Gene Summary

Gene:IL7; interleukin 7
Aliases: IL-7
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a cytokine important for B and T cell development. This cytokine and the hepatocyte growth factor (HGF) form a heterodimer that functions as a pre-pro-B cell growth-stimulating factor. This cytokine is found to be a cofactor for V(D)J rearrangement of the T cell receptor beta (TCRB) during early T cell development. This cytokine can be produced locally by intestinal epithelial and epithelial goblet cells, and may serve as a regulatory factor for intestinal mucosal lymphocytes. Knockout studies in mice suggested that this cytokine plays an essential role in lymphoid cell survival. Alternative splicing results in multiple transcript variants encoding distinct isoforms. Additional splice variants have been described but their presence in normal tissues has not been confirmed.[provided by RefSeq, Dec 2010]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (22)
Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
Show (6)

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.

  • BCL2 protein
  • T-Lymphocytes, Cytotoxic
  • B-Lymphocytes
  • Immunologic Memory
  • TNF
  • T-Lymphocytes
  • Precursor T-Cell Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Lymphoma
  • Interleukin-15
  • Leukemic Gene Expression Regulation
  • Apoptosis
  • Solubility
  • Neoplasm Proteins
  • Proto-Oncogene Proteins c-myc
  • Steroids
  • Transcription Factors
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Receptors, Interleukin-7
  • Mice, Inbred NOD
  • Transcriptional Activation
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Signal Transduction
  • Flow Cytometry
  • Cultured Cells
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • T-Lymphocyte Subsets
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • CD Antigens
  • Messenger RNA
  • Acute Lymphocytic Leukaemia
  • Cytokines, Interleukin-2
  • Cell Differentiation
  • Bone Cancer
  • Interleukin-7
  • rac1 GTP-Binding Protein
  • STAT5 Transcription Factor
  • RANK Ligand
  • Chromosome 8
  • Tumor Antigens
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: IL7 (cancer-related)

Gong W, Hoffmann JM, Stock S, et al.
Comparison of IL-2 vs IL-7/IL-15 for the generation of NY-ESO-1-specific T cells.
Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2019; 68(7):1195-1209 [PubMed] Related Publications
The anti-tumor efficacy of TCR-engineered T cells in vivo depends largely on less-differentiated subsets such as T cells with naïve-like T cell (T

Sharma ND, Nickl CK, Kang H, et al.
Epigenetic silencing of SOCS5 potentiates JAK-STAT signaling and progression of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Cancer Sci. 2019; 110(6):1931-1946 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Activating mutations in cytokine receptors and transcriptional regulators govern aberrant signal transduction in T-cell lineage acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL). However, the roles played by suppressors of cytokine signaling remain incompletely understood. We examined the regulatory roles of suppressor of cytokine signaling 5 (SOCS5) in T-ALL cellular signaling networks and leukemia progression. We found that SOCS5 was differentially expressed in primary T-ALL and its expression levels were lowered in HOXA-deregulated leukemia harboring KMT2A gene rearrangements. Here, we report that SOCS5 expression is epigenetically regulated by DNA methyltransferase-3A-mediated DNA methylation and methyl CpG binding protein-2-mediated histone deacetylation. We show that SOCS5 negatively regulates T-ALL cell growth and cell cycle progression but has no effect on apoptotic cell death. Mechanistically, SOCS5 silencing induces activation of JAK-STAT signaling, and negatively regulates interleukin-7 and interleukin-4 receptors. Using a human T-ALL murine xenograft model, we show that genetic inactivation of SOCS5 accelerates leukemia engraftment and progression, and leukemia burden. We postulate that SOCS5 is epigenetically deregulated in T-ALL and serves as an important regulator of T-ALL cell proliferation and leukemic progression. Our results link aberrant downregulation of SOCS5 expression to the enhanced activation of the JAK-STAT and cytokine receptor-signaling cascade in T-ALL.

Park Y, Kim J
Regulation of IL-6 signaling by miR-125a and let-7e in endothelial cells controls vasculogenic mimicry formation of breast cancer cells.
BMB Rep. 2019; 52(3):214-219 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The role of tumor-proximal factors in tumor plasticity during chemoresistance and metastasis following chemotherapy is well studied. However, the role of endothelial cell (EC) derived paracrine factors in tumor plasticity, their effect on chemotherapeutic outcome, and the mechanism by which these paracrine factors modulate the tumor microenvironment are not well understood. In this study, we report a novel mechanism by which endothelial miR-125a and let-7e-mediated regulation of interleukin-6 (IL-6) signaling can manipulate vasculogenic mimicry (VM) formation of MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. We found that endothelial IL-6 levels were significantly higher in response to cisplatin treatment, whereas levels of IL-6 upon cisplatin exposure remained unchanged in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells. We additionally found an inverse correlation between IL-6 and miR-125a/let-7e expression levels in cisplatin treated ECs. Interestingly, IL-6, IL-6 receptor (IL-6R), and signal transducer and activator of transcription 3 (STAT3) genes in the IL-6 pathway are closely regulated by miR-125a and let-7e, which directly target its 3' untranslated region. Functional analyses revealed that endothelial miR-125a and let-7e inhibit IL-6-induced adhesion of monocytes to ECs. Furthermore, conditioned medium from cisplatin treated ECs induced a significantly higher formation of VM in MDA-MB-231 breast cancer cells as compared to that from intact ECs; this effect of cisplatin treatment was abrogated by concurrent overexpression of miR-125a and let-7e. Overall, this study reveals a novel EC-tumor cell crosstalk mediated by the endothelial miR-125a/let-7e-IL-6 signaling axis, which might improve chemosensitivity and provide potential therapeutic targets for the treatment of cancer. [BMB Reports 2019; 52(3): 214-219].

Li S, Wang Z, Zhang G, et al.
Interleukin-7 promotes lung-resident CD14
Int Immunopharmacol. 2019; 67:202-210 [PubMed] Related Publications
Interleukin (IL)-7 enhances cytokines secretion by CD14

Jian M, Yunjia Z, Zhiying D, et al.
Interleukin 7 receptor activates PI3K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway via downregulation of Beclin-1 in lung cancer.
Mol Carcinog. 2019; 58(3):358-365 [PubMed] Related Publications
Interleukin-7(IL-7) can regulate proliferation and apoptosis of cell and also regulate tumor lymphangiogenesis, but whether it regulating autophagy of tumor cells is not well known. We study the relationship between IL-7 and some autophagy-related markers, Beclin 1 and mammalian target of rapamycin (mTOR) and the mechanism of IL-7 in regulating autophagy of human lung cancer cells. We detected expression of Beclin 1 and mTOR in lung cancer cells and their impact on the prognosis of lung cancer patients. Using Western blot and Reverse Transcription PCR, we found that IL-7 activates PI3 K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway by downregulated the expression of Beclin 1 in lung cancer cell lines. In addition, the expressions of Beclin 1 and mTOR were well correlated with clinical stages and survival of human non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. IL-7R, mTOR, and tumor stage were the independent prognosticators in lung cancer. Taken together, our results provided evidence that IL-7 activates PI3 K/Akt/mTOR signaling pathway via Beclin 1 to regulate autophagy in lung cancer cells.

Ribeiro D, Melão A, van Boxtel R, et al.
STAT5 is essential for IL-7-mediated viability, growth, and proliferation of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia cells.
Blood Adv. 2018; 2(17):2199-2213 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) constitutes an aggressive subset of ALL, the most frequent childhood malignancy. Whereas interleukin-7 (IL-7) is essential for normal T-cell development, it can also accelerate T-ALL development in vivo and leukemia cell survival and proliferation by activating phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase/protein kinase B/mechanistic target of rapamycin signaling. Here, we investigated whether STAT5 could also mediate IL-7 T-ALL-promoting effects. We show that IL-7 induces STAT pathway activation in T-ALL cells and that STAT5 inactivation prevents IL-7-mediated T-ALL cell viability, growth, and proliferation. At the molecular level, STAT5 is required for IL-7-induced downregulation of p27

Tang C, Li MH, Chen YL, et al.
Chemotherapy-induced niche perturbs hematopoietic reconstitution in B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
J Exp Clin Cancer Res. 2018; 37(1):204 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Considerable efforts have been devoted toward the uncovering of the molecular mechanisms underlying the maintenance of hematopoietic stem cells (HSCs) by the normal bone marrow (BM) niche. Previously, we demonstrated that a chemotherapy-induced niche, which is mainly composed of mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), protects the residual B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) cells from the insult of chemotherapeutic drugs. However, the roles of chemotherapy-induced niche on HSCs functions in B-ALL remain unclear.
METHODS: We established an oncogenic N-MYC-driven B-ALL mouse model, which were subsequently treated with common chemotherapy drug cytarabine (Ara-C) and daunorubicin (DNR). After treatment, the structures of the BM niche were imaged by immunofluorescence staining. Then, the self-renewal and differentiation capability of the MSCs in the BM after Ara-C and DNR treatment were studied by ex vivo culture and gene expression analysis with RNA-seq and qRT-PCR. The effects of chemotherapy-induced niche on the hematopoietic reconstitution of HSCs were determined with series transplantation assay. Furthermore, the cell cycle, ROS level, mitochondrial membrane potential and cell apoptosis of HSCs were detected by flow cytometry.
RESULTS: The MSCs, which is the main component of chemotherapy-induced BM niche, have decreased self-renewal capability and are prone to differentiate into adipocytes and chondrocytes. The results of gene expression analysis with RNA-seq showed that the MSCs have reduced levels of cytokines, including SCF, CXCL12, ANGPT1, VCAM1, and IL7. Furthermore, the chemotherapy-induced niche perturbed the hematopoietic reconstitution of HSCs in our N-MYC-driven B-ALL mouse model by promoting HSCs to enter cell cycle and increasing intracellular ROS levels and mitochondrial membrane potential of HSCs, which lead to the cell apoptosis of HSCs.
CONCLUSIONS: Chemotherapy-induced BM niche perturbs the hematopoietic reconstitution of HSCs by increasing intracellular ROS level and inducing cell apoptosis.

Zhenjiang L, Rao M, Luo X, et al.
Cytokine Networks and Survivin Peptide-Specific Cellular Immune Responses Predict Improved Survival in Patients With Glioblastoma Multiforme.
EBioMedicine. 2018; 33:49-56 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: We investigated serum cytokine and T-cell responses directed against tumour-associated antigens (TAAs) in association with survival of patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM).
PATIENTS AND METHODS: Peripheral blood from 205 treatment-naïve patients with glioma (GBM = 145; non-GBM = 60) was obtained on the day of surgery to measure (i) circulating T-cells reacting to viral antigens and TAAs, in the presence or absence of cytokine conditioning with IL-2/IL-15/IL-21 or IL-2/IL-7, and (ii) serum cytokine levels (IL-4, IL-5, IL-6, TNF-α, IFN-γ and IL-17A). Patients were followed-up for at least 1000 days post-surgery. Survivin protein and gene expression in resected GBM tumour tissue were confirmed by immunohistochemistry and real-time polymerase chain reaction, respectively. Antigen-specific T-cell responses were gauged by ICS (intracellular cytokine production). Associations between patient survival and immunological reactivity patterns were analysed using univariate and multivariate statistics.
RESULTS: Approximately 2% of patients with GBM and 18% of patients with non-GBM glioma, were alive beyond 1000 days of surgery. Univariate analysis indicated that the combination of three cytokines (IL-4/IL-5/IL-6, p = .0022; IFN-γ/TNF-α/IL-17A, p = .0083) but not a 'partial' combination of these cytokines, the IFN-γ immune response to EBV-EBNA-1 (p < .0001) as well as T-cell responses to the survivin
CONCLUSION: Serum cytokine patterns and lymphocyte reactivity to survivin

Stock S, Hoffmann JM, Schubert ML, et al.
Influence of Retronectin-Mediated T-Cell Activation on Expansion and Phenotype of CD19-Specific Chimeric Antigen Receptor T Cells.
Hum Gene Ther. 2018; 29(10):1167-1182 [PubMed] Related Publications
Enhanced in vivo expansion, long-term persistence of chimeric antigen receptor T (CART) cells, and efficient tumor eradication through these cells are linked to the proportion of less-differentiated cells in the CART cell product. Retronectin is well established as an adjuvant for improved retroviral transduction, while its property to enrich less-differentiated T cells is less known. In order to increase these subsets, this study investigated the effects of retronectin-mediated T-cell activation for CD19-specific CART cell production. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells of healthy donors and untreated chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients without or with positive selection for CD3+ T cells were transduced with a CD19.CAR.CD28.CD137zeta third-generation retroviral vector. Activation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells was performed by CD3/CD28, CD3/CD28/retronectin, or CD3/retronectin. Interleukin-7 and -15 were supplemented to all cultures. Retronectin was used in all three activation protocols for retroviral transduction. Expansion was assessed by trypan blue staining. Viability, transduction efficiency, immune phenotype, and cytokine production were longitudinally analyzed by flow cytometry. Cytotoxic capacity of generated CART cells was evaluated using a classical chromium-51 release assay. Retronectin-mediated activation resulted in an enrichment of CD8+ cytotoxic CART cells and less-differentiated naïve-like T cells (CD45RA+CCR7+). Retronectin-activated CART cells showed increased cytotoxic activity. However, activation with retronectin decreased viability, expansion, transduction efficiency, and cytokine production, particularly of CLL patient-derived CART cells. Both retronectin-mediated activation protocols promoted a less-differentiated CART cell phenotype without comprising cytotoxic properties of healthy donor-derived CART cells. However, up-front retronectin resulted in reduced viability and expansion in CLL patients. This effect is probably attributed to the retronectin-mediated activation of B cells with prolonged CLL persistence. Consequently, CART cell expansion and generation failed. In summary, activation with retronectin should be performed with caution and may be limited to patients without a higher percentage of tumor cells in the peripheral blood.

Yu F, Tian T, Deng B, et al.
Multi-marker analysis of genomic annotation on gastric cancer GWAS data from Chinese populations.
Gastric Cancer. 2019; 22(1):60-68 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Gastric cancer (GC) is one of the high-incidence and high-mortality cancers all over the world. Though genome-wide association studies (GWASs) have found some genetic loci related to GC, they could only explain a small fraction of the potential pathogenesis for GC.
METHODS: We used multi-marker analysis of genomic annotation (MAGMA) to analyze pathways from four public pathway databases based on Chinese GWAS data including 2631 GC cases and 4373 controls. The differential expressions of selected genes in certain pathways were assessed on the basis of The Cancer Genome Atlas database. Immunohistochemistry was also conducted on 55 GC and paired normal tissues of Chinese patients to localize the expression of genes and further validate the differential expression.
RESULTS: We identified three pathways including chemokine signaling pathway, potassium ion import pathway, and interleukin-7 (IL7) pathway, all of which were associated with GC risk. NMI in IL7 pathway and RAC1 in chemokine signaling pathway might be two new candidate genes involved in GC pathogenesis. Additionally, NMI and RAC1 were overexpressed in GC tissues than normal tissues.
CONCLUSION: Immune and inflammatory associated processes and potassium transporting might participate in the development of GC. Besides, NMI and RAC1 might represent two new key genes related to GC. Our findings might give new insight into the biological mechanism and immunotherapy for GC.

Sharapova TN, Romanova EA, Sashchenko LP, Yashin DV
Tag7 (PGLYRP1) Can Induce an Emergence of the CD3+CD4+CD25+CD127+ Cells with Antitumor Activity.
J Immunol Res. 2018; 2018:4501273 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We have shown that in the human peripheral blood cells, the innate immunity protein Tag7 can activate a subpopulation of CD3+CD4+CD25+ cells, which have antitumor activity. These cells can induce lysis of HLA-negative tumor cell lines. The Hsp70 stress molecule on the surface of the tumor cells is used as a recognition target, while the Tag7 protein on the lymphocyte membrane acts as a receptor for Hsp70. We have also demonstrated that this subpopulation of the CD4+CD25+ cells is CD127 positive and hence is not the Treg cells. Our data suggest that this subpopulation of cells is identical to the CD4+CD25+ lymphocytes, which are activated in the leukocyte pool by the IL-2 cytokine.

Jamalpour M, Li X, Gustafsson K, et al.
Disparate effects of Shb gene deficiency on disease characteristics in murine models of myeloid, B-cell, and T-cell leukemia.
Tumour Biol. 2018; 40(4):1010428318771472 [PubMed] Related Publications
The Src homology-2 domain protein B is an adaptor protein operating downstream of tyrosine kinases. The Shb gene knockout has been found to accelerate p210 Breakpoint cluster region-cAbl oncogene 1 tyrosine kinase-induced leukemia. In human myeloid leukemia were tumors with high Src homology-2 domain protein B mRNA content, tumors were, however, associated with decreased latency and myeloid leukemia exhibiting immune cell characteristics. Thus, the aim of this study was to investigate the effects of Shb knockout on the development of leukemia in three additional models, that is, colony stimulating factor 3 receptor-T618I-induced neutrophilic leukemia, p190 Breakpoint cluster region-cAbl oncogene 1 tyrosine kinase-induced B-cell leukemia, and G12D-Kras-induced T-cell leukemia/thymic lymphoma. Wild-type or Shb knockout bone marrow cells expressing the oncogenes were transplanted to bone marrow-deficient recipients. Organs from moribund mice were collected and further analyzed. Shb knockout increased the development of CSF3R

Kim MJ, Choi SK, Hong SH, et al.
Oncogenic IL7R is downregulated by histone deacetylase inhibitor in esophageal squamous cell carcinoma via modulation of acetylated FOXO1.
Int J Oncol. 2018; 53(1):395-403 [PubMed] Related Publications
The interleukin-7 receptor (IL7R) is generally expressed in immune cells and is critical in survival, development and homeostasis in the immune system. Advanced genome-wide cancer studies have reported that IL7R is genetically amplified in human esophageal squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC), however, the exact role of IL7R in ESCC has not been investigated. In the present study, it was found that IL7R was overexpressed in ESCC cohorts and the loss of IL7R induced anti-oncogenic effects in ESCC cell lines. A small panel of epigenetic drugs were screened for their ability to downregulate the expression of IL7R. Unexpectedly, apicidin, a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, effectively downregulated the expression of IL7R in a dose-dependent manner at an early time-point, as determined by quantitative polymerase chain reaction and IL7R immunostaining, and did not require de novo protein synthesis. Of note, apicidin induced the acetylation of Forkhead box-containing protein, O subfamily 1, which acts as a repressor at the IL7R promoter, accompanied with depleted active histone modifications based on chromatin immunoprecipitation assay. Taken together, these results demonstrated that targeting oncogenic IL7R in ESCC by HDAC inhibitors may be a valuable therapeutic approach.

Fan Y, Nan Y, Huang J, et al.
Up-regulation of inflammation-related LncRNA-IL7R predicts poor clinical outcome in patients with cervical cancer.
Biosci Rep. 2018; 38(3) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The long-term chronic inflammation of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) induces the initiation and progression of cervical cancer. Long non-coding RNAs (LncRNAs) are being identified to be involved into inflammation and carcinogenesis and could function as cancer biomarkers in clinical. However, the significance of inflammation-related LncRNA (e.g.

Antonelli A, Palumbo C, Veccia A, et al.
Biological effect of neoadjuvant androgen-deprivation therapy assessed on specimens from radical prostatectomy: a systematic review.
Minerva Urol Nefrol. 2018; 70(4):370-379 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) administered in neoadjuvant setting before radical prostatectomy (RP) represents an ideal in vivo human model to test the efficacy of hormonal treatments in prostate cancer (PCa). This review summarizes the findings from published studies specifically focused on the biological effects of ADT assessed on specimens from RP. The aim is to provide a base of knowledge that might be used to design future studies on neoadjuvant therapy for PCa.
EVIDENCE ACQUISITION: A systematic review of the literature was performed according to the PRISMA statements. Search protocol identified published studies including a detailed analysis on specimen from RP to assess the biological effects of neoadjuvant ADT. In November 2017, Medline, Embase, and Scopus databases were searched using the terms "neoadjuvant" AND ("hormone therapy" OR "androgen deprivation therapy") AND "prostate cancer" in the "Title/Abstract" fields. Effects of ADT were classified according to four pathways - suppression of cellular proliferation, induction of apoptosis, alteration of immune response and onset of hormonal refractoriness - and relative markers of response were identified.
EVIDENCE SYNTHESIS: From 1856 papers initially retrieved, 19 studies were finally selected and included into the present review. ADT was constituted by luteinizing hormone-releasing hormone (LH-RH) agonist alone in two, peripheral anti-androgen alone in one, both in 10, abiraterone acetate in one, unspecified in five. According to the above-mentioned four pathways, the following markers of response were identified: transcription of the oncogene TMPRSS2:ERG, translation of Aurora-A, coding of β1C integrin gene, translation of Ki-67, expression of nerve growth factors TrkA and p75NGFR, anti-angiogenic activity and micro-vessel density were involved into suppression of proliferation; mRNA transcription of bcl-2, expression of cleaved caspase-3 and translation of insulin growth factor binding protein 3, into induction of apoptosis; expression of IL-7 gene, programmed death-ligand 1, and increase of intra-prostatic T-cell population were related to alteration of immune response; finally, expression of heat shock protein 27 and de-differentiation of PCa to neuroendocrine cells, influenced the onset of hormonal refractoriness.
CONCLUSIONS: Despite a potential high interest, unexpectedly, only 19 heterogeneous studies investigated the effects of ADT through the analysis of specimens from RP. The present review summarizes the available evidences on this topic showing that ADT interferes on PCa at different levels that can be investigated by specific biological markers.

Böiers C, Richardson SE, Laycock E, et al.
A Human IPS Model Implicates Embryonic B-Myeloid Fate Restriction as Developmental Susceptibility to B Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia-Associated ETV6-RUNX1.
Dev Cell. 2018; 44(3):362-377.e7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
ETV6-RUNX1 is associated with childhood acute B-lymphoblastic leukemia (cALL) functioning as a first-hit mutation that initiates a clinically silent pre-leukemia in utero. Because lineage commitment hierarchies differ between embryo and adult, and the impact of oncogenes is cell-context dependent, we hypothesized that the childhood affiliation of ETV6-RUNX1 cALL reflects its origins in a progenitor unique to embryonic life. We characterize the first emerging B cells in first-trimester human embryos, identifying a developmentally restricted CD19

Degryse S, Bornschein S, de Bock CE, et al.
Mutant JAK3 signaling is increased by loss of wild-type JAK3 or by acquisition of secondary JAK3 mutations in T-ALL.
Blood. 2018; 131(4):421-425 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The Janus kinase 3 (JAK3) tyrosine kinase is mutated in 10% to 16% of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) cases. JAK3 mutants induce constitutive JAK/STAT signaling and cause leukemia when expressed in the bone marrow cells of mice. Surprisingly, we observed that one third of JAK3-mutant T-ALL cases harbor 2 JAK3 mutations, some of which are monoallelic and others that are biallelic. Our data suggest that wild-type JAK3 competes with mutant JAK3 (M511I) for binding to the common γ chain and thereby suppresses its oncogenic potential. We demonstrate that JAK3 (M511I) can increase its limited oncogenic potential through the acquisition of an additional mutation in the mutant JAK3 allele. These double JAK3 mutants show increased STAT5 activation and increased potential to transform primary mouse pro-T cells to interleukin-7-independent growth and were not affected by wild-type JAK3 expression. These data extend our insight into the oncogenic properties of JAK3 mutations and provide an explanation of why progression of JAK3-mutant T-ALL cases can be associated with the accumulation of additional JAK3 mutations.

Bornschein S, Demeyer S, Stirparo R, et al.
Defining the molecular basis of oncogenic cooperation between TAL1 expression and Pten deletion in T-ALL using a novel pro-T-cell model system.
Leukemia. 2018; 32(4):941-951 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) is caused by the accumulation of multiple mutations combined with the ectopic expression of transcription factors in developing T cells. However, the molecular basis underlying cooperation between transcription factor expression and additional oncogenic mutations in driving T-ALL has been difficult to assess due to limited robust T-cell model systems. Here we utilize a new ex vivo pro-T-cell model to study oncogenic cooperation. Using a systems biological approach we first dissect the pro-T-cell signaling network driven by interleukin-7, stem cell factor and Notch1 and identify key downstream Akt, Stat, E2f and Myc genetic signaling networks. Next, this pro-T-cell system was used to demonstrate that ectopic expression of the TAL1 transcription factor and Pten deletion are bona-fide cooperating events resulting in an increased stem cell signature, upregulation of a specific E2f signaling network and metabolic reprogramming with higher influx of glucose carbons into the tricarboxylic acid cycle. This ex vivo pro-T-cell system thereby provides a powerful new model system to investigate how normal T-cell signaling networks are perturbed and/or hijacked by different oncogenic events found in T-ALL.

Bi E, Ma X, Lu Y, et al.
Foxo1 and Foxp1 play opposing roles in regulating the differentiation and antitumor activity of T
Sci Signal. 2017; 10(500) [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Tumor-specific CD4

Vitiello GAF, Losi Guembarovski R, Amarante MK, et al.
Interleukin 7 receptor alpha Thr244Ile genetic polymorphism is associated with susceptibility and prognostic markers in breast cancer subgroups.
Cytokine. 2018; 103:121-126 [PubMed] Related Publications
Interleukin-7 (IL-7) exerts crucial functions on lymphoid cells' development and maintenance. In breast cancer (BC), IL-7 promotes growth of tumor cells in culture through the activation of JAK1/3-STAT5 and PI3K/AKT pathways, and expression of IL-7 signaling components was associated with worst prognosis. AC>T polymorphism (rs6897932; Thr244Ile) at exon 6 of IL-7 receptor alpha (IL-7Rα) gene (IL7RA) shifts the balance between the membrane-bound and soluble IL-7Rα splicing variants and was previously associated with autoimmune diseases, but has not been studied in cancer, including BC, so far. Therefore, the present study aimed to investigate the possible association of this polymorphism with the susceptibility and clinicopathological parameters of BC subgroups. IL7RA Thr244Ile was genotyped through PCR-RFLP in 403 women without neoplasia, no personal history of malignancy or family history of BC and in 338 BC patients with clinicopathological data available. BC patients were stratified according to their positivity for estrogen (ER) and/or progesterone receptor (PR) and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2). Age-adjusted logistic regression was performed for case-control analyses, and correlations with clinicopathological parameters were assessed through Kendall's Tau-b coefficient. All analyses were two-tailed and had 95% confidence interval. In ER

Yasunaga M, Manabe S, Matsumura Y
Immunoregulation by IL-7R-targeting antibody-drug conjugates: overcoming steroid-resistance in cancer and autoimmune disease.
Sci Rep. 2017; 7(1):10735 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Steroid-resistance is a common complication in the treatment of malignancies and autoimmune diseases. IL-7/IL-7R signaling, which regulates lymphocyte growth and survival, has been implicated in the development of malignancies and autoimmune diseases. However, the biological significance of IL-7/IL-7R signaling in steroid treatment is poorly understood. Here, we identified a novel relationship between IL-7R signaling and steroid-resistance, and showed that an anti-IL-7R antibody conjugated with SN-38 (A7R-ADC-SN-38) has strong anti-tumor effects against both parental and steroid-resistant malignant cells. Furthermore, inflammation in the mouse autoimmune arthritis model was suppressed to greater extent by A7R-ADC conjugated to MMAE than by A7R-ADC-SN-38. Given that an increased proportion of IL-7R-positive cells is a common mechanism underlying the pathogenesis of autoimmunity, we found that specific depletion of this cell population abrogated the progression of disease. This suggests that the cytotoxicity and immunosuppressive capacity of A7R-ADC could be modulated to treat specific malignancies or autoimmune diseases through the introduction of different payloads, and represents a novel alternative to steroid therapy.

Shum T, Omer B, Tashiro H, et al.
Constitutive Signaling from an Engineered IL7 Receptor Promotes Durable Tumor Elimination by Tumor-Redirected T Cells.
Cancer Discov. 2017; 7(11):1238-1247 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Successful adoptive T-cell immunotherapy of solid tumors will require improved expansion and cytotoxicity of tumor-directed T cells within tumors. Providing recombinant or transgenic cytokines may produce the desired benefits but is associated with significant toxicities, constraining clinical use. To circumvent this limitation, we constructed a constitutively signaling cytokine receptor, C7R, which potently triggers the IL7 signaling axis but is unresponsive to extracellular cytokine. This strategy augments modified T-cell function following antigen exposure, but avoids stimulating bystander lymphocytes. Coexpressing the C7R with a tumor-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) increased T-cell proliferation, survival, and antitumor activity during repeated exposure to tumor cells, without T-cell dysfunction or autonomous T-cell growth. Furthermore, C7R-coexpressing CAR T cells were active against metastatic neuroblastoma and orthotopic glioblastoma xenograft models even at cell doses that had been ineffective without C7R support. C7R may thus be able to enhance antigen-specific T-cell therapies against cancer.

Mesiano G, Zini R, Montagner G, et al.
Analytic and Dynamic Secretory Profile of Patient-Derived Cytokine-Induced Killer Cells.
Mol Med. 2017; 23:235-246 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Adoptive immunotherapy with Cytokine Induced Killer (CIK) cells has shown antitumor activity against several kinds of cancers in preclinical models and clinical trials. CIK cells are a subset of ex vivo expanded T lymphocytes with T-NK phenotype and MHC-unrestricted antitumor activity. Literature provides scanty information on cytokines, chemokines and growth factors secreted by CIK cells. Therefore, we investigated the secretory profile of CIK cells generated from tumor patients. The secretome analysis was performed at specific time points (day 1, day 14 and day 21) of CIK cells expansion. Mature CIK cells (day 21) produce a great variety of interleukins and secreted proteins that can be divided into 3 groups based on their secretion quantity: high (IL-13, RANTES, MIP-1α and 1β), medium (IL-1Ra, IL-5, IL-8, IL-10, IL-17, IP-10, INF-γ, VEGF and GMCSF) and low (IL-1β, IL-4, IL-6, IL-7, IL-9, IL-12, IL-15, Eotaxin, PDGF-bb, FGF basic, G-CSF and MCP-1) secreted. Moreover, comparing PBMC (day 1) and mature CIK cells (day 14 and 21) secretome, we observed that IL-5, IL-10, IL-13, GM-CSF, VEGF resulted greatly up-regulated, while IL-1β, IL-6, IL-8, IL-15, IL-17, eotaxin, MCP-1, and RANTES were down-regulated. We also performed a gene expression profile analysis of patient-derived CIK cells showing that mRNA for the different cytokines and secreted proteins were modulated during PBMC to CIK differentiation. We highlighted previously unknown secretory properties and provided for the first time a comprehensive molecular characterization of CIK cells. Our findings provide rationale to explore the functional implications and possible therapeutic modulation of CIK secretome.

Welsh SJ, Churchman ML, Togni M, et al.
Deregulation of kinase signaling and lymphoid development in EBF1-PDGFRB ALL leukemogenesis.
Leukemia. 2018; 32(1):38-48 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The chimeric fusion oncogene early B-cell factor 1-platelet-derived growth factor receptor-β (EBF1-PDGFRB) is a recurrent lesion observed in Philadelphia-like B-acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL) and is associated with particularly poor prognosis. While it is understood that this fusion activates tyrosine kinase signaling, the mechanisms of transformation and importance of perturbation of EBF1 activity remain unknown. EBF1 is a nuclear transcription factor required for normal B-lineage specification, commitment and development. Conversely, PDGFRB is a receptor tyrosine kinase that is normally repressed in lymphocytes, yet PDGFRB remains a common fusion partner in leukemias. Here, we demonstrate that the EBF1-PDGFRB fusion results in loss of EBF1 function, multimerization and autophosphorylation of the fusion protein, activation of signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (STAT5) signaling and gain of interleukin-7 (IL-7)-independent cell proliferation. Deregulation and loss of EBF1 function is critically dependent on the nuclear export activity of the transmembrane (TM) domain of PDGFRB. Deletion of the TM domain partially rescues EBF1 function and restores IL-7 dependence, without requiring kinase inhibition. Moreover, we demonstrate that EBF1-PDGFRB synergizes with loss of IKAROS function in a fully penetrant B-ALL in vivo. Thus, we establish that EBF1-PDGFRB is sufficient to drive leukemogenesis through TM-dependent loss of transcription factor function, increased proliferation and synergy with additional genetic insults including loss of IKAROS function.

Kruth KA, Fang M, Shelton DN, et al.
Suppression of B-cell development genes is key to glucocorticoid efficacy in treatment of acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
Blood. 2017; 129(22):3000-3008 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Glucocorticoids (GCs), including dexamethasone (dex), are a central component of combination chemotherapy for childhood B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL). GCs work by activating the GC receptor (GR), a ligand-induced transcription factor, which in turn regulates genes that induce leukemic cell death. Which GR-regulated genes are required for GC cytotoxicity, which pathways affect their regulation, and how resistance arises are not well understood. Here, we systematically integrate the transcriptional response of B-ALL to GCs with a next-generation short hairpin RNA screen to identify GC-regulated "effector" genes that contribute to cell death, as well as genes that affect the sensitivity of B-ALL cells to dex. This analysis reveals a pervasive role for GCs in suppression of B-cell development genes that is linked to therapeutic response. Inhibition of phosphatidylinositol 3-kinase δ (PI3Kδ), a linchpin in the pre-B-cell receptor and interleukin 7 receptor signaling pathways critical to B-cell development (with CAL-101 [idelalisib]), interrupts a double-negative feedback loop, enhancing GC-regulated transcription to synergistically kill even highly resistant B-ALL with diverse genetic backgrounds. This work not only identifies numerous opportunities for enhanced lymphoid-specific combination chemotherapies that have the potential to overcome treatment resistance, but is also a valuable resource for understanding GC biology and the mechanistic details of GR-regulated transcription.

Reshmi SC, Harvey RC, Roberts KG, et al.
Targetable kinase gene fusions in high-risk B-ALL: a study from the Children's Oncology Group.
Blood. 2017; 129(25):3352-3361 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Philadelphia chromosome-like (Ph-like) acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) is a high-risk subtype characterized by genomic alterations that activate cytokine receptor and kinase signaling. We examined the frequency and spectrum of targetable genetic lesions in a retrospective cohort of 1389 consecutively diagnosed patients with childhood B-lineage ALL with high-risk clinical features and/or elevated minimal residual disease at the end of remission induction therapy. The Ph-like gene expression profile was identified in 341 of 1389 patients, 57 of whom were excluded from additional analyses because of the presence of

Lin J, Zhu Z, Xiao H, et al.
The role of IL-7 in Immunity and Cancer.
Anticancer Res. 2017; 37(3):963-967 [PubMed] Related Publications
Interleukin-7 (IL-7) is a cytokine that has been known since long in immunology, mainly regarding its effects on T-cells and B-cells. IL-7 has been demonstrated to be necessary for both B-cell and T-cell proliferation and lack of IL-7 causes immature immune cell arrest. Interestingly, in recent years, certain studies have strongly suggested that the role of IL-7 is far beyond the field of immunology, it might have direct or indirect effect on cancer. This review aims to summarize the role of IL-7 in immunity and its role in the pathogenesis of neoplasia.

Dahm T, Frank F, Adams O, et al.
Sequential transmigration of polymorphonuclear cells and naive CD3
Virus Res. 2017; 232:54-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
Viral meningitis by non-polio enteroviruses (NPEV) is a major public health burden causing fatal outcomes especially in the younger population. Strong evidence exists that the blood-cerebrospinal-fluid (CSF) barrier (BCSFB) serves as an entry point for enterovirus and leucocytes into the central nervous system (CNS). Moreover, analysis of clinical CSF specimens of patients with a NPEV infection revealed a predominance of polymorphonuclear granulocytes (PMN) in the early phase and mononuclear cells in the later course of meningitis. By applying a functional in vitro model of the BCSFB consisting of human choroid plexus papilloma (HIBCPP) cells, we aimed to analyse the mechanisms of sequential migration of PMN and naive CD3

Ding L, Ren J, Zhang D, et al.
The TLR3 Agonist Inhibit Drug Efflux and Sequentially Consolidates Low-Dose Cisplatin-Based Chemoimmunotherapy while Reducing Side Effects.
Mol Cancer Ther. 2017; 16(6):1068-1079 [PubMed] Related Publications
The traditional maximum dose density chemotherapy renders the tumor patients not only the tumor remission but the chemotherapy resistance and more adverse side effects. According to the widely positive expression of Toll-like receptor (TLR)-3 in oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) patients (

Mohammed S, Sukumaran S, Bajgain P, et al.
Improving Chimeric Antigen Receptor-Modified T Cell Function by Reversing the Immunosuppressive Tumor Microenvironment of Pancreatic Cancer.
Mol Ther. 2017; 25(1):249-258 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The adoptive transfer of T cells redirected to tumor-associated antigens via transgenic expression of chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) has produced tumor responses, even in patients with refractory diseases. To target pancreatic cancer, we generated CAR T cells directed against prostate stem cell antigen (PSCA) and demonstrated specific tumor lysis. However, pancreatic tumors employ immune evasion strategies such as the production of inhibitory cytokines, which limit CAR T cell persistence and function. Thus, to protect our cells from the immunosuppressive cytokine IL-4, we generated an inverted cytokine receptor in which the IL-4 receptor exodomain was fused to the IL-7 receptor endodomain (4/7 ICR). Transgenic expression of this molecule in CAR-PSCA T cells should invert the inhibitory effects of tumor-derived IL-4 and instead promote T cell proliferation. We now demonstrate the suppressed activity of CAR T cells in tumor-milieu conditions and the ability of CAR/ICR T cells to thrive in an IL-4-rich microenvironment, resulting in enhanced antitumor activity. Importantly, CAR/ICR T cells remained both antigen and cytokine dependent. These findings support the benefit of combining the 4/7 ICR with CAR-PSCA to treat pancreatic cancer, a PSCA-expressing tumor characterized by a dense immunosuppressive environment rich in IL-4.

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