[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Converting the immunosuppressive tumor environment into one that is favorable to induction of antitumor immunity is indispensable for effective cancer immunotherapy. Here we strategically incorporate a pathogen (i.e., Flagellin)-derived, NF-kappaB-stimulating 'danger' signal into the large stress protein or chaperone Grp170 that was previously shown to facilitate antigen cross-presentation. This engineered chimeric molecule (i.e., Flagrp170) is capable of transporting tumor antigens and concurrently inducing functional activation of dendritic cells. Intratumoral administration of adenoviruses expressing Flagrp170 induces a superior antitumor response against B16 melanoma and its distant lung metastasis compared to unmodified Grp170 and Flagellin. The enhanced tumor destruction is accompanied with significantly increased tumor infiltration by CD8+ cells as well as elevation of IFN-gamma and IL-12 levels in the tumor sites. In situ Ad.Flagrp170 therapy provokes systemic activation of CTLs that recognize several antigens naturally expressing in melanoma (e.g., gp100 and TRP2). The mechanistic studies using CD11c-DTR transgenic mice and Batf3-deficient mice reveal that CD8+ DCs are required for the improved T cell cross-priming. Antibody neutralization assays show that IL-12 and IFN-gamma are essential for the Flagrp170-elicited antitumor response, which also involves CD8+ T cells and NK cells. The therapeutic efficacy of Flagrp170 and its immune stimulating activity are also confirmed in mouse prostate cancer and colon carcinoma. Together, targeting the tumor microenvironment with this chimeric chaperone is highly effective in mobilizing or restoring antitumor immunity, supporting the potential therapeutic use of this novel immune modulator in the treatment of metastatic diseases.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) have been a focus of recent study on tumor-mediated immune suppression. However, its role in Th17 cell differentiation and the pathogenesis of autoimmune diseases (e.g., multiple sclerosis) has not been determined. We show in this study that development of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE) in mice is associated with a profound expansion of CD11b(+)Gr-1(+) MDSCs, which display efficient T cell inhibitory functions in vitro. Unexpectedly, these MDSCs enhance the differentiation of naive CD4(+) T cell precursors into Th17 cells in a highly efficient manner under Th17-polarizing conditions, as indicated by significantly increased number of Th17 cells, elevation of IL-17A production, and upregulation of the orphan nuclear receptor RORA and RORC. Mechanistic studies show that IL-1β represents a major mediator of MDSC-facilitated Th17 differentiation, which depends on the IL-1 receptor on CD4(+) T cells but not MDSCs. Selective depletion of MDSCs using gemcitabine results in a marked reduction in the severity of EAE (e.g., decreased clinical scores and myelin injury), which correlates with reduced Th17 cells and inflammatory cytokines (IL-17A and IL-1β) in the lymphoid tissues and spinal cord. Adoptive transfer of MDSCs after gemcitabine treatment restores EAE disease progression. Together, we demonstrate for the first time, to our knowledge, that excessive and prolonged presence of MDSCs can drive a Th17 response and consequently contributes to the pathogenesis of EAE. These new findings provide unique insights into the pleiotropic functions of MDSCs and may help explain the failure of immunosuppressive MDSCs to control Th17/IL-17-dependent autoimmune disorders.
The Journal of Immunology 10/2012; 189(9):4295-304. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Given the complexity of prostate cancer progression and metastasis, multimodalities that target different aspects of tumor biology, e.g., radiotherapy (RT) in conjunction with immunotherapy, may provide the best opportunities for promoting clinical benefits in patients with high risk localized prostate cancer. Here we show that intratumoral administration of unmodified dendritic cells (DCs) failed to synergize with fractionated RT. However, ionizing radiation combined with in situ vaccination with DCs, in which the immunosuppressive scavenger receptor A (SRA/CD204) has been downregulated by lentivirus-mediated gene silencing, profoundly suppressed the growth of two mouse prostate cancers (e.g., RM1 and TRAMP-C2), and prolonged the lifespan of tumor-bearing animals. Treatment of subcutaneous tumors with this novel combinatorial radio-immunotherapeutic regimen resulted in a significant reduction in distant experimental metastases. SRA/CD204-silenced DCs were highly efficient in generating antigen or tumor-specific T cells with increased effector functions (e.g., cytokine production and tumoricidal activity). SRA/CD204 silencing-enhanced tumor cell death was associated with elevated IFN-γ levels in tumor tissue and increased tumor-infiltrating CD8+ cells. IFN-γ neutralization or depletion of CD8+ cells abrogated the SRA/CD204 downregulation-promoted antitumor efficacy, indicating a critical role of IFN-γ-producing CD8+ T cells. Therefore, blocking SRA/CD204 activity significantly enhances the therapeutic potency of local RT combined with in situ DC vaccination by promoting a robust systemic antitumor immunity. Further studies are warranted to test this novel combinatorial approach for translating into improved clinical outcomes in prostate cancer patients.
Molecular Cancer Therapeutics 08/2012; · 5.60 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Negative feedback immune mechanisms are essential for maintenance of hepatic homeostasis and prevention of immune-mediated liver injury. We show here that scavenger receptor A (SRA/CD204), a pattern recognition molecule, is highly upregulated in the livers of patients with autoimmune or viral hepatitis, and of mice during concanavalin A (Con A)-induced hepatitis (CIH). Strikingly, genetic SRA ablation strongly sensitizes mice to Con A-induced liver injury. SRA loss-increased mortality and liver pathology correlate with excessive production of IFN-γ and heightened activation of T cells. Increased liver expression of SRA primarily occurs in mobilized hepatic myeloid cells during CIH, including CD11b(+) Gr-1(+) cells. Mechanistic studies establish that SRA on these cells functions as a negative regulator limiting T cell activity and cytokine production. SRA-mediated protection from CIH is further validated by adoptive transfer of SRA(+) hepatic mononuclear cells or administration of a lentivirus-expressing SRA, which effectively ameliorates Con A-induced hepatic injury. We also report for the first time that CIH and clinical hepatitis are associated with the increased levels of soluble SRA. This soluble SRA displays a direct T cell inhibitory effect and is capable of mitigating Con A-induced liver pathology. Our findings demonstrate an unexpected role of SRA in attenuation of Con A-induced, T cell-mediated hepatic injury. We propose that SRA serves as an important negative feedback mechanism in liver immune homeostasis, and may be exploited for therapeutic treatment of inflammatory liver diseases. (HEPATOLOGY 2012.).
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recognition of pathogen-associated molecular patterns by innate immune receptors is essential for host defense responses. Although extracellular stress proteins are considered as indicators of the stressful conditions (e.g., infection or cell injury), the exact roles of these molecules in the extracellular milieu remain less defined. We found that glucose-regulated protein 170 (Grp170), the largest stress protein and molecular chaperone, is highly efficient in binding CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG-ODN), the microbial DNA mimetic sensed by toll-like receptor 9 (TLR9). Extracellular Grp170 markedly potentiates the endocytosis and internalization of CpG-ODN by mouse bone marrow-derived macrophages and directly interacts with endosomal TLR9 on cell entry. These molecular collaborations result in the synergistic activation of the MyD88-dependent signaling and enhanced production of proinflammatory cytokines and nitric oxide in mouse primary macrophages as well as human THP-1 monocyte-derived macrophages, suggesting that Grp170 released from injured cells facilitates the sensing of pathogen-associated "danger" signals by intracellular receptors. This CpG-ODN chaperone complex-promoted innate immunity confers increased resistance in mice to infection of Listeria monocytogenes compared with CpG-ODN treatment alone. Our studies reveal a previously unrecognized attribute of Grp170 as a superior DNA-binding chaperone capable of amplifying TLR9 activation on pathogen recognition, which provides a conceptual advance in understanding the dynamics of ancient chaperoning functions inside and outside the cell.
The FASEB Journal 12/2011; 26(4):1493-505. · 5.70 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Pattern recognition scavenger receptor SRA/CD204, primarily expressed on specialized antigen-presenting cells (APCs), including dendritic cells (DCs) and macrophages, has been implicated in multiple physiological and pathological processes, including atherosclerosis, Alzheimer's disease, endotoxic shock, host defense, and cancer development. SRA/CD204 was also recently shown to function as an attenuator of vaccine response and antitumor immunity. Here, we, for the first time, report that SRA/CD204 knockout (SRA(-/-)) mice developed a more robust CD4(+) T cell response than wild-type mice after ovalbumin immunization. Splenic DCs from the immunized SRA(-/-) mice were much more efficient than those from WT mice in stimulating naïve OT-II cells, indicating that the suppressive activity of SRA/CD204 is mediated by DCs. Strikingly, antigen-exposed SRA(-/-) DCs with or without lipopolysaccharide treatment exhibited increased T-cell-stimulating activity in vitro, which was independent of the classical endocytic property of the SRA/CD204. Additionally, absence of SRA/CD204 resulted in significantly elevated IL12p35 expression in DCs upon CD40 ligation plus interferon gamma (IFN-γ) stimulation. Molecular studies reveal that SRA/CD204 inhibited the activation of STAT1, mitogen activated protein kinase p38, and nuclear factor-kappa B signaling activation in DCs treated with anti-CD40 antibodies and IFN-γ. Furthermore, splenocytes from the generated SRA(-/-) OT-II mice showed heightened proliferation upon stimulation with OVA protein or MHC-II-restricted OVA(323-339) peptide compared with cells from the SRA(+/+) OT-II mice. These results not only establish a new role of SRA/CD204 in limiting the intrinsic immunogenicity of APCs and CD4(+) T cell activation but also provide additional insights into the molecular mechanisms involved in the immune suppression by this molecule.
Journal of Molecular Medicine 11/2011; 90(4):413-26. · 4.77 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Although dendritic cell (DC) vaccines offer promise as cancer immunotherapy, further improvements are needed to amplify their clinical therapeutic efficacy. The pattern recognition scavenger receptor SRA/CD204 attenuates the ability of DCs to activate CD8(+) T-cell responses. Therefore, we examined the impact of SRA/CD204 on antitumor responses generated by DC vaccines and we also evaluated the feasibility of enhancing DC vaccine potency by SRA/CD204 blockade. DCs from SRA/CD204-deficient mice were more immunogenic in generating antitumor responses to B16 melanoma, compared with DCs from wild-type mice. Similarly, siRNA-mediated knockdown of SRA/CD204 by lentiviral vectors improved the ability of wild-type DCs to stimulate the expansion and activation of CD8(+) T cells specific for idealized or established melanoma antigens in mice. Using SRA/CD204-silenced DCs to generate antigen-targeted vaccines, we documented a marked increase in the level of antitumor immunity achieved against established B16 tumors and metastases. This increase was associated with enhanced activation of antigen specific CTLs, greater tumor infiltration by CD8(+) T cells and NK cells, and increased intratumoral ratios of both CD4(+) and CD8(+) T-effector cells to CD4(+)CD25(+) T-regulatory cells. Our studies establish that downregulating SRA/CD204 strongly enhances DC-mediated antitumor immunity. In addition, they provide a rationale to enhance DC vaccine potency through SRA/CD204-targeting approaches that can improve clinical outcomes in cancer treatment.
Cancer Research 09/2011; 71(21):6611-20. · 8.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We previously reported that scavenger receptor A (SRA/CD204), a binding structure on dendritic cells (DCs) for large stress/heat shock proteins (HSPs; e.g., hsp110 and grp170), attenuated an antitumor response elicited by large HSP-based vaccines. In this study, we show that SRA/CD204 interacts directly with exogenous hsp110, and lack of SRA/CD204 results in a reduction in the hsp110 binding and internalization by DCs. However, SRA(-/-) DCs pulsed with hsp110 or grp170-reconstituted gp100 chaperone complexes exhibit a profoundly increased capability of stimulating melanoma Ag gp100-specific naive T cells compared with wild-type (WT) DCs. Similar results were obtained when SRA/CD204 was silenced in DCs using short hairpin RNA-encoding lentiviruses. In addition, hsp110-stimulated SRA(-/-) DCs produced more inflammatory cytokines associated with increased NF-κB activation, implicating an immunosuppressive role for SRA/CD204. Immunization with the hsp110-gp100 vaccine resulted in a more robust gp100-specific CD8(+) T cell response in SRA(-/-) mice than in WT mice. Lastly, SRA/CD204 absence markedly improved the therapeutic efficacy of the hsp110-gp100 vaccine in mice established with B16 melanoma, which was accompanied by enhanced activation and tumor infiltration of CD8(+) T cells. Given the presence of multiple HSP-binding scavenger receptors on APCs, we propose that selective scavenger receptor interactions with HSPs may lead to highly distinct immunological consequences. Our findings provide new insights into the immune regulatory functions of SRA/CD204 and have important implications in the rational design of protein Ag-targeted recombinant chaperone vaccines for the treatment of cancer.
The Journal of Immunology 08/2011; 187(6):2905-14. · 5.52 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The collaboration and cross-talk between different classes of innate pattern recognition receptors are crucial for a well coordinated inflammatory response and host defense. Here we report a previously unrecognized role of scavenger receptor A (SRA; also known as CD204) as a signaling regulator in the context of Toll-like receptor 4 (TLR4) activation. We show that SRA/CD204 deficiency leads to greater sensitivity to LPS-induced endotoxic shock. SRA/CD204 down-regulates inflammatory gene expression in dendritic cells by suppressing TLR4-induced activation of the transcription factor NF-κB. For the first time, we demonstrate that SRA/CD204 executes its regulatory functions by directly interacting with the TRAF-C domain of TNF receptor-associated factor 6 (TRAF6), resulting in inhibition of TRAF6 dimerization and ubiquitination. The attenuation of NF-κB activity by SRA/CD204 is independent of its ligand-binding domain, indicating that the signaling-regulatory feature of SRA/CD204 can be uncoupled from its conventional endocytic functions. Collectively, we have identified the molecular linkage between SRA/CD204 and the TLR4 signaling pathways, and our results reveal a novel mechanism by which a non-TLR pattern recognition receptor restricts TLR4 activation and consequent inflammatory response.
Journal of Biological Chemistry 04/2011; 286(21):18795-806. · 4.65 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Given the primary expression of scavenger receptor A (SRA) or CD204 on antigen-presenting cells, we investigate the immunoregulatory activities of SRA/CD204 in the context of cross-presentation of cell-associated antigen and the immunogenicity of dying tumor cells. Immunization with dying prostate cancer cells results in profoundly increased control of subsequently inoculated tumors in SRA/CD204 knockout mice. Using OVA-expressing RM1 prostate tumor line (RM1-OVA), we show for the first time that SRA absence greatly enhances dendritic cells (DCs)-mediated cross-presentation of OVA antigen derived from dying RM1 cells. While the phagocytic ability of DCs is not significantly impacted by the lack of SRA/CD204, DCs deficient in SRA/CD204 display increased expression of inflammatory cytokines and chemokines, as well as co-stimulatory molecules upon interaction with dying RM1 cells, implicating a suppressive regulation of the functional activation of DCs by SRA/CD204. Further, SRA/CD204-deficient DCs pulsed with dying RM1-OVA cells are more effective than wild-type counterparts in priming antigen-specific T-cell responses, resulting in improved control of RM1 tumor growth in both prophylactic and therapeutic settings. Our findings suggest that the increased immunogenicity of dying tumor cells in SRA/CD204 knockout mice is attributed to the altered functions of DCs in the absence of SRA/CD204, which underscores the important role of SRA/CD204 in host immune homeostasis. Selective downregulation or blockade of this immunoregulatory molecule may lead to enhanced potency of DC-based vaccines capable of breaking immune tolerance against cancer.
Immunology and Cell Biology 03/2011; 90(1):101-8. · 3.93 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Multiple physiological and pathological conditions interfere with the function of the endoplasmic reticulum (ER). However, much remains unknown regarding the impact of ER stress on inflammatory responses in dendritic cells (DCs) upon the recognition of pathogen molecules. We show that ER stress greatly potentiates the expression of inflammatory cytokines and IFN-β in murine DCs stimulated by polyIC, a synthetic mimic of virus dsRNA. Both toll-like receptor 3 and melanoma differentiation-associated gene-5 are involved in the enhanced IFN-β production, which is associated with increased activation of NF-κB and IRF3 signaling as well as the splicing of X-box-binding protein-1 (XBP-1), an important regulator involved in ER stress response. Surprisingly, silencing of XBP-1 reduces polyIC-stimulated IFN-β expression in the presence or absence of ER stress, indicating that XBP-1 may be essential for polyIC signaling and ER stress-amplified IFN-β production. Overexpression of a spliced form of XBP-1 (XBP-1s) synergistically augments polyIC-induced inflammatory response. For the first time, we show that XBP-1s overexpression-enhanced IFN-β production in DCs markedly suppresses vesicular stomatitis virus infection, revealing a previously unrecognized role for XBP-1 in an antiviral response. Our findings suggest that evolutionarily conserved ER stress response and XBP-1 may function collaboratively with innate immunity to maintain cellular homeostasis.
European Journal of Immunology 02/2011; 41(4):1086-97. · 4.97 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Large heat-shock proteins (HSPs), including hsp110 and grp170, are unique immunochaperones capable of carrying and introducing antigens into professional antigen-presenting cells for efficient cross-presentation. Therefore, reconstituted chaperone complexes of large HSPs and protein antigen may be exploited for augmentation of an antigen-specific immune response. The methods for the preparation of the recombinant protein antigen chaperone complex and characterization of its T-cell priming capability in both in vitro and in vivo settings are described.
Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2011; 787:277-87.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In this study, we report a novel treatment strategy that could potentially be used to improve efficacy of adoptive cell therapy for patients with prostate cancer. We show that female C57BL/6 mice are able to effectively reject two syngeneic prostate tumors (TRAMP-C2 and RM1) in a T cell-dependent manner. The protective antitumor immunity appears to primarily involve T cell responses reactive against general prostate tumor/tissue antigens, rather than simply to male-specific H-Y antigen. For the first time we show that adoptive transfer of lymphocytes from TRAMP-C2-primed or naïve female mice effectively control prostate tumor growth in male mice, when combined with host pre-conditioning (i.e., non-myeloablative lymphodepletion) and IL-2 administration. No pathological autoimmune response was observed in the treated tumor-bearing male mice. Our studies provide new insights regarding the immune-mediated recognition of male-specific tissue, such as the prostate, and may offer new immunotherapy treatment strategies for advanced prostate cancer.
Cancer Immunology and Immunotherapy 11/2010; 60(3):349-60. · 3.64 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Class A scavenger receptor (SRA), also known as CD204, has been shown to participate in the pathogenesis of atherosclerosis and the pattern recognition of pathogen infection. However, its role in adaptive immune responses has not been well defined. In this study, we report that the lack of SRA/CD204 promotes Toll-like receptor (TLR)4 agonist-augmented tumor-protective immunity, which is associated with enhanced activation of CD8(+) effector T cell and improved inhibition of tumor growth. Dendritic cells (DCs) deficient in SRA/CD204 display more effective immunostimulatory activities upon TLR4 engagement than those from wild-type counterparts. Silencing of SRA/CD204 by RNA interference improves the ability of DCs to prime antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells, suggesting that antigen-presenting cells, for example, DCs, play a major role in SRA/CD204-mediated immune modulation. Our findings reveal a previously unrecognized role for SRA/CD204, a non-TLR pattern recognition receptor, as a physiologic negative regulator of TLR4-mediated immune consequences, which has important clinical implications for development of TLR-targeted immunotherapeutic intervention.