Ebenezer David

Emory University, Atlanta, GA, United States

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Publications (5)34.38 Total impact

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    ABSTRACT: Graft-versus-host disease (GVHD) is a major cause of morbidity and mortality in patients treated with allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT). Posttransplant immunosuppressive drugs incompletely control GVHD and increase susceptibility to opportunistic infections. In this study, we used flagellin, a TLR5 agonist protein (∼50 kDa) extracted from bacterial flagella, as a novel experimental treatment strategy to reduce both acute and chronic GVHD in allogeneic HSCT recipients. On the basis of the radioprotective effects of flagellin, we hypothesized that flagellin could ameliorate GVHD in lethally irradiated murine models of allogeneic HSCT. Two doses of highly purified flagellin (administered 3 h before irradiation and 24 h after HSCT) reduced GVHD and led to better survival in both H-2(b) → CB6F1 and H-2(K) → B6 allogeneic HSCT models while preserving >99% donor T cell chimerism. Flagellin treatment preserved long-term posttransplant immune reconstitution characterized by more donor thymic-derived CD4(+)CD25(+)Foxp3(+) regulatory T cells and significantly enhanced antiviral immunity after murine CMV infection. The proliferation index and activation status of donor spleen-derived T cells and serum concentration of proinflammatory cytokines in flagellin-treated recipients were reduced significantly within 4 d posttransplant compared with those of the PBS-treated control recipients. Allogeneic transplantation of radiation chimeras previously engrafted with TLR5 knockout hematopoietic cells showed that interactions between flagellin and TLR5 expressed on both donor hematopoietic and host nonhematopoietic cells were required to reduce GVHD. Thus, the peritransplant administration of flagellin is a novel therapeutic approach to control GVHD while preserving posttransplant donor immunity.
    The Journal of Immunology 11/2011; 187(10):5130-40. · 5.52 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In this report, we investigated the mechanism responsible for synergistic induction of myeloma cell apoptosis induced by the combination of tipifarnib and bortezomib. Immunofluorescence studies revealed that bortezomib alone resulted in an accumulation of puncta of ubiquitinated proteins that was further enhanced by the addition of tipifarnib. These data suggest inhibition of the degradation of bortezomib-induced aggresomes; and consistent with this possibility, we also observed an increase in p62SQSTM1 in cells treated with the combination. However, autophagy in these cells appears to be normal as LC3BII is present, and autophagic flux appears to be unaffected as demonstrated by the addition of bafilomycin A₁. Together, these data demonstrate that tipifarnib synergizes with bortezomib by inducing protein accumulation as a result of the uncoupling of the aggresome and autophagy pathways.
    Blood 12/2010; 116(24):5285-8. · 9.06 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The aim of this study is to investigate the efficacy of a novel Akt inhibitor, perifosine, in combination with tumor necrosis factor-related apoptosis-inducing ligand (TRAIL) in human myeloma cells and primary patient samples. The activity of perifosine in combination with TRAIL was evaluated with experiments testing the effect of perifosine on DR4/DR5 expression by the use of chimeric blocking antibodies, as well as siRNA. DR4 and DR5 expression was induced by exposure to single-agent perifosine. After exposure of human myeloma cell lines or primary patient samples to increasing doses of perifosine with exogenous TRAIL, we identified synergistically enhanced apoptosis when compared with the perifosine alone, which was achieved with levels well below clinically achievable concentrations for both agents. Transfection with siRNA against DR4, and DR5 reduced the level of apoptosis induced by the combination but did not result in total abrogation of the combination effect. Overexpression of activated Akt, the proposed target for perifosine, did not inhibit the combination effect. Anti-DR4 and DR5 chimeric proteins blocked the cytotoxicity induced by the combination, and the use of c-FLICE-like interleukin protein (FLIP) siRNA enhanced the efficacy at the combination, further supporting the importance of the DR4/DR5 axis in the effect of perifosine. Our observation seems to be independent of the effects of perifosine on Akt signaling, and may represent an additional mechanism of action for this agent, and supports future clinical trials combining these two agents.
    Clinical Cancer Research 09/2008; 14(16):5090-8. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Dendritic cells (DCs) are powerful mediators of immune responses. We have demonstrated that the content of plasmacytoid (type 2) dendritic cells (DC2) within allogeneic bone marrow grafts impacts survival and graft-vs-host disease following transplantation. In order to better understand the effect of DC subsets on regulation of immunity, we tested the effect of DC subsets on T cells in a model of indirect antigen presentation to mimic presentation of host-type alloantigen by donor-type DC. Volunteers underwent apheresis without cytokine priming, and DC1, DC2, naïve, and memory T cells were purified by immunomagnetic bead and fluorescein-activated cell sorting. Purified DC1 and DC2 cells were cultured with third-party irradiated blood mononuclear cells and either naïve or memory homologous T cells in mixed lymphocyte reactions. Myeloid (type 1) dendritic cells (DC1) induced significant proliferation of homologous T cells and were more effective in priming naïve T-cell responses than memory T cells responding to alloantigen. DC2 cells induced minimal T-cell proliferation regardless of the T-cell subset used as the responding fraction. Secondary mixed lymphocyte reaction studies demonstrated that DC2 primed T cells remained hyporesponsive even when challenged with a third-party alloantigen. The immunostimulatory effect of DC1 required DC-to-T-cell contact, and induced interleukin-12 secretion, while DC2 cells induced interferon-gamma secretion. Polymerase chain reaction analysis of DC2-primed T cells demonstrated a significant increase in Foxp3 expression, supporting induction of a regulatory T-cell population. DC1 and DC2 cells induced divergent T-cell responses using homologous cells. Better understanding of DC2-mediated T-cell suppression may yield strategies that overcome tumor-specific immune tolerance and regulate graft-vs-host disease.
    Experimental Hematology 08/2008; 36(10):1309-17. · 2.91 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The identification of signaling pathways critical to myeloma growth and progression has yielded an array of novel agents with clinical activity. Multiple myeloma (MM) growth is IL-6 dependent, and IL-6 is secreted in an autocrine/paracrine fashion with signaling via the Ras/Raf/mitogen-activated protein kinase (MAPK) pathway. We hypothesized that combining a Ras pathway inhibitor (lonafarnib, SCH66336) with a proteasome inhibitor (bortezomib, Velcade, PS-341) would enhance myeloma-cell killing. MM cell lines and primary human cells were used to test either single agent bortezomib, lonafarnib, or the combination on MM signaling and apoptosis. Combination therapy induced synergistic tumor-cell death in MM cell lines and primary MM plasma cells. Cell death was rapid and associated with increased caspase 3, 8, and 9 cleavage and concomitant down-regulation of p-AKT. Down-regulation of p-AKT was seen only in combination therapy and not seen with either single agent. Cells transfected with constitutively active p-AKT, wild-type AKT, or Bcl-2 continued to demonstrate synergistic cell death in response to the combination. The order of addition was critically important, supporting bortezomib followed by lonafarnib as the optimal schedule. The combination of a proteasome inhibitor and farnesyl transferase inhibitor demonstrates synergistic myeloma-cell death and warrants further preclinical and clinical studies.
    Blood 01/2006; 106(13):4322-9. · 9.06 Impact Factor