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  • 1
    Publication Date: 2018-09-05
    Description: Small therapeutic proteins represent a promising novel approach to treat cancer. Nevertheless, their clinical application is often adversely impacted by their short plasma half-life. Controlled long-term delivery of small biologicals has become a challenge because of their hydrophilic properties and in some cases their limited stability. Here, an in situ forming depot-injectable polymeric system was used to deliver BiJ591, a bispecific T-cell engager (BiTE) targeting both prostate-specific membrane antigen (PSMA) and the CD3 T-cell receptor in prostate cancer. BiJ591 induced T-cell activation, prostate cancer–directed cell lysis, and tumor growth inhibition. The use of diblock (DB) and triblock (TB) biodegradable polyethylene glycol–poly(lactic acid; PEG-PLA) copolymers solubilized in tripropionin, a small-chain triglyceride, allowed maintenance of BiJ591 stability and functionality in the formed depot and controlled its release. In mice, after a single subcutaneous injection, one of the polymeric candidates, TB1/DB4, provided the most sustained release of BiJ591 for up to 21 days. Moreover, the use of BiJ591-TB1/DB4 formulation in prostate cancer xenograft models showed significant therapeutic activity in both low and high PSMA–expressing tumors, whereas daily intravenous administration of BiJ591 was less efficient. Collectively, these data provide new insights into the development of controlled delivery of small therapeutic proteins in cancer. Mol Cancer Ther; 17(9); 1927–40. ©2018 AACR .
    Print ISSN: 1535-7163
    Electronic ISSN: 1538-8514
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 2
    Publication Date: 2018-10-02
    Description: Tumor-associated macrophages (TAM) are causally associated with tumorigenesis as well as regulation of antitumor immune responses and have emerged as potential immunotherapeutic targets. Recent evidence suggests TAM phagocytose apoptotic tumor cells within the tumor microenvironment through efferocytosis in an immunologically silent manner, thus maintaining an immunosuppressed microenvironment. The signal transduction pathways coupling efferocytosis and immunosuppression are not well known. Neuropilin-2 (NRP2) is a member of the membrane-associated neuropilin family and has been reported in different immune cells but is poorly characterized. In this study, we show that NRP2 is expressed during macrophage differentiation, is induced by tumor cells, and regulates phagocytosis in macrophages. Furthermore, NRP2 in TAM promoted efferocytosis and facilitated tumor growth. Deletion of NRP2 from TAM impaired the clearance of apoptotic tumor cells and increased secondary necrosis within tumors. This resulted in a break in the immune tolerance and reinitiated antitumor immune responses, characterized by robust infiltration of CD8+ T and natural killer cells. This result suggests NRP2 may act as a molecular mediator that connects efferocytosis and immune suppression. Deletion of NRP2 in TAM downregulated several immunosuppressive and tumor-promoting genes and upregulated immunostimulatory genes in the myeloid compartment. Taken together, our study demonstrates that TAM-derived NRP2 plays a crucial role in tumor promotion through efferocytosis, opening the enticing option for the development of effective immunotherapy targeting TAM.Significance: Neuropilin-2 in macrophages promotes tumor growth by regulating efferocytosis of apoptotic tumor cells and orchestrating immune suppression.Graphical Abstract: http://cancerres.aacrjournals.org/content/canres/78/19/5600/F1.large.jpg. Cancer Res; 78(19); 5600–17. ©2018 AACR.
    Print ISSN: 0008-5472
    Electronic ISSN: 1538-7445
    Topics: Medicine
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  • 3
    Publication Date: 2018-01-17
    Description: Pancreatic differentiation 2 (PD2)/RNA polymerase II–associated factor 1 (PAF1) is the core subunit of the human PAF1 complex (PAF1C) that regulates the promoter-proximal pausing of RNA polymerase II as well as transcription elongation and mRNA processing and coordinates events in mRNA stability and quality control. As an integral part of its transcription-regulatory function, PD2/PAF1 plays a role in posttranslational histone covalent modifications as well as regulates expression of critical genes of the cell-cycle machinery. PD2/PAF1 alone, and as a part of PAF1C, provides distinct roles in the maintenance of self-renewal of embryonic stem cells and cancer stem cells, and in lineage differentiation. Thus, PD2/PAF1 malfunction or its altered abundance is likely to affect normal cellular functions, leading to disease states. Indeed, PD2/PAF1 is found to be upregulated in poorly differentiated pancreatic cancer cells and has the capacity for neoplastic transformation when ectopically expressed in mouse fibroblast cells. Likewise, PD2/PAF1 is upregulated in pancreatic and ovarian cancer stem cells. Here, we concisely describe multifaceted roles of PD2/PAF1 associated with oncogenic transformation and implicate PD2/PAF1 as an attractive target for therapeutic development to combat malignancy. Cancer Res; 78(2); 313–9. ©2018 AACR.
    Print ISSN: 0008-5472
    Electronic ISSN: 1538-7445
    Topics: Medicine
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