Gene Summary

Gene:SELL; selectin L
Summary:This gene encodes a cell surface adhesion molecule that belongs to a family of adhesion/homing receptors. The encoded protein contains a C-type lectin-like domain, a calcium-binding epidermal growth factor-like domain, and two short complement-like repeats. The gene product is required for binding and subsequent rolling of leucocytes on endothelial cells, facilitating their migration into secondary lymphoid organs and inflammation sites. Single-nucleotide polymorphisms in this gene have been associated with various diseases including immunoglobulin A nephropathy. Alternatively spliced transcript variants have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Oct 2009]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 17 August, 2015


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1990-2015)
Graph generated 17 August 2015 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.

  • alpha-Fetoproteins
  • Transfection
  • Leiomyoma
  • Tumor Markers
  • Promoter Regions
  • Base Sequence
  • Cell Survival
  • Tumor Virus Infections
  • ras Proteins
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Immunohistochemistry
  • Cultured Cells
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Chromosome 1
  • Cancer Stem Cells
  • Mutation
  • Antineoplastic Agents
  • Pyrimidines
  • Phenotype
  • Mice, Transgenic
  • Chromosome 7
  • Potassium Channels, Inwardly Rectifying
  • Wilms Tumour
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Genetic Predisposition
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Signal Transduction
  • Cell Line
  • Childhood Cancer
  • Neoplastic Cell Transformation
  • Cancer DNA
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Remission Induction
  • Squamous Cell Carcinoma
  • TNF
Tag cloud generated 17 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (1)

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: SELL (cancer-related)

Grzegorek I, Zuba-Surma E, Chabowski M, et al.
Characterization of cells cultured from chylous effusion from a patient with sporadic lymphangioleiomyomatosis.
Anticancer Res. 2015; 35(6):3341-51 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Lymphangioleiomyomatosis (LAM) is a progressive, rare interstitial lung disease that almost exclusively affects women. It is caused by a mutation in one of the tuberous sclerosis genes, TSC1 or TSC2, and constitutive activation of the mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) pathway in smooth muscle-like cells (LAM cells). The heightened proliferation and accumulation of LAM cells leads to the destruction of lung tissue.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: In the present study, we developed a cell line (S-LAM1) derived from a chylous effusion obtained from a patient with sporadic, pulmonary LAM and evaluated its phenotype using immunofluorescence, flow cytometry, and an image stream system. Ultrastructure was assessed using a transmission electron microscope. To assess the ability of LAM cells to move and migrate (which is strictly associated with the ability to metastasize), we carried-out a real-time polymerase chain reaction (PCR) array analysis of 84 genes involved in cell motility. In order to evaluate the effect of rapamycin, a natural inhibitor of mTOR kinase, on S-LAM1 cells, a sulforhodamine B cell viability assay was performed with different concentrations of rapamycin.
RESULTS AND CONCLUSION: The phenotype of these cells is consistent with the biology of LAM cells. S-LAM1 cells present combined smooth muscle, melanocytic, and lymphatic endothelium lineage, as well as the presence of mesenchymal differentiation markers. A particular pattern of gene expression, including high expression of ezrin (EZR), myosin heavy chain 10, non-muscle (MYH10), and myosin light chain kinase (MYLK) and a greatly decreased expression of supervillin (SVIL), when compared to controls, indicates a high potential motility activity, especially of cell spreading. Rapamycin significantly, although only partially, inhibited S-LAM1 cell proliferation in vitro, and should, perhaps, be considered in the future in combination with other agents.

Brunner SM, Rubner C, Kesselring R, et al.
Tumor-infiltrating, interleukin-33-producing effector-memory CD8(+) T cells in resected hepatocellular carcinoma prolong patient survival.
Hepatology. 2015; 61(6):1957-67 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Interleukin-33 (IL-33), a cytokine with pleiotropic functions, is elevated in serum of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This study investigated the effects of local IL-33 expression in resected HCC on patient survival and on the immunological and molecular tumor microenvironment. Tissue of resected HCCs was stained for hematoxylin and eosin, Masson trichrome, alpha-smooth muscle actin, IL-33, CD8, and IL-13 and analyzed by flow cytometry. Besides histomorphologic evaluation, the immunohistochemical stainings were analyzed for the respective cell numbers separately for tumor area, infiltrative margin, and distant liver stroma. These findings were correlated with clinical data and patient outcome. Further, gene expression of different HCC risk groups was compared using microarrays. In multivariable analysis, infiltration of HCCs by IL-33(+) cells (P = 0.032) and CD8(+) cells (P = 0.014) independently was associated with prolonged patient survival. Flow cytometry demonstrated that cytotoxically active subpopulations of CD8(+) cells, in particular CD8(+) CD62L(-) KLRG1(+) CD107a(+) effector-memory cells, are the main producers of IL-33 in these HCC patients. Using infiltration by IL-33(+) and CD8(+) cells as two separate factors, an HCC immune score was designed and evaluated that stratified patient survival (P = 0.0004). This HCC immune score identified high- and low-risk patients who differ in gene expression profiles (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Infiltration of HCCs by IL-33(+) and CD8(+) cells is independently associated with prolonged patient survival. We suggest that this is due to an induction of highly effective, cytotoxically active CD8(+) CD62L(-) KLRG1(+) CD107a(+) effector-memory cells producing IL-33. Based on these two independent factors, we established an HCC immune score that provides risk stratification for HCC patients and can be used in the clinical setting.

Spink BC, Bloom MS, Wu S, et al.
Analysis of the AHR gene proximal promoter GGGGC-repeat polymorphism in lung, breast, and colon cancer.
Toxicol Appl Pharmacol. 2015; 282(1):30-41 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/01/2016 Related Publications
The aryl hydrocarbon receptor (AhR) regulates expression of numerous genes, including those of the CYP1 gene family. With the goal of determining factors that control AHR gene expression, our studies are focused on the role of the short tandem repeat polymorphism, (GGGGC)n, located in the proximal promoter of the human AHR gene. When luciferase constructs containing varying GGGGC repeats were transfected into cancer cell lines derived from the lung, colon, and breast, the number of GGGGC repeats affected AHR promoter activity. The number of GGGGC repeats was determined in DNA from 327 humans and from 38 samples representing 5 species of non-human primates. In chimpanzees and 3 species of macaques, only (GGGGC)2 alleles were observed; however, in western gorilla, (GGGGC)n alleles with n=2, 4, 5, 6, 7, and 8 were identified. In all human populations examined, the frequency of (GGGGC)n was n=4>5≫2, 6. When frequencies of the (GGGGC)n alleles in DNA from patients with lung, colon, or breast cancer were evaluated, the occurrence of (GGGGC)2 was found to be 8-fold more frequent among lung cancer patients in comparison with its incidence in the general population, as represented by New York State neonates. Analysis of matched tumor and non-tumor DNA samples from the same individuals provided no evidence of microsatellite instability. These studies indicate that the (GGGGC)n short tandem repeats are inherited, and that the (GGGGC)2 allele in the AHR proximal promoter region should be further investigated with regard to its potential association with lung cancer susceptibility.

Dou A, Wang Z, Zhao J, et al.
Identification of therapeutic target genes with DNA microarray in multiple myeloma cell line treated by IKKβ/NF-κB inhibitor.
Acta Cir Bras. 2014; 29(11):696-702 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: To explore the mechanism of resistance to IKKβ inhibitor in multiple myeloma (MM) cells and uncover novel therapeutic targets for MM.
METHODS: We downloaded the microarray data (GSE8476) from GEO (Gene Expression Omnibus) database. The data were derived from the human MM cells lines (L363 cells) treated with IKKβ inhibitor MLN120b (MLN) for eight, 12 and 24 hours. Furthermore, we applied the Search Tool for the Retrieval of Interacting Genes (STRING) and Expression Analysis Systematic Explorer (EASE) database to construct protein-protein interaction networks and identified over-represented pathway among DEGs (differentially expressed genes).
RESULTS: We obtained 108 DGEs in 8h vs. 12h group and 101 ones in 8h vs. 24h group. Most of DGEs were found to be involved in biological regulation. The significant pathways were Ig A pathway and the CAMs pathways. In addition, 24 common DGEs were found in the networks of the two groups such as ICAM 3 and SELL.
CONCLUSION: Intercellular adhesion molecule 3 and SELL may be potential targets in multiple myeloma treatment in the future.

Gomez-Eerland R, Nuijen B, Heemskerk B, et al.
Manufacture of gene-modified human T-cells with a memory stem/central memory phenotype.
Hum Gene Ther Methods. 2014; 25(5):277-87 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Advances in genetic engineering have made it possible to generate human T-cell products that carry desired functionalities, such as the ability to recognize cancer cells. The currently used strategies for the generation of gene-modified T-cell products lead to highly differentiated cells within the infusion product, and on the basis of data obtained in preclinical models, this is likely to impact the efficacy of these products. We set out to develop a good manufacturing practice (GMP) protocol that yields T-cell receptor (TCR) gene-modified T-cells with more favorable properties for clinical application. Here, we show the robust clinical-scale production of human peripheral blood T-cells with an early memory phenotype that express a MART-1-specific TCR. By combining selection and stimulation using anti-CD3/CD28 beads for retroviral transduction, followed by expansion in the presence of IL-7 and IL-15, production of a well-defined clinical-scale TCR gene-modified T-cell product could be achieved. A major fraction of the T-cells generated in this fashion were shown to coexpress CD62L and CD45RA, and express CD27 and CD28, indicating a central memory or memory stemlike phenotype. Furthermore, these cells produced IFNγ, TNFα, and IL-2 and displayed cytolytic activity against target cells expressing the relevant antigen. The T-cell products manufactured by this robust and validated GMP production process are now undergoing testing in a phase I/IIa clinical trial in HLA-A*02:01 MART-1-positive advanced stage melanoma patients. To our knowledge, this is the first clinical trial protocol in which the combination of IL-7 and IL-15 has been applied for the generation of gene-modified T-cell products.

Sargolzaei S, Farhadi S, Kazemi B, et al.
The correlation between p16 expression and INK4a locus mutation with grades and stages in oral squamous cell carcinoma.
Indian J Pathol Microbiol. 2014 Jan-Mar; 57(1):24-30 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: p16INK4a is a tumor suppressor gene playing a critical role. Researches have indicated the gene to be altered in oral squamous cell carcinoma. Present studies have tried to assess the correlation between p16INK4a expression and INK4a locus mutation in relation to grades and stages of this tumor.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: Expression of p16INK4a was studied immunohistochemically in 58 oral squamous sell carcinoma samples and INK4a locus mutation was determined by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and conformation sensitive gel electrophoresis (CSGE).
RESULTS: Expression of p16INK4a was higher in stage1 compared to stage 2, 3, and 4 (P = 0.234). The difference was not significant in grade 1, 2, and 3 (P = 0.671). The average values of total score (TS) were significantly higher in stage1 compared to stage 2, 3, and 4 (P = 0.035). The average values of complete score (CS) were higher in stage 1 compared to stage 2, 3, and 4 (P = 0.061). The research did not show a significant correlation between lymph node involvement and p16INK4a expression (P = 0.491). It seems that 5.1% (3/58) of samples have mutation in INK4a locus.
CONCLUSION: Loss of p16INK4a expression occurred in initial stages of oral squamous cell carcinoma. Evaluation of TS and CS for p16INK4a might be a useful clinical indicator concerning the tumor. However, gene mutation is believed to have minor rate of genetic alteration in carcinogenesis.

Ryan AE, Colleran A, O'Gorman A, et al.
Targeting colon cancer cell NF-κB promotes an anti-tumour M1-like macrophage phenotype and inhibits peritoneal metastasis.
Oncogene. 2015; 34(12):1563-74 [PubMed] Related Publications
In a model of peritoneal metastasis in immune-competent mice, we show that nuclear factor (NF)-κB inhibition in CT26 colon cancer cells prevents metastasis. NF-κB inhibition, by stable overexpression of IκB-α super-repressor, induced differential polarization of co-cultured macrophages to an M1-like anti-tumour phenotype in vitro. NF-κB-deficient cancer cell-conditioned media (CT26/IκB-α SR) induced interleukin (IL)-12 and nitric oxide (NO) synthase (inducible NO synthase (iNOS)) expression in macrophages. Control cell (CT26/EV) conditioned media induced high levels of IL-10 and arginase in macrophages. In vivo, this effect translated to reduction in metastasis in mice injected with CT26/ IκB-α SR cells and was positively associated with increased CD8(+)CD44(+)CD62L(-) and CD4(+)CD44(+)CD62L(-) effector T cells. Furthermore, inhibition of NF-κB activity induced high levels of NO in infiltrating immune cells and decreases in matrix metalloproteinase-9 expression, simultaneous with increases in tissue inhibitor of metalloproteinases 1 and 2 within tumours. CT26/IκB-α SR tumours displayed increased pro-inflammatory gene expression, low levels of angiogenesis and extensive intratumoral apoptosis, consistent with the presence of an anti-tumour macrophage phenotype. Macrophage depletion reduced tumour size in CT26/EV-injected animals and increased tumour size in CT26/IκB-α SR cells compared with untreated tumours. Our data demonstrate, for the first time, that an important implication of targeting tumour cell NF-κB is skewing of macrophage polarization to an anti-tumour phenotype. This knowledge offers novel therapeutic opportunities for anticancer treatment.

Silaeva YY, Grinenko TS, Vagida MS, et al.
Immune selection of tumor cells in TCR β-chain transgenic mice.
J Immunotoxicol. 2014; 11(4):393-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
The concept of immunological surveillance implies that immunogenic variants of tumor cells arising in the organism can be recognized by the immune system. Tumor progression is provided by somatic evolution of tumor cells under the pressure of the immune system. The loss of MHC Class I molecules on the surface of tumor cells is one of the most known outcomes of immune selection. This study developed a model of immune selection based on the immune response of TCR 1d1 single β-chain transgenic B10.D2(R101) (K(d)I(d)D(b)) mice to allogeneic EL4 (H-2(b)) thymoma cells. In wild-type B10.D2(R101) mice, immunization with EL4 cells induced a vigorous CTL response targeted to the H-2K(b) molecule and results in full rejection of the tumor cells. In contrast, transgenic mice developed a compromised proliferative response in mixed-lymphocyte response assays and were unable to reject transplanted allogeneic EL4 cells. During the immune response to EL4 cells, CD8(+) T-lymphocytes with endogenous β-chains accumulated predominantly in the spleen of transgenic mice and only a small part of the T-lymphocytes expressing transgenic β-chains became CD8(+)CD44(+)CD62L(-) effectors. Then, instead of a full elimination of tumor cells as in wild-type mice, a reproducible prolonged equilibrium phase and subsequent escape was observed in transgenic mice that resulted in death of 90% of the mice in 40-60 days after grafting. Prolonged exposure of tumor cells to the pressure of the immune system in transgenic mice in vivo resulted in a stable loss of H-2K(b) molecules on the EL4 cell surface. Genetic manipulation of the T-lymphocyte repertoire was sufficient to reproduce the classic pattern of interactions between tumor cells and the immune system, usually observed in reliable syngeneic models of anti-tumor immunity. This newly-developed model could be used in further studies of immunoregulatory circuits common for transplantational and anti-tumor immune responses.

Iancu EM, Gannon PO, Laurent J, et al.
Persistence of EBV antigen-specific CD8 T cell clonotypes during homeostatic immune reconstitution in cancer patients.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(10):e78686 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Persistent viruses are kept in check by specific lymphocytes. The clonal T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire against Epstein-Barr virus (EBV), once established following primary infection, exhibits a robust stability over time. However, the determinants contributing to this long-term persistence are still poorly characterized. Taking advantage of an in vivo clinical setting where lymphocyte homeostasis was transiently perturbed, we studied EBV antigen-specific CD8 T cells before and after non-myeloablative lympho-depleting chemotherapy of melanoma patients. Despite more advanced T cell differentiation, patients T cells showed clonal composition comparable to healthy individuals, sharing a preference for TRBV20 and TRBV29 gene segment usage and several co-dominant public TCR clonotypes. Moreover, our data revealed the presence of relatively few dominant EBV antigen-specific T cell clonotypes, which mostly persisted following transient lympho-depletion (TLD) and lymphocyte recovery, likely related to absence of EBV reactivation and de novo T cell priming in these patients. Interestingly, persisting clonotypes frequently co-expressed memory/homing-associated genes (CD27, IL7R, EOMES, CD62L/SELL and CCR5) supporting the notion that they are particularly important for long-lasting CD8 T cell responses. Nevertheless, the clonal composition of EBV-specific CD8 T cells was preserved over time with the presence of the same dominant clonotypes after non-myeloablative chemotherapy. The observed clonotype persistence demonstrates high robustness of CD8 T cell homeostasis and reconstitution.

Klimosch SN, Försti A, Eckert J, et al.
Functional TLR5 genetic variants affect human colorectal cancer survival.
Cancer Res. 2013; 73(24):7232-42 [PubMed] Related Publications
Toll-like receptors (TLR) are overexpressed on many types of cancer cells, including colorectal cancer cells, but little is known about the functional relevance of these immune regulatory molecules in malignant settings. Here, we report frequent single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNP) in the flagellin receptor TLR5 and the TLR downstream effector molecules MyD88 and TIRAP that are associated with altered survival in a large cohort of Caucasian patients with colorectal cancer (n = 613). MYD88 rs4988453, a SNP that maps to a promoter region shared with the acetyl coenzyme-A acyl-transferase-1 (ACAA1), was associated with decreased survival of patients with colorectal cancer and altered transcriptional activity of the proximal genes. In the TLR5 gene, rs5744174/F616L was associated with increased survival, whereas rs2072493/N592S was associated with decreased survival. Both rs2072493/N592S and rs5744174/F616L modulated TLR5 signaling in response to flagellin or to different commensal and pathogenic intestinal bacteria. Notably, we observed a reduction in flagellin-induced p38 phosphorylation, CD62L shedding, and elevated expression of interleukin (IL)-6 and IL-1β mRNA in human primary immune cells from TLR5 616LL homozygote carriers, as compared with 616FF carriers. This finding suggested that the well-documented effect of cytokines like IL-6 on colorectal cancer progression might be mediated by TLR5 genotype-dependent flagellin sensing. Our results establish an important link between TLR signaling and human colorectal cancer with relevance for biomarker and therapy development.

Donmez A, Tombuloglu M, Gulbahar O, et al.
CD31 expression on peripheral blood stem cells predicts both early neutrophil and platelet engraftments.
Transfus Apher Sci. 2013; 49(2):307-12 [PubMed] Related Publications
No detailed information currently exists about the immune phenotypic profiles of peripheral blood stem cells (PBSCs) obtained by different mobilization regimens. The effects of these profiles on the outcome of transplantation are largely unknown. In this prospective study, the surface immune phenotypic features (CD11a, CD18, CD31, CD38, CD44, CD62e, CD62L, CD90, CD117, CD135 and CD184 expression) of sorted PBSCs that had been mobilized by growth factor with (group I and group II) or without (group III) disease-specific chemotherapies were investigated. The immune phenotypic features on mobilized PBSCs in groups I, II and III were not significantly different. The CD31 (platelet endothelial cell adhesion molecule-1) positivity ratio on PBSCs inversely correlated with both the duration of neutrophil (r=-0.32, p=0.03) and platelet (r=-0.36, p=0.02) engraftment. No relationship was found between the engraftment (neutrophil and platelet) durations and CD184 (chemokine receptor CXC motif receptor 4 [CXCR4]) expression on PBSCs. We demonstrated that the surface immune phenotypic profiles on PBSCs obtained by several mobilization regimens were not different. To our knowledge, this is the first study to demonstrate that CD31 expression on human PBSCs may positively affect both neutrophil and platelet engraftment. Contrary to our expectations, CD184 (CXCR4) expression on PBSCs has no effect on neutrophil or platelet engraftment. Considered together, our results suggest that additional surface antigens (such as CD31) may be more effective in the homing process.

Burgess M, Gill D, Singhania R, et al.
CD62L as a therapeutic target in chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Clin Cancer Res. 2013; 19(20):5675-85 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Despite advances in the treatment of chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), the disease remains incurable with standard therapies and relapse is inevitable. A growing body of evidence indicates that alterations in the adhesion properties of neoplastic cells play a pivotal role in the development and progression of CLL.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: The expression of 71 cell surface molecules was examined on CLL peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) over 3 weeks in culture. The most highly upregulated marker, CD62L, was examined further for expression on CD5(+)/CD19(+) CLL cells in vitro and in lymph node and bone marrow biopsies. The prosurvival role of CD62L was examined using a functional blocking antibody and therapeutic potential evaluated by comparison with current chemotherapy agents.
RESULTS: Blocking CD62L resulted in apoptosis of CLL cells but not PBMCs from healthy donors suggesting a novel role for CD62L in CLL cell survival. The beneficial effect of coculturing CLL cells with bone marrow stromal cells or endothelial cells does not protect CLL cells from anti-CD62L-related toxicity. Moreover, combining fludarabine or mafosfamide with the anti-CD62L in vitro produced an additive effect both with and without stromal cells.
CONCLUSION: This is the first reported data showing that blocking the activation and homing marker, CD62L, regulates CLL cell survival in vitro. These data also suggest that therapeutic antibodies against CD62L may provide additional clinical benefit to patients with CLL receiving current standard chemotherapy protocols.

Marangon AV, Guelsin GA, Visentainer JE, et al.
The association of the immune response genes to human papillomavirus-related cervical disease in a Brazilian population.
Biomed Res Int. 2013; 2013:146079 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
The genetic variability of the host contributes to the risk of human papillomavirus (HPV)-related cervical disease. Immune response genes to HPV must be investigated to define patients with the highest risk of developing malignant disease. The aim of this study was to investigate the association of polymorphic immune response genes, namely KIR, HLA class I and II, and single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of cytokines with HPV-related cervical disease. We selected 79 non-related, admixed Brazilian women from the state of Paraná, southern region of Brazil, who were infected with high carcinogenic risk HPV and present cervical intraepithelial neoplasia grade 3 (CIN3), and 150 HPV-negative women from the same region matched for ethnicity. KIR genes were genotyped using an in-house PCR-SSP. HLA alleles were typed using a reverse sequence-specific oligonucleotide technique. SNPs of TNF -308G>A, IL6 -174G>C, IFNG +874T>A, TGFB1 +869T>C +915G>C, and IL10 -592C>A -819C>T -1082G>A were evaluated using PCR-SSP. The KIR genes were not associated with HPV, although some pairs of i(inhibitory)KIR-ligands occurred more frequently in patients, supporting a role for NK in detrimental chronic inflammatory and carcinogenesis. Some HLA haplotypes were associated with HPV. The associations of INFG and IL10 SNPs potentially reflect impaired or invalid responses in advanced lesions.

Casati A, Varghaei-Nahvi A, Feldman SA, et al.
Clinical-scale selection and viral transduction of human naïve and central memory CD8+ T cells for adoptive cell therapy of cancer patients.
Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2013; 62(10):1563-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
The adoptive transfer of lymphocytes genetically engineered to express tumor-specific antigen receptors is a potent strategy to treat cancer patients. T lymphocyte subsets, such as naïve or central memory T cells, selected in vitro prior to genetic engineering have been extensively investigated in preclinical mouse models, where they demonstrated improved therapeutic efficacy. However, so far, this is challenging to realize in the clinical setting, since good manufacturing practices (GMP) procedures for complex cell sorting and genetic manipulation are limited. To be able to directly compare the immunological attributes and therapeutic efficacy of naïve (T(N)) and central memory (T(CM)) CD8(+) T cells, we investigated clinical-scale procedures for their parallel selection and in vitro manipulation. We also evaluated currently available GMP-grade reagents for stimulation of T cell subsets, including a new type of anti-CD3/anti-CD28 nanomatrix. An optimized protocol was established for the isolation of both CD8(+) T(N) cells (CD4(-)CD62L(+)CD45RA(+)) and CD8(+) T(CM) (CD4(-)CD62L(+)CD45RA(-)) from a single patient. The highly enriched T cell subsets can be efficiently transduced and expanded to large cell numbers, sufficient for clinical applications and equivalent to or better than current cell and gene therapy approaches with unselected lymphocyte populations. The GMP protocols for selection of T(N) and T(CM) we reported here will be the basis for clinical trials analyzing safety, in vivo persistence and clinical efficacy in cancer patients and will help to generate a more reliable and efficacious cellular product.

Wu F, Zhang W, Shao H, et al.
Human effector T cells derived from central memory cells rather than CD8(+)T cells modified by tumor-specific TCR gene transfer possess superior traits for adoptive immunotherapy.
Cancer Lett. 2013; 339(2):195-207 [PubMed] Related Publications
Adoptive cell therapy provides an attractive treatment of cancer, and our expanding capacity to target tumor antigens is driven by genetically engineered human T lymphocytes that express genes encoding tumor-specific T cell receptors (TCRs). The intrinsic properties of cultured T cells used for therapy were reported to have tremendous influences on their persistence and antitumor efficacy in vivo. In this study, we isolated CD8(+) central memory T cells from peripheral blood lymphocytes of healthy donors, and then transferred with the gene encoding TCR specific for tumor antigen using recombinant adenovirus vector Ad5F35-TRAV-TRBV. We found effector T cells derived from central memory T cells improved cell viability, maintained certain level of CD62L expression, and reacquired the CD62L(+)CD44(high) phenotype of central memory T cells after effector T cells differentiation. We then compared the antitumor reactivity of central memory T cells and CD8(+)T cells after TCR gene transferred. The results indicated that tumor-specific TCR gene being transferred to central memory T cells effectively increased the specific killing of antigen positive tumor cells and the expression of cytolytic granule protein. Furthermore, TCR gene transferred central memory T cells were more effective than TCR gene transferred CD8(+)T cells in CTL activity and effector cytokine secretion. These results implicated that isolating central memory T cells rather than CD8(+)T cells for insertion of gene encoding tumor-specific TCR may provide a superior tumor-reactive T cell population for adoptive transfer.

Van Vlierberghe P, Ambesi-Impiombato A, De Keersmaecker K, et al.
Prognostic relevance of integrated genetic profiling in adult T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Blood. 2013; 122(1):74-82 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Adult T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is an aggressive hematologic tumor associated with poor outcome. In this study, we analyzed the prognostic relevance of genetic alterations, immunophenotypic markers, and microarray gene expression signatures in a panel of 53 adult T-ALL patients treated in the Eastern Cooperative Oncology Group E2993 clinical trial. An early immature gene expression signature, the absence of bi-allelic TCRG deletion, CD13 surface expression, heterozygous deletions of the short arm of chromosome 17, and mutations in IDH1/IDH2 and DNMT3A genes are associated with poor prognosis in this series. In contrast, expression of CD8 or CD62L, homozygous deletion of CDKN2A/CDKN2B, NOTCH1 and/or FBXW7 mutations, and mutations or deletions in the BCL11B tumor suppressor gene were associated with improved overall survival. Importantly, the prognostic relevance of CD13 expression and homozygous CDKN2A/CDKN2B deletions was restricted to cortical and mature T-ALLs. Conversely, mutations in IDH1/IDH2 and DNMT3A were specifically associated with poor outcome in early immature adult T-ALLs. This trial was registered at as #NCT00002514.

Yang S, Ji Y, Gattinoni L, et al.
Modulating the differentiation status of ex vivo-cultured anti-tumor T cells using cytokine cocktails.
Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2013; 62(4):727-36 [PubMed] Related Publications
The genetic modification of CD8+ T cells using anti-tumor T-cell receptors (TCR) or chimeric antigen receptors is a promising approach for the adoptive cell therapy of patients with cancer. We previously developed a simplified method for the clinical-scale generation of central memory-like (Tcm) CD8+ T cells following transduction with lentivirus encoding anti-tumor TCR and culture in the presence of IL-2. In this study, we compared different cytokines or combinations of IL-2, IL-7, IL-12, IL-15, and IL-21 to expand genetically engineered CD8+ T cells. We demonstrated that specific cytokine combinations IL-12 plus IL-7 or IL-21 for 3 days followed by withdrawal of IL-12 yielded the phenotype of CD62L(high)CD28(high) CD127(high)CD27(high)CCR7(high), which is associated with less-differentiated T cells. Genes associated with stem cells (SOX2, NANOG, OCT4, and LIN28A), were also up-regulated by this cytokine cocktail. Moreover, the use of IL-12 plus IL-7 or IL-21 yielded CD8 T cells showing enhanced persistence in the NOD/SCID/γc-/- mouse model. This defined cytokine combination could also alter highly differentiated TIL from melanoma patients into cells with a less-differentiated phenotype. The methodology that we developed for generating a less-differentiated anti-tumor CD8+ T cells ex vivo may be ideal for the adoptive immunotherapy of cancer.

Stoyanova T, Goldstein AS, Cai H, et al.
Regulated proteolysis of Trop2 drives epithelial hyperplasia and stem cell self-renewal via β-catenin signaling.
Genes Dev. 2012; 26(20):2271-85 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
The cell surface protein Trop2 is expressed on immature stem/progenitor-like cells and is overexpressed in many epithelial cancers. However the biological function of Trop2 in tissue maintenance and tumorigenesis remains unclear. In this study, we demonstrate that Trop2 is a regulator of self-renewal, proliferation, and transformation. Trop2 controls these processes through a mechanism of regulated intramembrane proteolysis that leads to cleavage of Trop2, creating two products: the extracellular domain and the intracellular domain. The intracellular domain of Trop2 is released from the membrane and accumulates in the nucleus. Heightened expression of the Trop2 intracellular domain promotes stem/progenitor self-renewal through signaling via β-catenin and is sufficient to initiate precursor lesions to prostate cancer in vivo. Importantly, we demonstrate that loss of β-catenin or Trop2 loss-of-function cleavage mutants abrogates Trop2-driven self-renewal and hyperplasia in the prostate. These findings suggest that heightened expression of Trop2 is selected for in epithelial cancers to enhance the stem-like properties of self-renewal and proliferation. Defining the mechanism of Trop2 function in self-renewal and transformation is essential to identify new therapeutic strategies to block Trop2 activation in cancer.

Turaka K, Bryan JS, De Souza S, et al.
Vitreoretinal lymphoma: changing trends in diagnosis and local treatment modalities at a single institution.
Clin Lymphoma Myeloma Leuk. 2012; 12(6):412-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: In this retrospective study on vitreoretinal lymphoma, there was significant change in diagnosis and treatment trends over 17 years at a single institution. Fine needle aspiration biopsy had replaced vitrectomy to collect vitreous sample and external beam radiotherapy in combination with systemic chemotherapy was replaced by intravitreal methotrexate and rituximab, which regressed vitreoretinal lymphoma (VRL) with no relapses or major ocular complications.
INTRODUCTION: The purpose of this study was to report the changing trends in treatment (external beam radiotherapy [EBRT] and intravitreal chemotherapy) of VRL and treatment outcomes at a single institution.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A retrospective chart review of vitreous biopsy proven patients was performed. The data analysis included demographics, systemic lymphoma status, ocular symptoms, clinical and immunocytological findings, treatment methods, and response (intravitreal methotrexate 300 μg/0.05 mL, 1000 μg/0.1 mL of rituximab and EBRT 36-45 Gy) and ocular and systemic lymphoma outcomes at last follow-up.
RESULTS: Twelve eyes of 8 patients had intraocular B-cell lymphoma (median age, 61 years; range, 50-83). Central nervous system non-Hodgkin's lymphoma (CNS-NHL) was present in 7 of 8 patients. Most common ocular symptoms were diminution of vision in 4 and floaters in 3 patients. Iritis and uveitis were found in 6 eyes and vitritis in 11 eyes. Retinal infiltrates were present in 8 eyes. Immunocytology revealed elevated levels of interleukin (IL)-10 (12,783.5 pg/mL), IL-6 (26.7 pg/mL), and IgH gene rearrangement. Three patients were treated with EBRT, 6 eyes with intravitreal methotrexate (median, 9.5; range, 2-15), and 2 eyes with intravitreal rituximab injections (median, 4; range, 2-6). Two patients developed marked keratitis because of methotrexate toxicity. At median follow-up of 33.5 months (range, 4-96), VRL had resolved in 7 eyes and persistent in 5 eyes. One patient died because of advanced CNS-NHL.
CONCLUSION: Intravitreal chemotherapy provided good control rates for VRL patients in our limited series. Patients with associated CNS-NHL had poorer outcomes.

Dallas MR, Chen SH, Streppel MM, et al.
Sialofucosylated podocalyxin is a functional E- and L-selectin ligand expressed by metastatic pancreatic cancer cells.
Am J Physiol Cell Physiol. 2012; 303(6):C616-24 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Selectin-mediated interactions in the vasculature promote metastatic spread by facilitating circulating tumor cell binding to selectin-expressing host cells. Therefore, identifying the selectin ligand(s) on tumor cells is critical to the prevention of blood-borne metastasis. A current challenge is to distinguish between structures expressed by circulating tumor cells that can bind selectins in vitro from the functional ligands whose depletion suppresses selectin-dependent binding under flow in vivo. Interestingly, podocalyxin (PODXL), which can bind E- and L-selectin, is upregulated in a number of cancers, including those of the breast, colon, and pancreas. In this work, we show that metastatic pancreatic cancer cells overexpress PODXL compared with nonmalignant pancreatic epithelial cells. We further demonstrate via tissue microarray that 69% of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinomas stain positive for PODXL. In cases of focal expression, positive staining is restricted to the invasive front of primary tumors. By combining immunoblot, immunodepletion, short-hairpin RNA-mediated gene silencing, and flow-based adhesion assays, we evaluated the functional role of sialofucosylated PODXL in selectin-mediated adhesion under flow. Our data indicate that sialofucosylated PODXL is a functional E- and L-selectin ligand expressed by metastatic pancreatic cancer cells, as specific depletion of this molecule from the cell surface significantly interferes with selectin-dependent interactions. Cumulatively, these data support a correlation between sialofucosylated PODXL expression and enhanced binding to selectins by metastatic pancreatic cancer cells and offer additional perspective on the upregulation of PODXL in aggressive cancers.

Zhou J, Nagarkatti P, Zhong Y, Nagarkatti M
Characterization of T-cell memory phenotype after in vitro expansion of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes from melanoma patients.
Anticancer Res. 2011; 31(12):4099-109 [PubMed] Related Publications
Memory T-cell populations in human antitumor tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) for adoptive cell transfer have not been fully characterized. Our studies demonstrated that CD62L, CD27 and CD28 positive effector memory T-cells were present in the TIL samples from the tumor tissues of melanoma patients and T-cell expansion led to the significant loss of memory T-cells. CD27- and CD28-positive T-cells had high levels of CD44 expression. T-Cell expansion resulted in significant down-regulation of CD44 expression. Interleukin-2 (IL-2) and anti-CD3 antibody stimulation may be responsible for CD44 down-regulation on CD8(+) T-cells during expansion. Furthermore, CD44 down-regulation using small interfering RNA (siRNA) on TILs dramatically reduced interferon-gamma and IL-2 release upon tumor stimulation. These results suggest that the regulation of CD44 expression in TILs may play an important role in memory T-cell maintenance and antitumor immune response.

West NR, Milne K, Truong PT, et al.
Tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes predict response to anthracycline-based chemotherapy in estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer.
Breast Cancer Res. 2011; 13(6):R126 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Infiltration of breast tumors by tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) has been associated with sensitivity to anthracycline-based chemotherapy. However, it is unclear whether this is true within the estrogen receptor-alpha (ER)-negative subset of breast tumors that frequently manifest high TIL levels.
METHODS: The association of TIL with short-term and long-term clinical response to anthracycline-based therapy was assessed in two independent ER-negative breast cancer cohorts in which patients were categorized as TIL-high or TIL-low. We defined an eight-gene lymphocyte mRNA expression signature (including CD19, CD3D, CD48, GZMB, LCK, MS4A1, PRF1, and SELL) and used unsupervised hierarchical clustering to examine the association between TIL and short-term response to neoadjuvant chemotherapy in a previously published cohort of ER-negative tumors (n = 113). We also examined the association between TIL and long-term chemotherapeutic efficacy in a second cohort of ER-negative tumors (n = 255) with longer than 6 years of median follow-up by using tissue microarrays and immunohistochemistry (IHC) for detection of CD3, CD8, CD4, CD20, and TIA-1.
RESULTS: In patients with ER-negative tumors treated with neoadjuvant anthracycline-based chemotherapy, pathologic complete responses (pCRs) were achieved by 23 (74%) of 31 TIL-high patients and 25 (31%) of 80 TIL-low patients (odds ratio (OR), 6.33; 95% confidence interval (CI), 2.49 to 16.08; P < 0.0001). Multivariate logistic regression with standard clinicopathologic features demonstrated that only tumor size (P = 0.037) and TIL status (P = 0.001) were independent predictors of anthracycline response. In the second cohort, adjuvant anthracycline-based therapy was associated with increased disease-free survival (DFS) only in patients with high levels of intraepithelial CD3+ TIL (P = 0.0023). In contrast, outcomes after CMF treatment (cyclophosphamide, methotrexate, and fluorouracil) showed no association with CD3 status. In both cohorts, cytotoxic T-cells were the primary TIL subtype associated with anthracycline sensitivity. Finally, TIL significantly predicted anthracycline sensitivity for both the Her2-positive and triple-negative tumor phenotypes.
CONCLUSIONS: ER-negative breast cancers with high levels of TIL have heightened sensitivity to anthracycline-based chemotherapy, as assessed by the immediate response to neoadjuvant therapy and long-term outcome following adjuvant therapy. Investigations of TIL-based predictive tests to identify patients likely to benefit from anthracycline-based treatments are warranted.

Sell K, Barth PJ, Moll R, et al.
Localization of FOXP3-positive cells in renal cell carcinoma.
Tumour Biol. 2012; 33(2):507-13 [PubMed] Related Publications
Regulatory T cells (Treg cells), which are lymphocyte subsets capable of suppressing immune responses, appear to play a crucial role in maintaining immune homeostasis and mediating peripheral tolerance. However, Treg cells also accumulate in cancer patients and have been implicated in tumor immune escape. The forkhead box P3 (FOXP3) transcription factor is currently regarded as the most specific and reliable marker for Treg cells in men. We investigated the frequency and characterized the distribution of FOXP3(+) cells in renal cell carcinoma (RCC) patients, focusing on the tumor microenvironment. FOXP3 expression was assessed in kidney tissue samples from 32 RCC patients by reverse transcriptase polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry. Both conventional and quantitative RT-PCR disclosed higher FOXP3 expression levels in RCC than in adjacent normal renal tissue. Immunohistochemical staining of FOXP3-expressing cells confirmed the accumulation of FOXP3(+) cells in tumor tissue, particularly at the border between malignant and adjacent benign kidney tissues. Our findings indicate that Treg cells accumulate at the tumor invasion zone and could thus be part of an immune escape mechanism of RCC that promotes disease progression.

Zennaro D, Scala E, Pomponi D, et al.
Proteomics plus genomics approaches in primary immunodeficiency: the case of immune dysregulation, polyendocrinopathy, enteropathy, X-linked (IPEX) syndrome.
Clin Exp Immunol. 2012; 167(1):120-8 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Immune dysregulation, polyendocrinopathy, enteropathy, X-linked (IPEX) is a rare syndrome due to a mutation in the forkhead box protein 3 gene (FOXP3) leading to an impaired regulatory T cell (T(reg) ) activity associated both with skewed T helper type 2 (Th2) response and autoreactive phenomena. The purpose of this study was to describe a combined proteomics and genomics approach to comprehensively evaluate clinical and immunological phenotypes of patients affected by IPEX. T cell receptor (TCR)-Vβ repertoire and peripheral blood lymphocytes phenotype from three brothers affected by IPEX were studied by flow cytometry. Specific immunoglobulin (Ig)E were evaluated by means of an allergenic molecules microarray [immuno solid-phase allergen chip (ISAC)]. Total RNA was extracted and hybridized to Affymetrix oligonucleotide arrays to obtain quantitative gene-expression levels. No FOXP3 protein was detectable within CD127(-) CD25(high) CD4(+) T cells from peripheral blood. A T cell-naive phenotype (CD62L(+) CD45R0(-)) associated with a reduction of both CD26 and CD7 expression and a TCR-Vβ 8 and 22 family expansions were found. B lymphocytes were mainly CD5(+) (B1) cells expressing a naive phenotype (tcl1(+) CD27(-)). The three IPEX patients had severe food allergy and specific IgE reactivity to cow's milk allergens, a hen's egg allergen and a wheat allergen. Gene expression profile analysis revealed a dysregulation associated mainly with Th1/Th2 pathways. The multiplexing evaluation reported in this study represents a comprehensive approach in the assessment of genetic conditions affecting the immune system such as the IPEX syndrome, paving the way for the development of diagnostic tools to improve the standard clinical and immunological profiling of the disease.

Schlesinger M, Schmitz P, Zeisig R, et al.
The inhibition of the integrin VLA-4 in MV3 melanoma cell binding by non-anticoagulant heparin derivatives.
Thromb Res. 2012; 129(5):603-10 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: The integrin VLA-4-mediated binding is important for the metastatic dissemination of melanoma cells. Recently we found that heparin possesses a binding capacity to VLA-4. This could contribute to the heparin function to attenuate metastasis in a selectin-dependent manner. Aiming to a purposive, anti-adhesive heparin application, structural requirements of heparin for VLA-4 recognition have to be elucidated.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: A series of non-anticoagulant heparin derivatives were investigated concerning their inhibitory capacities for VLA-4 mediated binding of human melanoma MV3 cells to VCAM-1 under physiological flow conditions in vitro. A surface acoustic wave biosensor was applied to detect kinetic constants of selected derivatives binding to both, VLA-4 or P- and L-selectin.
RESULTS: Experimental metastasis of MV3 cells in mice confirmed the relevance of VLA-4 for metastatic dissemination. LMWHs (enoxaparin, tinzaparin) efficiently blocked VLA-4 cell binding, dominantly via the integrin`s α-chain. Desulfation at 2-O-position, N-acetylation or a size smaller than tetradecasaccharide disfavoured VLA-4 inhibition. Glycol-splitting of heparin and thus higher chain flexibility is a tolerable parameter. A derivative with 50% 6-O-desulfation appeared promising and exceeded tinzaparin in VLA-4 inhibition, both compounds displayed binding affinities to VLA-4 in the low micromolar range.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings provide structure-activity relationships for heparin VLA-4 binding, which partly differ from P- and L-selectin requirements. The data confirm that anti-coagulative and anti-adhesive function of heparin can be distinguished favouring applications of non-anticoagulant heparins in antimetastatic approaches without the risk of bleeding complications. The 50% 6-O-desulfated heparin-derivative appears promising to further evaluate the interference with selectin and VLA-4 binding functions in vivo.

Glinskii AB, Ma S, Ma J, et al.
Networks of intergenic long-range enhancers and snpRNAs drive castration-resistant phenotype of prostate cancer and contribute to pathogenesis of multiple common human disorders.
Cell Cycle. 2011; 10(20):3571-97 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
The mechanistic relevance of intergenic disease-associated genetic loci (IDAGL) containing highly statistically significant disease-linked SNPs remains unknown. Here, we present experimental and clinical evidence supporting the importantance of the role of IDAGL in human diseases. A targeted RT-PCR screen coupled with sequencing of purified PCR products detects widespread transcription at multiple IDAGL and identifies 96 small noncoding trans-regulatory RNAs of ~100-300 nt in length containing SNPs (snpRNAs) associated with 21 common disorders. Multiple independent lines of experimental evidence support functionality of snpRNAs by documenting their cell type-specific expression and evolutionary conservation of sequences, genomic coordinates and biological effects. Chromatin state signatures, expression profiling experiments and luciferase reporter assays demonstrate that many IDAGL are Polycomb-regulated long-range enhancers. Expression of snpRNAs in human and mouse cells markedly affects cellular behavior and induces allele-specific clinically relevant phenotypic changes: NLRP1-locus snpRNAs rs2670660 exert regulatory effects on monocyte/macrophage transdifferentiation, induce prostate cancer (PC) susceptibility snpRNAs and transform low-malignancy hormone-dependent human PC cells into highly malignant androgen-independent PC. Q-PCR analysis and luciferase reporter assays demonstrate that snpRNA sequences represent allele-specific "decoy" targets of microRNAs that function as SNP allele-specific modifiers of microRNA expression and activity. We demonstrate that trans-acting RNA molecules facilitating resistance to androgen depletion (RAD) in vitro and castration-resistant phenotype (CRP) in vivo of PC contain intergenic 8q24-locus SNP variants (rs1447295; rs16901979; rs6983267) that were recently linked with increased risk of PC. Q-PCR analysis of clinical samples reveals markedly increased and highly concordant (r = 0.896; p < 0.0001) snpRNA expression levels in tumor tissues compared with the adjacent normal prostate [122-fold and 45-fold in Gleason 7 tumors (p = 0.03); 370-fold and 127-fold in Gleason 8 tumors (p = 0.0001) for NLRP1-locus and 8q24-locus snpRNAs, respectively]. Our experiments indicate that RAD and CR phenotype of human PC cells can be triggered by ncRNA molecules transcribed from the NLRP1-locus intergenic enhancer at 17p13 and by downstream activation of the 8q24-locus snpRNAs. Our results define the IDAGL at 17p13 and 8q24 as candidate regulatory loci of RAD and CR phenotypes of PC, reveal previously unknown molecular links between the innate immunity/inflammasome system and development of hormone-independent PC and identify novel molecular and genetic targets with diagnostic and therapeutic potentials, exploration of which should be highly beneficial for personalized clinical management of PC.

Terakura S, Yamamoto TN, Gardner RA, et al.
Generation of CD19-chimeric antigen receptor modified CD8+ T cells derived from virus-specific central memory T cells.
Blood. 2012; 119(1):72-82 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
The adoptive transfer of donor T cells that have been genetically modified to recognize leukemia could prevent or treat leukemia relapse after allogeneic HSCT (allo-HSCT). However, adoptive therapy after allo-HSCT should be performed with T cells that have a defined endogenous TCR specificity to avoid GVHD. Ideally, T cells selected for genetic modification would also have the capacity to persist in vivo to ensure leukemia eradication. Here, we provide a strategy for deriving virus-specific T cells from CD45RA(-)CD62L(+)CD8(+) central memory T (T(CM)) cells purified from donor blood with clinical grade reagents, and redirect their specificity to the B-cell lineage marker CD19 through lentiviral transfer of a gene encoding a CD19-chimeric Ag receptor (CAR). Virus-specific T(CM) were selectively transduced by exposure to the CD19 CAR lentivirus after peptide stimulation, and bi-specific cells were subsequently enriched to high purity using MHC streptamers. Activation of bi-specific T cells through the CAR or the virus-specific TCR elicited phosphorylation of downstream signaling molecules with similar kinetics, and induced comparable cytokine secretion, proliferation, and lytic activity. These studies identify a strategy for tumor-specific therapy with CAR-modified T cells after allo-HSCT, and for comparative studies of CAR and TCR signaling.

Louis CU, Savoldo B, Dotti G, et al.
Antitumor activity and long-term fate of chimeric antigen receptor-positive T cells in patients with neuroblastoma.
Blood. 2011; 118(23):6050-6 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
We generated MHC-independent chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) directed to the GD2 antigen expressed by neuroblastoma tumor cells and treated patients with this disease. Two distinguishable forms of this CAR were expressed in EBV-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (EBV-CTLs) and activated T cells (ATCs). We have previously shown that EBV-CTLs expressing GD2-CARs (CAR-CTLs) circulated at higher levels than GD2-CAR ATCs (CAR-ATCs) early after infusion, but by 6 weeks, both subsets became low or undetectable. We now report the long-term clinical and immunologic consequences of infusions in 19 patients with high-risk neuroblastoma: 8 in remission at infusion and 11 with active disease. Three of 11 patients with active disease achieved complete remission, and persistence of either CAR-ATCs or CAR-CTLs beyond 6 weeks was associated with superior clinical outcome. We observed persistence for up to 192 weeks for CAR-ATCs and 96 weeks for CAR-CTLs, and duration of persistence was highly concordant with the percentage of CD4(+) cells and central memory cells (CD45RO(+)CD62L(+)) in the infused product. In conclusion, GD2-CAR T cells can induce complete tumor responses in patients with active neuroblastoma; these CAR T cells may have extended, low-level persistence in patients, and such persistence was associated with longer survival. This study is registered at as #NCT00085930.

Wysocka M, Dawany N, Benoit B, et al.
Synergistic enhancement of cellular immune responses by the novel Toll receptor 7/8 agonist 3M-007 and interferon-γ: implications for therapy of cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.
Leuk Lymphoma. 2011; 52(10):1970-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL) is responsive at all stages to immunotherapy. We determined whether a novel agonist for Toll-like receptor (TLR) 7/8 (3M-007) combined with either interferon-γ (IFN-γ) or interleukin-15 (IL-15) would enhance patients' immune responses in vitro. Our data demonstrate that IFN-γ or IL-15 in combination with 007 significantly increases patients' natural killer (NK) cytolytic activity against CTCL tumor cell lines and synergistically induces dendritic cell cytokines, compared to 007 alone. Microarray studies of gene expression of patients' peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) primed with IFN-γ followed by stimulation with 007 identified significant up-regulation of the expression of IL-12 p35 (α-chain), IL-12 p40 (β-chain), and nine IFN-α genes. Importantly, the underlying mechanism of increased levels of IFN-α and IL-12 from combined treatment appears to involve IFN regulatory factor 8 (IRF-8). These results further support our hypothesis that combinations of biological modifiers activating different arms of the immune system may provide significant therapeutic benefits for patients with advanced CTCL.

Wainwright DA, Sengupta S, Han Y, Lesniak MS
Thymus-derived rather than tumor-induced regulatory T cells predominate in brain tumors.
Neuro Oncol. 2011; 13(12):1308-23 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is a highly malignant brain tumor with an average survival time of 15 months. Previously, we and others demonstrated that CD4(+)FoxP3(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) infiltrate human GBM as well as mouse models that recapitulate malignant brain tumors. However, whether brain tumor-resident Tregs are thymus-derived natural Tregs (nTregs) or induced Tregs (iTregs), by the conversion of conventional CD4(+) T cells, has not been established. To investigate this question, we utilized the i.c. implanted GL261 cell-based orthotopic mouse model, the RasB8 transgenic astrocytoma mouse model, and a human GBM tissue microarray. We demonstrate that Tregs in brain tumors are predominantly thymus derived, since thymectomy, prior to i.c. GL261 cell implantation, significantly decreased the level of Tregs in mice with brain tumors. Accordingly, most Tregs in human GBM and mouse brain tumors expressed the nTreg transcription factor, Helios. Interestingly, a significant effect of the brain tumor microenvironment on Treg lineage programming was observed, based on higher levels of brain tumor-resident Tregs expressing glucocorticoid-induced tumor necrosis factor receptor and CD103 and lower levels of Tregs expressing CD62L and CD45RB compared with peripheral Tregs. Furthermore, there was a higher level of nTregs in brain tumors that expressed the proliferative marker Ki67 compared with iTregs and conventional CD4(+) T cells. Our study demonstrates that future Treg-depleting therapies should aim to selectively target systemic rather than intratumoral nTregs in brain tumor-specific immunotherapeutic strategies.

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