Gene Summary

Gene:CCL17; C-C motif chemokine ligand 17
Aliases: TARC, ABCD-2, SCYA17, A-152E5.3
Summary:This antimicrobial gene is one of several Cys-Cys (CC) cytokine genes clustered on the q arm of chromosome 16. Cytokines are a family of secreted proteins involved in immunoregulatory and inflammatory processes. The CC cytokines are proteins characterized by two adjacent cysteines. The cytokine encoded by this gene displays chemotactic activity for T lymphocytes, but not monocytes or granulocytes. The product of this gene binds to chemokine receptors CCR4 and CCR8. This chemokine plays important roles in T cell development in thymus as well as in trafficking and activation of mature T cells. [provided by RefSeq, Sep 2014]
Databases:OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:C-C motif chemokine 17
Source:NCBIAccessed: 31 August, 2019


What does this gene/protein do?
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Pathways:What pathways are this gene/protein implicaed in?
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Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1994-2019)
Graph generated 31 August 2019 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

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Tag cloud generated 31 August, 2019 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (5)

Data table showing topics related to specific cancers and associated disorders. Scope includes mutations and abnormal protein expression.

Note: list is not exhaustive. Number of papers are based on searches of PubMed (click on topic title for arbitrary criteria used).

Latest Publications: CCL17 (cancer-related)

Gerashchenko GV, Grygoruk OV, Kononenko OA, et al.
Expression pattern of genes associated with tumor microenvironment in prostate cancer.
Exp Oncol. 2018; 40(4):315-322 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: To assess relative expression (RE) levels of CAF-, TAM-specific, immune defense-associated genes in prostate tumors and to show correlation of RE with clinical, pathological and molecular characteristics, with the aim to define clinically significant specific alterations in a gene expression pattern.
METHODS: RE of 23 genes was analyzed by a quantitative polymerase chain reaction in 37 freshly frozen samples of prostate cancer tissues of a different Gleason score (GS) and at various tumor stages, compared with RE in 37 paired conventionally normal prostate tissue (CNT) samples and 20 samples of prostate adenomas.
RESULTS: Differences in RE were shown for 11 genes out of 23 studied, when tumor samples were compared with corresponding CNTs. 7 genes, namely ACTA2, CXCL14, CTGF, THY1, FAP, CD163, CCL17 were upregulated in tumors. 4 genes, namely CCR4, NOS2A, MSMB, IL1R1 were downregulated in tumors. 14 genes demonstrated different RE in TNA at different stages: CXCL12, CXCL14, CTGF, FAP, HIF1A, THY1, CCL17, CCL22, CCR4, CD68, CD163, NOS2A, CTLA4, IL1R1. RE changes of 9 genes - CXCL12, CXCL14, HIF1A, CCR4, CCL17, NOS2A, CTLA4, IL1R1, IL2RA - were found in tumors with different GS. Moreover, 9 genes showed differences in RE in TNA, dependently on the presence or absence of the TMPRSS2/ERG fusion and 7 genes showed differences in RE of groups with differential PTEN expression. Significant correlations were calculated between RE of 9 genes in adenocarcinomas and the stage, and GS; also, between RE of 2 genes and the fusion presence; and between RE of 4 genes and PTEN expression.
CONCLUSIONS: Several gene expression patterns were identified that correlated with the GS, stage and molecular characteristics of tumors, i.e. presence of the TMPRSS2/ERG fusion and alterations in PTEN expression. These expression patterns can be used for molecular profiling of prostate tumors, with the aim to develop personalized medicine approaches. However, the proposed profiling requires a more detailed analysis and a larger cohort of patients with prostate tumor.

Goyal G, Wong K, Nirschl CJ, et al.
PPARγ Contributes to Immunity Induced by Cancer Cell Vaccines That Secrete GM-CSF.
Cancer Immunol Res. 2018; 6(6):723-732 [PubMed] Related Publications
Peroxisome proliferator activated receptor-γ (PPARγ) is a lipid-activated nuclear receptor that promotes immune tolerance through effects on macrophages, dendritic cells (DCs), and regulatory T cells (Tregs). Granulocyte-macrophage colony stimulating factor (GM-CSF) induces PPARγ expression in multiple myeloid cell types. GM-CSF contributes to both immune tolerance and protection, but the role of PPARγ in these pathways is poorly understood. Here, we reveal an unexpected stimulatory role for PPARγ in the generation of antitumor immunity with irradiated, GM-CSF-secreting tumor-cell vaccines (GVAX). Mice harboring a deletion of

Cremonesi E, Governa V, Garzon JFG, et al.
Gut microbiota modulate T cell trafficking into human colorectal cancer.
Gut. 2018; 67(11):1984-1994 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: Tumour-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) favour survival in human colorectal cancer (CRC). Chemotactic factors underlying their recruitment remain undefined. We investigated chemokines attracting T cells into human CRCs, their cellular sources and microenvironmental triggers.
DESIGN: Expression of genes encoding immune cell markers, chemokines and bacterial 16S ribosomal RNA (16SrRNA) was assessed by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR in fresh CRC samples and corresponding tumour-free tissues. Chemokine receptor expression on TILs was evaluated by flow cytometry on cell suspensions from digested tissues. Chemokine production by CRC cells was evaluated in vitro and in vivo, on generation of intraperitoneal or intracecal tumour xenografts in immune-deficient mice. T cell trafficking was assessed on adoptive transfer of human TILs into tumour-bearing mice. Gut flora composition was analysed by 16SrRNA sequencing.
RESULTS: CRC infiltration by distinct T cell subsets was associated with defined chemokine gene signatures, including CCL5, CXCL9 and CXCL10 for cytotoxic T lymphocytes and T-helper (Th)1 cells; CCL17, CCL22 and CXCL12 for Th1 and regulatory T cells; CXCL13 for follicular Th cells; and CCL20 and CCL17 for interleukin (IL)-17-producing Th cells. These chemokines were expressed by tumour cells on exposure to gut bacteria in vitro and in vivo. Their expression was significantly higher in intracecal than in intraperitoneal xenografts and was dramatically reduced by antibiotic treatment of tumour-bearing mice. In clinical samples, abundance of defined bacteria correlated with high chemokine expression, enhanced T cell infiltration and improved survival.
CONCLUSIONS: Gut microbiota stimulate chemokine production by CRC cells, thus favouring recruitment of beneficial T cells into tumour tissues.

Omland SH, Wettergren EE, Mollerup S, et al.
Cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are activated in cutaneous basal cell carcinoma and in the peritumoural skin.
BMC Cancer. 2017; 17(1):675 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cutaneous basal cell carcinoma (BCC) is the commonest cancer worldwide. BCC is locally invasive and the surrounding stromal microenvironment is pivotal for tumourigenesis. Cancer associated fibroblasts (CAFs) in the microenvironment are essential for tumour growth in a variety of neoplasms but their role in BCC is poorly understood.
METHODS: Material included facial BCC and control skin from the peritumoural area and from the buttocks. With next-generation sequencing (NGS) we compared mRNA expression between BCC and peritumoural skin. qRT-PCR, immunohistochemical and immunofluorescent staining were performed to validate the NGS results and to investigate CAF-related cyto-and chemokines.
RESULTS: NGS revealed upregulation of 65 genes in BCC coding for extracellular matrix components pointing at CAF-related matrix remodeling. qRT-PCR showed increased mRNA expression of CAF markers FAP-α, PDGFR-β and prolyl-4-hydroxylase in BCC. Peritumoural skin (but not buttock skin) also exhibited high expression of PDGFR-β and prolyl-4-hydroxylase but not FAP-α. We found a similar pattern for the CAF-associated chemokines CCL17, CCL18, CCL22, CCL25, CXCL12 and IL6 with high expression in BCC and peritumoural skin but absence in buttock skin. Immunofluorescence revealed correlation between FAP-α and PDGFR-β and CXCL12 and CCL17.
CONCLUSION: Matrix remodeling is the most prominent molecular feature of BCC. CAFs are present within BCC stroma and associated with increased expression of chemokines involved in tumour progression and immunosuppression (CXCL12, CCL17). Fibroblasts from chronically sun-exposed skin near tumours show gene expression patterns resembling that of CAFs, indicating that stromal fibroblasts in cancer-free surgical BCC margins exhibit a tumour promoting phenotype.

Omland SH
Local immune response in cutaneous basal cell carcinoma.
Dan Med J. 2017; 64(10) [PubMed] Related Publications
BCC is an immunogenic tumor highlighted by the increased risk in immunosuppressed individuals and the frequent occurrence of tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in the tumor surroundings. Immunotherapy is evolving as a promising treatment strategy for several cancer types where topical immunostimulators are among the possibilities for superficial BCC. The overall aim of this thesis is to characterize the immunologic response upon BCC as well as characterizing the surrounding tumor stroma. The aim was achieved by the use of a variety of laboratory techniques; immunohistochemistry, immunoflourescence, qRT-PCR and NGS. Tumor microenvironment: T-regs are a subpopulation of the CD4 positive T-cells normally comprising around 5-10% of the peripheral T-cells and up to 20% of the skin resident T-cells. In the healthy individual they are crucial in hindering autoimmune diseases whereas the role in cancer is less advantageous with association to tumor progression for a variety of cancer types. By investigating the presence of T-regs in BCC by immunohistochemistry in study I, it was found that T-regs comprised 45% in mean of the total CD4 positive cells in BCC. The increased T-reg concentration was confirmed with qRT-PCR showing increased Foxp3 expression levels in BCC as well as in the peritumoral skin. In the normal non-UV exposed buttock skin, no Foxp3 expression was found. Hence, T-regs seem to play a role both in BCC but also in the tumor surroundings. Tumor surroundings are essential in terms of the ability for a tumor to grow. Apart from interaction between immune and cancer cells, also crosstalk with cells of the connective tissue such as CAFs is essential. In study II, NGS revealed increased expression of the CAF-markers P4H and PDGFR-β in BCC. Subsequent qRT-PCR confirmed this and also showed increased expression in the peritumoral skin whereas no expression was found in the normal buttock skin. FAP-α expression was seen only within BCC. CAFs are thus highly present within BCC and we further hypothesize that fibroblasts in the peritumoral skin acquire a phenotype intermediate between normal fibroblasts and CAFs in BCC. This intermediate phenotype might be induced by chronic UV-exposure mediated by increased IL6 expression. This corresponds to our findings of highly increased IL6 expression primarily in the peritumoral skin and to previous literature describing CAF-induced tumor-promoting IL6 expression upon UV-exposure in cutaneous SCC. Recruitment of TILs to BCC: mRNA expression levels of the chemokines CCL17, CCL18, CCL22 and CXCL12, involved in T-reg attraction to tumor sites were increased both in tumor and peritumoral skin with lack of expression in the normal skin. Correlation between the chemokines CCL17 and CXCL12 and CAF markers was found by IF establishing a role for CAFs in attracting T-regs to tumor sites. Efficient immunologic anti-tumor response could be provided by clonal expansion of T-cells directed against tumor-antigens. If this was the case, then restricted TCR-repertoire in BCC compared with surrounding skin would be seen. Analysis of the α and β- chain of the TCR was performed showing a high diversity of TCR repertoire in BCC and lack of predominant V(D)J-gene usage, no preferential VJ pairing or specific CDR3 length distribution. Therefore, no support of antigen-driven clone selection was found. This corresponds with lack of obvious anti-tumor skewing towards a Th1, Th2 or Th17 polarization.
CONCLUSION: To summarize it has been shown, with these studies on the local immune response upon BCC development, that an immunologic response is generated in line with BCC being an immunogenic tumor. This response is not specific, though. Additionally, BCC is capable of generating a protective niche in the microenvironment composed of both T-regs and CAFs breeding local immunosuppression and hindering of adequate anti-tumor response. In a clinical perspective, further research in improving immunotherapy for BCC is promising since an immunological response is present but needs to be reactivated.

Kinoshita T, Kudo-Saito C, Muramatsu R, et al.
Determination of poor prognostic immune features of tumour microenvironment in non-smoking patients with lung adenocarcinoma.
Eur J Cancer. 2017; 86:15-27 [PubMed] Related Publications
We have previously demonstrated that the prognostic significance of tumour-infiltrating CD8

Klein A, Sagi-Assif O, Meshel T, et al.
CCR4 is a determinant of melanoma brain metastasis.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(19):31079-31091 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
We previously identified the chemokine receptor CCR4 as part of the molecular signature of melanoma brain metastasis. The aim of this study was to determine the functional significance of CCR4 in melanoma brain metastasis. We show that CCR4 is more highly expressed by brain metastasizing melanoma cells than by local cutaneous cells from the same melanoma. Moreover, we found that the expression of CCR4 is significantly higher in paired clinical specimens of melanoma metastases than in samples of primary tumors from the same patients. Notably, the expression of the CCR4 ligands, Ccl22 and Ccl17 is upregulated at the earliest stages of brain metastasis, and precedes the infiltration of melanoma cells to the brain. In-vitro, CCL17 induced migration and transendothelial migration of melanoma cells. Functionally, human melanoma cells over-expressing CCR4 were more tumorigenic and produced a higher load of spontaneous brain micrometastasis than control cells. Blocking CCR4 with a small molecule CCR4 antagonist in-vivo, reduced the tumorigenicity and micrometastasis formation of melanoma cells. Taken together, these findings implicate CCR4 as a driver of melanoma brain metastasis.

Al-Haidari AA, Syk I, Thorlacius H
MiR-155-5p positively regulates CCL17-induced colon cancer cell migration by targeting RhoA.
Oncotarget. 2017; 8(9):14887-14896 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Colorectal cancer is the second most common cause of cancer-related death, which is due to migration of tumor cells to distant sites of metastasis. Accumulating data indicate that mciroRNAs play an important role in several aspects of colon cancer cell biology. Herein, we examined the role of miR-155-5p in colon cancer cell migration induced by the CCL17-CCR4 axis in HT-29 colon cancer cells. We found that miR-155-5p knockdown in serum starved colon cancer cells decreased CCL17-induced cell chemotaxis. Moreover, knocking down miR-155-5p markedly decreased CCL17-provoked activation of RhoA in colon cancer cells. Bioinformatics analysis predicted two putative binding sites in the AU-rich element at the 3'-UTR of RhoA mRNA. MiR-155-5p binding to RhoA mRNA was verified using a target site blocker and functionally validated by RNA immunoprecipitation assays, showing that miR-155-5p-dependent regulation of RhoA mRNA is mediated by AU-rich elements present in the 3'-UTR region. Taken together, these results show that miR-155-5p positively regulates RhoA mRNA levels and translation as well as cell migration in serum starved colon cancer cells and indicate that targeting miR-155-5p might be a useful strategy to antagonize colon cancer metastasis.

Miki K, Orita Y, Gion Y, et al.
Regulatory T cells function at the early stage of tumor progression in a mouse model of tongue squamous cell carcinoma.
Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2016; 65(11):1401-1410 [PubMed] Related Publications
The objective of this study was to observe the distribution of regulatory T cells (Tregs) in the development of tongue squamous cell carcinoma (SCC) and to determine the role of Tregs in the progression of tongue SCC. A mouse model of 4-nitroquinoline-1-oxide (4NQO)-induced-tongue SCC was established. The expression of Forkhead box P3 (Foxp3), interleukin 10, transforming growth factor-β, chemokine CC motif ligands 17, 20, and CC chemokine receptor 4 was determined using real-time quantitative polymerase chain reaction. Foxp3 expression was also analyzed using immunohistochemistry. The results were compared with those of control mice and of 4NQO-treated mice treated with a cyclooxygenase-2 (COX-2) inhibitor. Well to moderately differentiated tongue SCC was induced in all of the experimental mice. The amount of Tregs of the experimental mice was over 10 times as much as control mice at the early stage of tumor progression. COX-2 inhibitor did not prevent the progression of tongue SCC and did not reduce the total amount of Tregs. Tregs function at the early stage of the development of tongue SCC, and it may be effective to suppress Tregs at the early stage of tumor progression for the treatment and/or prevention of tongue SCC.

Zhang W, Chen L, Ma K, et al.
Polarization of macrophages in the tumor microenvironment is influenced by EGFR signaling within colon cancer cells.
Oncotarget. 2016; 7(46):75366-75378 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) is a target of colon cancer therapy, but the effects of this therapy on the tumor microenvironment remain poorly understood. Our in vivo studies showed that cetuximab, an anti-EGFR monoclonal antibody, effectively inhibited AOM/DSS-induced, colitis-associated tumorigenesis, downregulated M2-related markers, and decreased F4/80+/CD206+ macrophage populations. Treatment with conditioned medium of colon cancer cells increased macrophage expression of the M2-related markers arginase-1 (Arg1), CCL17, CCL22, IL-10 and IL-4. By contrast, conditioned medium of EGFR knockout colon cancer cells inhibited expression of these M2-related markers and induced macrophage expression of the M1-related markers inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS), IL-12, TNF-α and CCR7. EGFR knockout in colon cancer cells inhibited macrophage-induced promotion of xenograft tumor growth. Moreover, colon cancer-derived insulin-like growth factor-1 (IGF-1) increased Arg1 expression, and treatment with the IGF1R inhibitor AG1024 inhibited that increase. These results suggest that inhibition of EGFR signaling in colon cancer cells modulates cytokine secretion (e.g. IGF-1) and prevents M1-to-M2 macrophage polarization, thereby inhibiting cancer cell growth.

Sugata K, Yasunaga J, Kinosada H, et al.
HTLV-1 Viral Factor HBZ Induces CCR4 to Promote T-cell Migration and Proliferation.
Cancer Res. 2016; 76(17):5068-79 [PubMed] Related Publications
Human T-cell leukemia virus type 1 (HTLV-1) causes adult T-cell leukemia-lymphoma (ATL) and other inflammatory diseases in infected individuals. However, a complete understanding of how HTLV-1 transforms T cells is lacking. Expression of the chemokine receptor CCR4 on ATL cells and HTLV-1-infected cells suggested the hypothesis that CCR4 may mediate features of ATL and inflammatory diseases caused by HTLV-1. In this study, we show that the constitutively expressed HTLV-1 bZIP factor (HBZ) encoded by HTLV-1 is responsible for inducing CCR4 and its ability to promote T-cell proliferation and migration. Ectopic expression of HBZ was sufficient to stimulate expression of CCR4 in human and mouse T cells. Conversely, HBZ silencing in ATL cell lines was sufficient to inhibit CCR4 expression. Mechanistic investigations showed that HBZ induced GATA3 expression in CD4(+) T cells, thereby activating transcription from the CCR4 promoter. In an established air pouch model of ATL, we observed that CD4(+) T cells of HBZ transgenic mice (HBZ-Tg mice) migrated preferentially to the pouch, as compared with those in nontransgenic mice. Migration of CD4(+) T cells in HBZ-Tg mice was inhibited by treatment with a CCR4 antagonist. Proliferating (Ki67(+)) CD4(+) T cells were found to express high levels of CCR4 and CD103. Further, CD4(+) T-cell proliferation in HBZ-Tg mice was enhanced by coordinate treatment with the CCR4 ligands CCL17 and 22 and with the CD103 ligand E-cadherin. Consistent with this finding, we found that ATL cells in clinical skin lesions were frequently positive for CCR4, CD103, and Ki67. Taken together, our results show how HBZ activates CCR4 expression on T cells to augment their migration and proliferation, two phenomena linked to HTLV-1 pathogenesis. Cancer Res; 76(17); 5068-79. ©2016 AACR.

Mikirova N, Riordan N, Casciari J
Modulation of Cytokines in Cancer Patients by Intravenous Ascorbate Therapy.
Med Sci Monit. 2016; 22:14-25 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cytokines play an important role in tumor angiogenesis and inflammation. There is evidence in the literature that high doses of ascorbate can reduce inflammatory cytokine levels in cancer patients. The objective of this study was to investigate the effect of treatment by intravenous vitamin C (IVC) on cytokines and tumor markers.
MATERIAL/METHODS: With the availability of protein array kits allowing assessment of many cytokines in a single sample, we measured 174 cytokines and additional 54 proteins and tumor markers in 12 cancer patients before and after a series of IVC treatments.
RESULTS: Presented results show for our 12 patients the effect of treatment resulted in normalization of many cytokine levels. Cytokines that were most consistently elevated prior to treatments included M-CSF-R, Leptin, EGF, FGF-6, TNF-α, β, TARC, MCP-1,4, MIP, IL-4, 10, IL-4, and TGF-β. Cytokine levels tended to decrease during the course of treatment. These include mitogens (EGF, Fit-3 ligand, HGF, IGF-1, IL-21R) and chemo-attractants (CTAC, Eotaxin, E-selectin, Lymphotactin, MIP-1, MCP-1, TARC, SDF-1), as well as inflammation and angiogenesis factors (FGF-6, IL-1β, TGF-1).
CONCLUSIONS: We are able to show that average z-scores for several inflammatory and angiogenesis promoting cytokines are positive, indicating that they are higher than averages for healthy controls, and that their levels decreased over the course of treatment. In addition, serum concentrations of tumor markers decreased during the time period of IVC treatment and there were reductions in cMyc and Ras, 2 proteins implicated in being upregulated in cancer.

De Cecco L, Capaia M, Zupo S, et al.
Interleukin 21 Controls mRNA and MicroRNA Expression in CD40-Activated Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia Cells.
PLoS One. 2015; 10(8):e0134706 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Several factors support CLL cell survival in the microenvironment. Under different experimental conditions, IL21 can either induce apoptosis or promote CLL cell survival. To investigate mechanisms involved in the effects of IL21, we studied the ability of IL21 to modulate gene and miRNA expressions in CD40-activated CLL cells. IL21 was a major regulator of chemokine production in CLL cells and it modulated the expression of genes involved in cell movement, metabolism, survival and apoptosis. In particular, IL21 down-regulated the expression of the chemokine genes CCL4, CCL3, CCL3L1, CCL17, and CCL2, while it up-regulated the Th1-related CXCL9 and CXCL10. In addition, IL21 down-regulated the expression of genes encoding signaling molecules, such as CD40, DDR1 and PIK3CD. IL21 modulated a similar set of genes in CLL and normal B-cells (e.g. chemokine genes), whereas other genes, including MYC, TNF, E2F1, EGR2 and GAS-6, were regulated only in CLL cells. An integrated analysis of the miRNome and gene expression indicated that several miRNAs were under IL21 control and these could, in turn, influence the expression of potential target genes. We focused on hsa-miR-663b predicted to down-regulate several relevant genes. Transfection of hsa-miR-663b or its specific antagonist showed that this miRNA regulated CCL17, DDR1, PIK3CD and CD40 gene expression. Our data indicated that IL21 modulates the expression of genes mediating the crosstalk between CLL cells and their microenvironment and miRNAs may take part in this process.

Antonova O, Yossifova L, Staneva R, et al.
Changes in the gene expression profile of the bladder cancer cell lines after treatment with Helix lucorum and Rapana venosa hemocyanin.
J BUON. 2015 Jan-Feb; 20(1):180-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: The purpose of this study was to elucidate the mechanism of action of the Helix lucorum hemocyanin (HlH), b-HlH-h, and RvH2-g hemocyanins as potential agents against bladder cancer.
METHODS: We evaluated the viability of 647-V, T-24, and CAL-29 bladder cancer cell lines after treatment with the tested hemocyanins. The cell viability was measured at 72 hrs with MTT and WST-1 assays. Acridine orange/propidium iodide double staining was used to discriminate between apoptotic and necrotic cells. Gene expression profiling of the 168 genes from human inflammatory cytokines and signal transduction pathways were performed on the tumor cells before and after hemocyanins' treatment.
RESULTS: The results showed decreased survival of cancer cells in the presence of HlH and two functional units: b-HlH-h and RvH2-g. Acridine orange/propidium iodide double staining revealed that the decreased viability was due to apoptosis. The gene expression data showed upregulation of genes involved in the apoptosis as well as of the immune system activation, and downregulation of the CCL2, CCL17, CCL21, CXCL1, and ABCF1 genes.
CONCLUSIONS: The present study is the first to report gene expression in human cells under the influence of hemocyanins. The mechanism of antitumor activity of the HlH, b-HlH-h, and RvH2-g hemocyanins includes induction of apoptosis. In addition to the antiproliferative effect, downregulation of the genes with metastatic potential was observed. Together with the already known immunogenic effect, these findings support further studies on hemocyanins as potential therapeutic agents against bladder cancer.

Hefetz-Sela S, Stein I, Klieger Y, et al.
Acquisition of an immunosuppressive protumorigenic macrophage phenotype depending on c-Jun phosphorylation.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014; 111(49):17582-7 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The inflamed tumor microenvironment plays a critical role in tumorigenesis. However, the mechanisms through which immune cells, particularly macrophages, promote tumorigenesis have only been partially elucidated, and the full scope of signaling pathways supplying macrophages with protumorigenic phenotypes still remain largely unknown. Here we report that germ-line absence of c-Jun N-terminal phosphorylation at serines 63 and 73 impedes inflammation-associated hepatocarcinogenesis, yet deleting c-Jun only in hepatocytes does not inhibit hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) formation. Moreover, in human HCC-bearing livers, c-Jun phosphorylation is found in inflammatory cells, whereas it is mostly absent from malignant hepatocytes. Interestingly, macrophages in livers of mice with chronic hepatitis gradually switch their phenotype along the course of disease. Macrophage phenotype and density are dictated by c-Jun phosphorylation, in vitro and in vivo. Transition of macrophage phenotype, from antitumorigenic to protumorigenic, occurs before tumorigenesis, resulting in the production of various chemokines, including chemokine (C-C motif) ligand 17 (CCL17) and CCL22. Such signals, emanating from the liver microenvironment, direct the recruitment of regulatory T cells, which are known to facilitate HCC growth. Our findings identify c-Jun phosphorylation as a key mediator of macrophage education and point to the recruitment of immunosuppressive regulatory T cells as a possible protumorigenic mechanism.

Yang G, Li H, Yao Y, et al.
Treg/Th17 imbalance in malignant pleural effusion partially predicts poor prognosis.
Oncol Rep. 2015; 33(1):478-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
Accumulating evidence shows that an imbalance in regulatory T cells (Tregs)/T helper IL-17-producing cells (Th17) exists in malignant pleural effusion (MPE). However, the cause of this phenomenon in MPE and the underlying mechanism remain uncertain. The percentages of Tregs and Th17 cells in MPE and parapneumonic effusion (PPE) were determined by flow cytometry. Their specific transcription factors, forkhead box P3 (FoxP3) and retinoic acid-related orphan receptor γt (RORγt); related cytokines, interleukin-6 (IL-6), IL-17, IL-10, and transforming growth factor-β1 (TGF‑β1); and chemokines, C-C motif ligand 17 (CCL17) and CCL20, were analyzed by real-time PCR and ELISA, respectively. Compared to patients with PPE, patients with MPE presented a higher percentage of Tregs but a lower frequency of Th17 cells. Foxp3 mRNA expression level in the cells in the pleural effusion was significantly increased in patients with MPE compared to the levels in patients with PPE (MPE vs. PPE: 3.05±0.62 vs. 0.52±0.11, p=0.0012). It was also noted that high levels of IL-10, TGF-β1 and CCL17 were observed in MPE when compared to PPE (MPE vs. PPE: IL-10, 166.3±39.53 vs. 40.38±10.92 pg/ml, p=0.0307; TGF-β1, 10,720±1,274 vs. 1,747±293.2 pg/ml, p<0.0001; CCL17, 341.1±88.22 vs. 119.2±19.80 pg/ml, p=0.0427). Furthermore, a high ratio of Tregs/Th17 cells in MPE was highly correlated to poor survival. An alteration in CCL17 and CCL20 might contribute to the Treg/Th17 imbalance in MPE, which partially predicts a poor prognosis in patients with lung cancer.

Biragyn A, Lee-Chang C, Bodogai M
Generation and identification of tumor-evoked regulatory B cells.
Methods Mol Biol. 2014; 1190:271-89 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The involvement of Bregs in cancer remains poorly understood despite their well-documented regulation of responses to the self and protection from harmful autoimmunity. We recently discovered a unique regulatory B cell subset evoked by breast cancer to mediate protection of metastasizing cancer cells. These results together with the wealth of findings of the last 40 years on B cells in tumorigenesis suggest the existence of additional cancer Bregs modulating anticancer responses. To facilitate the search for them, here we provide our detailed protocol for the characterization and generation of tumor-evoked regulatory B cells. Wherever applicable, we also discuss nuances and uniqueness of a Breg study in cancer to warn potential pitfalls.

Celegato M, Borghese C, Umezawa K, et al.
The NF-κB inhibitor DHMEQ decreases survival factors, overcomes the protective activity of microenvironment and synergizes with chemotherapy agents in classical Hodgkin lymphoma.
Cancer Lett. 2014; 349(1):26-34 [PubMed] Related Publications
The NF-κB inhibitor DHMEQ has shown preclinical activity in classical Hodgkin Lymphoma (cHL). Here we evaluated if DHMEQ could affect microenvironmental interactions and formation and improve the activity of drugs used in relapsed/refractory cHL. We demonstrated that DHMEQ down-regulated the NF-κB target genes IRF4 and CD40, the secretion of IL-6, CCL5, CCL17 and generated ROS. Cytotoxicity, CD30 down-modulation and CD30 shedding by DHMEQ were prevented by ROS scavenger NAC. DHMEQ overcame stimuli from CD40 engagement and fibroblasts and enhanced doxorubicin, cisplatin and gemcitabine activity. Our results suggest that DHMEQ may be a promising agent for future therapeutic strategies in cHL.

Marri PR, Hodge LS, Maurer MJ, et al.
Prognostic significance of pretreatment serum cytokines in classical Hodgkin lymphoma.
Clin Cancer Res. 2013; 19(24):6812-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Although the International Prognostic Score (IPS) is the gold standard for risk-stratifying patients with classical Hodgkin lymphoma (cHL), these criteria do not accurately predict outcome. As cytokines are critically involved in driving cHL, we tested whether pretreatment serum cytokine levels could provide additional prognostic information.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Thirty cytokines were measured in pretreatment serum from 140 patients with cHL and compared with 50 nonlymphoma controls. Patients were followed for event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS), and Cox proportional hazards regression models were used to assess the association of individual cytokines and the cytokine profiles with outcome via unadjusted and IPS-adjusted HR.
RESULTS: Twelve cytokines (EGF, bFGF, G-CSF, HGF, IL-6, IL-8, IL-12, IL-2R, IP-10, MIG, TNF-α, and VEGF) were significantly (P < 0.05) higher in patients with cHL than controls; elevated levels of HGF, IL-6, IL-2R, IP-10, and MIG were all associated with poorer EFS. Only interleukin-2 receptor (IL-2R; P = 0.002) and interleukin (IL)-6 (P < 0.001) were independently prognostic. Patients with increased IL-6 and IL-2R had a significantly higher risk of early relapse and death, a finding that remained significant even after IPS-based risk stratification. Although elevated IL-6 and IL-2R correlated with the IPS, soluble CD30 (sCD30), and thymus and activation-related chemokine (TARC) levels, the two-cytokine model remained independently predictive of prognosis.
CONCLUSIONS: Elevated pretreatment serum cytokines are associated with increased disease relapse and inferior survival in cHL. Thus, the pretreatment cytokine profile, particularly serum levels of IL-6 and IL-2R, may be used to identify patients with cHL at high risk for early-disease relapse.

Ghesquières H, Maurer MJ, Casasnovas O, et al.
Cytokine gene polymorphisms and progression-free survival in classical Hodgkin lymphoma by EBV status: results from two independent cohorts.
Cytokine. 2013; 64(2):523-31 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Cytokines are important immune mediators of classical Hodgkin lymphoma (CHL) pathogenesis, and circulating levels at diagnosis may help predict prognosis. Germline single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) in immune genes have been correlated with cytokine production and function.
METHODS: We investigated whether selected germline SNPs in IL10 (rs1800890, rs1800896, rs1800871, rs1800872), TNFA (rs1800629), IL6 (rs1800795), ILRN (rs419598), INFG (rs2430561) and CCL17 (rs223828) were associated with circulating levels of related cytokines at diagnosis and progression-free survival (PFS) in CHL. Patients were from France (GELA, N=464; median age=32years) and the United States (Iowa/Mayo Specialized Program Of Research Excellence [SPORE], N=239; median age=38years); 22% of 346 CHL cases with EBV tumor status were positive.
RESULTS: There was no association with any of the SNPs with cytokine levels. Overall, there was no association of any of the SNPs with PFS. In exploratory analyses by EBV status, TNFA rs1800629 (HRAA/AG=2.41; 95%CI, 1.17-4.94) was associated with PFS in EBV-negative GELA patients, with similar trends in the SPORE patients (HRAA/AG=1.63; 95%CI, 0.61-4.40). In a meta-analysis of the two studies, TNFA (HRAA/AG=2.11; 95%CI, 1.18-3.77; P=0.01) was statistically significant, and further adjustment for the international prognostic system did not alter this result.
CONCLUSIONS: This study showed that germline variation in TNFA was associated with CHL prognosis for EBV-negative patients, which will require confirmation. These results support broader studies on the differential impact of genetic variation in immune genes on EBV-positive vs. EBV-negative CHL pathogenesis.

Huang SP, Lin VC, Lee YC, et al.
Genetic variants in nuclear factor-kappa B binding sites are associated with clinical outcomes in prostate cancer patients.
Eur J Cancer. 2013; 49(17):3729-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
Nuclear factor-kappa B (NF-κB) transcription factors have been suggested to be involved in prostate cancer progression. Activated NF-κB translocates to the nucleus, binds to NF-κB binding sites and regulates target gene expression, leading to the given physiological response. It was hypothesised that the sequence variants in NF-κB binding sites might affect prostate cancer progression. We systematically evaluated 15 single-nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) within NF-κB binding sites those were predicted using a genome-wide database in a cohort of 1024 prostate cancer patients. Associations of these SNPs with prostate cancer characteristics and clinical outcomes after radical prostatectomy (RP) for localised disease, and after androgen-deprivation therapy (ADT) for advanced disease were assessed by Kaplan-Meier analysis and Cox regression model. We found that PSMD7 rs2387084 and MYCN rs1429409 were significantly related to earlier onset of prostate cancer and advanced clinical stage, respectively. No SNPs were significantly associated with disease recurrence after RP. Four and three SNPs were notably associated with prostate cancer-specific mortality (PCSM) and all-cause mortality (ACM), respectively, after ADT. LSAMP rs13088089, CCL17 rs223899, PSMD7 rs2387084 and MON1B rs284924 remained the significant predictors for PCSM whilst PSMD7 rs2387084 remained a significant predictor for ACM in multivariate models including clinical predictors. Moreover, we also noted that there were strong effects of the combined genotype on PCSM and patients with a greater number of unfavourable genotypes had a shorter time to PCSM during ADT (P for trend<0.001). It was concluded that SNPs inside NF-κB binding sites might be useful to improve outcome prediction in prostate cancer patients.

Rawal S, Chu F, Zhang M, et al.
Cross talk between follicular Th cells and tumor cells in human follicular lymphoma promotes immune evasion in the tumor microenvironment.
J Immunol. 2013; 190(12):6681-93 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The microenvironment of human follicular lymphoma (FL), an incurable B cell non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, is thought to play a major role in its pathogenesis and course. Microenvironmental cells of likely importance include follicular Th cells (TFH) and regulatory T cells (Tregs), and understanding their interactions with FL tumor cells is necessary to develop novel therapeutic strategies. We found that IL-4 and CD40L are expressed by intratumoral TFH and induce production of CCL17 and CCL22 by FL tumor cells. IL-4 alone induces only CCL17 but enhances stimulation by CD40L of both CCL17 and CCL22. Consistent with our in vitro results, mRNA transcripts of IL-4 correlated with CCL17, but not CCL22, in gene expression profiling studies of FL biopsies, whereas CD40L correlated with both CCL17 and CCL22. Tumor supernatants induced preferential migration of Tregs and IL-4-producing T cells rather than IFN-γ-producing T cells, and Abs to CCR4 significantly abrogated the migration of Tregs. Our results suggest that through two distinct mechanisms, intratumoral TFH induce production of CCL17 and CCL22 by FL tumor cells and facilitate active recruitment of Tregs and IL-4-producing T cells, which, in turn, may stimulate more chemokine production in a feed-forward cycle. Thus, TFH appear to play a major role in generating an immunosuppressive tumor microenvironment that promotes immune escape and tumor survival and growth. Our results provide novel insights into the cross talk among TFH, tumor cells, and Tregs in FL, and offer potential targets for development of therapeutic strategies to overcome immune evasion.

Al-haidari AA, Syk I, Jirström K, Thorlacius H
CCR4 mediates CCL17 (TARC)-induced migration of human colon cancer cells via RhoA/Rho-kinase signaling.
Int J Colorectal Dis. 2013; 28(11):1479-87 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Accumulating data suggest a role of chemokines in tumor cell metastasis. CCR4 has been implicated in hematologic malignancies and recently also in solid tumors. Herein, we hypothesized that CCR4 might be expressed and support migration of colon cancer cells.
METHODS: We used quantitative RT-PCR and flow cytometry to determine mRNA and surface expression of CCR4 on colon cancer cell lines (HT-29) and (AZ-97). Total RhoA and active RhoA protein levels in CCL17-stimulated colon cancer cells were quantified using ELISA and G-LISA assays. Migration assays were performed to evaluate colon cancer cells chemotaxis. In vitro tumor growth was assessed using proliferation assay.
RESULTS: Our results show clear-cut mRNA levels and surface expression of CCR4 on a colon cancer cell line (HT-29) and on tumor cells (AZ-97). CCR4 ligand CCL17 (TARC) was a potent stimulator of colon cancer cell migration. This CCL17-induced colon cancer cell migration was inhibited by pre-incubation of the colon cancer cells with an antibody directed against CCR4 or an antagonist against CCR4. CCL17-induced signaling in colon cancer cells revealed that CCL17 increased mRNA formation of RhoA-C in colon cancer cells. Our results also found that CCL17 increased total RhoA and active RhoA protein levels in colon cancer cells. The Rho-kinase inhibitor Y-27632 abolished CCL17-induced colon cancer cell chemotaxis. In addition, inhibition of isoprenylation by GGTI-2133 markedly reduced colon cancer cell migration triggered by CCL17.
CONCLUSIONS: Our novel data indicate for the first time that the CCL17-CCR4 axis might be involved in the spread of colon cancer cells.

Biragyn A, Bodogai M, Olkhanud PB, et al.
Inhibition of lung metastasis by chemokine CCL17-mediated in vivo silencing of genes in CCR4+ Tregs.
J Immunother. 2013; 36(4):258-67 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Despite significant attractiveness of antisense oligonucleotide/RNAi technology, its clinical application has been precluded by a lack of methods for targeted delivery and transduction of primary immune cells in vivo. Here, we devised a chemokine CCL17-based strategy (TARC-arp) that transiently silences expression of genes in immune cells by delivering inhibitory oligonucleotides through their chemokine receptors. In modeling studies using mice with established 4T1.2 breast cancer, we show that IL10 produced by CCR4 cells, in particular FoxP3 regulatory T cells (Tregs), plays an important role in lung metastasis. As such, TARC-arp-mediated silencing of IL10 or FoxP3 in CCR4 Tregs is sufficient to block lung metastasis. Thus, we provide a simple solution that circumvents the problems of RNAi use in vivo, indicating that a disease outcome can be successfully controlled by delivering inhibitory oligonucleotides with chemokines to inactivate a selective subset of immune cells.

Bégué E, Jean-Louis F, Bagot M, et al.
Inducible expression and pathophysiologic functions of T-plastin in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma.
Blood. 2012; 120(1):143-54 [PubMed] Related Publications
A molecular feature of Sézary syndrome (SS) is the abnormal expression of T-plastin by malignant T cells. Herein, we investigated the molecular mechanisms involved in T-plastin synthesis and the functions of this actin-binding protein, with a special interest in chemoresistance and migration. We confirm the specific expression of T-plastin in peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBLs) from SS patients and its total absence in PBLs from patients with mycosis fungoides, inflammatory cutaneous or hematologic diseases, and from healthy volunteers. Only 3 of 4 SS patients did constitutively express T-plastin. To assess whether T-plastin expression was inducible, T-plastin-negative PBLs were stimulated by phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate and ionomycin. Our results demonstrate that T-plastin synthesis was induced in negative PBLs from SS patients, other studied patients, and healthy volunteers. Both constitutive and calcium-induced T-plastin expression was down-regulated by calcineurin inhibitors and involved nuclear factor of activated T cells transcription pathway. Constitutive T-plastin expression in SS was associated with resistance to etoposide-induced apoptosis and cell migration toward chemokines (TARC/CCL17, IP-10). In conclusion, T-plastin is a marker restricted to malignant lymphocytes from SS patients and plays a role for cell survival and migration. This opens new strategies for the treatment of SS advanced stages.

Miyagaki T, Sugaya M, Suga H, et al.
Increased CCL18 expression in patients with cutaneous T-cell lymphoma: association with disease severity and prognosis.
J Eur Acad Dermatol Venereol. 2013; 27(1):e60-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: CC chemokine ligand (CCL) 18 is expressed by monocytes and dendritic cells (DCs), and has potent chemotactic activity for T cells, B cells and DCs. CCL18 expression is up-regulated in lesional skin of atopic dermatitis and bullous pemphigoid, suggesting its important roles in the development of these skin diseases.
OBJECTIVE: To investigate roles of CCL18 in cutaneous T-cell lymphoma (CTCL).
METHODS: The CCL18 messenger RNA (mRNA) expression in CTCL skin (n = 21) and in normal skin (n = 7) was examined by quantitative RT-PCR. CCL18 expression was also examined by immunohistochemistry. Serum CCL18 levels were measured in 38 patients with CTCL and 20 healthy controls by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. We also analysed correlation between serum CCL18 levels and other clinical and laboratory data.
RESULTS: The CTCL lesional skin contained higher levels of CCL18 mRNA than normal skin. CCL18 was expressed by dermal macrophages and DCs in CTCL skin. Serum CCL18 levels in patients with CTCL were significantly higher than those of healthy controls and correlated with types of skin lesions. They also significantly correlated with modified severity-weighted assessment scores, serum sIL-2R, LDH, IL-4, IL-10, IL-31, CCL17 and CCL26 levels. Patients with high serum levels of CCL18 showed significantly poor prognosis compared with those with low CCL18 levels.
CONCLUSION: CCL18 mRNA is up-regulated in CTCL lesional skin, and serum CCL18 levels are significantly increased and correlated with the severity of CTCL. These results suggest that CCL18 may be associated with the development of CTCL.

Hatam LJ, Devoti JA, Rosenthal DW, et al.
Immune suppression in premalignant respiratory papillomas: enriched functional CD4+Foxp3+ regulatory T cells and PD-1/PD-L1/L2 expression.
Clin Cancer Res. 2012; 18(7):1925-35 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
PURPOSE: Respiratory papillomas, caused by human papillomaviruses types 6 and 11 (HPV6/11), are premalignant lesions with potential for malignant conversion. The cytokine and chemokine micromilieu of papillomas is T(H)2-like with a marked absence of IFN-γ expression. To illuminate why patients with recurrent respiratory papillomatosis (RRP) fail to effectively control their disease, we further investigated the suppressive cellular microenvironment in papillomas.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: CD4(+)CD25(+)CD127(low/-)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (Treg) and CD4(+)CD25(-)CD127(low/-)Foxp3(-) T cells within papillomas were characterized and isolated. Their suppressor function was measured by inhibition of peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) proliferation. Expression of PD-1, CD69, and Helios was identified on these T cells. PD-L1, PD-L2, CCL17, and CCL22 mRNA was also identified in papillomas by quantitative PCR.
RESULTS: Functional Tregs were markedly enriched in papillomas and strongly inhibited anti-CD3 and anti-CD28 antibody activated PBMC proliferation. The natural Treg marker Helios was reduced on Tregs from papillomas, indicating that the majority of Tregs in papillomas are adaptive. The majority of the papilloma-derived CD4(+) T cells expressed the CD4(+)CD25(-)CD127(low/-)Foxp3(-)PD1(+)CD69(+) phenotype and failed to suppress PBMC proliferation, suggesting that they are chronically activated and exhausted. The Treg-attracting chemokine CCL22 was equally expressed by all laryngeal tissues examined. However, CCL17 was robustly expressed by papillomas compared with unaffected laryngeal tissues from RRP patients and individuals without RRP. PD-L1 was elevated in papillomas compared with control laryngeal tissues.
CONCLUSIONS: Papilloma CD4(+) T cells are enriched with functional Tregs, and the adaptive Helios(-) Treg fraction was increased within the T(H)2-like papilloma micromilieu. CD4(+)CD25(-)CD127(low/-)Foxp3(-) T-cells failed to suppress PBMC proliferation and may be exhausted. The PD-1/PDL-1 pathway may represent an additional immunosuppressive mechanism that contributes to defective HPV6/11 clearance in RRP.

de Souza A, el-Azhary RA, Camilleri MJ, et al.
In search of prognostic indicators for lymphomatoid papulosis: a retrospective study of 123 patients.
J Am Acad Dermatol. 2012; 66(6):928-37 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Lymphomatoid papulosis (LyP) is a benign recurrent papulonodular skin eruption with histologically malignant features that sometimes (10%-20%) progresses to lymphoma.
OBJECTIVE: We retrospectively evaluated the clinical course of patients with LyP and identify prognostic factors possibly indicating a malignant course.
METHODS: Clinical, histopathologic, and immunologic features and molecular genetics were examined and correlated with clinical course and outcomes. Immunophenotyping and chemokine profiling were performed in select skin biopsy samples. A follow-up questionnaire was sent to patients. Clinical course and association with neoplastic disorders were correlated with LyP subtypes, molecular genetics, and immunophenotyping studies.
RESULTS: Of 123 patients with LyP (1991-2008) followed up a mean of 4 years (range, 2 months to 14 years), 17 (14%) had an associated hematologic malignancy, 8 of which were mycosis fungoides. Histopathologic analyses demonstrated classic LyP type A (n = 69), B (n = 13), or C (n = 6), and a slight predominance of T-cell CD8 marker expression for type A. More than one type of lesion was present in 9 patients with a higher incidence of hematologic malignancies. T-cell receptor gene rearrangement positivity was about two times higher, with LyP associated with hematologic malignancy (82% vs 44%; odds ratio 5.7; P = .02). Chemokine studies in a subset of 25 patients showed chemokine receptor (CCR) CCR4(+) and thymus and activation-related chemokine (TARC(+)) in all LyP types and CCR3(+) and chemokine-related receptor (CXCR) CXCR3(+) in types B and C.
LIMITATIONS: Retrospective study design is a limitation.
CONCLUSIONS: Positive T-cell receptor gene rearrangement or diagnosis of mixed-type LyP may be a prognostic indicator of disease more prone to progress to lymphoma.

de Chaisemartin L, Goc J, Damotte D, et al.
Characterization of chemokines and adhesion molecules associated with T cell presence in tertiary lymphoid structures in human lung cancer.
Cancer Res. 2011; 71(20):6391-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
De novo formation of tertiary lymphoid structures (TLS) has been described in lung cancers. Intratumoral TLS seem to be functional and are associated with a long-term survival for lung cancer patients, suggesting that they represent an activation site for tumor-specific T cells. Here, we characterized T-cell recruitment to TLS in human lung cancer to identify the adhesion molecules and chemoattractants orchestrating this migration. We found that most TLS T cells were CD62L+ and mainly of CD4+ memory phenotype, but naive T cells were highly enriched in these structures as compared with the rest of the tumor. A specific gene expression signature associated with T cell presence was identified in TLS, which included chemokines (CCL19, CCL21, CXCL13, CCL17, CCL22, and IL16), adhesion molecules (ICAM-2, ICAM-3, VCAM-1, and MAdCAM-1) and integrins (alphaL, alpha4, and alphaD). The presence of the corresponding receptors on TLS T cells was confirmed. Intratumoral PNAd+ high endothelial venules also were exclusively associated with TLS and colocalized with CD62L+ lymphocytes. Together, these data bring new insights into the T-cell recruitment to intratumoral TLS and suggest that blood T cell enter into TLS via high endothelial venules, which represent a new gateway for T cells to the tumor. Findings identify the molecules that mediate migration of tumor-specific T cells into TLS where T cell priming occurs, suggesting new strategies to enhance the efficacy of cancer immunotherapies.

Faget J, Biota C, Bachelot T, et al.
Early detection of tumor cells by innate immune cells leads to T(reg) recruitment through CCL22 production by tumor cells.
Cancer Res. 2011; 71(19):6143-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
In breast carcinomas, patient survival seems to be negatively affected by the recruitment of regulatory T cells (T(reg)) within lymphoid aggregates by CCL22. However, the mechanisms underpinning this process, which may be of broader significance in solid tumors, have yet to be described. In this study, we determined how CCL22 production is controlled in tumor cells. In human breast carcinoma cell lines, CCL22 was secreted at low basal levels that were strongly increased in response to inflammatory signals [TNF-α, IFN-γ, and interleukin (IL)-1β], contrasting with CCL17. Primary breast tumors and CD45(+) infiltrating immune cells appeared to cooperate in driving CCL22 secretion, as shown clearly in cocultures of breast tumor cell lines and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) or their supernatants. We determined that monocyte-derived IL-1β and TNF-α are key players as monocyte depletion or neutralization of these cytokines attenuated secretion of CCL22. However, when purified monocytes were used, exogenous human IFN-γ was also required to generate this response suggesting a role for IFN-γ-producing cells within PBMCs. In this setting, we found that human IFN-γ could be replaced by the addition of (i) IL-2 or K562-activated natural killer (NK) cells or (ii) resting NK cells in the presence of anti-MHC class I antibody. Taken together, our results show a dialogue between NK and tumor cells leading to IFN-γ secretion, which in turn associates with monocyte-derived IL-1β and TNF-α to drive production of CCL22 by tumor cells and subsequent recruitment of T(reg). As one validation of this conclusion in primary breast tumors, we showed that NK cells and macrophages tend to colocalize within tumors. In summary, our findings suggest that at early times during tumorigenesis, the detection of tumor cells by innate effectors (monocytes and NK cells) imposes a selection for CCL22 secretion that recruits T(reg) to evade this early antitumor immune response.

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