Myelofibrosis (MF) is a myeloproliferative neoplasm characterized by cytopenia and extramedullary hematopoiesis, resulting in splenomegaly. Multiple pathological mechanisms (e.g., circulating cytokines and genetic alterations, such as JAKV617F mutation) have been implicated in the etiology of MF, but the molecular mechanism causing resistance to JAK2V617F inhibitor therapy remains unknown. Among MF patients who were treated with the JAK inhibitor ruxolitinib, we compared noncoding RNA profiles of ruxolitinib therapy responders versus nonresponders and found miR-543 was significantly upregulated in nonresponders. We validated these findings by reverse transcription–quantitative PCR. in this same cohort, in 2 additional independent MF patient cohorts from the United States and Romania, and in a JAK2V617F mouse model of MF. Both in vitro and in vivo models were used to determine the underlying molecular mechanism of miR-543 in MF. Here, we demonstrate that miR-543 targets the dioxygenases ten-eleven translocation 1 (TET1) and 2 (TET2) in patients and in vitro, causing increased levels of global 5-methylcytosine, while decreasing the acetylation of histone 3, STAT3, and tumor protein p53. Mechanistically, we found that activation of STAT3 by JAKs epigenetically controls miR-543 expression via binding the promoter region of miR-543. Furthermore, miR-543 upregulation promotes the expression of genes related to drug metabolism, including CYP3A4, which is involved in ruxolitinib metabolism. Our findings suggest miR-543 as a potentially novel biomarker for the prognosis of MF patients with a high risk of treatment resistance and as a potentially new target for the development of new treatment options.
Enrique Fuentes-Mattei, Recep Bayraktar, Taghi Manshouri, Andreia M. Silva, Cristina Ivan, Diana Gulei, Linda Fabris, Nayra Soares do Amaral, Pilar Mur, Cristina Perez, Elizabeth Torres-Claudio, Mihnea P. Dragomir, Adriana Badillo-Perez, Erik Knutsen, Pranav Narayanan, Leonard Golfman, Masayoshi Shimizu, Xinna Zhang, Wanke Zhao, Wanting Tina Ho, Marcos Roberto Estecio, Geoffrey Bartholomeusz, Ciprian Tomuleasa, Ioana Berindan-Neagoe, Patrick A. Zweidler-McKay, Zeev Estrov, Zhizhuang J. Zhao, Srdan Verstovsek, George A. Calin, Roxana S. Redis
Anti-PD1 therapy has become an immunotherapeutic backbone for treating many cancer types. While many studies have aimed to characterize the immune response to anti-PD1 therapy in the tumor and in the peripheral blood, relatively less is known about the changes in the tumor draining lymph nodes (TDLNs). TDLNs are primary sites of tumor antigen exposure that are critical to both regulation and cross-priming of the antitumor immune response. We employed multi-panel mass cytometry to obtain a high-parameter proteomic (39 total unique markers) immune profile of the TDLN in a well-studied PD1-responsive immunocompetent mouse model. Based on combined hierarchal gating and unsupervised clustering analyses, we found that anti-PD1 therapy enhances remodeling of both B and T cell compartments toward memory phenotypes. Functionally, expression of checkpoint markers was increased in conjunction with production of IFNγ, TNFα, or IL2 in key cell types, including B and T cell subtypes and rarer subsets such as Tregs and NKT cells. A deeper profiling of the immunologic changes that occur in the TDLN milieu during effective anti-PD1 therapy may lead to the discovery of novel biomarkers for monitoring response and provide key insights toward developing combination immunotherapeutic strategies.
Won Jin Ho, Mark Yarchoan, Soren Charmsaz, Rebecca M. Munday, Ludmila Danilova, Marcelo B. Sztein, Elana J. Fertig, Elizabeth M. Jaffee
Background. Current clinical biomarkers for the PD-1 blockade therapy are insufficient because they rely only on the tumor properties such as PD-L1 expression frequency and the amount of tumor mutation burden. Identifying reliable responsive biomarkers based on the host immunity is necessary to improve the predictive values. Methods. We investigated the levels of plasma metabolites and T cell properties including energy metabolism markers in the blood of patients with non-small cell lung cancer before and after treatment with nivolumab (n = 55). Predictive value of combination markers statistically selected were evaluated by cross validation and linear discriminant analysis on discovery and validation cohorts, respectively. Correlation between plasma metabolites and T cell markers were investigated. Results. The four metabolites derived from microbiome (hippuric acid), fatty acid oxidation (butyrylcarnitine) and redox (cystine and glutathione disulfide) provided high response probability (AUC = 0.91). Similarly, a combination of four T cell markers, those related to mitochondrial activation (PGC-1 expression and reactive oxygen species), and the frequencies of CD8+ PD-1high and CD4+ T cells demonstrated even higher prediction value (AUC = 0.96). Among the pool of all selected markers, the four T cell markers were exclusively selected as the highest predictive combination probably due to their linkage to the above mentioned metabolite markers. In a prospective validation set (n = 24) these four cellular markers showed a high accuracy rate for the clinical responses of the patients (AUC = 0.92). Conclusion. Combination of biomarkers reflecting host immune activity is quite valuable for the responder prediction.
Ryusuke Hatae, Kenji Chamoto, Young Hak Kim, Kazuhiro Sonomura, Kei Taneishi, Shuji Kawaguchi, Hironori Yoshida, Hiroaki Ozasa, Yuichi Sakamori, Maryam Akrami, Sidonia Fagarasan, Izuru Masuda, Yasushi Okuno, Fumihiko Matsuda, Toyohiro Hirai, Tasuku Honjo
Immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) treatment has recently become a first-line therapy for many non–small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients. Unfortunately, most NSCLC patients are refractory to ICI monotherapy, and initial attempts to address this issue with secondary therapeutics have proven unsuccessful. To identify entities precluding CD8+ T cell accumulation in this process, we performed unbiased analyses on flow cytometry, gene expression, and multiplexed immunohistochemical data from a NSCLC patient cohort. The results revealed the presence of a myeloid-rich subgroup, which was devoid of CD4+ and CD8+ T cells. Of all myeloid cell types assessed, neutrophils were the most highly associated with the myeloid phenotype. Additionally, the ratio of CD8+ T cells to neutrophils (CD8/PMN) within the tumor mass optimally distinguished between active and myeloid cases. This ratio was also capable of showing the separation of patients responsive to ICI therapy from those with stable or progressive disease in 2 independent cohorts. Tumor-bearing mice treated with a combination of anti-PD1 and SX-682 (CXCR1/2 inhibitor) displayed relocation of lymphocytes from the tumor periphery into a malignant tumor, which was associated with induction of IFN-γ–responsive genes. These results suggest that neutrophil antagonism may represent a viable secondary therapeutic strategy to enhance ICI treatment outcomes.
Julia Kargl, Xiaodong Zhu, Huajia Zhang, Grace H. Y. Yang, Travis J. Friesen, Melissa Shipley, Dean Y. Maeda, John A. Zebala, Jill McKay-Fleisch, Gavin Meredith, Afshin Mashadi-Hossein, Christina Baik, Robert H. Pierce, Mary W. Redman, Jeffrey C. Thompson, Steven M. Albelda, Hamid Bolouri, A. McGarry Houghton
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) has dismal five-year survival (<9%). We hypothesize that exposure of tumors to conventional therapies may preferentially modulate immune biomarkers in the tumor microenvironment in PDAC. PDAC patients who underwent upfront surgical resection or who received neoadjuvant FOLFIRINOX with or without neoadjuvant radiotherapy followed by surgical resection were selected for study. Total expression of immunologically relevant transcripts and spatially resolved expression of immunologically relevant proteins was quantitated using multiplexed methods (Nanostring nCounter and GeoMX platforms). This analysis identified numerous differentially expressed transcripts associated with the type of neoadjuvant therapy received. Moreover, we identified significant alterations in the expression and/or spatial distribution of immunologically relevant proteins in different regions (tumor cell rich, immune cell rich, stromal cell rich) of the TME. These data provide insight into the immunological effects of clinically relevant neoadjuvant therapy for resectable/borderline-resectable PDAC, by describing significant differences in the expression of key immunologic biomarkers within the PDAC microenvironment that were associated with the type of treatment patients received prior to surgical resection. This represents a comprehensive analysis of numerous biomarkers conducted on the PDAC microenvironment. This work may guide strategic new combination therapies for pancreatic cancer.
Matthew R. Farren, Layal Sayegh, Michael Brandon Ware, Hsiao-Rong Chen, Jingjing Gong, Yan Liang, Alyssa Krasinskas, Shishir K. Maithel, Mohammad Zaidi, Juan M. Sarmiento, David Kooby, Pretesh Patel, Bassel El-Rayes, Walid Shaib, Gregory B. Lesinski
NK cells contribute to protective antitumor immunity, but little is known about the functional states of NK cells in human solid tumors. To address this issue, we performed single-cell RNA-seq analysis of NK cells isolated from human melanoma metastases, including lesions from patients who had progressed following checkpoint blockade. This analysis identified major differences in the transcriptional programs of tumor-infiltrating compared with circulating NK cells. Tumor-infiltrating NK cells represented 7 clusters with distinct gene expression programs indicative of significant functional specialization, including cytotoxicity and chemokine synthesis programs. In particular, NK cells from 3 clusters expressed high levels of XCL1 and XCL2, which encode 2 chemokines known to recruit XCR1+ cross-presenting DCs into tumors. In contrast, NK cells from 2 other clusters showed a higher level of expression of cytotoxicity genes. These data reveal key features of NK cells in human tumors and identify NK cell populations with specialized gene expression programs.
Lucas Ferrari de Andrade, Yuheng Lu, Adrienne Luoma, Yoshinaga Ito, Deng Pan, Jason W. Pyrdol, Charles H. Yoon, Guo-Cheng Yuan, Kai W. Wucherpfennig
As sufficient extracellular arginine is crucial for T cell function, depletion of extracellular arginine by elevated Arginase 1 (Arg1) activity has emerged as a hallmark immunosuppressive mechanism. However, the potential cell-autonomous roles of arginases in T cells have remained unexplored. Here we show that the arginase isoform expressed by T cells, the mitochondrial Arginase 2 (Arg2), is a cell-intrinsic regulator of CD8+ T cell activity. Both germ-line Arg2 deletion and adoptive transfer of Arg2-/- CD8+ T cells significantly reduced tumor growth in preclinical cancer models by enhancing CD8+ T cell activation, effector function and persistence. Transcriptomic, proteomic and high-dimensional flow cytometry characterization revealed a CD8+ T cell-intrinsic role of Arg2 in modulating T cell activation, anti-tumor cytoxicity and memory formation, independently of extracellular arginine availability. Furthermore, specific deletion of Arg2 in CD8+ T cells strongly synergized with PD-1 blockade for the control of tumor growth and animal survival. These observations coupled with the finding that pharmacologic arginase inhibition accelerates activation of ex vivo human T cells unveil Arg2 as a new therapeutic target for T cell-based cancer therapies.
Adrià-Arnau Martí i Líndez, Isabelle Dunand-Sauthier, Mark Conti, Florian Gobet, Nicolás Núñez, J. Thomas Hannich, Howard Riezman, Geiger Roger, Alessandra Piersigilli, Kerstin Hahn, Sylvain Lemeille, Burkhard Becher, Thibaut De Smedt, Stéphanie Hugues, Walter Reith
The HER2-specific monoclonal antibody (mAb), Trastuzumab, has been the mainstay of therapy for HER2+ breast cancers (BC) for ~20 years. However, its therapeutic mechanism of action (MOA) remains unclear, with antitumor responses to Trastuzumab remaining heterologous and metastatic HER2+ BC remaining incurable. Consequently, understanding its MOA could enable rational strategies to enhance its efficacy. Using both novel murine and human versions of Trastuzumab, we found its antitumor activity dependent on Fcγ-Receptor stimulation of tumor-associated-macrophages (TAM) and Antibody-Dependent-Cellular-Phagocytosis (ADCP), but not cytotoxicity (ADCC). Trastuzumab also stimulated TAM activation and expansion, but did not require adaptive immunity, natural killer cells, and/or neutrophils. Moreover, inhibition of the innate immune ADCP checkpoint, CD47, significantly enhanced Trastuzumab-mediated ADCP, TAM expansion and activation, resulting in the emergence of a unique hyper-phagocytic macrophage population, improved antitumor responses and prolonged survival. In addition, we found tumor-associated CD47 expression was inversely associated with survival in HER2+ BC patients and that human HER2+ BC xenografts treated with Trastuzumab+CD47 inhibition underwent complete tumor regression. Collectively, our study identifies Trastuzumab-mediated ADCP as a significant antitumor MOA that may be clinically enabled by CD47 blockade to augment therapeutic efficacy.
Li-Chung Tsao, Erika J. Crosby, Timothy N. Trotter, Pankaj Agarwal, Bin-Jin Hwang, Chaitanya Acharya, Casey W. Shuptrine, Tao Wang, Junping Wei, Xiao Yang, Gangjun Lei, Cong-Xiao Liu, Christopher A. Rabiola, Lewis A. Chodosh, William J. Muller, Herbert Kim Lyerly, Zachary C. Hartman
Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) relies on hyperactivated protein synthesis. Consistently, human and mouse PDAC lose expression of the translational repressor and mTOR target 4E-BP1. Using genome-wide polysome profiling, we here explore mRNAs whose translational efficiencies depend on the mTOR/4E-BP1 axis in pancreatic cancer cells. We identified a functional enrichment for mRNAs encoding DNA replication and repair proteins, including RRM2 and CDC6. Consequently, 4E-BP1 depletion favors DNA repair and renders DNA replication insensitive to mTOR inhibitors, in correlation with a sustained protein expression of CDC6 and RRM2, which is inversely correlated with 4E-BP1 expression in PDAC patient samples. DNA damage and pancreatic lesions induced by an experimental pancreatitis model uncover that 4E-BP1/2–deleted mice display an increased acinar cell proliferation and a better recovery than WT animals. Targeting translation, independently of 4E-BP1 status, using eIF4A RNA helicase inhibitors (silvestrol derivatives) selectively modulates translation and limits CDC6 expression and DNA replication, leading to reduced PDAC tumor growth. In summary, 4E-BP1 expression loss during PDAC development induces selective changes in translation of mRNA encoding DNA replication and repair protein. Importantly, targeting protein synthesis by eIF4A inhibitors circumvents PDAC resistance to mTOR inhibition.
David Müller, Sauyeun Shin, Théo Goullet de Rugy, Rémi Samain, Romain Baer, Manon Strehaiano, Laia Masvidal-Sanz, Julie Guillermet-Guibert, Christine Jean, Yoshinori Tsukumo, Nahum Sonenberg, Frédéric Marion, Nicolas Guilbaud, Jean-Sébastien Hoffmann, Ola Larsson, Corinne Bousquet, Stéphane Pyronnet, Yvan Martineau
Angiogenesis is a key process that allows nutrient uptake and cellular trafficking and is co-opted in cancer to enable tumor growth and metastasis. Recently, extracellular vesicles (EVs) have been shown to promote angiogenesis; however, it is unclear what unique features EVs contribute to the process. Here, we studied the role of EVs derived from head and neck squamous cell carcinoma (HNSCC) in driving tumor angiogenesis. Small EVs (SEVs), in the size range of exosomes (50-150 nm), induced angiogenesis both in vitro and in vivo. Proteomic analysis of HNSCC SEVs revealed the cell-cell signaling receptor EPHB2 as a promising candidate cargo to promote angiogenesis. Analysis of TCGA RNA-Seq and patient tissue microarray data further identified EPHB2 overexpression in HNSCC tumors to be associated with poor patient prognosis and tumor angiogenesis, especially in the context of overexpression of the exosome secretion regulator cortactin. Functional experiments revealed that EPHB2 expression in SEVs regulates angiogenesis both in vitro and in vivo and that EPHB2 carried by SEVs stimulates ephrin-B reverse signaling, inducing STAT3 phosphorylation. A STAT3 inhibitor greatly reduced SEV-induced angiogenesis. These data suggest a novel model in which EVs uniquely promote angiogenesis by transporting Eph transmembrane receptors to non-adjacent endothelial cells to induce ephrin reverse signaling.
Shinya Sato, Suhas Vasaikar, Adel Eskaros, Young Kim, James S. Lewis, Bing Zhang, Andries Zijlstra, Alissa M. Weaver
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