Jeannine Diesch, Marguerite-Marie Le Pannérer, René Winkler, Raquel Casquero, Matthias Muhar, Mark van der Garde, Michael Maher, Carolina Martínez Herráez, Joan J. Bech-Serra, Michaela Fellner, Philipp Rathert, Nigel Brooks, Lurdes Zamora, Antonio Gentilella, Carolina de la Torre, Johannes Zuber, Katharina S. Götze & Marcus Buschbeck
Inhibition of CBP synergizes with the RNA-dependent mechanisms of Azacitidine by limiting protein synthesis
Nat Commun 12, 6060 (2021). https://doi.org/10.1038/s41467-021-26258-z18 Oct 2021, .
The nucleotide analogue azacitidine (AZA) is currently the best treatment option for patients with high-risk myelodysplastic syndromes (MDS). However, only half of treated patients respond and of these almost all eventually relapse. New treatment options are urgently needed to improve the clinical management of these patients. Here, we perform a loss-of-function shRNA screen and identify the histone acetyl transferase and transcriptional co-activator, CREB binding protein (CBP), as a major regulator of AZA sensitivity. Compounds inhibiting the activity of CBP and the closely related p300 synergistically reduce viability of MDS-derived AML cell lines when combined with AZA. Importantly, this effect is specific for the RNA-dependent functions of AZA and not observed with the related compound decitabine that is only incorporated into DNA. The identification of immediate target genes leads us to the unexpected finding that the effect of CBP/p300 inhibition is mediated by globally down regulating protein synthesis.
Laura G.Rico, Roser Salvia, Michael D.Ward, JordiPetriz
Flow-cytometry-based protocols for human blood/marrow immunophenotyping with minimal sample perturbation
STAR Protocols, Volume 2, Issue 4, 202111 Oct 2021, .
This protocol provides instructions to improve flow cytometry analysis of marrow/peripheral blood cells by avoiding erythrolytic solutions, density gradients, and washing steps. We describe two basic approaches for identifying cell surface antigens with minimal sample perturbation, which have been successfully used to identify healthy and pathologically rare cells. The greatest advantage of these approaches is that they minimize the unwanted effect caused by sample preparation, allowing for improved study of live cells at the point of analysis.
Garcia-Prieto CA, Villanueva L, Bueno-Costa A, Davalos V, González-Navarro EA, Juan M, Urbano-Ispizua Á, Delgado J, Ortíz-Maldonado V, Del Bufalo F, Locatelli F, Quintarelli C, Sinibaldi M, Soler M, Castro de Moura M, Ferrer G, Urdinguio RG, Fernandez AF, Fraga MF, Bar D, Meir A, Itzhaki O, Besser MJ, Avigdor A, Jacoby E, Esteller M
Epigenetic Profiling and Response to CD19 Chimeric Antigen Receptor T-Cell Therapy in B-Cell Malignancies.
J Natl Cancer Inst28 Sep 2021, . Epub 28 Sep 2021
Background: Chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells directed against CD19 (CART19) are effective in B-cell malignancies, but little is known about the molecular factors predicting clinical outcome of CART19 therapy. The increasingly recognized relevance of epigenetic changes in cancer immunology prompted us to determine the impact of the DNA methylation profiles of CART19 cells on the clinical course.
Methods: We recruited 114 patients with B-cell malignancies, comprising 77 acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and 37 non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL) patients, who were treated with CART19 cells. Using a comprehensive DNA methylation microarray, we determined the epigenomic changes that occur in the patient T-cells upon transduction of the CAR vector. The effects of the identified DNA methylation sites on clinical response, cytokine release syndrome (CRS), immune effector cell-associated neurotoxicity syndrome (ICANS), event-free survival (EFS) and overall survival (OS) were assessed. All statistical tests were 2-sided.
Results: We identified 984 genomic sites with differential DNA methylation between CAR-untransduced and CAR-transduced T-cells before infusion into the patient. Eighteen of these distinct epigenetic loci were associated with complete response (CR) adjusting by multiple testing. Using the sites linked to CR, the EPICART signature was established in the initial discovery cohort (n = 79), which was associated with CR (Fisher's exact test, P<.001) and enhanced EFS (HR = 0.36, 95% CI = 0.19 to 0.70, P=.002; log-rank P=.003) and OS (HR = 0.45, 95% CI = 0.20 to 0.99, P=.047; log-rank P=.04;). Most important the EPICART profile maintained its clinical course predictive value in the validation cohort (n = 35) where it was associated with CR (Fisher's exact test, P<.001) and enhanced OS (HR = 0.31, 95% CI = 0.11 to 0.84, P=.02; log-rank P=.02).
Conclusions: We show that the DNA methylation landscape of patient CART19 cells influences the efficacy of the cellular immunotherapy treatment in patients with B-cell malignancy.
Ribeiro ML, Reyes-Garau D, Vinyoles M, Profitos-Peleja N, Santos JC, Armengol M, Fernández-Serrano M, Sedo Mor A, Bech-Serra JJ, Blecua P, Musulen E, De La Torre C, Miskin HP, Esteller M, Bosch F, Menéndez P, Normant E, Roué G
Antitumor activity of the novel BTK inhibitor TG-1701 is associated with disruption of Ikaros signaling in patients with B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma.
Clin Cancer Res22 Sep 2021, . Epub 22 Sep 2021
Purpose: Despite the remarkable activity of BTK inhibitors (BTKi) in relapsed B-cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (B-NHL), no clinically-relevant biomarker has been associated to these agents so far. The relevance of phosphoproteomic profiling for the early identification of BTKi responders remains underexplored.
Experimental design: A set of six clinical samples from an ongoing phase 1 trial dosing chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL) patients with TG-1701, a novel irreversible and highly specific BTKi, were characterized by phosphoproteomic and RNA-seq analysis. The activity of TG-1701 was evaluated in a panel of eleven B-NHL cell lines and mouse xenografts, including two NFκB- and BTKC481S-driven BTKi resistant models. Biomarker validation and signal transduction analysis were conducted through real-time PCR, western blot, immunostaining and gene knock-out (KO) experiments.
Results: A non-supervised, phosphoproteomic-based clustering did match the early clinical outcomes of CLL patients and separated a group of "early-responders" from a group of "late-responders". This clustering was based on a selected list of 96 phosphosites with Ikaros-pSer442/445 as a potential biomarker for TG-1701 efficacy. TG-1701 treatment was further shown to blunt Ikaros gene signature, including YES1 and MYC, in early-responder patients as well as in BTKi-sensitive B-NHL cell lines and xenografts. In contrast, Ikaros nuclear activity and signaling remained unaffected by the drug in vitro and in vivo, in late-responder patients and in BTKC481S, BTKKO and non-canonical NFκB models.
Conclusions: These data validate phosphoproteomic as a valuable tool for the early detection of response to BTK inhibition in the clinic, and for the determination of drug mechanism of action.
Llabata P, Torres-Diz M, Gomez A, Tomas-Daza L, Romero OA, Grego-Bessa J, Llinas-Arias P, Valencia A, Esteller M, Javierre BM, Zhang X, Sanchez-Cespedes M
MAX mutant small-cell lung cancers exhibit impaired activities of MGA-dependent noncanonical polycomb repressive complex.
Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A14 Sep 2021, 118(37) .
The MYC axis is disrupted in cancer, predominantly through activation of the MYC family oncogenes but also through inactivation of the MYC partner MAX or of the MAX partner MGA. MGA and MAX are also members of the polycomb repressive complex, ncPRC1.6. Here, we use genetically modified MAX-deficient small-cell lung cancer (SCLC) cells and carry out genome-wide and proteomics analyses to study the tumor suppressor function of MAX. We find that MAX mutant SCLCs have ASCL1 or NEUROD1 or combined ASCL1/NEUROD1 characteristics and lack MYC transcriptional activity. MAX restitution triggers prodifferentiation expression profiles that shift when MAX and oncogenic MYC are coexpressed. Although ncPRC1.6 can be formed, the lack of MAX restricts global MGA occupancy, selectively driving its recruitment toward E2F6-binding motifs. Conversely, MAX restitution enhances MGA occupancy to repress genes involved in different functions, including stem cell and DNA repair/replication. Collectively, these findings reveal that MAX mutant SCLCs have either ASCL1 or NEUROD1 or combined characteristics and are MYC independent and exhibit deficient ncPRC1.6-mediated gene repression.
Diaz de la Guardia R, Velasco-Hernandez T, Gutierrez-Agüera F, Roca-Ho H, Molina O, Nombela-Arrieta C, Bataller A, Fuster JL, Anguita E, Vives S, Zamora L, Nomdedeu JF, Gomez-Casares MT, Ramírez-Orellana M, Lapillonne H, Ramos-Mejia V, Rodríguez-Manzaneque JC, Bueno C, Lopez-Millan B, Menendez P
Engraftment characterization of risk-stratified AML patients in NSGS mice.
Blood Adv1 Sep 2021, . Epub 1 Sep 2021
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is the commonest acute leukemia in adults. Disease heterogeneity is well-documented and patient stratification determines treatment decisions. Patient-derived xenografts (PDXs) of risk-stratified AMLs are crucial for studying AML biology and testing novel therapeutics. Despite recent advances in PDX modeling of AML, reproducible engraftment of human AML is mainly limited to high-risk (HR) cases, with inconsistent or very protracted engraftment observed for favorable-risk (FR) and intermediate-risk (IR) patients. We have characterized the engraftment robustness/kinetics in NSGS mice of 28 AML patients grouped according to molecular/cytogenetic classification, and have assessed whether the orthotopic co-administration of patient-matched bone marrow mesenchymal stromal cells (BM-MSCs) improves AML engraftment. PDX event-free survival correlated well with the predictable prognosis of risk-stratified AML patients. The majority (85%-94%) of the mice were engrafted in BM independently of the risk group, although HR-AML patients showed engraftment levels significantly superior to those of FR- and IR-AML patients. Importantly, the engraftment levels observed in NSGS mice by week 6 remained stable overtime. Serial transplantation and long-term culture-initiating cell (LTC-IC) assays revealed long-term engraftment limited to HR-AML patients, fitter leukemia-initiating cells (LICs) in HR- than in FR- or IR-AML samples, and the presence of AML-LICs in the CD34- leukemic fraction, regardless the risk group. Finally, orthotopic co-administration of patient-matched BM-MSCs with AML cells resulted dispensable for BM engraftment levels but favored peripheralization of engrafted AML cells. This comprehensive characterization of human AML engraftment in NSGS mice offers a valuable platform for in vivo testing of targeted therapies in risk-stratified AML patient samples.
Zanetti SR, Velasco-Hernandez T, Gutierrez-Agüera F, Díaz VM, Romecín PA, Roca-Ho H, Sánchez-Martínez D, Tirado N, Baroni ML, Petazzi P, Torres-Ruiz R, Molina O, Bataller A, Fuster JL, Ballerini P, Juan M, Jeremias I, Bueno C, Menéndez P
A novel and efficient tandem CD19- and CD22-directed CAR for B-cell ALL.
Mol Ther31 Aug 2021, . Epub 31 Aug 2021
CD19-directed chimeric antigen receptor (CAR) T-cells have yielded impressive response rates in refractory/relapse B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (B-ALL);however, most patients ultimately relapse due to poor CAR T-cell persistence or resistance of either CD19+ or CD19- B-ALL clones. CD22 is a pan-B marker whose expression is maintained in both CD19+ and CD19- relapses. Indeed, CD22-CAR T-cells have been clinically used in B-ALL patients, although relapse also occurs. Tcells engineered with a tandem CAR (Tan-CAR) containing in a single contruct both CD19 and CD22 scFvs, might be advantageus in achieving higher remission rates and/or preventing antigen loss. We have generated and functionally validated using cutting-edge assays a 4-1BB-based CD22/CD19 Tan-CAR using in-house-developed novel CD19 and CD22 scFvs. Tan-CAR-expressing T-cells showed similar in vitro expansion than CD19-CAR T-cells with no increased of tonic signaling. CRISPR/Cas9-edited B-ALL cells confirmed the bispecificity of the Tan-CAR. Tan-CAR was as efficient as CD19-CAR in vitro and in vivo using B-ALL cell lines, patient samples and patient-derived xenografts (PDXs). Strikingly, the robust anti-leukemic activity of the Tan-CAR was slightly more effective in controling the disease in long-term follow-up PDX models. This Tan-CAR construct warrants a clinical appraisal to test whether simultaneous targeting of CD19 and CD22 enhances leukemia eradication and reduces/delays relapse rates and antigen loss.
Rosa Hernández, Cristina Jiménez-Luna, Raúl Ortiz, Fernando Setién, Miguel López, Gloria Perazzoli, Manel Esteller, María Berdasco, Jose Prados, Consolación Melguizo
Impact of the Epigenetically Regulated Hoxa-5 Gene in Neural Differentiation from Human Adipose-Derived Stem Cells
Biology 2021, 10(8), 80219 Aug 2021, .
Human adipose-derived mesenchymal stem cells (hASCs) may be used in some nervous system pathologies, although obtaining an adequate degree of neuronal differentiation is an important barrier to their applicability. This requires a deep understanding of the expression and epigenetic changes of the most important genes involved in their differentiation. We used hASCs from human lipoaspirates to induce neuronal-like cells through three protocols (Neu1, 2, and 3), determined the degree of neuronal differentiation using specific biomarkers in culture cells and neurospheres, and analyzed epigenetic changes of genes involved in this differentiation. Furthermore, we selected the Hoxa-5 gene to determine its potential to improve neuronal differentiation. Our results showed that an excellent hASC neuronal differentiation process using Neu1 which efficiently modulated NES, CHAT, SNAP25, or SCN9A neuronal marker expression. In addition, epigenetic studies showed relevant changes in Hoxa-5, GRM4, FGFR1, RTEL1, METRN, and PAX9 genes. Functional studies of the Hoxa-5 gene using CRISPR/dCas9 and lentiviral systems showed that its overexpression induced hASCs neuronal differentiation that was accelerated with the exposure to Neu1. These results suggest that Hoxa-5 is an essential gene in hASCs neuronal differentiation and therefore, a potential candidate for the development of cell therapy strategies in neurological disorders.
Carini Picardi Morais de Castro, Maria Cadefau, Sergi Cuartero
The Mutational Landscape of Myeloid Leukaemia in Down Syndrome
Cancers 2021, 13(16), 414418 Aug 2021, .
Children with Down syndrome (DS) are particularly prone to haematopoietic disorders. Paediatric myeloid malignancies in DS occur at an unusually high frequency and generally follow a well-defined stepwise clinical evolution. First, the acquisition of mutations in the GATA1 transcription factor gives rise to a transient myeloproliferative disorder (TMD) in DS newborns. While this condition spontaneously resolves in most cases, some clones can acquire additional mutations, which trigger myeloid leukaemia of Down syndrome (ML-DS). These secondary mutations are predominantly found in chromatin and epigenetic regulators—such as cohesin, CTCF or EZH2—and in signalling mediators of the JAK/STAT and RAS pathways. Most of them are also found in non-DS myeloid malignancies, albeit at extremely different frequencies. Intriguingly, mutations in proteins involved in the three-dimensional organization of the genome are found in nearly 50% of cases. How the resulting mutant proteins cooperate with trisomy 21 and mutant GATA1 to promote ML-DS is not fully understood. In this review, we summarize and discuss current knowledge about the sequential acquisition of genomic alterations in ML-DS.
Anderluh M, Berti F, Bzducha-Wróbel A, Chiodo F, Colombo C, Compostella F, Durlik K, Ferhati X, Holmdahl R, Jovanovic D, Kaca W, Lay L, Marinovic-Cincovic M, Marradi M, Ozil M, Polito L, Reina-Martin JJ, Reis CA, Sackstein R, Silipo A, Švajger U, Vaněk O, Yamamoto F, Richichi B, van Vliet SJ
Emerging glyco-based strategies to steer immune responses.
FEBS J16 Aug 2021, 288(16)4746-4772.
Glycan structures are common posttranslational modifications of proteins, which serve multiple important structural roles (for instance in protein folding), but also are crucial participants in cell-cell communications and in the regulation of immune responses. Through the interaction with glycan-binding receptors, glycans are able to affect the activation status of antigen-presenting cells, leading either to induction of pro-inflammatory responses or to suppression of immunity and instigation of immune tolerance. This unique feature of glycans has attracted the interest and spurred collaborations of glyco-chemists and glyco-immunologists to develop glycan-based tools as potential therapeutic approaches in the fight against diseases such as cancer and autoimmune conditions. In this review, we highlight emerging advances in this field, and in particular, we discuss on how glycan-modified conjugates or glycoengineered cells can be employed as targeting devices to direct tumor antigens to lectin receptors on antigen-presenting cells, like dendritic cells. In addition, we address how glycan-based nanoparticles can act as delivery platforms to enhance immune responses. Finally, we discuss some of the latest developments in glycan-based therapies, including chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-T cells to achieve targeting of tumor-associated glycan-specific epitopes, as well as the use of glycan moieties to suppress ongoing immune responses, especially in the context of autoimmunity.