoimmune side-effects caused by immune checkpoint therapeutics now used widely in the clinic. In assessing this hypothesis, we observed a marked increase in skin Treg in mice vaccinated with CCL22, with repetitive vaccination sufficient to limit Treg accumulation and melanoma growth in the lungs of animals challenged by tumor cell injection, whether using a prevention or treatment protocol design. The observed change in Treg accumulation in this setting could not be explained by Treg conversion. Overall, our findings offered a preclinical proof of concept for the potential use of CCL22 delivered by local injection as a strategy to enhance the efficacious response to immune checkpoint therapy while suppressing its autoimmune side-effects.
PMCID: PMC5242486  PMID: 27634754
CCL22; Treg; trafficking; melanoma; autoimmune
2.  Efficacy of adoptive T cell therapy is improved by treatment with the antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine, which limits activation-induced T cell death 
Cancer research  2016;76(20):6006-6016.
While adoptive transfer of autologous tumor antigen-specific T cell immunotherapy can produce remarkable clinical efficacy, most patients do not achieve durable complete responses. We hypothesized that reducing susceptibility of T cells to activation-induced cell death (AICD), which increases during the rapid in vitro expansion of therapeutic T cells before their infusion, might improve the persistence of adoptively transferred cells. Our investigations revealed that repetitive stimulation of the T cell receptor (TCR) induced AICD, as a result of activating the DNA damage response pathway through ATM-mediated Ser15 phosphorylation of p53. Activation of this DNA damage response pathway also occurred upon antigen-specific restimulation in TCR-transduced TIL1383I T cells prepared for adoptive transfer to patients as part of a clinical trial. Notably, treatment with the antioxidant N-acetyl cysteine (NAC) significantly reduced upregulation of the DNA damage marker γH2AX, subsequent ATM activation and cell death. In the Pmel mouse model of melanoma, the presence of NAC during ex vivo T cell expansion improved the persistence of adoptively transferred cells, reduced tumor growth and increased survival. Taken together, our results offer a preclinical proof of concept for the addition of NAC to current therapeutic T cell expansion protocols, offering immediate potential to improve the quality and therapeutic efficacy of adoptive T cell therapeutics infused into patients.
PMCID: PMC5074089  PMID: 27742673
Adoptive T cell therapy; p53; ATM; γH2AX; DNA damage; cell death; antioxidant; N-acetyl cysteine; melanoma
3.  Lack of p53 Augments Anti-Tumor Functions in Cytolytic T Cells 
Cancer research  2016;76(18):5229-5240.
Repetitive stimulation of T cell receptor (TCR) with cognate antigen results in robust proliferation and expansion of the T cells, and also imprints them with replicative senescence signatures. Our previous studies have shown that life-span and anti-tumor function of T cells can be enhanced by inhibiting reactive oxygen species (ROS) or intervening with ROS dependent JNK activation that leads to its activation induced cell death (AICD). Since tumor suppressor protein p53 is also a redox active transcription factor that regulates cellular ROS generation that triggers downstream factor mediating apoptosis, we determined if p53 levels could influence persistence and function of tumor reactive T cells. Using h3T TCR transgenic mice, with human tyrosinase epitope reactive T cells developed on p53 knock-out (KO) background, we determined its role in regulating anti-tumor T cell function. Our data shows that as compared to h3T cells, h3T-p53 KO T cells exhibited enhanced glycolytic commitment that correlated with increased proliferation, IFN-γ secretion, cytolytic capacity, expression of stemness gene signature and decreased TGF-β signaling. This increased effector function correlated to the improved control of subcutaneously established murine melanoma after adoptive transfer of p53-KO T cells. Pharmacological inhibition of human TCR transduced T cells using a combination of p53 inhibitors also potentiated the T cell effector function and improved persistence. Thus, our data highlights the key role of p53 in regulating the tumor reactive T cell response and that targeting this pathway could have potential translational significance in adoptive T cell therapy.
PMCID: PMC5026612  PMID: 27466285
4.  Repression of caspase-3 and RNA-binding protein HuR cleavage by cyclooxygenase-2 promotes drug resistance in oral squamous cell carcinoma 
Oncogene  2016;36(22):3137-3148.
A well-studied RNA-binding protein Hu Antigen-R (HuR), controls post-transcriptional gene regulation and undergoes stress-activated caspase-3 dependent cleavage in cancer cells. The cleavage products of HuR are known to promote cell death however, the underlying molecular mechanisms facilitating caspase-3 activation and HuR cleavage remains unknown. Here, we show that HuR cleavage associated with active caspase-3 in oral cancer cells treated with ionizing radiation and chemotherapeutic drug, paclitaxel. We determined that oral cancer cells overexpressing cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) limited the cleavage of caspase-3 and HuR, which reduced the rate of cell death in paclitaxel resistant oral cancer cells. Specific inhibition of COX-2 by celecoxib, promoted apoptosis through activation of caspase-3 and cleavage of HuR in paclitaxel-resistant oral cancer cells, both in vitro and in vivo. In addition, oral cancer cells overexpressing cellular HuR increased the half-life of COX-2 mRNA, promoted COX-2 protein expression and exhibited enhanced tumor growth in vivo in comparison with cells expressing a cleavable form of HuR. Finally, our ribonucleoprotein immunoprecipitation and sequencing (RIP-seq) analyses of HuR in oral cancer cells treated with ionizing radiation (IR), determined that HuR cleavage product-1 (HuR-CP1) bound and promoted the expression of mRNAs encoding proteins involved in apoptosis. Our results indicated that, cellular non-cleavable HuR controls COX-2 mRNA expression and enzymatic activity. In addition, overexpressed COX-2 protein repressed the cleavage of caspase-3 and HuR to promote drug resistance and tumor growth. Altogether, our observations support the use of the COX-2 inhibitor celecoxib, in combination with paclitaxel, for the management of paclitaxel resistant oral cancer cells.
PMCID: PMC5453834  PMID: 27941877
Oral squamous cell carcinoma; Cyclooxygenase-2; caspase-3; HuR cleavage; mRNA turnover; cell death
5.  Targeting the PIM protein kinases for the treatment of a T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia subset 
Oncotarget  2017;8(18):30199-30216.
New approaches are needed for the treatment of patients with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) who fail to achieve remission with chemotherapy. Analysis of the effects of pan-PIM protein kinase inhibitors on human T-ALL cell lines demonstrated that the sensitive cell lines expressed higher PIM1 protein kinase levels, whereas T-ALL cell lines with NOTCH mutations tended to have lower levels of PIM1 kinase and were insensitive to these inhibitors. NOTCH-mutant cells selected for resistance to gamma secretase inhibitors developed elevated PIM1 kinase levels and increased sensitivity to PIM inhibitors. Gene profiling using a publically available T-ALL dataset demonstrated overexpression of PIM1 in the majority of early T-cell precursor (ETP)-ALLs and a small subset of non-ETP ALL. While the PIM inhibitors blocked growth, they also stimulated ERK and STAT5 phosphorylation, demonstrating that activation of additional signaling pathways occurs with PIM inhibitor treatment. To block these pathways, Ponatinib, a broadly active tyrosine kinase inhibitor (TKI) used to treat chronic myelogenous leukemia, was added to this PIM-inhibitor regimen. The combination of Ponatinib with a PIM inhibitor resulted in synergistic T-ALL growth inhibition and marked apoptotic cell death. Treatment of mice engrafted with human T-ALL with these two agents significantly decreased the tumor burden and improved the survival of treated mice. This dual therapy has the potential to be developed as a novel approach to treat T-ALL with high PIM expression.
PMCID: PMC5444737  PMID: 28415816
PIM kinase; T-ALL; ETP-ALL; tyrosine kinase inhibitor; ponatinib
6.  Vaccination with poly(IC:LC) and peptide-pulsed autologous dendritic cells in patients with pancreatic cancer 
Dendritic cells (DCs) enhance the quality of anti-tumor immune response in patients with cancer. Thus, we posit that DC-based immunotherapy, in conjunction with toll-like receptor (TLR)-3 agonist poly-ICLC, is a promising approach for harnessing immunity against metastatic or locally advanced unresectable pancreatic cancer (PC).
We generated autologous DCs from the peripheral blood of HLA-A2+ patients with PC. DCs were pulsed with three distinct A2-restricted peptides: 1) human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT, TERT572Y), 2) carcinoembryonic antigen (CEA; Cap1-6D), and 3) survivin (SRV.A2). Patients received four intradermal injections of 1 × 107 peptide-pulsed DC vaccines every 2 weeks (Day 0, 14, 28, and 42). Concurrently, patients received intramuscular administration of Poly-ICLC at 30 μg/Kg on vaccination days (i.e., day 0, 14, 28, and 42), as well as on days 3, 17, 21, 31, 37, and 45. Our key objective was to assess safety and feasibility. The effect of DC vaccination on immune response was measured at each DC injection time point by enumerating the phenotype and function of patient T cells.
Twelve patients underwent apheresis: nine patients with metastatic disease, and three patients with locally advanced unresectable disease. Vaccines were successfully manufactured from all individuals. We found that this treatment was well-tolerated, with the most common symptoms being fatigue and/or self-limiting flu-like symptoms. Among the eight patients who underwent imaging on day 56, four patients experienced stable disease while four patients had disease progression. The median overall survival was 7.7 months. One patient survived for 28 months post leukapheresis. MHC class I –tetramer analysis before and after vaccination revealed effective generation of antigen-specific T cells in three patients with stable disease.
Vaccination with peptide-pulsed DCs in combination with poly-ICLC is safe and induces a measurable tumor specific T cell population in patients with advanced PC.
Trial registration
NCT01410968; Name of registry:; Date of registration: 08/04/2011).
Electronic supplementary material
The online version of this article (doi:10.1186/s13045-017-0459-2) contains supplementary material, which is available to authorized users.
PMCID: PMC5384142  PMID: 28388966
7.  Harnessing the IL-7/IL-7Rα axis to improve tumor immunotherapy 
Oncoimmunology  2016;5(5):e1122865.
IL-7 and IL-15 are critical for supporting T cells transferred into a lymphopenic environment. As activated CD8+ T cells downregulate IL-7Rα, it is thought IL-15 is more important. However, we find that CD8+ T cells activated with IL-12 have elevated IL-7Rα and rely on IL-7 for persistence and antitumor immunity.
PMCID: PMC4910714  PMID: 27467935
Adoptive cellular therapy; CD8; IL-7; IL-7Ra; IL-15
8.  Effector CD8+ T cell engraftment and anti-tumor immunity in lymphodepleted hosts is IL-7Rα dependent 
Cancer immunology research  2015;3(12):1364-1374.
Adoptive cellular therapy, in which activated tumor-reactive T cells are transferred into murine lymphodepleted hosts, is a promising cancer treatment option. Activation of T cells decreases IL-7 responsiveness; therefore, IL-15 is generally considered the main driver of effector T cell responses in this setting. However, we found in lymphodepleted hosts that CD8+ T cells activated with IL-12 showed enhanced engraftment that was initially dependent on host IL-7, but not IL-15. Mechanistically, enhanced IL-7 responsiveness was conferred by elevated IL-7Rα expression, which was critical for anti-tumor immunity. Elevated IL-7Rα expression was achievable without IL-12, as polyclonal CD8+ T cells activated with high TCR stimulation depended on T cell IL-7Rα expression and host IL-7 for maximal engraftment. Finally, IL-12 conditioning during the activation of human CD8+ T cells, including TCR-modified T cells generated using a clinically relevant protocol, led to enhanced IL-7Rα expression. Our results demonstrate the importance of the donor IL-7Rα/host IL-7 axis for effector CD8+ T cell engraftment and suggest novel strategies to improve adoptive cellular therapy as a cancer treatment.
PMCID: PMC4766846  PMID: 26297711
adoptive cell therapy; T cells; cancer; IL-7; IL-15
9.  31st Annual Meeting and Associated Programs of the Society for Immunotherapy of Cancer (SITC 2016): part one 
Lundqvist, Andreas | van Hoef, Vincent | Zhang, Xiaonan | Wennerberg, Erik | Lorent, Julie | Witt, Kristina | Sanz, Laia Masvidal | Liang, Shuo | Murray, Shannon | Larsson, Ola | Kiessling, Rolf | Mao, Yumeng | Sidhom, John-William | Bessell, Catherine A. | Havel, Jonathan | Schneck, Jonathan | Chan, Timothy A. | Sachsenmeier, Eliot | Woods, David | Berglund, Anders | Ramakrishnan, Rupal | Sodre, Andressa | Weber, Jeffrey | Zappasodi, Roberta | Li, Yanyun | Qi, Jingjing | Wong, Philip | Sirard, Cynthia | Postow, Michael | Newman, Walter | Koon, Henry | Velcheti, Vamsidhar | Callahan, Margaret K. | Wolchok, Jedd D. | Merghoub, Taha | Lum, Lawrence G. | Choi, Minsig | Thakur, Archana | Deol, Abhinav | Dyson, Gregory | Shields, Anthony | Haymaker, Cara | Uemura, Marc | Murthy, Ravi | James, Marihella | Wang, Daqing | Brevard, Julie | Monaghan, Catherine | Swann, Suzanne | Geib, James | Cornfeld, Mark | Chunduru, Srinivas | Agrawal, Sudhir | Yee, Cassian | Wargo, Jennifer | Patel, Sapna P. | Amaria, Rodabe | Tawbi, Hussein | Glitza, Isabella | Woodman, Scott | Hwu, Wen-Jen | Davies, Michael A. | Hwu, Patrick | Overwijk, Willem W. | Bernatchez, Chantale | Diab, Adi | Massarelli, Erminia | Segal, Neil H. | Ribrag, Vincent | Melero, Ignacio | Gangadhar, Tara C. | Urba, Walter | Schadendorf, Dirk | Ferris, Robert L. | Houot, Roch | Morschhauser, Franck | Logan, Theodore | Luke, Jason J. | Sharfman, William | Barlesi, Fabrice | Ott, Patrick A. | Mansi, Laura | Kummar, Shivaani | Salles, Gilles | Carpio, Cecilia | Meier, Roland | Krishnan, Suba | McDonald, Dan | Maurer, Matthew | Gu, Xuemin | Neely, Jaclyn | Suryawanshi, Satyendra | Levy, Ronald | Khushalani, Nikhil | Wu, Jennifer | Zhang, Jinyu | Basher, Fahmin | Rubinstein, Mark | Bucsek, Mark | Qiao, Guanxi | MacDonald, Cameron | Hylander, Bonnie | Repasky, Elizabeth | Chatterjee, Shilpak | Daenthanasanmak, Anusara | Chakraborty, Paramita | Toth, Kyle | Meek, Megan | Garrett-Mayer, Elizabeth | Nishimura, Michael | Paulos, Chrystal | Beeson, Craig | Yu, Xuezhong | Mehrotra, Shikhar | Zhao, Fei | Evans, Kathy | Xiao, Christine | Holtzhausen, Alisha | Hanks, Brent A. | Scharping, Nicole | Menk, Ashley V. | Moreci, Rebecca | Whetstone, Ryan | Dadey, Rebekah | Watkins, Simon | Ferris, Robert | Delgoffe, Greg M. | Peled, Jonathan | Devlin, Sean | Staffas, Anna | Lumish, Melissa | Rodriguez, Kori Porosnicu | Ahr, Katya | Perales, Miguel | Giralt, Sergio | Taur, Ying | Pamer, Eric | van den Brink, Marcel R. M. | Jenq, Robert | Annels, Nicola | Pandha, Hardev | Simpson, Guy | Mostafid, Hugh | Harrington, Kevin | Melcher, Alan | Grose, Mark | Davies, Bronwyn | Au, Gough | Karpathy, Roberta | Shafren, Darren | Ricca, Jacob | Merghoub, Taha | Wolchok, Jedd D. | Zamarin, Dmitriy | Batista, Luciana | Marliot, Florence | Vasaturo, Angela | Carpentier, Sabrina | Poggionovo, Cécile | Frayssinet, Véronique | Fieschi, Jacques | Van den Eynde, Marc | Pagès, Franck | Galon, Jérôme | Hermitte, Fabienne | Smith, Sean G. | Nguyen, Khue | Ravindranathan, Sruthi | Koppolu, Bhanu | Zaharoff, David | Schvartsman, Gustavo | Bassett, Roland | McQuade, Jennifer L. | Haydu, Lauren E. | Davies, Michael A. | Tawbi, Hussein | Glitza, Isabella | Kline, Douglas | Chen, Xiufen | Fosco, Dominick | Kline, Justin | Overacre, Abigail | Chikina, Maria | Brunazzi, Erin | Shayan, Gulidanna | Horne, William | Kolls, Jay | Ferris, Robert L. | Delgoffe, Greg M. | Bruno, Tullia C. | Workman, Creg | Vignali, Dario | Adusumilli, Prasad S. | Ansa-Addo, Ephraim A | Li, Zihai | Gerry, Andrew | Sanderson, Joseph P. | Howe, Karen | Docta, Roslin | Gao, Qian | Bagg, Eleanor A. L. | Tribble, Nicholas | Maroto, Miguel | Betts, Gareth | Bath, Natalie | Melchiori, Luca | Lowther, Daniel E. | Ramachandran, Indu | Kari, Gabor | Basu, Samik | Binder-Scholl, Gwendolyn | Chagin, Karen | Pandite, Lini | Holdich, Tom | Amado, Rafael | Zhang, Hua | Glod, John | Bernstein, Donna | Jakobsen, Bent | Mackall, Crystal | Wong, Ryan | Silk, Jonathan D. | Adams, Katherine | Hamilton, Garth | Bennett, Alan D. | Brett, Sara | Jing, Junping | Quattrini, Adriano | Saini, Manoj | Wiedermann, Guy | Gerry, Andrew | Jakobsen, Bent | Binder-Scholl, Gwendolyn | Brewer, Joanna | Duong, MyLinh | Lu, An | Chang, Peter | Mahendravada, Aruna | Shinners, Nicholas | Slawin, Kevin | Spencer, David M. | Foster, Aaron E. | Bayle, J. Henri | Bergamaschi, Cristina | Ng, Sinnie Sin Man | Nagy, Bethany | Jensen, Shawn | Hu, Xintao | Alicea, Candido | Fox, Bernard | Felber, Barbara | Pavlakis, George | Chacon, Jessica | Yamamoto, Tori | Garrabrant, Thomas | Cortina, Luis | Powell, Daniel J. | Donia, Marco | Kjeldsen, Julie Westerlin | Andersen, Rikke | Westergaard, Marie Christine Wulff | Bianchi, Valentina | Legut, Mateusz | Attaf, Meriem | Dolton, Garry | Szomolay, Barbara | Ott, Sascha | Lyngaa, Rikke | Hadrup, Sine Reker | Sewell, Andrew Kelvin | Svane, Inge Marie | Fan, Aaron | Kumai, Takumi | Celis, Esteban | Frank, Ian | Stramer, Amanda | Blaskovich, Michelle A. | Wardell, Seth | Fardis, Maria | Bender, James | Lotze, Michael T. | Goff, Stephanie L. | Zacharakis, Nikolaos | Assadipour, Yasmine | Prickett, Todd D. | Gartner, Jared J. | Somerville, Robert | Black, Mary | Xu, Hui | Chinnasamy, Harshini | Kriley, Isaac | Lu, Lily | Wunderlich, John | Robbins, Paul F. | Rosenberg, Steven | Feldman, Steven A. | Trebska-McGowan, Kasia | Kriley, Isaac | Malekzadeh, Parisa | Payabyab, Eden | Sherry, Richard | Rosenberg, Steven | Goff, Stephanie L. | Gokuldass, Aishwarya | Blaskovich, Michelle A. | Kopits, Charlene | Rabinovich, Brian | Lotze, Michael T. | Green, Daniel S. | Kamenyeva, Olena | Zoon, Kathryn C. | Annunziata, Christina M. | Hammill, Joanne | Helsen, Christopher | Aarts, Craig | Bramson, Jonathan | Harada, Yui | Yonemitsu, Yoshikazu | Helsen, Christopher | Hammill, Joanne | Mwawasi, Kenneth | Denisova, Galina | Bramson, Jonathan | Giri, Rajanish | Jin, Benjamin | Campbell, Tracy | Draper, Lindsey M. | Stevanovic, Sanja | Yu, Zhiya | Weissbrich, Bianca | Restifo, Nicholas P. | Trimble, Cornelia L. | Rosenberg, Steven | Hinrichs, Christian S. | Tsang, Kwong | Fantini, Massimo | Hodge, James W. | Fujii, Rika | Fernando, Ingrid | Jochems, Caroline | Heery, Christopher | Gulley, James | Soon-Shiong, Patrick | Schlom, Jeffrey | Jing, Weiqing | Gershan, Jill | Blitzer, Grace | Weber, James | McOlash, Laura | Johnson, Bryon D. | Kiany, Simin | Gangxiong, Huang | Kleinerman, Eugenie S. | Klichinsky, Michael | Ruella, Marco | Shestova, Olga | Kenderian, Saad | Kim, Miriam | Scholler, John | June, Carl H. | Gill, Saar | Moogk, Duane | Zhong, Shi | Yu, Zhiya | Liadi, Ivan | Rittase, William | Fang, Victoria | Dougherty, Janna | Perez-Garcia, Arianne | Osman, Iman | Zhu, Cheng | Varadarajan, Navin | Restifo, Nicholas P. | Frey, Alan | Krogsgaard, Michelle | Landi, Daniel | Fousek, Kristen | Mukherjee, Malini | Shree, Ankita | Joseph, Sujith | Bielamowicz, Kevin | Byrd, Tiara | Ahmed, Nabil | Hegde, Meenakshi | Lee, Sylvia | Byrd, David | Thompson, John | Bhatia, Shailender | Tykodi, Scott | Delismon, Judy | Chu, Liz | Abdul-Alim, Siddiq | Ohanian, Arpy | DeVito, Anna Marie | Riddell, Stanley | Margolin, Kim | Magalhaes, Isabelle | Mattsson, Jonas | Uhlin, Michael | Nemoto, Satoshi | Villarroel, Patricio Pérez | Nakagawa, Ryosuke | Mule, James J. | Mailloux, Adam W. | Mata, Melinda | Nguyen, Phuong | Gerken, Claudia | DeRenzo, Christopher | Spencer, David M. | Gottschalk, Stephen | Mathieu, Mélissa | Pelletier, Sandy | Stagg, John | Turcotte, Simon | Minutolo, Nicholas | Sharma, Prannda | Tsourkas, Andrew | Powell, Daniel J. | Mockel-Tenbrinck, Nadine | Mauer, Daniela | Drechsel, Katharina | Barth, Carola | Freese, Katharina | Kolrep, Ulrike | Schult, Silke | Assenmacher, Mario | Kaiser, Andrew | Mullinax, John | Hall, MacLean | Le, Julie | Kodumudi, Krithika | Royster, Erica | Richards, Allison | Gonzalez, Ricardo | Sarnaik, Amod | Pilon-Thomas, Shari | Nielsen, Morten | Krarup-Hansen, Anders | Hovgaard, Dorrit | Petersen, Michael Mørk | Loya, Anand Chainsukh | Junker, Niels | Svane, Inge Marie | Rivas, Charlotte | Parihar, Robin | Gottschalk, Stephen | Rooney, Cliona M. | Qin, Haiying | Nguyen, Sang | Su, Paul | Burk, Chad | Duncan, Brynn | Kim, Bong-Hyun | Kohler, M. Eric | Fry, Terry | Rao, Arjun A. | Teyssier, Noam | Pfeil, Jacob | Sgourakis, Nikolaos | Salama, Sofie | Haussler, David | Richman, Sarah A. | Nunez-Cruz, Selene | Gershenson, Zack | Mourelatos, Zissimos | Barrett, David | Grupp, Stephan | Milone, Michael | Rodriguez-Garcia, Alba | Robinson, Matthew K. | Adams, Gregory P. | Powell, Daniel J. | Santos, João | Havunen, Riikka | Siurala, Mikko | Cervera-Carrascón, Víctor | Parviainen, Suvi | Antilla, Marjukka | Hemminki, Akseli | Sethuraman, Jyothi | Santiago, Laurelis | Chen, Jie Qing | Dai, Zhimin | Wardell, Seth | Bender, James | Lotze, Michael T. | Sha, Huizi | Su, Shu | Ding, Naiqing | Liu, Baorui | Stevanovic, Sanja | Pasetto, Anna | Helman, Sarah R. | Gartner, Jared J. | Prickett, Todd D. | Robbins, Paul F. | Rosenberg, Steven A. | Hinrichs, Christian S. | Bhatia, Shailender | Burgess, Melissa | Zhang, Hui | Lee, Tien | Klingemann, Hans | Soon-Shiong, Patrick | Nghiem, Paul | Kirkwood, John M. | Rossi, John M. | Sherman, Marika | Xue, Allen | Shen, Yueh-wei | Navale, Lynn | Rosenberg, Steven A. | Kochenderfer, James N. | Bot, Adrian | Veerapathran, Anandaraman | Gokuldass, Aishwarya | Stramer, Amanda | Sethuraman, Jyothi | Blaskovich, Michelle A. | Wiener, Doris | Frank, Ian | Santiago, Laurelis | Rabinovich, Brian | Fardis, Maria | Bender, James | Lotze, Michael T. | Waller, Edmund K. | Li, Jian-Ming | Petersen, Christopher | Blazar, Bruce R. | Li, Jingxia | Giver, Cynthia R. | Wang, Ziming | Grossenbacher, Steven K. | Sturgill, Ian | Canter, Robert J. | Murphy, William J. | Zhang, Congcong | Burger, Michael C. | Jennewein, Lukas | Waldmann, Anja | Mittelbronn, Michel | Tonn, Torsten | Steinbach, Joachim P. | Wels, Winfried S. | Williams, Jason B. | Zha, Yuanyuan | Gajewski, Thomas F. | Williams, LaTerrica C. | Krenciute, Giedre | Kalra, Mamta | Louis, Chrystal | Gottschalk, Stephen | Xin, Gang | Schauder, David | Jiang, Aimin | Joshi, Nikhil | Cui, Weiguo | Zeng, Xue | Menk, Ashley V. | Scharping, Nicole | Delgoffe, Greg M. | Zhao, Zeguo | Hamieh, Mohamad | Eyquem, Justin | Gunset, Gertrude | Bander, Neil | Sadelain, Michel | Askmyr, David | Abolhalaj, Milad | Lundberg, Kristina | Greiff, Lennart | Lindstedt, Malin | Angell, Helen K. | Kim, Kyoung-Mee | Kim, Seung-Tae | Kim, Sung | Sharpe, Alan D. | Ogden, Julia | Davenport, Anna | Hodgson, Darren R. | Barrett, Carl | Lee, Jeeyun | Kilgour, Elaine | Hanson, Jodi | Caspell, Richard | Karulin, Alexey | Lehmann, Paul | Ansari, Tameem | Schiller, Annemarie | Sundararaman, Srividya | Lehmann, Paul | Hanson, Jodi | Roen, Diana | Karulin, Alexey | Lehmann, Paul | Ayers, Mark | Levitan, Diane | Arreaza, Gladys | Liu, Fang | Mogg, Robin | Bang, Yung-Jue | O’Neil, Bert | Cristescu, Razvan | Friedlander, Philip | Wassman, Karl | Kyi, Chrisann | Oh, William | Bhardwaj, Nina | Bornschlegl, Svetlana | Gustafson, Michael P. | Gastineau, Dennis A. | Parney, Ian F. | Dietz, Allan B. | Carvajal-Hausdorf, Daniel | Mani, Nikita | Velcheti, Vamsidhar | Schalper, Kurt | Rimm, David | Chang, Serena | Levy, Ronald | Kurland, John | Krishnan, Suba | Ahlers, Christoph Matthias | Jure-Kunkel, Maria | Cohen, Lewis | Maecker, Holden | Kohrt, Holbrook | Chen, Shuming | Crabill, George | Pritchard, Theresa | McMiller, Tracee | Pardoll, Drew | Pan, Fan | Topalian, Suzanne | Danaher, Patrick | Warren, Sarah | Dennis, Lucas | White, Andrew M. | D’Amico, Leonard | Geller, Melissa | Disis, Mary L. | Beechem, Joseph | Odunsi, Kunle | Fling, Steven | Derakhshandeh, Roshanak | Webb, Tonya J. | Dubois, Sigrid | Conlon, Kevin | Bryant, Bonita | Hsu, Jennifer | Beltran, Nancy | Müller, Jürgen | Waldmann, Thomas | Duhen, Rebekka | Duhen, Thomas | Thompson, Lucas | Montler, Ryan | Weinberg, Andrew | Kates, Max | Early, Brandon | Yusko, Erik | Schreiber, Taylor H. | Bivalacqua, Trinity J. | Ayers, Mark | Lunceford, Jared | Nebozhyn, Michael | Murphy, Erin | Loboda, Andrey | Kaufman, David R. | Albright, Andrew | Cheng, Jonathan | Kang, S. Peter | Shankaran, Veena | Piha-Paul, Sarina A. | Yearley, Jennifer | Seiwert, Tanguy | Ribas, Antoni | McClanahan, Terrill K. | Cristescu, Razvan | Mogg, Robin | Ayers, Mark | Albright, Andrew | Murphy, Erin | Yearley, Jennifer | Sher, Xinwei | Liu, Xiao Qiao | Nebozhyn, Michael | Lunceford, Jared | Joe, Andrew | Cheng, Jonathan | Plimack, Elizabeth | Ott, Patrick A. | McClanahan, Terrill K. | Loboda, Andrey | Kaufman, David R. | Forrest-Hay, Alex | Guyre, Cheryl A. | Narumiya, Kohei | Delcommenne, Marc | Hirsch, Heather A. | Deshpande, Amit | Reeves, Jason | Shu, Jenny | Zi, Tong | Michaelson, Jennifer | Law, Debbie | Trehu, Elizabeth | Sathyanaryanan, Sriram | Hodkinson, Brendan P. | Hutnick, Natalie A. | Schaffer, Michael E. | Gormley, Michael | Hulett, Tyler | Jensen, Shawn | Ballesteros-Merino, Carmen | Dubay, Christopher | Afentoulis, Michael | Reddy, Ashok | David, Larry | Fox, Bernard | Jayant, Kumar | Agrawal, Swati | Agrawal, Rajendra | Jeyakumar, Ghayathri | Kim, Seongho | Kim, Heejin | Silski, Cynthia | Suisham, Stacey | Heath, Elisabeth | Vaishampayan, Ulka | Vandeven, Natalie | Viller, Natasja Nielsen | O’Connor, Alison | Chen, Hui | Bossen, Bolette | Sievers, Eric | Uger, Robert | Nghiem, Paul | Johnson, Lisa | Kao, Hsiang-Fong | Hsiao, Chin-Fu | Lai, Shu-Chuan | Wang, Chun-Wei | Ko, Jenq-Yuh | Lou, Pei-Jen | Lee, Tsai-Jan | Liu, Tsang-Wu | Hong, Ruey-Long | Kearney, Staci J. | Black, Joshua C. | Landis, Benjamin J. | Koegler, Sally | Hirsch, Brooke | Gianani, Roberto | Kim, Jeffrey | He, Ming-Xiao | Zhang, Bingqing | Su, Nan | Luo, Yuling | Ma, Xiao-Jun | Park, Emily | Kim, Dae Won | Copploa, Domenico | Kothari, Nishi | doo Chang, Young | Kim, Richard | Kim, Namyong | Lye, Melvin | Wan, Ee | Kim, Namyong | Lye, Melvin | Wan, Ee | Kim, Namyong | Lye, Melvin | Wan, Ee | Knaus, Hanna A. | Berglund, Sofia | Hackl, Hubert | Karp, Judith E. | Gojo, Ivana | Luznik, Leo | Hong, Henoch S. | Koch, Sven D. | Scheel, Birgit | Gnad-Vogt, Ulrike | Kallen, Karl-Josef | Wiegand, Volker | Backert, Linus | Kohlbacher, Oliver | Hoerr, Ingmar | Fotin-Mleczek, Mariola | Billingsley, James M. | Koguchi, Yoshinobu | Conrad, Valerie | Miller, William | Gonzalez, Iliana | Poplonski, Tomasz | Meeuwsen, Tanisha | Howells-Ferreira, Ana | Rattray, Rogan | Campbell, Mary | Bifulco, Carlo | Dubay, Christopher | Bahjat, Keith | Curti, Brendan | Urba, Walter | Vetsika, E-K | Kallergi, G. | Aggouraki, Despoina | Lyristi, Z. | Katsarlinos, P. | Koinis, Filippos | Georgoulias, V. | Kotsakis, Athanasios | Martin, Nathan T. | Aeffner, Famke | Kearney, Staci J. | Black, Joshua C. | Cerkovnik, Logan | Pratte, Luke | Kim, Rebecca | Hirsch, Brooke | Krueger, Joseph | Gianani, Roberto | Martínez-Usatorre, Amaia | Jandus, Camilla | Donda, Alena | Carretero-Iglesia, Laura | Speiser, Daniel E. | Zehn, Dietmar | Rufer, Nathalie | Romero, Pedro | Panda, Anshuman | Mehnert, Janice | Hirshfield, Kim M. | Riedlinger, Greg | Damare, Sherri | Saunders, Tracie | Sokol, Levi | Stein, Mark | Poplin, Elizabeth | Rodriguez-Rodriguez, Lorna | Silk, Ann | Chan, Nancy | Frankel, Melissa | Kane, Michael | Malhotra, Jyoti | Aisner, Joseph | Kaufman, Howard L. | Ali, Siraj | Ross, Jeffrey | White, Eileen | Bhanot, Gyan | Ganesan, Shridar | Monette, Anne | Bergeron, Derek | Amor, Amira Ben | Meunier, Liliane | Caron, Christine | Morou, Antigoni | Kaufmann, Daniel | Liberman, Moishe | Jurisica, Igor | Mes-Masson, Anne-Marie | Hamzaoui, Kamel | Lapointe, Rejean | Mongan, Ann | Ku, Yuan-Chieh | Tom, Warren | Sun, Yongming | Pankov, Alex | Looney, Tim | Au-Young, Janice | Hyland, Fiona | Conroy, Jeff | Morrison, Carl | Glenn, Sean | Burgher, Blake | Ji, He | Gardner, Mark | Mongan, Ann | Omilian, Angela R. | Conroy, Jeff | Bshara, Wiam | Angela, Omilian | Burgher, Blake | Ji, He | Glenn, Sean | Morrison, Carl | Mongan, Ann | Obeid, Joseph M. | Erdag, Gulsun | Smolkin, Mark E. | Deacon, Donna H. | Patterson, James W. | Chen, Lieping | Bullock, Timothy N. | Slingluff, Craig L. | Obeid, Joseph M. | Erdag, Gulsun | Deacon, Donna H. | Slingluff, Craig L. | Bullock, Timothy N. | Loffredo, John T. | Vuyyuru, Raja | Beyer, Sophie | Spires, Vanessa M. | Fox, Maxine | Ehrmann, Jon M. | Taylor, Katrina A. | Korman, Alan J. | Graziano, Robert F. | Page, David | Sanchez, Katherine | Ballesteros-Merino, Carmen | Martel, Maritza | Bifulco, Carlo | Urba, Walter | Fox, Bernard | Patel, Sapna P. | De Macedo, Mariana Petaccia | Qin, Yong | Reuben, Alex | Spencer, Christine | Guindani, Michele | Bassett, Roland | Wargo, Jennifer | Racolta, Adriana | Kelly, Brian | Jones, Tobin | Polaske, Nathan | Theiss, Noah | Robida, Mark | Meridew, Jeffrey | Habensus, Iva | Zhang, Liping | Pestic-Dragovich, Lidija | Tang, Lei | Sullivan, Ryan J. | Logan, Theodore | Khushalani, Nikhil | Margolin, Kim | Koon, Henry | Olencki, Thomas | Hutson, Thomas | Curti, Brendan | Roder, Joanna | Blackmon, Shauna | Roder, Heinrich | Stewart, John | Amin, Asim | Ernstoff, Marc S. | Clark, Joseph I. | Atkins, Michael B. | Kaufman, Howard L. | Sosman, Jeffrey | Weber, Jeffrey | McDermott, David F. | Weber, Jeffrey | Kluger, Harriet | Halaban, Ruth | Snzol, Mario | Roder, Heinrich | Roder, Joanna | Asmellash, Senait | Steingrimsson, Arni | Blackmon, Shauna | Sullivan, Ryan J. | Wang, Chichung | Roman, Kristin | Clement, Amanda | Downing, Sean | Hoyt, Clifford | Harder, Nathalie | Schmidt, Guenter | Schoenmeyer, Ralf | Brieu, Nicolas | Yigitsoy, Mehmet | Madonna, Gabriele | Botti, Gerardo | Grimaldi, Antonio | Ascierto, Paolo A. | Huss, Ralf | Athelogou, Maria | Hessel, Harald | Harder, Nathalie | Buchner, Alexander | Schmidt, Guenter | Stief, Christian | Huss, Ralf | Binnig, Gerd | Kirchner, Thomas | Sellappan, Shankar | Thyparambil, Sheeno | Schwartz, Sarit | Cecchi, Fabiola | Nguyen, Andrew | Vaske, Charles | Hembrough, Todd
Journal for Immunotherapy of Cancer  2016;4(Suppl 1):1-106.
PMCID: PMC5123387
10.  IL-2Rα mediates temporal regulation of IL-2 signaling and enhances immunotherapy 
Science translational medicine  2015;7(311):311ra170.
IL-2 is a lymphocyte growth factor that is an important component of many immune-based cancer therapies. The efficacy of IL-2 is thought to be limited by the expansion of T regulatory cells, which express the high affinity IL-2 receptor subunit, IL-2Rα. IL-15 is under investigation as an alternative to IL-2. Although both cytokines signal through IL-2Rβγ, IL-15 does not bind IL-2Rα and therefore induces less T regulatory cell expansion. However, we found that transferred effector CD8+ T cells induced curative responses in lymphoreplete mice only with IL-2-based therapy. While conventional in vitro assays showed similar effector T cell responsiveness to IL-2 and IL-15, upon removal of free cytokine, IL-2 mediated sustained signaling dependent on IL-2Rα. Mechanistically, IL-2Rα sustained signaling by promoting a cell-surface IL-2 reservoir and recycling of IL-2 back to the cell surface. Our results demonstrate that IL-2Rα endows T cells with the ability to compete temporally for limited IL-2 via mechanisms beyond ligand affinity. These results suggest that strategies to enhance IL-2Rα expression on tumor-reactive lymphocytes may facilitate the development of more effective IL-2-based therapies.
PMCID: PMC4805116  PMID: 26511507
11.  Blocking TCR restimulation induced necroptosis in adoptively transferred T cells improves tumor control 
Oncotarget  2016;7(43):69371-69383.
Advancements in adoptive cell transfer therapy (ACT) has led to the use of T cells engineered with tumor specific T cell receptors, which after rapid expansion can be obtained in sufficient numbers for treating patients. However, due to massive proliferation these cells are close to replicative senescence, exhibit exhausted phenotype, and also display increased susceptibility to activation induced cell death. We have previously shown that tumor reactive T cells undergo caspase-independent cell death upon TCR restimulation with cognate antigen, which involves reactive oxygen species and c-jun N-terminal kinase. Herein, we show that a large fraction of the human melanoma epitope tyrosinase reactive TCR transduced T cells that exhibit effector memory (TEM) phenotype and undergo programmed necrosis, or necroptosis, upon TCR restimulation. As compared to the T central memory (TCM) subsets, the TEM subset displayed an increased expression of genes involved in necroptotic cell death, and a necrotic phenotype upon TCR restimulation as confirmed by electron microscopy. Higher expression of receptor-interacting kinases (RIPK) that mediate necroptosis was also observed in the TEM fraction. Further, the TEM cells were rescued from undergoing necroptosis when pretreated with necroptotic inhibitor NecroX2 before TCR restimulation. Importantly, NecroX2 pretreated tumor reactive T cells also exhibited better tumor control and increased in vivo persistence when adoptively-transferred to treat subcutaneously established murine melanoma B16-F10. Thus, it is likely that the outcome of ACT could be vastly improved by interfering with the necroptotic cell death pathway in activated tumor reactive T cells used in immunotherapy.
PMCID: PMC5342484  PMID: 27750220
T cell; apoptosis; melanoma; immunotherapy; Immunology and Microbiology Section; Immune response; Immunity
12.  Dynamic Metabolism in Immune Response 
Cell, the basic unit of life depends for its survival on nutrients and thereby energy to perform its physiological function. Cells of lymphoid and myeloid origin are key in evoking an immune response against “self” or “non-self” antigens. The thymus derived lymphoid cells called T cells are a heterogenous group with distinct phenotypic and molecular signatures that have been shown to respond against an infection (bacterial, viral, protozoan) or cancer. Recent studies have unearthed the key differences in energy metabolism between the various T cell subsets, natural killer cells, dendritic cells, macrophages and myeloid derived suppressor cells. While a number of groups are dwelling into the nuances of the metabolism and its role in immune response at various strata, this review focuses on dynamic state of metabolism that is operational within various cellular compartments that interact to mount an effective immune response to alleviate disease state.
PMCID: PMC5070543  PMID: 27774525
13.  CCL22 to activate Treg migration and suppress depigmentation in vitiligo 
In vitiligo, gradual cutaneous depigmentation and cytotoxic T cell activity against melanocytes is accompanied by a paucity of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in vitiligo patient skin, indicating that autoimmune responses are not adequately held in check. Thus we sought a means to repopulate patient skin with Tregs. We hypothesized that enhanced expression of CCL22 can promote Treg skin homing to suppress depigmentation. The mouse Ccl22 gene was cloned into an expression vector and resulting DNA was used for gene gun treatment. Two spontaneous depigmentation models with different kinetics of melanocyte loss were utilized, expressing tyrosinase-reactive and gp100-reactive T cell receptor transgenes. Mice were subjected to 5 gene gun treatments 6 days apart, scanned for depigmentation weekly thereafter and monitored for activation and proliferation of relevant T cells and for Treg infiltration to the skin. Significantly reduced depigmentation 2 weeks after treatment was accompanied by a markedly increased abundance of Tregs in the skin at the expense of melanocyte reactive, TCR transgenic T cells as well as by reduced proliferation and reduced IFN-γ production in response to cognate peptide. Continued treatment may be necessary for sustained, local immunosuppression. These findings suggest that topical CCL22 may be used for the treatment of vitiligo.
PMCID: PMC5044299  PMID: 25634358
CCL22; regulatory T cells; vitiligo; immunosuppression; DNA treatment
14.  Metabolic reprogramming of alloantigen-activated T cells after hematopoietic cell transplantation 
The Journal of Clinical Investigation  null;126(4):1337-1352.
Alloreactive donor T cells are the driving force in the induction of graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), yet little is known about T cell metabolism in response to alloantigens after hematopoietic cell transplantation (HCT). Here, we have demonstrated that donor T cells undergo metabolic reprograming after allogeneic HCT. Specifically, we employed a murine allogeneic BM transplant model and determined that T cells switch from fatty acid β-oxidation (FAO) and pyruvate oxidation via the tricarboxylic (TCA) cycle to aerobic glycolysis, thereby increasing dependence upon glutaminolysis and the pentose phosphate pathway. Glycolysis was required for optimal function of alloantigen-activated T cells and induction of GVHD, as inhibition of glycolysis by targeting mTORC1 or 6-phosphofructo-2-kinase/fructose-2,6-biphosphatase 3 (PFKFB3) ameliorated GVHD mortality and morbidity. Together, our results indicate that donor T cells use glycolysis as the predominant metabolic process after allogeneic HCT and suggest that glycolysis has potential as a therapeutic target for the control of GVHD.
PMCID: PMC4811142  PMID: 26950421
15.  Interluekin-12 enhances the function and anti-tumor activity in murine and human CD8+ T cells 
Mouse CD8+ T cells conditioned with Interleukin (IL)-12 ex vivo mediate the potent regression of established melanoma when transferred into lymphodepleted mice. However, the quantitative and qualitative changes induced by IL-12 in the responding mouse CD8+ T cells have not been well defined. Moreover, the mechanisms by which IL-12-conditioning impacts human CD8+ T cells, and how such cells might be expanded prior to infusion into patients is not known. We found that ex vivo IL-12-conditioning of mouse CD8+ T cells led to a 10- to 100-fold increase in persistence and anti-tumor efficacy upon adoptive transfer into lymphodepleted mice. The enhancing effect of IL-12 was associated with maintenance of functional avidity. Importantly, in the context of ongoing ACT clinical trials, human CD8+ T cells genetically modified with a tyrosinase-specific T-cell receptor exhibited significantly enhanced functional activity when conditioned with IL-12 as indicated by heightened granzyme B expression and elevated peptide-specific CD107a degranulation. This effect was sustainable despite the 20 days of in vitro cellular expansion required to expand cells over 1,000-fold allowing adequate cell numbers for administration to cancer patients. Overall, these findings support the efficacy and feasibility of ex vivo IL-12-conditioning of TCR-modified human CD8+ T cells for adoptive transfer and cancer therapy.
PMCID: PMC4804872  PMID: 25676709
IL-12; CD8+ T cells; ACT; adoptive T cell therapy; Tc1; cancer
16.  IL-12-conditioning improves retrovirally-mediated transduction efficiency of CD8+ T cells 
Cancer gene therapy  2015;22(7):360-367.
The ability to genetically modify T cells is a critical component to many immunotherapeutic strategies and research studies. However, the success of these approaches is often limited by transduction efficiency. Since retroviral vectors require cell division for integration, transduction efficiency is dependent on the appropriate activation and culture conditions for T cells. Naïve CD8+ T cells which are quiescent must be first activated to induce cell division to allow genetic modification. To optimize this process, we activated mouse T cells with a panel of different cytokines, including IL-2, IL-4, IL-6, IL-7, IL-12, IL-15 and IL-23, known to act on T cells. After activation, cytokines were removed, and activated T cells were retrovirally transduced. We found that IL-12 pre-conditioning of mouse T cells greatly enhanced transduction efficiency while preserving function and expansion potential. We also observed a similar transduction enhancing effect of IL-12 pre-conditioning on human T cells. These findings provide a simple method to improve the transduction efficiencies of CD8+ T cells.
PMCID: PMC4807400  PMID: 26182912
17.  The inducible costimulator augments Tc17 cell responses to self and tumor tissue 
The inducible costimulator (ICOS) plays a key role in CD4+ Th17 cell development, but its role in CD8+ Tc17 cell development and self/tumor immunity remains unknown. We found that ICOS co-stimulation was important for the functional maintenance but not differentiation of Tc17 cells in vitro. Blocking the ICOS pathway using an antagonist antibody or by using mice genetically deficient in the ICOS ligand (ICOSL) reduced the antitumor activity of adoptively transferred Tc17 cells. Conversely, activating Tc17 cells with an ICOS agonist in vitro enhanced their capacity to eradicate melanoma and induce autoimmune vitiligo when infused into mice. However, ICOS stimulation did not augment the antitumor activity of IL-2 expanded T cells. Additional investigation revealed that ICOS stimulation not only increased IL-2Rα, CXCR3 and IL-23R expression on Tc17 cells, but also dampened their expression of suppressive molecule CD39. Although Tc17 cells activated with an ICOS agonist co-secreted heightened IL-17A, IL-9 and IFN-γ, their therapeutic effectiveness was critically dependent on IFN-γ production. Depletion of IL-17A and IL-9 had little impact of antitumor Tc17 cells activated with an ICOS agonist. Collectively, our work reveals that the ICOS pathway potentiates the antitumor activity of adoptively transferred Tc17 cells. This work has major implications for the design of vaccine, antibody and cell-based therapies for autoimmunity, infectious disease and cancer.
PMCID: PMC4323681  PMID: 25576595
18.  Anti-oxidant capacity and anti-tumor T cell function: A direct correlation 
Oncoimmunology  2015;4(1):e985942.
Improving persistence and sustained function of effector CD8+ T cell response is key for achieving significant tumor control in adoptive T cell immunotherapy protocols. Our recent report shows that high anti-oxidant property is central to potent anti-tumor effector T cells, and directly correlates to CD62Lhi central memory, low glycolytic and low mitochondrial membrane potential phenotype, all of which may be linked and contribute to better tumor control.
PMCID: PMC4368125  PMID: 25949871
adoptive immunotherapy, melanoma, Thiols, T cell
19.  Deletion of Pim Kinases Elevates the Cellular Levels of Reactive Oxygen Species and Sensitizes to K-Ras-Induced Cell Killing 
Oncogene  2014;34(28):3728-3736.
The Pim protein kinases contribute to transformation by enhancing the activity of oncogenic Myc and Ras, which drives significant metabolic changes during tumorigenesis. In this report, we demonstrate that mouse embryo fibroblasts (MEFs) lacking all three isoforms of Pim protein kinases, triple knockout (TKO), cannot tolerate the expression of activated K-Ras (K-RasG12V) and undergo cell death. Transduction of K-RasG12V into these cells markedly increased the level of cellular reactive oxygen species (ROS). The addition of N-acetyl cysteine attenuates ROS production and reversed the cytotoxic effects of K-RasG12V in the TKO MEFs. The altered cellular redox state caused by the loss of Pim occurred as a result of lower levels of metabolic intermediates in the glycolytic and pentose phosphate pathways as well as abnormal mitochondrial oxidative phosphorylation. TKO MEFs exhibit reduced levels of superoxide dismutase (Sod), glutathione peroxidase 4 (Gpx4) and peroxiredoxin 3 (Prdx3) that render them susceptible to killing by K-RasG12V-mediated ROS production. In contrast, the transduction of c-Myc into TKO cells can overcome the lack of Pim protein kinases by regulating cellular metabolism and Sod2. In the absence of the Pim kinases, c-Myc transduction permitted K-RasG12V-induced cell growth by decreasing Ras-induced cellular ROS levels. These results demonstrate that the Pim protein kinases play an important role in regulating cellular redox, metabolism and K-Ras-stimulated cell growth.
PMCID: PMC4369476  PMID: 25241892
glycolysis; Ras; metabolism; oxidative phosphorylation; Pim kinase; reactive oxygen species
20.  Reduced CD73 Expression by IL-1β Programmed Th17 Cells Improves Tumor Control 
Cancer research  2014;74(21):6048-6059.
T helper (Th)-17 subsets hold promise in adoptive T cell transfer therapy for cancer. However, ex vivo programming of Th17 cells in presence of TGF-β increases cell surface expression of ectonucleotidases CD39 and CD73, that in turn increases susceptibility to immunosuppression and reduces effector functions. Our data shows that ATP mediated suppression of IFN-γ production by Th17 cells can be overcome either by genetic ablation of CD73 or by generating TGF-β independent Th17 in presence of IL-1β. Th17 cells cultured in IL-1β are also highly polyfunctional, express high level of effector molecules and exhibit better short-term control of B16-F10 murine melanoma, despite reduced stem cell like properties. Adding TGF-β at low dose that does not up regulate CD73 expression, but induces stemness, drastically improves anti-tumor function of IL-1β cultured Th17 cells. It is likely that effector property of IL-1β dependent Th17 is due to their high glycolytic capacity, since generating IL-1β dependent Th17 cells in pyruvate containing media impaired glycolysis and its anti-tumor potential. Thus, our data suggests that due to induction of ectonucleotidase expression by TGF-β, ex vivo culture conditions for generating Th17 cells need to be reconsidered for exploiting their full potential in adoptive T cell therapy.
PMCID: PMC4216762  PMID: 25205101
Immunotherapy; Th17; CD73; melanoma; glycolysis
21.  Promoting Thiol Expression Increases The Durability of Antitumor T cell Functions 
Cancer research  2014;74(21):6036-6047.
Ex vivo-expanded CD8+ T cells used for adoptive immunotherapy generally acquire an effector memory-like phenotype (TEM cells). With regard to therapeutic applications, two undesired features of this phenotype in vivo are limited persistence and reduced anti-tumor efficacy, relative to CD8+ T cells with a central memory-like phenotype (TCM cells). Further, there is incomplete knowledge about all the differences between TEM and TCM cells that may influence tumor treatment outcomes. Given that TCM cells survive relatively longer in oxidative tumor microenvironments, we investigated the hypothesis that TCM possess relatively greater anti-oxidative capacity than TEM cells. Here we report that TCM cells exhibit a relative increase compared to TEM cells in expression of cell surface thiols, a key target of cellular redox controls, along with other antioxidant molecules. Increased expression of redox regulators in TCM cells inversely correlated with the generation of reactive oxygen and nitrogen species, proliferative capacity and glycolytic enzyme levels. Notably, TCR-transduced T cells pretreated with thiol donors, such as N-acetyl cysteine or rapamycin, up-regulated thiol levels and antioxidant genes. A comparison of anti-tumor CD8+ T cell populations on the basis of surface thiol expression showed that thiol-high cells persisted longer in vivo and exerted superior tumor control. Our results suggest that higher levels of reduced cell surface thiols are a key characteristic of T cells that can control tumor growth, and that profiling this biomarker may have benefits to T cell adoptive immunotherapy protocols.
PMCID: PMC4216764  PMID: 25164014
Human; CD62L; CTL; glutathione; thiols
22.  Immune Responses in A Mouse Model of Vitiligo with Spontaneous Epidermal De- and Repigmentation 
Pigment cell & melanoma research  2014;27(6):1075-1085.
To generate a mouse model of spontaneous epidermal depigmentation, parental h3TA2 mice, expressing both a human-derived, tyrosinase-reactive T cell receptor on T cells and the matching HLA-A2 transgene, were crossed to keratin 14-promoter driven, stem cell factor transgenic (K14-SCF) mice with intra-epidermal melanocytes. In resulting Vitesse mice, spontaneous skin depigmentation precedes symmetrical and sharply demarcated patches of graying hair. Whereas the SCF transgene alone dictates a greater retinoic acid receptor-related orphan receptor gamma (RORγt)+ T cell compartment, these cells displayed markedly increased IL-17 expression within Vitesse mice. Similar to patient skin, regulatory T cells were less abundant compared to K14-SCF mice, with the exception of gradually appearing patches of repigmenting skin. The subtle repigmentation observed likely reflects resilient melanocytes that co-exist with skin-infiltrating, melanocyte-reactive T cells. Similar repigmenting lesions were found in a different TCR transgenic model of vitiligo developed on an SCF transgenic background, supporting a role for SCF in repigmentation.
PMCID: PMC4470702  PMID: 24935676
vitiligo; mouse model; T cell receptor; IL-17; stem cell factor; pigmentation
23.  A Quantitative Increase in Regulatory T Cells Controls Development of Vitiligo 
T cell cytolytic activity targeting epidermal melanocyte is shown to cause progressive depigmentation and autoimmune vitiligo. Using the recently developed transgenic mice h3TA2 that carry T cell with a HLA-A2 restricted human tyrosinase reactive TCR and develop spontaneous vitiligo from an early age, we addressed the mechanism regulating autoimmune vitiligo. Depigmentation was significantly impaired only in IFN-γ knockout h3TA2 mice but not in TNF-α or perforin knockout h3TA2 mouse strains, confirming a central role for IFN-γ in vitiligo development. Additionally, the regulatory T cells (Treg) were relatively abundant in h3TA2-IFN-γ−/− mice, and depletion of Treg employing anti-CD25 antibody fully restored the depigmentation phenotype in h3TA2-IFN-γ−/− mice mediated in part through upregulation of pro-inflammatory cytokines as IL-17and IL-22. Further therapeutic potential of Treg abundance in preventing progressive depigmentation was evaluated by adoptively transferring purified Treg or using rapamycin. Both adoptive transfer of Treg and rapamycin induced lasting remission of vitiligo in mice treated at the onset of disease, or in mice with established disease. This leads us to conclude that reduced regulatory responses are pivotal to the development of vitiligo in disease-prone mice, and that a quantitative increase in the Treg population may be therapeutic for vitiligo patients with active disease.
PMCID: PMC3989443  PMID: 24366614
24.  Redox Regulation of T-Cell Function: From Molecular Mechanisms to Significance in Human Health and Disease 
Antioxidants & Redox Signaling  2013;18(12):1497-1534.
Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are thought to have effects on T-cell function and proliferation. Low concentrations of ROS in T cells are a prerequisite for cell survival, and increased ROS accumulation can lead to apoptosis/necrosis. The cellular redox state of a T cell can also affect T-cell receptor signaling, skewing the immune response. Various T-cell subsets have different redox statuses, and this differential ROS susceptibility could modulate the outcome of an immune response in various disease states. Recent advances in T-cell redox signaling reveal that ROS modulate signaling cascades such as the mitogen-activated protein kinase, phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT, and JAK/STAT pathways. Also, tumor microenvironments, chronic T-cell stimulation leading to replicative senescence, gender, and age affect T-cell susceptibility to ROS, thereby contributing to diverse immune outcomes. Antioxidants such as glutathione, thioredoxin, superoxide dismutase, and catalase balance cellular oxidative stress. T-cell redox states are also regulated by expression of various vitamins and dietary compounds. Changes in T-cell redox regulation may affect the pathogenesis of various human diseases. Many strategies to control oxidative stress have been employed for various diseases, including the use of active antioxidants from dietary products and pharmacologic or genetic engineering of antioxidant genes in T cells. Here, we discuss the existence of a complex web of molecules/factors that exogenously or endogenously affect oxidants, and we relate these molecules to potential therapeutics. Antioxid. Redox Signal. 18, 1497–1534.
I. Introduction
II. T Cell
III. T-Cell Subsets and Susceptibility to Oxidative Stress
IV. T-Cell and Redox Regulators
A. Transcription factors
1. Nuclear factor κB
2. p53
3. Forkhead transcription factors of class O
4. Nuclear factor erythroid-2-related factor 2
B. Mitogen-activated protein kinases
1. c-Jun N-terminal kinase
2. Extracellular signal-regulated kinases
3. p38-MAPK
V. Key Molecules in Redox Regulation
A. Antioxidant/redox proteins
1. Superoxide dismutase
2. Glutathione peroxidase
3. NADPH oxidase
4. Catalase
5. Glutathione and cell surface thiol
6. Thioredoxin
7. Vitamins
VI. Web of Redox Regulation Molecules
VII. Role of Redox Regulation in Human Diseases
A. Autoimmune disorders
1. Rheumatoid arthritis
2. Systemic lupus erythematosus
3. Type 1 diabetes
B. Cardiovascular disorders
1. Atherosclerosis
2. Cerebral ischemia/stroke
C. Cancer and metastasis
D. Neurological disorders
1. Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis
2. Multiple sclerosis
3. Parkinson's disease
E. Skin disorders
1. Psoriasis
2. Scleroderma
3. Vitiligo
F. Viral diseases
1. Human immunodeficiency virus
2. Influenza
G. Aging
H. Gender-related differences in the oxidative stress response and T-cell immunity
VIII. Gene Mutation and Polymorphism in Oxidative Stress and Diseases
IX. Therapeutic Strategies to Overcome Oxidative Stress-Induced Diseases
X. Conclusion
PMCID: PMC3603502  PMID: 22938635
25.  Interferon-Gamma (IFN-γ)-Mediated Retinal Ganglion Cell Death in Human Tyrosinase T Cell Receptor Transgenic Mouse 
PLoS ONE  2014;9(2):e89392.
We have recently demonstrated the characterization of human tyrosinase TCR bearing h3T-A2 transgenic mouse model, which exhibits spontaneous autoimmune vitiligo and retinal dysfunction. The purpose of current study was to determine the role of T cells and IFN-γ in retina dysfunction and retinal ganglion cell (RGC) death using this model. RGC function was measured by pattern electroretinograms (ERGs) in response to contrast reversal of patterned visual stimuli. RGCs were visualized by fluorogold retrograde-labeling. Expression of CD3, IFN-γ, GFAP, and caspases was measured by immunohistochemistry and Western blotting. All functional and structural changes were measured in 12-month-old h3T-A2 mice and compared with age-matched HLA-A2 wild-type mice. Both pattern-ERGs (42%, p = 0.03) and RGC numbers (37%, p = 0.0001) were reduced in h3T-A2 mice when compared with wild-type mice. The level of CD3 expression was increased in h3T-A2 mice (h3T-A2: 174±27% vs. HLA-A2: 100%; p = 0.04). The levels of effector cytokine IFN-γ were also increased significantly in h3T-A2 mice (h3T-A2: 189±11% vs. HLA-A2: 100%; p = 0.023). Both CD3 and IFN-γ immunostaining were increased in nerve fiber (NF) and RGC layers of h3T-A2 mice. In addition, we have seen a robust increase in GFAP staining in h3T-A2 mice (mainly localized to NF layer), which was substantially reduced in IFN-γ (-/-) knockout h3T-A2 mice. We also have seen an up-regulation of caspase-3 and -9 in h3T-A2 mice. Based on our data we conclude that h3T-A2 transgenic mice exhibit visual defects that are mostly associated with the inner retinal layers and RGC function. This novel h3T-A2 transgenic mouse model provides opportunity to understand RGC pathology and test neuroprotective strategies to rescue RGCs.
PMCID: PMC3938457  PMID: 24586745

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