Gene Summary

Gene:SCFV; single-chain Fv fragment
Databases:GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

  • Monoclonal Antibodies
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Genetic Therapy
  • Immunoglobulin Variable Region
  • Antibody Specificity
  • Up-Regulation
  • Antibodies
  • Chromosome 14
  • Apoptosis
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Neuroblastoma
  • Ribonucleases
  • Breast Cancer
  • Two-Hybrid System Techniques
  • Gene Expression
  • Viral Fusion Proteins
  • T-Cell Antigen Receptors
  • gp100 Melanoma Antigen
  • Immunotherapy
  • Tumor Antigens
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Oncogenes
  • ErbB Receptors
  • Multiple Myeloma
  • Amino Acid Sequence
  • Translocation
  • Transfection
  • Cytotoxicity, Immunologic
  • Stomach Cancer
  • Gene Transfer Techniques
  • Immunotherapy, Adoptive
  • Protein Binding
  • Immunoglobulin Fragments
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Vaccines, DNA
  • Viral Tropism
  • Recombinant Proteins
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic
  • Virus Replication
  • Genetic Vectors
Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (4)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: SCFV (cancer-related)

Lin XR, Zhou XL, Feng Q, et al.
CIK cell-based delivery of recombinant adenovirus KGHV500 carrying the anti-p21Ras scFv gene enhances the anti-tumor effect and safety in lung cancer.
J Cancer Res Clin Oncol. 2019; 145(5):1123-1132 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Adenovirus (Ads) is one of the most popular vectors used in gene therapy for the treatment of cancer. However, systemic therapy is limited by circulating antiviral antibodies and poor viral delivery in vivo. In this study, we used cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells as delivery vehicles of Ads KGHV500 carrying the anti-p21Ras scFv gene to treat Ras gene-related lung cancer and investigate the anti-tumor effect in vitro and in vivo.
METHODS: The human lung cancer cell line A549 was employed to investigate the anti-tumor activity of recombinant Ads KGHV500 harboring the anti-p21Ras scFv gene using MTT, wound healing, transwell invasion, and apoptosis assays in vitro. Next, CIK cells were used as delivery vehicles to deliver KGHV500 carrying the anti-p21Ras scFv gene to treat A549-transplanted tumors in nude mice, and viral replication, p21Ras scFv expression, and the therapeutic efficacy were assessed.
RESULTS: In vitro studies showed that KGHV500 had potent anti-tumor activity. In addition, in vivo, this combination therapy significantly inhibited the growth of lung cancer xenografts compared with mice treated with KGHV500 alone. KGHV500 and anti-p21Ras scFv were observed in tumor tissue, but were nearly undetectable in normal tissues.
CONCLUSIONS: The co-delivery of anti-p21Ras scFv by CIK cells and KGHV500 could increase the anti-tumor effect and safety, and possess considerable advantages for the treatment of Ras-related cancer.

Faraji SN, Nejatollahi F, Tamaddon AM, et al.
Generation and characterization of a specific single-chain antibody against DSPP as a prostate cancer biomarker: Involvement of bioinformatics-based design of novel epitopes.
Int Immunopharmacol. 2019; 69:217-224 [PubMed] Related Publications
Isolation of specific single chain antibodies (scFvs) against key epitopes of cancer markers are applied for cancer immunotherapy and diagnosis. In this study following the prediction of the 3D structure of the DSP part of Dentin sialophosphoprotein (DSPP), the epitope was chosen using in silico programs. Panning process was applied to isolate specific human scFv against the epitope. PCR and DNA fingerprinting differentiated the specific clones, which were evaluated by phage ELISA. Following DNA sequencing, the 3D structure of isolated scFv was modeled and Docked on DSP. Results demonstrated the selection of a specific anti-DSPP scFv with 40% frequency, which reacted significantly with the predicted epitope and PCa patients' urines in ELISA tests (P-value < 0.05). The VH and VL of the isolated scFv were from VH1 and VL3 gene families with several amino acid changes in CDRs and FRs domains. The scFv tightly bound to the DSP epitope with the lowest energy level by hydrogen bonds, cation-pi, hydrophobic and ionic interactions demonstrating the specificity of Ag-Ab interactions. The anti-DSPP scFv selected in this study with significant specificity to DSPP antigen offers a promising new agent for both PCa early detection and treatment of cancers with DSPP expression.

Xavier S, Gopi Mohan C, Nair S, et al.
Generation of humanized single-chain fragment variable immunotherapeutic against EGFR variant III using baculovirus expression system and in vitro validation.
Int J Biol Macromol. 2019; 124:17-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
Epidermal growth factor receptor variant III (EGFRvIII) is known to be specifically expressed in cancer cells and associated with tumor virulence. The receptor provides an opportunity for both specifically targeting the tumor cells as well as for potentially controlling and inhibiting tumor progression. In this study, humanized anti-EGFRvIII single-chain fragment variable (hscFv) was expressed in insect cell culture system to accommodate post-translational glycosylations crucial for the fragment stability and efficacy. Target specific binding of the developed fragment to EGFRvIII expressing cell lines and EGFRvIII positive glioblastoma patient samples was evaluated by immunocytochemistry and immunohistochemistry respectively. Downstream intracellular signaling mechanisms related to the action of the developed antibody fragment on growth/metabolism of the cell was evaluated in U87-EGFRvIII human glioblastoma cell lines. It was observed that the hscFv bound specifically to EGFRvIII in mutant expressing cells. Functionally, hscFv was found to confer anti-proliferative properties in EGFRvIII expressing cell lines by downregulating phosphorylation of EGFR/EGFRvIII, Lyn, PI3K and GLUT3 involved in proliferation and metabolism. This study demonstrated the significance of hscFv as a potential immunotherapeutic agent as well as a targeting agent for specific delivery of drugs to EGFRvIII expressing cancer cells.

Liu FR, Bai S, Feng Q, et al.
Anti-colorectal cancer effects of anti-p21Ras scFv delivered by the recombinant adenovirus KGHV500 and cytokine-induced killer cells.
BMC Cancer. 2018; 18(1):1087 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Colorectal cancer (CRC) is the most common type of gastrointestinal cancer. CRC gene therapy mediated by adenovirus holds great promise for the treatment of malignancies. However, intravenous delivery of adenovirus exhibits limited anti-tumor activity in vivo when used alone.
METHODS: In this study, the antitumor activity of the recombinant adenovirus KGHV500 was assessed with the MTT, TUNEL, Matrigel invasion and cell migration assays. To enhance the intravenous delivery of KGHV500 in vivo, cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells were used as a second vector to carry KGHV500. We explored whether CIK cells could carry the recombinant adenovirus KGHV500 containing the anti-p21Ras single chain fragment variable antibody (scFv) gene into tumors and enhance antitumor potency.
RESULTS: Our results showed that KGHV500 exhibited significant antitumor activity in vitro. In the nude mouse SW480 tumor xenograft model, the combination of CIK cells with KGHV500 could induce higher antitumor activity against colorectal cancer in vivo than that induced by either CIK or KGHV500 alone. After seven days of treatment, adenovirus and scFv were detected in tumor tissue but were not detected in normal tissues by immunohistochemistry. Therefore, KGHV500 replicates in tumors and successfully expresses anti-p21Ras scFv in a colorectal cancer xenograft model.
CONCLUSIONS: Our study provides a novel strategy for the treatment of colorectal cancer by combining CIK cells with the recombinant adenovirus KGHV500 which carried anti-p21 Ras scFv.

Herrmann M, Krupka C, Deiser K, et al.
Bifunctional PD-1 × αCD3 × αCD33 fusion protein reverses adaptive immune escape in acute myeloid leukemia.
Blood. 2018; 132(23):2484-2494 [PubMed] Related Publications
The CD33-targeting bispecific T-cell engager (BiTE) AMG 330 proved to be highly efficient in mediating cytolysis of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells in vitro and in mouse models. Yet, T-cell activation is correlated with upregulation of programmed cell death-ligand 1 (PD-L1) and other inhibitory checkpoints on AML cells that confer adaptive immune resistance. PD-1 and PD-L1 blocking agents may counteract T-cell dysfunction, however, at the expense of broadly distributed immune-related adverse events (irAEs). We developed a bifunctional checkpoint inhibitory T cell-engaging (CiTE) antibody that combines T-cell redirection to CD33 on AML cells with locally restricted immune checkpoint blockade. This is accomplished by fusing the extracellular domain of PD-1 (PD-1

Xiong C, Mao Y, Wu T, et al.
Optimized Expression and Characterization of a Novel Fully Human Bispecific Single-Chain Diabody Targeting Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor165 and Programmed Death-1 in
Int J Mol Sci. 2018; 19(10) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Bispecific antibodies, which can bind to two different epitopes on the same or different antigens simultaneously, have recently emerged as attractive candidates for study in various diseases. Our present study successfully constructs and expresses a fully human, bispecific, single-chain diabody (BsDb) that can bind to vascular endothelial growth factor 165 (VEGF165) and programmed death-1 (PD-1) in

Ji H, Guo J, Yang Y, et al.
Construction, expression and functional analysis of anti-B7-H4- scFv-CH3 recombinant antibody.
J Biosci. 2018; 43(4):661-671 [PubMed] Related Publications
The B7-H4 molecule, a unique negative regulator of T lymphocytes which is overexpressed on the surface of various tumor cells, is a particularly important target candidate for tumor therapy because it can be blocked with anti-B7-H4 antibodies to inhibit the B7-H4 signaling pathway. Our previous work established an anti-B7-H4 single-chain variable fragment (scFv) library, so we have now amplified the genes encoding anti-B7-H4-scFv and human IgG1 CH3 and ligated them by overlap extension PCR to obtain a recombinant gene. After sequencing, the gene was cloned into the expression vector pET43.1a and expression was induced in

Akahori Y, Wang L, Yoneyama M, et al.
Antitumor activity of CAR-T cells targeting the intracellular oncoprotein WT1 can be enhanced by vaccination.
Blood. 2018; 132(11):1134-1145 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The recent success of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy for treatment of hematologic malignancies supports further development of treatments for both liquid and solid tumors. However, expansion of CAR-T cell therapy is limited by the availability of surface antigens specific for the tumor while sparing normal cells. There is a rich diversity of tumor antigens from intracellularly expressed proteins that current and conventional CAR-T cells are unable to target. Furthermore, adoptively transferred T cells often suffer from exhaustion and insufficient expansion, in part, because of the immunosuppressive mechanisms operating in tumor-bearing hosts. Therefore, it is necessary to develop means to further activate and expand those CAR-T cells in vivo. The Wilms tumor 1 (WT1) is an intracellular oncogenic transcription factor that is an attractive target for cancer immunotherapy because of its overexpression in a wide range of leukemias and solid tumors, and a low level of expression in normal adult tissues. In the present study, we developed CAR-T cells consisting of a single chain variable fragment (scFv) specific to the WT1

Zuo J, Wang B, Long M, et al.
The type 1 transmembrane glycoprotein B7-H3 interacts with the glycolytic enzyme ENO1 to promote malignancy and glycolysis in HeLa cells.
FEBS Lett. 2018; 592(14):2476-2488 [PubMed] Related Publications
The role of the type 1 transmembrane glycoprotein B7-H3 is controversial in tumorigenesis; thus, a better clarification of its involvement in cancer is crucial. In the present study, 79.3% of cervical cancer samples were found to be B7-H3 positive and the expression of B7-H3 was positively correlated with the clinical features of the samples. Silencing B7-H3 using small interfering RNA or blocking it with intracellular ScFv attenuated the malignancy of HeLa cells. By pull-down assay and liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry in HeLa cells, the glycolytic enzyme ENO1 was found to interact with B7-H3. Subsequently, the involvement of B7-H3 in glycolysis was investigated. We observed decreases in the levels of ATP and lactate, as well as c-Myc and lactate dehydrogenase A, upon B7-H3 downregulation in HeLa cells. The results of the present study provide evidence for B7-H3 mediating tumor glycolysis.

Khajeh S, Tohidkia MR, Aghanejad A, et al.
Phage display selection of fully human antibody fragments to inhibit growth-promoting effects of glycine-extended gastrin 17 on human colorectal cancer cells.
Artif Cells Nanomed Biotechnol. 2018; 46(sup2):1082-1090 [PubMed] Related Publications
Glycine-extended gastrin 17 (G17-Gly), a dominant processing intermediate of gastrin gene, has been implicated in the development or maintenance of colorectal cancers (CRCs). Hence, neutralizing G17-Gly activity by antibody entities can provide a potential therapeutic strategy in the patients with CRCs. To this end, we isolated fully human antibody fragments from a phage antibody library through biopanning against different epitopes of G17-Gly in order to obtain the highest possible antibody diversity. ELISA screening and sequence analysis identified 2 scFvs and 4 V

Mølgaard K, Harwood SL, Compte M, et al.
Bispecific light T-cell engagers for gene-based immunotherapy of epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR)-positive malignancies.
Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2018; 67(8):1251-1260 [PubMed] Related Publications
The recruitment of T-cells by bispecific antibodies secreted from adoptively transferred, gene-modified autologous cells has shown satisfactory results in preclinical cancer models. Even so, the approach's translation into the clinic will require incremental improvements to its efficacy and reduction of its toxicity. Here, we characterized a tandem T-cell recruiting bispecific antibody intended to benefit gene-based immunotherapy approaches, which we call the light T-cell engager (LiTE), consisting of an EGFR-specific single-domain V

Winkler J
Extrahepatic Targeting of Oligonucleotides with Receptor-Binding Non-Immunoglobulin Scaffold Proteins.
Nucleic Acid Ther. 2018; 28(3):137-145 [PubMed] Related Publications
Although recent clinical successes of antisense, splice-switching, and siRNA oligonucleotides have established the therapeutic utility of this novel class of medicines, the efficient systemic application for non-liver targets remains elusive. Exploitation of active receptor-mediated targeting followed by efficient and productive cellular uptake is required for enabling the therapy of extrahepatic diseases on the expressional level. Evasion of liver accumulation and organ-specific targeting and also efficient cytosolic delivery after endosomal internalization are currently insufficiently solved issues. Lipid and polymer-based nanoparticles can be engineered for efficient cellular uptake and enhancement of endosomal escape, but are characterized by preferential liver accumulation based on biodistribution largely determined by particle size and biophysical properties. Oligonucleotide bioconjugates with receptor-binding ligands have been evolved for highly efficient targeting, but frequently result in a large extent of endosomal entrapment and consequently a lack of sufficient cytosolic concentrations. Non-immunoglobulin protein-based receptor recognition affords high cell-type selectivity and is promising for achieving nonhepatic oligonucleotide targeting. The use of such novel protein scaffolds, including designed ankyrin repeat proteins (DARPins), for oligonucleotide delivery is attractive for achieving effective tissue targeting. Issues for further development and optimization to advance approaches for extrahepatic oligonucleotide delivery by nanoparticles or bioconjugates are discussed.

Miliotou AN, Papadopoulou LC
CAR T-cell Therapy: A New Era in Cancer Immunotherapy.
Curr Pharm Biotechnol. 2018; 19(1):5-18 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cancer is one of the leading causes of death worldwide. Over the years, a number of conventional cytotoxic approaches for neoplastic diseases has been developed. However, due to their limited effectiveness in accordance with the heterogeneity of cancer cells, there is a constant search for therapeutic approaches with improved outcome, such as immunotherapy that utilizes and enhances the normal capacity of the patient's immune system.
METHODS: Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) T-cell therapy involves genetic modification of patient's autologous T-cells to express a CAR specific for a tumor antigen, following by ex vivo cell expansion and re-infusion back to the patient. CARs are fusion proteins of a selected single-chain fragment variable from a specific monoclonal antibody and one or more T-cell receptor intracellular signaling domains. This T-cell genetic modification may occur either via viral-based gene transfer methods or nonviral methods, such as DNA-based transposons, CRISPR/Cas9 technology or direct transfer of in vitro transcribed-mRNA by electroporation.
RESULTS: Clinical trials have shown very promising results in end-stage patients with a full recovery of up to 92% in Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia. Despite such results in hematological cancers, the effective translation of CAR T-cell therapy to solid tumors and the corresponding clinical experience is limited due to therapeutic barriers, like CAR T-cell expansion, persistence, trafficking, and fate within tumors.
CONCLUSION: In this review, the basic design of CARs, the main genetic modification strategies, the safety matters as well as the initial clinical experience with CAR T-cells are described.

Salazar N, Carlson JC, Huang K, et al.
A Chimeric Antibody against ACKR3/CXCR7 in Combination with TMZ Activates Immune Responses and Extends Survival in Mouse GBM Models.
Mol Ther. 2018; 26(5):1354-1365 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Glioblastoma (GBM) is the least treatable type of brain tumor, afflicting over 15,000 people per year in the United States. Patients have a median survival of 16 months, and over 95% die within 5 years. The chemokine receptor ACKR3 is selectively expressed on both GBM cells and tumor-associated blood vessels. High tumor expression of ACKR3 correlates with poor prognosis and potential treatment resistance, making it an attractive therapeutic target. We engineered a single chain FV-human FC-immunoglobulin G1 (IgG

Huang S, Feng L, An G, et al.
Ribosome display and selection of single-chain variable fragments effectively inhibit growth and progression of microspheres in vitro and in vivo.
Cancer Sci. 2018; 109(5):1503-1512 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Distinguishing the surface markers of cancer stem cells (CSCs) is a useful method for early diagnosis and treatment of tumors, as CSCs may participate in tumorigenesis and metastasis by migrating into the circulatory system. However, the potential targets of CSCs are expressed at low levels in the natural state and are always changing. Thus, dynamic screening has been reported to be an effective measure for exploring CSC markers. In recent years, diverse single-chain variable fragments (scFvs) have been widely used in immunotherapy. In this study, we determined that the scFvs, screened using RD, had a high affinity to microspheres and could inhibit their progression. We also observed that the selected scFvs underwent evolution in vitro, and antitumor-associated proteins were successfully expressed. Combined with chemotherapy, the scFvs had a synergistic effect on the inhibition of the microspheres' progression in vitro and in vivo, which could be ascribed to their high affinity for stem-like cells and the inhibition of the microspheres' collective behaviors. In addition, proteins inhibiting CD44

Petrov JC, Wada M, Pinz KG, et al.
Compound CAR T-cells as a double-pronged approach for treating acute myeloid leukemia.
Leukemia. 2018; 32(6):1317-1326 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) bears heterogeneous cells that can consequently offset killing by single-CAR-based therapy, which results in disease relapse. Leukemic stem cells (LSCs) associated with CD123 expression comprise a rare population that also plays an important role in disease progression and relapse. Here, we report on the robust anti-tumor activity of a compound CAR (cCAR) T-cell possessing discrete scFv domains targeting two different AML antigens, CD123, and CD33, simultaneously. We determined that the resulting cCAR T-cells possessed consistent, potent, and directed cytotoxicity against each target antigen population. Using four leukemia mouse models, we found superior in vivo survival after cCAR treatment. We also designed an alemtuzumab safety-switch that allowed for rapid cCAR therapy termination in vivo. These findings indicate that targeting both CD123 and CD33 on AML cells may be an effective strategy for eliminating both AML bulk disease and LSCs, and potentially prevent relapse due to antigen escape or LSC persistence.

Cooper ML, Choi J, Staser K, et al.
An "off-the-shelf" fratricide-resistant CAR-T for the treatment of T cell hematologic malignancies.
Leukemia. 2018; 32(9):1970-1983 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
T cell malignancies represent a group of hematologic cancers with high rates of relapse and mortality in patients for whom no effective targeted therapies exist. The shared expression of target antigens between chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells and malignant T cells has limited the development of CAR-T because of unintended CAR-T fratricide and an inability to harvest sufficient autologous T cells. Here, we describe a fratricide-resistant "off-the-shelf" CAR-T (or UCART7) that targets CD7+ T cell malignancies and, through CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing, lacks both CD7 and T cell receptor alpha chain (TRAC) expression. UCART7 demonstrates efficacy against human T cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) cell lines and primary T-ALL in vitro and in vivo without the induction of xenogeneic GvHD. Fratricide-resistant, allo-tolerant "off-the-shelf" CAR-T represents a strategy for treatment of relapsed and refractory T-ALL and non-Hodgkin's T cell lymphoma without a requirement for autologous T cells.

Wang JH, Forterre AV, Zhao J, et al.
Anti-HER2 scFv-Directed Extracellular Vesicle-Mediated mRNA-Based Gene Delivery Inhibits Growth of HER2-Positive Human Breast Tumor Xenografts by Prodrug Activation.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2018; 17(5):1133-1142 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
This paper deals with specific targeting of the prodrug/enzyme regimen, CNOB/HChrR6, to treat a serious disease, namely HER2

Tang J, Howard CB, Mahler SM, et al.
Enhanced delivery of siRNA to triple negative breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo through functionalizing lipid-coated calcium phosphate nanoparticles with dual target ligands.
Nanoscale. 2018; 10(9):4258-4266 [PubMed] Related Publications
The conjugation of ligands to nanoparticle platforms for the target delivery of therapeutic agents to the tumor tissue is one of the promising anti-cancer strategies. However, conventional nanoparticle platforms are not so effective in terms of the selectivity and transfection efficiency. In this study, we designed and developed a dual-target drug/gene delivery system based on lipid-coated calcium phosphate (LCP) nanoparticles (NPs) for significantly enhanced siRNA cellular uptake and transfection efficiency. LCP NPs loaded with therapeutic siRNA were conjugated with a controlled number of folic acid and/or EGFR-specific single chain fragment antibody (ABX-EGF scFv). The uptake of ABX-EGF scFv-modified (LCP-scFv) and folic acid-modified LCP NPs (LCP-FA) by human breast tumor cells (MDA-MB-468) was significantly higher with an optimal ligand density on each NP surface (LCP-125scFv and LCP-100FA). Co-conjugation with sub-optimal dual ligands (50 FA and 75 ABX-EGF scFv) per LCP NP (LCP-50FA-75scFv) further enhanced the cellular uptake. More significantly, much more NPs were delivered to the MDA-MB-468 tumor tissue in the nude mouse model when LCP-50FA-75scFv NPs were used. Therefore, the new dual-ligand LCP NPs may be a valuable targeting system for human breast cancer diagnosis and therapy.

Muhammad N, Mao Q, Xia H
CAR T-cells for cancer therapy.
Biotechnol Genet Eng Rev. 2017; 33(2):190-226 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells are redirected T-cells that can recognize cancer antigens in a major histocompatibility complex (MHC)-independent fashion. A typical CAR is comprised of two main functional domains: an extracellular antigen recognition domain, called a single-chain variable fragment (scFv), and an intracellular signaling domain. Based on the number of intracellular signaling molecules, CARs are categorized into four generations. CAR T-cell therapy has become a promising treatment for hematologic malignancies. However, results of its clinical trials on solid tumors have not been encouraging. Here, we described the structure of CARs and summarized the clinical trials of CD19-targeted CAR T-cells. The side effects, safety management, challenges, and future prospects of CAR T-cells for the treatment of cancer, particularly for solid tumors, were also discussed.

Zarei N, Fazeli M, Mohammadi M, Nejatollahi F
Cell growth inhibition and apoptosis in breast cancer cells induced by anti-FZD7 scFvs: involvement of bioinformatics-based design of novel epitopes.
Breast Cancer Res Treat. 2018; 169(3):427-436 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: FZD7 has a critical role as a surface receptor of Wnt/β-catenin signaling in cancer cells. Suppressing Wnt signaling through blocking FZD7 is shown to decrease cell viability, metastasis and invasion. Bioinformatic methods have been a powerful tool in epitope designing studies. Small size, high affinity and human origin of scFv antibodies have provided unique advantages for these recombinant antibodies.
METHODS: Two epitopes from extracellular domain of FZD7 were designed using bioinformatic methods. Specific anti-FZD7 scFvs were selected against these epitopes through panning process. The specificity of the scFvs was assessed by phage ELISA and the ability to bind to FZD7 expressing cell line (MDA-MB-231) was determined by flowcytometry. Antiproliferative and apoptotic effects of the scFvs were evaluated by MTT and Annexin V/PI assays. The effects of selected scFvs on expression level of Surivin, c-Myc and Dvl genes were also evaluated by real-time PCR.
RESULTS: Results demonstrated selection of two specific scFvs (scFv-I and scFv-II) with frequencies of 35 and 20%. Both antibodies bound to the corresponding peptides and cell surface receptors as shown by phage ELISA and flowcytometry, respectively. The scFvs inhibited cell growth of MDA-MB-231 cells significantly as compared to untreated cells. Growth inhibition of 58.6 and 53.1% were detected for scFv-I and scFv-II, respectively. No significant growth inhibition was detected for SKBR-3 negative control cells. The scFvs induced apoptotic effects in the MDA-MB-231 treated cells after 48 h, which were 81.6 and 74.9% for scFv-I and scFv-II, respectively. Downregulation of Surivin, c-Myc and Dvl genes were also shown after 48h treatment of cells with either of scFvs (59.3-93.8%). ScFv-I showed significant higher antiproliferative and apoptotic effects than scFv-II.
CONCLUSIONS: Bioinformatic methods could effectively select potential epitopes of FZD7 protein and suggest that epitope designing by bioinformatic methods could contribute to the selection of key antigens for cancer immunotherapy. The selected scFvs, especially scFv-I, with high antiproliferative and apoptotic effects could be considered as effective agents for immunotherapy of cancers expressing FZD7 receptor including triple negative breast cancer.

Petrovic B, Leoni V, Gatta V, et al.
Dual Ligand Insertion in gB and gD of Oncolytic Herpes Simplex Viruses for Retargeting to a Producer Vero Cell Line and to Cancer Cells.
J Virol. 2018; 92(6) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Oncolytic viruses gain cancer specificity in several ways. Like the majority of viruses, they grow better in cancer cells that are defective in mounting the host response to viruses. Often, they are attenuated by deletion or mutation of virulence genes that counteract the host response or are naturally occurring oncolytic mutants. In contrast, retargeted viruses are not attenuated or deleted; their cancer specificity rests on a modified, specific tropism for cancer receptors. For herpes simplex virus (HSV)-based oncolytics, the detargeting-retargeting strategies employed so far were based on genetic modifications of gD. Recently, we showed that even gH or gB can serve as retargeting tools. To enable the growth of retargeted HSVs in cells that can be used for clinical-grade virus production, a double-retargeting strategy has been developed. Here we show that several sites in the N terminus of gB are suitable to harbor the 20-amino-acid (aa)-long GCN4 peptide, which readdresses HSV tropism to Vero cells expressing the artificial GCN4 receptor and thus enables virus cultivation in the producer noncancer Vero-GCN4R cell line. The gB modifications can be combined with a minimal detargeting modification in gD, consisting in the deletion of two residues, aa 30 and 38, and replacement of aa 38 with the scFv to human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2), for retargeting to the cancer receptor. The panel of recombinants was analyzed comparatively in terms of virus growth, cell-to-cell spread, cytotoxicity, and

Kim SS, Harford JB, Moghe M, et al.
Targeted nanocomplex carrying siRNA against MALAT1 sensitizes glioblastoma to temozolomide.
Nucleic Acids Res. 2018; 46(3):1424-1440 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Intrinsic therapeutic resistance especially in cancer stem cells (CSCs) together with extensive tumor cell infiltration and restricted permeation of the blood-brain barrier (BBB) by drugs may all contribute to the treatment failure in patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). Accumulating evidence suggests that long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), metastasis-associated lung adenocarcinoma transcript 1 (MALAT1) plays a role in tumor cell infiltration and therapeutic resistance of GBM. Using our tumor-targeted nanocomplex, we have modulated the expression of MALAT1 and investigated its impact on GBM cells. Importantly, our nanocomplex is able to target CSCs that are considered to be the prime culprits in therapeutic resistance and recurrence of GBM. Attenuation of MALAT1 by RNA interference significantly lowered the growth, motility and stemness of GBM cells. In addition, silencing of MALAT1 clearly improved the sensitivity of GBM cells to chemotherapeutic agents including the current first-line therapy of GBM [temozolomide (TMZ)]. In animal models of GBM, tumor involution with a modest but statistically significant survival benefit was achieved with concurrent treatment of TMZ and nanocomplex-mediated silencing of MALAT1. These results suggest that combining standard TMZ treatment with lncRNA-targeting therapies using our nanocomplex could substantially enhance the very poor prognosis for GBM patients.

Banisadr A, Safdari Y, Kianmehr A, Pourafshar M
Production of a germline-humanized cetuximab scFv and evaluation of its activity in recognizing EGFR- overexpressing cancer cells.
Hum Vaccin Immunother. 2018; 14(4):856-863 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The aim of this study was to produce a humanized single chain antibody (scFv) as a potential improved product design to target EGFR (Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor) overexpressing cancer cells. To this end, CDR loops of cetuximab (an FDA-approved anti-EGFR antibody) were grafted on framework regions derived from type 3 (VH3 and VL3 kappa) human germline sequences to obtain recombinant VH and VL domainslinked together with a flexible linker [(Gly

Richman SA, Nunez-Cruz S, Moghimi B, et al.
High-Affinity GD2-Specific CAR T Cells Induce Fatal Encephalitis in a Preclinical Neuroblastoma Model.
Cancer Immunol Res. 2018; 6(1):36-46 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The GD2 ganglioside, which is abundant on the surface of neuroblastoma cells, is targeted by an FDA-approved therapeutic monoclonal antibody and is an attractive tumor-associated antigen for cellular immunotherapy. Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-modified T cells can have potent antitumor activity in B-cell malignancies, and trials to harness this cytolytic activity toward GD2 in neuroblastoma are under way. In an effort to enhance the antitumor activity of CAR T cells that target GD2, we generated variant CAR constructs predicted to improve the stability and the affinity of the GD2-binding, 14G2a-based, single-chain variable fragment (scFv) of the CAR and compared their properties

Lee J, Shin YJ, Lee K, et al.
Anti-SEMA3A Antibody: A Novel Therapeutic Agent to Suppress Glioblastoma Tumor Growth.
Cancer Res Treat. 2018; 50(3):1009-1022 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Purpose: Glioblastoma (GBM) is classified as one of the most aggressive and lethal brain tumor. Great strides have been made in understanding the genomic and molecular underpinnings of GBM, which translated into development of new therapeutic approaches to combat such deadly disease. However, there are only few therapeutic agents that can effectively inhibit GBM invasion in a clinical framework. In an effort to address such challenges, we have generated anti-SEMA3A monoclonal antibody as a potential therapeutic antibody against GBM progression.
Materials and Methods: We employed public glioma datasets, Repository of Molecular Brain Neoplasia Data and The Cancer Genome Atlas, to analyze SEMA3AmRNA expression in human GBM specimens. We also evaluated for protein expression level of SEMA3A via tissue microarray (TMA) analysis. Cell migration and proliferation kinetics were assessed in various GBM patient-derived cells (PDCs) and U87-MG cell-line for SEMA3A antibody efficacy. GBM patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models were generated to evaluate tumor inhibitory effect of anti-SEMA3A antibody in vivo.
Results: By combining bioinformatics and TMA analysis, we discovered that SEMA3A is highly expressed in human GBM specimens compared to non-neoplastic tissues. We developed three different anti-SEMA3A antibodies, in fully human IgG form, through screening phage-displayed synthetic antibody library using a classical panning method. Neutralization of SEMA3A significantly reduced migration and proliferation capabilities of PDCs and U87-MG cell line in vitro. In PDX models, treatment with anti-SEMA3A antibody exhibited notable tumor inhibitory effect through down-regulation of cellular proliferative kinetics and tumor-associated macrophages recruitment.
Conclusion: In present study, we demonstrated tumor inhibitory effect of SEMA3A antibody in GBM progression and present its potential relevance as a therapeutic agent in a clinical framework.

Su Y, Bidlingmaier S, Lee NK, Liu B
Combine Phage Antibody Display Library Selection on Patient Tissue Specimens with Laser Capture Microdissection to Identify Novel Human Antibodies Targeting Clinically Relevant Tumor Antigens.
Methods Mol Biol. 2018; 1701:331-347 [PubMed] Related Publications
A functional approach to generate tumor-targeting human monoclonal antibodies is through selection of phage antibody display libraries directly on tumor cells. Although technically convenient, the use of cancer cell lines for the selection has limitations as those cell lines often undergo genetic and epigenetic changes during prolonged in vitro culture and alter their cell surface antigen expression profile. The key is to develop a technology that allows selection of phage antibody display libraries on tumor cells in situ residing in their natural tissue microenvironment. Laser capture microdissection (LCM) permits the precise procurement of tumor cells from human cancer patient tissue sections. Here, we describe a LCM-based method for selecting phage antibodies against tumor cells in situ using both fresh frozen and paraffin-embedded tissues. To restrict the selection to antibodies that bind internalizing epitopes, the method utilizes a polyclonal phage population pre-enriched for internalizing phage antibodies. The ability to recognize tumor cells in situ residing in their natural tissue microenvironment and to deliver payload intracellularly makes these LCM-selected antibodies attractive candidates for the development of targeted cancer therapeutics.

Schwarzbich MA, Witzens-Harig M
Cellular Immunotherapy in B-Cell Malignancy.
Oncol Res Treat. 2017; 40(11):674-681 [PubMed] Related Publications
In recent years, cellular immunotherapy in B-cell malignancies has been driven by adoptive transfer of genetically engineered T cells expressing chimeric antigen receptors (CARs). CARs consist of a single chain variable fragment (scFv) of a monoclonal antibody, a spacer domain, a transmembrane domain, an intracellular signaling domain, and additional costimulatory domains. The bulk of clinical data available is on CD19-targeting CAR T cells for the treatment of B-cell acute lymphocytic leukemia (B-ALL), chronic lymphocytic leukemia, and B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma. Results so far have been promising with impressive rates and depth of remission especially among B-ALL patients. However, CAR T-cell therapy is a complex multi-step process, and clinical trials so far differ profoundly in CAR construct used, gene transfer method, composition of the cellular product, lymphodepletion, and CAR T-cell dose used. Randomized trials will be needed to conclusively evaluate the implications of these differences. The treatment concept is associated with significant neurotoxicity and potentially lethal cytokine release syndrome, both of which require specific management. Improvements in CAR design may help to overcome toxicity, the effects of an immunosuppressive microenvironment, and tumor escape by development of antigen-negative clones. This review will explain the mechanism of action, summarize the clinical experience with this treatment modality so far, and explore future developments in the field.

Eggers R, Philippi A, Altmeyer MO, et al.
Primary T cells for mRNA-mediated immunotoxin delivery.
Gene Ther. 2018; 25(1):47-53 [PubMed] Related Publications
Immune cells become increasingly attractive as delivery system for immunotoxins in cancer therapy to reduce the intrinsic toxicity and severe side effects of chimeric protein toxins. In this study, we investigated the potential of human primary T cells to deliver a secreted immunotoxin through transient messenger RNA (mRNA) transfection. The chimeric protein toxin was directed toward the neovasculature of cancer cells by fusing a truncated version of Pseudomonas exotoxin A (PE38) to human vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) and to the single chain variable fragment (scFv) of anti-Her2/neu. Protocols for the transient transfection of human embryonic kidney cells (HEK293) as well as activated primary human T cells were established. Transient transfection with mRNA coding for the immunotoxins e23-PE38, VEGF-PE38 and its attenuated variant VEGF-PE38D yielded efficient expression and secretion. Mass spectrometry analysis endorsed that a fraction of VEGF-PE38D was properly translocated into the endoplasmic reticulum. Furthermore, cytotoxic activity of immunotoxin secreting T cells toward cancer cells was confirmed in co-culture with ovarian adenocarcinoma cells in the presence of a bispecific antibody (bsAb), highlighting the potential of primary T cells for mRNA-mediated immunotoxin delivery.

Munisvaradass R, Kumar S, Govindasamy C, et al.
Human CD3+ T-Cells with the Anti-ERBB2 Chimeric Antigen Receptor Exhibit Efficient Targeting and Induce Apoptosis in ERBB2 Overexpressing Breast Cancer Cells.
Int J Mol Sci. 2017; 18(9) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Breast cancer is a common malignancy among women. The innate and adaptive immune responses failed to be activated owing to immune modulation in the tumour microenvironment. Decades of scientific study links the overexpression of human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (ERBB2) antigen with aggressive tumours. The Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR) coding for specific tumour-associated antigens could initiate intrinsic T-cell signalling, inducing T-cell activation, and cytotoxic activity without the need for major histocompatibility complex recognition. This renders CAR as a potentially universal immunotherapeutic option. Herein, we aimed to establish CAR in CD3+ T-cells, isolated from human peripheral blood mononucleated cells that could subsequently target and induce apoptosis in the ERBB2 overexpressing human breast cancer cell line, SKBR3. Constructed CAR was inserted into a lentiviral plasmid containing a green fluorescent protein tag and produced as lentiviral particles that were used to transduce activated T-cells. Transduced CAR-T cells were then primed with SKBR3 cells to evaluate their functionality. Results showed increased apoptosis in SKBR3 cells co-cultured with CAR-T cells compared to the control (non-transduced T-cells). This study demonstrates that CAR introduction helps overcome the innate limitations of native T-cells leading to cancer cell apoptosis. We recommend future studies should focus on in vivo cytotoxicity of CAR-T cells against ERBB2 expressing tumours.

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