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
Lung cancer remains the leading cause of cancer-related death in the United States. Although the alveolar macrophage (AM) comprises the major resident immune cell in the lung, few studies have investigated its role in lung cancer development. We recently discovered a potentially novel mechanism wherein AMs regulate STAT-induced inflammatory responses in neighboring epithelial cells (ECs) via secretion and delivery of suppressors of cytokine signaling 3 (SOCS3) within extracellular vesicles (EVs). Here, we explored the impact of SOCS3 transfer on EC tumorigenesis and the integrity of AM SOCS3 secretion during development of lung cancer. AM-derived EVs containing SOCS3 inhibited STAT3 activation as well as proliferation and survival of lung adenocarcinoma cells. Levels of secreted SOCS3 were diminished in lungs of patients with non–small cell lung cancer and in a mouse model of lung cancer, and the impaired ability of murine AMs to secrete SOCS3 within EVs preceded the development of lung tumors. Loss of this homeostatic brake on tumorigenesis prompted our effort to “rescue” it. Provision of recombinant SOCS3 loaded within synthetic liposomes inhibited proliferation and survival of lung adenocarcinoma cells in vitro as well as malignant transformation of normal ECs. Intratumoral injection of SOCS3 liposomes attenuated tumor growth in a lung cancer xenograft model. This work identifies AM-derived vesicular SOCS3 as an endogenous antitumor mechanism that is disrupted within the tumor microenvironment and whose rescue by synthetic liposomes can be leveraged as a potential therapeutic strategy for lung cancer.
Jennifer M. Speth, Loka R. Penke, Joseph D. Bazzill, Kyung Soo Park, Rafael Gil de Rubio, Daniel J. Schneider, Hideyasu Ouchi, James J. Moon, Venkateshwar G. Keshamouni, Rachel L. Zemans, Vibha N. Lama, Douglas A. Arenberg, Marc Peters-Golden
Background: Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) are elevated in glioblastoma (GBM) patient circulation, present in tumor tissue, and associated with poor prognosis. While low-dose chemotherapy reduces MDSCs in preclinical models, the use of this strategy to reduce MDSCs in GBM patients has yet to be evaluated. Methods: A phase 0/1 dose-escalation clinical trial was conducted in recurrent glioblastoma patients treated 5-7 days prior to surgery with low-dose chemotherapy via capecitabine followed by concomitant low-dose capecitabine and bevacizumab. Clinical outcomes, including progression-free and overall survival, were measured, along with safety and toxicity profiles. Over the treatment time course, circulating MDSC levels were measured by multi-parameter flow cytometry, and tumor tissue immune profiles were assessed via mass cytometry time-of-flight. Results: A total of 11 patients were enrolled across escalating dose cohorts of 150, 300, and 450 mg bid. No serious adverse events related to the drug combination were observed. Compared to pre-treatment baseline, circulating MDSCs were found to be higher after surgery in the 150 mg treatment arm and lower in the 300 mg and 450 mg treatment arms. Increased cytotoxic immune infiltration was observed after low-dose capecitabine compared to untreated GBM patients in the 300 mg and 450 mg treatment arms. Conclusions: Low-dose, metronomic capecitabine in combination with bevacizumab is well tolerated in GBM patients and was associated with a reduction in circulating MDSC levels and an increase in cytotoxic immune infiltration into the tumor microenvironment. Trial registration: NCT02669173
David M. Peereboom, Tyler J. Alban, Mathew M. Grabowski, Alvaro G. Alvarado, Balint Otvos, Defne Bayik, Gustavo Roversi, Mary McGraw, Pengjing Huang, Alireza M. Mohammadi, Harley I. Kornblum, Tomas Radivoyevitch, Manmeet S. Ahluwalia, Michael A. Vogelbaum, Justin D. Lathia
Targeted therapies and immunotherapy have shown promise in patients with non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC). However, the majority of patients fail or become resistant to treatment, emphasizing the need for novel treatments. In this study, we confirm the prognostic value of AXL levels in NSCLC and demonstrate potent anti-tumor activity of the AXL-targeting antibody-drug conjugate enapotamab vedotin across different NSCLC subtypes in a mouse clinical trial of human NSCLC. Tumor regression or stasis was observed in 17/61 (28%) of the PDX models, and was associated with AXL mRNA expression levels. Significant single agent activity of enapotamab vedotin was validated in vivo in 9 of 10 AXL-expressing NSCLC xenograft models. In a panel of EGFR-mutant NSCLC cell lines rendered resistant to EGFR inhibitors (EGFRi) in vitro, we observed de novo or increased AXL protein expression concomitant with enapotamab vedotin-mediated cytotoxicity. Enapotamab vedotin also showed anti-tumor activity in vivo in 3 EGFR-mutant, EGFRi-resistant PDX models, including an osimertinib-resistant NSCLC PDX model. In summary, enapotamab vedotin has promising therapeutic potential in NSCLC. The safety and preliminary efficacy of enapotamab vedotin are currently being evaluated in the clinic across multiple solid tumor types, including NSCLC.
Louise A. Koopman, Mikkel G. Terp, Gijs G. Zom, Maarten L. Janmaat, Kirstine Jacobsen, Elke Gresnigt - Van den Heuvel, Marcel Brandhorst, Ulf Forssmann, Frederik M. de Bree, Nora Pencheva, Andreas Lingnau, Maria A. Zipeto, Paul W.H.I. Parren, Esther C.W. Breij, Henrik J. Ditzel
High levels of circulating miR-16 in the serum of multiple myeloma (MM) patients are independently associated with longer survival. Although the tumor suppressor function of intracellular miR-16 in cancer cells, including MM plasma cells (PCs), has been highly elucidated, its extracellular role in maintaining a non-supportive cancer microenvironment has not been fully explored. Here, we show that miR-16 can be actively secreted by MM cells through extracellular vesicles (EVs), and its extracellular and intracellular levels are directly correlated. We also show that EVs isolated from MM patients and from the conditioned media of MM-PCs can differentiate circulating monocytes to M2-tumor supportive macrophages (TAMs) and that the presence of higher levels of extracellular miR-16 counteracts this effect. In agreement with these observations, our data show that miR-16 directly targets the IKKα/β complex of the NF-kB canonical pathway, which is known to play a critical role in polarizing macrophages toward an M2 phenotype. By using a miR-15a-16-1 knockout mouse model, we also show that loss of the miR-16 cluster supports polarization to M2-macrophages. Finally, we demonstrate the therapeutic benefit of miR-16 overexpression in potentiating the anti-MM activity by a proteasome inhibitor in the presence of MM resident bone marrow TAM.
Jihane Khalife, Jayeeta Ghose, Marianna Martella, Domenico Viola, Alberto Rocci, Estelle Troadec, Cesar Terrazas, Abhay R. Satoskar, Emine Gulsen Gunes, Ada Dona, James F. Sanchez, P. Leif Bergsagel, Marta Chesi, Alex Pozhitkov, Steven Rosen, Guido Marcucci, Jonathan J. Keats, Craig C. Hofmeister, Amrita Krishnan, Enrico Caserta, Flavia Pichiorri
Oxidative stress is a major contributor to chronic lung diseases. Antioxidants such as N-acetylcysteine (NAC) are broadly viewed as protective molecules that prevent the mutagenic effects of reactive oxygen species. Antioxidants may, however, increase the risk of some forms of cancer and accelerate lung cancer progression in murine models. Here, we investigated chronic NAC treatment in aging mice displaying lung oxidative stress and cell senescence due to inactivation of the transcription factor JunD, which is downregulated in diseased human lungs. NAC treatment decreased lung oxidative damage and cell senescence and protected from lung emphysema but concomitantly induced the development of lung adenocarcinoma in 50% of JunD-deficient mice and 10% of aged control mice. This finding constitutes the first evidence to our knowledge of a carcinogenic effect of antioxidant therapy in the lungs of aged mice with chronic lung oxidative stress and warrants the utmost caution when considering the therapeutic use of antioxidants.
Marielle Breau, Amal Houssaini, Larissa Lipskaia, Shariq Abid, Emmanuelle Born, Elisabeth Marcos, Gabor Czibik, Aya Attwe, Delphine Beaulieu, Alberta Palazzo, Jean-Michel Flaman, Brigitte Bourachot, Guillaume Collin, Jeanne Tran Van Nhieu, David Bernard, Fatima Mechta-Grigoriou, Serge Adnot
Osteolytic bone lesions and hypercalcemia are common, serious complications in adult T cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL), an aggressive T cell malignancy associated with human T cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) infection. The HTLV-1 viral oncogene HBZ has been implicated in ATL tumorigenesis and bone loss. In this study, we evaluated the role of HBZ on ATL-associated bone destruction using HTLV-1 infection and disease progression mouse models. Humanized mice infected with HTLV-1 developed lymphoproliferative disease and continuous, progressive osteolytic bone lesions. HTLV-1 lacking HBZ displayed only modest delays to lymphoproliferative disease but significantly decreased disease-associated bone loss compared with HTLV-1–infected mice. Gene expression array of acute ATL patient samples demonstrated increased expression of RANKL, a critical regulator of osteoclasts. We found that HBZ regulated RANKL in a c-Fos–dependent manner. Treatment of HTLV-1–infected humanized mice with denosumab, a monoclonal antibody against human RANKL, alleviated bone loss. Using patient-derived xenografts from primary human ATL cells to induce lymphoproliferative disease, we also observed profound tumor-induced bone destruction and increased c-Fos and RANKL gene expression. Together, these data show the critical role of HBZ in driving ATL-associated bone loss through RANKL and identify denosumab as a potential treatment to prevent bone complications in ATL patients.
Jingyu Xiang, Daniel A. Rauch, Devra D. Huey, Amanda R. Panfil, Xiaogang Cheng, Alison K. Esser, Xinming Su, John C. Harding, Yalin Xu, Gregory C. Fox, Francesca Fontana, Takayuki Kobayashi, Junyi Su, Hemalatha Sundaramoorthi, Wing Hing Wong, Yizhen Jia, Thomas J. Rosol, Deborah J. Veis, Patrick L. Green, Stefan Niewiesk, Lee Ratner, Katherine N. Weilbaecher
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