- Complement C5a Fosters Squamous Carcinogenesis and Limits T Cell Response to Chemotherapy
- Enhanced Anti-lymphoma Activity of CAR19-iNKT Cells Underpinned by Dual CD19 and CD1d Targeting
- Aberrant ERBB4-SRC Signaling as a Hallmark of Group 4 Medulloblastoma Revealed by Integrative Phosphoproteomic Profiling
- Proteomics, Post-translational Modifications, and Integrative Analyses Reveal Molecular Heterogeneity within Medulloblastoma Subgroups
- The Oncogenic Transcription Factor RUNX1/ETO Corrupts Cell Cycle Regulation to Drive Leukemic Transformation
1. Complement C5a Fosters Squamous Carcinogenesis and Limits T Cell Response to Chemotherapy
Complement is a critical component of humoral immunity implicated in cancer development; however, its biological contributions to tumorigenesis remain poorly understood. Using the K14-HPV16 transgenic mouse model of squamous carcinogenesis, Terry R. Medler at Oregon Health & Science University in Portland, USA and his colleagues report that urokinase (uPA)+ macrophages regulate C3-independent release of C5a during premalignant progression, which in turn regulates protumorigenic properties of C5aR1+ mast cells and macrophages, including suppression of CD8+ T cell cytotoxicity. Therapeutic inhibition of C5aR1 via the peptide antagonist PMX-53 improved efficacy of paclitaxel chemotherapy associated with increased presence and cytotoxic properties of CXCR3+ effector memory CD8+ T cells in carcinomas, dependent on both macrophage transcriptional programming and IFNγ. Together, these data identify C5aR1-dependent signaling as an important immunomodulatory program in neoplastic tissue tractable for combinatorial cancer immunotherapy.
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2. Enhanced Anti-lymphoma Activity of CAR19-iNKT Cells Underpinned by Dual CD19 and CD1d Targeting
Chimeric antigen receptor anti-CD19 (CAR19)-T cell immunotherapy-induced clinical remissions in CD19+ B cell lymphomas are often short lived. Antonia Rotolo at Imperial College in London, UK and his colleagues tested whether CAR19-engineering of the CD1d-restricted invariant natural killer T (iNKT) cells would result in enhanced anti-lymphoma activity. CAR19-iNKT cells co-operatively activated by CD1d- and CAR19-CD19-dependent interactions are more effective than CAR19-T cells against CD1d-expressing lymphomas in vitro and in vivo. The swifter in vivo anti-lymphoma activity of CAR19-iNKT cells and their enhanced ability to eradicate brain lymphomas underpinned an improved tumor-free and overall survival. CD1D transcriptional de-repression by all-trans retinoic acid results in further enhanced cytotoxicity of CAR19-iNKT cells against CD19+ chronic lymphocytic leukemia cells. Thus, iNKT cells are a highly efficient platform for CAR-based immunotherapy of lymphomas and possibly other CD1d-expressing cancers.
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3. Aberrant ERBB4-SRC Signaling as a Hallmark of Group 4 Medulloblastoma Revealed by Integrative Phosphoproteomic Profiling
The current consensus recognizes four main medulloblastoma subgroups (wingless, Sonic hedgehog, group 3 and group 4). While medulloblastoma subgroups have been characterized extensively at the (epi-)genomic and transcriptomic levels, the proteome and phosphoproteome landscape remain to be comprehensively elucidated. Using quantitative (phospho)-proteomics in primary human medulloblastomas, Antoine Forget at Institut Curie, PSL Research University in Orsay, France and his colleagues unravel distinct posttranscriptional regulation leading to highly divergent oncogenic signaling and kinase activity profiles in groups 3 and 4 medulloblastomas. Specifically, proteomic and phosphoproteomic analyses identify aberrant ERBB4-SRC signaling in group 4. Hence, enforced expression of an activated SRC combined with p53 inactivation induces murine tumors that resemble group 4 medulloblastoma. Therefore, Their integrative proteogenomics approach unveils an oncogenic pathway and potential therapeutic vulnerability in the most common medulloblastoma subgroup.
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4. Proteomics, Post-translational Modifications, and Integrative Analyses Reveal Molecular Heterogeneity within Medulloblastoma Subgroups
There is a pressing need to identify therapeutic targets in tumors with low mutation rates such as the malignant pediatric brain tumor medulloblastoma. To address this challenge, Tenley C. Archer at Boston Children’s Hospital in Boston, USA and his colleagues quantitatively profiled global proteomes and phospho-proteomes of 45 medulloblastoma samples. Integrated analyses revealed that tumors with similar RNA expression vary extensively at the post-transcriptional and post-translational levels. They identified distinct pathways associated with two subsets of SHH tumors, and found post-translational modifications of MYC that are associated with poor outcomes in group 3 tumors. They found kinases associated with subtypes and showed that inhibiting PRKDC sensitizes MYC-driven cells to radiation. Their study shows that proteomics enables a more comprehensive, functional readout, providing a foundation for future therapeutic strategies.
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5. The Oncogenic Transcription Factor RUNX1/ETO Corrupts Cell Cycle Regulation to Drive Leukemic Transformation
Oncogenic transcription factors such as the leukemic fusion protein RUNX1/ETO, which drives t(8;21) acute myeloid leukemia (AML), constitute cancer-specific but highly challenging therapeutic targets. Natalia Martinez-Soria at Newcastle University in Newcastle upon Tyne, UK and his colleagues used epigenomic profiling data for an RNAi screen to interrogate the transcriptional network maintaining t(8;21) AML. This strategy identified Cyclin D2 (CCND2) as a crucial transmitter of RUNX1/ETO-driven leukemic propagation. RUNX1/ETO cooperates with AP-1 to drive CCND2 expression. Knockdown or pharmacological inhibition of CCND2 by an approved drug significantly impairs leukemic expansion of patient-derived AML cells and engraftment in immunodeficient murine hosts. Their data demonstrate that RUNX1/ETO maintains leukemia by promoting cell cycle progression and identifies G1 CCND-CDK complexes as promising therapeutic targets for treatment of RUNX1/ETO-driven AML.
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