The T-Cell Oncogene Tal2 Is a Target of PU.1 and Upregulated during Osteoclastogenesis
- Transcription factors play a crucial role in regulating differentiation processes during human life and are important in disease. The basic helix-loop-helix transcription factors Tal1 and Lyl1 play a major role in the regulation of gene expression in the hematopoietic system and are involved in human leukemia. Tal2, which belongs to the same family of transcription factors as Tal1 and Lyl1, is also involved in human leukaemia. However, little is known regarding the expression and regulation of Tal2 in hematopoietic cells. Here we show that Tal2 is expressed in hematopoietic cells of the myeloid lineage. Interestingly, we found that usage of the Tal2 promoter is different in human and mouse cells. Two promoters, hP1 and hP2 drive Tal2 expression in human erythroleukemia K562 cells, however in mouse RAW cells only the mP1 promoter is used. Furthermore, we found that Tal2 expression is upregulated during oesteoclastogenesis. We show that Tal2 is a direct target gene of the myeloid transcription factor PU.1, which is a key transcription factor for osteoclast gene expression. Strikingly, PU.1 binding to the P1 promoter is conserved between mouse and human, but PU.1 binding to P2 was only detected in human K562 cells. Additionally, we provide evidence that Tal2 influences the expression of the osteoclastic differentiation gene TRACP. These findings provide novel insight into the expression control of Tal2 in hematopoietic cells and reveal a function of Tal2 as a regulator of gene expression during osteoclast differentiation.
A functional yeast survival screen of tumor-derived cDNA libraries designed to identify anti-apoptotic mammalian oncogenes
Inga Maria Melzer
Ralf Joachim Rieker
David Lukas Wachter
- Yeast cells can be killed upon expression of pro-apoptotic mammalian proteins. We have established a functional yeast survival screen that was used to isolate novel human anti-apoptotic genes overexpressed in treatment-resistant tumors. The screening of three different cDNA libraries prepared from metastatic melanoma, glioblastomas and leukemic blasts allowed for the identification of many yeast cell death-repressing cDNAs, including 28% of genes that are already known to inhibit apoptosis, 35% of genes upregulated in at least one tumor entity and 16% of genes described as both anti-apoptotic in function and upregulated in tumors. These results confirm the great potential of this screening tool to identify novel anti-apoptotic and tumor-relevant molecules. Three of the isolated candidate genes were further analyzed regarding their anti-apoptotic function in cell culture and their potential as a therapeutic target for molecular therapy. PAICS, an enzyme required for de novo purine biosynthesis, the long non-coding RNA MALAT1 and the MAST2 kinase are overexpressed in certain tumor entities and capable of suppressing apoptosis in human cells. Using a subcutaneous xenograft mouse model, we also demonstrated that glioblastoma tumor growth requires MAST2 expression. An additional advantage of the yeast survival screen is its universal applicability. By using various inducible pro-apoptotic killer proteins and screening the appropriate cDNA library prepared from normal or pathologic tissue of interest, the survival screen can be used to identify apoptosis inhibitors in many different systems.
Vaccination Directed against the Human Endogenous Retrovirus-K Envelope Protein Inhibits Tumor Growth in a Murine Model System
Sarah M. Büchner
Winfried S. Wels
Barbara S. Schnierle
- Human endogenous retrovirus (HERV) genomes are chromosomally integrated in all cells of an individual. They are normally transcriptionally silenced and transmitted only vertically. Enhanced expression of HERV-K accompanied by the emergence of anti-HERV-K-directed immune responses has been observed in tumor patients and HIV-infected individuals. As HERV-K is usually not expressed and immunological tolerance development is unlikely, it is an appropriate target for the development of immunotherapies. We generated a recombinant vaccinia virus (MVA-HKenv) expressing the HERV-K envelope glycoprotein (ENV), based on the modified vaccinia virus Ankara (MVA), and established an animal model to test its vaccination efficacy. Murine renal carcinoma cells (Renca) were genetically altered to express E. coli beta-galactosidase (RLZ cells) or the HERV-K ENV gene (RLZ-HKenv cells). Intravenous injection of RLZ-HKenv cells into syngenic BALB/c mice led to the formation of pulmonary metastases, which were detectable by X-gal staining. A single vaccination of tumor-bearing mice with MVA-HKenv drastically reduced the number of pulmonary RLZ-HKenv tumor nodules compared to vaccination with wild-type MVA. Prophylactic vaccination of mice with MVA-HKenv precluded the formation of RLZ-HKenv tumor nodules, whereas wild-type MVA-vaccinated animals succumbed to metastasis. Protection from tumor formation correlated with enhanced HERV-K ENV-specific killing activity of splenocytes. These data demonstrate for the first time that HERV-K ENV is a useful target for vaccine development and might offer new treatment opportunities for diverse types of cancer.
Funktionelle Analyse von retroviralen SIN Vektoren in T-Zellen
So Young Ryou
- Für eine erfolgreiche Gentherapie ist zunächst ein effizientes Gentransfersystem nötig, das das Transgen in möglichst vielen Zellen einbaut und es aktiv hält. Damit sich dann der Anteil der geschützten Zellen vergrößert, muss eine Selektivität der genmodifizierten Zellen gegenüber den nativen Zellen gegeben sein, wobei die Sicherheit nicht außer Acht gelassen werden darf, da ein ungünstiger Einbau des Transgens eine Insertionsmutagenese und somit Tumoren induzieren kann. Der durch die Arbeitsgruppe von Laer entwickelte retrovirale Vektor M87o codiert den membranständigen Fusionsinhibitor maC46 (membran-anchored C-Peptid 46), der den Eintritt von HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus) in die Zielzelle effektiv verhindert. Diese Gentherapie mit M87o wurde in einer klinischen Studie an T-Lymphozyten von 10 weit fortgeschrittenen AIDS (Acquired Immune Deficiency Syndrome)-Patienten durchgeführt, wobei die Therapie gut verträglich war und keine Toxizität zeigte. Allerdings hatten die Patienten auch keinen klaren Vorteil von der Therapie. In der vorliegenden Arbeit wurden SIN Vektoren (Self-inactivating Vektoren) in 5 verschiedenen Konstruktionen getestet, um die optimale Vektordesign zu ermitteln und eine langfristige hohe Expression zu ermöglichen. Da die SIN Vektoren im Vergleich zu konventionellen gammaretroviralen Vektoren ein geringeres Risiko bezüglich der Insertionsmutagenese aufweisen, stellen sie ein sichereres Vektorsystem dar. Um eine bessere Transgenexpression zu erzielen, wurde in den SIN Vektoren entweder ein zellulärer Promotor oder ein viraler SFFV (spleen focus forming virus) als internen Promotor verwendet. Zusätzliche regulatorische Elemente, wie wPRE (Woodchuck Posttranscriptional Regulatory Element), cHS4 (chicken Hypersensitive Site) Insulator und SAR (Scaffold Attachment Region) Element wurden dann in unterschiedlichen Kombinationen zu stärkeren und langanhaltenden Expressionen integriert, wobei wPRE die RNA Prozessierung verbessert und somit die RNA Stabilität erhöht und SAR und cHS4 Insulator dem Silencing entgegenwirken und so die Expression aufrechterhalten. Diese fünf SIN Konfigurationen wurden untereinander und mit dem klassischen gammaretroviralen Vektor M87o bezüglich des Titers, der Expressionsstärke und der Langzeit-Genexpression verglichen. Dazu wurden zunächst humane T-Zelllinien PM-1 und primäre humane T-Zellen als Testzellen verwendet. Die Versuche wurden dann mit murinen T-Zellen wiederholt, die in die immundefiziten Mäuse transplantiert wurden, um die Genexpression in vivo weiter zu verfolgen. Die SIN Konstrukte zeigten jedoch eine deutlich schwächere Expression als die LTR (Long Terminal Repeat)-getriebene Vektoren und nur ein Konstrukt mit dem viralen Promotor und wPRE zeigte eine annähernd so hohe Expression wie die konventionellen Vektoren. Während der virale SFFV Promotor eine höhere Expressionsstärke gegenüber dem zellulären EF1α (Elongationsfaktor 1 alpha) Promotor zeigte, hatte der cHS4 Insulator nur geringfügige Einflüsse sowohl auf den Titer als auch auf die Expressionsstärke. Der Vektor mit dem SAR-Element zeigte zwar die geringsten Titer und Expressionsstärke, aber in Langzeitbeobachtung wies er sowohl in vitro als auch in vivo eine relativ konstante Anzahl von transgenpositiven Zellen auf. SIN Vektoren, in denen mit einer Kombination von wPRE und SAR-Element die RNA Prozessierung verbessert und das methylationsbedingte Silencing verhindert wird, könnten eine weitere Optimierungsmöglichkeit des Gentransfersystems bei der Gentherapie darstellen.
The viral vector vaccine VSV-GP boosts immune response upon repeated applications
Lisa Mareike Egerer
Dorothee von Laer
- Poster presentation AIDS Vaccine 2012 Boston, MA, USA. 9-12 September 2012
Background: Vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) is a potent candidate vaccine vector for various viral diseases (e.g. HIV, HCV, RSV). The biggest limitation of VSV, however, is its neurotoxicity, which limits application in humans. The second drawback is that VSV induces neutralizing antibodies rapidly and is thus ineffective as a vaccine vector upon repeated applications. Our group has recently shown that VSV pseudotyped with the glycoprotein (GP) of the lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), VSV-GP, is not neurotoxic. The aim of this project was to evaluate the potential of VSV-GP as a vaccine vector.
Methods: For this purpose, we used Ovalbumin (OVA) as a model antigen and analyzed immunogenicity of GP-pseudotyped and wildtype VSV containing OVA (VSV-GP-OVA and VSV-OVA) in vitro and in vivo in mouse models.
Results: We showed that both vectors infected murine bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (bmDCs) in vitro. These bmDCs were able to activate OVA specific CD8+ and CD4+ T cells. Immunization experiments in mice revealed that both VSV-OVA and VSV-GP-OVA induced functional OVA-specific cytotoxic T cells (CTLs) after a single immunization. In addition, with both viruses, mice generated antibodies against OVA. However, boosting with the same virus was only possible for the GP-pseudotyped virus but not for wild type VSV. The efficacy of repeated immunization with VSV-OVA was most likely limited by high levels of neutralizing antibodies, which we detected after the first immunization. In contrast, no neutralizing antibodies against VSV-GP were induced even after boosting.
Conclusion: Taken together, we showed that the non-neurotoxic VSV-GP is able to induce specific T cell and B cell responses against the model antigen OVA to the same level as the wild type VSV vector. However, in contrast to wild type VSV, VSV-GP-OVA boosted the immune response upon repeated applications. Thus, VSV-GP is a promising novel vaccine vector.
Maltose-binding protein enhances secretion of recombinant human granzyme B accompanied by in vivo processing of a precursor MBP fusion protein
Robert A. Jabulowsky
Winfried S. Wels
- Background: The apoptosis-inducing serine protease granzyme B (GrB) is an important factor contributing to lysis of target cells by cytotoxic lymphocytes. Expression of enzymatically active GrB in recombinant form is a prerequisite for functional analysis and application of GrB for therapeutic purposes. Methods and Findings: We investigated the influence of bacterial maltose-binding protein (MBP) fused to GrB via a synthetic furin recognition motif on the expression of the MBP fusion protein also containing an N-terminal alpha-factor signal peptide in the yeast Pichia pastoris. MBP markedly enhanced the amount of GrB secreted into culture supernatant, which was not the case when GrB was fused to GST. MBP-GrB fusion protein was cleaved during secretion by an endogenous furin-like proteolytic activity in vivo, liberating enzymatically active GrB without the need of subsequent in vitro processing. Similar results were obtained upon expression of a recombinant fragment of the ErbB2/HER2 receptor protein or GST as MBP fusions. Conclusions: Our results demonstrate that combination of MBP as a solubility enhancer with specific in vivo cleavage augments secretion of processed and functionally active proteins from yeast. This strategy may be generally applicable to improve folding and increase yields of recombinant proteins.
EGFR-targeted granzyme B expressed in NK cells enhances natural cytotoxicity and mediates specific killing of tumor cells
Robert Alexander Jabulowsky
Winfried S. Wels
- Natural killer (NK) cells are highly specialized effectors of the innate immune system that hold promise for adoptive cancer immunotherapy. Their cell killing activity is primarily mediated by the pro-apoptotic serine protease granzyme B (GrB), which enters targets cells with the help of the pore-forming protein perforin. We investigated expression of a chimeric GrB fusion protein in NK cells as a means to augment their antitumoral activity. For selective targeting to tumor cells, we fused the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) peptide ligand transforming growth factor α (TGFα) to human pre-pro-GrB. Established human NKL natural killer cells transduced with a lentiviral vector expressed this GrB-TGFα (GrB-T) molecule in amounts comparable to endogenous wildtype GrB. Activation of the genetically modified NK cells by cognate target cells resulted in the release of GrB-T together with endogenous granzymes and perforin, which augmented the effector cells' natural cytotoxicity against NK-sensitive tumor cells. Likewise, GrB-T was released into the extracellular space upon induction of degranulation with PMA and ionomycin. Secreted GrB-T fusion protein displayed specific binding to EGFR-overexpressing tumor cells, enzymatic activity, and selective target cell killing in the presence of an endosomolytic activity. Our data demonstrate that ectopic expression of a targeted GrB fusion protein in NK cells is feasible and can enhance antitumoral activity of the effector cells.
Target-specific glioma therapy in an immunocompetent mouse model : meeting abstract
- Objective: Establishment of an immunocompetent mouse model representing the typical progressive stages observed in malignant human gliomas for the in vivo evaluation of novel target-specific regimens. Methods: Isolated clones from tumours that arose spontaneously in GFAP-v-src transgenic mice were used to develop a transplantable brain tumour model in syngeneic B6C3F1 mice. STAT3 protein was knocked down by infection of tumour cells with replication-defective lentivirus encoding STAT3-siRNA. Apoptosis is designed to be induced by soluble recombinant TRAIL + chemical Bcl-2/Bcl-xL inhibitors. Results: Striatal implantation of 105 mouse tumour cells resulted in the robust development of microscopically (2 – 3 mm) infiltrating malignant gliomas. Immunohistochemically, the gliomas displayed the astroglial marker GFAP and the oncogenic form of STAT3 (Tyr-705-phosphorylated) which is found in many malignancies including gliomas. Phosphorylated STAT3 was particularly prominent in the nucleus but was also found at the plasma membrane of peripherally infiltrating glioma cells. To evaluate the role of STAT3 in tumour progression, we stably expressed siRNA against STAT3 in several murine glioma cell lines. The effect of STAT3 depletion on proliferation, invasion and survival will be first assessed in vitro and subsequently after transplantation in vivo. Upstream and downstream components of the STAT3 signalling pathway as well as possible non-specific side effects of STAT3-siRNA expression after lentiviral infection will be examined, too. Conclusions: Its high rate of engraftment, its similarity to the malignant glioma of origin, and its rapid locally invasive growth should make this murine model useful in testing novel therapies for malignant gliomas.
Gunter von Minckwitz
Alexander B. Maurer
Winfried S. Wels
- Following publication of the data presented by von Minckwitz and colleagues  it has been brought to our attention that some patients should be scored differently. Stable disease was seen in three of the eighteen patients instead of two of the eighteen patients: one patient with transitional cell carcinoma treated at 4 micro g/kg scFv(FRP5)-ETA per day, and two breast cancer patients treated at 4 and 12.5 micro g/kg scFv(FRP5)-ETA per day. Disease progression occured in 9 of the eighteen patients evaluated (see corrected Table 2 overleaf). This does not affect the conclusions of our study. In addition we would like to correct the following errors: patient IDs for patients U01 and U02 in the original Table 2 were interchanged. In addition, patient N03 had a grade 3 elevation of gamma-glutamyl transferase, and not grade 2 (see corrected Table 2 overleaf). http://publikationen.ub.uni-frankfurt.de/volltexte/2005/1156/
Enzymatic and antisense effects of a specific anti-Ki-ras ribozyme in vitro and in cell culture
Claudio Detlef Giannini
W. Kurt Roth
- Due to their mode of action, ribozymes show antisense effects in addition to their specific cleavage activity. In the present study we investigated whether a hammerhead ribozyme is capable of cleaving mutated Ki-ras mRNA in a pancreatic carcinoma cell line and whether antisense effects contribute to the activity of the ribozyme. A 2[prime]-O-allyl modified hammerhead ribozyme was designed to cleave specifically the mutated form of the Ki-ras mRNA (GUU motif in codon 12). The activity was monitored by RT-PCR on Ki-ras RNA expression by determination of the relative amount of wild type to mutant Ki-ras mRNA, by 5-bromo-2[prime]-deoxy-uridine incorporation on cell proliferation and by colony formation in soft agar on malignancy in the human pancreatic adenocarcinoma cell line CFPAC-1, which is heterozygous for the Ki-ras mutation. A catalytically inactive ribozyme was used as control to differentiate between antisense and cleavage activity and a ribozyme with random guide sequences as negative control. The catalytically active anti-Ki-ras ribozyme was at least 2-fold more potent in decreasing cellular Ki-ras mRNA levels, inhibiting cell proliferation and colony formation in soft agar than the catalytically inactive ribozyme. The catalytically active anti-Ki-ras ribozyme, but not the catalytically inactive or random ribozyme, increased the ratio of wild type to mutated Ki-ras mRNA in CFPAC-1 cells. In conclusion, both cleavage activity and antisense effects contribute to the activity of the catalytically active anti-Ki-ras hammerhead ribozyme. Specific ribozymes might be useful in the treatment of pancreatic carcinomas containing an oncogenic GTT mutation in codon 12 of the Ki-ras gene.