Loss of phosphatase and tensin homolog (PTEN) and activation of the PI3K/AKT signaling pathway are hallmarks of prostate cancer (PCa). However, these alterations alone are insufficient for cells to acquire metastatic traits. Here, we have shown that the histone dimethyl transferase WHSC1 critically drives indolent PTEN-null tumors to become metastatic PCa. In a PTEN-null murine PCa model, WHSC1 overexpression in prostate epithelium cooperated with
Ni Li, Wei Xue, Huairui Yuan, Baijun Dong, Yufeng Ding, Yongfeng Liu, Min Jiang, Shan Kan, Tongyu Sun, Jiale Ren, Qiang Pan, Xiang Li, Peiyuan Zhang, Guohong Hu, Yan Wang, Xiaoming Wang, Qintong Li, Jun Qin
The most frequent focal alterations in human retinoblastoma are mutations in the tumor-suppressor gene retinoblastoma (
Nan Wu, Deshui Jia, Breanna Bates, Ryan Basom, Charles G. Eberhart, David MacPherson
Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T cells have been highly successful in treating hematological malignancies, including acute and chronic lymphoblastic leukemia. However, treatment of solid tumors using CAR T cells has been largely unsuccessful to date, partly because of tumor-induced immunosuppressive mechanisms, including adenosine production. Previous studies have shown that adenosine generated by tumor cells potently inhibits endogenous antitumor T cell responses through activation of adenosine 2A receptors (A2ARs). Herein, we have observed that CAR activation resulted in increased A2AR expression and suppression of both murine and human CAR T cells. This was reversible using either A2AR antagonists or genetic targeting of A2AR using shRNA. In 2 syngeneic HER2+ self-antigen tumor models, we found that either genetic or pharmacological targeting of the A2AR profoundly increased CAR T cell efficacy, particularly when combined with PD-1 blockade. Mechanistically, this was associated with increased cytokine production of CD8+ CAR T cells and increased activation of both CD8+ and CD4+ CAR T cells. Given the known clinical relevance of the CD73/adenosine pathway in several solid tumor types, and the initiation of phase I trials for A2AR antagonists in oncology, this approach has high translational potential to enhance CAR T cell efficacy in several cancer types.
Paul A. Beavis, Melissa A. Henderson, Lauren Giuffrida, Jane K. Mills, Kevin Sek, Ryan S. Cross, Alexander J. Davenport, Liza B. John, Sherly Mardiana, Clare Y. Slaney, Ricky W. Johnstone, Joseph A. Trapani, John Stagg, Sherene Loi, Lev Kats, David Gyorki, Michael H. Kershaw, Phillip K. Darcy
Elevated expression of the chemokine receptor CCR4 in tumors is associated with poor prognosis in several cancers. Here, we have determined that CCR4 was highly expressed in human renal cell carcinoma (RCC) biopsies and observed abnormal levels of CCR4 ligands in RCC patient plasma. An antagonistic anti-CCR4 antibody had antitumor activity in the RENCA mouse model of RCC. CCR4 inhibition did not reduce the proportion of infiltrating leukocytes in the tumor microenvironment but altered the phenotype of myeloid cells, increased NK cell and Th1 cytokine levels, and reduced immature myeloid cell infiltrate and blood chemokine levels. In spite of prominent changes in the myeloid compartment, the anti-CCR4 antibody did not affect RENCA tumors in T cell–deficient mice, and treatment with an anti–class II MHC antibody abrogated its antitumor activity. We concluded that the effects of the anti-CCR4 antibody required the adaptive immune system and CD4+ T cells. Moreover, CCL17-induced IFN-γ production was reduced when Th1-polarized normal CD4+ T cells were exposed to the CCR4 ligand, evidencing the involvement of CCR4 in Th1/Th2 regulation. The anti-CCR4 antibody, alone or in combination with other immune modulators, is a potential treatment approach to human solid cancers with high levels of CCR4-expressing tumor-infiltrating leukocytes and abnormal plasma CCR4 ligand levels.
Chiara Berlato, Moddasar N. Khan, Tiziana Schioppa, Richard Thompson, Eleni Maniati, Anne Montfort, Maryam Jangani, Monica Canosa, Hagen Kulbe, Urs B. Hagemann, Alexander R. Duncan, Laura Fletcher, Robert W. Wilkinson, Thomas Powles, Sergio A. Quezada, Frances R. Balkwill
Compromised apoptotic signaling is a prerequisite for tumorigenesis. The design of effective therapies for cancer treatment depends on a comprehensive understanding of the mechanisms that govern cell survival. The antiapoptotic proteins of the BCL-2 family are key regulators of cell survival and are frequently overexpressed in malignancies, leading to increased cancer cell survival. Unlike BCL-2 and BCL-XL, the closest antiapoptotic relative BCL-W is required for spermatogenesis, but was considered dispensable for all other cell types. Here, however, we have exposed a critical role for BCL-W in B cell survival and lymphomagenesis. Loss of
Clare M. Adams, Annette S. Kim, Ramkrishna Mitra, John K. Choi, Jerald Z. Gong, Christine M. Eischen
Most patients who initially respond to treatment with the multi–tyrosine kinase inhibitor sunitinib eventually relapse. Therefore, developing a deeper understanding of the contribution of sunitinib’s numerous targets to the clinical response or to resistance is crucial. Here, we have shown that cancer cells respond to clinically relevant doses of sunitinib by enhancing the stability of the antiapoptotic protein MCL-1 and inducing mTORC1 signaling, thus evoking little cytotoxicity. Inhibition of MCL-1 or mTORC1 signaling sensitized cells to clinically relevant doses of sunitinib in vitro and was synergistic with sunitinib in impairing tumor growth in vivo, indicating that these responses are triggered as prosurvival mechanisms that enable cells to tolerate the cytotoxic effects of sunitinib. Furthermore, higher doses of sunitinib were cytotoxic, triggered a decline in MCL-1 levels, and inhibited mTORC1 signaling. Mechanistically, we determined that sunitinib modulates MCL-1 stability by affecting its proteasomal degradation. Dual modulation of MCL-1 stability at different dose ranges of sunitinib was due to differential effects on ERK and GSK3β activity, and the latter also accounted for dual modulation of mTORC1 activity. Finally, comparison of patient samples prior to and following sunitinib treatment suggested that increases in MCL-1 levels and mTORC1 activity correlate with resistance to sunitinib in patients.
Mohamed Elgendy, Amal Kamal Abdel-Aziz, Salvatore Lorenzo Renne, Viviana Bornaghi, Giuseppe Procopio, Maurizio Colecchia, Ravindran Kanesvaran, Chee Keong Toh, Daniela Bossi, Isabella Pallavicini, Jose Luis Perez-Gracia, Maria Dolores Lozano, Valeria Giandomenico, Ciro Mercurio, Luisa Lanfrancone, Nicola Fazio, Franco Nole, Bin Tean Teh, Giuseppe Renne, Saverio Minucci
The AXL receptor and its activating ligand, growth arrest–specific 6 (GAS6), are important drivers of metastasis and therapeutic resistance in human cancers. Given the critical roles that GAS6 and AXL play in refractory disease, this signaling axis represents an attractive target for therapeutic intervention. However, the strong picomolar binding affinity between GAS6 and AXL and the promiscuity of small molecule inhibitors represent important challenges faced by current anti-AXL therapeutics. Here, we have addressed these obstacles by engineering a second-generation, high-affinity AXL decoy receptor with an apparent affinity of 93 femtomolar to GAS6. Our decoy receptor, MYD1-72, profoundly inhibited disease progression in aggressive preclinical models of human cancers and induced cell killing in leukemia cells. When directly compared with the most advanced anti-AXL small molecules in the clinic, MYD1-72 achieved superior antitumor efficacy while displaying no toxicity. Moreover, we uncovered a relationship between AXL and the cellular response to DNA damage whereby abrogation of AXL signaling leads to accumulation of the DNA-damage markers γH2AX, 53BP1, and RAD51. MYD1-72 exploited this relationship, leading to improvements upon the therapeutic index of current standard-of-care chemotherapies in preclinical models of advanced pancreatic and ovarian cancer.
Mihalis S. Kariolis, Yu Rebecca Miao, Anh Diep, Shannon E. Nash, Monica M. Olcina, Dadi Jiang, Douglas S. Jones II, Shiven Kapur, Irimpan I. Mathews, Albert C. Koong, Erinn B. Rankin, Jennifer R. Cochran, Amato J. Giaccia
Li-Fraumeni syndrome (LFS) is a cancer predisposition disorder caused by germline mutations in
Ping-yuan Wang, Jie Li, Farzana L. Walcott, Ju-Gyeong Kang, Matthew F. Starost, S. Lalith Talagala, Jie Zhuang, Ji-Hoon Park, Rebecca D. Huffstutler, Christina M. Bryla, Phuong L. Mai, Michael Pollak, Christina M. Annunziata, Sharon A. Savage, Antonio Tito Fojo, Paul M. Hwang
Tumor cells gain metastatic capacity through a Golgi phosphoprotein 3–dependent (GOLPH3-dependent) Golgi membrane dispersal process that drives the budding and transport of secretory vesicles. Whether Golgi dispersal underlies the pro-metastatic vesicular trafficking that is associated with epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) remains unclear. Here, we have shown that, rather than causing Golgi dispersal, EMT led to the formation of compact Golgi organelles with improved ribbon linking and cisternal stacking. Ectopic expression of the EMT-activating transcription factor ZEB1 stimulated Golgi compaction and relieved microRNA-mediated repression of the Golgi scaffolding protein PAQR11. Depletion of PAQR11 dispersed Golgi organelles and impaired anterograde vesicle transport to the plasma membrane as well as retrograde vesicle tethering to the Golgi. The N-terminal scaffolding domain of PAQR11 was associated with key regulators of Golgi compaction and vesicle transport in pull-down assays and was required to reconstitute Golgi compaction in PAQR11-deficient tumor cells. Finally, high PAQR11 levels were correlated with EMT and shorter survival in human cancers, and PAQR11 was found to be essential for tumor cell migration and metastasis in EMT-driven lung adenocarcinoma models. We conclude that EMT initiates a PAQR11-mediated Golgi compaction process that drives metastasis.
Xiaochao Tan, Priyam Banerjee, Hou-Fu Guo, Stephen Ireland, Daniela Pankova, Young-ho Ahn, Irodotos Michail Nikolaidis, Xin Liu, Yanbin Zhao, Yongming Xue, Alan R. Burns, Jonathon Roybal, Don L. Gibbons, Tomasz Zal, Chad J. Creighton, Daniel Ungar, Yanzhuang Wang, Jonathan M. Kurie
Mutations and deletions in components of ubiquitin ligase complexes that lead to alterations in protein turnover are important mechanisms in driving tumorigenesis. Here we describe an alternative mechanism involving upregulation of the microRNA miR-424 that leads to impaired ubiquitination and degradation of oncogenic transcription factors in prostate cancers. We found that miR-424 targets the E3 ubiquitin ligase COP1 and identified STAT3 as a key substrate of COP1 in promoting tumorigenic and cancer stem-like properties in prostate epithelial cells. Altered protein turnover due to impaired COP1 function led to accumulation and enhanced basal and cytokine-induced activity of STAT3. We further determined that loss of the ETS factor ESE3/EHF is the initial event that triggers the deregulation of the miR-424/COP1/STAT3 axis. COP1 silencing and STAT3 activation were effectively reverted by blocking of miR-424, suggesting a possible strategy to attack this key node of tumorigenesis in ESE3/EHF–deficient tumors. These results establish miR-424 as an oncogenic effector linked to noncanonical activation of STAT3 and as a potential therapeutic target.
Cecilia Dallavalle, Domenico Albino, Gianluca Civenni, Jessica Merulla, Paola Ostano, Maurizia Mello-Grand, Simona Rossi, Marco Losa, Gioacchino D’Ambrosio, Fausto Sessa, George N. Thalmann, Ramon Garcia-Escudero, Andrea Zitella, Giovanna Chiorino, Carlo V. Catapano, Giuseppina M. Carbone