[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We developed mammary imaging windows (MIWs) to evaluate leukocyte infiltration and cancer cell dissemination in mouse mammary tumors imaged by confocal microscopy. Previous techniques relied on surgical resection of a skin flap to image the tumor microenvironment restricting imaging time to a few hours. Utilization of mammary imaging windows offers extension of intravital imaging of the tumor microenvironment. We have characterized strengths and identified some previously undescribed potential weaknesses of MIW techniques. Through iterative enhancements of a transdermal portal we defined conditions for improved quality and extended confocal imaging time for imaging key cell-cell interactions in the tumor microenvironment.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Abstract
Tumor cell senescence is a common outcome of anticancer therapy. Here we investigated how therapy-induced senescence (TIS) affects tumor-infiltrating leukocytes (TILs) and the efficacy of immunotherapy in melanoma.
Tumor senescence was induced by AURKA or CDK4/6 inhibitors (AURKAi, CDK4/6i). Transcriptomes of six mouse tumors with differential response to AURKAi were analyzed by RNA sequencing, and TILs were characterized by flow cytometry. Chemokine RNA and protein expression were determined by quantitative real-time polymerase chain reaction and enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Therapeutic response was queried in immunodeficient mice, in mice with CCL5-deficient tumors, and in mice cotreated with CD137 agonist to activate TILs. CCL5 expression in reference to TIS and markers of TILs was studied in human melanoma tumors using patient-derived xenografts (n = 3 patients, n = 3 mice each), in AURKAi clinical trial samples (n = 3 patients, before/after therapy), and in The Cancer Genome Atlas (n = 278). All statistical tests were two-sided.
AURKAi response was associated with induction of the immune transcriptome (P = 3.5x10-29) while resistance inversely correlated with TIL numbers (Spearman r = -0.87, P < .001). AURKAi and CDK4/6i promoted the recruitment of TILs by inducing CCL5 secretion in melanoma cells (P ≤ .005) in an NF-κB-dependent manner. Therapeutic response to AURKAi was impaired in immunodeficient compared with immunocompetent mice (0% vs 67% tumors regressed, P = .01) and in mice bearing CCL5-deficient vs control tumors (P = .61 vs P = .02); however, AURKAi response was greatly enhanced in mice also receiving T-cell-activating immunotherapy (P < .001). In human tumors, CCL5 expression was also induced by AURKAi (P ≤ .02) and CDK4/6i (P = .01) and was associated with increased immune marker expression (P = 1.40x10-93).
Senescent melanoma cells secret CCL5, which promotes recruitment of TILs. Combining TIS with immunotherapy that enhances tumor cell killing by TILs is a promising novel approach to improve melanoma outcomes.
No preview · Article · Dec 2015 · Journal of the National Cancer Institute
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Recent breakthroughs in therapeutic modulation of immune cells have led to new and exciting treatments for cancers. Moreover, the cytokine milieu in the tumor microenvironment is an important for appropriate immune surveillance. Here we demonstrate that NF-κB activity in myeloid cells is essential for cytokine mediated anti-tumor polarization of immune cells.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: We recently demonstrated that therapy combining Aurora Kinase A and MDM2 antagonists is effective against melanoma in preclinical settings. Notably, besides inducing apoptosis, this regimen led to tumor senescence and stimulated the host's anti-tumor immune defenses. Treatments leveraging both cancer cell-intrinsic and extrinsic anti-tumor mechanisms can improve melanoma therapeutic outcomes.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Nuclear LASP-1 (LIM and SH3 protein-1) has a direct correlation with overall survival of breast cancer patients. In this study, immunohistochemical analysis of a human breast TMA showed that LASP-1 is absent in normal human breast epithelium but the expression increases with malignancy and is highly nuclear in aggressive breast cancer. We investigated whether the chemokines and growth factors present in the tumor microenvironment could trigger nuclear translocation of LASP-1.Treatment of human breast cancer cells with CXCL12, EGF and HRG, and HMEC-CXCR2 cells with CXCL8 facilitated nuclear shuttling of LASP-1. Data from the biochemical analysis of the nuclear and cytosolic fractions further confirmed the nuclear translocation of LASP-1 upon chemokine and growth factor treatment. CXCL12-dependent nuclear import of LASP-1 could be blocked by CXCR4 antagonist, AMD-3100. Knock down of LASP-1 resulted in alterations in gene expression leading to an increased level of cell-junction and extracellular matrix proteins and an altered cytokine secretory profile. Three-dimensional cultures of human breast cancer cells on Matrigel revealed an altered colony growth, morphology and arborization pattern in LASP-1 knockdown cells. Functional analysis of the LASP-1 knockdown cells revealed increased adhesion to collagen IV and decreased invasion through the Matrigel. Proteomic analysis of immunoprecipitates of LASP-1 and subsequent validation approaches revealed that LASP-1 associated with the epigenetic machinery especially UHRF1, DNMT1, G9a and the transcription factor Snail1. Interestingly, LASP-1 associated with UHRF1, G9a, Snail1 and di- and tri-methylated histoneH3 in a CXCL12-dependent manner based on immunoprecipitation and proximity ligation assays. LASP-1 also directly bound to Snail1 which may stabilize Snail1. Thus, nuclear LASP-1 appears to functionally serve as a hub for the epigenetic machinery.Oncogene advance online publication, 18 May 2015; doi:10.1038/onc.2015.166.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Therapeutics that induce cancer cell senescence can block cell proliferation and promote immune rejection. However, the risk of tumor relapse due to senescence escape may remain high due to the long lifespan of senescent cells that are not cleared. Here we show how combining a senescence-inducing inhibitor of the mitotic kinase Aurora A (AURKA) with an MDM2 antagonist activates p53 in senescent tumors harboring wildtype 53. In the model studied, this effect is accompanied proliferation arrest, mitochondrial depolarization, apoptosis and immune clearance of cancer cells by antitumor leukocytes in a manner reliant upon CCL5, CCL1 and CXCL9. The AURKA/MDM2 combination therapy shows adequate bioavailability and low toxicity to the host. Moreover, the prominent response of patient-derived melanoma tumors to co-administered MDM2 and AURKA inhibitors offers a sound rationale for clinical evaluation. Taken together, our work provides a preclinical proof-of-concept for a combination treatment which leverages both senescence and immune surveillance to therapeutic ends.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Myeloid cells are effectors of both anti-tumor and pro-tumor immune responses, but much needs to be determined as to signals that determine which function of the myeloid lineage dominates. Shown here, mice with myeloid-specific IKKβ loss exhibit more rapid growth of cutaneous and lung melanoma tumors. Specifically, in a BRAF(V600E)PTEN-/- allograft model, IKKβ loss in macrophages resulted in reduced recruitment of myeloid cells into the tumor, reduced expression of MHCII, and enhanced production of the chemokine, CCL11, which negatively regulated dendritic cell maturation. The elevated serum and tissue levels of CCL11 mediated suppression of dendritic cell differentiation/maturation within the TME, resulted in a Th2 skew of the immune response, and impaired CD8+T cell-mediated tumor cell killing. Macrophage depletion or CD8+T cell depletion in mice with IKKβWT myeloid cells enhanced tumor growth in the melanoma allograft. In contrast, mice with IKKβWT myeloid cells used the myeloid cell response to mediate anti-tumor immunity against the syngeneic B16 melanoma, with less apparent dependency on a CD8+T cell response. Myeloid cells deficient in IKKβ were compromised in tumor cell killing based upon reduced ability to phagocytize and digest tumor cells. Conversely, mice with continuous IKKβ signaling in myeloid-lineage cells (IKKβCA) exhibited enhanced anti-tumor immunity and reduced B16 melanoma tumor growth. Collectively, these data uncover new mechanisms by which NF-κB signaling in myeloid cells promotes innate tumor surveillance.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Stromal cells in the tumor microenvironment play a key role in the metastatic properties of a tumor. It is recognized that cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) and endothelial cells secrete factors capable of influencing tumor cell migration into the blood or lymphatic vessels. We developed a microfluidic device that can be used to image the interactions between stromal cells and tumor cell spheroids in a three dimensional (3D) microenvironment while enabling external control of interstitial flow at an interface, which supports endothelial cells. The apparatus couples a 200-μm channel with a semicircular well to mimic the interface of a blood vessel with the stroma, and the design allows for visualization of the interactions of interstitial flow, endothelial cells, leukocytes, and fibroblasts with the tumor cells. We observed that normal tissue-associated fibroblasts (NAFs) contribute to the "single file" pattern of migration of tumor cells from the spheroid in the 3D microenvironment. In contrast, CAFs induce a rapid dispersion of tumor cells out of the spheroid with migration into the 3D matrix. Moreover, treatment of tumor spheroid cultures with the chemokine CXCL12 mimics the effect of the CAFs, resulting in similar patterns of dispersal of the tumor cells from the spheroid. Conversely, addition of CXCL12 to co-cultures of NAFs with tumor spheroids did not mimic the effects observed with CAF co-cultures, suggesting that NAFs produce factors that stabilize the tumor spheroids to reduce their migration in response to CXCL12.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Purpose:
To evaluate the efficacy and tolerability of bortezomib in combination with doxorubicin in patients with advanced hepatocellular carcinoma, and to correlate pharmacodynamic markers of proteasome inhibition with response and survival.
This phase II, open-label, multicenter study examined the efficacy of bortezomib (1.3 mg/m(2) IV on d1, 4, 8, 11) and doxorubicin (15 mg/m(2) IV on d1, 8) in 21-day cycles. The primary endpoint was objective response rate.
Best responses in 38 treated patients were 1 partial response (2.6 %), 10 (26.3 %) stable disease, and 17 (44.7 %) progressive disease; 10 patients were unevaluable. Median PFS was 2.2 months. Median OS was 6.1 months. The most common grade 3 to 4 toxicities were hypertension, glucose intolerance, ascites, ALT elevation, hyperglycemia and thrombosis/embolism. Worse PFS was seen in patients with elevated IL-6, IL-8, MIP-1α and EMSA for NF-κB at the start of treatment. Worse OS was seen in patients with elevated IL-8 and VEGF at the start of treatment. Patients had improved OS if a change in the natural log of serum MIP-1α/CCL3 was seen after treatment. RANTES/CCL5 levels decreased significantly with treatment.
The combination of doxorubicin and bortezomib was well-tolerated in patients with hepatocellular carcinoma, but the primary endpoint was not met. Exploratory analyses of markers of proteasome inhibition suggest a possible prognostic and predictive role and should be explored further in tumor types for which bortezomib is efficacious.
No preview · Article · Jun 2014 · Investigational New Drugs
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: The chemokine receptor CXCR2 is vital for inflammation, wound healing, angiogenesis, cancer progression, and metastasis. Adaptor protein 2 (AP2), a clathrin binding heterotetrameric protein comprised of α, β2, μ2, and σ2 subunits, facilitates clathrin-mediated endocytosis. Mutation of the LLKIL motif in the CXCR2 carboxyl-terminal domain (CTD) results in loss of AP2 binding to the receptor and loss of ligand mediated receptor internalization and chemotaxis. AP2 knockdown also results in diminished ligand-mediated CXCR2 internalization, polarization and chemotaxis. Using knockdown/rescue approaches with AP2-μ2 mutants, the binding domains were characterized in reference to CXCR2 internalization and chemotaxis. When in an open conformation, μ2 Patch 1 and Patch 2 domains bind tightly to membrane PIP2 phospholipids. When AP2-μ2 is replaced with μ2 mutated in Patch 1 and/or Patch 2 domains, ligand-mediated receptor binding and internalization are not lost. However chemotaxis requires AP2-μ2 Patch 1, but not Patch 2. AP2-σ2 has been demonstrated to bind dileucine motifs to facilitate internalization. Expression of AP2-σ2 V88D and V98S dominant negative mutants resulted in loss of CXCR2 mediated chemotaxis. Thus, AP2 binding to both membrane phosphatidylinositol phospholipids and dileucine motifs is crucial for directional migration or chemotaxis. Moreover, AP2-mediated receptor internalization can be dissociated from AP2-mediated chemotaxis.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Significance: Efficient recruitment of neutrophils to an injured skin lesion is an important innate immune response for wound repair. Defects in neutrophil recruitment lead to impaired wound healing. Recent Advances: Chemokines and chemokine receptors are known to regulate neutrophil recruitment. Recent research advances reveal more mechanistic details about the regulation of chemokines and chemokine receptors on neutrophil egress from bone marrow, transmigration into the wound site, spatial navigation toward the necrotic skin tissue, and apoptosis-induced clearance by efferocytosis. Critical Issues: Skin injury triggers local and systemic alterations in the expression of multiple chemotactic molecules and the magnitude of chemokine receptor-mediated signaling. The responses of a number of CXC and CX3C chemokines and their receptors closely associate with the temporal and spatial recruitment of neutrophils to wound sites during the inflammatory phase and promote the clearance of necrotic neutrophils during the transition into the proliferative phase. Functional aberrancy in these chemokines and chemokine receptor systems is recognized as one of the important mechanisms underlying the pathology of impaired wound healing. Future Directions: Future research should aim to investigate the therapeutic modulation of neutrophil activity through the targeting of specific chemokines or chemokine receptors in the early inflammatory phase to improve clinical management of wound healing.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Aberrant expression of CXCR4 in human breast cancer correlates with metastasis to tissues secreting CXCL12. To understand the mechanism by which CXCR4 mediates breast cancer metastasis, MCF-7 breast carcinoma cells were transduced to express wild-type CXCR4 (CXCR4WT) or constitutively active CXCR4 (CXCR4ΔCTD), and analyzed in two-dimensional cultures (2D), three-dimensional reconstituted basement membrane (3D rBM) cultures, and in mice using intravital imaging. Two-dimensional cultures of MCF-7 CXCR4ΔCTD cells, but not CXCR4WT, exhibited an epithelial to mesenchymal transition (EMT) characterized by up-regulation of ZEB-1, loss of E-cadherin, up-regulation of cadherin 11, p120 isoform switching, activation of ERK1/2 and MMP-2. In contrast to the 2D environment, MCF-7 CXCR4WT cells cultured in 3D rBM exhibited an EMT phenotype, accompanied by expression of CXCR2, CXCR7, CXCL1, CXCL8, CCL2, IL-6, and GM-CSF. Dual inhibition of CXCR2 with CXCR4, or inhibition of either receptor with inhibitors of MEK1 or PI3K, reversed the aggressive phenotype of MCF-7 CXCR4 expressing or MDA-MB-231 cells in 3D rBM. Intravital imaging of CXCR4 expressing MCF-7 cells revealed that tumor cells migrate toward blood vessels and metastasize to lymph nodes. Thus, CXCR4 can drive EMT along with an up-regulation of chemokine receptors and cytokines important in cell migration, lymphatic invasion and tumor metastasis.
Full-text · Article · Jan 2014 · Molecular biology of the cell
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: Chiral nonracemic cis-4,5-bis(aryl)imidazolines have emerged as a powerful platform for the development of cancer chemotherapeutics, stimulated by the Hoffmann-La Roche discovery that Nutlin-3 can restore apoptosis in cells with wild-type p53. The lack of efficient methods for the enantioselective synthesis of cis-imidazolines, however, has limited their more general use. Our disclosure of the first enantioselective synthesis of (-)-Nutlin-3 provided a basis to prepare larger amounts of this tool used widely in cancer biology. Key to the decagram-scale synthesis described here was the discovery of a novel bis(amidine) organocatalyst that provides high enantioselectivity at warmer reaction temperature (-20 °C) and low catalyst loadings. Further refinements to the procedure led to the synthesis of (-)-Nutlin-3 in a 17 g batch and elimination of all but three chromatographic purifications.
No preview · Article · Oct 2013 · The Journal of Organic Chemistry