In higher eukaryotes, transfer RNAs (tRNAs) with the same anticodon are encoded by multiple nuclear genes, and little is known about how mutations in these genes affect translation and cellular homeostasis. Similarly, the surveillance systems that respond to such defects in higher eukaryotes are not clear. Here, we discover that loss of GTPBP2, a novel binding partner of the ribosome recycling protein Pelota, in mice with a mutation in a tRNA gene that is specifically expressed in the central nervous system causes ribosome stalling and widespread neurodegeneration. Our results not only define GTPBP2 as a ribosome rescue factor but also unmask the disease potential of mutations in nuclear-encoded tRNA genes.
We established a method to generate a large quantity of myeloid lineage cells from mouse embryonic stem (ES) cells, termed ES cell-derived proliferating myeloid cell lines (ES-ML). ES-ML continuously proliferated in the presence of M-CSF and GM-CSF. ES-ML genetically modified to express an anti-HER2 (neu) mAb single-chain V region fragment reduced the number of cocultured mouse Colon-26 cancer cells expressing HER2. Stimulation of ES-ML with IFN-? plus LPS or TNF resulted in almost complete killing of the Colon-26 cells by the ES-ML, and the cytotoxicity was mediated, in part, by NO produced by ES-ML. When ES-ML were injected into mice with i.p. established Colon-26 tumors, they efficiently infiltrated the tumor tissues. Injection of ES-ML with rIFN-? and LPS inhibited cancer progression in the mouse peritoneal cavity. Coinjection of TNF-transfected or untransfected ES-ML with rIFN-? inhibited cancer growth and resulted in prolonged survival of the treated mice. In this experiment, transporter associated with Ag processing (TAP)1-deficient ES-ML exhibited therapeutic activity in MHC-mismatched allogeneic recipient mice. Despite the proliferative capacity of ES-ML, malignancy never developed from the transferred ES-ML in the recipient mice. In summary, TAP-deficient ES-ML with anticancer properties exhibited a therapeutic effect in allogeneic recipients, suggesting the possible use of TAP-deficient human-induced pluripotent stem cell-derived proliferating myeloid cell lines in cancer therapy.
We recently identified a novel cancer-testis antigen, cell division cycle associated 1 (CDCA1) using genome-wide cDNA microarray analysis, and CDCA1-derived cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL)-epitopes. In this study, we attempted to identify CDCA1-derived long peptides (LPs) that induce both CD4+ helper T (Th) cells and CTLs. We combined information from a recently developed computer algorithm predicting HLA class II-binding peptides with CDCA1-derived CTL-epitope sequences presented by HLA-A2 (A*02:01) or HLA-A24 (A*24:02) to select candidate CDCA1-LPs encompassing both Th cell epitopes and CTL-epitopes. We studied the immunogenicity of CDCA1-LPs and the cross-priming potential of LPs bearing CTL-epitopes in both human in vitro and HLA-class I transgenic mice in vivo. Then we analyzed the Th cell response to CDCA1 in head-and-neck cancer (HNC) patients before and after vaccination with a CDCA1-derived CTL-epitope peptide using IFN-? enzyme-linked immunospot assays. We identified two CDCA1-LPs, CDCA1(39–64)-LP and CDCA1(55–78)-LP, which encompass naturally processed epitopes recognized by Th cells and CTLs. CDCA1-specific CTLs were induced through cross-presentation of CDCA1-LPs in vitro and in vivo. In addition, CDCA1-specific Th cells enhanced induction of CDCA1-specific CTLs. Furthermore, significant frequencies of CDCA1-specific Th cell responses were detected after short-term in vitro stimulation of peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) with CDCA1-LPs in HNC patients (CDCA1(39–64)-LP, 74%; CDCA1(55–78)-LP, 68%), but not in healthy donors. These are the first results demonstrating the presence of CDCA1-specific Th cell responses in HNC patients and underline the possible utility of CDCA1-LPs for propagation of both CDCA1-specific Th cells and CTLs.
We established a method to produce a large quantity of myeloid cells from human inducible pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). When injected intraperitoneally into mice carrying established peritoneal tumors, iPSC-derived myeloid cells (iPS-MCs) efficiently accumulated within neoplastic lesions. The intraperitoneal injection of iPS-MCs expressing interferon ? significantly inhibited the growth of human gastric and pancreatic cancers implanted in the peritoneal cavity of immunocompromised mice.
Identification of peptides that activate both tumor-specific helper T (Th) cells and cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs) are important for the induction of effective antitumor immune responses. We focused on a long peptide (LP) derived from lymphocyte antigen 6 complex locus K (LY6K) encompassing both candidate Th epitopes and a known CTL epitope. Using IFN? ELISPOT assays as a marker of activated T cells, we studied the immunogenicity and cross-priming potential of LY6K-LP, assaying human immune cell responses in vitro and immunologic activities in HLA-A24 transgenic mice in vivo. We identified LY6K172-191-LP as an effective immunogen spanning naturally processed epitopes recognized by T helper type 1 (Th1) cells and CTLs. LY6K-specific CTLs were induced through cross-presentation of LY6K172-191-LP in vitro and in vivo. In addition, LY6K172-191-LP enhanced induction of LY6K-specific CTLs among the peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) of head-and-neck malignant tumor (HNMT) patients. LY6K172-191-LP-specific Th1 immunologic response following 1 week in vitro stimulation of PBMCs with LY6K172-191-LP were detected in 16 of 21 HNMT patients (76%) vaccinated with CTL-epitope peptides and 1 of 11 HNMT patients (9%) prior to vaccination, but not in 9 healthy donors. Our results are the first to demonstrate the presence of LY6K-specific Th1 cell responses in HNMT patients and underscore the possible utility of LY6K172-191-LP for the induction and propagation of both LY6K-specific Th1 cells and CTLs.
Anticancer vaccination therapies with monocyte-derived dendritic cells (DC) are widely conducted. A large number of primary monocytes (approximately 10(8) cells) are needed to generate the number of DC required to achieve an effect upon vaccination, and monocytes are usually purified from peripheral blood mononuclear cells obtained by apheresis procedure, which is somehow invasive for cancer patients. As a means to facilitate the generation of DC for therapeutic use, we herein report a method to amplify human monocytes. We found that lentivirus-mediated transduction of cMYC along with BMI1 induced proliferation of CD14(+) monocytes derived from 9 out of 12 blood donors, and we named the monocyte-derived proliferating cells CD14-ML. Their proliferation continued for 3-5 weeks in the presence of M-CSF and GM-CSF, resulting in 20-1000-fold amplification. Importantly, the expanded CD14-ML differentiated into fully functional DC (CD14-ML-DC) upon the addition of IL-4 to the culture. We successfully stimulated autologous CD8(+) T cells with CD14-ML-DC pulsed with cytomegalovirus peptide or MART-1 peptide to generate antigen-specific CTL lines. This is the first report describing the method for in vitro expansion of human peripheral blood monocytes.
Reports have shown that activation of tumor-specific CD4(+) helper T (Th) cells is crucial for effective anti-tumor immunity and identification of Th-cell epitopes is critical for peptide vaccine-based cancer immunotherapy. Although computer algorithms are available to predict peptides with high binding affinity to a specific HLA class II molecule, the ability of those peptides to induce Th-cell responses must be evaluated. We have established HLA-DR4 (HLA-DRA*01:01/HLA-DRB1*04:05) transgenic mice (Tgm), since this HLA-DR allele is most frequent (13.6%) in Japanese population, to evaluate HLA-DR4-restricted Th-cell responses to tumor-associated antigen (TAA)-derived peptides predicted to bind to HLA-DR4. To avoid weak binding between mouse CD4 and HLA-DR4, Tgm were designed to express chimeric HLA-DR4/I-E(d), where I-E(d) ?1 and ?1 domains were replaced with those from HLA-DR4. Th cells isolated from Tgm immunized with adjuvant and HLA-DR4-binding cytomegalovirus-derived peptide proliferated when stimulated with peptide-pulsed HLA-DR4-transduced mouse L cells, indicating chimeric HLA-DR4/I-E(d) has equivalent antigen presenting capacity to HLA-DR4. Immunization with CDCA155-78 peptide, a computer algorithm-predicted HLA-DR4-binding peptide derived from TAA CDCA1, successfully induced Th-cell responses in Tgm, while immunization of HLA-DR4-binding Wilms tumor 1 antigen-derived peptide with identical amino acid sequence to mouse ortholog failed. This was overcome by using peptide-pulsed syngeneic bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BM-DC) followed by immunization with peptide/CFA booster. BM-DC-based immunization of KIF20A494-517 peptide from another TAA KIF20A, with an almost identical HLA-binding core amino acid sequence to mouse ortholog, successfully induced Th-cell responses in Tgm. Notably, both CDCA155-78 and KIF20A494-517 peptides induced human Th-cell responses in PBMCs from HLA-DR4-positive donors. Finally, an HLA-DR4 binding DEPDC1191-213 peptide from a new TAA DEPDC1 overexpressed in bladder cancer induced strong Th-cell responses both in Tgm and in PBMCs from an HLA-DR4-positive donor. Thus, the HLA-DR4 Tgm combined with computer algorithm was useful for preliminary screening of candidate peptides for vaccination.
We recently developed a method to generate myeloid cells with proliferation capacity from human iPS cells. iPS-ML (iPS-cell-derived myeloid/macrophage line), generated by introducing proliferation and anti-senescence factors into iPS-cell-derived myeloid cells, grew continuously in an M-CSF-dependent manner. A large number of cells exhibiting macrophage-like properties can be readily obtained by using this technology. In the current study, we evaluated the possible application of iPS-ML in anti-cancer therapy. We established a model of peritoneally disseminated gastric cancer by intraperitoneally injecting NUGC-4 human gastric cancer cells into SCID mice. When iPS-ML were injected intraperitoneally into the mice with pre-established peritoneal NUGC-4 tumors, iPS-ML massively accumulated and infiltrated into the tumor tissues. iPS-ML expressing IFN-? (iPS-ML/IFN-?) significantly inhibited the intra-peritoneal growth of NUGC-4 cancer. Furthermore, iPS-ML/IFN-? also inhibited the growth of human pancreatic cancer MIAPaCa-2 in a similar model. iPS-ML are therefore a promising treatment agent for peritoneally disseminated cancers, for which no standard treatment is currently available.
Eukaryotic mRNA turnover is among most critical mechanisms that affect mRNA abundance and are regulated by mRNA-binding proteins and the cytoplasmic exosome. A functional protein, guanosine-triphosphate-binding protein 1 (GTPBP1), which associates with both the exosome and target mRNAs, was identified. The overexpression of GTPBP1 accelerated the target mRNA decay, whereas the reduction of the GTPBP1 expression with RNA interference stabilized the target mRNA. GTPBP1 has a putative guanosine-triphosphate (GTP)-binding domain, which is found in members of the G-protein family and Ski7p, a well-known core factor of the exosome-mediated mRNA turnover pathway in yeast. Analyses of protein interactions and mRNA decay demonstrated that GTPBP1 modulates mRNA degradation via GTP-binding-dependent target loading. Moreover, GTPBP1-knockout models displayed multiple mRNA decay defects, including elevated nocturnal levels of Aanat mRNA in pineal glands, and retarded degradation of TNF-? mRNA in lipopolysaccharide-treated splenocytes. The results of this study suggest that GTPBP1 is a regulator and adaptor of the exosome-mediated mRNA turnover pathway.
In vivo transfer of dendritic cells (DC) has proven efficient in the priming of T cells and is regarded as a powerful means of providing anti-cancer immunotherapy. Clinical trials of anti-cancer therapy with DC pulsed with peptide antigens have been carried out in many institutions, although dramatic therapeutic effect has not been observed in most of the trials. Negative regulation of the immune response by DC might be applicable to treatment of autoimmune diseases and transplantation medicine. Currently, the DC used for anti-cancer vaccine therapy are generated from the peripheral blood monocytes of the patients. However, there is a limitation in the number of available monocytes and the potential of monocytes to differentiate into DC varies depending on the individual blood donors. To resolve the issue of the cell source for DC therapy, several groups have developed methods to generate DC from pluripotent stem cells. This review introduces methods to generate functional DC from pluripotent stem cells of mouse and human.
The present study attempted to identify a useful tumor-associated antigen (TAA) for lung cancer immunotherapy and potential immunogenic peptides derived from the TAA. We focused on cell division cycle 45-like (CDC45L), which has a critical role in the initiation and elongation steps of DNA replication, as a novel candidate TAA for immunotherapy based on a genome-wide cDNA microarray analysis of lung cancer. The CDC45L was overexpressed in the majority of lung cancer tissues, but not in the adjacent non-cancerous tissues or in many normal adult tissues. We examined the in vitro and in vivo anti-tumor effects of cytotoxic T-lymphocytes (CTL) specific to CDC45L-derived peptides induced from HLA-A24 (A*24:02)-positive donors. We identified three CDC45L-derived peptides that could reproducibly induce CDC45L-specific and HLA-A24-restricted CTL from both healthy donors and lung cancer patients. The CTL could effectively lyse lung cancer cells that endogenously expressed both CDC45L and HLA-A24. In addition, we found that CDC45L (556) KFLDALISL(564) was eminent in that it induced not only HLA-A24 but also HLA-A2 (A*02:01)-restricted antigen specific CTL. Furthermore, the adoptive transfer of the CDC45L-specific CTL inhibited the growth of human cancer cells engrafted into immunocompromised mice. These results suggest that these three CDC45L-derived peptides are highly immunogenic epitopes and CDC45L is a novel TAA that might be a useful target for lung cancer immunotherapy.
Insulin-like growth factor-II mRNA binding protein 3 (IMP-3) is an oncofetal protein expressed in various malignancies including lung cancer. This study aimed to identify immunogenic peptides derived from IMP-3 that can induce tumor-reactive and human leukocyte antigen (HLA)-A2 (A*02:01)-restricted cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) for lung cancer immunotherapy. Forty human IMP-3-derived peptides predicted to bind to HLA-A2 were analyzed to determine their capacity to induce HLA-A2-restricted T cells in HLA-A2.1 (HHD) transgenic mice (Tgm). We found that three IMP-3 peptides primed HLA-A2-restricted CTL in the HLA-A2.1 Tgm. Among them, human CTL lines reactive to IMP-3 (515) NLSSAEVVV(523) were reproducibly established from HLA-A2-positive healthy donors and lung cancer patients. On the other hand, IMP-3 (199) RLLVPTQFV(207) reproducibly induced IMP-3-specific and HLA-A2-restricted CTL from healthy donors, but did not sensitize CTL in the HLA-A2.1 Tgm. Importantly, these two IMP-3 peptide-specific CTL generated from healthy donors and cancer patients effectively killed the cancer cells naturally expressing both IMP-3 and HLA-A2. Cytotoxicity was significantly inhibited by anti-HLA class I and anti-HLA-A2 monoclonal antibodies, but not by the anti-HLA-class II monoclonal antibody. In addition, natural processing of these two epitopes derived from the IMP-3 protein was confirmed by specific killing of HLA-A2-positive IMP-3-transfectants but not the parental IMP-negative cell line by peptide-induced CTL. This suggests that these two IMP-3-derived peptides represent highly immunogenic CTL epitopes that may be attractive targets for lung cancer immunotherapy.
TRAIL is known to play a pivotal role in the inhibition of autoimmune disease. We previously demonstrated that administration of dendritic cells engineered to express TRAIL and myelin-oligodendrocyte glycoprotein reduced the severity of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and suggested that CD4(+)CD25(+) regulatory T cells (Tregs) were involved in mediating this preventive effect. In the current study, we investigated the effect of TRAIL on Tregs, as well as conventional T cells, using TRAIL-deficient mice. Upon induction of experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis, TRAIL-deficient mice showed more severe clinical symptoms, a greater frequency of IFN-?-producing CD4(+) T (Th1) cells, and a lower frequency of CD4(+)Foxp3(+) Tregs than did wild-type mice. In vitro, conventional T cells stimulated by bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BM-DCs) from TRAIL-deficient mice showed a greater magnitude of proliferation than did those stimulated by BM-DCs from wild-type mice. In contrast, TRAIL expressed on the stimulator BM-DCs enhanced the proliferative response of CD4(+)CD25(+) Tregs in the culture. The functional TRAILR, mouse death receptor 5 (mDR5), was expressed in conventional T cells and Tregs upon stimulation. In contrast, the decoy receptor, mDc-TRAILR1, was slightly expressed only on CD4(+)CD25(+) Tregs. Therefore, the distinct effects of TRAIL may be due to differences in the mDc-TRAILR1 expression or the signaling pathways downstream of mouse death receptor 5 between the two T cell subsets. Our data suggest that TRAIL suppresses autoimmunity by two mechanisms: the inhibition of Th1 cells and the promotion of Tregs.
Dendritic cell (DC) is regarded as a powerful means for anti-cancer immunotherapy. Clinical trials of cancer therapy with DC loaded with cancer antigens, such as tumor cell-lysates or HLA class I-binding antigenic peptides, have been conducted. Antigen-specific negative manipulation of the immune response by DC is a potential treatment for autoimmune diseases and also for control of allo-reactive immune responses in transplantation medicine. Currently, DC for clinical use are generated from peripheral blood monocytes of the patients. However, the number of monocytes obtained from the patients is limited and the potential of monocytes to differentiate into DC varies depending on the blood donor. Thus, the issue of limited cells is a serious obstacle for DC therapy. ES cells and iPS cells have pluripotency and unlimited propagation capacity and may be an ideal cell source for DC-therapy. Several groups, including us, have developed methods to generate DC from ES cells or iPS cells. This review introduces the studies on generation, characterization, and genetic modification of DC derived from ES cells or iPS cells.
Bisphenol A (BPA) is a monomer used in manufacturing a wide range of chemical products, including epoxy resins and polycarbonate. BPA, an important endocrine disrupting chemical that exerts estrogen-like activities, is detectable at nanomolar levels in human serum worldwide. The pregnancy associated doses of 17beta-estradiol (E2) plus tumor-necrosis factor-alpha (TNF-alpha) induce distorted maturation of human dendritic cells (DCs) that result in an increased capacity to induce T helper (Th) 2 responses. The current study demonstrated that the presence of BPA during DC maturation influences the function of human DCs, thereby polarizing the subsequent Th response. In the presence of TNF-alpha, BPA treatment enhanced the expression of CC chemokine ligand 1 (CCL1) in DCs. In addition, DCs exposed to BPA/TNF-alpha produced higher levels of IL-10 relative to those of IL-12p70 on CD40 ligation, and preferentially induced Th2 deviation. BPA exerts the same effect with E2 at the same dose (0.01-0.1 microM) with regard to DC-mediated Th2 polarization. These findings imply that DCs exposed to BPA will provide one of the initial signals driving the development and perpetuation of Th2-dominated immune response in allergic reactions.
Dendritic cells (DC) are the most potent antigen-presenting cells. In vivo transfer of antigen-bearing DC has proven efficient in priming T cell responses specific to the antigen. DC-based cellular vaccination is now regarded as a powerful means for immunotherapy, especially for anti-cancer immunotherapy. Clinical trials of therapy with DC pulsed with peptide antigens or genetically modified to present antigens are currently carried out in many institutions. In addition, antigen-specific negative regulation of immune response by DC is considered to be a promising approach for treatments of autoimmune diseases and also for regulation of allo-reactive immune response causing graft rejection and GVHD in transplantation medicine. DC for transfer therapy are now generated by in vitro differentiation of peripheral blood monocytes of the patients. However, there is a limitation in the number of available monocytes, and the DC-differentiation potential of monocytes varies depending on the blood donor. Embryonic stem (ES) cells possess both pluripotency and infinite propagation capacity. We consider ES cells to be an ideal source for DC to be used in immunotherapy. Several groups, including us, have developed methods to generate DC from ES cells. This review introduces the studies on generation, characterization, and genetic modification of DC derived from ES cells or induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. The issues to be resolved before clinical application of pluripotent stem cell-derived DC will also be discussed.
To establish efficient anticancer immunotherary, it is important to identify tumor-associated antigens (TAAs) directing the immune system to attack cancer. A genome-wide cDNA microarray analysis identified that secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine (SPARC) gene is overexpressed in the gastric, pancreatic and colorectal cancer tissues but not in their noncancerous counterparts. This study attempted to identify HLA-A24 (A*2402)-restricted and SPARC-derived CTL epitopes. We previously identified H-2K(d)-restricted and SPARC-derived CTL epitope peptides in BALB/c mice, of which H-2K(d)-binding peptide motif is comparable with that of HLA-A24 binding peptides. By using these peptides, we tried to induce HLA-A24 (A*2402)-restricted and SPARC-reactive human CTLs and demonstrated an antitumor immune response. The SPARC-A24-1(143-151) (DYIGPCKYI) and SPARC-A24-4(225-234) (MYIFPVHWQF) peptides-reactive CTLs were successfully induced from peripheral blood mononuclear cells by in vitro stimulation with these two peptides in HLA-A24 (A*2402) positive healthy donors and cancer patients, and these CTLs exhibited cytotoxicity specific to cancer cells expressing both SPARC and HLA-A24 (A*2402). Furthermore, the adoptive transfer of the SPARC-specific CTLs could inhibit the tumor growth in nonobese diabetic/severe combined immunodeficient mice bearing human cancer cells expressing both HLA-A24 (A*2402) and SPARC. These findings suggest that SPARC is a potentially useful target candidate for cancer immunotherapy.
CD1d-restricted invariant NKT (iNKT) cells play crucial roles in various types of immune responses, including autoimmune diseases, infectious diseases and tumor surveillance. The mechanisms underlying their adjuvant functions are well understood. Nevertheless, although IL-4 and IL-10 production characterize iNKT cells able to prevent or ameliorate some autoimmune diseases and inflammatory conditions, the precise mechanisms by which iNKT cells exert immune regulatory function remain elusive. This study demonstrates that the activation of human iNKT cells by their specific ligand alpha-galactosylceramide enhances IL-12p70 while inhibiting the IL-23 production by monocyte-derived dendritic cells, and in turn down-regulating the IL-17 production by memory CD4(+) Th cells. The ability of the iNKT cells to regulate the differential production of IL-12p70/IL-23 is mainly mediated by a remarkable hallmark of their function to produce both Th1 and Th2 cytokines. In particular, the down-regulation of IL-23 is markedly associated with a production of IL-4 and IL-10 from iNKT cells. Moreover, Th2 cytokines, such as IL-4 and IL-13 play a crucial role in defining the biased production of IL-12p70/IL-23 by enhancement of IL-12p70 in synergy with IFN-gamma, whereas inhibition of the IFN-gamma-promoted IL-23 production. Collectively, the results suggest that iNKT cells modify the IL-12p70/IL-23 balance to enhance the IL-12p70-induced cell-mediated immunity and suppress the IL-23-dependent inflammatory pathologies. These results may account for the long-appreciated contrasting beneficial and adverse consequence of ligand activation of iNKT cells.
In vivo assay to evaluate anti-cancer immunotherapy at the pre-clinical phase is eagerly needed. We currently established xenotransplantation-based method to analyze in vivo priming of cancer-antigen-specific human cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTLs). We transplanted human peripheral T cells and analyzed priming of CTLs in NOG mice. Half of the mice engrafted with bulk lymphocytes including CD4(+) T cells died before analysis probably due to xenoreactive graft versus host disease. All of the mice engrafted with purified CD8(+) T cells survived until the analysis, and successful engraftment was observed in 80% of recipient mice. Thus, transfer of purified CD8(+) T cells is sufficient and safer than that of bulk lymphocytes. To add antigenic stimulation to the CD8(+) T cells in vivo, injection of antigenic peptide-loaded and monocyte-derived autologous dendritic cells (DCs) was simultaneously done and repeated 7 days later. The DC-based vaccinization resulted in efficient priming of HLA class I-restricted and MART1, WT1 or CMV peptides-specific CTLs in the recipient mice. This system may be useful to evaluate the stimulation of antigen-specific human CTLs in vivo.
Methods have been established to generate dendritic cells (DCs) from mouse and human embryonic stem (ES) cells. We designated them as ES-DCs and mouse models have demonstrated the induction of anti-cancer immunity and prevention of autoimmune disease by in vivo administration of genetically engineered ES-DCs. For the future clinical application of ES-DCs, the histoincompatibility between patients to be treated and available human ES cells and the ethical concerns associated with human ES cells may be serious obstacles. However, recently developed induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell technology is expected to resolve these issues. This report describes the generation and characterization of DCs derived from mouse iPS cells. The iPS cell-derived DCs (iPS-DCs) possessed the characteristics of DCs including the capacity of T-cell-stimulation, antigen-processing and presentation and cytokine production. DNA microarray analyses revealed the upregulation of genes related to antigen-presenting functions during differentiation into iPS-DCs and similarity in gene expression profile in iPS-DCs and bone marrow cell-derived DCs. Genetically modified iPS-DCs expressing antigenic protein primed T-cells specific to the antigen in vivo and elicited efficient antigen-specific anti-tumor immunity. In addition, macrophages were generated from iPS cells (iPS-MP). iPS-MP were comparable with bone marrow cell-derived macrophages in the cell surface phenotype, functions, and gene expression profiles.
Numerous tumor-associated antigens (TAA) have been identified and their use in immunotherapy is considered to be promising. For TAA-based immunotherapy to be broadly applied as standard anticancer medicine, methods for active immunization should be improved. In the present study, we demonstrated the efficacy of multiple TAA-targeted dendritic cell (DC) vaccines and also the additive effects of loading alpha-galactosylceramide to DC using mouse melanoma models. On the basis of previously established methods to generate DC from mouse embryonic stem cells (ES-DC), 4 kinds of genetically modified ES-DC, which expressed the melanoma-associated antigens, glypican-3, secreted protein acidic and rich in cysteine, tyrosinase-related protein-2, or gp100 were generated. Anticancer effects elicited by immunization with the ES-DC were assessed in preventive and also therapeutic settings in the models of peritoneal dissemination and spontaneous metastasis to lymph node and lung. The in vivo transfer of a mixture of 3 kinds of TAA-expressing ES-DC protected the recipient mice from melanoma cells more effectively than the transfer of ES-DC expressing single TAA, thus demonstrating the advantage of multiple as compared with single TAA-targeted immunotherapy. Loading ES-DC with alpha-galactosylceramide further enhanced the anticancer effects, suggesting that excellent synergic effects of TAA-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes and natural killer T cells against metastatic melanoma can be achieved by using genetically modified ES-DC. With the aid of advancing technologies related to pluripotent stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, and ES cells, clinical application of DC highly potent in eliciting anticancer immunity will be realized in the near future.
We previously reported that the secreted protein acidic and rich in cystein (SPARC) was overexpressed in melanoma in humans, and the serum SPARC level was useful as a novel tumor marker for melanoma. SPARC was also reported to be overexpressed in various human cancers. In this study, we asked whether SPARC-specific cytotoxic T lymphocytes (CTL) could induce antitumor immunity to SPARC-expressing tumor in mice or not as a preclinical study of SPARC-directed anticancer immunotherapy. Because of similarities in the structural motifs of major histocompatibility complex-binding peptides between H2-Kd and HLA-A24 (A*2402), the most common human leukocyte antigen class I allele in the Japanese population, we attempted to identify the H2-Kd-restricted SPARC epitope for CTL in BALB/c mice and we found that the mouse SPARC143-151 (DYIGPCKYI) and SPARC225-234 (MYIFPVHWQF) peptides could induce peptide-reactive CTL in BALB/c mice without causing autoimmune diseases. The immunization of mice with SPARC225-234 peptide-pulsed bone marrow-derived dendritic cells (BMDC) inhibited the growth of s.c. inoculated mouse mammary cancer cell line, N2C, expressing SPARC and these mice lived longer than the mice immunized with peptide-unpulsed BMDC. In conclusion, our study indicated that SPARC peptide-based cancer immunotherapy was effective and safe at least in a mouse tumor prevention model.
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