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1.  PD-1 blockade induces responses by inhibiting adaptive immune resistance 
Nature  2014;515(7528):568-571.
Therapies that target the programmed death-1 (PD-1) receptor have shown unprecedented rates of durable clinical responses in patients with various cancer types.1–5 One mechanism by which cancer tissues limit the host immune response is via upregulation of PD-1 ligand (PD-L1) and its ligation to PD-1 on antigen-specific CD8 T-cells (termed adaptive immune resistance).6,7 Here we show that pre-existing CD8 T-cells distinctly located at the invasive tumour margin are associated with expression of the PD-1/PD-L1 immune inhibitory axis and may predict response to therapy. We analyzed samples from 46 patients with metastatic melanoma obtained before and during anti-PD1 therapy (pembrolizumab) using quantitative immunohistochemistry, quantitative multiplex immunofluorescence, and next generation sequencing for T-cell receptors (TCR). In serially sampled tumours, responding patients showed proliferation of intratumoural CD8+ T-cells that directly correlated with radiographic reduction in tumour size. Pre-treatment samples obtained from responding patients showed higher numbers of CD8, PD1, and PD-L1 expressing cells at the invasive tumour margin and inside tumours, with close proximity between PD-1 and PD-L1, and a more clonal TCR repertoire. Using multivariate analysis, we established a predictive model based on CD8 expression at the invasive margin and validated the model in an independent cohort of 15 patients. Our findings indicate that tumour regression following therapeutic PD-1 blockade requires pre-existing CD8+ T cells that are negatively regulated by PD-1/PD-L1 mediated adaptive immune resistance.
doi:10.1038/nature13954
PMCID: PMC4246418  PMID: 25428505
2.  High density genotyping of STAT4 gene reveals multiple haplotypic associations with Systemic Lupus Erythematosus in different racial groups 
Arthritis and rheumatism  2009;60(4):1085-1095.
Objective
Systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE) is the prototypic systemic autoimmune disorder with complex etiology and a strong genetic component. Recently, gene products involved in the interferon pathway have been under intense investigation in SLE pathogenesis. STAT1 and STAT4 are transcription factors that play key roles in the interferon and Th1 signaling pathways, making them attractive candidates for SLE susceptibility.
Methods
Fifty-six single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) across STAT1 and STAT4 genes on chromosome 2 were genotyped using Illumina platform as a part of extensive association study in a large collection of 9923 lupus cases and controls from different racial groups. DNA from patients and controls was obtained from peripheral blood. Principal component analyses and population based case-control association analyses were performed and the p values, FDR q values and Odds ratios with 95% confidence intervals (95% CIs) were calculated.
Results
We observed strong genetic associations with SLE and multiple SNPs located within the STAT4 gene in different ethnicities (Fisher combined p= 7.02×10−25). In addition to strong confirmation of the association in the 3rd intronic region of this gene reported previously, we identified additional haplotypic association across STAT4 gene and in particular a common risk haplotype that is found in multiple racial groups. In contrast, only a relatively weak suggestive association was observed with STAT1, probably due to the proximity to STAT4.
Conclusion
Our findings indicate that the STAT4 gene is likely to be a crucial component in SLE pathogenesis among multiple racial groups. The functional effects of this association, when revealed, might improve our understanding of the disease and provide new therapeutic targets.
doi:10.1002/art.24387
PMCID: PMC2776081  PMID: 19333953

Results 1-2 (2)