Research IndicatorsGraph generated 11 March 2017 using data from PubMed using criteria.
Mouse over the terms for more detail; many indicate links which you can click for dedicated pages about the topic. Tag cloud generated 11 March, 2017 using data from PubMed, MeSH and CancerIndex
Specific Cancers (6)
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).
OMIM, Johns Hopkin University
Referenced article focusing on the relationship between phenotype and genotype.
International Cancer Genome Consortium.
Summary of gene and mutations by cancer type from ICGC
Cancer Genome Anatomy Project, NCI
COSMIC, Sanger Institute
Somatic mutation information and related details
GEO Profiles, NCBI
Search the gene expression profiles from curated DataSets in the Gene Expression Omnibus (GEO) repository.
Latest Publications: TBX21 (cancer-related)
Dielmann A, Letsch A, Nonnenmacher A, et al.Favorable prognostic influence of T-box transcription factor Eomesodermin in metastatic renal cell cancer patients.
Cancer Immunol Immunother. 2016; 65(2):181-92 [PubMed
] Related Publications
T-box transcription factors, T-box expressed in T cells (T-bet) encoded by Tbx21 and Eomesodermin (Eomes), drive the differentiation of effector/memory T cell lineages and NK cells. The aim of the study was to determine the prognostic influence of the expression of these transcription factors in peripheral blood (pB) in a cohort of 41 metastatic (m) RCC patients before receiving sorafenib treatment and to analyze their association with the immunophenotype in pB. In contrast to Tbx21, in the multivariate analysis including clinical features, Eomes mRNA expression was identified as an independent good prognostic factor for progression-free survival (PFS, p = 0.042) and overall survival (OS, p = 0.001) in addition to a favorable ECOG performance status (p = 0.01 and p = 0.008, respectively). Eomes expression correlated positively not only with expression of Tbx21 and TGFβ1 mRNA, but also with mRNA expression of the activation marker ICOS, and with in vivo activated HLA-DR(+) T cells. Eomes expression was negatively associated with TNFα-producing T cells. On protein level, Eomes was mainly expressed by CD56(+)CD3(-) NK cells in pB. In conclusion, we identified a higher Eomes mRNA expression as an independent good prognostic factor for OS and PFS in mRCC patients treated with sorafenib.
Fukuoka N, Harada M, Nishida A, et al.Eomesodermin promotes interferon-γ expression and binds to multiple conserved noncoding sequences across the Ifng locus in mouse thymoma cell lines.
Genes Cells. 2016; 21(2):146-62 [PubMed
] Related Publications
The T-box transcription factors T-bet and eomesodermin (Eomes) have been shown to regulate the lineage-specific expression of interferon-γ (IFN-γ). However, in contrast to T-bet, the role of Eomes in the expression of IFN-γ remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the Eomes-dependent expression of IFN-γ in the mouse thymoma BW5147 and EL4 cells, which do not express T-bet or Eomes. The ectopic expression of Eomes induced BW5147 and EL4 cells to produce IFN-γ in response to phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate (PMA) and ionomycin (IM). In BW5147 cells, Eomes augmented luciferase activity driven by the Ifng promoter encoding from -2500 to +113 bp; however, it was not increased by a stimulation with PMA and IM. A chromatin immunoprecipitation assay showed that Eomes bound to the Ifng promoter and conserved noncoding sequence (CNS) -22 kb across the Ifng locus with high efficacy in BW5147 cells. Moreover, Eomes increased permissive histone modifications in the Ifng promoter and multiple CNSs. The stimulation with PMA and IM greatly augmented Eomes binding to CNS-54, CNS-34, CNS+19 and CNS+30, which was inhibited by FK506. These results indicated that Eomes bound to the Ifng promoter and multiple CNSs in stimulation-dependent and stimulation-independent manners.
Sun H, Liu DIL-15/sIL-15Rα gene transfer suppresses Lewis lung cancer growth in the lungs, liver and kidneys.
Cancer Gene Ther. 2016 Feb-Mar; 23(2-3):54-60 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Nearly 40% of people with lung cancer have tumor growth in other organs at the time of diagnosis. Current treatment strategies for patients with late-stage lung cancer are primarily palliative and only showed modest efficacy. The current study takes advantage of the hydrodynamic gene delivery technique to evaluate the antitumor activity of interleukin (IL)-15/sIL-15Rα on lung tumors growing in the lungs, liver and kidneys. We demonstrate that hydrodynamic tail vein injection of 2 μg of AG209 DP muIL-15sRα+IL-15 plasmid resulted in serum IL-15/sIL-15Rα reaching a peak level of ~10 μg ml(-1) 1 day after the injection and gradually declined to ~5 ng ml(-1) within 3 days. Quantitative PCR analysis revealed that overexpression of IL-15/sIL-15Rα induced the activation of natural killer and T cells, evidenced by increased mRNA levels of marker genes including granzyme B, perforin, Ifn-γ, T-bet and Cd8 in the lungs, liver and kidneys. Importantly, transfer of the Il-15/sIl-15Rα gene alone, or in combination with gemcitabine chemotherapy, significantly inhibited the tumor growth in these three organs and prolonged median survival time of treated mice by 1.7- and 3.3-fold, respectively. The therapeutic benefits are principally blockade and elimination of tumor growth in the liver and kidneys. Taken together, these results suggest that IL-15/sIL-15Rα-based gene therapy could be an effective approach to treat late-stage lung cancer with metastases in other organs.
Natural killer (NK) cell maturation is a tightly controlled process that endows NK cells with functional competence and the capacity to recognize target cells. Here, we found that the transcription factor (TF) Zeb2 was the most highly induced TF during NK cell maturation. Zeb2 is known to control epithelial to mesenchymal transition, but its role in immune cells is mostly undefined. Targeted deletion of Zeb2 resulted in impaired NK cell maturation, survival, and exit from the bone marrow. NK cell function was preserved, but mice lacking Zeb2 in NK cells were more susceptible to B16 melanoma lung metastases. Reciprocally, ectopic expression of Zeb2 resulted in a higher frequency of mature NK cells in all organs. Moreover, the immature phenotype of Zeb2(-/-) NK cells closely resembled that of Tbx21(-/-) NK cells. This was caused by both a dependence of Zeb2 expression on T-bet and a probable cooperation of these factors in gene regulation. Transgenic expression of Zeb2 in Tbx21(-/-) NK cells partially restored a normal maturation, establishing that timely induction of Zeb2 by T-bet is an essential event during NK cell differentiation. Finally, this novel transcriptional cascade could also operate in human as T-bet and Zeb2 are similarly regulated in mouse and human NK cells.
BACKGROUND: There is evidence that colorectal cancers (CRC) with DNA mismatch repair deficiency (MMR-D) are associated with a better prognosis than the generality of large bowel malignancies. Since an active immune surveillance process has been demonstrated to influence CRC outcome, we investigated whether MMR-D can enhance the immune response in CRC.
PATIENTS AND METHODS: A group of 113 consecutive patients operated for CRC (42 stage I or II and 71 with stage III or IV) was retrospectively analyzed. The expression of MMR genes (MSH2, MLH1, MSH6 and PSM2) and co-stimulatory molecule CD80 was assessed by tissue microarray immunohistochemistry. In addition, tumor infiltrating mononuclear cells (TIMC) and T cell subpopulations (CD4, CD8, T-bet and FoxP-3) were quantified. The effect of specific siRNA (siMSH2, siMLH1, siMSH6 and siPSM2) transfection in HT29 on CD80 expression was quantified by flow cytometry. Non parametric statistics and survival analysis were used.
RESULTS: Patients with MMR-D showed a higher T-bet/CD4 ratio (p = 0.02), a higher rate of CD80 expression and CD8 lymphocyte infiltration compared to those with no MMR-D. Moreover, in the MMR-D group, the Treg marker FoxP-3 was not expressed (p = 0.05). MMR-D patients with stage I or II and T-bet expression had a significant better survival (p = 0.009). Silencing of MSH2, MLH1 and MSH6, but not PSM2, significantly increased the rate of CD80+ HT29 cells (p = 0.007, p = 0.023 and p = 0.015, respectively).
CONCLUSIONS: CRC with MMR-D showed a higher CD80 expression, and CD8+ and Th1 T-cell infiltration. In vitro silencing of MSH2, MLH1 and MSH6 significantly increased CD80+ cell rate. These results suggest an enhanced immune surveillance mechanism in presence of MMR-D.
BACKGROUND: In spite of modern therapies for non-small-cell lung cancer (NSCLC), prognosis for many patients is still poor and survival rates are low. Immunotherapy is the possibility to improve the lung immune response surrounding the tumour. However, this approach requires detailed understanding of the local immune-responses of NSCLC patients.
METHODS: We analysed samples from three different regions within the lungs of NSCLC patients, whereas we distinguished between patients suffering from adenocarcinoma and squamous cell carcinoma. Expression of type 1 T helper (Th1)/type 1 cytotoxic (Tc1) factors was assessed by quantitative real-time PCR, western blot analyses or immunohistochemistry. Cytotoxic cell activity of CD8(+) T cells was determined via co-culture with autologous tumour cells and apoptosis assay.
RESULTS: We found decreased levels of the transcription factor T-box expressed in T cells (T-bet or Tbx21) and of the downstream activated IFN-γ-dependent pSTAT1α isoform in the lung tumour areas of patients with NSCLC as compared with tumour-free control regions. In these patients, reduced T-bet and pSTAT1α levels were found associated with increased immunosuppressive markers like cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated protein 4, programmed cell death 1 and with a suppression of the Th1 cell cytokine production and Tc1 cell activity.
CONCLUSIONS: These findings confirm a central role of T-bet in targeted immunotherapy for patients with NSCLC.
Cai C, Xu YF, Wu ZJ, et al.Tim-3 expression represents dysfunctional tumor infiltrating T cells in renal cell carcinoma.
World J Urol. 2016; 34(4):561-7 [PubMed
] Related Publications
PURPOSE: Renal cell carcinoma (RCC) is the most common cancer of kidney. Evidences have shown that RCC is sensitive to various immunotherapies. Tim-3 plays a role in suppressing Th1-mediated immune responses. However, no study has yet examined the effect of Tim-3 on tumor infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in RCC.
METHODS: We investigated the expression and function of Tim-3 on TIL CD4+ T cells and TIL CD8+ T cells from 30 RCC patients.
RESULTS: Levels of Tim-3 were significantly increased on both TIL CD4+ T cells and TIL CD8+ T cells and were associated with higher stages of the cancer. Also, GATA-3 and interferon gamma (IFN-γ) were down-regulated, whereas T-bet was up-regulated in TIL Tim-3+ T cells, indicating that Tim-3 expression defined a population of dysfunctional TIL Th1/Tc1 cells. Mechanism analyses showed that TIL Tim-3-expressing CD8+ T cells exhibited impaired Stat5 and p38 signaling pathway. Blocking the Tim-3 pathway restored cell proliferation and increased IFN-γ production in TIL CD4+ and CD8+ T cells of RCC.
CONCLUSIONS: These results suggest that Tim-3 may be used as a novel target for increasing immune responses in RCC tumor microenvironment.
Our study reveals a non-canonical role for CCL2 in modulating non-macrophage, myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) and shaping a tumor-permissive microenvironment during colon cancer development. We found that intratumoral CCL2 levels increased in patients with colitis-associated colorectal cancer (CRC), adenocarcinomas, and adenomas. Deletion of CCL2 blocked progression from dysplasia to adenocarcinoma and reduced the number of colonic MDSCs in a spontaneous mouse model of colitis-associated CRC. In a transplantable mouse model of adenocarcinoma and an APC-driven adenoma model, CCL2 fostered MDSC accumulation in evolving colonic tumors and enhanced polymorphonuclear (PMN)-MDSC immunosuppressive features. Mechanistically, CCL2 regulated T cell suppression of PMN-MDSCs in a STAT3-mediated manner. Furthermore, CCL2 neutralization decreased tumor numbers and MDSC accumulation and function. Collectively, our experiments support that perturbing CCL2 and targeting MDSCs may afford therapeutic opportunities for colon cancer interception and prevention.
Chen HH, Huang WT, Yang LW, Lin CWThe PTEN-AKT-mTOR/RICTOR Pathway in Nasal Natural Killer Cell Lymphoma Is Activated by miR-494-3p via PTEN But Inhibited by miR-142-3p via RICTOR.
Am J Pathol. 2015; 185(5):1487-99 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Nasal natural killer (NK) cell lymphoma (NNL) is an Epstein-Barr virus-associated lymphoma of cytotoxic NK cell origin. The Epstein-Barr virus-encoded miR-BART20-5p inhibits T-bet (TBX21), the master transcription factor of cytotoxic NK cells. To further explore the roles of miRNAs in NNLs, we measured the miRNA expression profiles of 36 NNLs. miR-21, miR-142-3p, miR-126, miR-451, and miR-494-3p were the top five miRNAs with the highest expression levels. By using pathway analysis, we identified associations between all of the five miRNAs with the PTEN-AKT-mTOR pathway, in which PTEN suppresses the oncogenic AKT, and mTOR mediates the oncogenic effects of AKT. YT and NK92 cells derived from NK cell lymphomas were used. miR-494-3p inhibited PTEN with secondary activation of AKT in NK92 cells, and miR-142-3p inhibited RICTOR, a key component of the mTOR complex, with secondary suppression of AKT in YT cells. Significantly, T-bet inhibited the PTEN-AKT-mTOR/RICTOR pathway through induction of PTEN and suppression of RICTOR. Therefore, a molecular circuit of T-bet, PTEN, AKT, and RICTOR is regulated by miR-BART20-5p, miR-494-3p, and miR-142-3p. This circuit is involved in the pathogenesis of NNL. Hence, antagomirs to miR-BART20-5p or miR-494-3p, miR-142-3p mimics, or AKT inhibitors may be useful in NNL therapy.
BACKGROUND: The tumour microenvironment comprises a network of immune response and vascularization factors. From this network, we identified immunological and vascularization gene expression clusters and the correlations between the clusters. We subsequently determined which factors were correlated with patient survival in cervical carcinoma.
METHODS: The expression of 42 genes was investigated in 52 fresh frozen squamous cervical cancer samples by qRT-PCR. Weighted gene co-expression network analysis and mixed-model analyses were performed to identify gene expression clusters. Correlations and survival analyses were further studied at expression cluster and single gene level.
RESULTS: We identified four immune response clusters: 'T cells' (CD3E/CD8A/TBX21/IFNG/FOXP3/IDO1), 'Macrophages' (CD4/CD14/CD163), 'Th2' (IL4/IL5/IL13/IL12) and 'Inflammation' (IL6/IL1B/IL8/IL23/IL10/ARG1) and two vascularization clusters: 'Angiogenesis' (VEGFA/FLT1/ANGPT2/ PGF/ICAM1) and 'Vessel maturation' (PECAM1/VCAM1/ANGPT1/SELE/KDR/LGALS9). The 'T cells' module was correlated with all modules except for 'Inflammation', while 'Inflammation' was most significantly correlated with 'Angiogenesis' (p < 0.001). High expression of the 'T cells' cluster was correlated with earlier TNM stage (p = 0.007). High CD3E expression was correlated with improved disease-specific survival (p = 0.022), while high VEGFA expression was correlated with poor disease-specific survival (p = 0.032). Independent predictors of poor disease-specific survival were IL6 (hazard ratio = 2.3, p = 0.011) and a high IL6/IL17 ratio combined with low IL5 expression (hazard ratio = 4.2, p = 0.010).
CONCLUSIONS: 'Inflammation' marker IL6, especially in combination with low levels of IL5 and IL17, was correlated with poor survival. This suggests that IL6 promotes tumour growth, which may be suppressed by a Th17 and Th2 response. Measuring IL6, IL5 and IL17 expression may improve the accuracy of predicting prognosis in cervical cancer.
PURPOSE: Recent studies have shown that 7% to 12% of endometrial cancers are ultramutated due to somatic mutation in the proofreading exonuclease domain of the DNA replicase POLE. Interestingly, these tumors have an excellent prognosis. In view of the emerging data linking mutation burden, immune response, and clinical outcome in cancer, we investigated whether POLE-mutant endometrial cancers showed evidence of increased immunogenicity.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: We examined immune infiltration and activation according to tumor POLE proofreading mutation in a molecularly defined endometrial cancer cohort including 47 POLE-mutant tumors. We sought to confirm our results by analysis of RNAseq data from the TCGA endometrial cancer series and used the same series to examine whether differences in immune infiltration could be explained by an enrichment of immunogenic neoepitopes in POLE-mutant endometrial cancers.
RESULTS: Compared with other endometrial cancers, POLE mutants displayed an enhanced cytotoxic T-cell response, evidenced by increased numbers of CD8(+) tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes and CD8A expression, enrichment for a tumor-infiltrating T-cell gene signature, and strong upregulation of the T-cell cytotoxic differentiation and effector markers T-bet, Eomes, IFNG, PRF, and granzyme B. This was accompanied by upregulation of T-cell exhaustion markers, consistent with chronic antigen exposure. In silico analysis confirmed that POLE-mutant cancers are predicted to display more antigenic neoepitopes than other endometrial cancers, providing a potential explanation for our findings.
CONCLUSIONS: Ultramutated POLE proofreading-mutant endometrial cancers are characterized by a robust intratumoral T-cell response, which correlates with, and may be caused by an enrichment of antigenic neopeptides. Our study provides a plausible mechanism for the excellent prognosis of these cancers.
This study compared second-generation chimeric antigen receptors (CAR) encoding signaling domains composed of CD28, ICOS, and 4-1BB (TNFRSF9). Here, we report that certain CARs endow T cells with the ability to undergo long-term autonomous proliferation. Transduction of primary human T cells with lentiviral vectors encoding some of the CARs resulted in sustained proliferation for up to 3 months following a single stimulation through the T-cell receptor (TCR). Sustained numeric expansion was independent of cognate antigen and did not require the addition of exogenous cytokines or feeder cells after a single stimulation of the TCR and CD28. Results from gene array and functional assays linked sustained cytokine secretion and expression of T-bet (TBX21), EOMES, and GATA-3 to the effect. Sustained expression of the endogenous IL2 locus has not been reported in primary T cells. Sustained proliferation was dependent on CAR structure and high expression, the latter of which was necessary but not sufficient. The mechanism involves constitutive signaling through NF-κB, AKT, ERK, and NFAT. The propagated CAR T cells retained a diverse TCR repertoire, and cellular transformation was not observed. The CARs with a constitutive growth phenotype displayed inferior antitumor effects and engraftment in vivo. Therefore, the design of CARs that have a nonconstitutive growth phenotype may be a strategy to improve efficacy and engraftment of CAR T cells. The identification of CARs that confer constitutive or nonconstitutive growth patterns may explain observations that CAR T cells have differential survival patterns in clinical trials.
Li H, Zhen H, Han L, et al.Association between the genetic variations within TBX21 gene promoter and the clinicopathological characteristics of esophageal squamous cell carcinoma in a high-risk Chinese population.
Tumour Biol. 2015; 36(5):3985-93 [PubMed
] Related Publications
The correlation between TBX21 gene (T-box transcription factor protein 21; T-bet), which was a pivotal transcriptional regulation gene for Th1/Th2 polarization, and the development risk of esophagus squamous cell carcinoma (ESCC) was assessed in a high-risk Chinese population. A total of 302 ESCC cases and 311 normal controls coming from the highest incidence area of China were enrolled in this study. Three polymorphisms at -1499, -1514, and -1993 located in the TBX21 promoter were identified by the polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method. Logistic regression was used to determine whether the inherited variations of the TBX21 gene would associate with the risk and the clinicopathological characteristics of ESCC. Among the ESCC patients, an association between the TBX21 -1514T/C or -1993T/C polymorphisms and the lymph node or distant metastasis was found (odds ratios (ORs) were 9.46 and 4.35, respectively, all P < 0.01). By the log-additive model analysis, the results exhibited that three haplotypes, ACC, ACT, and ATC, were significantly related to the development risk of ESCC (OR = 11.81, 3.44, 2.37, respectively, all P < 0.05). TBX21 gene -1514 and -1993 polymorphisms might be counted as the influential factors for lymph node and distant metastasis to ESCC. Especially, the ACC, ACT, and ATC haplotypes derived from the TBX21 gene would increase the susceptibility to ESCC in the high-risk Chinese population.
Lin ZW, Wu LX, Xie Y, et al.The expression levels of transcription factors T-bet, GATA-3, RORγt and FOXP3 in peripheral blood lymphocyte (PBL) of patients with liver cancer and their significance.
Int J Med Sci. 2015; 12(1):7-16 [PubMed
] Free Access to Full Article Related Publications
OBJECTIVES: To investigate the expression of transcriptional factors (TFs) T-bet, GATA-3, RORγt and FOXP in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) of patients with hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) and to evaluate the correlation between the imbalances of Th1/Th2, Th17/Treg at the expression levels and liver cancer Methods: The peripheral venous blood was drawn from 20 HCC-patients (HCC-group) and 20 health participants (C-group). The expression levels of Th1, Th2 and Th17 and the major Treg-specific TFs T-bet, GATA-3, RORγt and FOXP3 in the PBMC were measured with quantitative real-time PCR(RT-qPCR).
RESULTS: The mRNA level of Th1-specific TF T-bet in HCC-group was significantly lower than that of C-group (52.34±34.07 VS 104.01±56.00, P<0.01); the mRNA level of Th2-specifc TF, GATA-3, in HCC group was significantly higher than that in C-group (1.38±1.15 VS 0.58±0.65, P<0.05) and T-bet mRNA/GATA-3 mRNA ratio was significantly lower in HCC-group than in C-group (86.01±116.71 VS 461.88±708.81, P<0.05). The mRNA level of Th17-specific TF RORγt in HCC-group was significantly higher than that of C-group (72.32±32.82 VS 33.07±22.86, P<0.01). Treg-specific TF FOXP3 mRNA level was significant higher in HCC-group than in C-group (3.17±1.59 VS 1.39±1.13, P<0.01) CONCLUSION: T-bet mRNA level was reduced whereas GATA-3 mRNA level was increased and T-bet/GATA-3 ratio was significantly reduced in PBMC, indicating that Th1/Th2 ratio was of imbalance at TF levels in PBMC of HCC, displaying Th2 thrift phenomena. The mRNA levels of RORγt and FOXP3 in PBMC of HCC were significantly increased, indicating the existence of a predominant phenomenon of Th17- and Treg-expressing PBMC in HCC.
Bürgler S, Gimeno A, Parente-Ribes A, et al.Chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells express CD38 in response to Th1 cell-derived IFN-γ by a T-bet-dependent mechanism.
J Immunol. 2015; 194(2):827-35 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) is a B cell malignancy associated with increased levels of inflammatory cytokines. Similarly, expression of CD38 on CLL cells correlates with CLL cell survival and proliferation, but the mechanisms that regulate CD38 expression and inflammatory cytokines remain unclear. We have recently demonstrated that patients have CLL-specific Th cells that support CLL proliferation. In this article, we show that CLL cells attract such Th cells, thereby establishing an Ag-dependent collaboration. Blocking experiments performed in vitro as wells as in vivo, using a xenograft model, revealed that secretion of IFN-γ was a major mechanism by which CLL-specific Th cells increased CD38 on CLL cells. The expression of the transcription factor T-bet in peripheral blood CLL cells significantly correlated with CD38 expression, and transient transfection of CLL cells with T-bet resulted in T-bet(hi)CD38(hi) cells. Finally, chromatin immunoprecipitation experiments revealed that T-bet can bind to regulatory regions of the CD38 gene. These data suggest that CLL cells attract CLL-specific Th cells and initiate a positive feedback loop with upregulation of T-bet, CD38, and type 1 chemokines allowing further recruitment of Th cells and increased type 1 cytokine secretion. This insight provides a cellular and molecular mechanism that links the inflammatory signature observed in CLL pathogenesis with CD38 expression and aggressive disease and suggests that targeting the IFN-γ/IFN-γR/JAK/STAT/T-bet/CD38 pathway could play a role in the therapy of CLL.
Immune rejection of tumors is mediated by IFNγ production and T-cell cytolytic activity. These processes are impeded by PD-1, a coinhibitory molecule expressed on T cells that is elevated in tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL). PD-1 elevation may reflect T-cell exhaustion marked by decreased proliferation, production of type I cytokines, and poor cytolytic activity. Although anti-PD-1 antibodies enhance IFNγ secretion after stimulation of the T-cell receptor (TCR), the mechanistic link between PD-1 and its effects on T-cell help (Tc1/Th1 skewing) remains unclear. In prospectively collected cancer tissues, we found that TIL exhibited dampened Tc1/Th1 skewing and activation compared with peripheral blood lymphocytes (PBL). When PD-1 bound its ligand PD-L1, we observed a marked suppression of critical TCR target genes and Th1 cytokines. Conversely, PD-1 blockade reversed these suppressive effects of PD-1:PD-L1 ligation. We also found that the TCR-regulated phosphatase SHP-2 was expressed higher in TIL than in PBL, tightly correlating with PD-1 expression and negative regulation of TCR target genes. Overall, these results defined a PD-1/SHP-2/STAT1/T-bet signaling axis mediating the suppressive effects of PD-1 on Th1 immunity at tumor sites. Our findings argue that PD-1 or SHP-2 blockade will be sufficient to restore robust Th1 immunity and T-cell activation and thereby reverse immunosuppression in the tumor microenvironment.
Zhao D, Long XD, Lu TF, et al.Metformin decreases IL-22 secretion to suppress tumor growth in an orthotopic mouse model of hepatocellular carcinoma.
Int J Cancer. 2015; 136(11):2556-65 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Epidemiological, preclinical and cellular studies in the last 5 years have shown that metformin exerts anti-tumoral properties, but its mode of action in cancer remains unclear. Here, we investigated the effects of metformin on a mouse hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC) model and tumor-associated T cell immune responses. Oral metformin administration led to a significant reduction of tumor growth, which was accompanied by decreased interleukin-22 (IL-22). Meanwhile, IL-22-induced STAT3 phosphorylation and upregulation of downstream genes Bcl-2 and cyclin D1 were inhibited by metformin. At the cellular level, metformin attenuated Th1- and Th17-derived IL-22 production. Furthermore, metformin inhibited de novo generation of Th1 and Th17 cells from naive CD4(+) cells. These observations were further supported by the fact that metformin treatment inhibited CD3/CD28-induced IFN-γ and IL-17A expression along with the transcription factors that drive their expression (T-bet [Th1] and ROR-γt [Th17], respectively). The effects of metformin on T cell differentiation were mediated by downregulated STAT3 and STAT4 phosphorylation via the AMP-activated kinase-mammalian target of rapamycin complex 1 pathway. Notably, metformin led to a reduction in glucose transporter Glut1 expression, resulting in less glucose uptake, which is critical to regulate CD4(+) T cell fate. Taken together, these findings provide evidence for the growth-inhibitory and immune-modulatory effects of metformin in HCC and thus, broaden our understanding about the action of metformin in liver cancer treatment.
Li Y, Ji X, Su Z, et al.Downregulation of Runx3 is closely related to the decreased Th1-associated factors in patients with gastric carcinoma.
Tumour Biol. 2014; 35(12):12235-44 [PubMed
] Related Publications
Runt-related transcription factor 3 (Runx3) is a tumor-suppressor gene and plays an important role in immune regulation, whose reduced expression may play an important role in the development and progression of gastric carcinoma. The aim of this study was to investigate the role of Runx3 on the levels of transcription factors in patients with gastric carcinoma and analyze the relationship between the expression of Runx3 and Th1-type cytokines in peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs). Our results showed that the expression levels of Runx3, T-bet, and IFN-γ in patients with gastric carcinoma were obviously lower than those in control groups, and there was a positive correlation between the expression of Runx3 and T-bet or IFN-γ in patients (p < 0.01). In order to further confirm this result, the Runx3 gene was constructed into pIRES2-eGFP and the recombined plasmid was transfected into SGC-7901 cells with liposome in vitro, the results obtained from the reverse transcription PCR indicated that the mRNA of Runx3, T-bet, or IFN-γ was significantly upregulated individually in Runx3 gene-transfected SGC-7901 cells. It suggested that the Runx3 and Th1-associated factors including T-bet and IFN-γ synchronization declines in gastric carcinoma may contribute to the development of cancer.
Peripheral T-cell lymphoma (PTCL) encompasses a heterogeneous group of neoplasms with generally poor clinical outcome. Currently 50% of PTCL cases are not classifiable: PTCL-not otherwise specified (NOS). Gene-expression profiles on 372 PTCL cases were analyzed and robust molecular classifiers and oncogenic pathways that reflect the pathobiology of tumor cells and their microenvironment were identified for major PTCL-entities, including 114 angioimmunoblastic T-cell lymphoma (AITL), 31 anaplastic lymphoma kinase (ALK)-positive and 48 ALK-negative anaplastic large cell lymphoma, 14 adult T-cell leukemia/lymphoma and 44 extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma that were further separated into NK-cell and gdT-cell lymphomas. Thirty-seven percent of morphologically diagnosed PTCL-NOS cases were reclassified into other specific subtypes by molecular signatures. Reexamination, immunohistochemistry, and IDH2 mutation analysis in reclassified cases supported the validity of the reclassification. Two major molecular subgroups can be identified in the remaining PTCL-NOS cases characterized by high expression of either GATA3 (33%; 40/121) or TBX21 (49%; 59/121). The GATA3 subgroup was significantly associated with poor overall survival (P = .01). High expression of cytotoxic gene-signature within the TBX21 subgroup also showed poor clinical outcome (P = .05). In AITL, high expression of several signatures associated with the tumor microenvironment was significantly associated with outcome. A combined prognostic score was predictive of survival in an independent cohort (P = .004).
CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG) and IL-21 are two promising agents for the treatment of B-cell chronic lymphocytic leukemia (B-CLL). Recently, we reported that the combination of CpG and IL-21 (CpG/IL-21) can induce granzyme B (GrB)-dependent apoptosis in B-CLL cells. Here, we demonstrate that treatment of B-CLL cells with CpG and IL-21 results in the development of antigen-presenting cell (APC)-like cells with cytotoxic features. These properties eventually give rise to B-CLL cell apoptosis, independently of their cytogenetic phenotype, whereas normal B-cell survival is not negatively affected by CpG/IL-21. APC- and CTL-typical molecules found to be up-regulated in CpG/IL-21-stimulated B-CLL cells include GrB, perforin, T-bet, monokine-induced by IFN-γ and IFN-γ-inducible protein 10 (IP-10), as well as molecules important for cell adhesion, antigen cross-presentation and costimulation. Also induced are molecules involved in GrB induction, trafficking and processing, whereas the GrB inhibitor Serpin B9 [formerly proteinase inhibitor-9 (PI-9)] is down-modulated by CpG/IL-21. In conclusion, CpG/IL-21-stimulated B-CLL cells acquire features that are reminiscent of killer dendritic cells, and which result in enhanced immunogenicity, cytotoxicity and apoptosis. Our results provide novel insights into the aberrant immune state of B-CLL cells and may establish a basis for the development of an innovative cellular vaccination approach in B-CLL.
About 25% of high-grade cervical intraepithelial neoplasias (CIN2/3) caused by human papillomavirus serotype 16 (HPV16) undergo complete spontaneous regression. However, to date, therapeutic vaccination strategies for HPV disease have yielded limited success when measured by their ability to induce robust peripheral blood T cell responses to vaccine antigen. We report marked immunologic changes in the target lesion microenvironment after intramuscular therapeutic vaccination targeting HPV16 E6/E7 antigens, in subjects with CIN2/3 who had modest detectable responses in circulating T lymphocytes. Histologic and molecular changes, including markedly (average threefold) increased intensity of CD8(+) T cell infiltrates in both the stromal and epithelial compartments, suggest an effector response to vaccination. Postvaccination cervical tissue immune infiltrates included organized tertiary lymphoid-like structures in the stroma subjacent to residual intraepithelial lesions and, unlike infiltrates in unvaccinated lesions, showed evidence of proliferation induced by recognition of cognate antigen. At a molecular level, these histologic changes in the stroma were characterized by increased expression of genes associated with immune activation (CXCR3) and effector function (Tbet and IFNβ), and were also associated with an immunologic signature in the overlying dysplastic epithelium. High-throughput T cell receptor sequencing of unmanipulated specimens identified clonal expansions in the tissue that were not readily detectable in peripheral blood. Together, these findings indicate that peripheral therapeutic vaccination to HPV antigens can induce a robust tissue-localized effector immune response, and that analyses of immune responses at sites of antigen are likely to be much more informative than analyses of cells that remain in the circulation.
Su Z, Sun Y, Zhu H, et al.Th17 cell expansion in gastric cancer may contribute to cancer development and metastasis.
Immunol Res. 2014; 58(1):118-24 [PubMed
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Th0 cells differentiate into Th1 or Th2 depending on multiple transcription factors acting on specific time points to regulate gene expression. Th17 cells, a subset of IL-17-producing T cells distinct from Th1 or Th2 cells has been described as key players in inflammation and autoimmune diseases as well as cancer development. In the present study, 66 patients with gastric cancer were included; the expression level of Th1- and Th17-related IFN-γ, IL-17, T-bet, RORγt in gastric cancer tissues and peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) were detected, analyzed the relationship between Th17 or Th1 infiltration and metastasis and explored the possible mechanism. Our results showed that IL-17 and RORγt expression were significantly increased in gastric cancer tissues and PBMC, especially, in metastasis patients; plasma IL-17 also increased; furthermore, the mRNA and protein levels of IL-1β, IL-21 and TGF-β were up-regulated. All the data indicated that Th17 was infiltrated the cancer tissue; IL-1β, IL-21 and TGF-β were also involved in gastric cancer development by promoting Th17 cell generation. From the above data, we speculated that Th17 cell expansion in gastric cancer may contribute to cancer development and metastasis.
Bob R, Falini B, Marafioti T, et al.Nodal reactive and neoplastic proliferation of monocytoid and marginal zone B cells: an immunoarchitectural and molecular study highlighting the relevance of IRTA1 and T-bet as positive markers.
Histopathology. 2013; 63(4):482-98 [PubMed
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AIMS: Marginal zone B cells (MZCs) and monocytoid B cells (MBCs) appear to be related lymphoid cells that take part in reactive and neoplastic marginal zone proliferations. These lesions are not yet well characterized, and the aim of this study was to find better diagnostic criteria for them.
METHODS AND RESULTS: We analysed 60 nodal lesions with MBC and/or MZC proliferation for their morphological, immunophenotypic, molecular genetic and IG gene rearrangement features. On the basis of the results of the rearrangement assay and immunoglobulin light chain restriction, the lesions were divided into reactive and neoplastic groups. Among the neoplastic lesions, polymorphic and monomorphic subgroups emerged. All reactive lesions had morphological features of the polymorphic subgroup. By immunohistochemistry, IRTA1 and/or T-bet expression was found in all reactive lesions and in 90% of neoplastic lesions.
CONCLUSIONS: IRTA1 and T-bet are positive markers for the identification of MZC/MBC proliferations, and thus for the diagnosis of nodal marginal zone lymphoma (NMZL). Polymorphic and monomorphic subgroups of NMZL could be distinguished. Most morphological and immunophenotypic patterns in reactive and neoplastic nodal expansions of MZCs and MBCs overlapped. Therefore, PCR clonality assay of the immunoglobulin heavy and light chain gene loci is the most reliable method for their differentiation.
Tano T, Okamoto M, Kan S, et al.Immunochemoradiotherapy for patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma: augmentation of OK-432-induced helper T cell 1 response by 5-FU and X-ray irradiation.
Neoplasia. 2013; 15(7):805-14 [PubMed
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Eighty-one patients with oral squamous cell carcinoma (OSCC) received oral fluoropyrimidine UFT and radiotherapy (RT) with or without an immunotherapeutic agent OK-432. Both overall survival and progression-free survival of patients who received RT + UFT + OK-432 were significantly longer than those of patients who received RT + UFT (P = .0075 and P = .0175, respectively). Clinical response was also more favorable in RT + UFT + OK-432 group than in RT + UFT group (P = .0066). Next, in vitro experiments were conducted to examine the effect of 5-fluorouracil (5-FU) and X-ray irradiation in OK-432-induced immunity. Human peripheral blood mononuclear cells stimulated with OK-432 produced helper T cell 1 (Th1)-type cytokines as well as interleukin-10 (IL-10) and transforming growth factor-β (TGF-β), which are produced by Th2 and regulatory T cells (Tregs), respectively, and are inhibitory in antitumor immunity. OK-432-induced IL-10 and TGF-β but not Th1 cytokines were significantly inhibited by 5-FU and/or X-ray. 5-FU and X-ray also inhibited the expression of mRNAs for GATA-3 and Foxp3, which are transcription factors for Th2 and Tregs, respectively, but not for T-bet, a transcription factor for Th1. In addition, 5-FU and X-ray decreased the expression of mRNAs for suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (SOCS1) and SOCS3. Antisense oligonucleotides for SOCS1 and SOCS3 markedly reduced OK-432-induced IL-10 and TGF-β. This is the first report clearly demonstrating that OK-432-based immunotherapy significantly enhanced the therapeutic effects of chemoradiotherapy in patients with OSCC as well as elucidating the mechanism of the synergistic effect of immunochemoradiotherapy in which 5-FU and radiation enhanced OK-432-induced Th1 response mediated by the inhibition of SOCS1 and SOCS3 gene expression.
Lin TC, Liu TY, Hsu SM, Lin CWEpstein-Barr virus-encoded miR-BART20-5p inhibits T-bet translation with secondary suppression of p53 in invasive nasal NK/T-cell lymphoma.
Am J Pathol. 2013; 182(5):1865-75 [PubMed
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Nasal NK/T-cell lymphoma (NNL) is an Epstein-Barr virus (EBV)-associated lymphoma derived from cytotoxic NK or T cells of the nasal mucosa. NNLs are noninvasive in the earliest stage, and become invasive with disease progression. The EBV encodes at least 44 miRNAs, whose functions in the pathogenesis of NNL are mostly unknown. We evaluated the levels of 39 EBV-encoded miRNAs with quantitative real-time RT-PCR in a series of 20 noninvasive NNLs and 20 invasive NNLs. miR-BART20-5p was associated most strongly with invasion (P ≤ 0.001), and lack of T-bet, the master transcription factor for cytotoxic NK cells. However, we identified T-bet (official symbol, TBX21) transcripts in T-bet-negative NNLs, implying a block in the translation of T-bet by miR-BART20-5p. In co-transfection experiments, miR-BART20-5p inhibited T-bet translation in both non-Hodgkin and Hodgkin lymphoma cell lines. Endogenous mir-BART20-5p also inhibited translation of T-bet in EBV-infected YT lymphoma cells of NK-cell origin. Induction of T-bet in YT cells up-regulated p53, leading to increased sensitivity in response to doxorubicin. Finally, YT cells transplanted into severe combined immunodeficiency mice had an invasive behavior. Taken together, we conclude that EBV-encoded miR-BART20-5p inhibits T-bet translation with secondary suppression of p53 in invasive nasal NK/T-cell lymphoma. An antagomir to miR-BART20-5p might be an effective therapeutic agent through induction of T-bet and p53.
Lohneis P, Wienert S, Klauschen F, et al.Marginal zone lymphomas with monocytoid morphology express T-bet and are associated with a low number of T cells in extranodal locations.
Leuk Lymphoma. 2014; 55(1):143-8 [PubMed
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The presence of tumor cells with monocytoid morphology in marginal zone lymphoma (MZL) has been described previously. Reactive monocytoid B cells bear a distinct immunophenotype and typically express T-bet, which clearly distinguishes them from nodal marginal zone B cells. The latter are positive for CD27 and negative for T-bet. We analyzed 74 MZLs for the expression of T-bet and correlated these results with the presence of monocytoid morphology. Expression of T-bet correlated with the presence of monocytoid morphology in MZLs. In analogy to reactive monocytoid B lymphocytes, we also found a significantly lower relative amount of intratumoral T lymphocytes in extranodal MZL with monocytoid morphology.
Xu Y, Gao J, Su Z, et al.Downregulation of Hlx closely related to the decreased expressions of T-bet and Runx3 in patients with gastric cancer may be associated with a pathological event leading to the imbalance of Th1/Th2.
Clin Dev Immunol. 2012; 2012:949821 [PubMed
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T-bet plays an important role in immunoregulation; it induces the differentiation of Th1 together with the homeobox transcription factor gene Hlx. Recent studies show that T-bet and Th1-associated factors are critical in regulating tumor development. However, the contributions of Hlx in the occurrence and development of cancer remain unknown. In this study, the Hlx, T-bet, Runx3, and IFN-γ were measured in PBMC from patients with gastric cancer and the correlation between Hlx and T-bet or IFN-γ was assessed. The expression levels of Hlx, T-bet, and IFN-γ were significantly decreased, and there was a positive correlation between Hlx and T-bet or IFN-γ. In addition, the Runx3 expression was also downregulated with the lower T-bet mRNA level. These results suggested that the decreased Hlx expression was closely associated with T-bet and Runx3 downregulations and may contribute to the development of gastric cancer.
Mulligan AM, Raitman I, Feeley L, et al.Tumoral lymphocytic infiltration and expression of the chemokine CXCL10 in breast cancers from the Ontario Familial Breast Cancer Registry.
Clin Cancer Res. 2013; 19(2):336-46 [PubMed
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PURPOSE: Breast carcinomas, including basal and hereditary cases, often present with a prominent tumoral lymphocytic infiltrate. Chemokines could play a role in attracting these cells and contribute to tumor progression. We explored tumoral expression of CXCL10 and determined the relationship between CXCL10 and lymphocytic infiltrate in a cohort of breast cancers.
EXPERIMENTAL DESIGN: Using tissue microarrays of 364 breast tumors, we evaluated expression of CXCL10 and its receptor, CXCR3, in relation to histopathologic features, biomarkers, and lymphocyte markers. In addition, we overexpressed CXCL10 and CXCR3 in MCF7 breast cancer cells and monitored T-lymphocyte migration and invasion.
RESULTS: Forty-five percent of tumors expressed CXCL10, and a significant association was found with CXCR3 and lymphocytic infiltrate. Further characterization of the lymphocytic infiltrate revealed an association with CXCL10 expression for peritumoral CD4+ and CD8+ lymphocytes. CD8+ intratumoral lymphocytes, FOXP3+ regulatory T cells (Tregs), and T-BET+ T(H)1 cells were associated with BRCA1 and basal tumors. Conditioned media from MCF7 cells overexpressing both CXCL10 and CXCR3 increased T-lymphocyte migration and invasion.
CONCLUSIONS: Our findings suggest that CXCL10 may act in a paracrine manner, affecting the tumor microenvironment, and in an autocrine manner, acting on the tumor cells themselves and may play a role in tumor invasiveness and progression. The CXCL10-CXCR3 axis can serve as a potential target in BRCA1 and basal breast cancers, which present with a prominent lymphocytic infiltrate and a poor prognosis. Clin Cancer Res; 19(2); 336-46. ©2012 AACR.
Kohlhapp FJ, Zloza A, O'Sullivan JA, et al.CD8(+) T cells sabotage their own memory potential through IFN-γ-dependent modification of the IL-12/IL-15 receptor α axis on dendritic cells.
J Immunol. 2012; 188(8):3639-47 [PubMed
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CD8(+) T cell responses have been shown to be regulated by dendritic cells (DCs) and CD4(+) T cells, leading to the tenet that CD8(+) T cells play a passive role in their own differentiation. In contrast, by using a DNA vaccination model, to separate the events of vaccination from those of CD8(+) T cell priming, we demonstrate that CD8(+) T cells, themselves, actively limit their own memory potential through CD8(+) T cell-derived IFN-γ-dependent modification of the IL-12/IL-15Rα axis on DCs. Such CD8(+) T cell-driven cytokine alterations result in increased T-bet and decreased Bcl-2 expression, and thus decreased memory progenitor formation. These results identify an unrecognized role for CD8(+) T cells in the regulation of their own effector differentiation fate and a previously uncharacterized relationship between the balance of inflammation and memory formation.
AIM: To investigate the association between the polymorphism of TBX21 gene and the risk of gastric cancer in a Chinese population.
METHODS: The -1993 polymorphism located in TBX21 gene promoter region was identified by polymerase chain reaction-restriction fragment length polymorphism (PCR-RFLP) method. The risk between TBX21 gene genotype and gastric cancer was determined by multivariate logistic regression analysis in 220 gastric cancer patients and 262 cancer-free controls matched by age, sex and ethnicity.
RESULTS: Compared with the TBX21 -1993TT genotype, the -1993CC genotype exhibited a significantly elevated risk for gastric cancer [Odds ratio (OR) = 3.42, 95% confidence interval (CI): 1.41-8.31]. The relationship between the -1993 polymorphic genotype and the invasive status such as lymph node and distant metastasis was found among the gastric cancer patients (OR = 4.02, 95% CI: 1.87-8.66; OR = 7.02, 95% CI: 3.44-14.34, respectively).
CONCLUSION: TBX21 -1993 polymorphism might contribute to the risk of gastric cancer, especially to the distant metastasis.