Analysis of knockout/knockin mice that express a mutant FasL lacking the intracellular domain
Katharina Maria Lückerath
- Fas ligand (FasL; CD178; CD95L) is a type II transmembrane protein belonging to the tumour necrosis factor family; its binding to the Fas receptor (CD95; APO-1) triggers apoptosis in the receptor-bearing cell. Signalling through this pathway plays a pivotal role during the immune response and in immune system homeostasis. Similar to other TNF family members, the intracellular domain has been reported to transmit signals to the inside of the FasL-bearing cell (reverse signalling). Recently, we identified the proteases ADAM10 and SPPL2a as molecules important for the processing of FasL. Protease cleavage releases the intracellular domain, which then is able to translocate to the nucleus and to repress reporter gene activity. To study the physiological importance of FasL reverse signalling in vivo, we established knockout/knockin mice with a FasL deletion mutant that lacks the intracellular portion (FasLDeltaIntra). Co-culture experiments confirmed that the truncated FasL protein is still capable of inducing apoptosis in Fas-sensitive cells. Preliminary immune histochemistry data suggest that, in contrast to published data, the absence of the intracellular FasL domain does not alter the intracellular FasL localization in activated T cells. We are currently investigating signalling and proliferative capacities of T cells derived from homozygous FasLDeltaIntra mice to validate a co-stimulatory role of FasL reverse signalling.
Interference with RUNX1/ETO leukemogenic function by cell-penetrating peptides targeting the NHR2 oligomerization domain
- The leukemia-associated fusion protein RUNX1/ETO is generated by the chromosomal translocation t(8;21) which appears in about 12% of all de novo acute myeloid leukemias (AMLs). Essential for the oncogenic potential of RUNX1/ETO is the oligomerization of the chimeric fusion protein through the nervy homology region 2 (NHR2) within ETO. In previous studies, we have shown that the intracellular expression of peptides containing the NHR2 domain inhibits RUNX1/ETO oligomerization, thereby preventing cell proliferation and inducing differentiation of RUNX1/ETO transformed cells. Here, we show that introduction of a recombinant TAT-NHR2 fusion polypeptide into the RUNX1/ETO growth-dependent myeloid cell line Kasumi-1 results in decreased cell proliferation and increased numbers of apoptotic cells. This effect was highly specific and mediated by binding the TAT-NHR2 peptide to ETO sequences, as TAT-polypeptides containing the oligomerization domain of BCR did not affect cell proliferation or apoptosis in Kasumi-1 cells. Thus, the selective interference with NHR2-mediated oligomerization by peptides represents a challenging but promising strategy for the inhibition of the leukemogenic potential of RUNX1/ETO in t(8;21)-positive leukemia.
Chemical Chaperones Improve Protein Secretion and Rescue Mutant Factor VIII in Mice with Hemophilia A.
Stefanie D. Roth
Jeremy C. Simpson
- nefficient intracellular protein trafficking is a critical issue in the pathogenesis of a variety of diseases and in recombinant protein production. Here we investigated the trafficking of factor VIII (FVIII), which is affected in the coagulation disorder hemophilia A. We hypothesized that chemical chaperones may be useful to enhance folding and processing of FVIII in recombinant protein production, and as a therapeutic approach in patients with impaired FVIII secretion. A tagged B-domain-deleted version of human FVIII was expressed in cultured Chinese Hamster Ovary cells to mimic the industrial production of this important protein. Of several chemical chaperones tested, the addition of betaine resulted in increased secretion of FVIII, by increasing solubility of intracellular FVIII aggregates and improving transport from endoplasmic reticulum to Golgi. Similar results were obtained in experiments monitoring recombinant full-length FVIII. Oral betaine administration also increased FVIII and factor IX (FIX) plasma levels in FVIII or FIX knockout mice following gene transfer. Moreover, in vitro and in vivo applications of betaine were also able to rescue a trafficking-defective FVIII mutant (FVIIIQ305P). We conclude that chemical chaperones such as betaine might represent a useful treatment concept for hemophilia and other diseases caused by deficient intracellular protein trafficking.
Cytotoxic capacity of IL-15-stimulated cytokine-induced killer cells against human acute myeloid leukemia and rhabdomyosarcoma in humanized preclinical mouse models
Winfried S. Wels
- Allogeneic stem cell transplantation (allo-SCT) has become an important treatment modality for patients with high-risk acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and is also under investigation for soft tissue sarcomas. The therapeutic success is still limited by minimal residual disease (MRD) status ultimately leading to patients’ relapse. Adoptive donor lymphocyte infusions based on MRD status using IL-15-expanded cytokine-induced killer (CIK) cells may prevent relapse without causing graft-versus-host-disease (GvHD). To generate preclinical data we developed mouse models to study anti-leukemic- and anti-tumor-potential of CIK cells in vivo. Immunodeficient mice (NOD/SCID/IL-2Rγc−, NSG) were injected intravenously with human leukemic cell lines THP-1, SH-2 and with human rhabdomyosarcoma (RMS) cell lines RH41 and RH30 at minimal doses required for leukemia or tumor engraftment. Mice transplanted with THP-1 or RH41 cells were randomly assigned for analysis of CIK cell treatment. Organs of mice were analyzed by flow cytometry as well as quantitative polymerase chain reaction for engraftment of malignant cells and CIK cells. Potential of CIK cells to induce GvHD was determined by histological analysis. Tissues of the highest degree of THP-1 cell expansion included bone marrow followed by liver, lung, spleen, peripheral blood (PB), and brain. RH30 and RH41 engraftment mainly took place in liver and lung, but was also detectable in spleen and PB. In spite of delayed CIK cell expansion compared with malignant cells, CIK cells injected at equal amounts were sufficient for significant reduction of RH41 cells, whereas against fast-expanding THP-1 cells 250 times more CIK than THP-1 cells were needed to achieve comparable results. Our preclinical in vivo mouse models showed a reliable 100% engraftment of malignant cells which is essential for analysis of anti-cancer therapy. Furthermore our data demonstrated that IL-15-activated CIK cells have potent cytotoxic capacity against AML and RMS cells without causing GvHD.
Survival of the fittest: positive selection of CD4+ T cells expressing a membrane-bound fusion inhibitor following HIV-1 infection
Stephen E. Braun
Fay Eng Wong
Jörn E. Schmitz
Laurent M. Humeau
John J. Rossi
Dorothee von Laer
R. PauL Johnson
- Although a variety of genetic strategies have been developed to inhibit HIV replication, few direct comparisons of the efficacy of these inhibitors have been carried out. Moreover, most studies have not examined whether genetic inhibitors are able to induce a survival advantage that results in an expansion of genetically-modified cells following HIV infection. We evaluated the efficacy of three leading genetic strategies to inhibit HIV replication: 1) an HIV-1 tat/rev-specific small hairpin (sh) RNA; 2) an RNA antisense gene specific for the HIV-1 envelope; and 3) a viral entry inhibitor, maC46. In stably transduced cell lines selected such that >95% of cells expressed the genetic inhibitor, the RNA antisense envelope and viral entry inhibitor maC46 provided the strongest inhibition of HIV-1 replication. However, when mixed populations of transduced and untransduced cells were challenged with HIV-1, the maC46 fusion inhibitor resulted in highly efficient positive selection of transduced cells, an effect that was evident even in mixed populations containing as few as 1% maC46-expressing cells. The selective advantage of the maC46 fusion inhibitor was also observed in HIV-1-infected cultures of primary T lymphocytes as well as in HIV-1-infected humanized mice. These results demonstrate robust inhibition of HIV replication with the fusion inhibitor maC46 and the antisense Env inhibitor, and importantly, a survival advantage of cells expressing the maC46 fusion inhibitor both in vitro and in vivo. Evaluation of the ability of genetic inhibitors of HIV-1 replication to confer a survival advantage on genetically-modified cells provides unique information not provided by standard techniques that may be important in the in vivo efficacy of these genes.
Efficient lysis of rhabdomyosarcoma cells by cytokine-induced killer cells: implications for adoptive immunotherapy after allogeneic stem cell transplantation
Dorothee von Laer
- Background Rhabdomyosarcoma is the most common soft tissue sarcoma in childhood and has a poor prognosis. Here we assessed the capability of ex vivo expanded cytokine-induced killer cells to lyse both alveolar and embryonic rhabdomyosarcoma cell lines and investigated the mechanisms involved.
Design and Methods Peripheral blood mononuclear cells from six healthy donors were used to generate and expand cytokine-induced killer cells. The phenotype and composition of these cells were determined by multiparameter flow cytometry, while their cytotoxic effect against rhabdomyosarcoma cells was evaluated by a europium release assay.
Results Cytokine-induced killer cells efficiently lysed cells from both rhabdomyosarcoma cell lines. Antibody-mediated masking of either NKG2D molecule on cytokine-induced killer cells or its ligands on rhabdomyosarcoma cells (major histocompatibility antigen related chain A and B and UL16 binding protein 2) diminished this effect by 50%, suggesting a major role for the NKG2D molecule in rhabdomyosarcoma cell killing. No effect was observed after blocking CD11a, CD3 or TCRαβ molecules on cytokine-induced killer cells or CD1d on rhabdomyosar-coma cells. Remarkably, cytokine-induced killer cells used tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) to activate caspase-3, as the main caspase responsible for the execution of apoptosis. Accordingly, blocking TRAIL receptors on embryonic rhabdomyosarcoma cell lines significantly reduced the anti-tumor effect of cytokine-induced killer cells. About 50% of T cells within the cytokine-induced killer population had an effector memory phenotype, 20% had a naïve phenotype and approximately 30% of the cells had a central memory phenotype. In addition, cytokine-induced killer cells expressed low levels of activation-induced markers CD69 and CD137 and demonstrated a low alloreactive potential.
Conclusions Our data suggest that cytokine-induced killer cells may be used as a novel adoptive immunotherapy for the treatment of patients with rhabdomyosarcoma after allogeneic stem cell transplantation.
Genomic instability and myelodysplasia with monosomy 7 consequent to EVI1 activation after gene therapy for chronic granulomatous disease
Marion Gabriele Ott
Adrian J. Thrasher
Christof von Kalle
- Gene-modified autologous hematopoietic stem cells (HSC) can provide ample clinical benefits to subjects suffering from X-linked chronic granulomatous disease (X-CGD), a rare inherited immunodeficiency characterized by recurrent, often life-threatening bacterial and fungal infections. Here we report on the molecular and cellular events observed in two young adults with X-CGD treated by gene therapy in 2004. After the initial resolution of bacterial and fungal infections, both subjects showed silencing of transgene expression due to methylation of the viral promoter, and myelodysplasia with monosomy 7 as a result of insertional activation of ecotropic viral integration site 1 (EVI1). One subject died from overwhelming sepsis 27 months after gene therapy, whereas a second subject underwent an allogeneic HSC transplantation. Our data show that forced overexpression of EVI1 in human cells disrupts normal centrosome duplication, linking EVI1 activation to the development of genomic instability, monosomy 7 and clonal progression toward myelodysplasia.
Gentherapie der septischen Granulomatose: Chancen und Risiken : der Weg zur erfolgreichen Therapie einer angeborenen Immundefizienz
- Im Jahre 2004 sind am Universitätsklinikum Frankfurt zwei Patienten mit X-CGD gentherapeutisch behandelt worden. Nach einer initialen Phase mit Nachweis ausreichender Mengen Oxidase-positiver Zellen im Blut der Patienten und einer deutlichen klinischen Besserung vorbestehender Infektionsherde kam es zu einem Verlust der Transgenexpression durch epigenetische Veränderungen des viralen Promotors. Ferner entwickelte sich durch Insertionsmutagenese eine klonale Expansion in der Hämatopoese und schließlich ein myelodysplastisches Syndrom mit Monosomie 7 bei beiden Patienten. In der Zusammenschau mit anderen Gentherapiestudien zur X-CGD zeigt sich, dass bislang ein langanhaltendes Engraftment funktionierender genkorrigierter Zellen nur im Zusammenhang mit einer Insertionsmutagenese beobachtet wurde. Zukünftige gentherapeutische Strategien zur Behandlung der X-CGD müssen das Risiko einer Insertionsmutagenese minimieren und gleichzeitig die Effektivität des Engraftments genkorrigierter Zellen steigern. Dies soll durch den Einsatz von SIN-Vektoren sowie einer Intensivierung der Konditionierung der Patienten erreicht werden.
From bench to bedside: preclinical evaluation of a self-inactivating gammaretroviral vector for the gene therapy of X-linked chronic granulomatous disease
Mohammed A. Sadat
Kerstin B. Kaufmann
Nancy K. Pech
Jeffrey B. Travers
Juan D. Matute
Robert G. Presson Jr.
George E. Sandusky
Christof von Kalle
Mary C. Dinauer
- Chronic granulomatous disease (CGD) is a primary immunodeficiency characterized by impaired antimicrobial activity in phagocytic cells. As a monogenic disease affecting the hematopoietic system, CGD is amenable to gene therapy. Indeed in a phase I/II clinical trial, we demonstrated a transient resolution of bacterial and fungal infections. However, the therapeutic benefit was compromised by the occurrence of clonal dominance and malignant transformation demanding alternative vectors with equal efficacy but safety-improved features. In this work we have developed and tested a self-inactivating (SIN) gammaretroviral vector (SINfes.gp91s) containing a codon-optimized transgene (gp91(phox)) under the transcriptional control of a myeloid promoter for the gene therapy of the X-linked form of CGD (X-CGD). Gene-corrected cells protected X-CGD mice from Aspergillus fumigatus challenge at low vector copy numbers. Moreover, the SINfes.gp91s vector generates substantial amounts of superoxide in human cells transplanted into immunodeficient mice. In vitro genotoxicity assays and longitudinal high-throughput integration site analysis in transplanted mice comprising primary and secondary animals for 11 months revealed a safe integration site profile with no signs of clonal dominance.
Functional Characterization of Two scFv-Fc Antibodies from an HIV Controller Selected on Soluble HIV-1 Env Complexes: A Neutralizing V3- and a Trimer-Specific gp41 Antibody
Hagen von Briesen
- HIV neutralizing antibodies (nAbs) represent an important tool in view of prophylactic and therapeutic applications for HIV-1 infection. Patients chronically infected by HIV-1 represent a valuable source for nAbs. HIV controllers, including long-term non-progressors (LTNP) and elite controllers (EC), represent an interesting subgroup in this regard, as here nAbs can develop over time in a rather healthy immune system and in the absence of any therapeutic selection pressure. In this study, we characterized two particular antibodies that were selected as scFv antibody fragments from a phage immune library generated from an LTNP with HIV neutralizing antibodies in his plasma. The phage library was screened on recombinant soluble gp140 envelope (Env) proteins. Sequencing the selected peptide inserts revealed two major classes of antibody sequences. Binding analysis of the corresponding scFv-Fc derivatives to various trimeric and monomeric Env constructs as well as to peptide arrays showed that one class, represented by monoclonal antibody (mAb) A2, specifically recognizes an epitope localized in the pocket binding domain of the C heptad repeat (CHR) in the ectodomain of gp41, but only in the trimeric context. Thus, this antibody represents an interesting tool for trimer identification. MAb A7, representing the second class, binds to structural elements of the third variable loop V3 and neutralizes tier 1 and tier 2 HIV-1 isolates of different subtypes with matching critical amino acids in the linear epitope sequence. In conclusion, HIV controllers are a valuable source for the selection of functionally interesting antibodies that can be selected on soluble gp140 proteins with properties from the native envelope spike.