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1.  Caspase-dependent immunogenicity of doxorubicin-induced tumor cell death 
The Journal of Experimental Medicine  2005;202(12):1691-1701.
Systemic anticancer chemotherapy is immunosuppressive and mostly induces nonimmunogenic tumor cell death. Here, we show that even in the absence of any adjuvant, tumor cells dying in response to anthracyclins can elicit an effective antitumor immune response that suppresses the growth of inoculated tumors or leads to the regression of established neoplasia. Although both antracyclins and mitomycin C induced apoptosis with caspase activation, only anthracyclin-induced immunogenic cell death was immunogenic. Caspase inhibition by Z-VAD-fmk or transfection with the baculovirus inhibitor p35 did not inhibit doxorubicin (DX)-induced cell death, yet suppressed the immunogenicity of dying tumor cells in several rodent models of neoplasia. Depletion of dendritic cells (DCs) or CD8+T cells abolished the immune response against DX-treated apoptotic tumor cells in vivo. Caspase inhibition suppressed the capacity of DX-killed cells to be phagocytosed by DCs, yet had no effect on their capacity to elicit DC maturation. Freshly excised tumors became immunogenic upon DX treatment in vitro, and intratumoral inoculation of DX could trigger the regression of established tumors in immunocompetent mice. These results delineate a procedure for the generation of cancer vaccines and the stimulation of anti-neoplastic immune responses in vivo.
PMCID: PMC2212968  PMID: 16365148
2.  Tumor cells convert immature myeloid dendritic cells into TGF-β–secreting cells inducing CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cell proliferation 
The mechanisms through which regulatory T cells accumulate in lymphoid organs of tumor-bearing hosts remain elusive. Our experiments indicate that the accumulation of CD4+CD25+ regulatory T cells (T reg cells) expressing FoxP3 and exhibiting immunosuppressive function originates from the proliferation of naturally occurring CD25+ T cells and requires signaling through transforming growth factor (TGF)–β receptor II. During tumor progression, a subset of dendritic cells (DCs) exhibiting a myeloid immature phenotype is recruited to draining lymph nodes. This DC subset selectively promotes the proliferation of T reg cells in a TGF-β–dependent manner in mice and rats. Tumor cells are necessary and sufficient to convert DCs into regulatory cells that secrete bioactive TGF-β and stimulate T reg cell proliferation. In conclusion, tumor expansion can stimulate T reg cells via a specific DC subset.
PMCID: PMC2213166  PMID: 16186184
3.  HSP27 Is a Ubiquitin-Binding Protein Involved in I-κBα Proteasomal Degradation 
Molecular and Cellular Biology  2003;23(16):5790-5802.
HSP27 is an ATP-independent chaperone that confers protection against apoptosis through various mechanisms, including a direct interaction with cytochrome c. Here we show that HSP27 overexpression in various cell types enhances the degradation of ubiquitinated proteins by the 26S proteasome in response to stressful stimuli, such as etoposide or tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α). We demonstrate that HSP27 binds to polyubiquitin chains and to the 26S proteasome in vitro and in vivo. The ubiquitin-proteasome pathway is involved in the activation of transcription factor NF-κB by degrading its main inhibitor, I-κBα. HSP27 overexpression increases NF-κB nuclear relocalization, DNA binding, and transcriptional activity induced by etoposide, ΤNF-α, and interleukin 1β. HSP27 does not affect I-κBα phosphorylation but enhances the degradation of phosphorylated I-κBα by the proteasome. The interaction of HSP27 with the 26S proteasome is required to activate the proteasome and the degradation of phosphorylated I-κBα. A protein complex that includes HSP27, phosphorylated I-κBα, and the 26S proteasome is formed. Based on these observations, we propose that HSP27, under stress conditions, favors the degradation of ubiquitinated proteins, such as phosphorylated I-κBα. This novel function of HSP27 would account for its antiapoptotic properties through the enhancement of NF-κB activity.
PMCID: PMC166315  PMID: 12897149

Results 1-3 (3)