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1.  Systemic RNAi-mediated Gene Silencing in Nonhuman Primate and Rodent Myeloid Cells 
Leukocytes are central regulators of inflammation and the target cells of therapies for key diseases, including autoimmune, cardiovascular, and malignant disorders. Efficient in vivo delivery of small interfering RNA (siRNA) to immune cells could thus enable novel treatment strategies with broad applicability. In this report, we develop systemic delivery methods of siRNA encapsulated in lipid nanoparticles (LNP) for durable and potent in vivo RNA interference (RNAi)-mediated silencing in myeloid cells. This work provides the first demonstration of siRNA-mediated silencing in myeloid cell types of nonhuman primates (NHPs) and establishes the feasibility of targeting multiple gene targets in rodent myeloid cells. The therapeutic potential of these formulations was demonstrated using siRNA targeting tumor necrosis factor-α (TNFα) which induced substantial attenuation of disease progression comparable to a potent antibody treatment in a mouse model of rheumatoid arthritis (RA). In summary, we demonstrate a broadly applicable and therapeutically relevant platform for silencing disease genes in immune cells.
doi:10.1038/mtna.2011.3
PMCID: PMC3381593  PMID: 23344621
delivery; immune cell; siRNA
2.  Antibody blockade of the Cripto CFC domain suppresses tumor cell growth in vivo 
Journal of Clinical Investigation  2003;112(4):575-587.
Cripto, a cell surface–associated protein belonging to the EGF-CFC family of growth factor–like molecules, is overexpressed in many human solid tumors, including 70–80% of breast and colon tumors, yet how it promotes cell transformation is unclear. During embryogenesis, Cripto complexes with Alk4 via its unique cysteine-rich CFC domain to facilitate signaling by the TGF-β ligand Nodal. We report, for the first time to our knowledge, that Cripto can directly bind to another TGF-β ligand, Activin B, and that Cripto overexpression blocks Activin B growth inhibition of breast cancer cells. This result suggests a novel mechanism for antagonizing Activin signaling that could promote tumorigenesis by deregulating growth homeostasis. We show that an anti–CFC domain antibody, A8.G3.5, both disrupts Cripto-Nodal signaling and reverses Cripto blockade of Activin B–induced growth suppression by blocking Cripto’s association with either Alk4 or Activin B. In two xenograft models, testicular and colon cancer, A8.G3.5 inhibited tumor cell growth by up to 70%. Both Nodal and Activin B expression was found in the xenograft tumor, suggesting that either ligand could be promoting tumorigenesis. These data validate that functional blockade of Cripto inhibits tumor growth and highlight antibodies that block Cripto signaling mediated through its CFC domain as an important class of antibodies for further therapeutic development.
doi:10.1172/JCI200317788
PMCID: PMC171388  PMID: 12925698
3.  B Lymphocyte Memory 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2002;196(9):1189-1200.
To dissect the influence of CD21/CD35 and FcγRIIB in antigen retention and humoral memory, we used an adoptive transfer model in which antigen-primed B and T lymphocytes were given to sublethally irradiated wild-type mice or mice deficient in CD21/CD35 (Cr2−/−) or FcγRIIB receptors (FcγRIIB−/−). Cr2−/− chimeras showed impaired memory as characterized by a decrease in antibody titer, reduced frequency of antibody secreting cells, an absence of affinity maturation, and significantly reduced recall response. The impaired memory in Cr2−/− chimeras corresponded with the reduced frequency of antigen-specific memory B cells. Interestingly, FcγRIIB−/− chimeras showed a differential phenotype with impaired splenic but normal bone marrow responses. These data suggest that CD21/CD35 on stroma, including follicular dendritic cells, is critical to the maintenance of long-term B lymphocyte memory.
doi:10.1084/jem.20021110
PMCID: PMC2194107  PMID: 12417629
B lymphocytes; memory; complement receptors; FcγRIIB; follicular dendritic cells
4.  Baff Binds to the Tumor Necrosis Factor Receptor–Like Molecule B Cell Maturation Antigen and Is Important for Maintaining the Peripheral B Cell Population 
The tumor necrosis factor (TNF) family member B cell activating factor (BAFF) binds B cells and enhances B cell receptor–triggered proliferation. We find that B cell maturation antigen (BCMA), a predicted member of the TNF receptor family expressed primarily in mature B cells, is a receptor for BAFF. Although BCMA was previously localized to the Golgi apparatus, BCMA was found to be expressed on the surface of transfected cells and tonsillar B cells. A soluble form of BCMA, which inhibited the binding of BAFF to a B cell line, induced a dramatic decrease in the number of peripheral B cells when administered in vivo. Moreover, culturing splenic cells in the presence of BAFF increased survival of a percentage of the B cells. These results are consistent with a role for BAFF in maintaining homeostasis of the B cell population.
PMCID: PMC1887706  PMID: 10880534
tumor necrosis factor; B lymphocyte; receptor; cell survival; homeostasis

Results 1-4 (4)