Triple-negative breast cancer (TNBC) includes basal-like and claudin-low subtypes for which no specific treatment is currently available. Although the retinoblastoma tumor-suppressor gene (
Robert A. Jones, Tyler J. Robinson, Jeff C. Liu, Mariusz Shrestha, Veronique Voisin, YoungJun Ju, Philip E.D. Chung, Giovanna Pellecchia, Victoria L. Fell, SooIn Bae, Lakshmi Muthuswamy, Alessandro Datti, Sean E. Egan, Zhe Jiang, Gustavo Leone, Gary D. Bader, Aaron Schimmer, Eldad Zacksenhaus
Adil I. Daud, Kimberly Loo, Mariela L. Pauli, Robert Sanchez-Rodriguez, Priscila Munoz Sandoval, Keyon Taravati, Katy Tsai, Adi Nosrati, Lorenzo Nardo, Michael D. Alvarado, Alain P. Algazi, Miguel H. Pampaloni, Iryna V. Lobach, Jimmy Hwang, Robert H. Pierce, Iris K. Gratz, Matthew F. Krummel, Michael D. Rosenblum
Increased expression of zinc finger E-box binding homeobox 1 (ZEB1) is associated with tumor grade and metastasis in lung cancer, likely due to its role as a transcription factor in epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT). Here, we modeled malignant transformation in human bronchial epithelial cells (HBECs) and determined that EMT and ZEB1 expression are early, critical events in lung cancer pathogenesis. Specific oncogenic mutations in TP53 and KRAS were required for HBECs to engage EMT machinery in response to microenvironmental (serum/TGF-β) or oncogenetic (MYC) factors. Both TGF-β– and MYC-induced EMT required ZEB1, but engaged distinct TGF-β–dependent and vitamin D receptor–dependent (VDR-dependent) pathways, respectively. Functionally, we found that ZEB1 causally promotes malignant progression of HBECs and tumorigenicity, invasion, and metastases in non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) lines. Mechanistically, ZEB1 expression in HBECs directly repressed epithelial splicing regulatory protein 1 (ESRP1), leading to increased expression of a mesenchymal splice variant of CD44 and a more invasive phenotype. In addition,
Jill E. Larsen, Vaishnavi Nathan, Jihan K. Osborne, Rebecca K. Farrow, Dhruba Deb, James P. Sullivan, Patrick D. Dospoy, Alexander Augustyn, Suzie K. Hight, Mitsuo Sato, Luc Girard, Carmen Behrens, Ignacio I. Wistuba, Adi F. Gazdar, Nicholas K. Hayward, John D. Minna
Diffuse large B cell lymphomas (DLBCLs) arise from proliferating B cells transiting different stages of the germinal center reaction. In activated B cell DLBCLs (ABC-DLBCLs), a class of DLBCLs that respond poorly to current therapies, chromosomal translocations and amplification lead to constitutive expression of the B cell lymphoma 6 (
Mariano G. Cardenas, Wenbo Yu, Wendy Beguelin, Matthew R. Teater, Huimin Geng, Rebecca L. Goldstein, Erin Oswald, Katerina Hatzi, Shao-Ning Yang, Joanna Cohen, Rita Shaknovich, Kenno Vanommeslaeghe, Huimin Cheng, Dongdong Liang, Hyo Je Cho, Joshua Abbott, Wayne Tam, Wei Du, John P. Leonard, Olivier Elemento, Leandro Cerchietti, Tomasz Cierpicki, Fengtian Xue, Alexander D. MacKerell Jr., Ari M. Melnick
Genomic studies have linked mTORC1 pathway–activating mutations with exceptional response to treatment with allosteric inhibitors of mTORC1 called rapalogs. Rapalogs are approved for selected cancer types, including kidney and breast cancers. Here, we used sequencing data from 22 human kidney cancer cases to identify the activating mechanisms conferred by mTOR mutations observed in human cancers and advance precision therapeutics. mTOR mutations that clustered in focal adhesion kinase targeting domain (FAT) and kinase domains enhanced mTORC1 kinase activity, decreased nutrient reliance, and increased cell size. We identified 3 distinct mechanisms of hyperactivation, including reduced binding to DEP domain–containing MTOR-interacting protein (DEPTOR), resistance to regulatory associated protein of mTOR–mediated (RAPTOR-mediated) suppression, and altered kinase kinetics. Of the 28 mTOR double mutants, activating mutations could be divided into 6 complementation groups, resulting in synergistic Rag- and Ras homolog enriched in brain–independent (RHEB-independent) mTORC1 activation. mTOR mutants were resistant to DNA damage–inducible transcript 1–mediated (REDD1-mediated) inhibition, confirming that activating mutations can bypass the negative feedback pathway formed between HIF1 and mTORC1 in the absence of von Hippel–Lindau (VHL) tumor suppressor expression. Moreover, VHL-deficient cells that expressed activating mTOR mutants grew tumors that were sensitive to rapamycin treatment. These data may explain the high incidence of mTOR mutations observed in clear cell kidney cancer, where VHL loss and HIF activation is pathognomonic. Our study provides mechanistic and therapeutic insights concerning mTOR mutations in human diseases.
Jianing Xu, Can G. Pham, Steven K. Albanese, Yiyu Dong, Toshinao Oyama, Chung-Han Lee, Vanessa Rodrik-Outmezguine, Zhan Yao, Song Han, David Chen, Daniel L. Parton, John D. Chodera, Neal Rosen, Emily H. Cheng, James J. Hsieh
Partow Kebriaei, Harjeet Singh, M. Helen Huls, Matthew J. Figliola, Roland Bassett, Simon Olivares, Bipilendu Jena, Margaret J. Dawson, Pappanaicken R. Kumaresan, Shihuang Su, Sourindra Maiti, Jianliang Dai, Branden Moriarity, Marie-Andrée Forget, Vladimir Senyukov, Aaron Orozco, Tingting Liu, Jessica McCarty, Rineka N. Jackson, Judy S. Moyes, Gabriela Rondon, Muzaffar Qazilbash, Stefan Ciurea, Amin Alousi, Yago Nieto, Katy Rezvani, David Marin, Uday Popat, Chitra Hosing, Elizabeth J. Shpall, Hagop Kantarjian, Michael Keating, William Wierda, Kim Anh Do, David A. Largaespada, Dean A. Lee, Perry B. Hackett, Richard E. Champlin, Laurence J.N. Cooper
Heterozygous germline mutations in breast cancer 1 (
Rinske Drost, Kiranjit K. Dhillon, Hanneke van der Gulden, Ingrid van der Heijden, Inger Brandsma, Cristina Cruz, Dafni Chondronasiou, Marta Castroviejo-Bermejo, Ute Boon, Eva Schut, Eline van der Burg, Ellen Wientjens, Mark Pieterse, Christiaan Klijn, Sjoerd Klarenbeek, Fabricio Loayza-Puch, Ran Elkon, Liesbeth van Deemter, Sven Rottenberg, Marieke van de Ven, Dick H.W. Dekkers, Jeroen A.A. Demmers, Dik C. van Gent, Reuven Agami, Judith Balmaña, Violeta Serra, Toshiyasu Taniguchi, Peter Bouwman, Jos Jonkers
Following immune attack, solid tumors upregulate coinhibitory ligands that bind to inhibitory receptors on T cells. This adaptive resistance compromises the efficacy of chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell therapies, which redirect T cells to solid tumors. Here, we investigated whether programmed death-1–mediated (PD-1–mediated) T cell exhaustion affects mesothelin-targeted CAR T cells and explored cell-intrinsic strategies to overcome inhibition of CAR T cells. Using an orthotopic mouse model of pleural mesothelioma, we determined that relatively high doses of both CD28- and 4-1BB–based second-generation CAR T cells achieved tumor eradication. CAR-mediated CD28 and 4-1BB costimulation resulted in similar levels of T cell persistence in animals treated with low T cell doses; however, PD-1 upregulation within the tumor microenvironment inhibited T cell function. At lower doses, 4-1BB CAR T cells retained their cytotoxic and cytokine secretion functions longer than CD28 CAR T cells. The prolonged function of 4-1BB CAR T cells correlated with improved survival. PD-1/PD-1 ligand [PD-L1] pathway interference, through PD-1 antibody checkpoint blockade, cell-intrinsic PD-1 shRNA blockade, or a PD-1 dominant negative receptor, restored the effector function of CD28 CAR T cells. These findings provide mechanistic insights into human CAR T cell exhaustion in solid tumors and suggest that PD-1/PD-L1 blockade may be an effective strategy for improving the potency of CAR T cell therapies.
Leonid Cherkassky, Aurore Morello, Jonathan Villena-Vargas, Yang Feng, Dimiter S. Dimitrov, David R. Jones, Michel Sadelain, Prasad S. Adusumilli
E2F-mediated transcriptional repression of cell cycle–dependent gene expression is critical for the control of cellular proliferation, survival, and development. E2F signaling also interacts with transcriptional programs that are downstream of genetic predictors for cancer development, including hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). Here, we evaluated the function of the atypical repressor genes
Lindsey N. Kent, Jessica B. Rakijas, Shusil K. Pandit, Bart Westendorp, Hui-Zi Chen, Justin T. Huntington, Xing Tang, Sooin Bae, Arunima Srivastava, Shantibhusan Senapati, Christopher Koivisto, Chelsea K. Martin, Maria C. Cuitino, Miguel Perez, Julian M. Clouse, Veda Chokshi, Neelam Shinde, Raleigh Kladney, Daokun Sun, Antonio Perez-Castro, Ramadhan B. Matondo, Sathidpak Nantasanti, Michal Mokry, Kun Huang, Raghu Machiraju, Soledad Fernandez, Thomas J. Rosol, Vincenzo Coppola, Kamal S. Pohar, James M. Pipas, Carl R. Schmidt, Alain de Bruin, Gustavo Leone
Tumor suppression that is mediated by oncogene-induced senescence (OIS) is considered to function as a safeguard during development of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC). However, the mechanisms that regulate OIS in PDAC are poorly understood. Here, we have determined that nuclear RelA reinforces OIS to inhibit carcinogenesis in the
Marina Lesina, Sonja Maria Wörmann, Jennifer Morton, Kalliope Nina Diakopoulos, Olga Korneeva, Margit Wimmer, Henrik Einwächter, Jan Sperveslage, Ihsan Ekin Demir, Timo Kehl, Dieter Saur, Bence Sipos, Mathias Heikenwälder, Jörg Manfred Steiner, Timothy Cragin Wang, Owen J. Sansom, Roland Michael Schmid, Hana Algül
Patients with cancers that harbor breast cancer 1 (
Yifan Wang, John J. Krais, Andrea J. Bernhardy, Emmanuelle Nicolas, Kathy Q. Cai, Maria I. Harrell, Hyoung H. Kim, Erin George, Elizabeth M. Swisher, Fiona Simpkins, Neil Johnson
Lin Ding, Michael M. Hayes, Amanda Photenhauer, Kathryn A. Eaton, Qian Li, Ramon Ocadiz-Ruiz, Juanita L. Merchant
In preclinical models of glioblastoma, antigen escape variants can lead to tumor recurrence after treatment with CAR T cells that are redirected to single tumor antigens. Given the heterogeneous expression of antigens on glioblastomas, we hypothesized that a bispecific CAR molecule would mitigate antigen escape and improve the antitumor activity of T cells. Here, we created a CAR that joins a HER2-binding scFv and an IL13Rα2-binding IL-13 mutein to make a tandem CAR exodomain (TanCAR) and a CD28.ζ endodomain. We determined that patient TanCAR T cells showed distinct binding to HER2 or IL13Rα2 and had the capability to lyse autologous glioblastoma. TanCAR T cells exhibited activation dynamics that were comparable to those of single CAR T cells upon encounter of HER2 or IL13Rα2. We observed that TanCARs engaged HER2 and IL13Rα2 simultaneously by inducing HER2-IL13Rα2 heterodimers, which promoted superadditive T cell activation when both antigens were encountered concurrently. TanCAR T cell activity was more sustained but not more exhaustible than that of T cells that coexpressed a HER2 CAR and an IL13Rα2 CAR, T cells with a unispecific CAR, or a pooled product. In a murine glioblastoma model, TanCAR T cells mitigated antigen escape, displayed enhanced antitumor efficacy, and improved animal survival. Thus, TanCAR T cells show therapeutic potential to improve glioblastoma control by coengaging HER2 and IL13Rα2 in an augmented, bivalent immune synapse that enhances T cell functionality and reduces antigen escape.
Meenakshi Hegde, Malini Mukherjee, Zakaria Grada, Antonella Pignata, Daniel Landi, Shoba A. Navai, Amanda Wakefield, Kristen Fousek, Kevin Bielamowicz, Kevin K.H. Chow, Vita S. Brawley, Tiara T. Byrd, Simone Krebs, Stephen Gottschalk, Winfried S. Wels, Matthew L. Baker, Gianpietro Dotti, Maksim Mamonkin, Malcolm K. Brenner, Jordan S. Orange, Nabil Ahmed
Inflammatory myofibroblastic tumors (IMTs) are characterized by myofibroblast proliferation and an inflammatory cell infiltrate. Little is known about the molecular pathways that precipitate IMT formation. Here, we report the identification of somatic mutations in
JingWei Lu, Terra-Dawn Plank, Fang Su, XiuJuan Shi, Chen Liu, Yuan Ji, ShuaiJun Li, Andrew Huynh, Chao Shi, Bo Zhu, Guang Yang, YanMing Wu, Miles F. Wilkinson, YanJun Lu
Dickkopf1 (DKK1) is a secretory protein that antagonizes oncogenic Wnt signaling by binding to the Wnt coreceptor low-density lipoprotein receptor–related protein 6 (LRP6). DKK1 may also regulate its own signaling to promote cancer cell proliferation, but the mechanism is not understood. Here, we identified cytoskeleton-associated protein 4 (CKAP4) as a DKK1 receptor and evaluated CKAP4-mediated DKK1 signaling in cancer cell proliferation. We determined that DKK1 binds CKAP4 and LRP6 with similar affinity but interacts with these 2 receptors with different cysteine-rich domains. DKK1 induced internalization of CKAP4 in a clathrin-dependent manner, further supporting CKAP4 as a receptor for DKK1. DKK1/CKAP4 signaling activated AKT by forming a complex between the proline-rich domain of CKAP4 and the Src homology 3 domain of PI3K, resulting in proliferation of normal cells and cancer cells. Expression of DKK1 and CKAP4 was frequent in tumor lesions of human pancreatic and lung cancers, and simultaneous expression of both proteins in patient tumors was negatively correlated with prognosis and relapse-free survival. An anti-CKAP4 antibody blocked the binding of DKK1 to CKAP4, suppressed AKT activity in a human cancer cell line, and attenuated xenograft tumor formation in immunodeficient mice. Together, our results suggest that CKAP4 is a potential therapeutic target for cancers that express both DKK1 and CKAP4.
Hirokazu Kimura, Katsumi Fumoto, Kensaku Shojima, Satoshi Nojima, Yoshihito Osugi, Hideo Tomihara, Hidetoshi Eguchi, Yasushi Shintani, Hiroko Endo, Masahiro Inoue, Yuichiro Doki, Meinoshin Okumura, Eiichi Morii, Akira Kikuchi
Glioblastomas co-opt stem cell regulatory pathways to maintain brain tumor–initiating cells (BTICs), also known as cancer stem cells. NOTCH signaling has been a molecular target in BTICs, but NOTCH antagonists have demonstrated limited efficacy in clinical trials. Recombining binding protein suppressor of hairless (RBPJ) is considered a central transcriptional mediator of NOTCH activity. Here, we report that pharmacologic NOTCH inhibitors were less effective than targeting RBPJ in suppressing tumor growth. While NOTCH inhibitors decreased canonical NOTCH gene expression, RBPJ regulated a distinct profile of genes critical to BTIC stemness and cell cycle progression. RBPJ was preferentially expressed by BTICs and required for BTIC self-renewal and tumor growth. MYC, a key BTIC regulator, bound the
Qi Xie, Qiulian Wu, Leo Kim, Tyler E. Miller, Brian B. Liau, Stephen C. Mack, Kailin Yang, Daniel C. Factor, Xiaoguang Fang, Zhi Huang, Wenchao Zhou, Kareem Alazem, Xiuxing Wang, Bradley E. Bernstein, Shideng Bao, Jeremy N. Rich
Small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) is a highly aggressive subtype of lung cancer with limited treatment options. CD47 is a cell-surface molecule that promotes immune evasion by engaging signal-regulatory protein alpha (SIRPα), which serves as an inhibitory receptor on macrophages. Here, we found that CD47 is highly expressed on the surface of human SCLC cells; therefore, we investigated CD47-blocking immunotherapies as a potential approach for SCLC treatment. Disruption of the interaction of CD47 with SIRPα using anti-CD47 antibodies induced macrophage-mediated phagocytosis of human SCLC patient cells in culture. In a murine model, administration of CD47-blocking antibodies or targeted inactivation of the
Kipp Weiskopf, Nadine S. Jahchan, Peter J. Schnorr, Sandra Cristea, Aaron M. Ring, Roy L. Maute, Anne K. Volkmer, Jens-Peter Volkmer, Jie Liu, Jing Shan Lim, Dian Yang, Garrett Seitz, Thuyen Nguyen, Di Wu, Kevin Jude, Heather Guerston, Amira Barkal, Francesca Trapani, Julie George, John T. Poirier, Eric E. Gardner, Linde A. Miles, Elisa de Stanchina, Shane M. Lofgren, Hannes Vogel, Monte M. Winslow, Caroline Dive, Roman K. Thomas, Charles M. Rudin, Matt van de Rijn, Ravindra Majeti, K. Christopher Garcia, Irving L. Weissman, Julien Sage
Although Notch signaling is deregulated in prostate cancer, the role of this pathway in disease development and progression is not fully understood. Here, we analyzed 2 human prostate cancer data sets and found that higher Notch signaling correlates with increased metastatic potential and worse disease survival rates. We used the
Oh-Joon Kwon, Li Zhang, Jianghua Wang, Qingtai Su, Qin Feng, Xiang H.F. Zhang, Sendurai A. Mani, Robia Paulter, Chad J. Creighton, Michael M. Ittmann, Li Xin
Carlos A. Ramos, Barbara Savoldo, Vicky Torrano, Brandon Ballard, Huimin Zhang, Olga Dakhova, Enli Liu, George Carrum, Rammurti T. Kamble, Adrian P. Gee, Zhuyong Mei, Meng-Fen Wu, Hao Liu, Bambi Grilley, Cliona M. Rooney, Malcolm K. Brenner, Helen E. Heslop, Gianpietro Dotti
Vα24-invariant natural killer T cells (NKTs) localize to tumors and have inherent antitumor properties, making them attractive chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) carriers for redirected cancer immunotherapy. However, clinical application of CAR-NKTs has been impeded, as mechanisms responsible for NKT expansion and the in vivo persistence of these cells are unknown. Here, we demonstrated that antigen-induced expansion of primary NKTs in vitro associates with the accumulation of a CD62L+ subset and exhaustion of CD62L– cells. Only CD62L+ NKTs survived and proliferated in response to secondary stimulation. When transferred to immune-deficient NSG mice, CD62L+ NKTs persisted 5 times longer than CD62L– NKTs. Moreover, CD62L+ cells transduced with a CD19-specific CAR achieved sustained tumor regression in a B cell lymphoma model. Proliferating CD62L+ cells downregulated or maintained CD62L expression when activated via T cell receptor alone or in combination with costimulatory receptors. We generated HLAnull K562 cell clones that were engineered to express CD1d and costimulatory ligands. Clone B-8-2 (HLAnullCD1dmedCD86high4-1BBLmedOX40Lhigh) induced the highest rates of NKT expansion and CD62L expression. B-8-2–expanded CAR-NKTs exhibited prolonged in vivo persistence and superior therapeutic activities in models of lymphoma and neuroblastoma. Therefore, we have identified CD62L as a marker of a distinct NKT subset endowed with high proliferative potential and have developed artificial antigen-presenting cells that generate CD62L-enriched NKTs for effective cancer immunotherapy.
Gengwen Tian, Amy N. Courtney, Bipulendu Jena, Andras Heczey, Daofeng Liu, Ekaterina Marinova, Linjie Guo, Xin Xu, Hiroki Torikai, Qianxing Mo, Gianpietro Dotti, Laurence J. Cooper, Leonid S. Metelitsa