[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Biological features of tumor cells relevant to progression, metastasis, and prognosis in cancer patients have been investigated for many years. During the past few years, the concept of tumor stem cells has gained widespread acceptance. The cancer stem cell (CSC) model is based on the observation that continuous growth of tumors depends on a small population of immature neoplastic cells with unlimited proliferative potential. In contrast to these CSC, more mature clonal cells in the same neoplasm undergo apoptosis and die after a variable number of cell divisions. The self-renewal capacity of CSC plays a central role in this scenario and enables permanent tumor cell repopulation in vivo in patients as well as in experimental animals, e.g., immunodeficient mice. Based on the stem cell concept, it is clear that the success of an anti-neoplastic approach depends on efficient targeting and elimination of CSC. An important aspect of CSC is their intrinsic resistance against conventional drugs. Therefore, a major focus in current research is molecular targets and their expression in CSC, with the goal to use targeted drugs for CSC elimination. It is the hope for the future that therapeutic approaches involving CSC-targeting concepts will lead to sustained remission and thus improvement of prognosis in leukemia and cancer patients.
Wiener klinische Wochenschrift. 07/2010; 122(13-14):423-36.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Cancer progression is often associated with the formation of malignant effusions. Vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF) is a major regulator of vascular permeability and has been implicated as mediator of tumor progression. We examined the production and secretion of VEGF(165) in various primary cancer cells derived from malignant effusions, and the role of exogenous VEGF(165) as a mediator of effusion formation. VEGF(165) was constantly secreted by all cultured tumor cells in an mTOR-dependent manner, as it was inhibited by the mTOR inhibitor rapamycin. Secreted VEGF(165) showed functional activity by inducing endothelial leakiness and tumor cell-transendothelial migration in vitro, effects which could be reverted by the anti-VEGF antibody bevacizumab. Thus, mTOR inhibitors as well as bevacizumab should be considered as potential agents in cancer patients suffering from malignant effusions.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Neoplastic stem cells have initially been characterized in myeloid leukemias where NOD/SCID mouse-repopulating progenitors supposedly reside within a CD34+/Lin- subset of the malignant clone. These progenitors are considered to be self-renewing cells responsible for the in vivo long-term growth of neoplastic cells in leukemic patients. Therefore, these cells represent an attractive target of therapy. In some lymphoid leukemias, NOD/SCID mouse-repopulating cells were also reported to reside within the CD34+/Lin- subfraction of the clone. More recently, several attempts have been made to transfer the cancer stem cell concept to solid tumors and other non-hematopoietic neoplasms. In several of these tumors, the cell surface antigens AC133 (CD133) and CD44 are considered to indicate the potential of a cell to initiate permanent tumor formation in vivo. However, several questions concerning the phenotype, self-renewal capacity, stroma-dependence, and other properties of cancer- or leukemia-initiating cells remain to be solved. The current article provides a summary of our current knowledge on neoplastic (cancer) stem cells, with special emphasis on clinical implications and therapeutic options as well as a discussion about conceptual and technical limitations.
Critical reviews in oncology/hematology 02/2010; 76(2):79-98. · 5.27 Impact Factor
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IgE is a central molecule in allergic disease. We have isolated cDNAs coding for the heavy and light chains of a murine mAb specific to human IgE and expressed a recombinant single-chain variable fragment (ScFv) derived thereof in Escherichia coli. The purified recombinant ScFv has a molecular mass of 28 kDa as measured by mass spectrometry and shows a beta-sheet fold as determined by circular dichroism. In biosensor-based studies it was demonstrated that the ScFv rapidly and stably binds to human IgE with an affinity of K(D) of 1.52 x 10(-10) M, which is almost as high as the affinity of IgE for FcepsilonRI, and that the ScFv is able to recognize FcepsilonRI-bound IgE and to prevent IgE binding to FcepsilonRI. The ScFv reacts specifically with IgE but not with other isotypes, allows the measurement of allergen-specific IgE in serum samples, and specifically targets cells that contain FcepsilonRI- or FcepsilonRII-bound IgE or that secrete IgE. Using negative-stain electron microscopy we demonstrated the formation of bimolecular complexes consisting of two ScFv molecules and one IgE and trimolecular complexes consisting of IgE, FcepsilonRI, and ScFv in which only one ScFv is able to bind to IgE. Accordingly, we found that the ScFv does not cross-link basophil-bound IgE and hence does not induce histamine release or activation of basophils as demonstrated by FACS analysis of CD203c expression and by histamine release experiments. In vivo skin testing confirmed the lack of allergenic activity of the ScFv. The recombinant ScFv may represent a universal tool for the IgE-targeted treatment of allergies.
Journal of immunology (Baltimore, Md. : 1950). 05/2009; 182(8):4817-29.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have identified a monoclonal anti-human immunoglobulin E (IgE) antibody, which recognizes FcepsilonRI-bound IgE and prevents binding of IgE to FcepsilonRI. In this study, we assessed the binding kinetics and affinity of monoclonal antibody 12 (mAb12) for IgE and investigated whether mAb12 can be used for depletion of IgE and isolation of IgE-bearing cells from peripheral blood.
Binding kinetics and affinity for IgE were studied using Biacore surface plasmon resonance technique experiments. IgE antibodies were depleted from serum using sepharose-coupled mAb12 and IgE-bearing cells were enriched from heparinized blood samples with mAb12. The extent and biological relevance of IgE depletion were studied by quantitative IgE measurements and basophil histamine release experiments. Specific binding of mAb12 to IgE-bearing cells (basophils, mast cells, IgE-secreting plasma cells) was demonstrated by FACS.
Monoclonal antibody 12 shows rapid association (k(a) = 5.46e5/Ms) with IgE, almost no dissociation (k(d) = 8.8e-5/s) and an affinity for IgE (K(D) = 1.61e-10 M), which is as high as that of FcepsilonRI. Immobilized mAb12 could be used to deplete IgE antibodies and isolate IgE-bearing cells from peripheral blood in a single-step procedure.
Monoclonal antibody 12 is a high affinity anti-human IgE antibody, which efficiently removes IgE and IgE-bearing cells from peripheral blood and may thus be used for extracorporeal depletion of IgE and IgE-bearing cells.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The prevalence of allergic diseases has been increasing continuously and, accordingly, there is a great desire to evaluate the allergenic potential of components in our daily environment (e.g., food). Although there is almost no scientific evidence that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) exhibit increased allergenicity compared with the corresponding wild type significant concerns have been raised regarding this matter. In principle, it is possible that the allergenic potential of GMOs may be increased due to the introduction of potential foreign allergens, to potentially upregulated expression of allergenic components caused by the modification of the wild type organism or to different means of exposure. According to the current practice, the proteins to be introduced into a GMO are evaluated for their physiochemical properties, sequence homology with known allergens and occasionally regarding their allergenic activity. We discuss why these current rules and procedures cannot predict or exclude the allergenicity of a given GMO with certainty. As an alternative we suggest to improve the current evaluation by an experimental comparison of the wild-type organism with the whole GMO regarding their potential to elicit reactions in allergic individuals and to induce de novo sensitizations. We also recommend that the suggested assessment procedures be equally applied to GMOs as well as to natural cultivars in order to establish effective measures for allergy prevention.
International archives of allergy and immunology. 07/2005; 137(2):167-80.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IgE-dependent activation of mast cells (MCs) is a key pathomechanism of type I allergies. In contrast, allergen-specific IgG Abs are thought to attenuate immediate allergic reactions by blocking IgE binding and by cross-linking the inhibitory Fcgamma receptor IIB on MCs.
To establish a defined in vitro system using human MCs to study the biological activity of allergens and to investigate the role of allergen-specific IgE and IgG.
Purified human intestinal MCs sensitized with different forms of specific IgE Abs were triggered by monomeric and oligomeric forms of recombinant Bet v 1, the major birch pollen allergen, in the presence or absence of allergen-specific IgG Abs. Results MCs sensitized with an anti-Bet v 1 IgE mAb or sera obtained from birch pollen allergic patients released histamine and sulphidoleukotrienes after exposure to oligomeric Bet v 1. Monomeric Bet v 1 provoked mediator release only in MCs sensitized with patients sera but not in MCs sensitized with anti-Bet v 1 IgE mAb. Interestingly, MC activation could be induced by supercross-linking of monomeric Bet v 1 bound to monovalent IgE on MCs with a secondary allergen-specific IgG pAb. By using IgG F(ab')2 fragments we provide evidence that this effect is not a result of IgG binding to Fcgamma receptors.
This assay represents a new tool for the in vitro study of MC activation in response to natural and genetically modified allergens. Fcepsilon receptor I supercross-linking by allergen-specific IgG Abs provides a possible new mechanism of IgG-dependent enhancement of type I allergic reactions.
Clinical and experimental allergy : journal of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 07/2005; 35(6):774-81.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Results from several studies indicate that the magnitude of immediate symptoms of type I allergy caused by allergen-induced cross-linking of high-affinity Fc epsilon receptors on effector cells (mast cells and basophils) is not always associated with allergen-specific IgE levels.
To investigate the association of results from intradermal skin testing, basophil histamine release and allergen-specific IgE, IgG1-4, IgA and IgM antibody levels in a clinical study performed in birch pollen-allergic patients (n = 18).
rBet v 1-specific IgEs were measured by quantitative CAP measurements and by using purified Fc epsilon RI-derived alpha-chain to quantify IgE capable of binding to effector cells. Bet v 1-specific IgG subclasses, IgA and IgM levels were measured by ELISA, and basophil histamine release was determined in whole blood samples. Intradermal skin testing was performed with the end-point titration method.
Our study demonstrates on the molecular level that the concentrations of allergen-specific IgE antibodies capable of binding to Fc epsilon RI and biological sensitivities are not necessarily associated. A moderate association was found between cutaneous and basophil sensitivity.
Our results highlight the quantitative discrepancies and limitations of the present diagnostic tools in allergy, even when using a single allergenic molecule. The quantity of allergen-specific serum IgE is only one component of far more complex cellular systems (i.e. basophil-based tests, skin tests) used as indirect diagnostic tests for IgE-mediated allergic sensitivity.
Clinical and experimental allergy : journal of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 03/2005; 35(2):186-92.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The high-affinity receptor for IgE (FcepsilonRI) on myeloid dendritic cells has been shown to play a major role in atopic dermatitis (AD). Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs), which are instrumental in the defense of viral infections, are present in reduced amounts in the skin of patients with AD, which is characterized by a high susceptibility to viral infections.
We explored phenotypical and functional characteristics of pDC in the peripheral blood of patients with AD and healthy individuals.
Blood dendritic cell antigen-2+CD123+ pDCs were enriched from the peripheral blood of patients with AD and studied in functional assays.
Skin-homing molecules such as cutaneous lymphocyte antigen and L-selectin CD62L were expressed in lower levels on pDCs of patients with AD. pDCs expressed high amounts of IgE-occupied FcepsilonRI. Further, FcepsilonRI aggregation on pDCs impaired the surface expression of MHC I and II, induced the production of IL-10, and enhanced the apoptosis of pDCs. Importantly, FcepsilonRI preactivated pDC produced less IFN-alpha and IFN-beta after stimulation with CpG motifs and enhanced the outcome of immune responses of the TH2 type.
From these data, we conclude that FcepsilonRI-bearing pDCs from patients with AD (1) are different from pDCs of healthy individuals, (2) might be important in the pathophysiology of AD, and (3) contribute to the enhanced susceptibility of patients with AD to viral infections.
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology. 09/2004; 114(2):364-70.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Atopic dermatitis (AD) is a biphasic inflammatory skin disease characterized by an initial phase predominated by T(H)2 cytokines, which switches into a second T(H)1-dominated chronic phase. Thus far, the small number of FcepsilonRI-bearing Langerhans cells (LCs) and inflammatory dendritic epidermal cells (IDECs) in the epidermis of patients with AD has hampered a detailed functional analysis and limited our knowledge of these dendritic cells (DCs).
We studied FcepsilonRI-mediated mechanisms of LCs and IDECs with the help of a novel in vitro model.
Langerhans cell-like dendritic cells (LC-DCs) and inflammatory dendritic epidermal cell-like dendritic cells (IDEC-DCs) bearing FcepsilonRI have been generated from monocytes of the same atopic donor and compared functionally with LCs and IDECs isolated from the skin of patients with AD.
We found that FcepsilonRI-activated LC-DCs release chemotactic signals, and supernatants of FcepsilonRI-activated LC-DCs increase the migratory capacity of precursor cells of IDECs and naive T cells in vitro. FcepsilonRI-activated IDEC-DCs produce high amounts of proinflammatory cytokines and chemokines and might thereby amplify the inflammatory immune reaction in patients with AD. Furthermore, FcepsilonRI-activated IDEC-DCs prime naive T cells into IFN-gamma-producing T cells and release IL-12 and IL-18, which together might lead to the switch of the initial T(H)2-type immune response into a response of the T(H)1 type in vivo.
The present study provides evidence that FcepsilonRI-activated LC-DCs and IDEC-DCs contribute distinctly to the outcome of T-cell responses in vitro and might have implications for the biphasic nature of AD in vivo.
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology. 06/2004; 113(5):949-57.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: More than 25% of the population suffer from Type I allergy, an IgE-mediated hypersensitivity disease. Allergens with homology to the major birch ( Betula verrucosa ) pollen allergen, Bet v 1, belong to the most potent elicitors of IgE-mediated allergies. T1, a cytokinin-inducible cytoplasmic periwinkle ( Catharanthus roseus ) protein, with significant sequence similarity to members of the Bet v 1 plant allergen family, was expressed in Escherichia coli. Recombinant T1 (rT1) did not react with IgE antibodies from allergic patients, and failed to induce basophil histamine release and immediate-type skin reactions in Bet v 1-allergic patients. Antibodies raised against purified rT1 could be used for in situ localization of natural T1 by immunogold electron microscopy, but did not cross-react with most of the Bet v 1-related allergens. CD analysis showed significant differences regarding secondary structure and thermal denaturation behaviour between rT1 and recombinant Bet v 1, suggesting that these structural differences are responsible for the different allergenicity of the proteins. T1 represents a non-allergenic member of the Bet v 1 family that may be used to study structural requirements of allergenicity and to engineer hypo-allergenic plants by replacing Bet v 1-related allergens for primary prevention of allergy.
The Biochemical journal. 08/2003; 373(Pt 1):261-9.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We suggest that the coapplication of recombinant allergens and microarray technology can lead to the development of new forms of multi-allergen tests which allow the determining and monitoring of complex sensitization profiles of allergic patients in single assays. The allergen extracts which have so far been used for diagnosis only allowed the determining of whether an allergic patient is sensitized against a particular allergen source, but the disease-eliciting allergens could not be identified. Through the application of recombinant DNA technology a rapidly growing panel of recombinant allergen molecules has become available which meanwhile comprises the epitope spectrum of most of the important allergen sources. We demonstrate that microarray technology can be used to establish multi-allergen tests consisting of microarrayed recombinant allergen molecules. Microarrayed recombinant allergens can be used to determine and monitor the profile of disease-eliciting allergens using single tests that require minute amounts of serum from allergic patients. The wealth of diagnostic information gained through microarray-based allergy testing will likely improve diagnosis, prevention and treatment of allergy.
Clinical and experimental allergy : journal of the British Society for Allergy and Clinical Immunology. 02/2003; 33(1):7-13.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Type I allergy is an immunoglobulin E (IgE)-mediated hypersensitivity disease affecting more than 25% of the population. Currently, diagnosis of allergy is performed by provocation testing and IgE serology using allergen extracts. This process defines allergen-containing sources but cannot identify the disease-eliciting allergenic molecules. We have applied microarray technology to develop a miniaturized allergy test containing 94 purified allergen molecules that represent the most common allergen sources. The allergen microarray allows the determination and monitoring of allergic patients' IgE reactivity profiles to large numbers of disease-causing allergens by using single measurements and minute amounts of serum. This method may change established practice in allergy diagnosis, prevention, and therapy. In addition, microarrayed antigens may be applied to the diagnosis of autoimmune and infectious diseases.
FASEB journal : official publication of the Federation of American Societies for Experimental Biology. 04/2002; 16(3):414-6.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The IgE-mediated activation of effector cells and antigen-presenting cells through the high-affinity receptor for IgE (FcepsilonRI) represents a key pathomechanism in type I allergy and many forms of asthma.
We sought to establish an in vitro molecular model for the interaction of human FcepsilonRI, IgE, and the corresponding allergen and to identify monoclonal anti-human IgE antibodies with a therapeutic profile different from previously established anti-IgE antibodies.
Human FcepsilonRI alpha chain, a human monoclonal allergen-specific IgE antibody (chimeric Bip 1), and the corresponding allergen, the major birch pollen allergen Bet v 1, were produced as recombinant proteins and analyzed by means of circular dichroism and native overlays, respectively. Using this molecular model, as well as negative stain immunoelectron microscopic analysis, and in vitro cultivated human basophils, we characterized mouse anti-human IgE antibodies.
We established a molecular model for the interaction of human IgE with FcepsilonRI. Using this molecular model, we identified a nonanaphylactic anti-human IgE antibody fragment (Fab12), which blocked the IgE-FcepsilonRI interaction and reacted with effector cell-bound IgE.
Fab12 represents a candidate molecule for therapy of atopy and asthma because it can be used for the depletion of circulating IgE antibodies, as well as for the depletion of IgE-bearing cells.
The Journal of allergy and clinical immunology. 10/2001; 108(3):409-16.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: IgE antibodies are the key molecules responsible for the immediate and also late reactions in type I allergy, a genetically determined hypersensitivity disease . Cross-linking of effector cell-bound IgE antibodies by allergens leads to the release of biological mediators (e.g., histamine, leukotrienes) and thus to the immediate symptoms of disease (allergic rhinoconjunctivitis, asthma, anaphylactic shock) [2, 3]. Furthermore, presentation of allergens via IgE antibodies strongly induces the proliferation of allergen-specific T cells and the release of proinflammatory cytokines [4, 5]. Despite the central role of IgE in the pathogenesis of allergic diseases, the characterization of the IgE molecule has been hampered by the extremely low concentration of IgE in serum and the low precursor frequency of IgE-producing cells. After the immunological and biochemical characterization of IgE in the late 60s [6, 7], the cDNA and deduced amino acid sequence of the IgE constant region was revealed [8, 9].
International archives of allergy and immunology. 01/2001; 124(1-3):29-30.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Type I allergy, an immunodisorder affecting almost 20% of the population worldwide, is based on the production of IgE antibodies against per se harmless allergens. We report the expression of hexahistidine-tagged antibody fragments (Fabs) with specificity for Bet v1, the major birch pollen allergen, in Escherichia coli. The cDNA coding for the heavy chain fragment of a mouse monoclonal anti-Bet v1 antibody, Bip 1, was engineered by PCR to contain a hexahistidine-encoding 3' end. The modified Bip1 heavy chain cDNA was co-expressed in E. coli XL-1 Blue with the Bip 1 light chain cDNA using the combinatorial plasmid pComb3H. His-tagged recombinant (r) Bip 1 Fabs were isolated by nickel affinity chromatography and rBip 1 Fabs without His-tag were purified via affinity to rBet v1. rBip 1 Fabs with and without His-tag bound specifically to rBet v1 and, like Bet v1 -specific human serum IgE and rabbit-anti rBet v1 antibodies, cross-reacted with Bet v1-related allergens in other plant-species (alder, oak, hazelnut). We demonstrate the usefulness of His-tagged rBip 1 Fabs (1) for the identification of pollen samples containing Bet v 1 by particle blotting, (2) forthe detection of Bet v1-specific IgE antibodies in human serum samples by sandwich ELISA and (3) for the quantification of Bet v1 in solution. Based on these examples we suggest to use rBip 1 Fabs for the detection of Bet v1 and Bet v1-related allergens in natural allergen sources for allergy prevention, as well as for the standardization of natural allergen extracts produced for diagnosis and immunotherapy of birch pollen allergy.
[show abstract][hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Atopic allergy is a genetically determined immunodisorder that affects almost 20% of the population worldwide. Immediate symptoms of type I allergy are caused by the release of biologic mediators from effector cells induced by IgE-allergen complexes that cross-link the high-affinity receptor for IgE (FcepsilonRI). Chronic disease manifestations result from allergen-specific T-cell activation, a process that is enhanced when allergens are presented via FcepsilonRI-bound IgE. We report the baculovirus expression, as soluble recombinant proteins, of the minimal units required for human IgE and FcepsilonRI interaction: Cepsilon3 represents the third constant domain of the IgE heavy chain, and alpha2 is the membrane-proximal Ig-like module from FcepsilonRIalpha. Native overlay experiments showed binding of human FcepsilonRIalpha to recombinant Cepsilon3 and of natural or recombinant human IgE to recombinant alpha2. Moreover, recombinant Cepsilon3 inhibited binding of natural IgE antibodies to alpha2, and preincubation of human IgE with alpha2 inhibited anti-IgE-triggered histamine release from human basophils. Isolated Cepsilon3 and alpha2 can now be used for the molecular and structural analysis of the IgE-FcepsilonRI interaction, as well as for diagnostic and therapeutic applications.
The Journal of clinical investigation. 07/1999; 103(11):1571-8.