Metastatic dissemination of cancer cells, which accounts for 90% of cancer mortality, is the ultimate hallmark of malignancy. Growing evidence suggests that blood platelets have a predominant role in tumor metastasis; however, the molecular mechanisms involved remain elusive. Here, we demonstrate that genetic deficiency of integrin α6β1 on platelets markedly decreases experimental and spontaneous lung metastasis. In vitro and in vivo assays reveal that human and mouse platelet α6β1 supports platelet adhesion to various types of cancer cells. Using a knockdown approach, we identified ADAM9 as the major counter receptor of α6β1 on both human and mouse tumor cells. Static and flow-based adhesion assays of platelets binding to DC-9, a recombinant protein covering the disintegrin-cysteine domain of ADAM9, demonstrated that this receptor directly binds to platelet α6β1. In vivo studies showed that the interplay between platelet α6β1 and tumor cell–expressed ADAM9 promotes efficient lung metastasis. The integrin α6β1–dependent platelet-tumor cell interaction induces platelet activation and favors the extravasation process of tumor cells. Finally, we demonstrate that a pharmacological approach targeting α6β1 efficiently impairs tumor metastasis through a platelet-dependent mechanism. Our study reveals a mechanism by which platelets promote tumor metastasis and suggests that integrin α6β1 represents a promising target for antimetastatic therapies.
Elmina Mammadova-Bach, Paola Zigrino, Camille Brucker, Catherine Bourdon, Monique Freund, Adèle De Arcangelis, Scott I. Abrams, Gertaud Orend, Christian Gachet, Pierre Henri Mangin
In carcinogen-driven cancers, a high mutational burden results in neoepitopes that can be recognized immunologically. Such carcinogen-induced tumors may evade this immune response through “immunoediting,” whereby tumors adapt to immune pressure and escape T cell–mediated killing. Many tumors lack a high neoepitope burden, and it remains unclear whether immunoediting occurs in such cases. Here, we evaluated T cell immunity in an autochthonous mouse model of pancreatic cancer and found a low mutational burden, absence of predicted neoepitopes derived from tumor mutations, and resistance to checkpoint immunotherapy. Spontaneous tumor progression was identical in the presence or absence of T cells. Moreover, tumors arising in T cell–depleted mice grew unchecked in immune-competent hosts. However, introduction of the neoantigen ovalbumin (OVA) led to tumor rejection and T cell memory, but this did not occur in OVA immune-tolerant mice. Thus, immunoediting does not occur in this mouse model — a likely consequence, not a cause, of absent neoepitopes. Because many human tumors also have a low missense mutational load and minimal neoepitope burden, our findings have clinical implications for the design of immunotherapy for patients with such tumors.
Rebecca A. Evans, Mark S. Diamond, Andrew J. Rech, Timothy Chao, Max W. Richardson, Jeffrey H. Lin, David L. Bajor, Katelyn T. Byrne, Ben Z. Stanger, James L. Riley, Nune Markosyan, Rafael Winograd, Robert H. Vonderheide
Regulation of lineage-restricted transcription factors has been shown to influence malignant transformation in several types of cancer. Whether similar mechanisms are involved in ovarian cancer pathogenesis is unknown. PAX8 is a nuclear transcription factor that controls the embryologic development of the Müllerian system, including the fallopian tubes. Recent studies have shown that fallopian tube secretory epithelial cells (FTSECs) give rise to the most common form of ovarian cancer, high-grade serous ovarian carcinomas (HGSOCs). We designed the present study in order to understand whether changes in gene expression between FTSECs and HGSOCs relate to alterations in PAX8 binding to chromatin. Using whole transcriptome shotgun sequencing (RNA-Seq) after PAX8 knockdown and ChIP-Seq, we show that FTSECs and HGSOCs are distinguished by marked reprogramming of the PAX8 cistrome. Genes that are significantly altered between FTSECs and HGSOCs are enriched near PAX8 binding sites. These sites are also near TEAD binding sites, and these transcriptional changes may be related to PAX8 interactions with the TEAD/YAP1 signaling pathway. These data suggest that transcriptional changes after transformation in ovarian cancer are closely related to epigenetic remodeling in lineage-specific transcription factors.
Kevin M. Elias, Megan M. Emori, Thomas Westerling, Henry Long, Anna Budina-Kolomets, Fugen Li, Emily MacDuffie, Michelle R. Davis, Alexander Holman, Brian Lawney, Matthew L. Freedman, John Quackenbush, Myles Brown, Ronny Drapkin
Suresh Gopi Kalathil, Amit Anand Lugade, Austin Miller, Renuka Iyer, Yasmin Thanavala
Constitutively active splice variants of androgen receptor (AR-Vs) lacking ligand-binding domain (LBD) are a mechanism of resistance to androgen receptor LBD–targeted (AR LBD–targeted) therapies for metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (CRPC). There is a strong unmet clinical need to identify prostate cancer patients with AR-V–positive lesions to determine whether they will benefit from further AR LBD–targeting therapies or should receive taxanes or investigational drugs like EPI-506 or galeterone. Both EPI-506 (NCT02606123) and galeterone (NCT02438007) are in clinical trials and are proposed to have efficacy against lesions that are positive for AR-Vs. AR activation function-1 (AF-1) is common to the N-terminal domains of full-length AR and AR-Vs. Here, we provide proof of concept for developing imaging compounds that directly bind AR AF-1 to detect both AR-Vs and full-length AR. 123I-EPI-002 had specific binding to AR AF-1, which enabled direct visualization of CRPC xenografts that express full-length AR and AR-Vs. Our findings highlight the potential of 123I-EPI-002 as an imaging agent for the detection of full-length AR and AR-Vs in CRPC.
Yusuke Imamura, Amy H. Tien, Jinhe Pan, Jacky K. Leung, Carmen A. Banuelos, Kunzhong Jian, Jun Wang, Nasrin R. Mawji, Javier Garcia Fernandez, Kuo-Shyan Lin, Raymond J. Andersen, Marianne D. Sadar
The majority of metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) patients are treated with tyrosine kinase inhibitors (TKI) in first-line treatment; however, a fraction are refractory to these antiangiogenic drugs. MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are regulatory molecules proven to be accurate biomarkers in cancer. Here, we identified miRNAs predictive of progressive disease under TKI treatment through deep sequencing of 74 metastatic clear cell RCC cases uniformly treated with these drugs. Twenty-nine miRNAs were differentially expressed in the tumors of patients who progressed under TKI therapy (
Jesús García-Donas, Benoit Beuselinck, Lucía Inglada-Pérez, Osvaldo Graña, Patrick Schöffski, Agnieszka Wozniak, Oliver Bechter, Maria Apellániz-Ruiz, Luis Javier Leandro-García, Emilio Esteban, Daniel E. Castellano, Aranzazu González del Alba, Miguel Angel Climent, Susana Hernando, José Angel Arranz, Manuel Morente, David G. Pisano, Mercedes Robledo, Cristina Rodriguez-Antona
The tumor suppressor p53 blocks tumor progression in multiple tumor types. Radiation-induced cancer following exposure to radiation therapy or space travel may also be regulated by p53 because p53 has been proposed to respond to DNA damage to suppress tumorigenesis. Here, we investigate the role of p53 in lung carcinogenesis and lymphomagenesis in
Everett J. Moding, Hooney D. Min, Katherine D. Castle, Moiez Ali, Loretta Woodlief, Nerissa Williams, Yan Ma, Yongbaek Kim, Chang-Lung Lee, David G. Kirsch
High-grade serous ovarian carcinoma (HGS-OvCa) harbors p53 mutations and can originate from the epithelial cell compartment of the fallopian tube fimbriae. From this site, neoplastic cells detach, survive in the peritoneal cavity, and form cellular clusters that intercalate into the mesothelium to form ovarian and peritoneal masses. To examine the contribution of mutant p53 to phenotypic alterations associated with HGS-OvCA, we developed live-cell microscopy assays that recapitulate these early events in cultured fallopian tube nonciliated epithelial (FNE) cells. Expression of stabilizing mutant variants of p53, but not depletion of endogenous wild-type p53, in FNE cells promoted survival and cell-cell aggregation under conditions of cell detachment, leading to the formation of cell clusters with mesothelium-intercalation capacity. Mutant p53R175H-induced phenotypes were dependent on fibronectin production, α5β1 fibronectin receptor engagement, and
Marcin P. Iwanicki, Hsing-Yu Chen, Claudia Iavarone, Ioannis K. Zervantonakis, Taru Muranen, Marián Novak, Tan A. Ince, Ronny Drapkin, Joan S. Brugge
DC vaccination with autologous tumor lysate has demonstrated promising results for the treatment of glioblastoma (GBM) in preclinical and clinical studies. While the vaccine appears capable of inducing T cell infiltration into tumors, the effectiveness of active vaccination in progressively growing tumors is less profound. In parallel, a number of studies have identified negative costimulatory pathways, such as programmed death 1/programmed death ligand 1 (PD-1/PD-L1), as relevant mediators of the intratumoral immune responses. Clinical responses to PD-1 pathway inhibition, however, have also been varied. To evaluate the relevance to established glioma, the effects of PD-1 blockade following DC vaccination were tested in intracranial (i.c.) glioma tumor–bearing mice. Treatment with both DC vaccination and PD-1 mAb blockade resulted in long-term survival, while neither agent alone induced a survival benefit in animals with larger, established tumors. This survival benefit was completely dependent on CD8+ T cells. Additionally, DC vaccine plus PD-1 mAb blockade resulted in the upregulation of integrin homing and immunologic memory markers on tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs). In clinical samples, DC vaccination in GBM patients was associated with upregulation of PD-1 expression in vivo, while ex vivo blockade of PD-1 on freshly isolated TILs dramatically enhanced autologous tumor cell cytolysis. These findings strongly suggest that the PD-1/PD-L1 pathway plays an important role in the adaptive immune resistance of established GBM in response to antitumor active vaccination and provide us with a rationale for the clinical translation of this combination therapy.
Joseph P. Antonios, Horacio Soto, Richard G. Everson, Joey Orpilla, Diana Moughon, Namjo Shin, Shaina Sedighim, William H. Yong, Gang Li, Timothy F. Cloughesy, Linda M. Liau, Robert M. Prins
Tregs imprint an early immunotolerant tumor environment that prevents effective antitumor immune responses. Using transcriptomics of tumor tissues, we identified early upregulation of VEGF and TGF-β pathways compatible with tolerance imprinting. Silencing of VEGF or TGF-β in tumor cells induced early and pleiotropic modulation of immune-related transcriptome signatures in tumor tissues. These were surprisingly similar for both silenced tumors and related to common downstream effects on Tregs. Silencing of VEGF or TGF-β resulted in dramatically delayed tumor growth, associated with decreased Tregs and myeloid-derived suppressor cells and increased effector T cell activation in tumor infiltrates. Strikingly, co-silencing of TGF-β and VEGF led to a substantial spontaneous tumor eradication rate and the combination of their respective inhibitory drugs was synergistic. VEGF and/or TGF-β silencing also restored tumor sensitivity to tumor-specific cell therapies and markedly improved the efficacy of anti–PD-1/anti–CTLA-4 treatment. Thus, TGF-β and VEGF cooperatively control the tolerant environment of tumors and are targets for improved cancer immunotherapies.
Tristan Courau, Djamel Nehar-Belaid, Laura Florez, Béatrice Levacher, Thomas Vazquez, Faustine Brimaud, Bertrand Bellier, David Klatzmann
Marlise R. Luskin, Phyllis A. Gimotty, Catherine Smith, Alison W. Loren, Maria E. Figueroa, Jenna Harrison, Zhuoxin Sun, Martin S. Tallman, Elisabeth M. Paietta, Mark R. Litzow, Ari M. Melnick, Ross L. Levine, Hugo F. Fernandez, Selina M. Luger, Martin Carroll, Stephen R. Master, Gerald B.W. Wertheim
Radiation therapy (RT), a critical modality in the treatment of lung cancer, induces direct tumor cell death and augments tumor-specific immunity. However, despite initial tumor control, most patients suffer from locoregional relapse and/or metastatic disease following RT. The use of immunotherapy in non–small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC) could potentially change this outcome by enhancing the effects of RT. Here, we report significant (up to 70% volume reduction of the target lesion) and durable (up to 12 weeks) tumor regressions in conditional
Grit S. Herter-Sprie, Shohei Koyama, Houari Korideck, Josephine Hai, Jiehui Deng, Yvonne Y. Li, Kevin A. Buczkowski, Aaron K. Grant, Soumya Ullas, Kevin Rhee, Jillian D. Cavanaugh, Neermala Poudel Neupane, Camilla L. Christensen, Jan M. Herter, G. Mike Makrigiorgos, F. Stephen Hodi, Gordon J. Freeman, Glenn Dranoff, Peter S. Hammerman, Alec C. Kimmelman, Kwok-Kin Wong
Despite major advances in early detection and prognosis, chemotherapy resistance is a major hurdle in the battle against breast cancer. Identifying predictive markers and understanding the mechanisms are key steps to overcoming chemoresistance. Methylation-controlled J protein (MCJ, also known as DNAJC15) is a negative regulator of mitochondrial respiration and has been associated with chemotherapeutic drug sensitivity in cancer cell lines. Here we show, in a retrospective study of a large cohort of breast cancer patients, that low MCJ expression in breast tumors predicts high risk of relapse in patients treated with chemotherapy; however, MCJ expression does not correlate with response to endocrine therapy. In a prospective study in breast cancer patients undergoing neoadjuvant therapy, low MCJ expression also correlates with poor clinical response to chemotherapy and decreased disease-free survival. Using MCJ-deficient mice, we demonstrate that lack of MCJ is sufficient to induce mammary tumor chemoresistance in vivo. Thus, loss of expression of this endogenous mitochondrial modulator in breast cancer promotes the development of chemoresistance.
Maria J. Fernández-Cabezudo, Issam Faour, Kenneth Jones, Devin P. Champagne, Mohammed A. Jaloudi, Yassir A. Mohamed, Ghada Bashir, Saeeda Almarzooqi, Alia Albawardi, M. Jawad Hashim, Thomas S. Roberts, Haytham El-Salhat, Hakam El-Taji, Adnan Kassis, Dylan E. O’Sullivan, Brock C. Christensen, James DeGregori, Basel K. al-Ramadi, Mercedes Rincon
Limited transendothelial permeability across tumor microvessels represents a significant bottleneck in the development of tumor-specific diagnostic agents and theranostic drugs. Here, we show an approach to increase transendothelial permeability of macromolecular and nanoparticle-based contrast agents via inhibition of the type I TGF-β receptor, activin-like kinase 5 (Alk5), in tumors. Alk5 inhibition significantly increased tumor contrast agent delivery and enhancement on imaging studies, while healthy organs remained relatively unaffected. Imaging data correlated with significantly decreased tumor interstitial fluid pressure, while tumor vascular density remained unchanged. This immediately clinically translatable concept involving Alk5 inhibitor pretreatment prior to an imaging study could be leveraged for improved tumor delivery of macromolecular and nanoparticle-based imaging probes and, thereby, facilitate development of more sensitive imaging tests for cancer diagnosis, enhanced tumor characterization, and personalized, image-guided therapies.
Heike E. Daldrup-Link, Suchismita Mohanty, Celina Ansari, Olga Lenkov, Aubie Shaw, Ken Ito, Su Hyun Hong, Matthias Hoffmann, Laura Pisani, Nancy Boudreau, Sanjiv Sam Gambhir, Lisa M. Coussens
Immune checkpoint therapy with PD-1 blockade has emerged as an effective therapy for many advanced cancers; however, only a small fraction of patients achieve durable responses. To date, there is no validated blood-based means of predicting the response to PD-1 blockade. We report that Bim is a downstream signaling molecule of the PD-1 pathway, and its detection in T cells is significantly associated with expression of PD-1 and effector T cell markers. High levels of Bim in circulating tumor-reactive (PD-1+CD11ahiCD8+) T cells were prognostic of poor survival in patients with metastatic melanoma who did not receive anti–PD-1 therapy and were also predictive of clinical benefit in patients with metastatic melanoma who were treated with anti–PD-1 therapy. Moreover, this circulating tumor-reactive T cell population significantly decreased after successful anti–PD-1 therapy. Our study supports a crucial role of Bim in both T cell activation and apoptosis as regulated by PD-1 and PD-L1 interactions in effector CD8+ T cells. Measurement of Bim levels in circulating T cells of patients with cancer may provide a less invasive strategy to predict and monitor responses to anti–PD-1 therapy, although future prospective analyses are needed to validate its utility.
Roxana S. Dronca, Xin Liu, Susan M. Harrington, Lingling Chen, Siyu Cao, Lisa A. Kottschade, Robert R. McWilliams, Matthew S. Block, Wendy K. Nevala, Michael A. Thompson, Aaron S. Mansfield, Sean S. Park, Svetomir N. Markovic, Haidong Dong
The phenotypic diversity of cancer results from genetic and nongenetic factors. Most studies of cancer heterogeneity have focused on DNA alterations, as technologies for proteomic measurements in clinical specimen are currently less advanced. Here, we used a multiplexed immunofluorescence staining platform to measure the expression of 27 proteins at the single-cell level in formalin-fixed and paraffin-embedded samples from treatment-naive stage II/III human breast cancer. Unsupervised clustering of protein expression data from 638,577 tumor cells in 26 breast cancers identified 8 clusters of protein coexpression. In about one-third of breast cancers, over 95% of all neoplastic cells expressed a single protein coexpression cluster. The remaining tumors harbored tumor cells representing multiple protein coexpression clusters, either in a regional distribution or intermingled throughout the tumor. Tumor uptake of the radiotracer 18F-fluorodeoxyglucose was associated with protein expression clusters characterized by hormone receptor loss,
Anup Sood, Alexandra M. Miller, Edi Brogi, Yunxia Sui, Joshua Armenia, Elizabeth McDonough, Alberto Santamaria-Pang, Sean Carlin, Aleksandra Stamper, Carl Campos, Zhengyu Pang, Qing Li, Elisa Port, Thomas G. Graeber, Nikolaus Schultz, Fiona Ginty, Steven M. Larson, Ingo K. Mellinghoff
Multiple myeloma (MM) is a relapsed and refractory disease, one that highlights the need for developing new molecular therapies for overcoming of drug resistance. Addition of panobinostat, a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor, to bortezomib and dexamethasone improved progression-free survival (PFS) in relapsed and refractory MM patients. Here, we demonstrate how calcineurin, when inhibited by immunosuppressive drugs like FK506, is involved in myeloma cell growth and targeted by panobinostat. mRNA expression of
Yoichi Imai, Eri Ohta, Shu Takeda, Satoko Sunamura, Mariko Ishibashi, Hideto Tamura, Yan-hua Wang, Atsuko Deguchi, Junji Tanaka, Yoshiro Maru, Toshiko Motoji
Immunotherapies targeting the immune checkpoint receptor programmed cell death protein 1 (PD-1) have shown remarkable efficacy in treating cancer. CD4+CD25hiFoxP3+ Tregs are critical regulators of immune responses in autoimmunity and malignancies, but the functional status of human Tregs expressing PD-1 remains unclear. We examined functional and molecular features of PD-1hi Tregs in healthy subjects and patients with glioblastoma multiforme (GBM), combining functional assays, RNA sequencing, and cytometry by time of flight (CyTOF). In both patients with GBM and healthy subjects, circulating PD-1hi Tregs displayed reduced suppression of CD4+ effector T cells, production of IFN-γ, and molecular signatures of exhaustion. Transcriptional profiling of tumor-resident Tregs revealed that several genes coexpressed with PD-1 and associated with IFN-γ production and exhaustion as well as enrichment in exhaustion signatures compared with circulating PD-1hi Tregs. CyTOF analysis of circulating and tumor-infiltrating Tregs from patients with GBM treated with PD-1-blocking antibodies revealed that treatment shifts the profile of circulating Tregs toward a more exhausted phenotype reminiscent of that of tumor-infiltrating Tregs, further increasing IFN-γ production. Thus, high PD-1 expression on human Tregs identifies dysfunctional, exhausted Tregs secreting IFN-γ that exist in healthy individuals and are enriched in tumor infiltrates, possibly losing function as they attempt to modulate the antitumoral immune responses.
Daniel E. Lowther, Brittany A. Goods, Liliana E. Lucca, Benjamin A. Lerner, Khadir Raddassi, David van Dijk, Amanda L. Hernandez, Xiangguo Duan, Murat Gunel, Vlad Coric, Smita Krishnaswamy, J. Christopher Love, David A. Hafler
Posttransplantation cyclophosphamide (PTCy) effectively prevents graft-versus-host disease (GVHD), but its immunologic impact is poorly understood. We assessed lymphocyte reconstitution via flow cytometry (
Christopher G. Kanakry, David G. Coffey, Andrea M.H. Towlerton, Ante Vulic, Barry E. Storer, Jeffrey Chou, Cecilia C.S. Yeung, Christopher D. Gocke, Harlan S. Robins, Paul V. O’Donnell, Leo Luznik, Edus H. Warren
FMS-like tyrosine kinase 3–targeted (FLT3-targeted) therapies have shown initial promise for the treatment of acute myeloid leukemia (AML) expressing FLT3-activating mutations; however, resistance emerges rapidly. Furthermore, limited options exist for the treatment of FLT3-independent AML, demonstrating the need for novel therapies that reduce toxicity and improve survival. MERTK receptor tyrosine kinase is overexpressed in 80% to 90% of AMLs and contributes to leukemogenesis. Here, we describe MRX-2843, a type 1 small-molecule tyrosine kinase inhibitor that abrogates activation of both MERTK and FLT3 and their downstream effectors. MRX-2843 treatment induces apoptosis and inhibits colony formation in AML cell lines and primary patient samples expressing MERTK and/or FLT3-ITD, with a wide therapeutic window compared with that of normal human cord blood cells. In murine orthotopic xenograft models, once-daily oral therapy prolonged survival 2- to 3-fold over that of vehicle-treated controls. Additionally, MRX-2843 retained activity against quizartinib-resistant FLT3-ITD–mutant proteins with clinically relevant alterations at the D835 or F691 loci and prolonged survival in xenograft models of quizartinib-resistant AML. Together, these observations validate MRX-2843 as a translational agent and support its clinical development for the treatment of AML.
Katherine A. Minson, Catherine C. Smith, Deborah DeRyckere, Clara Libbrecht, Alisa B. Lee-Sherick, Madeline G. Huey, Elisabeth A. Lasater, Gregory D. Kirkpatrick, Michael A. Stashko, Weihe Zhang, Craig T. Jordan, Dmitri Kireev, Xiaodong Wang, Stephen V. Frye, H. Shelton Earp, Neil P. Shah, Douglas K. Graham
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