Chia, Wang and colleagues report that HMGA1 induces FGF19 to drive pancreatic carcinogenesis and stroma formation, demonstrating that FGF19 receptor blockade decreases both tumorigenesis and desmoplasia in murine models of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma. The cover image shows a dense desmoplastic stroma within a pancreatic tumor from a KPC mouse model with both Hmga1 alleles intact stained for podoplanin (green), α-smooth muscle actin (red), and nuclei (blue).
Spastic paraplegia 50 (SPG50) is an ultrarare childhood-onset neurological disorder caused by biallelic loss-of-function variants in the AP4M1 gene. SPG50 is characterized by progressive spastic paraplegia, global developmental delay and subsequent intellectual disability, secondary microcephaly, and epilepsy. Preclinical studies evaluated an adeno-associated virus (AAV)/AP4M1 gene therapy for SPG50. In vitro studies demonstrated that transduction of patient-derived fibroblasts with AAV2/AP4M1 resulted in phenotypic rescue. To evaluate efficacy in vivo, Ap4m1 knockout mice were intrathecally (IT) injected with 5E11, 2.5E11, or 1.25E11 vg doses of AAV9/AP4M1 at postnatal day p7-10 (pre-manifesting cohorts) or p90 (early manifesting cohorts). Age- and dose-dependent effects were observed, with early intervention and higher doses achieving the best therapeutic benefits. In parallel, three toxicology studies in wild-type mice, rats, and non-human primates (NHPs) demonstrated that AAV9/AP4M1 had an acceptable safety profile up to a target human dose of 1E15 vg. Of note, similar degrees of minimal to mild dorsal root ganglia (DRG) toxicity were observed in both rats and NHPs, supporting the use of rats to monitor DRG toxicity in future IT AAV studies. These preclinical results identify an acceptably safe and efficacious dose of IT-administered AAV9/AP4M1, supporting an investigational gene transfer clinical trial to treat SPG50.
Xin Chen, Thomas Dong, Yuhui Hu, Raffaella De Pace, Rafael Mattera, Kathrin Eberhardt, Marvin Ziegler, Terry Pirovolakis, Mustafa Sahin, Juan S. Bonifacino, Darius Ebrahimi-Fakhari, Steven J. Gray
BACKGROUND. Refractory CMV viremia and disease are associated with significant morbidity and mortality in recipients of hematopoietic stem cell transplant (HCT). METHODS. In Phase I/II trials, we treated 67 subjects for CMV viremia or disease arising after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplant with adoptive transfer of banked off-the-shelf, 3rd party, CMVpp65-sensitized T cells (CMVpp65-VSTs). All were evaluable for toxicity and 59 for response. Evaluable subjects had CMV disease or persisting viremia that had failed at least two weeks of induction therapy with a median of 3 antiviral drugs; 84.7% had >3/11 high risk features. CMVpp65-VSTs were specific for 1-3 CMVpp65 epitopes, presented by a limited set of HLA class I or II alleles, and were selected based on high resolution HLA matching at 2/10 HLA alleles and matching for subject and subject’s HCT donor for ≥1 allele through which the CMVpp65-VSTs were restricted. RESULTS. T-cell infusions were well tolerated. Of 59 subjects evaluable for response, 38 (64%) achieved complete or durable partial responses. CONCLUSIONS. Recipients responding to CMVpp65VSTs experienced an improved overall survival. Of the risk factors evaluated, transplant type, recipient CD4+ and CD8+ T-cell levels prior to adoptive therapy, and the HLA-restriction of CMVpp65-VSTs infused each significantly affected responses. In addition, CMVpp65-specific T cells of HCT donor or recipient origin contribute to the durability of both complete and partial responses. TRIAL REGISTRATION. The trials describe were registered with the NIH as follows: NCT00674648, NCT01646645 and NCT02136797. They were single center investigator-initiated trials and were not industry sponsored. FUNDING. This study was supported by funding from the National Institute of Health (P01 CA23766, R21 CA162002 and P30 CA008748), the Aubrey Fund, Claire Tow Foundation, Major Family Foundation, “Rick” Eisemann Pediatric Research Fund, Banbury Foundation, Edith Robertson Foundation, and Larry Smead Foundation.
Susan E. Prockop, Aisha N. Hasan, Ekaterina Doubrovina, Parastoo B. Dahi, M. Irene Rodriguez-Sanchez, Michael Curry, Audrey Mauguen, Genovefa A. Papanicolaou, Yiqi Su, JinJuan Yao, Maria E. Arcila, Farid Boulad, Hugo Castro-Malaspina, Christina Cho, Kevin J. Curran, Sergio Giralt, Nancy A Kernan, Guenther Koehne, Ann Jakubowski, Esperanza Papadopoulos, Miguel-Angel Perales, Ioannis Politikos, Keith J. Price, Annamalai Selvakumar, Craig S. Sauter, Roni Tamari, Teresa Vizconde, James W. Young, Richard J. O'Reilly
Patients with small cell lung cancer (SCLC) generally have a poor prognosis and a median overall survival of only about 13 months, indicating the urgent need for novel therapies. Delta-like protein 3 (DLL3) has been identified as a tumor-specific cell surface marker on neuroendocrine cancers including SCLC. In this study, we developed a chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) against DLL3 that displays antitumor efficacy in xenograft and murine SCLC models. CAR T cell expression of the proinflammatory cytokine interleukin-18 (IL-18) greatly enhanced the potency of DLL3-targeting CAR T cell therapy. In a murine metastatic SCLC model, IL-18 production increased the activation of both CAR T cells and endogenous tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes. We also observed an increased infiltration, repolarization and activation of antigen-presenting cells. Lastly, human IL-18-secreting anti-DLL3 CAR T cells showed an increased memory phenotype, less exhaustion and induced durable responses in multiple SCLC models, an effect that could be further enhanced with anti-PD-1 blockade. Together, these results define DLL3-targeting CAR T cells that produce IL-18 as a promising novel strategy against DLL3-expressing solid tumors.
Janneke E. Jaspers, Jonathan F. Khan, William D. Godfrey, Andrea V. Lopez, Metamia Ciampricotti, Charles M. Rudin, Renier J. Brentjens
Endothelial cells (ECs) are constitutively an anticoagulant surface but switch to support coagulation following pathogenic stimuli. This switch promotes thrombotic cardiovascular disease. To generate thrombin at physiologic rates, coagulation proteins assemble on a membrane containing anionic phospholipid, most notably phosphatidylserine (PS). PS can be rapidly externalized to the outer cell membrane leaflet by phospholipid “scramblases”, such as TMEM16F. TMEM16F-dependent PS externalization is well-characterized in platelets. In contrast, how ECs externalize phospholipids to support coagulation is not understood. We employed a focused genetic screen to evaluate the contribution of transmembrane phospholipid transport on EC procoagulant activity. We identified two TMEM16 family members, TMEM16F, and its closest paralog, TMEM16E, which were both required to support coagulation on ECs via PS externalization. Applying an intravital laser-injury model of thrombosis, we observed, unexpectedly, that PS externalization was concentrated at the vessel wall, not on platelets. TMEM16E-null mice demonstrated reduced vessel-wall dependent fibrin formation. The TMEM16 inhibitor benzbromarone prevented PS externalization and EC procoagulant activity and protected mice from thrombosis without increasing bleeding following tail transection. These findings indicate the activated endothelial surface is a source of procoagulant phospholipid contributing to thrombus formation. TMEM16 phospholipid scramblases may be a therapeutic target for thrombotic cardiovascular disease.
Alec A. Schmaier, Papa F. Anderson, Siyu M. Chen, Emale El-Darzi, Ivan Aivasovsky, Milan P. Kaushik, Kelsey D. Sack, H. Criss Hartzell, Samir M. Parikh, Robert Flaumenhaft, Sol Schulman
Mucosal infections pose a significant global health burden. Antigen-specific tissue resident T cells are critical to maintaining barrier immunity. Previous studies in the context of systemic infection suggest that memory CD8 T cells may also provide innate-like protection against antigenically unrelated pathogens independent of TCR engagement. Whether "bystander T cell activation" is also an important defense mechanism in the mucosa is poorly understood. Here, we investigated if innate-like memory CD8 T cells could protect against a model mucosal virus infection, herpes simplex virus 2 (HSV-2). We found that immunization with an irrelevant antigen delayed disease progression from lethal HSV-2 challenge, suggesting that memory CD8 T cells may mediate protection despite the lack of antigen-specificity. Upon HSV-2 infection, we observed an early infiltration, rather than substantial local proliferation, of antigen-non-specific CD8 T cells, which became bystander-activated only within the infected mucosal tissue. Critically, we show that bystander-activated CD8 T cells are sufficient to reduce early viral burden after HSV-2 infection. Finally, local cytokine cues within the tissue microenvironment after infection were sufficient for bystander activation of mucosal tissue memory CD8 T cells from mice and humans. Altogether, our findings suggest that local bystander-activation of CD8 memory T cells contribute a fast and effective innate-like response to infection in mucosal tissue.
Tanvi Arkatkar, Veronica A. Davé, Irene Cruz Talavera, Jessica B. Graham, Jessica L. Swarts, Sean M. Hughes, Timothy A. Bell, Pablo Hock, Joe Farrington, Ginger D. Shaw, Anna C. Kirby, Michael Fialkow, Meei-Li Huang, Keith R. Jerome, Martin T. Ferris, Florian Hladik, Joshua T. Schiffer, Martin Prlic, Jennifer M. Lund
JCI This Month is a digest of the research, reviews, and other features published each month.
Understanding and Therapeutically Exploiting the Immune Environment in Glioblastoma