[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) is a curative treatment for many hematological conditions. Acute graft-versus-host disease (aGVHD) is a prevalent immune-mediated complication following HSCT. Current diagnostic biomarkers that correlate with aGVHD severity, progression, and therapy response in graft recipients are insufficient. Here, we investigated whether epigenetic marks measured in peripheral blood of healthy graft donors stratify aGVHD severity in human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-matched sibling recipients prior to T cell-depleted HSCT.
We measured DNA methylation levels genome-wide at single-nucleotide resolution in peripheral blood of 85 HSCT donors, matched to recipients with various transplant outcomes, with Illumina Infinium HumanMethylation450 BeadChips.
Using genome-wide DNA methylation profiling, we showed that epigenetic signatures underlying aGVHD severity in recipients correspond to immune pathways relevant to aGVHD etiology. We discovered 31 DNA methylation marks in donors that associated with aGVHD severity status in recipients, and demonstrated strong predictive performance of these markers in internal cross-validation experiments (AUC = 0.98, 95 % CI = 0.96–0.99). We replicated the top-ranked CpG classifier using an alternative, clinical DNA methylation assay (P = 0.039). In an independent cohort of 32 HSCT donors, we demonstrated the utility of the epigenetic classifier in the context of a T cell-replete conditioning regimen (P = 0.050).
Our findings suggest that epigenetic typing of HSCT donors in a clinical setting may be used in conjunction with HLA genotyping to inform both donor selection and transplantation strategy, with the ultimate aim of improving patient outcome.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We have now found a total of 15 individual MICB promoter sequences, varying by combination of 18 polymorphic positions within the MICB minimal promoter sequence. Sequence-based typing and cloning characterized the three new 5' promoter sequences as MICB-P13, MICB-P14 and MICB-P15.
Full-text · Article · Dec 2015 · International Journal of Immunogenetics
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Transforming growth factor β-1, encoded by the TGFB1 gene, is a cytokine that plays a central role in many physiologic and pathogenic processes. We have sequenced TGFB1 regulatory region and assigned allelic genotypes in a large cohort of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation patients and donors. In this study we analyzed 522 unrelated donor-patient pairs and examined the combined effect of all the common polymorphisms in this genomic region. In univariate analysis, we found that patients carrying a specific allele, p001, showed significantly reduced overall survival (5-year overall survival 30.7% for p001/p001 patients vs 41.6% others; p=0.032) and increased non-relapse mortality (1-year non-relapse mortality: 39.0% vs 25.4%; p=0.039) after transplantation. In multivariate analysis, the presence of a p001/p001 genotype in patients was confirmed as an independent factor for reduced overall survival (hazard ratio=1.53 [1.04-2.24]; p=0.031), and increased non-relapse mortality (hazard ratio=1.73 [1.06-2.83]; p=0.030). In functional experiments we found a trend towards a higher percentage of surface transforming growth factor β-1-positive regulatory T cells after activation when the cells had a p001 allele (p=0.07). Higher or lower production of transforming growth factor β-1 in the inflammatory context of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation may influence the development of complications in these patients. Findings indicate that TGFB1 genotype could potentially be of use as a prognostic factor in hematopoietic stem cell transplantation risk assessment algorithms.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: NKG2D is an activating receptor utilized by natural killer (NK) cells that recognizes upregulated ligands on infected, tumorigenic and damaged cells, leading to their cytolysis. However, the NKG2D ligand (NKG2DL) system is very complex with eight known gene loci encoding slightly different molecules. Furthermore, most NKG2DL gene loci such as MICA and MICB are highly polymorphic with potential for functional differences. NKG2DL expression on tumors varies depending on the malignancy and tumors can also release soluble NKG2DL that exert anergic effects on NK cells when engagement with NKG2D occurs, allowing escape from NK cell immunosurveillance. We carried out RAET1E typing of IHW cell line DNA, including a 580bp proximal promoter fragment and exons 1-3 identifying 13 of 15 known RAET1E alleles. We determined 7 polymorphisms within the promoter region, including 2 already known that contributed to 9 promoter types. RAET1E alleles with variability in the extracellular region also differed with respect to promoter type and one allele, RAET1E *003, associated with 5 promoter types. We then identified putative transcription factor binding sites for RAET1E, and found 5 of the 7 promoter polymorphisms may disrupt these sites, abrogating binding of transcription factors and varying the potential level of expression.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Improper activation of the immune system contributes to a variety of clinical conditions, including autoimmune and allergic diseases as well as solid organ and bone marrow transplantation. One approach to counteract this activation is through adoptive therapy with regulatory T cells (Tregs). Efforts to manufacture these cells have led to good maunfacturing practice–compliant protocols, and Treg products are entering early clinical trials. Here, we report the stance of the European Union Cooperation in Science and Technology Action BM1305, “Action to Focus and Accelerate Cell-based Tolerance-inducing Therapies—A FACTT,” which identifies hurdles hindering Treg clinical applications in Europe and provides possible solutions.
Full-text · Article · Sep 2015 · Science translational medicine
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The potential of natural killer (NK) cells to target numerous malignancies in vitro has been well documented; however, only limited success has been seen in the clinic. Although NK cells prove non-toxic and safe regardless of the cell numbers injected, there is often little persistence and expansion observed in a patient, which is vital for mounting an effective cellular response. NK cells can be isolated directly from peripheral blood, umbilical cord blood, or bone marrow, expanded in vitro using cytokines or differentiated in vitro from hematopoietic stem cells. Drugs that support NK cell function such as lenalidomide and bortezomib have also been studied in the clinic, however, the optimum combination, which can vary among different malignancies, is yet to be identified. NK cell proliferation, persistence, and function can further be improved by various activation techniques such as priming and cytokine addition though whether stimulation pre- or post-injection is more favorable is another obstacle to be tackled. Here, we review the various methods of obtaining and activating NK cells for use in the clinic while considering the ideal product and drug complement for the most successful cellular therapy.
Full-text · Article · Jun 2015 · Frontiers in Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Allele-level resolution data at primary HLA typing is the ideal for most histocompatibility testing laboratories. Many high-throughput molecular HLA typing approaches are unable to determine the phase of observed DNA sequence polymorphisms, leading to ambiguous results. The use of higher resolution methods is often restricted due to cost and time limitations. Here we report on the feasibility of using Pacific Biosciences' Single Molecule Real-Time (SMRT) DNA sequencing technology for high-resolution and high-throughput HLA typing. Seven DNA samples were typed for HLA-A, -B and -C. The results showed that SMRT DNA sequencing technology was able to generate sequences that spanned entire HLA Class I genes that allowed for accurate allele calling. Eight novel genomic HLA class I sequences were identified, four were novel alleles, three were confirmed as genomic sequence extensions and one corrected an existing genomic reference sequence. This method has the potential to revolutionize the field of HLA typing. The clinical impact of achieving this level of resolution HLA typing data is likely to considerable, particularly in applications such as organ and blood stem cell transplantation where matching donors and recipients for their HLA is of utmost importance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: NK cells play a key role in innate elimination of virally infected or neoplastic cells but they can be circumvented by immunoevasive mechanisms enabling viral spread or tumour progression. Engagement of the NKG2D activating receptor with soluble forms of its ligand is one such mechanism of inducing NK cell hyporesponsiveness. Interestingly, this immunoevasive strategy among others is described at the maternal-fetal interface where tolerance of the semi-allogeneic fetus is required to allow successful human pregnancy. Understanding of maternal-fetal tolerance is increasing but mechanisms preventing alloreactivity of fetal immune cells against the maternal host are less well understood. The study of umbilical cord blood has enabled insight of the fetal immune system, which appears immature and inert. We have found that soluble NKG2D ligands (sNKG2DLs) are present in cord blood plasma (CBP) and associate with adult NK cell hyporesponsiveness demonstrated by reduced CD107a expression and secretion of IFN-γ upon stimulation. The capacity of NK cells to kill K562 cells or proliferate was also reduced by incubation with CBP; however, physical removal of sNKG2DL from CBP restored K562 lytic function and NKG2D expression. Therefore, our results strongly suggest sNKG2DLs are expressed in CBP as a mechanism of fetal-maternal tolerance in human pregnancy. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.
Full-text · Article · May 2015 · European Journal of Immunology
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Background and Objectives
Advantages of using cord blood (CB) over other sources of haematopoietic progenitor cells, such as bone marrow, include the ability to cryopreserve and bank the samples until requested for a transplant. Cryopreservation requires the addition of a cryoprotectant to prevent the formation of intracellular ice during freezing. Dimethyl sulphoxide (DMSO) is commonly used at a concentration of 10% (v/v); however, there is evidence to suggest this chemical is toxic to cells as well as to patients after infusion.Materials and Methods
The toxic effects of DMSO were assessed through cell viability and in vitro functional assays in fresh and post-thaw CB samples before determining the maximum exposure time and optimal concentration for cryopreservation.ResultsA dose-dependent toxicity of DMSO was observed in fresh samples with 40% removing all viable and functional haematopoietic progenitor cells (HPC). In fresh and post-thaw analysis, minimal toxic effect was observed when cryopreservation was delayed for up to 1 h after 10% DMSO addition. After thawing, DMSO washout was superior to dilution or unmanipulated when maintained for long periods (advantage observed 1 h after thawing). Finally, the optimum concentration for cryopreserving CB was found to be 7·5 to 10% with detrimental effects observed outside of this range.Conclusion
These results support the use of 7·5–10% as the optimal DMSO concentration and the maximum exposure time should be limited to <1 h prior to freezing and 30 min post-thaw.