Immunotherapeutic strategies are increasingly important in neuro-oncology and the elucidation of escape mechanisms which lead to treatment resistance is crucial. We investigated the impact of immune pressure on the clonal dynamics and immune escape signature by comparing glioma growth in immunocompetent versus immunodeficient mice. Glioma-bearing wildtype and Pd-1-/- mice survived significantly longer than immunodeficient Pfp-/- Rag2-/- mice. While tumors in Pfp-/- Rag2-/- mice were highly polyclonal, immunoedited tumors in WT and Pd-1-/- mice displayed reduced clonality with emergence of immune escape clones. Tumor cells in wildtype mice were distinguished by an interferon-γ-mediated response signature with upregulation of genes involved in immunosuppression. Tumor-infiltrating stromal cells, which include macrophages/microglia, contributed even stronger to the immunosuppressive signature than the actual tumor cells. The identified murine immune escape signature was reflected in human patients and correlated with poor survival. In conclusion, immune pressure profoundly shapes the clonal composition and gene regulation in malignant gliomas.
Cecile L. Maire, Malte Mohme, Michael Bockmayr, Krystian D. Fita, Kristoffer Riecken, Daniela Börnigen, Malik Alawi, Antonio Virgilio Failla, Katharina Kolbe, Svenja Zapf, Mareike Holz, Katrin Neumann, Lasse Dührsen, Tobias Lange, Boris Fehse, Manfred Westphal, Katrin Lamszus
Background: Pediatric and adult high-grade glioma (HGG) frequently harbor PDGFRA alterations. We hypothesized that co-treatment with everolimus may improve the efficacy of dasatinib in PDGFRα-driven glioma through combinatorial synergism and increased tumor accumulation of dasatinib. Methods: Dose response, synergism studies, P-gp inhibition and pharmacokinetic studies were performed on in vitro and in vivo human and mouse models of HGG. Six patients with recurrent PDGFRα-driven glioma were treated with dasatinib and everolimus. Results: Dasatinib effectively inhibited the proliferation of mouse and human primary HGG cells with a variety of PDGFRA alterations. Dasatinib exhibited synergy with everolimus in the treatment of HGG cells at low nanomolar concentrations of both agents, with reduction in mTOR signaling that persists after dasatinib treatment alone. Prolonged exposure to everolimus significantly improved the CNS retention of dasatinib and extended survival of PPK tumor bearing mice. Pediatric patients (n=6) with glioma tolerated this combination without significant adverse events. Recurrent patients (n=4) demonstrated median overall survival of 8.5 months. Conclusion: Efficacy of dasatinib treatment of PDGFRα-driven HGG is improved with everolimus and suggests a promising route for improving targeted therapy for this patient population. Trial Registration: ClinicalTrials.gov NCT03352427 Funding: The authors thank the patients and their families for participation in this study. CKis supported by NIH/NINDS K08-NS099427-01, the University of Michigan Chad Carr Pediatric Brain Tumor Center, the Chad Tough Foundation, Hyundai Hope on Wheels, Catching up With Jack, Prayers from Maria Foundation, U CAN-CER VIVE FOUNDATION, Morgan Behen Golf Classic, and the DIPG Collaborative. The PEDS-MIONCOSEQ study was supported by grant 1UM1HG006508 from the National Institutes of Health Clinical Sequencing Exploratory Research Award (PI: Arul Chinnaiyan).
Zachary Miklja, Viveka Nand Yadav, Rodrigo T. Cartaxo, Ruby Siada, Chase C. Thomas, Jessica R. Cummings, Brendan Mullan, Stefanie Stallard, Alyssa Paul, Amy K. Bruzek, Kyle Wierzbicki, Tao Yang, Taylor Garcia, Ian Wolfe, Marcia Leonard, Patricia L. Robertson, Hugh J.L. Garton, Daniel R. Wahl, Hemant A. Parmar, Jann N. Sarkaria, Cassie Kline, Sabine Mueller, Theodore Nicolaides, Chana Glasser, Sarah E. S. Leary, Sriram Venneti, Chandan Kumar-Sinha, Arul M. Chinnaiyan, Rajen Mody, Manjunath P. Pai, Timothy N. Phoenix, Bernard L. Marini, Carl Koschmann
NF-kB transcription factors, driven by the IRAK-IKK cascade, confer treatment resistance in pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), a cancer characterized by near universal KRAS mutation. Through reverse-phase protein array and RNAseq we discovered IRAK4 also contributes substantially to MAPK activation in KRAS-mutant PDAC. IRAK4 ablation completely blocked RAS-induced transformation of human and murine cells. Mechanistically, expression of mutant KRAS stimulated an inflammatory, autocrine IL-1b signaling loop that activated IRAK4 and MAPK pathway. Downstream of IRAK4, we uncovered TPL2/MAP3K8 as the essential kinase that propels both MAPK and NF-kB cascades. Inhibition of TPL2 blocked both MAPK and NF-kB signaling, and suppressed KRAS-mutant cell growth. To counter chemotherapy-induced genotoxic stress, PDAC cells upregulated TLR9, which activated pro-survival IRAK4-TPL2 signaling. Accordingly, TPL2 inhibitor synergized with chemotherapy to curb PDAC growth in vivo. Finally, from TCGA we characterized two MAP3K8 point mutations that hyperactivate MAPK and NF-kB cascades by impeding TPL2 protein degradation. Cancer cell lines naturally harboring these MAP3K8 mutations are strikingly sensitive to TPL2 inhibition, underscoring the need to identify these potentially targetable mutations in patients. Overall, our study establishes TPL2 as a promising therapeutic target in RAS- and MAP3K8-mutant cancers and strongly prompts development of TPL2 inhibitors for pre-clinical and clinical studies.
Paarth B. Dodhiawala, Namrata Khurana, Daoxiang Zhang, Yi Cheng, Lin Li, Qing Wei, Kuljeet Seehra, Hongmei Jiang, Patrick M. Grierson, Andrea Wang-Gillam, Kian-Huat Lim
Mechanisms driving tumor progression from less aggressive subtypes to more aggressive states represent key targets for therapy. We identified a subset of Luminal A primary breast tumors to give rise to HER2-enriched (HER2E) subtype metastases, but remain clinically HER2 negative (cHER2-). By testing the unique genetic and transcriptomic features of these cases, we developed the hypothesis FGFR4 likely participates in this subtype switching. To evaluate this, we developed two FGFR4 genomic signatures using a PDX model treated with a FGFR4 inhibitor, which inhibited PDX growth in vivo. Bulk tumor gene expression analysis and single cell RNAseq demonstrated that the inhibition of FGFR4 signaling caused molecular switching. In the METABRIC breast cancer cohort,FGFR4-induced and FGFR4-repressed signatures each predicted overall survival. Additionally, FGFR4-induced signature was also an independent prognostic factor beyond subtype and stage. Supervised analysis of 77 primary tumors with paired metastasis revealed that the FGFR4-induced signature was significantly higher in luminal/ER+ tumor metastases compared with their primaries. Finally, multivariate analysis demonstrated that the FGFR4-induced signature also predicted site-specific metastasis for lung, liver and brain, but not for bone or lymph nodes. These data identify a link between FGFR4-regulated genes and metastasis, suggesting treatment options for FGFR4-positive patients, whose high expression is not caused by mutation or amplification.
Susana Garcia-Recio, Aatish Thennavan, Michael P. East, Joel S. Parker, Juan M. Cejalvo, Joseph P. Garay, Daniel P. Hollern, Xiaping He, Kevin R. Mott, Patricia Galván, Cheng Fan, Sara R. Selitsky, Alisha R. Coffey, David Marron, Fara Brasó-Maristany, Octavio Burgues, Joan Albanell, Federico Rojo, Ana Lluch, Eduardo Martinez de Dueñas, Jeffrey M. Rosen, Gary L. Johnson, Lisa A. Carey, Aleix Prat, Charles M. Perou
Ligand-dependent activation of Hedgehog (Hh) signaling in cancer occurs without mutations in canonical pathway genes. Consequently, the genetic basis of Hh pathway activation in adult solid tumors, such as small-cell lung cancer (SCLC), is unknown. Here we show that combined inactivation of Trp53 and Rb1, a defining genetic feature of SCLC, leads to hypersensitivity to Hh ligand in vitro, and during neural tube development in vivo. This response is associated with the aberrant formation of primary cilia, an organelle essential for canonical Hh signaling through smoothened, a transmembrane protein targeted by small-molecule Hh inhibitors. We further show that loss of both Trp53 and Rb1 disables transcription of genes in the autophagic machinery necessary for the degradation of primary cilia. In turn, we also demonstrate a requirement for Kif3a, a gene essential for the formation of primary cilia, in a mouse model of SCLC induced by conditional deletion of both Trp53 and Rb1 in the adult airway. Our results provide a mechanistic framework for therapeutic targeting of ligand-dependent Hh signaling in human cancers with somatic mutations in both TP53 and RB1.
Catherine R. Cochrane, Vijesh Vaghjiani, Anette Szczepny, W. Samantha N. Jayasekara, Alvaro Gonzalez-Rajal, Kazu Kikuchi, Geoffrey W. McCaughan, Andrew Burgess, Daniel J. Gough, D. Neil Watkins, Jason E. Cain
Chronic infections can lead to carcinogenesis through inflammation-related mechanisms. Chronic infection of the human gastric mucosa with Helicobacter pylori is a well-known risk factor for gastric cancer. However, the mechanisms underlying H. pylori–induced gastric carcinogenesis are incompletely defined. We aimed to screen and clarify the functions of long noncoding RNAs (lncRNAs) that are differentially expressed in H. pylori–related gastric cancer. We found that lncRNA SNHG17 was upregulated by H. pylori infection and markedly increased the levels of double-strand breaks (DSBs). SNHG17 overexpression correlated with poor overall survival in patients with gastric cancer. The recruitment of NONO by overabundant nuclear SNHG17, along with the role of cytoplasmic SNHG17 as a decoy for miR-3909, which regulates Rad51 expression, shifted the DSB repair balance from homologous recombination toward nonhomologous end joining. Notably, during chronic H. pylori infection, SNHG17 knockdown inhibited chromosomal aberrations. Our findings suggest that spatially independent deregulation of the SNHG17/NONO and SNHG17/miR-3909/RING1/Rad51 pathways upon H. pylori infection promotes tumorigenesis in gastric cancer by altering the DNA repair system, which is critical for the maintenance of genomic stability. Upregulation of SNHG17 by H. pylori infection might be an undefined link between cancer and inflammation.
Taotao Han, Xiaohui Jing, Jiayu Bao, Lianmei Zhao, Aidong Zhang, Renling Miao, Hui Guo, Baoguo Zhou, Shang Zhang, Jiazeng Sun, Juan Shi
Peripheral neurotoxicity is a debilitating toxicity that afflicts up to 90% of patients with colorectal cancer receiving oxaliplatin-containing therapy. Although emerging evidence has highlighted the importance of various solute carriers to the toxicity of anticancer drugs, the contribution of these proteins to oxaliplatin-induced peripheral neurotoxicity remains controversial. Among candidate transporters investigated in genetically-engineered mouse models, we provide evidence for a critical role of the organic cation transporter 2 (OCT2) in satellite glial cells to oxaliplatin-induced neurotoxicity, and demonstrate that targeting OCT2 using genetic and pharmacological approaches ameliorates acute and chronic forms of neurotoxicity. The relevance of this transport system was verified in transporter-deficient rats as a secondary model organism, and translational significance of preventative strategies was demonstrated in preclinical models of colorectal cancer. These studies suggest that pharmacological targeting of OCT2 could be exploited to afford neuroprotection in cancer patients requiring treatment with oxaliplatin.
Kevin M. Huang, Alix F. Leblanc, Muhammad Erfan Uddin, Ji Young Kim, Mingqing Chen, Eric D. Eisenmann, Alice Gibson, Yang Li, Kristen W. Hong, Duncan DiGiacomo, Sherry Huinan Xia, Paola Alberti, Alessia Chiorazzi, Stephen N. Housley, Timothy C. Cope, Jason A. Sprowl, Jing Wang, Charles L. Loprinzi, Anne Noonan, Maryam Lustberg, Guido Cavaletti, Navjotsingh Pabla, Shuiying Hu, Alex Sparreboom
γ9δ2T cells play a major role in cancer immune surveillance, yet the clinical translation of their in vitro promise remains challenging. To address limitations of previous clinical attempts utilizing expanded γ9δ2T cells, we explored the clonal diversity of γ9δ2T cell repertoires and characterized their target. We demonstrated that only a fraction of expanded γ9δ2T cells is active against cancer cells, and that activity of the parental clone, or functional avidity of selected γ9δ2TCRs does not associate with clonal frequency. We also analyzed the target-receptor-interface and provided a two-receptor, three-ligand model. Activation is initiated by binding of the γ9δ2TCR to BTN2A1 through the regions between CDR2 and CDR3 of the TCR γ chain, and modulated by the affinity of the CDR3 region of the TCR δ chain, which is phosphoantigen (pAg)-independent and does not depend on CD277. CD277 is secondary, serving as mandatory co-activating ligand. Binding of CD277 to its putative ligand does not depend on the presence of γ9δ2TCR, does depend on usage of the intracellular CD277, creates pAg-dependent proximity to BTN2A1, enhances cell-cell conjugate formation and stabilizes the immunological synapse. This process critically depends on the affinity of the γ9δ2TCR and requires membrane flexibility of the γ9δ2TCR and CD277, facilitating their polarization and high-density recruitment during immunological synapse formation.
Anna Vyborova, Dennis X. Beringer, Domenico Fasci, Froso Karaiskaki, Eline van Diest, Lovro Kramer, Aram de Haas, Jasper Sanders, Anke Janssen, Trudy Straetemans, Daniel Olive, Jeanette H.W. Leusen, Lola Boutin, Steven Nedellec, Samantha L. Schwartz, Michael J. Wester, Keith A. Lidke, Emmanuel Scotet, Diane Lidke, Albert J.R. Heck, Zsolt Sebestyen, Jurgen Kuball
Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) remains an important cause of morbidity and mortality after allogeneic hematopoietic cell transplantation (allo-HCT). For decades, GVHD prophylaxis has included calcineurin-inhibitors, despite their incomplete efficacy and impairment of graft-versus-leukemia (GVL). Distinct from pharmacologic immune suppression, we have developed a novel, human CD83-targeted chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cell for GVHD prevention. CD83 is expressed on allo-activated, conventional CD4+ T cells (Tconv) and proinflammatory dendritic cells (DC); which are both implicated in GVHD pathogenesis. Human CD83 CAR T cells eradicate pathogenic CD83+ target cells, significantly increase the ratio of regulatory T cells (Treg) to allo-activated Tconv, and provide durable prevention of xenogeneic GVHD. CD83 CAR T cells are also capable of treating xenogeneic GVHD. We show human, acute myeloid leukemia (AML) expresses CD83 and myeloid leukemia cell lines are readily killed by CD83 CAR T cells. Human CD83 CAR T cells are a promising cell-based approach to prevent two critical complications of allo-HCT; GVHD and relapse. Thus, human CD83 CAR T cells warrant clinical investigation in GVHD prevention and treatment, as well as targeting CD83+ AML.
Bishwas Shrestha, Kelly Walton, Jordan Reff, Elizabeth M. Sagatys, Nhan Tu, Justin C. Boucher, Gongbo Li, Tayyeb Ghafoor, Martin Felices, Jeffrey Miller, Joseph Pidala, Bruce R. Blazar, Claudio Anasetti, Brian C. Betts, Marco L. Davila
Understanding tumor resistance to T cell immunotherapies is critical to improve patient outcomes. Our study revealed a role for transcriptional suppression of the tumor-intrinsic HLA class I (HLA-I) antigen processing and presentation machinery (APM) in therapy resistance. Low HLA-I APM mRNA levels in melanoma metastases prior to immune checkpoint blockade (ICB) correlated with non-responsiveness to therapy and poor clinical outcome. Patient-derived melanoma cells with silenced HLA-I APM escaped recognition by autologous CD8+ T cells. However, targeted activation of the innate immunoreceptor RIG-I initiated de novo HLA-I APM transcription thereby overcoming T cell resistance. Antigen presentation was restored in interferon (IFN)-sensitive but also immunoedited IFN-resistant melanoma models through RIG-I-dependent stimulation of an IFN-independent salvage pathway involving IRF1 and IRF3. Likewise, enhanced HLA-I APM expression was detected in RIG-I (DDX58)-high melanoma biopsies, correlating with improved patient survival. Induction of HLA-I APM by RIG-I synergized with antibodies blocking PD-1 and TIGIT inhibitory checkpoints in boosting the anti-tumor T cell activity of ICB non-responders. Overall, the herein identified IFN-independent effect of RIG-I on tumor antigen presentation and T cell recognition proposes innate immunoreceptor targeting as a strategy to overcome intrinsic T cell resistance of IFN-sensitive and IFN-resistant melanomas and improve clinical outcomes in immunotherapy.
Lina Such, Fang Zhao, Derek Liu, Beatrice Thier, Vu Thuy Khanh Le-Trilling, Antje Sucker, Christoph Coch, Natalia Pieper, Sebastian Howe, Hilal Bhat, Halime Kalkavan, Cathrin Ritter, Robin Brinkhaus, Selma Ugurel, Johannes Köster, Ulrike Seifert, Ulf Dittmer, Martin Schuler, Karl Sebastian Lang, Thomas A Kufer, Gunther Hartmann, Jürgen Christian Becker, Susanne Horn, Soldano Ferrone, David Liu, Eliezer M. Van Allen, Dirk Schadendorf, Klaus Griewank, Mirko Trilling, Annette Paschen