André Lieber

University of Washington Seattle, Seattle, Washington, United States

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Publications (117)731.86 Total impact

  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The protein CD46 protects cells from complement attack by regulating cleavage of C3b and C3d. CD46 also regulates the adaptive immune response by controlling T cell activation and differentiation. Co-engagement of the T cell receptor and CD46 notably drives T cell differentiation by switching production of IFNγ to secretion of anti-inflammatory IL-10. This regulatory pathway is altered in several chronic inflammatory diseases highlighting its key role for immune homeostasis. The manipulation of the CD46 pathway may therefore provide a powerful means to regulate immune responses. Herein, we investigated the effect of recombinant proteins derived from the fiber knob of the adenovirus serotype 35 (Ad35) that uses CD46 as its entry receptor, on human T cell activation. We compared the effects of Ad35K++, engineered to exhibit enhanced affinity to CD46, and of Ad35K-, mutated in the binding site for CD46. Ad35K++ profoundly affects T cell activation by decreasing the levels of CD46 at the surface of primary T cells, and impairing T cell co-activation, shown by decreased CD25 expression, reduced proliferation and lower secretion of IL-10 and IFNγ. In contrast, Ad35K- acts a potent coactivator of T cells, enhancing T cell proliferation and cytokine production. These data show that recombinant Ad35 proteins are potent modulators of human T cell activation, and support their further development as potential drugs targeting T cell responses.This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
    Immunology 09/2014; · 3.71 Impact Factor
  • Darrick Carter, André Lieber
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    ABSTRACT: The complement system is composed of soluble factors in plasma that enhance or "complement" immune-mediated killing through innate and adaptive mechanisms. Activation of complement causes recruitment of immune cells; opsonization of coated cells; and direct killing of affected cells through a membrane attack complex (MAC). Tumor cells up-regulate complement inhibitory factors - one of several strategies to evade the immune system. In many cases as the tumor progresses, dramatic increases in complement inhibitory factors are found on these cells. This review focuses on the classic complement pathway and the role of major complement inhibitory factors in cancer immune evasion as well as on how current protein engineering efforts are being employed to increase complement fixing or to reverse complement resistance leading to better therapeutic outcomes in oncology. Strategies discussed include engineering of antibodies to enhance complement fixation, antibodies that neutralize complement inhibitory proteins as well as engineered constructs that specifically target inhibition of the complement system.
    FEBS letters 11/2013; · 3.54 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human adenovirus serotypes Ad3, Ad7, Ad11, and Ad14 use the epithelial junction protein desmoglein 2 (DSG2) as a receptor for infection. During Ad infection, the fiber and penton base capsid proteins are produced in vast excess and form hetero-oligomers, called pentons. It has been shown for Ad3 that pentons self-assemble into penton-dodecahedra (PtDd). Our previous studies with recombinant purified Ad3 PtDd (produced in insect cells) showed that PtDd bind to DSG2 and trigger intracellular signaling resulting in the transient opening of junctions between epithelial cells. So far, a definitive proof for a function of Ad3 PtDd in the viral life cycle is elusive. Based on the recently published 3D structure of recombinant Ad3 PtDd, we generated a penton base mutant Ad3 vector (mu-Ad3GFP). mu-Ad3GFP is identical to its wild-type counterpart (wt-Ad3GFP) in the efficiency of progeny virus production; however, it is disabled in the production of PtDd. For infection studies we used polarized epithelial cancer cells or cell spheroids. We showed that in wt-Ad3GFP infected cultures, PtDd were released from cells before viral cytolysis and triggered the restructuring of epithelial junctions. This in turn facilitated lateral viral spread of de novo produced virions. These events were nearly absent in mu-Ad3GFP infected cultures. Our in vitro findings were consolidated in mice carrying xenograft tumors derived from human epithelial cancer cells. Furthermore, we provide first evidence that PtDd are also formed by another DSG2-interacting Ad serotype, the newly emerged, highly pathogenic Ad14 strain (Ad14p1). The central finding of this study is that a subgroup of Ads has evolved to generate PtDd as a strategy to achieve penetration into and dissemination in epithelial tissues. Our findings are relevant for basic and applied virology, specifically for cancer virotherapy.
    PLoS Pathogens 10/2013; 9(10):e1003718. · 8.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Most current cancer therapies focus on killing malignant cells, but these cells are often genetically unstable and can become resistant to chemotherapy. Tumor-associated macrophages (TAMs) facilitate disease progression by promoting angiogenesis and tumor cell growth, as well as by suppressing the adaptive immune response. TAMs are therefore potential targets for adjuvant anticancer therapies. However, resident macrophages are critical to host defense, and preferential ablation of TAMs remains challenging. Macrophage activation is broadly categorized as classically activated, or M1, and alternatively activated, or M2, and TAMs in the tumor microenvironment have been shown to adopt the anti-inflammatory, M2-like phenotype. To date, there are no methods for specific molecular targeting of TAMs. In this work, we report the discovery of a unique peptide sequence, M2pep, identified using a subtractive phage biopanning strategy against whole cells. The peptide preferentially binds to murine M2 cells, including TAMs, with low affinity for other leukocytes. Confocal imaging demonstrates the accumulation of M2pep in TAMs in vivo after tail vein injection. Finally, tail vein injection of an M2pep fusion peptide with a proapoptotic peptide delays mortality and selectively reduces the M2-like TAM population. This work therefore describes a molecularly targeted construct for murine TAMs and provides proof of concept of this approach as an anticancer treatment. In addition, M2pep is a useful tool for murine M2 macrophage identification and for modulating M2 macrophages in other murine models of disease involving M2 cells.
    Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences 09/2013; · 9.81 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Human adenovirus (Ad) serotypes Ad3, Ad7, Ad11, Ad14, and a recently emerged new strain of Ad14 (Ad14p1) use the epithelial junction protein desmoglein 2 (DSG2) as a receptor for infection. Unlike Ad interaction with CAR and CD46, structural details for Ad binding to DSG2 are still elusive. Using an approach based on E.coli expression libraries of random Ad3 and Ad14p1 fiber knob mutants we identified amino acid residues that, when mutated individually, ablated or reduced Ad knob binding to DSG2. These residues formed three clusters inside one groove at the extreme distal end of the fiber knob. The Ad3 fiber knob mutant library was also used to identify variants with increased affinity to DSG2. We found a number of mutations within or near to the EF loop of the Ad3 knob that resulted in several orders of magnitude higher affinities to DSG2 compared with the wild-type Ad3 knob. Crystal structure analysis of one of the mutants showed that the introduced mutations make the EF loop more flexible, which might facilitate the interaction with DSG2. Our findings have practical relevance for cancer therapy. We have recently reported that an Ad3 fiber knob containing recombinant protein (JO-1) is able to trigger opening of junctions between epithelial cancer cells, which in turn, greatly improved the intratumoral penetration and efficacy of therapeutic agents. Here we show that affinity-enhanced versions of JO-1 are therapeutically more potent than the parental protein in a series of cancer models.
    Journal of Virology 08/2013; · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    Ines Beyer, Ruan van Rensburg, André Lieber
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    ABSTRACT: Most solid tumors are of epithelial origin and, although malignant cells are de-differentiated, they maintain intercellular junctions, a key feature of epithelial cells, both in the primary tumor as well as in metastatic lesions. These intercellular junctions represent a protective mechanism against attacks by the host's immune system and pose as physical barriers that prevent intratumoral penetration and dissemination of cancer therapeutics. A key protein of epithelial junctions is desmoglein 2 (DSG2). DSG2 is consistently upregulated in all cancers analyzed. Recently, we demonstrated that a group of human adenoviruses (Ad serotypes 3, 7, 11 and 14) use DSG2 as a primary attachment receptor for the infection of cells. We subsequently created a small recombinant protein derived from Ad serotype 3, which binds to DSG2 and triggers transient opening of epithelial intercellular junctions. We named the protein "JO-1" ("junction opener -1"). JO-1 is a small protein that can easily be produced in E. coli. JO-1 binding to and clustering of DSG2 triggers an epithelial-to-mesenchymal-transition that results in transient opening of epithelial junctions. We have shown in over 25 xenograft tumor models that the intravenous injection of JO-1 increased the efficacy of monoclonal and chemotherapy, subsequently reducing the required treatment dose and concomitantly reducing the toxic side effect of these treatments. The application of JO-1 has not been associated with toxicities in safety studies performed in human DSG2-transgenic mice and monkeys.
    Tissue barriers. 01/2013; 1(1):e23647.
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    ABSTRACT: Despite significant improvement in modalities for treatment of cancer that led to a longer survival period, the death rate of patients with solid tumors has not changed during the last decades. Emerging studies have identified several physical barriers that limit the therapeutic efficacy of cancer therapeutic agents such as monoclonal antibodies, chemotherapeutic agents, anti-tumor immune cells, and gene therapeutics. Most solid tumors are of epithelial origin and, although malignant cells are de-differentiated, they maintain intercellular junctions, a key feature of epithelial cells, both in the primary tumor as well as in metastatic lesions. Furthermore, nests of malignant epithelial tumor cells are shielded by layers of extracellular matrix (ECM) proteins (e.g., collagen, elastin, fibronectin, laminin) whereby tumor vasculature rarely penetrates into the tumor nests. In this chapter, we will review potential strategies to modulate the ECM and epithelial junctions to enhance the intratumoral diffusion and/or to remove physical masking of target receptors on malignant cells. We will focus on peptides that bind to the junction protein desmoglein 2 and trigger intracellular signaling, resulting in the transient opening of intercellular junctions. Intravenous injection of these junction openers increased the efficacy and safety of therapies with monoclonal antibodies, chemotherapeutics, and T cells in mouse tumor models and was safe in non-human primates. Furthermore, we will summarize approaches to transiently degrade ECM proteins or downregulate their expression. Among these approaches is the intratumoral expression of relaxin or decorin after adenovirus- or stem cell-mediated gene transfer. We will provide examples that relaxin-based approaches increase the anti-tumor efficacy of oncolytic viruses, monoclonal antibodies, and T cells.
    Frontiers in Oncology 01/2013; 3:193.
  • Robert Strauss, Jiri Bartek, André Lieber
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    ABSTRACT: Ovarian cancer stem cells (OCSCs) are in a transitional phase between epithelial and mesenchymal cell stages. Consequently, OCSCs possess a high degree of plasticity that complicates their identification and characterization. However, we recently demonstrated that the combined assessment of key antigens associated with cancer stem cells and the epithelial-mesenchymal transition can distinguish the phenotype of OCSCs from more differentiated cells. In this chapter we describe in detail an appropriate sample preparation for the analysis of epithelial, mesenchymal, and cancer stem cell markers by flow cytometry and immunohistochemistry in ovarian cancer. Furthermore, we provide methods for the establishment of primary ovarian cancer cultures from solid tumors.
    Methods in molecular biology (Clifton, N.J.) 01/2013; 1049:355-68. · 1.29 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have developed a technology that depletes the complement regulatory protein (CRP) CD46 from the cell surface, and thereby sensitizes tumor cells to complement-dependent cytotoxicity triggered by therapeutic monoclonal antibodies (mAbs). This technology is based on a small recombinant protein, Ad35K++, which induces the internalization and subsequent degradation of CD46. In preliminary studies, we had demonstrated the utility of the combination of Ad35K++ and several commercially available mAbs such as rituximab, alemtuzumab, and trastuzumab in enhancing cell killing in vitro as well as in vivo in murine xenograft and syngeneic tumor models. We have completed scaled manufacturing of Ad35K++ protein in Escherichia coli for studies in nonhuman primates (NHPs). In macaques, we first defined a dose of the CD20-targeting mAb rituximab that did not deplete CD20-positive peripheral blood cells. Using this dose of rituximab, we then demonstrated that pretreatment with Ad35K++ reconstituted near complete elimination of B cells. Further studies demonstrated that the treatment was well tolerated and safe. These findings in a relevant large animal model provide the rationale for moving this therapy forward into clinical trials in patients with CD20-positive B-cell malignancies.Molecular Therapy (2012); doi:10.1038/mt.2012.212.
    Molecular Therapy 10/2012; · 7.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Twenty-five patients with chemotherapy refractory cancer were treated with a fully serotype 3-based oncolytic adenovirus Ad3-hTERT-E1A. In mice, Ad3 induced higher amounts of cytokines but less liver damage than Ad5 or Ad5/3. In humans, the only grade 3 adverse reactions were self-limiting cytopenias and generally the safety profile resembled Ad5-based oncolytic viruses. Patients that had been previously treated with Ad5 viruses presented longer lasting lymphocytopenia but no median increase in Ad3-specific T-cells in blood, suggesting immunological activity against antigens other than Ad3 hexon. Frequent alterations in antitumor T-cells in blood were seen regardless of previous virus exposure. Neutralizing antibodies against Ad3 increased in all patients, whereas Ad5 neutralizing antibodies remained stable. Treatment with Ad3-hTERT-E1A resulted in re-emergence of Ad5 viruses from previous treatments into blood and vice versa. Signs of possible efficacy were seen in 11/15 (73%) patients evaluable for tumor markers, four of which were treated only intravenously. Particularly promising results were seen in breast cancer patients and especially those receiving concomitant trastuzumab. Taken together, Ad3-hTERT-E1A seems safe for further clinical testing or development of armed versions. It offers an immunologically attractive alternative, with possible pharmacodynamic differences and a different receptor compared to Ad5.
    Molecular Therapy 08/2012; 20(9):1821-30. · 7.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Epithelial junctions between tumor cells inhibit the penetration of anticancer drugs into tumors. We previously reported on recombinant adenovirus serotype 3-derived protein (JO-1), which triggers transient opening of intercellular junctions in epithelial tumors through binding to desmoglein 2 (DSG2), and enhances the antitumor effects of several therapeutic monoclonal antibodies. The goal of this study was to evaluate whether JO-1 cotherapy can also improve the efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs. The effect of intravenous application of JO-1 in combination with several chemotherapy drugs, including paclitaxel/Taxol, nanoparticle albumin-bound paclitaxel/Abraxane, liposomal doxorubicin/Doxil, and irinotecan/Camptosar, was tested in xenograft models for breast, colon, ovarian, gastric and lung cancer. Because JO-1 does not bind to mouse cells, for safety studies with JO-1, we also used human DSG2 (hDSG2) transgenic mice with tumors that overexpressed hDSG2. JO-1 increased the efficacy of chemotherapeutic drugs, and in several models overcame drug resistance. JO-1 treatment also allowed for the reduction of drug doses required to achieve antitumor effects. Importantly, JO-1 coadmininstration protected normal tissues, including bone marrow and intestinal epithelium, against toxic effects that are normally associated with chemotherapeutic agents. Using the hDSG2-transgenic mouse model, we showed that JO-1 predominantly accumulates in tumors. Except for a mild, transient diarrhea, intravenous injection of JO-1 (2 mg/kg) had no critical side effects on other tissues or hematologic parameters in hDSG2-transgenic mice. Our preliminary data suggest that JO-1 cotherapy has the potential to improve the therapeutic outcome of cancer chemotherapy.
    Clinical Cancer Research 04/2012; 18(12):3340-51. · 7.84 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have recently reported that a group of human adenoviruses (HAdVs) uses desmoglein 2 (DSG2) as a receptor for infection. Among these are the widely distributed serotypes HAdV-B3 and HAdV-B7, as well as a newly emerged strain derived from HAdV-B14. These serotypes do not infect rodent cells and could not up until now be studied in small-animal models. We therefore generated transgenic mice containing the human DSG2 locus. These mice expressed human DSG2 (hDSG2) at a level and in a pattern similar to those found for humans and nonhuman primates. As an initial application of hDSG2-transgenic mice, we used a green fluorescent protein (GFP)-expressing HAdV-B3 vector (Ad3-GFP) and studied GFP transgene expression by quantitative reverse transcription-PCR (qRT-PCR) and immunohistochemistry subsequent to intranasal and intravenous virus application. After intranasal application, we found efficient transduction of bronchial and alveolar epithelial cells in hDSG2-transgenic mice. Intravenous Ad3-GFP injection into hDSG2-transgenic mice resulted in hDSG2-dependent transduction of epithelial cells in the intestinal and colon mucosa. Our findings give an explanation for clinical symptoms associated with infection by DSG2-interacting HAdVs and provide a rationale for using Ad3-derived vectors in gene therapy.
    Journal of Virology 03/2012; 86(11):6286-302. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The complement-regulatory protein CD46 is the primary receptor for human adenovirus type 35 (HAdV-35) and can regulate human immune-cell activation. CD4(+) T-cells are critical for initiating and maintaining adaptive immunity elicited by infection or vaccination. It was reported previously that HAdV-35 can bind these cells and suppress their activation. The data reported here demonstrate that recombinant trimeric HAdV-35 knob proteins alone can induce CD46 receptor downregulation and inhibit interleukin-2 production and proliferation of human CD4(+) T-cells in vitro similarly to mAbs specific to the CD46 region bound by HAdV-35 knobs. A mutant knob protein with increased affinity for CD46 compared with the wild-type knob caused equivalent effects. In contrast, a CD46-binding-deficient mutant knob protein did not inhibit T-cell activation. Thus, the capacity of HAdV-35 to attenuate human CD4(+) T-cell activation depends predominantly on knob interactions with CD46 and can occur independently of infection.
    Journal of General Virology 02/2012; 93(Pt 6):1339-44. · 3.13 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) are associated with a high degree of plasticity, which allows them to self-renew and differentiate into every somatic cell. During differentiation, ESCs follow a hierarchically organized pattern towards tissue specificity, which ultimately results in permanent cell cycle arrest and a loss of cellular plasticity. In contrast to their normal somatic counterparts, cancer cells retain elevated levels of plasticity that include switches between epithelial and mesenchymal phenotypes. Transitions between these cell stages have lately been linked to the reacquisition of stem cell features during cellular reprogramming and dedifferentiation in normal and neoplastic cells. In this review, we discuss the key factors and their interplay that is needed to regain a stem cell stage with a particular emphasis put on the impact of cell cycle regulation. Apart from mechanistic insights into the emerging fundamental processes of stem cell plasticity and capacity to transdifferentiate, we also highlight implications of these concepts for tissue biology, tumorigenesis, and cancer therapy.
    Molecular Therapy 02/2012; 20(5):887-97. · 7.04 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: The efficacy of monoclonal antibodies (mAb) used to treat solid tumors is limited by intercellular junctions which tightly link epithelial tumor cells to each another. In this study, we define a small, recombinant adenovirus serotype 3-derived protein, termed junction opener 1 (JO-1), which binds to the epithelial junction protein desmoglein 2 (DSG2). In mouse xenograft models employing Her2/neu- and EGFR-positive human cancer cell lines, JO-1 mediated cleavage of DSG2 dimers and activated intracellular signaling pathways which reduced E-cadherin expression in tight junctions. Notably, JO-1-triggered changes allowed for increased intratumoral penetration of the anti-Her2/neu mAb trastuzumab (Herceptin) and improved access to its target receptor, Her2/neu, which is partly trapped in tight junctions. This effect translated directly into increased therapeutic efficacy of trastuzumab in mouse xenograft models using breast, gastric, and ovarian cancer cells that were Her2/neu-positive. Furthermore, combining JO-1 with the EGFR-targeting mAb cetuximab (Erbitux) greatly improved therapeutic outcomes in a metastatic model of EGFR-positive lung cancer. A combination of JO-1 with an approach that triggered transient degradation of tumor stroma proteins elicited eradication of tumors. Taken together, our findings offer preclinical proof of concept to employ JO-1 in combination with mAb therapy.
    Cancer Research 11/2011; 71(22):7080-90. · 9.28 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Adenoviral (AdV) gene vectors offer efficient nucleic acid transfer into both dividing and non-dividing cells. However issues such as vector immunogenicity, toxicity and restricted transduction to receptor-expressing cells have prevented broad clinical translation of these constructs. To address this issue, engineered AdV have been prepared by both genetic and chemical manipulation. In this work, a polymer-coated Ad5 formulation is optimized by evaluating a series of N-(2-hydroxypropyl) methacrylamide (HPMA)-co-oligolysine copolymers synthesized by living polymerization techniques. This synthesis approach was used to generate highly controlled and well-defined polymers with varying peptide length (K(5), K(10) and K(15)), polymer molecular weight, and degradability to coat the viral capsid. The optimal formulation was not affected by the presence of serum during transduction and significantly increased Ad5 transduction of several cell types that lack the Coxsackie and Adenovirus Receptor (CAR) by up to 6-fold compared to unmodified AdV. Polymer-coated Ad5 also retained high transduction capability in the presence of Ad5 neutralizing antibodies. The critical role of heparan sulfate proteoglycans (HSPGs) in mediating cell binding and internalization of polymer-coated AdV was also demonstrated by evaluating transduction in HSPG-defective recombinant CHO cells. The formulations developed here are attractive vectors for ex vivo gene transfer in applications such as cell therapy. In addition, this platform for adenoviral modification allows for facile introduction of alternative targeting ligands.
    Biomaterials 09/2011; 32(35):9536-45. · 8.31 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: Recently, we identified desmoglein 2 (DSG2) as the main receptor for a group of species B adenoviruses (Ads), including Ad3, a serotype that is widely distributed in the human population (H. Wang et al., Nat. Med. 17:96-104, 2011). In this study, we have attempted to delineate structural details of the Ad3 interaction with DSG2. For CAR- and CD46-interacting Ad serotypes, attachment to cells can be completely blocked by an excess of recombinant fiber knob protein, while soluble Ad3 fiber knob only inefficiently blocks Ad3 infection. We found that the DSG2-interacting domain(s) within Ad3 is formed by several fiber knob domains that have to be in the spatial constellation that is present in viral particles. Based on this finding, we generated a small recombinant, self-dimerizing protein containing the Ad3 fiber knob (Ad3-K/S/Kn). Ad3-K/S/Kn bound to DSG2 with high affinity and blocked Ad3 infection. We demonstrated by confocal immunofluorescence and transmission electron microscopy analyses that Ad3-K/S/Kn, through its binding to DSG2, triggered the transient opening of intercellular junctions in epithelial cells. The pretreatment of epithelial cells with Ad3-K/S/Kn resulted in increased access to receptors that are localized in or masked by epithelial junctions, e.g., CAR or Her2/neu. Ad3-K/S/Kn treatment released CAR from tight junctions and thus increased the transduction of epithelial cells by a serotype Ad5-based vector. Furthermore, the pretreatment of Her2/neu-positive breast cancer cells with Ad3-K/S/Kn increased the killing of cancer cells by the Her2/neu-targeting monoclonal antibody trastuzumab (Herceptin). This study widens our understanding of how Ads achieve high avidity to their receptors and the infection of epithelial tissue. The small recombinant protein Ad3-K/S/Kn has practical implications for the therapy of epithelial cancer and gene/drug delivery to normal epithelial tissues.
    Journal of Virology 07/2011; 85(13):6390-402. · 5.08 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: We have identified desmoglein-2 (DSG-2) as the primary high-affinity receptor used by adenoviruses Ad3, Ad7, Ad11 and Ad14. These serotypes represent key human pathogens causing respiratory and urinary tract infections. In epithelial cells, adenovirus binding of DSG-2 triggers events reminiscent of epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition, leading to transient opening of intercellular junctions. This opening improves access to receptors, for example, CD46 and Her2/neu, that are trapped in intercellular junctions. In addition to complete virions, dodecahedral particles (PtDds), formed by excess amounts of viral capsid proteins, penton base and fiber during viral replication, can trigger DSG-2-mediated opening of intercellular junctions as shown by studies with recombinant Ad3 PtDds. Our findings shed light on adenovirus biology and pathogenesis and may have implications for cancer therapy.
    Nature medicine 01/2011; 17(1):96-104. · 27.14 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: In our studies of ovarian cancer cells we have identified subpopulations of cells that are in a transitory E/M hybrid stage, i.e. cells that simultaneously express epithelial and mesenchymal markers. E/M cells are not homogenous but, in vitro and in vivo, contain subsets that can be distinguished based on a number of phenotypic features, including the subcellular localization of E-cadherin, and the expression levels of Tie2, CD133, and CD44. A cellular subset (E/M-MP) (membrane E-cadherin(low)/cytoplasmic E-cadherin(high)/CD133(high), CD44(high), Tie2(low)) is highly enriched for tumor-forming cells and displays features which are generally associated with cancer stem cells. Our data suggest that E/M-MP cells are able to differentiate into different lineages under certain conditions, and have the capacity for self-renewal, i.e. to maintain a subset of undifferentiated E/M-MP cells during differentiation. Trans-differentiation of E/M-MP cells into mesenchymal or epithelial cells is associated with a loss of stem cell markers and tumorigenicity. In vivo xenograft tumor growth is driven by E/M-MP cells, which give rise to epithelial ovarian cancer cells. In contrast, in vitro, we found that E/M-MP cells differentiate into mesenchymal cells, in a process that involves pathways associated with an epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition. We also detected phenotypic plasticity that was dependent on external factors such as stress created by starvation or contact with either epithelial or mesenchymal cells in co-cultures. Our study provides a better understanding of the phenotypic complexity of ovarian cancer and has implications for ovarian cancer therapy.
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(1):e16186. · 3.53 Impact Factor
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    ABSTRACT: [This corrects the article on p. e16186 in vol. 6.].
    PLoS ONE 01/2011; 6(2). · 3.53 Impact Factor

Publication Stats

3k Citations
731.86 Total Impact Points

Institutions

  • 2002–2014
    • University of Washington Seattle
      • • Division of Medical Genetics
      • • Department of Pathology
      Seattle, Washington, United States
  • 2013
    • Danish Cancer Society
      København, Capital Region, Denmark
    • Hanyang University
      • College of Engineering
      Seoul, Seoul, South Korea
  • 2012
    • Loma Linda University
      Loma Linda, California, United States
    • Heinrich-Heine-Universität Düsseldorf
      Düsseldorf, North Rhine-Westphalia, Germany
  • 2011
    • University of Helsinki
      Helsinki, Southern Finland Province, Finland
  • 2006–2010
    • University of Glasgow
      • Institute of Cardiovascular and Medical Sciences
      Glasgow, SCT, United Kingdom
  • 2008
    • University of Tuebingen
      Tübingen, Baden-Württemberg, Germany
  • 2005
    • Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center
      Seattle, Washington, United States
    • Washington University in St. Louis
      • Division of Rheumatology
      San Luis, Missouri, United States