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
The histone demethylase PHF8 has been implicated in multiple pathological disorders, including X-linked mental retardation and tumorigenesis. However, it is not clear how the abundance and function of PHF8 are regulated. Here, we report that PHF8 physically associates with the deubiquitinase USP7. Specifically, we demonstrated that USP7 promotes deubiquitination and stabilization of PHF8, leading to the upregulation of a group of genes, including cyclin A2, that are critical for cell growth and proliferation. The USP7-encoding gene was also transcriptionally regulated by PHF8, via positive feedback. USP7 was overexpressed in breast carcinomas, and the level of expression positively correlated with expression of PHF8 and cyclin A2 and with the histological grade of breast cancer. We showed that USP7 promotes breast carcinogenesis by stabilizing PHF8 and upregulating cyclin A2 and that the interaction between USP7 and PHF8 is augmented during DNA damage. Moreover, USP7-promoted PHF8 stabilization conferred cellular resistance to genotoxic insults and was required for the recruitment of BLM and KU70, which are both essential for DNA double-strand break repair. Our study mechanistically links USP7 to epigenetic regulation and DNA repair. Moreover, these data support the pursuit of USP7 and PHF8 as potential targets for breast cancer intervention, especially in combination with chemo- or radiotherapies.
Qian Wang, Shuai Ma, Nan Song, Xin Li, Ling Liu, Shangda Yang, Xiang Ding, Lin Shan, Xing Zhou, Dongxue Su, Yue Wang, Qi Zhang, Xinhua Liu, Na Yu, Kai Zhang, Yongfeng Shang, Zhi Yao, Lei Shi
The thyroid hormone–inactivating (TH-inactivating) enzyme type 3 iodothyronine deiodinase (D3) is an oncofetal protein that is rarely expressed in adult life but has been shown to be reactivated in the context of proliferation and neoplasms. D3 terminates TH action within the tumor microenvironment, thereby enhancing cancer cell proliferation. However, the pathological role of D3 and the contribution of TH metabolism in cancer have yet to be fully explored. Here, we describe a reciprocal regulation between TH action and the cancer-associated microRNA-21 (miR21) in basal cell carcinoma (BCC) skin tumors. We found that, besides being negatively regulated by TH at the transcriptional level, miR21 attenuates the TH signal by increasing D3 levels. The ability of miR21 to positively regulate D3 was mediated by the tumor suppressor gene
Daniela Di Girolamo, Raffaele Ambrosio, Maria A. De Stefano, Giuseppina Mancino, Tommaso Porcelli, Cristina Luongo, Emery Di Cicco, Giulia Scalia, Luigi Del Vecchio, Annamaria Colao, Andrzej A. Dlugosz, Caterina Missero, Domenico Salvatore, Monica Dentice
Antibodies that target the immune checkpoint receptor programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) have resulted in prolonged and beneficial responses toward a variety of human cancers. However, anti–PD-1 therapy in some patients provides no benefit and/or results in adverse side effects. The factors that determine whether patients will be drug sensitive or resistant are not fully understood; therefore, genomic assessment of exceptional responders can provide important insight into patient response. Here, we identified a patient with endometrial cancer who had an exceptional response to the anti–PD-1 antibody pembrolizumab. Clinical grade targeted genomic profiling of a pretreatment tumor sample from this individual identified a mutation in DNA polymerase epsilon (
Janice M. Mehnert, Anshuman Panda, Hua Zhong, Kim Hirshfield, Sherri Damare, Katherine Lane, Levi Sokol, Mark N. Stein, Lorna Rodriguez-Rodriquez, Howard L. Kaufman, Siraj Ali, Jeffrey S. Ross, Dean C. Pavlick, Gyan Bhanot, Eileen P. White, Robert S. DiPaola, Ann Lovell, Jonathan Cheng, Shridar Ganesan
Neurofibromin 1–mutant (
Rebecca Lock, Rachel Ingraham, Ophélia Maertens, Abigail L. Miller, Nelly Weledji, Eric Legius, Bruce M. Konicek, Sau-Chi B. Yan, Jeremy R. Graff, Karen Cichowski
Zirong Chen, Jian-Liang Li, Shuibin Lin, Chunxia Cao, Nicholas T. Gimbrone, Rongqiang Yang, Dongtao A. Fu, Miranda B. Carper, Eric B. Haura, Matthew B. Schabath, Jianrong Lu, Antonio L. Amelio, W. Douglas Cress, Frederic J. Kaye, Lizi Wu
Cameron J. Turtle, Laïla-Aïcha Hanafi, Carolina Berger, Theodore A. Gooley, Sindhu Cherian, Michael Hudecek, Daniel Sommermeyer, Katherine Melville, Barbara Pender, Tanya M. Budiarto, Emily Robinson, Natalia N. Steevens, Colette Chaney, Lorinda Soma, Xueyan Chen, Cecilia Yeung, Brent Wood, Daniel Li, Jianhong Cao, Shelly Heimfeld, Michael C. Jensen, Stanley R. Riddell, David G. Maloney
Recent studies in patients with ovarian cancer suggest that tumor growth may be accelerated following cessation of antiangiogenesis therapy; however, the underlying mechanisms are not well understood. In this study, we aimed to compare the effects of therapy withdrawal to those of continuous treatment with various antiangiogenic agents. Cessation of therapy with pazopanib, bevacizumab, and the human and murine anti-VEGF antibody B20 was associated with substantial tumor growth in mouse models of ovarian cancer. Increased tumor growth was accompanied by tumor hypoxia, increased tumor angiogenesis, and vascular leakage. Moreover, we found hypoxia-induced ADP production and platelet infiltration into tumors after withdrawal of antiangiogenic therapy, and lowering platelet counts markedly inhibited tumor rebound after withdrawal of antiangiogenic therapy. Focal adhesion kinase (FAK) in platelets regulated their migration into the tumor microenvironment, and FAK-deficient platelets completely prevented the rebound tumor growth. Additionally, combined therapy with a FAK inhibitor and the antiangiogenic agents pazopanib and bevacizumab reduced tumor growth and inhibited negative effects following withdrawal of antiangiogenic therapy. In summary, these results suggest that FAK may be a unique target in situations in which antiangiogenic agents are withdrawn, and dual targeting of FAK and VEGF could have therapeutic implications for ovarian cancer management.
Monika Haemmerle, Justin Bottsford-Miller, Sunila Pradeep, Morgan L. Taylor, Hyun-Jin Choi, Jean M. Hansen, Heather J. Dalton, Rebecca L. Stone, Min Soon Cho, Alpa M. Nick, Archana S. Nagaraja, Tony Gutschner, Kshipra M. Gharpure, Lingegowda S. Mangala, Rajesha Rupaimoole, Hee Dong Han, Behrouz Zand, Guillermo N. Armaiz-Pena, Sherry Y. Wu, Chad V. Pecot, Alan R. Burns, Gabriel Lopez-Berestein, Vahid Afshar-Kharghan, Anil K. Sood
The transcription factor SOX9 is critical for prostate development, and dysregulation of SOX9 is implicated in prostate cancer (PCa). However, the SOX9-dependent genes and pathways involved in both normal and neoplastic prostate epithelium are largely unknown. Here, we performed SOX9 ChIP sequencing analysis and transcriptome profiling of PCa cells and determined that SOX9 positively regulates multiple WNT pathway genes, including those encoding WNT receptors (frizzled [FZD] and lipoprotein receptor-related protein [LRP] family members) and the downstream β-catenin effector TCF4. Analyses of PCa xenografts and clinical samples both revealed an association between the expression of SOX9 and WNT pathway components in PCa. Finally, treatment of SOX9-expressing PCa cells with a WNT synthesis inhibitor (LGK974) reduced WNT pathway signaling in vitro and tumor growth in murine xenograft models. Together, our data indicate that SOX9 expression drives PCa by reactivating the WNT/β−catenin signaling that mediates ductal morphogenesis in fetal prostate and define a subgroup of patients who would benefit from WNT-targeted therapy.
Fen Ma, Huihui Ye, Housheng Hansen He, Sean J. Gerrin, Sen Chen, Benjamin A. Tanenbaum, Changmeng Cai, Adam G. Sowalsky, Lingfeng He, Hongyun Wang, Steven P. Balk, Xin Yuan
Multiple myeloma (MM) cells secrete osteoclastogenic factors that promote osteolytic lesions; however, the identity of these factors is largely unknown. Here, we performed a screen of human myeloma cells to identify pro-osteoclastogenic agents that could potentially serve as therapeutic targets for ameliorating MM-associated bone disease. We found that myeloma cells express high levels of the matrix metalloproteinase MMP-13 and determined that MMP-13 directly enhances osteoclast multinucleation and bone-resorptive activity by triggering upregulation of the cell fusogen DC-STAMP. Moreover, this effect was independent of the proteolytic activity of the enzyme. Further, in mouse xenograft models, silencing MMP-13 expression in myeloma cells inhibited the development of osteolytic lesions. In patient cohorts, MMP-13 expression was localized to BM-associated myeloma cells, while elevated MMP-13 serum levels were able to correctly predict the presence of active bone disease. Together, these data demonstrate that MMP-13 is critical for the development of osteolytic lesions in MM and that targeting the MMP-13 protein — rather than its catalytic activity — constitutes a potential approach to mitigating bone disease in affected patients.
Jing Fu, Shirong Li, Rentian Feng, Huihui Ma, Farideh Sabeh, G. David Roodman, Ji Wang, Samuel Robinson, X. Edward Guo, Thomas Lund, Daniel Normolle, Markus Y. Mapara, Stephen J. Weiss, Suzanne Lentzsch
Targeting multiple components of the MAPK pathway can prolong the survival of patients with BRAFV600E melanoma. This approach is not curative, as some BRAF-mutated melanoma cells are intrinsically resistant to MAPK inhibitors (MAPKi). At the systemic level, our knowledge of how signaling pathways underlie drug resistance needs to be further expanded. Here, we have shown that intrinsically resistant BRAF-mutated melanoma cells with a low basal level of mitochondrial biogenesis depend on this process to survive MAPKi. Intrinsically resistant cells exploited an integrated stress response, exhibited an increase in mitochondrial DNA content, and required oxidative phosphorylation to meet their bioenergetic needs. We determined that intrinsically resistant cells rely on the genes encoding TFAM, which controls mitochondrial genome replication and transcription, and TRAP1, which regulates mitochondrial protein folding. Therefore, we targeted mitochondrial biogenesis with a mitochondrium-targeted, small-molecule HSP90 inhibitor (Gamitrinib), which eradicated intrinsically resistant cells and augmented the efficacy of MAPKi by inducing mitochondrial dysfunction and inhibiting tumor bioenergetics. A subset of tumor biopsies from patients with disease progression despite MAPKi treatment showed increased mitochondrial biogenesis and tumor bioenergetics. A subset of acquired drug-resistant melanoma cell lines was sensitive to Gamitrinib. Our study establishes mitochondrial biogenesis, coupled with aberrant tumor bioenergetics, as a potential therapy escape mechanism and paves the way for a rationale-based combinatorial strategy to improve the efficacy of MAPKi.
Gao Zhang, Dennie T. Frederick, Lawrence Wu, Zhi Wei, Clemens Krepler, Satish Srinivasan, Young Chan Chae, Xiaowei Xu, Harry Choi, Elaida Dimwamwa, Omotayo Ope, Batool Shannan, Devraj Basu, Dongmei Zhang, Manti Guha, Min Xiao, Sergio Randell, Katrin Sproesser, Wei Xu, Jephrey Liu, Giorgos C. Karakousis, Lynn M. Schuchter, Tara C. Gangadhar, Ravi K. Amaravadi, Mengnan Gu, Caiyue Xu, Abheek Ghosh, Weiting Xu, Tian Tian, Jie Zhang, Shijie Zha, Qin Liu, Patricia Brafford, Ashani Weeraratna, Michael A. Davies, Jennifer A. Wargo, Narayan G. Avadhani, Yiling Lu, Gordon B. Mills, Dario C. Altieri, Keith T. Flaherty, Meenhard Herlyn
Aberrant vascularization is a hallmark of cancer progression and treatment resistance. Here, we have shown that endothelial cell (EC) plasticity drives aberrant vascularization and chemoresistance in glioblastoma multiforme (GBM). By utilizing human patient specimens, as well as allograft and genetic murine GBM models, we revealed that a robust endothelial plasticity in GBM allows acquisition of fibroblast transformation (also known as endothelial mesenchymal transition [Endo-MT]), which is characterized by EC expression of fibroblast markers, and determined that a prominent population of GBM-associated fibroblast-like cells have EC origin. Tumor ECs acquired the mesenchymal gene signature without the loss of EC functions, leading to enhanced cell proliferation and migration, as well as vessel permeability. Furthermore, we identified a c-Met/ETS-1/matrix metalloproteinase–14 (MMP-14) axis that controls VE-cadherin degradation, Endo-MT, and vascular abnormality. Pharmacological c-Met inhibition induced vessel normalization in patient tumor–derived ECs. Finally, EC-specific KO of
Menggui Huang, Tianrun Liu, Peihong Ma, R. Alan Mitteer Jr., Zhenting Zhang, Hyun Jun Kim, Eujin Yeo, Duo Zhang, Peiqiang Cai, Chunsheng Li, Lin Zhang, Botao Zhao, Laura Roccograndi, Donald M. O’Rourke, Nadia Dahmane, Yanqing Gong, Constantinos Koumenis, Yi Fan
The TALE-class homeoprotein MEIS1 specifically collaborates with HOXA9 to drive myeloid leukemogenesis. Although MEIS1 alone has only a moderate effect on cell proliferation in vitro, it is essential for the development of HOXA9-induced leukemia in vivo. Here, using murine models of leukemogenesis, we have shown that MEIS1 promotes leukemic cell homing and engraftment in bone marrow and enhances cell-cell interactions and cytokine-mediated cell migration. We analyzed global DNA binding of MEIS1 in leukemic cells as well as gene expression alterations in MEIS1-deficent cells and identified synaptotagmin-like 1 (
Takashi Yokoyama, Mayuka Nakatake, Takeshi Kuwata, Arnaud Couzinet, Ryo Goitsuka, Shuichi Tsutsumi, Hiroyuki Aburatani, Peter J.M. Valk, Ruud Delwel, Takuro Nakamura
Nerves enable cancer progression, as cancers have been shown to extend along nerves through the process of perineural invasion, which carries a poor prognosis. Furthermore, the innervation of some cancers promotes growth and metastases. It remains unclear, however, how nerves mechanistically contribute to cancer progression. Here, we demonstrated that Schwann cells promote cancer invasion through direct cancer cell contact. Histological evaluation of murine and human cancer specimens with perineural invasion uncovered a subpopulation of Schwann cells that associates with cancer cells. Coculture of cancer cells with dorsal root ganglion extracts revealed that Schwann cells direct cancer cells to migrate toward nerves and promote invasion in a contact-dependent manner. Upon contact, Schwann cells induced the formation of cancer cell protrusions in their direction and intercalated between the cancer cells, leading to cancer cell dispersion. The formation of these processes was dependent on Schwann cell expression of neural cell adhesion molecule 1 (NCAM1) and ultimately promoted perineural invasion. Moreover, NCAM1-deficient mice showed decreased neural invasion and less paralysis. Such Schwann cell behavior reflects normal Schwann cell programs that are typically activated in nerve repair but are instead exploited by cancer cells to promote perineural invasion and cancer progression.
Sylvie Deborde, Tatiana Omelchenko, Anna Lyubchik, Yi Zhou, Shizhi He, William F. McNamara, Natalya Chernichenko, Sei-Young Lee, Fernando Barajas, Chun-Hao Chen, Richard L. Bakst, Efsevia Vakiani, Shuangba He, Alan Hall, Richard J. Wong
Philadelphia chromosome–like acute lymphoblastic leukemia (Ph-like ALL) is a high-risk ALL commonly associated with alterations that affect the tyrosine kinase pathway, tumor suppressors, and lymphoid transcription factors. Loss-of-function mutations in the gene-encoding adaptor protein LNK (also known as SH2B3) are found in Ph-like ALLs; however, it is not clear how LNK regulates normal B cell development or promotes leukemogenesis. Here, we have shown that combined loss of
Ying Cheng, Kudakwashe Chikwava, Chao Wu, Haibing Zhang, Anchit Bhagat, Dehua Pei, John K. Choi, Wei Tong
Most skin cancers develop as the result of UV light–induced DNA damage; however, a substantial number of cases appear to occur independently of UV damage. A causal link between UV-independent skin cancers and chronic inflammation has been suspected, although the precise mechanism underlying this association is unclear. Here, we have proposed that activation-induced cytidine deaminase (AID, encoded by
Taichiro Nonaka, Yoshinobu Toda, Hiroshi Hiai, Munehiro Uemura, Motonobu Nakamura, Norio Yamamoto, Ryo Asato, Yukari Hattori, Kazuhisa Bessho, Nagahiro Minato, Kazuo Kinoshita
Chronic mucosal inflammation is associated with a greater risk of gastric cancer (GC) and, therefore, requires tight control by suppressive counter mechanisms. Gastrokine-2 (GKN2) belongs to a family of secreted proteins expressed within normal gastric mucosal cells. GKN2 expression is frequently lost during GC progression, suggesting an inhibitory role; however, a causal link remains unsubstantiated. Here, we developed
Trevelyan R. Menheniott, Louise O’Connor, Yok Teng Chionh, Jan Däbritz, Michelle Scurr, Benjamin N. Rollo, Garrett Z. Ng, Shelley Jacobs, Angelique Catubig, Bayzar Kurklu, Stephen Mercer, Toshinari Minamoto, David E. Ong, Richard L. Ferrero, James G. Fox, Timothy C. Wang, Philip Sutton, Louise M. Judd, Andrew S. Giraud
Controlled and site-specific regulation of growth factor signaling remains a major challenge for current antiangiogenic therapies, as these antiangiogenic agents target normal vasculature as well tumor vasculature. In this article, we identified the prion-like protein doppel as a potential therapeutic target for tumor angiogenesis. We investigated the interactions between doppel and VEGFR2 and evaluated whether blocking the doppel/VEGFR2 axis suppresses the process of angiogenesis. We discovered that tumor endothelial cells (TECs), but not normal ECs, express doppel; tumors from patients and mouse xenografts expressed doppel in their vasculatures. Induced doppel overexpression in ECs enhanced vascularization, whereas doppel constitutively colocalized and complexed with VEGFR2 in TECs. Doppel inhibition depleted VEGFR2 from the cell membrane, subsequently inducing the internalization and degradation of VEGFR2 and thereby attenuating VEGFR2 signaling. We also synthesized an orally active glycosaminoglycan (LHbisD4) that specifically binds with doppel. We determined that LHbisD4 concentrates over the tumor site and that genetic loss of doppel in TECs decreases LHbisD4 binding and targeting both in vitro and in vivo. Moreover, LHbisD4 eliminated VEGFR2 from the cell membrane, prevented VEGF binding in TECs, and suppressed tumor growth. Together, our results demonstrate that blocking doppel can control VEGF signaling in TECs and selectively inhibit tumor angiogenesis.
Taslim A. Al-Hilal, Seung Woo Chung, Jeong Uk Choi, Farzana Alam, Jooho Park, Seong Who Kim, Sang Yoon Kim, Fakhrul Ahsan, In-San Kim, Youngro Byun
Meningioma-1 (MN1) overexpression is frequently observed in patients with acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and is predictive of poor prognosis. In murine models, forced expression of MN1 in hematopoietic progenitors induces an aggressive myeloid leukemia that is strictly dependent on a defined gene expression program in the cell of origin, which includes the homeobox genes
Simone S. Riedel, Jessica N. Haladyna, Matthew Bezzant, Brett Stevens, Daniel A. Pollyea, Amit U. Sinha, Scott A. Armstrong, Qi Wei, Roy M. Pollock, Scott R. Daigle, Craig T. Jordan, Patricia Ernst, Tobias Neff, Kathrin M. Bernt