Gene Summary

Gene:ITGAM; integrin, alpha M (complement component 3 receptor 3 subunit)
Aliases: CR3A, MO1A, CD11B, MAC-1, MAC1A, SLEB6
Summary:This gene encodes the integrin alpha M chain. Integrins are heterodimeric integral membrane proteins composed of an alpha chain and a beta chain. This I-domain containing alpha integrin combines with the beta 2 chain (ITGB2) to form a leukocyte-specific integrin referred to as macrophage receptor 1 ('Mac-1'), or inactivated-C3b (iC3b) receptor 3 ('CR3'). The alpha M beta 2 integrin is important in the adherence of neutrophils and monocytes to stimulated endothelium, and also in the phagocytosis of complement coated particles. Multiple transcript variants encoding different isoforms have been found for this gene. [provided by RefSeq, Mar 2009]
Databases:OMIM, VEGA, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:integrin alpha-M
Source:NCBIAccessed: 21 August, 2015


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 (1990-2015)
Graph generated 21 August 2015 using data from PubMed using criteria.

Literature Analysis

Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic.

Tag cloud generated 21 August, 2015 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex

Specific Cancers (3)

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: ITGAM (cancer-related)

Wang J, McGuire TR, Britton HC, et al.
Lenalidomide and cyclophosphamide immunoregulation in patients with metastatic, castration-resistant prostate cancer.
Clin Exp Metastasis. 2015; 32(2):111-24 [PubMed] Related Publications
Lenalidomide (LEN) and metronomic cyclophosphamide (CTX) regulate angiogenesis and immunosuppressive cells linked to the progression of metastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer (mCRPC). A phase-I/II, dose-escalation trial of LEN plus oral CTX was conducted in patients with previously treated mCRPC. In the phase-I study, CTX was given at 50 mg (day 1-28) and LEN at 10-25 mg (day 1-21) on a 28-day cycle using a "3+3" study design. In phase II, patients received LEN at 25 mg (day 1-21) with CTX at 50 mg PO QD (day 1-28) on a 28-day cycle. Nineteen patients in phase I were evaluable for toxicity. The maximum tolerated dose (MTD) was not observed at any of the dose levels (DLs) tested. Six patients received treatment in phase II before the trial was closed. A ≥ 50% reduction in PSA was observed in 31.7% evaluable patients. Radiographically, one patient had a partial response. Stable disease was documented in 68% of evaluable patients after two therapy cycles. Circulating tumor cells (CTCs) decreased in 22.7% and remained stable in 31.8% of patients. Baseline numbers of peripheral MDSCs (MDSC; Lin-DR(-)CD11b(+)) were significantly increased in patients versus normal donors, and were decreased by chemotherapy. At baseline, MDSCs correlated directly with CTCs, and inversely with T- and B cell frequency supporting their immunosuppressive activity. The combination of LEN and metronomic CTX can be safely administered, reversing cellular immunosuppression in this group of elderly patients with mCRPC. Further research is required to identify responsive subgroup(s) and validate the biomarkers.

Hennig D, Müller S, Wichmann C, et al.
Antagonism between granulocytic maturation and deacetylase inhibitor-induced apoptosis in acute promyelocytic leukaemia cells.
Br J Cancer. 2015; 112(2):329-37 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/01/2016 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Transcriptional repression is a key mechanism driving leukaemogenesis. In acute promyelocytic leukaemia (APL), the fusion protein promyelocytic leukaemia-retinoic acid receptor-α fusion (PML-RARα) recruits transcriptional repressors to myeloid differentiation genes. All-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) induces the proteasomal degradation of PML-RARα and granulocytic differentiation. Histone deacetylases (HDACs) fall into four classes (I-IV) and contribute to the transcription block caused by PML-RARα.
METHODS: Immunoblot, flow cytometry, and May-Grünwald-Giemsa staining were used to analyze differentiation and induction of apoptosis.
RESULTS: A PML-RARα- and ATRA-dependent differentiation programme induces granulocytic maturation associated with an accumulation of the myeloid transcription factor CCAAT/enhancer binding protein (C/EBP)ɛ and of the surface protein CD11b. While this process protects APL cells from inhibitors of class I HDAC activity, inhibition of all Zinc-dependent HDACs (classes I, II, and IV) with the pan-HDACi (histone deacetylase inhibitor(s)) LBH589 induces apoptosis of immature and differentiated APL cells. LBH589 can eliminate C/EBPɛ and the mitochondrial apoptosis regulator B-cell lymphoma (BCL)-xL in immature and differentiated NB4 cells. Thus, BCL-xL and C/EBPɛ are newly identified molecular markers for the efficacy of HDACi against APL cells.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results could explain the therapeutic limitations occurring with ATRA and class I HDACi combinations. Pro-apoptotic effects caused by pan-HDAC inhibition are not blunted by ATRA-induced differentiation and may provide a clinically interesting alternative.

Zheng R, Wang X, Studzinski GP
1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 induces monocytic differentiation of human myeloid leukemia cells by regulating C/EBPβ expression through MEF2C.
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2015; 148:132-7 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2016 Related Publications
Myogenic enhancer factor2 (Mef2) consists of a family of transcription factors involved in morphogenesis of skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscle cells. Among the four isoforms (Mef2A, 2B, 2C, and 2D), Mef2C was also found to play important roles in hematopoiesis. At myeloid progenitor level, Mef2C expression favors monocytic differentiation. Previous studies from our laboratory demonstrated that ERK5 was activated in 1,25-dihydroxyvitamin D3 (1,25D)-induced monocytic differentiation in AML cells and ERK5 activation was accompanied by increased Mef2C phosphorylation. We therefore examined the role of Mef2C in 1,25D-induced monocytic differentiation in AML cell lines (HL60, U937 and THP1) and found that knockdown of Mef2C with small interfering RNA (siRNA) significantly decreases the expression of the monocytic marker, CD14, without affecting the expression of the general myeloid marker, CD11b. CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein (C/EBP) β, which can bind to CD14 promoter and increase its transcription, has been shown to be the downstream effector of 1,25D-induced monocytic differentiation in AML cells. When Mef2C was knocked down, expression of C/EBPβ was reduced at both mRNA and protein levels. The protein expression levels of cell cycle regulators, p27(Kip1) and cyclin D1, were not affected by Mef2C knockdown, nor the monopoiesis related transcription factor, ATF2 (activating transcription factor 2). Thus, we conclude that 1,25D-induced monocytic differentiation, and CD14 expression in particular, are mediated through activation of ERK5-Mef2C-C/EBPβ signaling pathway, and that Mef2C does not seem to modulate cell cycle progression.

Adams S, Teo C, McDonald KL, et al.
Involvement of the kynurenine pathway in human glioma pathophysiology.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(11):e112945 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/04/2016 Related Publications
The kynurenine pathway (KP) is the principal route of L-tryptophan (TRP) catabolism leading to the production of kynurenine (KYN), the neuroprotectants, kynurenic acid (KYNA) and picolinic acid (PIC), the excitotoxin, quinolinic acid (QUIN) and the essential pyridine nucleotide, nicotinamide adenine dinucleotide (NAD(+)). The enzymes indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase-1 (IDO-1), indoleamine 2,3-dioxygenase-2 (IDO-2) and tryptophan 2,3-dioxygenase (TDO-2) initiate the first step of the KP. IDO-1 and TDO-2 induction in tumors are crucial mechanisms implicated to play pivotal roles in suppressing anti-tumor immunity. Here, we report the first comprehensive characterisation of the KP in 1) cultured human glioma cells and 2) plasma from patients with glioblastoma (GBM). Our data revealed that interferon-gamma (IFN-γ) stimulation significantly potentiated the expression of the KP enzymes, IDO-1 IDO-2, kynureninase (KYNU), kynurenine hydroxylase (KMO) and significantly down-regulated 2-amino-3-carboxymuconate semialdehyde decarboxylase (ACMSD) and kynurenine aminotransferase-I (KAT-I) expression in cultured human glioma cells. This significantly increased KP activity but significantly lowered the KYNA/KYN neuroprotective ratio in human cultured glioma cells. KP activation (KYN/TRP) was significantly higher, whereas the concentrations of the neuroreactive KP metabolites TRP, KYNA, QUIN and PIC and the KYNA/KYN ratio were significantly lower in GBM patient plasma (n = 18) compared to controls. These results provide further evidence for the involvement of the KP in glioma pathophysiology and highlight a potential role of KP products as novel and highly attractive therapeutic targets to evaluate for the treatment of brain tumors, aimed at restoring anti-tumor immunity and reducing the capacity for malignant cells to produce NAD(+), which is necessary for energy production and DNA repair.

Sachs Z, LaRue RS, Nguyen HT, et al.
NRASG12V oncogene facilitates self-renewal in a murine model of acute myelogenous leukemia.
Blood. 2014; 124(22):3274-83 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/11/2015 Related Publications
Mutant RAS oncoproteins activate signaling molecules that drive oncogenesis in multiple human tumors including acute myelogenous leukemia (AML). However, the specific functions of these pathways in AML are unclear, thwarting the rational application of targeted therapeutics. To elucidate the downstream functions of activated NRAS in AML, we used a murine model that harbors Mll-AF9 and a tetracycline-repressible, activated NRAS (NRAS(G12V)). Using computational approaches to explore our gene-expression data sets, we found that NRAS(G12V) enforced the leukemia self-renewal gene-expression signature and was required to maintain an MLL-AF9- and Myb-dependent leukemia self-renewal gene-expression program. NRAS(G12V) was required for leukemia self-renewal independent of its effects on growth and survival. Analysis of the gene-expression patterns of leukemic subpopulations revealed that the NRAS(G12V)-mediated leukemia self-renewal signature is preferentially expressed in the leukemia stem cell-enriched subpopulation. In a multiplexed analysis of RAS-dependent signaling, Mac-1(Low) cells, which harbor leukemia stem cells, were preferentially sensitive to NRAS(G12V) withdrawal. NRAS(G12V) maintained leukemia self-renewal through mTOR and MEK pathway activation, implicating these pathways as potential targets for cancer stem cell-specific therapies. Together, these experimental results define a RAS oncogene-driven function that is critical for leukemia maintenance and represents a novel mechanism of oncogene addiction.

Novitskiy SV, Forrester E, Pickup MW, et al.
Attenuated transforming growth factor beta signaling promotes metastasis in a model of HER2 mammary carcinogenesis.
Breast Cancer Res. 2014; 16(5):425 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/11/2015 Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Transforming growth factor beta (TGFβ) plays a major role in the regulation of tumor initiation, progression, and metastasis. It is depended on the type II TGFβ receptor (TβRII) for signaling. Previously, we have shown that deletion of TβRII in mammary epithelial of MMTV-PyMT mice results in shortened tumor latency and increased lung metastases. However, active TGFβ signaling increased the number of circulating tumor cells and metastases in MMTV-Neu mice. In the current study, we describe a newly discovered connection between attenuated TGFβ signaling and human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) signaling in mammary tumor progression.
METHODS: All studies were performed on MMTV-Neu mice with and without dominant-negative TβRII (DNIIR) in mammary epithelium. Mammary tumors were analyzed by flow cytometry, immunohistochemistry, and immunofluorescence staining. The levels of secreted proteins were measured by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Whole-lung mount staining was used to quantitate lung metastasis. The Cancer Genome Atlas (TCGA) datasets were used to determine the relevance of our findings to human breast cancer.
RESULTS: Attenuated TGFβ signaling led to a delay tumor onset, but increased the number of metastases in MMTVNeu/DNIIR mice. The DNIIR tumors were characterized by increased vasculogenesis, vessel leakage, and increased expression of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF). During DNIIR tumor progression, both the levels of CXCL1/5 and the number of CD11b+Gr1+ cells and T cells decreased. Analysis of TCGA datasets demonstrated a significant negative correlation between TGFBR2 and VEGF genes expression. Higher VEGFA expression correlated with shorter distant metastasis-free survival only in HER2+ patients with no differences in HER2-, estrogen receptor +/- or progesterone receptor +/- breast cancer patients.
CONCLUSION: Our studies provide insights into a novel mechanism by which epithelial TGFβ signaling modulates the tumor microenvironment, and by which it is involved in lung metastasis in HER2+ breast cancer patients. The effects of pharmacological targeting of the TGFβ pathway in vivo during tumor progression remain controversial. The targeting of TGFβ signaling should be a viable option, but because VEGF has a protumorigenic effect on HER2+ tumors, the targeting of this protein could be considered when it is associated with attenuated TGFβ signaling.

Zeng C, Xu Y, Xu L, et al.
Inhibition of long non-coding RNA NEAT1 impairs myeloid differentiation in acute promyelocytic leukemia cells.
BMC Cancer. 2014; 14:693 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/11/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) is characterized by the reciprocal translocation t(15;17), which fuses PML with retinoic acid receptor alpha (RARα). Although PML-RARα is crucially important for pathogenesis and responsiveness to treatment, the molecular and cellular mechanisms by which PML-RARα exerts its oncogenic potential have not been fully elucidated. Recent reports have suggested that long non-coding RNAs (lncRNAs) contribute to the precise control of gene expression and are involved in human diseases. Little is known about the role of lncRNA in APL.
METHODS: We analyzed NEAT1 expression in APL samples and cell lines by real-time quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR). The expression of PML-RARα was measured by Western blot. Cell differentiation was assessed by measuring the surface CD11b antigen expression by flow cytometry analysis.
RESULTS: We found that nuclear enriched abundant transcript 1 (NEAT1), a lncRNA essential for the formation of nuclear body paraspeckles, is significantly repressed in de novo APL samples compared with those of healthy donors. We further provide evidence that NEAT1 expression was repressed by PML-RARα. Furthermore, significant NEAT1 upregulation was observed during all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA)-induced NB4 cell differentiation. Finally, we demonstrate the importance of NEAT1 in myeloid differentiation. We show that reduction of NEAT1 by small interfering RNA (siRNA) blocks ATRA-induced differentiation.
CONCLUSIONS: Our results indicate that reduced expression of the nuclear long noncoding RNA NEAT1 may play a role in the myeloid differentiation of APL cells.

Horna P, Zhang L, Sotomayor EM, et al.
Diagnostic immunophenotype of acute promyelocytic leukemia before and early during therapy with all-trans retinoic acid.
Am J Clin Pathol. 2014; 142(4):546-52 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To study the immunophenotypic changes of acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) in patients who recently received all-trans retinoic acid (ATRA) and to assess the diagnostic utility of flow cytometry in this setting.
METHODS: Flow cytometry was performed on 29 newly diagnosed APLs and 93 other acute myeloid leukemias, including 25 HLA-DR- or CD34- cases. Clinical notes from referring institutions were reviewed to assess for recent ATRA administration.
RESULTS: Recent ATRA therapy was documented in 17 (59%) of 29 patients with APL. The main features of untreated APL were preserved with ATRA therapy, including CD34- (83% vs 82%), HLA-DR- (83% vs 100%), and CD117+ (100% vs 77%). CD11b and CD11c were negative in all untreated APLs but positive in 76% and 88% of ATRA-treated APLs, respectively. Optimal diagnostic criteria for untreated APL (CD34- or HLA-DR- and CD11b- and CD11c-) showed 100% sensitivity and 98% specificity but were not useful after ATRA administration. The best interpretative approach to ATRA-treated APL (CD34- or HLA-DR-) showed 100% sensitivity but limited specificity (73%).
CONCLUSIONS: Information about recent ATRA administration is critical for adequate interpretation of the flow cytometric findings in patients with suspected APL.

Joo YN, Jin H, Eun SY, et al.
P2Y2R activation by nucleotides released from the highly metastatic breast cancer cell MDA-MB-231 contributes to pre-metastatic niche formation by mediating lysyl oxidase secretion, collagen crosslinking, and monocyte recruitment.
Oncotarget. 2014; 5(19):9322-34 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/11/2015 Related Publications
Tumor microenvironmental hypoxia induces hypoxia inducible factor-1α (HIF-1α) overexpression, leading to the release of lysyl oxidase (LOX), which crosslinks collagen at distant sites to facilitate environmental changes that allow cancer cells to easily metastasize. Our previous study showed that activation of the P2Y2 receptor (P2Y2R) by ATP released from MDA-MB-231 cells increased MDA-MB-231 cell invasion through endothelial cells. Therefore, in this study, we investigated the role of P2Y2R in breast cancer cell metastasis to distant sites. ATP or UTP released from hypoxia-treated MDA-MB-231 cells induced HIF-1α expression and LOX secretion by the activation of P2Y2R, and this phenomenon was significantly reduced in P2Y2R-depleted MDA-MB-231 cells. Furthermore, P2Y2R-mediated LOX release induced collagen crosslinking in an in vitro model. Finally, nude mice injected with MDA-MB-231 cells showed high levels of LOX secretion, crosslinked collagen and CD11b+ BMDC recruitment in the lung; however, mice that were injected with P2Y2R-depleted MDA-MB-231 cells did not exhibit these changes. These results demonstrate that P2Y2R plays an important role in activation of the HIF-1α-LOX axis, the induction of collagen crosslinking and the recruitment of CD11b+ BMDCs. Furthermore, P2Y2R activation by nucleotides recruits THP-1 monocytes, resulting in primary tumor progression and pre-metastatic niche formation.

Di Mitri D, Toso A, Chen JJ, et al.
Tumour-infiltrating Gr-1+ myeloid cells antagonize senescence in cancer.
Nature. 2014; 515(7525):134-7 [PubMed] Related Publications
Aberrant activation of oncogenes or loss of tumour suppressor genes opposes malignant transformation by triggering a stable arrest in cell growth, which is termed cellular senescence. This process is finely tuned by both cell-autonomous and non-cell-autonomous mechanisms that regulate the entry of tumour cells to senescence. Whether tumour-infiltrating immune cells can oppose senescence is unknown. Here we show that at the onset of senescence, PTEN null prostate tumours in mice are massively infiltrated by a population of CD11b(+)Gr-1(+) myeloid cells that protect a fraction of proliferating tumour cells from senescence, thus sustaining tumour growth. Mechanistically, we found that Gr-1(+) cells antagonize senescence in a paracrine manner by interfering with the senescence-associated secretory phenotype of the tumour through the secretion of interleukin-1 receptor antagonist (IL-1RA). Strikingly, Pten-loss-induced cellular senescence was enhanced in vivo when Il1ra knockout myeloid cells were adoptively transferred to PTEN null mice. Therapeutically, docetaxel-induced senescence and efficacy were higher in PTEN null tumours when the percentage of tumour-infiltrating CD11b(+)Gr-1(+) myeloid cells was reduced using an antagonist of CXC chemokine receptor 2 (CXCR2). Taken together, our findings identify a novel non-cell-autonomous network, established by innate immunity, that controls senescence evasion and chemoresistance. Targeting this network provides novel opportunities for cancer therapy.

Vasconcelos Dde M, Beitler B, Martinez GA, et al.
CD18 deficiency evolving to megakaryocytic (M7) acute myeloid leukemia: case report.
Blood Cells Mol Dis. 2014; 53(4):180-4 [PubMed] Related Publications
Leukocyte adhesion deficiency type 1 (LAD 1 - CD18 deficiency) is a rare disease characterized by disturbance of phagocyte function associated with less severe cellular and humoral dysfunction. The main features are bacterial and fungal infections predominantly in the skin and mucosal surfaces, impaired wound healing and delayed umbilical cord separation. The infections are indolent, necrotic and recurrent. In contrast to the striking difficulties in defense against bacterial and fungal microorganisms, LAD 1 patients do not exhibit susceptibility to viral infections and neoplasias. The severity of clinical manifestations is directly related to the degree of CD18 deficiency. Here, a 20 year-old female presenting a partial CD18 deficiency that developed a megakaryocytic (M7) acute myeloid leukemia is described for the first time. The clinical features of the patient included relapsing oral thrush due to Candida, cutaneous infections and upper and lower respiratory tract infections, followed by a locally severe necrotic genital herpetic lesion. The patient's clinical features improved for a period of approximately two years, followed by severe bacterial infections. At that time, the investigation showed a megakaryocytic acute myeloid leukemia, treated with MEC without clinical improvement. The highly aggressive evolution of the leukemia in this patient suggests that adhesion molecules could be involved in the protection against the spread of neoplastic cells.

Berbegall AP, Villamón E, Tadeo I, et al.
Neuroblastoma after childhood: prognostic relevance of segmental chromosome aberrations, ATRX protein status, and immune cell infiltration.
Neoplasia. 2014; 16(6):471-80 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/11/2015 Related Publications
Neuroblastoma (NB) is a common malignancy in children but rarely occurs during adolescence or adulthood. This subgroup is characterized by an indolent disease course, almost uniformly fatal, yet little is known about the biologic characteristics. The aim of this study was to identify differential features regarding DNA copy number alterations, α-thalassemia/mental retardation syndrome X-linked (ATRX) protein expression, and the presence of tumor-associated inflammatory cells. Thirty-one NB patients older than 10 years who were included in the Spanish NB Registry were considered for the current study; seven young and middle-aged adult patients (range 18-60 years) formed part of the cohort. We performed single nucleotide polymorphism arrays, immunohistochemistry for immune markers (CD4, CD8, CD20, CD11b, CD11c, and CD68), and ATRX protein expression. Assorted genetic profiles were found with a predominant presence of a segmental chromosome aberration (SCA) profile. Preadolescent and adolescent NB tumors showed a higher number of SCA, including 17q gain and 11q deletion. There was also a marked infiltration of immune cells, mainly high and heterogeneous, in young and middle-aged adult tumors. ATRX negative expression was present in the tumors. The characteristics of preadolescent, adolescent, young adult, and middle-aged adult NB tumors are different, not only from childhood NB tumors but also from each other. Similar examinations of a larger number of such tumor tissues from cooperative groups should lead to a better older age-dependent tumor pattern and to innovative, individual risk-adapted therapeutic approaches for these patients.

Higashi K, Hazama S, Araki A, et al.
A novel cancer vaccine strategy with combined IL-18 and HSV-TK gene therapy driven by the hTERT promoter in a murine colorectal cancer model.
Int J Oncol. 2014; 45(4):1412-20 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/11/2015 Related Publications
A therapeutic vaccine against minimal residual cancer cells is needed for the treatment of patients with colorectal cancer. Several gene therapy studies have revealed that the combination of a suicide gene and cytokine gene might induce effective antitumor immunity. In this study, we constructed an interleukin (IL)-18 and herpes simplex virus-thymidine kinase (HSV-TK) expression vector driven by the human telomerase reverse transcriptase (hTERT) promoter to study the efficacy of combination gene therapy with IL-18 and the HSV-TK suicide gene. Low immunogenic colon 26 cells were used for transfection and inoculation into syngeneic BALB/c mice. Large established tumors of colon 26 transfectants expressing IL-18 and HSV-TK driven by the hTERT promoter were completely eradicated after GCV administration in syngeneic BALB/c mice. Immunohistochemical analysis at the tumor rejection sites revealed enormous infiltrations of CD8+ T lymphocytes as well as CD4+ T lymphocytes and CD11b+ monocytes. Moreover, established distant tumors were completely eradicated by vaccination with the IL-18 and HSV-TK transfectants in combination with GCV. These data suggest that the IL-18 and suicide gene therapy can elicit antitumor specific immunity. In conclusion, gene therapy with IL-18 and HSV-TK plasmid vector driven by the hTERT promoter may be useful for cancer vaccination.

Nika E, Brugnoli F, Piazzi M, et al.
hnRNP K in PU.1-containing complexes recruited at the CD11b promoter: a distinct role in modulating granulocytic and monocytic differentiation of AML-derived cells.
Biochem J. 2014; 463(1):115-22 [PubMed] Related Publications
PU.1 is essential for the differentiation of haemopoietic precursors and is strongly implicated in leukaemogenesis, yet the protein interactions that regulate its activity in different myeloid lineages are still largely unknown. In the present study, by combining fluorescent EMSA (electrophoretic mobility-shift assay) with MS, we reveal the presence of hnRNP K (heterogeneous nuclear ribonucleoprotein K) in molecular complexes that PU.1 forms on the CD11b promoter during the agonist-induced maturation of AML (acute myeloid leukaemia)-derived cells along both the granulocytic and the monocytic lineages. Although hnRNP K and PU.1 act synergistically during granulocytic differentiation, hnRNP K seems to have a negative effect on PU.1 activity during monocytic maturation. Since hnRNP K acts as a docking platform, integrating signal transduction pathways to nucleic acid-directed processes, it may assist PU.1 in activating or repressing transcription by recruiting lineage-specific components of the transcription machinery. It is therefore possible that hnRNP K plays a key role in the mechanisms underlying the specific targeting of protein-protein interactions identified as mediators of transcriptional activation or repression and may be responsible for the block of haemopoietic differentiation.

Jung YS, Cheong HJ, Kim SJ, et al.
Src family kinase inhibitor PP2 enhances differentiation of acute promyelocytic leukemia cell line induced by combination of all-trans-retinoic acid and arsenic trioxide.
Leuk Res. 2014; 38(8):977-82 [PubMed] Related Publications
An all-trans-retinoic acid (ATRA) and arsenic trioxide (ATO) combination yields high-quality remission and survival in newly-diagnosed acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL). For subsequent similar data, NCCN guidelines indicate that ATRA plus ATO is one of the recommended regimens for the treatment of patients with APL. We demonstrated SFK (Src family kinase) inhibitor PP2-enhanced APL cell differentiation when combined with either ATRA or ATO with difference in activation of RA-induced genes. In this study, we investigated whether SFK inhibitor PP2 could enhance the differentiation of NB4 APL cells when combined with ATRA and ATO and the changes in the expression of intercellular adhesion molecule-1 (ICAM-1) derived from the retinoic acid receptor (RAR) target gene. Treatment of NB4 cells with 1 μM of ATRA, 0.5 μM of ATO, or 10 μM of PP2 for 72 h induced expression of CD11b-positive cells by 13.01%, 11.53% or 13.28%, respectively. However, the combination of ATRA and ATO and the combination of three agents (ATRA, ATO, and PP2) led to a significantly higher expression of CD11b-positive cells (30.96% and 63.17%, respectively). The synergistic effect of the combination of three agents was more significant than the combination of ATRA and ATO. These results were confirmed with NBT staining. These effects were not related to apoptosis. Annexin-V-fluorescein staining revealed that a combination of ATRA and ATO and combination of the three agents did not induce apoptosis in NB4 cells. The expression of ICAM-1 markedly increased in cells treated with the combination of the three agents. These findings suggest that the SFK inhibitor can enhance differentiation of APL cells combined with ATRA and ATO. FDA approved SFK inhibitors, such as dasatinib and bosutinib, may be beneficial for the treatment of APL with a combination of ATRA and ATO.

Riches JC, O'Donovan CJ, Kingdon SJ, et al.
Trisomy 12 chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells exhibit upregulation of integrin signaling that is modulated by NOTCH1 mutations.
Blood. 2014; 123(26):4101-10 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/11/2015 Related Publications
The leukocyte adhesion cascade is important in chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL), as it controls migration of malignant cells into the pro-survival lymph node microenvironment. Circulating trisomy 12 CLL cells have increased expression of the integrins CD11a and CD49d, as well as CD38, but the tissue expression of these and other molecules, and the functional and clinical sequelae of these changes have not been described. Here, we demonstrate that circulating trisomy 12 CLL cells also have increased expression of the integrins CD11b, CD18, CD29, and ITGB7, and the adhesion molecule CD323. Notably, there was reduced expression of CD11a, CD11b, and CD18 in trisomy 12 cases with NOTCH1 mutations compared with wild type. Trisomy 12 cells also exhibit upregulation of intracellular integrin signaling molecules CALDAG-GEFI, RAP1B, and Ras-related protein ligand, resulting in enhanced very late antigen-4 [VLA-4] directed adhesion and motility. CD38 expression in CLL has prognostic significance, but the increased CD38 expression in trisomy 12 CLL cells must be taken into account in this subgroup, and the threshold of CD38 positivity should be raised to 40% for this marker to retain its prognostic value. In conclusion, trisomy 12 CLL cells exhibit functional upregulation of integrin signaling, with β2-integrin expression being modulated by NOTCH1 mutation status.

Tymoszuk P, Evens H, Marzola V, et al.
In situ proliferation contributes to accumulation of tumor-associated macrophages in spontaneous mammary tumors.
Eur J Immunol. 2014; 44(8):2247-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
Infiltration of a neoplasm with tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) is considered an important negative prognostic factor and is functionally associated with tumor vascularization, accelerated growth, and dissemination. However, the ontogeny and differentiation pathways of TAMs are only incompletely characterized. Here, we report that intense local proliferation of fully differentiated macrophages rather than low-pace recruitment of blood-borne precursors drives TAM accumulation in a mouse model of spontaneous mammary carcinogenesis, the MMTVneu strain. TAM differentiation and expansion is regulated by CSF1, whose expression is directly controlled by STAT1 at the gene promoter level. These findings appear to be also relevant for human breast cancer, in which an interrelationship between STAT1, CSF1, and macrophage marker expression was identified. We propose that, akin to various MU subtypes in nonmalignant tissues, local proliferation and CSF1 play a vital role in the homeostasis of TAMs.

Khaled YS, Ammori BJ, Elkord E
Increased levels of granulocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells in peripheral blood and tumour tissue of pancreatic cancer patients.
J Immunol Res. 2014; 2014:879897 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/11/2015 Related Publications
Pancreatic cancer (PC) often presents late with poor survival. While role of immunosuppressive cells in preclinical studies provided help to develop immunotherapeutic agents, these cells remain under investigation in PC. The aim of this study was to characterise the different subsets of myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and evaluate their level and function in the circulation and tissue of PC patients. Significant increases in circulating and tumour-infiltrating granulocytic (Lin-HLA-DR-CD33+CD11b+CD15+), but not monocytic (Lin-HLA-DR-CD14+), MDSCs were detected in PC patients when compared with healthy donors and patients with chronic pancreatitis. The circulating MDSCs from PC patients expressed arginase 1, which represents their functional state. Blood levels of MDSCs showed no association with PC stage or preoperative levels of tumour markers. These findings provide a first characterisation of the phenotype of different subsets of peripheral and local MDSCs in PC patients and suggest that the frequency and contribution of these cells are predominantly granulocytic. This information demonstrates that MDSCs play a role in pancreatic cancer and future large validation studies may help in the development of new immunotherapeutic strategies to inhibit or eliminate MDSC function.

Palma CA, Al Sheikha D, Lim TK, et al.
MicroRNA-155 as an inducer of apoptosis and cell differentiation in Acute Myeloid Leukaemia.
Mol Cancer. 2014; 13:79 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/11/2015 Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) is characterised by the halt in maturation of myeloid progenitor cells, combined with uncontrolled proliferation and abnormal survival, leading to the accumulation of immature blasts. In many subtypes of AML the underlying causative genetic insults are not fully described. MicroRNAs are known to be dysregulated during oncogenesis. Overexpression of miR-155 is associated with some cancers, including haematological malignancies, and it has been postulated that miR-155 has an oncogenic role. This study investigated the effects of modulating miR-155 expression in human AML cells, and its mechanism of action.
RESULTS: Analysis of miR-155 expression patterns in AML patients found that Fms-like tyrosine kinase 3 (FLT3)-wildtype AML has the same expression level as normal bone marrow, with increased expression restricted to AML with the FLT3-ITD mutation. Induction of apoptosis by cytarabine arabinoside or myelomonocytic differentiation by 1,23-dihydroxyvitaminD3 in FLT3-wildtype AML cells led to upregulated miR-155 expression. Knockdown of miR-155 by locked nucleic acid antisense oligonucleotides in the FLT3-wildtype AML cells conferred resistance to cytarabine arabinoside induced apoptosis and suppressed the ability of cells to differentiate.Ectopic expression of miR-155 in FLT3-wildtype AML cells led to a significant gain of myelomonocytic markers (CD11b, CD14 and CD15), increase in apoptosis (AnnexinV binding), decrease in cell growth and clonogenic capacity.In silico target prediction identified a number of putative miR-155 target genes, and the expression changes of key transcription regulators of myeloid differentiation and apoptosis (MEIS1, GF1, cMYC, JARID2, cJUN, FOS, CTNNB1 and TRIB2) were confirmed by PCR. Assessment of expression of apoptosis-related proteins demonstrated a marked increase in cleaved caspase-3 expression confirming activation of the apoptosis cascade.
CONCLUSIONS: This study provides evidence for an anti-leukaemic role for miR-155 in human FLT3-wildtype AML, by inducing cell apoptosis and myelomonocytic differentiation, which is in contrast to its previously hypothesized role as an oncogene. This highlights the complexity of gene regulation by microRNAs that may have tumour repressor or oncogenic effects depending on disease context or tissue type.

Panni RZ, Sanford DE, Belt BA, et al.
Tumor-induced STAT3 activation in monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells enhances stemness and mesenchymal properties in human pancreatic cancer.
Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2014; 63(5):513-28 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/11/2015 Related Publications
Pancreatic cancer (PC) mobilizes myeloid cells from the bone marrow to the tumor where they promote tumor growth and proliferation. Cancer stem cells (CSCs) are a population of tumor cells that are responsible for tumor initiation. Aldehyde dehydrogenase-1 activity in PC identifies CSCs, and its activity has been correlated with poor overall prognosis in human PC. Myeloid cells have been shown to impact tumor stemness, but the impact of immunosuppressive tumor-infiltrating granulocytic and monocytic myeloid-derived suppressor cells (Mo-MDSC) on ALDH1(Bright) CSCs and epithelial to mesenchymal transition is not well understood. In this study, we demonstrate that Mo-MDSC (CD11b(+)/Gr1(+)/Ly6G(-)/Ly6C(hi)) significantly increase the frequency of ALDH1(Bright) CSCs in a mouse model of PC. Additionally, there was significant upregulation of genes associated with epithelial to mesenchymal transition. We also found that human PC converts CD14(+) peripheral blood monocytes into Mo-MDSC (CD14(+)/HLA-DR(low/-)) in vitro, and this transformation is dependent on the activation of the STAT3 pathway. In turn, these Mo-MDSC increase the frequency of ALDH1(Bright) CSCs and promote mesenchymal features of tumor cells. Finally, blockade of STAT3 activation reversed the increase in ALDH1(Bright) CSCs. These data suggest that the PC tumor microenvironment transforms monocytes to Mo-MDSC by STAT3 activation, and these cells increase the frequency of ALDH1(Bright) CSCs. Therefore, targeting STAT3 activation may be an effective therapeutic strategy in targeting CSCs in PC.

Cheadle EJ, Sheard V, Rothwell DG, et al.
Differential role of Th1 and Th2 cytokines in autotoxicity driven by CD19-specific second-generation chimeric antigen receptor T cells in a mouse model.
J Immunol. 2014; 192(8):3654-65 [PubMed] Related Publications
T cells engrafted with chimeric AgRs (CAR) are showing exciting potential for targeting B cell malignancies in early-phase clinical trials. To determine whether the second-generation CAR was essential for optimal antitumor activity, two CD28-based CAR constructs targeting CD19 were tested for their ability to redirect mouse T cell function against established B cell lymphoma in a BALB/c syngeneic model system. T cells armed with either CAR eliminated A20 B cell lymphoma in vivo; however, one construct induced a T cell dose-dependent acute toxicity associated with a raised serum Th1 type cytokine profile on transfer into preconditioned mice. Moreover, a chronic toxicity manifested as granuloma-like formation in spleen, liver, and lymph nodes was observed in animals receiving T cells bearing either CD28 CAR, albeit with different kinetics dependent upon the specific receptor used. This phenotype was associated with an expansion of CD4+ CAR+ T cells and CD11b+ Gr-1(+) myeloid cells and increased serum Th2-type cytokines, including IL-10 and IL-13. Mouse T cells engrafted with a first-generation CAR failed to develop such autotoxicity, whereas toxicity was not apparent when T cells bearing the same receptors were transferred into C57BL/6 or C3H animals. In summary, the adoptive transfer of second-generation CD19-specific CAR T cells can result in a cell dose-dependent acute toxicity, whereas the prolonged secretion of high levels of Th2 cytokines from these CAR T cells in vivo drives a granulomatous reaction resulting in chronic toxicity. Strategies that prevent a prolonged Th2-cytokine biased CAR T cell response are clearly warranted.

Wu D, Shao K, Sun J, et al.
Matrine cooperates with all-trans retinoic acid on differentiation induction of all-trans retinoic acid-resistant acute promyelocytic leukemia cells (NB4-LR1): possible mechanisms.
Planta Med. 2014; 80(5):399-408 [PubMed] Related Publications
Retinoic acid resistance results in refractory disease, and recovery in acute promyelocytic leukemia remains a challenge in clinical practice, with no ideal chemotherapeutic drug currently available. Here we report on the effect of an active compound of Sophora flavescens called matrine (0.1 mmol/L) combined with all-trans retinoic acid (1 µmol/L) in alleviating retinoic acid resistance in acute promyelocytic leukemia-derived NB4-LR1 cells by differentiation induction, as can be seen by an induced morphology change, increased CD11b expression, and nitro blue tetrazolium reduction activity, and a decreased expression of the promyelocytic leukemia-retinoic acid receptor α fusion gene and protein product. We further explored the probable mechanism of how matrine promotes the recovery of differentiation ability in NB4-LR1 cells when exposed to all-trans retinoic acid. We observed that the combination of all-trans retinoic acid and matrine can increase the level of cyclic adenosine monophosphate and protein kinase A activity, reduce telomerase activity, and downregulate the protein expression of topoisomerase II beta in NB4-LR1 cells. The results of this study suggest the possible clinical utility of matrine in the treatment of retinoic acid-resistant acute promyelocytic leukemia.

Cui W, Zhang D, Cunningham MT, Tilzer L
Leukemia-associated aberrant immunophenotype in patients with acute myeloid leukemia: changes at refractory disease or first relapse and clinicopathological findings.
Int J Lab Hematol. 2014; 36(6):636-49 [PubMed] Related Publications
INTRODUCTION: Multiparameter flow cytometry (MFC) is commonly used to detect minimal residual disease (MRD) during the course of chemotherapy or relapse. Only one study addressed the immunophenotypic changes in refractory disease. We studied changes in leukemia-associated aberrant immunophenotype (LAIP) in patients with refractory and relapsed acute myeloid leukemia (AML).
METHOD: We analyzed 47 patients (refractory = 22; relapsed = 25) by MFC, morphology, and cytogenetic studies.
RESULTS: Thirty-five patients (74%) showed variably changed LAIPs. The frequently altered LAIPs were lack of lineage-specific antigen and lineage infidelity. The most frequently changed marker was CD13, followed by CD33, CD56, CD7, CD4, and CD11b. Cytogenetic clonal evolution at persistence/relapse was observed in 15 patients (32%). Morphologically, three patients (6%) showed significant changes at relapse. Patients with refractory AML had a higher association with poor cytogenetic risk and classification of AML with myelodysplasia-related changes. Positive MRD at postinduction was of prognostic significance. Allogeneic stem cell transplant improved overall survival.
CONCLUSIONS: LAIP alterations in refractory/relapsed AMLs are common findings. Presence of persistent disease indicates a poor prognosis, regardless of cytogenetic risk or expression of CD7 or CD56. Discordance between cytogenetic and LAIP changes suggests that gross cytogenetic clonal evolution during disease progression only partly contributes to immunophenotypic instability.

Magnus N, Garnier D, Meehan B, et al.
Tissue factor expression provokes escape from tumor dormancy and leads to genomic alterations.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A. 2014; 111(9):3544-9 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/11/2015 Related Publications
The coagulation system links immediate (hemostatic) and late (inflammatory, angiogenic) tissue responses to injury, a continuum that often is subverted in cancer. Here we provide evidence that tumor dormancy is influenced by tissue factor (TF), the cancer cell-associated initiator of the coagulation system and a signaling receptor. Thus, indolent human glioma cells deficient for TF remain viable but permanently dormant at the injection site for nearly a year, whereas the expression of TF leads to a step-wise transition to latent and overt tumor growth phases, a process that is preceded by recruitment of vascular (CD105(+)) and myeloid (CD11b(+) and F4/80(+)) cells. Importantly, the microenvironment orchestrated by TF expression drives permanent changes in the phenotype, gene-expression profile, DNA copy number, and DNA methylation state of the tumor cells that escape from dormancy. We postulate that procoagulant events in the tissue microenvironment (niche) may affect the fate of occult tumor cells, including their biological and genetic progression to initiate a full-blown malignancy.

Hu XX, Zhong L, Zhang X, et al.
NLS-RARα promotes proliferation and inhibits differentiation in HL-60 cells.
Int J Med Sci. 2014; 11(3):247-54 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 20/11/2015 Related Publications
A unique mRNA produced in leukemic cells from a t(15;17) acute promyelocytic leukemia (APL) patient encodes a fusion protein between the retinoic acid receptor α (RARα) and a myeloid gene product called PML. Studies have reported that neutrophil elastase (NE) cleaves bcr-1-derived PML-RARα in early myeloid cells, leaving only the nuclear localization signal (NLS) of PML attached to RARα. The resultant NLS-RARα fusion protein mainly localizes to, and functions within, the cell nucleus. It is speculated that NLS-RARα may act in different ways from the wild-type RARα, but its biological characteristics have not been reported. This study takes two approaches. Firstly, the NLS-RARα was silenced with pNLS-RARα-shRNA. The mRNA and protein expression of NLS-RARα were detected by RT-PCR and Western blot respectively. Cell proliferation in vitro was assessed by MTT assay. Flow cytometry (FCM) was used to detect the differentiation of cells. Secondly, the NLS-RARα was over-expressed by preparation of recombinant adenovirus HL-60/pAd-NLS-RARα. The assays of mRNA and protein expression of NLS-RARα, and cell proliferation, were as above. By contrast, cell differentiation was stimulated by all trans retinoic acid (ATRA) (2.5µmol/L) at 24h after virus infection of pAd-NLS-RARα, and then detected by CD11b labeling two days later. The transcription and translation of C-MYC was detected in HL-60/pAd-NLS-RARα cells which treated by ATRA. Our results showed that compared to the control groups, the expression of NLS-RARα was significantly reduced in the HL-60/pNLS-RARα-shRNA cells, and increased dramatically in the HL-60/pAd-NLS-RARα cells. The proliferation was remarkably inhibited in the HL-60/pNLS-RARα-shRNA cells in a time-dependent manner, but markedly promoted in the HL-60/pAd-NLS-RARα cells. FCM outcome revealed the differentiation increased in HL-60/pNLS-RARα-shRNA cells, and decreased in the HL-60/pAd-NLS-RARα cells treated with 2.5µmol/L ATRA. The expression of C-MYC increased strikingly in HL-60/pAd-NLS-RARα cells treated with 2.5µmol/L ATRA. Down-regulation of NLS-RARα expression inhibited the proliferation and induced the differentiation of HL-60 cells. On the contrary, over-expression of NLS-RARα promoted proliferation and reduced the ATRA-induced differentiation of HL-60 cells.

Wang X, Pesakhov S, Weng A, et al.
ERK 5/MAPK pathway has a major role in 1α,25-(OH)2 vitamin D3-induced terminal differentiation of myeloid leukemia cells.
J Steroid Biochem Mol Biol. 2014; 144 Pt A:223-7 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
Vitamin D derivatives, including its physiological form 1α,25(OH)2 vitamin D3 (1,25D), have anti-tumor actions demonstrated in cell culture and confirmatory epidemiological associations are frequently reported. However, their promise for use in the cancer clinic is still incompletely fulfilled, suggesting that a better understanding of the molecular events initiated by these compounds is needed for therapeutic advances. While ERK1/2 has been intensely investigated and is known to transmit signals for cell survival, growth, and differentiation, the role of other MAPK pathways has been studied sporadically. Therefore, we utilized acute myeloid leukemia (AML) cells in culture (HL60 and U937), to determine if ERK5 has a role in 1,25D-induced terminal differentiation which is distinct from the previously shown involvement of ERK1/2. We previously found that inhibition of kinase activity of ERK5 by specific pharmacological inhibitors BIX02189 or XMD8-92 results in higher expression of general myeloid marker CD11b, but a lower expression of the monocytic marker CD14. In contrast, the inhibition of the ERK1/2 pathway by PD98059 or U0126 reduced the expression of all differentiation markers studied. We report here for the first time that the differentiation changes induced by ERK5 inhibitors are accompanied by the inhibition of cell proliferation, and this occurs in the both G1 and G2 phases of the cell cycle. Of note, inhibition of ERK5 auto-phosphorylation by XMD8-92 results in a particularly robust cell cycle arrest in G2 phase in AML cells. This study provides a link between the 1,25D-elevated ERK5 pathway and changes in the cell cycle phase transitions in AML cells. Thus, combinations of vitamin D derivatives and ERK5 inhibitors may be more successful in cancer clinics than 1,25D or analogs alone. This article is part of a Special Issue entitled '16th Vitamin D Workshop'.

Salhia B, Kiefer J, Ross JT, et al.
Integrated genomic and epigenomic analysis of breast cancer brain metastasis.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e85448 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
The brain is a common site of metastatic disease in patients with breast cancer, which has few therapeutic options and dismal outcomes. The purpose of our study was to identify common and rare events that underlie breast cancer brain metastasis. We performed deep genomic profiling, which integrated gene copy number, gene expression and DNA methylation datasets on a collection of breast brain metastases. We identified frequent large chromosomal gains in 1q, 5p, 8q, 11q, and 20q and frequent broad-level deletions involving 8p, 17p, 21p and Xq. Frequently amplified and overexpressed genes included ATAD2, BRAF, DERL1, DNMTRB and NEK2A. The ATM, CRYAB and HSPB2 genes were commonly deleted and underexpressed. Knowledge mining revealed enrichment in cell cycle and G2/M transition pathways, which contained AURKA, AURKB and FOXM1. Using the PAM50 breast cancer intrinsic classifier, Luminal B, Her2+/ER negative, and basal-like tumors were identified as the most commonly represented breast cancer subtypes in our brain metastasis cohort. While overall methylation levels were increased in breast cancer brain metastasis, basal-like brain metastases were associated with significantly lower levels of methylation. Integrating DNA methylation data with gene expression revealed defects in cell migration and adhesion due to hypermethylation and downregulation of PENK, EDN3, and ITGAM. Hypomethylation and upregulation of KRT8 likely affects adhesion and permeability. Genomic and epigenomic profiling of breast brain metastasis has provided insight into the somatic events underlying this disease, which have potential in forming the basis of future therapeutic strategies.

Chen X, Yang Y, Zhou Q, et al.
Effective chemoimmunotherapy with anti-TGFβ antibody and cyclophosphamide in a mouse model of breast cancer.
PLoS One. 2014; 9(1):e85398 [PubMed] Article available free on PMC after 01/10/2015 Related Publications
TGFβ is reportedly responsible for accumulation of CD4(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) in tumor. Thus, we treated mouse 4T1 mammary carcinoma with 1D11, a neutralizing anti-TGFβ (1,2,3) antibody. The treatment delayed tumor growth, but unexpectedly increased the proportion of Tregs in tumor. In vitro, 1D11 enhanced while TGFβ potently inhibited the proliferation of Tregs. To enhance the anti-tumor effects, 1D11 was administered with cyclophosphamide which was reported to eliminate intratumoral Tregs. This combination resulted in long term tumor-free survival of up to 80% of mice, and the tumor-free mice were more resistant to re-challenge with tumor. To examine the phenotype of tumor infiltrating immune cells, 4T1-tumor bearing mice were treated with 1D11 and a lower dose of cyclophosphamide. This treatment markedly inhibited tumor growth, and was accompanied by massive infiltration of IFNγ-producing T cells. Furthermore, this combination markedly decreased the number of splenic CD11b(+)Gr1(+) cells, and increased their expression levels of MHC II and CD80. In a spontaneous 4T1 lung metastasis model with resection of primary tumor, this combination therapy markedly increased the survival of mice, indicating it was effective in reducing lethal metastasis burden. Taken together, our data show that anti-TGFβ antibody and cyclophosphamide represents an effective chemoimmunotherapeutic combination.

Ju SM, Kang JG, Pae HO, et al.
Nardostachys chinensis induces the differentiation of human promyelocytic leukemic cells through the activation of the protein kinase C-dependent extracellular signal-regulated kinase signaling pathway.
Int J Mol Med. 2014; 33(3):573-80 [PubMed] Related Publications
The underground parts of Nardostachys chinensis (N. chinensis), which belongs the genus Valerianaceae, have been used as sedative and analgesic agents in traditional Korean medicine for centuries. The mitogen-activated protein kinases (MAPKs) are serine/threonine kinases involved in the regulation of various cellular responses, such as cell proliferation, differentiation and apoptosis. Protein kinase C (PKC) plays a key role in the regulation of proliferation and differentiation. In this study, we investigated the signaling pathways involved in the differentiation of the HL-60 human leukemic cells induced by N. chinensis extract. Treatment with N. chinensis extract resulted in the activation of the extracellular signal-regulated kinase (ERK) pathway and induced the differentiation of HL-60 cells into granulocytes. The activation of p38 MAPK was also observed 24 h after treatment; however, the activation of c-Jun N-terminal kinase (JNK) was unaffected. Treatment with an inhibitor of ERK (PD98059) blocked the nitrotetrazolium blue chloride (NBT) reducing activity and CD11b expression in the N. chinensis-treated HL-60 cells, whereas treatment with an inhibitor of p38 MAPK (SB203580) had no significant effect on NBT reducing activity and CD11b expression. In addition, N. chinensis extract increased PKC activity and the protein levels of PKCα, PKCβI and PKCβII isoforms, without a significant change in the protein levels of the PKCγ isoform. PKC inhibitors (GF 109203X, chelerythrine and H-7) inhibited the differentiation of HL-60 cells into granulocytes, as well as ERK activation in the N. chinensis-treated HL-60 cells. These results indicate that the PKC and ERK signaling pathways may be involved in the induction, by N. chinensis extract, of the differentiation of HL-60 cells into granulocytes.

Huang PY, Best OG, Almazi JG, et al.
Cell surface phenotype profiles distinguish stable and progressive chronic lymphocytic leukemia.
Leuk Lymphoma. 2014; 55(9):2085-92 [PubMed] Related Publications
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is clinically heterogeneous. While some patients have indolent disease for many years, 20-30% will progress and ultimately die of their disease. CLL may be classified by the Rai or Binet staging system, mutational status of the immunoglobulin variable heavy-chain gene (IGVH), ZAP-70 overexpression, cytogenetic abnormalities (13q-, + 12, 11q-, 17p-) and expression of several cell surface antigens (CD38, CD49d) that correlate with risk of disease progression. However, none of these markers identify all cases of CLL at risk. In a recent review, we summarized those CD antigens known to correlate with the prognosis of CLL. The present study has identified surface profiles of CD antigens that distinguish clinically progressive CLL from slow-progressive and stable CLL. Using an extended DotScan(™) CLL antibody microarray (Version 3; 182 CD antibodies), and with refined analysis of purified CD19 + B-cells, the following 27 CD antigens were differentially abundant for progressive CLL: CD11a, CD11b, CD11c, CD18, CD19, CD20 (two epitopes), CD21, CD22, CD23, CD24, CD25, CD38, CD40, CD43, CD45, CD45RA, CD52, CD69, CD81, CD84, CD98, CD102, CD148, CD180, CD196 and CD270. The extensive surface profiles obtained provide disease signatures with an accuracy of 79.2%, a sensitivity of 83.9% and a specificity of 72.5% that could provide the basis for a rapid test to triage patients with CLL according to probability of clinical progression and potential earlier requirement for treatment.

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