Gene Summary

Gene:LAMP1; lysosomal associated membrane protein 1
Aliases: LAMPA, CD107a, LGP120
Summary:The protein encoded by this gene is a member of a family of membrane glycoproteins. This glycoprotein provides selectins with carbohydrate ligands. It may also play a role in tumor cell metastasis. [provided by RefSeq, Jul 2008]
Databases:VEGA, OMIM, HGNC, Ensembl, GeneCard, Gene
Protein:lysosome-associated membrane glycoprotein 1
Source:NCBIAccessed: 11 March, 2017


What does this gene/protein do?
Show (15)

Cancer Overview

Research Indicators

Publications Per Year (1992-2017)
Graph generated 11 March 2017 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.

  • Chronic Lymphocytic Leukemia
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis
  • Cervical Cancer
  • Gene Expression
  • Microscopy, Fluorescence
  • Transforming Growth Factor beta
  • Cancer Gene Expression Regulation
  • Lysosome-Associated Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Lysosomes
  • Tumor Antigens
  • Endocytosis
  • Tissue Array Analysis
  • Membrane Glycoproteins
  • Cell Line
  • Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinases
  • Cancer DNA
  • Transfection
  • Cell Proliferation
  • Receptors, Interleukin-6
  • Phosphorylation
  • Staging
  • Gene Expression Profiling
  • Autophagy
  • rac1 GTP-Binding Protein
  • Receptors, Interleukin
  • Acute Myeloid Leukaemia
  • Epidermal Growth Factor Receptor
  • Chromosome 13
  • Vascular Endothelial Growth Factor Receptor-2
  • Protein Transport
  • Endosomes
  • Signal Transduction
  • Genome-Wide Association Study
  • Ovarian Cancer
  • Breast Cancer
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Messenger RNA
  • Immunoconjugates
  • src-Family Kinases
  • Apoptosis
  • Adenocarcinoma
Tag cloud generated 11 March, 2017 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: LAMP1 (cancer-related)

Su Z, Wang K, Li R, et al.
Overexpression of RBM5 induces autophagy in human lung adenocarcinoma cells.
World J Surg Oncol. 2016; 14:57 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Dysfunctions in autophagy and apoptosis are closely interacted and play an important role in cancer development. RNA binding motif 5 (RBM5) is a tumor suppressor gene, which inhibits tumor cells' growth and enhances chemosensitivity through inducing apoptosis in our previous studies. In this study, we investigated the relationship between RBM5 overexpression and autophagy in human lung adenocarcinoma cells.
METHODS: Human lung adenocarcinoma cancer (A549) cells were cultured in vitro and were transiently transfected with a RBM5 expressing plasmid (GV287-RBM5) or plasmid with scrambled control sequence. RBM5 expression was determined by semi-quantitative reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and Western blot. Intracellular LC-3 I/II, Beclin-1, lysosome associated membrane protein-1 (LAMP1), Bcl-2, and NF-κB/p65 protein levels were detected by Western blot. Chemical staining with monodansylcadaverine (MDC) and acridine orange (AO) was applied to detect acidic vesicular organelles (AVOs). The ultrastructure changes were observed under transmission electron microscope (TEM). Then, transplanted tumor models of A549 cells on BALB/c nude mice were established and treated with the recombinant plasmids carried by attenuated Salmonella to induce RBM5 overexpression in tumor tissues. RBM5, LC-3, LAMP1, and Beclin1 expression was determined by immunohistochemistry staining in plasmids-treated A549 xenografts.
RESULTS: Our study demonstrated that overexpression of RBM5 caused an increase in the autophagy-related proteins including LC3-I, LC3-II, LC3-II/LC3-I ratio, Beclin1, and LAMP1 in A549 cells. A large number of autophagosomes with double-membrane structure and AVOs were detected in the cytoplasm of A549 cells transfected with GV287-RBM5 at 24 h. We observed that the protein level of NF-κB/P65 was increased and the protein level of Bcl-2 decreased by RBM5 overexpression. Furthermore, treatment with an autophagy inhibitor, 3-MA, enhanced RBM5-induced cell death and chemosensitivity in A549 cells. Furthermore, we successfully established the lung adenocarcinoma animal model using A549 cells. Overexpression of RBM5 enhanced the LC-3, LAMP1, and Beclin1 expression in the A549 xenografts.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings showed for the first time that RBM5 overexpression induced autophagy in human lung adenocarcinoma cells, which might be driven by upregulation of Beclin1, NF-κB/P65, and downregulation of Bcl-2. RBM5-enhanced autophagy acts in a cytoprotective way and inhibition of autophagy may improve the anti-tumor efficacy of RBM5 in lung cancer.

Ghiasi N, Habibagahi M, Rosli R, et al.
Tumor suppressive effects of WEE1 gene silencing could not enhance immunopotentiation effects of CD80 and 4-1BBL co-stimulation in human T cells.
J Cancer Res Ther. 2015 Oct-Dec; 11(4):708-16 [PubMed] Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Activation of T cells against tumors by recruiting co-stimulatory molecules has been an attractive approach for cancer immunotherapy. Reports suggested that targeting different genes in tumors might also boost T cell-mediated tumor destruction.
AIMS: We investigated whether in vitro WEE1 gene silencing in MDA-MB-468 and MCF7 breast cancer cell lines could enhance immunopotentiating effects of CD80 and 4-1BBL co-stimulation in human T cells.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: WEE1 gene was specifically silenced in the cancer cells using shRNA technology. The co-stimulatory molecules were over-expressed on the surface of the cancer cells by recombinant non-replicative adenoviruses. The immune reaction of T cells in the co-culture with tumor cells was studied. IFN-g production was assessed by intracellular staining of T cells. To assess cytotoxic activity of CD8+ T cells, the CD107a mobilization-degranulation assay was performed. Expression of granzyme B, perforin and fasl were examined by real time PCR.
RESULTS: T cell dual co-stimulation led to a significant increase in the frequency of IFN-g producing cells and higher percentages of degranulation in CD8+ T cells. It also resulted in higher expression levels of the cytotoxicity-related genes. WEE1 gene silencing in the target cells alone however, could not produce significant immune reactivation in the cultured T cells. Likewise, the immune responses of T cells neither improved nor suppressed when dually co-stimulated PBMCs were exposed to the cancer cells with silenced WEE1.
CONCLUSIONS: In spite of antitumor effects of WEE1 silencing, combination of this approach with immune co-stimulation could not boost the reactivity of cultured T cells against the tested breast cancer cells.

Pamarthy S, Jaiswal MK, Kulshreshtha A, et al.
The Vacuolar ATPase a2-subunit regulates Notch signaling in triple-negative breast cancer cells.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(33):34206-20 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Triple Negative Breast Cancer (TNBC) is a subtype of breast cancer with poor prognosis for which no targeted therapies are currently available. Notch signaling has been implicated in breast cancer but the factors that control Notch in TNBC are unknown. Because the Vacuolar ATPase has been shown to be important in breast cancer invasiveness, we investigated the role of a2-subunit isoform of Vacuolar ATPase (a2V) in regulating Notch signaling in TNBC. Confocal microscopy revealed that among all the 'a' subunit isoforms, a2V was uniquely expressed on the plasma membrane of breast cancer cells. Both a2V and NOTCH1 were elevated in TNBC tumors tissues and cell lines. a2V knockdown by siRNA as well as V-ATPase inhibition by Bafilomycin A1 (Baf A1) in TNBC cell lines enhanced Notch signaling by increasing the expression of Notch1 intracellular Domain (N1ICD). V-ATPase inhibition blocked NICD degradation by disrupting autophagy and lysosomal acidification as demonstrated by accumulation of LC3B and diminished expression of LAMP1 respectively. Importantly, treatment with Baf A1 or anti-a2V, a novel-neutralizing antibody against a2V hindered cell migration of TNBC cells. Our findings indicate that a2V regulates Notch signaling through its role in endolysosomal acidification and emerges as a potential target for TNBC.

Pires ES, D'Souza RS, Needham MA, et al.
Membrane associated cancer-oocyte neoantigen SAS1B/ovastacin is a candidate immunotherapeutic target for uterine tumors.
Oncotarget. 2015; 6(30):30194-211 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The metalloproteinase SAS1B [ovastacin, ASTL, astacin-like] was immunolocalized on the oolemma of ovulated human oocytes and in normal ovaries within the pool of growing oocytes where SAS1B protein was restricted to follicular stages spanning the primary-secondary follicle transition through ovulation. Gene-specific PCR and immunohistochemical studies revealed ASTL messages and SAS1B protein in both endometrioid [74%] and malignant mixed Mullerian tumors (MMMT) [87%] of the uterus. A MMMT-derived cell line, SNU539, expressed cell surface SAS1B that, after binding polyclonal antibodies, internalized into EEA1/LAMP1-positive early and late endosomes. Treatment of SNU539 cells with anti-SAS1B polyclonal antibodies caused growth arrest in the presence of active complement. A saporin-immunotoxin directed to SAS1B induced growth arrest and cell death. The oocyte restricted expression pattern of SAS1B among adult organs, cell-surface accessibility, internalization into the endocytic pathway, and tumor cell growth arrest induced by antibody-toxin conjugates suggest therapeutic approaches that would selectively target tumors while limiting adverse drug effects in healthy cells. The SAS1B metalloproteinase is proposed as a prototype cancer-oocyte tumor surface neoantigen for development of targeted immunotherapeutics with limited on-target/off tumor effects predicted to be restricted to the population of growing oocytes.

Masamoto I, Yoshimitsu M, Kuroki A, et al.
Clinical significance of CD70 expression on T cells in human T-lymphotropic virus type-1 carriers and adult T cell leukemia/ lymphoma patients.
Leuk Lymphoma. 2016; 57(3):685-91 [PubMed] Related Publications
Human T-lymphotropic virus type 1 (HTLV-1) is the causative agent of adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma (ATL). Miscellaneous host immune surveillance systems control T-cell growth/leukemogenesis during HTLV-1 infection. We characterized CD70 and CD27 expression on lymphocytes of HTLV-1 carriers and patients with ATL (study approved by the local Medical Ethical Committee). High CD70 expression was observed on CD4 + CD25+ T cells from patients with acute-type ATL, while patients with smoldering- or chronic-type ATL and HTLV-1 carriers exhibited lower expression. Furthermore, significantly higher CD27 expression was observed on HTLV-1-specific CTLs. We found an association between CD70 expression on CD4 + T cells and HTLV-1 infection; increased CD70 expression was observed after exposure to Tax. Moreover, addition of anti-CD70 antibodies enhanced the CD107a surface mobilization of HTLV-1 Tax-specific CTLs following Tax-peptide stimulation in the PBMCs of carriers. These data demonstrate the important role of the CD70/CD27 axis in immune responses in HTLV-1 carriers and ATL patients.

Zhao XY, Chang YJ, Zhao XS, et al.
Recipient expression of ligands for donor inhibitory KIRs enhances NK-cell function to control leukemic relapse after haploidentical transplantation.
Eur J Immunol. 2015; 45(8):2396-408 [PubMed] Related Publications
Natural killer (NK) cells that express self-HLA-specific receptors (where HLA is human leukocyte antigen) are "licensed" and more readily activated than unlicensed cells; therefore, NK-cell licensing could influence the antileukemia effects of NK cells following haploidentical stem cell transplantation (haplo-SCT). In this study, we compared the functionality of reconstituting NK cells, based on CD107α expression and interferon-γsecretion, in a cohort of 29 patients that expressed (n = 8) or lacked (n = 21) class I human leukocyte antigens for donor inhibitory killer cell immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) following T-cell-replete haplo-SCT. We also addressed whether recipient expression of class I ligands for donor inhibitory KIRs could predict relapse occurrence in another cohort of 188 patients. A longitudinal analysis indicated that patients presenting class I for all donor inhibitory KIRs showed more capable functional NK effector cells when tested against class I negative K562 cells and primary leukemic cells within 3 months of transplantation. The lowest 7-year relapse incidence was observed when donor KIRs were ligated by recipient class I (n = 60) compared with donor-host partnerships where donor KIR(+) cells were ligated by donor, but not recipient class I (n = 86, p = 0.026) or KIRs that were ligated by neither donor nor recipient class I (n = 42, p = 0.043). This study suggests that haplo-SCT recipients presenting class I for donor inhibitory KIRs promote NK-cell licensing, leading to decreased relapse rates.

Teo PY, Yang C, Whilding LM, et al.
Ovarian cancer immunotherapy using PD-L1 siRNA targeted delivery from folic acid-functionalized polyethylenimine: strategies to enhance T cell killing.
Adv Healthc Mater. 2015; 4(8):1180-9 [PubMed] Related Publications
Adoptive T cell immunotherapy is a promising treatment strategy for epithelial ovarian cancer (EOC). However, programmed death ligand-1 (PD-L1), highly expressed on EOC cells, interacts with programmed death-1 (PD-1), expressed on T cells, causing immunosuppression. This study aims to block PD-1/PD-L1 interactions by delivering PD-L1 siRNA, using various folic acid (FA)-functionalized polyethylenimine (PEI) polymers, to SKOV-3-Luc EOC cells, and investigate the sensitization of the EOC cells to T cell killing. To enhance siRNA uptake into EOC cells, which over express folate receptors, PEI is modified with FA or PEG-FA so that siRNA is complexed into nanoparticles with folate molecules on the surface. PEI modification with a single functional group lowers the polymer cytotoxicity compared to unmodified PEI. FA-conjugated polymers increase siRNA uptake into SKOV-3-luc cells and decrease unspecific uptake into monocytes. All polymers result in 40% to 50% PD-L1 protein knockdown. Importantly, SKOV-3-Luc cells treated with either PEI-FA or PEI- polyethylene glycol (PEG)-FA/PD-L1 siRNA complexes are up to twofold more sensitive to T cell killing compared to scrambled siRNA treated controls. These findings are the first to demonstrate that PD-L1 knockdown in EOC cells, via siRNA/FA-targeted delivery, are able to sensitize cancer cells to T cell killing.

Dange MC, Agarwal AK, Kalraiya RD
Extracellular galectin-3 induces MMP9 expression by activating p38 MAPK pathway via lysosome-associated membrane protein-1 (LAMP1).
Mol Cell Biochem. 2015; 404(1-2):79-86 [PubMed] Related Publications
Matrix metalloproteinases (MMPs) play a key role in matrix remodelling and thus invasion and metastasis. Extracellular galectin-3 has been shown to induce MMP9 secretion. Here, we demonstrate that galectin-3 induces MMP9 at transcript level and it is dependent on the surface levels of poly-N-acetyllactosamine (polyLacNAc). By employing signalling pathway inhibitors, MMP9 expression was shown to be induced via p38 MAP-kinase pathway. Using clones of melanoma cells expressing shRNAs to lysosome-associated membrane protein-1 (LAMP1), a major carrier of polyLacNAc, surface LAMP1 was demonstrated to serve as one of the key mediators of galectin-3-induced MMP9 expression via p38 MAPK pathway.

Guo S, Liang Y, Murphy SF, et al.
A rapid and high content assay that measures cyto-ID-stained autophagic compartments and estimates autophagy flux with potential clinical applications.
Autophagy. 2015; 11(3):560-72 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The lack of a rapid and quantitative autophagy assay has substantially hindered the development and implementation of autophagy-targeting therapies for a variety of human diseases. To address this critical issue, we developed a novel autophagy assay using the newly developed Cyto-ID fluorescence dye. We first verified that the Cyto-ID dye specifically labels autophagic compartments with minimal staining of lysosomes and endosomes. We then developed a new Cyto-ID fluorescence spectrophotometric assay that makes it possible to estimate autophagy flux based on measurements of the Cyto-ID-stained autophagic compartments. By comparing to traditional autophagy approaches, we found that this assay yielded a more sensitive, yet less variable, quantification of the stained autophagic compartments and the estimate of autophagy flux. Furthermore, we tested the potential application of this autophagy assay in high throughput research by integrating it into an RNA interference (RNAi) screen and a small molecule screen. The RNAi screen revealed WNK2 and MAP3K6 as autophagy-modulating genes, both of which inhibited the MTOR pathway. Similarly, the small molecule screen identified sanguinarine and actinomycin D as potent autophagy inducers in leukemic cells. Moreover, we successfully detected autophagy responses to kinase inhibitors and chloroquine in normal or leukemic mice using this assay. Collectively, this new Cyto-ID fluorescence spectrophotometric assay provides a rapid, reliable quantification of autophagic compartments and estimation of autophagy flux with potential applications in developing autophagy-related therapies and as a test to monitor autophagy responses in patients being treated with autophagy-modulating drugs.

Suzuki E, Kataoka TR, Hirata M, et al.
Trogocytosis-mediated expression of HER2 on immune cells may be associated with a pathological complete response to trastuzumab-based primary systemic therapy in HER2-overexpressing breast cancer patients.
BMC Cancer. 2015; 15:39 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Trogocytosis is defined as the transfer of cell-surface membrane proteins and membrane patches from one cell to another through contact. It is reported that human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) could be transferred from cancer cells to monocytes via trogocytosis; however, the clinical significance of this is unknown. The aim of this study is to demonstrate the presence and evaluate the clinical significance of HER2(+) tumor-infiltrated immune cells (arising through HER2 trogocytosis) in HER2-overexpressing (HER2+) breast cancer patients receiving trastuzumab-based primary systemic therapy (PST).
METHODS: To assess the trogocytosis of HER2 from cancer cells to immune cells, and to evaluate the up- and down-regulation of HER2 on immune and cancer cells, peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy volunteers and breast cancer patients were co-cultured with HER2+ and HER2-negative breast cancer cell lines with and without trastuzumab, respectively. The correlation between HER2 expression on tumor-infiltrated immune cells and a pathological complete response (pCR) in HER2+ breast cancer patients treated with trastuzumab-based PST was analyzed.
RESULTS: HER2 was transferred from HER2+ breast cancer cells to monocytes and natural killer cells by trogocytosis. Trastuzumab-mediated trogocytosed-HER2(+) effector cells exhibited greater CD107a expression than non-HER2-trogocytosed effector cells. In breast cancer patients, HER2 expression on tumor-infiltrated immune cells in treatment naïve HER2+ tumors was associated with a pCR to trastuzumab-based PST.
CONCLUSIONS: HER2-trogocytosis is visible evidence of tumor microenvironment interaction between cancer cells and immune cells. Given that effective contact between these cells is critical for immune destruction of target cancer cells, this interaction is of great significance. It is possible that HER2 trogocytosis could be used as a predictive biomarker for trastuzumab-based PST efficacy in HER2(+) breast cancer patients.

Brunner SM, Rubner C, Kesselring R, et al.
Tumor-infiltrating, interleukin-33-producing effector-memory CD8(+) T cells in resected hepatocellular carcinoma prolong patient survival.
Hepatology. 2015; 61(6):1957-67 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Interleukin-33 (IL-33), a cytokine with pleiotropic functions, is elevated in serum of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). This study investigated the effects of local IL-33 expression in resected HCC on patient survival and on the immunological and molecular tumor microenvironment. Tissue of resected HCCs was stained for hematoxylin and eosin, Masson trichrome, alpha-smooth muscle actin, IL-33, CD8, and IL-13 and analyzed by flow cytometry. Besides histomorphologic evaluation, the immunohistochemical stainings were analyzed for the respective cell numbers separately for tumor area, infiltrative margin, and distant liver stroma. These findings were correlated with clinical data and patient outcome. Further, gene expression of different HCC risk groups was compared using microarrays. In multivariable analysis, infiltration of HCCs by IL-33(+) cells (P = 0.032) and CD8(+) cells (P = 0.014) independently was associated with prolonged patient survival. Flow cytometry demonstrated that cytotoxically active subpopulations of CD8(+) cells, in particular CD8(+) CD62L(-) KLRG1(+) CD107a(+) effector-memory cells, are the main producers of IL-33 in these HCC patients. Using infiltration by IL-33(+) and CD8(+) cells as two separate factors, an HCC immune score was designed and evaluated that stratified patient survival (P = 0.0004). This HCC immune score identified high- and low-risk patients who differ in gene expression profiles (P < 0.001).
CONCLUSION: Infiltration of HCCs by IL-33(+) and CD8(+) cells is independently associated with prolonged patient survival. We suggest that this is due to an induction of highly effective, cytotoxically active CD8(+) CD62L(-) KLRG1(+) CD107a(+) effector-memory cells producing IL-33. Based on these two independent factors, we established an HCC immune score that provides risk stratification for HCC patients and can be used in the clinical setting.

Booth L, Roberts JL, Cash DR, et al.
GRP78/BiP/HSPA5/Dna K is a universal therapeutic target for human disease.
J Cell Physiol. 2015; 230(7):1661-76 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
The chaperone GRP78/Dna K is conserved throughout evolution down to prokaryotes. The GRP78 inhibitor OSU-03012 (AR-12) interacted with sildenafil (Viagra) or tadalafil (Cialis) to rapidly reduce GRP78 levels in eukaryotes and as a single agent reduce Dna K levels in prokaryotes. Similar data with the drug combination were obtained for: HSP70, HSP90, GRP94, GRP58, HSP27, HSP40 and HSP60. OSU-03012/sildenafil treatment killed brain cancer stem cells and decreased the expression of: NPC1 and TIM1; LAMP1; and NTCP1, receptors for Ebola/Marburg/Hepatitis A, Lassa fever, and Hepatitis B viruses, respectively. Pre-treatment with OSU-03012/sildenafil reduced expression of the coxsakie and adenovirus receptor in parallel with it also reducing the ability of a serotype 5 adenovirus or coxsakie virus B4 to infect and to reproduce. Similar data were obtained using Chikungunya, Mumps, Measles, Rubella, RSV, CMV, and Influenza viruses. OSU-03012 as a single agent at clinically relevant concentrations killed laboratory generated antibiotic resistant E. coli and clinical isolate multi-drug resistant N. gonorrhoeae and MRSE which was in bacteria associated with reduced Dna K and Rec A expression. The PDE5 inhibitors sildenafil or tadalafil enhanced OSU-03012 killing in N. gonorrhoeae and MRSE and low marginally toxic doses of OSU-03012 could restore bacterial sensitivity in N. gonorrhoeae to multiple antibiotics. Thus, Dna K and bacterial phosphodiesterases are novel antibiotic targets, and inhibition of GRP78 is of therapeutic utility for cancer and also for bacterial and viral infections.

Gras Navarro A, Kmiecik J, Leiss L, et al.
NK cells with KIR2DS2 immunogenotype have a functional activation advantage to efficiently kill glioblastoma and prolong animal survival.
J Immunol. 2014; 193(12):6192-206 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Glioblastomas (GBMs) are lethal brain cancers that are resistant to current therapies. We investigated the cytotoxicity of human allogeneic NK cells against patient-derived GBM in vitro and in vivo, as well as mechanisms mediating their efficacy. We demonstrate that KIR2DS2 immunogenotype NK cells were more potent killers, notwithstanding the absence of inhibitory killer Ig-like receptor (KIR)-HLA ligand mismatch. FACS-sorted and enriched KIR2DS2(+) NK cell subpopulations retained significantly high levels of CD69 and CD16 when in contact with GBM cells at a 1:1 ratio and highly expressed CD107a and secreted more soluble CD137 and granzyme A. In contrast, KIR2DS2(-) immunogenotype donor NK cells were less cytotoxic against GBM and K562, and, similar to FACS-sorted or gated KIR2DS2(-) NK cells, significantly diminished CD16, CD107a, granzyme A, and CD69 when in contact with GBM cells. Furthermore, NK cell-mediated GBM killing in vitro depended upon the expression of ligands for the activating receptor NKG2D and was partially abrogated by Ab blockade. Treatment of GBM xenografts in NOD/SCID mice with NK cells from a KIR2DS2(+) donor lacking inhibitory KIR-HLA ligand mismatch significantly prolonged the median survival to 163 d compared with vehicle controls (log-rank test, p = 0.0001), in contrast to 117.5 d (log-rank test, p = 0.0005) for NK cells with several inhibitory KIR-HLA ligand mismatches but lacking KIR2DS2 genotype. Significantly more CD56(+)CD16(+) NK cells from a KIR2DS2(+) donor survived in nontumor-bearing brains 3 wk after infusion compared with KIR2DS2(-) NK cells, independent of their proliferative capacity. In conclusion, KIR2DS2 identifies potent alloreactive NK cells against GBM that are mediated by commensurate, but dominant, activating signals.

Wang W, Guo H, Geng J, et al.
Tumor-released Galectin-3, a soluble inhibitory ligand of human NKp30, plays an important role in tumor escape from NK cell attack.
J Biol Chem. 2014; 289(48):33311-9 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Human Galectin-3 (Gal-3), a β-galactoside-binding protein expressed by tumor cells, has been reported to act as an immune regulator in antitumor T cells. However, its effect on natural killer (NK) cells is elusive. Using a recombinant human NK cell-activating receptor, NKp30 fusion protein (NKp30-Fc), we found that soluble NKp30-Fc could immunoprecipitate Galectin-3. The direct interaction between NKp30 and Galectin-3 was further confirmed using surface plasmon resonance experiments. Because Galectin-3 was mainly released from tumor cells in a soluble form in our study, the binding assay was performed to show that soluble Galectin-3 specifically bound to NK cells and NKp30 on the surface of the NK cells. Functionally, when soluble Galectin-3 was added to the NK-tumor cell coculture system, the NKp30-mediated, but not NKG2D-mediated, cytolysis and CD107a expression in the NK cells were inhibited, and these phenotypes could be restored by preincubation of soluble Galectin-3 with NKp30-Fc fusion protein or the addition of anti-Gal-3 antibody alone. Moreover, genetic down-regulation of Galectin-3 (shGal-3) resulted in tumor cells being more sensitive to NK cell lysis, and, reversely, Galectin-3-overexpressing HeLa cells (exGal-3) became less sensitive to NK cell killing. The results of these in vitro experiments were supported by studies in shGal-3-HeLa or exGal-3-HeLa xenograft non-obese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficiency mice after NK cell adoptive immunotherapy, indicating that Galectin-3 strongly antagonizes human NK cell attack against tumors in vivo. These findings indicate that Galectin-3 may function as an immune regulator to inhibit NK cell function against tumors, therefore providing a new therapeutic target for tumor treatment.

Seol HS, Akiyama Y, Shimada S, et al.
Epigenetic silencing of microRNA-373 to epithelial-mesenchymal transition in non-small cell lung cancer through IRAK2 and LAMP1 axes.
Cancer Lett. 2014; 353(2):232-41 [PubMed] Related Publications
The role of microRNAs (miRNAs) in carcinogenesis as tumor suppressors or oncogenes has been widely reported. Epigenetic change is one of the mechanisms of transcriptional silencing of miRNAs in cancer. To identify lung cancer-related miRNAs that are mediated by histone modification, we conducted microarray analysis in the Calu-6 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell line after treatment with suberoylanilide hydroxamic acid (SAHA), a histone deacetylase (HDAC) inhibitor. The expression level of miR-373 was enhanced by SAHA treatment in this cell line by microarray and the following quantitative RT-PCR analyses. Treatment with another HDAC inhibitor, Trichostatin A, restored the levels of miR-373 expression in A549 and Calu-6 cells, while demethylation drug treatment did not. Importantly, miR-373 was found to be down-regulated in NSCLC tissues and cell lines. Transfection of miR-373 into A549 and Calu-6 cells attenuated cell proliferation, migration, and invasion and reduced the expression of mesenchymal markers. Additional microarray analysis of miR-373-transfected cells and computational predictions identified IRAK2 and LAMP1 as targets of miR-373. Knockdown of these two genes showed similar biological effects to those of miR-373 overexpression. In clinical samples, overexpression of IRAK2 correlated with decreased disease-free survival of patients with non-adenocarcinoma. In conclusion, we found that miR-373 is silenced by histone modification in lung cancer cells and identified its function as a tumor suppressor and negative regulator of the mesenchymal phenotype through downstream IRAK2 and LAMP1 target genes.

Kawashima H, Obayashi A, Kawamura M, et al.
Galectin 9 and PINCH, novel immunotherapy targets of renal cell carcinoma: a rationale to find potential tumour antigens and the resulting cytotoxic T lymphocytes induced by the derived peptides.
BJU Int. 2014; 113(2):320-32 [PubMed] Related Publications
OBJECTIVE: To analyse and then generalize the mechanism by which partial or complete response is achieved among a limited number of patients with metastatic renal cell carcinoma (RCC) treated with interferon or interleukin-2.
MATERIALS AND METHODS: An expression library of RCC (clear-cell carcinoma) was screened using the sera of patients with metastatic RCC who benefited from partial or complete response to cytokine therapy, the postulation being that those remarkable responders obtained specific cellular immunity against RCC with the antibodies to react with the cancer antigen. Peripheral blood mononuclear-cells (PBMCs) from healthy volunteers were stimulated with the antigen-derived peptides to induce specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). Specific activities of CTLs were measured by ⁵¹Cr-releasing assay.
RESULTS: Among 15 positive clones isolated, two novel genes, galectin 9 and PINCH, were expressed at much higher levels in cancerous lesions than in normal tissues in all the patients with clear-cell carcinoma who were examined. Both HLA-A*2402-restricted and HLA-A*0201-restricted CTLs were induced by each antigen-derived peptide to exhibit specific and highly cytotoxic activities towards RCC cells. Specific CTLs were induced abundantly, as shown by flow cytometry analysis of the CTLs labelled with fluorescein isothiocyanate anti-CD107a and APC anti-CD8. The clonal expansion of the CTLs was shown by the clonality of T-cell receptor Vβ repertoires.
CONCLUSION: A novel approach based on clinical observations yielded promising tumour antigens as immunotherapy targets of RCC.

da Silva RF, Petta CA, Derchain SF, et al.
Up-regulation of DNAM-1 and NKp30, associated with improvement of NK cells activation after long-term culture of mononuclear cells from patients with ovarian neoplasia.
Hum Immunol. 2014; 75(8):777-84 [PubMed] Related Publications
This study aimed at evaluating the functional activation and activating receptors expression on resting, short- and long-term NK and NK-like T cells from blood of ovarian neoplasia patients. Blood from patients with adnexal benign alterations (n = 10) and ovarian cancer (grade I-IV n = 14) were collected after signed consent. Effector cells activation was evaluated by the expression of the CD107a molecule. Short-term culture was conducted overnight with IL-2 and long-term culture for 21 days, by a method designed to expand CD56(+) lymphocytes. Short-term culture significantly increased NK cells activation compared to resting NK cells (p<0.05), however, the long-term procedure supported an even higher increase (p<0.001). Resting NK-like T cells showed poor activation, which was not altered by the culture procedures. The long-term culture effectively increased the expression of the activating receptors on NK and NK-like T cells, either by increasing the number of cells expressing a given receptor and/or by up-regulating their expression intensity. As a conclusion, the long-term culture system employed, resulted in a high number of functional NK cells. The culture system was particularly efficient on the up-regulation of NKp30 and DNAM-1 receptors on NK cells.

Boyer-Guittaut M, Poillet L, Liang Q, et al.
The role of GABARAPL1/GEC1 in autophagic flux and mitochondrial quality control in MDA-MB-436 breast cancer cells.
Autophagy. 2014; 10(6):986-1003 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
GABARAPL1/GEC1 is an early estrogen-induced gene which encodes a protein highly conserved from C. elegans to humans. Overexpressed GABARAPL1 interacts with GABAA or kappa opioid receptors, associates with autophagic vesicles, and inhibits breast cancer cell proliferation. However, the function of endogenous GABARAPL1 has not been extensively studied. We hypothesized that GABARAPL1 is required for maintaining normal autophagic flux, and plays an important role in regulating cellular bioenergetics and metabolism. To test this hypothesis, we knocked down GABARAPL1 expression in the breast cancer MDA-MB-436 cell line by shRNA. Decreased expression of GABARAPL1 activated procancer responses of the MDA-MB-436 cells including increased proliferation, colony formation, and invasion. In addition, cells with decreased expression of GABARAPL1 exhibited attenuated autophagic flux and a decreased number of lysosomes. Moreover, decreased GABARAPL1 expression led to cellular bioenergetic changes including increased basal oxygen consumption rate, increased intracellular ATP, increased total glutathione, and an accumulation of damaged mitochondria. Taken together, our results demonstrate that GABARAPL1 plays an important role in cell proliferation, invasion, and autophagic flux, as well as in mitochondrial homeostasis and cellular metabolic programs.

Rogers MS, Novak K, Zurakowski D, et al.
Spontaneous reversion of the angiogenic phenotype to a nonangiogenic and dormant state in human tumors.
Mol Cancer Res. 2014; 12(5):754-64 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
UNLABELLED: The angiogenic switch, a rate-limiting step in tumor progression, has already occurred by the time most human tumors are detectable. However, despite significant study of the mechanisms controlling this switch, the kinetics and reversibility of the process have not been explored. The stability of the angiogenic phenotype was examined using an established human liposarcoma xenograft model. Nonangiogenic cells inoculated into immunocompromised mice formed microscopic tumors that remained dormant for approximately 125 days (vs. <40 days for angiogenic cells) whereupon the vast majority (>95%) initiated angiogenic growth with second-order kinetics. These original, clonally derived angiogenic tumor cells were passaged through four in vivo cycles. At each cycle, a new set of single-cell clones was established from the most angiogenic clone and characterized for in vivo for tumorigenic activity. A total of 132 single-cell clones were tested in the second, third, and fourth in vivo passage. Strikingly, at each passage, a portion of the single-cell clones formed microscopic, dormant tumors. Following dormancy, like the original cell line, these revertant tumors spontaneously switched to the angiogenic phenotype. Finally, revertant clones were transcriptionally profiled and their angiogenic output determined. Collectively, these data demonstrate that the angiogenic phenotype in tumors is malleable and can spontaneously revert to the nonangiogenic phenotype in a population of human tumor cells.
IMPLICATIONS: Leveraging the rate of reversion to the nonangiogenic phenotype and tumor dormancy may be a novel anticancer strategy.

Gogoi D, Dar AA, Chiplunkar SV
Involvement of Notch in activation and effector functions of γδ T cells.
J Immunol. 2014; 192(5):2054-62 [PubMed] Related Publications
Notch signaling plays a pivotal role in cell fate decision and lineage commitment of lymphocytes. Although the role of Notch in CD4(+) and CD8(+) αβ T cells is well documented, there are no reports on how Notch signaling regulates effector functions of γδ T cells. γδ T cells are a minor fraction in the peripheral blood but are known to play a major role in defense against pathogens and tumors. In this study, we show that Notch receptors (mRNA and protein) are expressed in peripheral γδ T cells. Inhibition of Notch signaling by γ-secretase inhibitor inhibited the proliferation and IFN-γ secretion of γδ T cells in response to stimulation with phosphoantigens and anti-CD3 mAb. In the presence of γ-secretase inhibitor, the antitumor cytolytic ability of γδ T cells was inhibited with a decreased CD107a expression. Knockdown of Notch1 and Notch2 genes in γδ T cells using small interfering RNA inhibited their antitumor cytotoxic potential. Our study describes for the first time, to our knowledge, the role of Notch as an additional signal contributing to Ag-specific effector functions of γδ T cells.

Jiang H, Zhang W, Shang P, et al.
Transfection of chimeric anti-CD138 gene enhances natural killer cell activation and killing of multiple myeloma cells.
Mol Oncol. 2014; 8(2):297-310 [PubMed] Related Publications
Reprogramming of NK cells with a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) proved an effective strategy to increase NK cell reactivity and recognition specificity toward tumor cells. To enhance the cytotoxicity of NK cells against CD138-positive multiple myeloma (MM) cells, we generated genetically modified NK-92MI cells carrying a CAR that consists of an anti-CD138 single-chain variable fragment (scFv) fused to the CD3ζ chain as a signaling moiety. The genetic modification through a lentiviral vector did not affect the intrinsic cytolytic activity of NK-92MI toward human erythroleukemic cell line K562 cells or CD138-negative targets. However, these retargeted NK-92MI (NK-92MI-scFv) displayed markedly enhanced cytotoxicity against CD138-positive human MM cell lines (RPMI8226, U266 and NCI-H929) and primary MM cells at various effector-to-target ratios (E:T) as compared to the empty vector-transfected NK-92MI (NK-92MI-mock). In line with the enhanced cytotoxicity of NK-92MI-scFv, significant elevations in the secretion of granzyme B, interferon-γ and proportion of CD107a expression were also found in NK-92MI-scFv in response to CD138-positive targets compared with NK-92MI-mock. Most importantly, the enhancement in the cytotoxicity of NK-92MI-scFv did not attenuate with 10Gy-irradiation that sufficiently blocked cell proliferation. Moreover, the irradiated NK-92MI-scFv exerted definitely intensified anti-tumor activity toward CD138-positive MM cells than NK-92MI-mock in the xenograft NOD-SCID mouse model. This study provides the rationale and feasibility for adoptive immunotherapy with CD138-specific CAR-modified NK cells in CD138-positive plasmacytic malignancies, which potentially further improves remission quality and prolongs the remission duration of patients with MM after upfront chemotherapy.

Petricevic B, Laengle J, Singer J, et al.
Trastuzumab mediates antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity and phagocytosis to the same extent in both adjuvant and metastatic HER2/neu breast cancer patients.
J Transl Med. 2013; 11:307 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
BACKGROUND: Monoclonal antibodies (mAb), such as trastuzumab are a valuable addition to breast cancer therapy. Data obtained from neoadjuvant settings revealed that antibody-dependent cell-mediated cytotoxicity (ADCC) is a major mechanism of action for the mAb trastuzumab. Conflicting results still call into question whether disease progression, prolonged treatment or concomitant chemotherapy influences ADCC and related immunological phenomena.
METHODS: We analyzed the activity of ADCC and antibody-dependent cell-mediated phagocytosis (ADCP) of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) from human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2/neu) positive breast cancer patients receiving trastuzumab therapy either in an adjuvant (n = 13) or metastatic (n = 15) setting as well as from trastuzumab treatment-naive (t-naive) HER2/neu negative patients (n = 15). PBMCs from healthy volunteers (n = 24) were used as controls. ADCC and ADCP activity was correlated with the expression of antibody binding Fc-gamma receptor (FcγR)I (CD64), FcγRII (CD32) and FcγRIII (CD16) on CD14+ (monocytes) and CD56+ (NK) cells, as well as the expression of CD107a+ (LAMP-1) on CD56+ cells and the total amount of CD4+CD25+FOXP3+ (Treg) cells. In metastatic patients, markers were correlated with progression-free survival (PFS).
RESULTS: ADCC activity was significantly down regulated in metastatic, adjuvant and t-naive patient cohorts as compared to healthy controls. Reduced ADCC activity was inversely correlated with the expression of CD107a on CD56+ cells in adjuvant patients. ADCC and ADCP activity of the patient cohorts were similar, regardless of treatment duration or additional chemotherapy. PFS in metastatic patients inversely correlated with the number of peripheral Treg cells.
CONCLUSION: The reduction of ADCC in patients as compared to healthy controls calls for adjuvant strategies, such as immune-enhancing agents, to improve the activity of trastuzumab. However, efficacy of trastuzumab-specific ADCC and ADCP appears not to be affected by treatment duration, disease progression or concomitant chemotherapy. This finding supports the application of trastuzumab at any stage of the disease.

Lorenzi L, Tabellini G, Vermi W, et al.
Occurrence of nodular lymphocyte-predominant hodgkin lymphoma in hermansky-pudlak type 2 syndrome is associated to natural killer and natural killer T cell defects.
PLoS One. 2013; 8(11):e80131 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Hermansky Pudlak type 2 syndrome (HPS2) is a rare autosomal recessive primary immune deficiency caused by mutations on β3A gene (AP3B1 gene). The defect results in the impairment of the adaptor protein 3 (AP-3) complex, responsible for protein sorting to secretory lysosomes leading to oculo-cutaneous albinism, bleeding disorders and immunodeficiency. We have studied peripheral blood and lymph node biopsies from two siblings affected by HPS2. Lymph node histology showed a nodular lymphocyte predominance type Hodgkin lymphoma (NLPHL) in both HPS2 siblings. By immunohistochemistry, CD8 T-cells from HPS2 NLPHL contained an increased amount of perforin (Prf) + suggesting a defect in the release of this granules-associated protein. By analyzing peripheral blood immune cells we found a significant reduction of circulating NKT cells and of CD56(bright)CD16(-) Natural Killer (NK) cells subset. Functionally, NK cells were defective in their cytotoxic activity against tumor cell lines including Hodgkin Lymphoma as well as in IFN-γ production. This defect was associated with increased baseline level of CD107a and CD63 at the surface level of unstimulated and IL-2-activated NK cells. In summary, these results suggest that a combined and profound defect of innate and adaptive effector cells might explain the susceptibility to infections and lymphoma in these HPS2 patients.

Eissens DN, Michelo CM, Preijers FW, et al.
Selective expansion of human natural killer cells leads to enhanced alloreactivity.
Cell Mol Immunol. 2014; 11(2):160-8 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
In allogeneic stem cell transplantation (SCT), natural killer (NK) cells lacking their cognate inhibitory ligand can induce graft-versus-leukemia responses, without the induction of severe graft-versus-host disease (GVHD). This feature can be exploited for cellular immunotherapy. In this study, we examined selective expansion of NK cell subsets expressing distinct killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIRs) within the whole human peripheral blood NK cell population, in the presence of HLA-Cw3 (C1) or Cw4 (C2) transfected K562 stimulator cells. Coculture of KIR(+) NK cells with C1 or C2 positive K562 cells, in the presence of IL-2+IL-15, triggered the outgrowth of NK cells that missed their cognate ligand. This resulted in an increased frequency of alloreactive KIR(+) NK cells within the whole NK cell population. Also, after preculture with K562 cells lacking their cognate ligand, we observed that this alloreactive NK population revealed higher numbers of CD107(+) cells when cocultured with the relevant K562 HLA-C transfected target cells, as compared to coculture with untransfected K562 cells. This enhanced reactivity was confirmed using primary leukemic cells as target. This study demonstrates that HLA class I expression can mediate the skewing of the NK cell repertoire and enrich the population for cells with enhanced alloreactivity towards leukemic target cells. This feature may support future clinical applications of NK cell-based immunotherapy.

Crabtree D, Dodson M, Ouyang X, et al.
Over-expression of an inactive mutant cathepsin D increases endogenous alpha-synuclein and cathepsin B activity in SH-SY5Y cells.
J Neurochem. 2014; 128(6):950-61 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Parkinson's disease is a neurodegenerative movement disorder. The histopathology of Parkinson's disease comprises proteinaceous inclusions known as Lewy bodies, which contains aggregated α-synuclein. Cathepsin D (CD) is a lysosomal protease previously demonstrated to cleave α-synuclein and decrease its toxicity in both cell lines and mouse brains in vivo. Here, we show that pharmacological inhibition of CD, or introduction of catalytically inactive mutant CD, resulted in decreased CD activity and increased cathepsin B activity, suggesting a possible compensatory response to inhibition of CD activity. However, this increased cathepsin B activity was not sufficient to maintain α-synuclein degradation, as evidenced by the accumulation of endogenous α-synuclein. Interestingly, the levels of LC3, LAMP1, and LAMP2, proteins involved in autophagy-lysosomal activities, as well as total lysosomal mass as assessed by LysoTracker flow cytometry, were unchanged. Neither autophagic flux nor proteasomal activities differs between cells over-expressing wild-type versus mutant CD. These observations point to a critical regulatory role for that endogenous CD activity in dopaminergic cells in α-synuclein homeostasis which cannot be compensated for by increased Cathepsin B. These data support the potential need to enhance CD function in order to attenuate α-synuclein accumulation as a therapeutic strategy against development of synucleinopathy.

Qiao S, Tao S, Rojo de la Vega M, et al.
The antimalarial amodiaquine causes autophagic-lysosomal and proliferative blockade sensitizing human melanoma cells to starvation- and chemotherapy-induced cell death.
Autophagy. 2013; 9(12):2087-102 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
Pharmacological inhibition of autophagic-lysosomal function has recently emerged as a promising strategy for chemotherapeutic intervention targeting cancer cells. Repurposing approved and abandoned non-oncological drugs is an alternative approach to the identification and development of anticancer therapeutics, and antimalarials that target autophagic-lysosomal functions have recently attracted considerable attention as candidates for oncological repurposing. Since cumulative research suggests that dependence on autophagy represents a specific vulnerability of malignant melanoma cells, we screened a focused compound library of antimalarials for antimelanoma activity. Here we report for the first time that amodiaquine (AQ), a clinical 4-aminoquinoline antimalarial with unexplored cancer-directed chemotherapeutic potential, causes autophagic-lysosomal and proliferative blockade in melanoma cells that surpasses that of its parent compound chloroquine. Monitoring an established set of protein markers (LAMP1, LC3-II, SQSTM1) and cell ultrastructural changes detected by electron microscopy, we observed that AQ treatment caused autophagic-lysosomal blockade in malignant A375 melanoma cells, a finding substantiated by detection of rapid inactivation of lysosomal cathepsins (CTSB, CTSL, CTSD). AQ-treatment was associated with early induction of energy crisis (ATP depletion) and sensitized melanoma cells to either starvation- or chemotherapeutic agent-induced cell death. AQ displayed potent antiproliferative effects, and gene expression array analysis revealed changes at the mRNA (CDKN1A, E2F1) and protein level (TP53, CDKN1A, CCND1, phospho-RB1 [Ser 780]/[Ser 807/811], E2F1) consistent with the observed proliferative blockade in S-phase. Taken together, our data suggest that the clinical antimalarial AQ is a promising candidate for repurposing efforts that aim at targeting autophagic-lysosomal function and proliferative control in malignant melanoma cells.

Cariani E, Pilli M, Zerbini A, et al.
HLA and killer immunoglobulin-like receptor genes as outcome predictors of hepatitis C virus-related hepatocellular carcinoma.
Clin Cancer Res. 2013; 19(19):5465-73 [PubMed] Related Publications
PURPOSE: We evaluated the impact of the killer immunoglobulin-like receptors (KIR) of natural killer (NK) cells and of their HLA ligands over the clinical outcome of hepatitis C virus (HCV)-related hepatocellular carcinoma after curative treatment by either surgical resection or radiofrequency thermal ablation (RTA).
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Sixty-one consecutive patients with HCV-related hepatocellular carcinoma underwent KIR genotyping and HLA typing. A phenotypic/functional characterization of NK cells was carried out in patients with different KIR/KIR-ligand genotype.
RESULTS: Activating KIR2DS5 was associated with significantly longer time to recurrence (TTR) and overall survival (OS; P < 0.03 each). Homozygous HLA-C1 (P < 0.02) and HLA-Bw4I80 (P < 0.05) were expressed by patients with significantly better OS, whereas HLA-C2 (P < 0.02) and HLA-Bw4T80 (P < 0.01) were associated with a worse OS. Multivariate analysis identified as parameters independently related to TTR the type of treatment (surgical resection vs. RTA; P < 0.03) and HLA-C1 (P < 0.03), whereas only KIR2DS5 was an independent predictor of longer OS (P < 0.05). Compound KIR2DL2-C1 and KIR3DS1-Bw4T80 genotypes were associated with better TTR (P < 0.03) and worse OS (P = 0.02), respectively. A prevalent cytotoxic (CD56(dim)) NK phenotype was detected in patients with both longer TTR and OS. Cytotoxic capacity measured by upregulation of CD107a was significantly higher in subjects with HLA-C1 alone or combined with KIR2DL2/KIR2DL3.
CONCLUSIONS: These results support a central role of NK cells in the immune response against hepatocellular carcinoma, providing a strong rationale for therapeutic strategies enhancing NK response and for individualized posttreatment monitoring schemes.

Benlalam H, Carré T, Jalil A, et al.
Regulation of gap junctions in melanoma and their impact on Melan-A/MART-1-specific CD8⁺ T lymphocyte emergence.
J Mol Med (Berl). 2013; 91(10):1207-20 [PubMed] Related Publications
UNLABELLED: Gap junctions (GJs) enable intercellular communication between adjacent cells through channels of connexins. Using a three-dimensional construct, we previously showed that endothelial and tumor cells formed GJs, allowing melanoma-specific T lymphocytes to recognize and kill melanoma-derived endothelial cells. We demonstrate here on histological sections of melanoma biopsies that GJ formation occurs in vivo between tumor and endothelial cells and between T lymphocytes and target cells. We also show an in vitro increase of GJ formation in melanoma and endothelial cells following dacarbazin and interferon gamma (IFN-γ) treatment or hypoxic stress induction. Our data indicate that although connexin 43 (Cx43), the main GJ protein of the immune system, was localized at the immunological synapse between T lymphocyte and autologous melanoma cells, its over-expression or inhibition of GJs does not interfere with cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) clone lytic function. In contrast, we showed that inhibition of GJs by oleamide during stimulation of resting PBMCs with Melan-A natural and analog peptides resulted in a decrease in antigen (Ag) specific CD8(+) T lymphocyte induction. These Ag-specific CD8(+) cells displayed paradoxically stronger reactivity as revealed by CD107a degranulation and IFN-γ secretion. These findings indicate that Cx43 does not affect lytic function of differentiated CTL, but reveal a major role for GJs in the regulation of antigen CD8(+)-naïve T lymphocyte activation.
KEY MESSAGE: GJ formation occurs in vivo between T lymphocytes and tumor cells Cx43 localized at the immunological synapse between T and autologous melanoma cells Inhibition of GJs resulted in a decrease in Ag-specific CD8(+) T lymphocyte induction A role for GJs in the regulation of antigen CD8(+)-naïve T lymphocyte activation.

Henderson MA, Yong CS, Duong CP, et al.
Chimeric antigen receptor-redirected T cells display multifunctional capacity and enhanced tumor-specific cytokine secretion upon secondary ligation of chimeric receptor.
Immunotherapy. 2013; 5(6):577-90 [PubMed] Related Publications
AIM: The aim of the current study was to fully elucidate the functions of T cells genetically modified with an erbB2-specific chimeric antigen receptor (CAR).
MATERIAL & METHODS: In this study, key functional parameters of CAR T cells were examined following antigen-specific stimulation of the chimeric anti-erbB2 receptor.
RESULTS: Gene-modified T cells produced the cytokines IFN-γ, IL-2, IL-4, IL-10, TNF-α and IL-17, and the chemokine RANTES upon CAR ligation. A multifunctional capacity of these CAR T cells was also demonstrated, where 13.7% of cells were found to simultaneously express IFN-γ and CD107a, indicative of cytolytic granule release. In addition, the CAR T cells were able to respond to a greater degree on the second ligation of CAR, which has not been previously shown. IFN-γ secretion levels were significantly higher on second ligation than those secreted following initial ligation. CAR-expressing T cells were also demonstrated to lyze erbB2-expressing tumor cells in the absence of activity against bystander cells not expressing the erbB2 antigen, thereby demonstrating exquisite specificity.
CONCLUSION: This study demonstrates the specificity of CAR gene-engineered T cells and their capacity to deliver a wide range of functions against tumor cells with an enhanced response capability after initial receptor engagement.

He S, Chu J, Wu LC, et al.
MicroRNAs activate natural killer cells through Toll-like receptor signaling.
Blood. 2013; 121(23):4663-71 [PubMed] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
MicroRNAs (miRNAs) bind to complementary sequences of target mRNAs, resulting in translational repression or target degradation and thus gene silencing. miRNAs are abundant in circulating blood, yet it is not known whether, as a class of regulatory molecules, they interact with human natural killer (NK) cells. Here we found that the treatment of human NK cells with several mature miRNAs in the presence of a low concentration of interleukin-12 induced CD69 expression, interferon-γ production, and degranulation marker CD107a expression. In vivo, infusion of several miRNAs alone in murine peripheral blood also resulted in comparable NK-cell activation, but not T-cell activation. Furthermore, miRNA administration significantly protected mice from tumor development in an NK cell-dependent manner. Mechanistically, we found that miRNA stimulation led to downstream activation of nuclear factor κB (NF-κB), an effect that was blunted by a block in Toll-like receptor 1(TLR1) signaling and attenuated in lymphoma patients. Knockdown of TLR1 resulted in less activation by miRNAs. Collectively, we show that miRNAs have a capacity to selectively activate innate immune effector cells that is, at least in part, via the TLR1-NF-κB signaling pathway. This may be important in the normal host defense against infection and/or malignant transformation.

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