Immunomodulation Group

Navarra, Spain

Immunomodulation Group

Navarra, Spain

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Hotblack A.,University College London | Seshadri S.,University College London | Zhang L.,University College London | Hamrang-Yousefi S.,University College London | And 3 more authors.
Molecular Therapy | Year: 2017

Recombinant lentiviral vectors (LVs) are highly effective vaccination vehicles that elicit protective T cell immunity in disease models. Dendritic cells (DCs) acquire antigen at sites of vaccination and migrate to draining lymph nodes, where they prime vaccine-specific T cells. The potency with which LVs activate CD8+ T cell immunity has been attributed to the transduction of DCs at the immunization site and durable presentation of LV-encoded antigens. However, it is not known how LV-encoded antigens continue to be presented to T cells once directly transduced DCs have turned over. Here, we report that LV-encoded antigen is efficiently cross-presented by DCs in vitro. We have further exploited the temporal depletion of DCs in the murine CD11c.DTR (diphtheria toxin receptor) model to demonstrate that repopulating DCs that were absent at the time of immunization cross-present LV-encoded antigen to T cells in vivo. Indirect presentation of antigen from transduced cells by DCs is sufficient to prime functional effector T cells that control tumor growth. These data suggest that DCs cross-present immunogenic antigen from LV-transduced cells, thereby facilitating prolonged activation of T cells in the absence of circulating LV particles. These are findings that may impact on the future design of LV vaccination strategies. © 2017 The Author(s)


Barat S.,University of Basel | Willer Y.,Hannover Medical School | Willer Y.,Friedrich - Alexander - University, Erlangen - Nuremberg | Rizos K.,Max Planck Institute for Infection Biology | And 11 more authors.
PLoS Pathogens | Year: 2012

Invasive Salmonella infection is an important health problem that is worsening because of rising antimicrobial resistance and changing Salmonella serovar spectrum. Novel vaccines with broad serovar coverage are needed, but suitable protective antigens remain largely unknown. Here, we tested 37 broadly conserved Salmonella antigens in a mouse typhoid fever model, and identified antigen candidates that conferred partial protection against lethal disease. Antigen properties such as high in vivo abundance or immunodominance in convalescent individuals were not required for protectivity, but all promising antigen candidates were associated with the Salmonella surface. Surprisingly, this was not due to superior immunogenicity of surface antigens compared to internal antigens as had been suggested by previous studies and novel findings for CD4 T cell responses to model antigens. Confocal microscopy of infected tissues revealed that many live Salmonella resided alone in infected host macrophages with no damaged Salmonella releasing internal antigens in their vicinity. In the absence of accessible internal antigens, detection of these infected cells might require CD4 T cell recognition of Salmonella surface-associated antigens that could be processed and presented even from intact Salmonella. In conclusion, our findings might pave the way for development of an efficacious Salmonella vaccine with broad serovar coverage, and suggest a similar crucial role of surface antigens for immunity to both extracellular and intracellular pathogens. © 2012 Barat et al.


PubMed | Cancer Epigenetics group, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Immunomodulation group, University of London and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Oncotarget | Year: 2014

Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) exhibit potent immunosuppressive activities in cancer. MDSCs infiltrate tumors and strongly inhibit cancer-specific cytotoxic T cells. Their mechanism of differentiation and identification of MDSC-specific therapeutic targets are major areas of interest. We have devised a highly efficient and rapid method to produce very large numbers of melanoma-infiltrating MDSCs ex vivo without inducing tumors in mice. These MDSCs were used to study their differentiation, immunosuppressive activities and were compared to non-neoplastic counterparts and conventional dendritic cells using unbiased systems biology approaches. Differentially activated/deactivated pathways caused by cell type differences and by the melanoma tumor environment were identified. MDSCs increased the expression of trafficking receptors to sites of inflammation, endocytosis, changed lipid metabolism, and up-regulated detoxification pathways such as the expression of P450 reductase. These studies uncovered more than 60 potential novel therapeutic targets. As a proof of principle, we demonstrate that P450 reductase is the target of pro-drugs such as Paclitaxel, which depletes MDSCs following chemotherapy in animal models of melanoma and in human patients. Conversely, P450 reductase protects MDSCs against the cytotoxic actions of other chemotherapy drugs such as Irinotecan, which is ineffective for the treatment of melanoma.


Liechtenstein T.,University of London | Liechtenstein T.,Immunomodulation group | Perez-Janices N.,University of London | Perez-Janices N.,Cancer Epigenetics group | And 12 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2014

Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) exhibit potent immunosuppressive activities in cancer. MDSCs infiltrate tumors and strongly inhibit cancer-specific cytotoxic T cells. Their mechanism of differentiation and identification of MDSC-specific therapeutic targets are major areas of interest. We have devised a highly efficient and rapid method to produce very large numbers of melanoma-infiltrating MDSCs ex vivo without inducing tumors in mice. These MDSCs were used to study their differentiation, immunosuppressive activities and were compared to non-neoplastic counterparts and conventional dendritic cells using unbiased systems biology approaches. Differentially activated/deactivated pathways caused by cell type differences and by the melanoma tumor environment were identified. MDSCs increased the expression of trafficking receptors to sites of inflammation, endocytosis, changed lipid metabolism, and up-regulated detoxification pathways such as the expression of P450 reductase. These studies uncovered more than 60 potential novel therapeutic targets. As a proof of principle, we demonstrate that P450 reductase is the target of pro-drugs such as Paclitaxel, which depletes MDSCs following chemotherapy in animal models of melanoma and in human patients. Conversely, P450 reductase protects MDSCs against the cytotoxic actions of other chemotherapy drugs such as Irinotecan, which is ineffective for the treatment of melanoma.


PubMed | Cancer Epigenetics Group, Immunomodulation Group, University of Navarra, Proteomics Unit and 2 more.
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Oncotarget | Year: 2015

Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSCs) differentiate from bone marrow precursors, expand in cancer-bearing hosts and accelerate tumor progression. MDSCs have become attractive therapeutic targets, as their elimination strongly enhances anti-neoplastic treatments. Here, immature myeloid dendritic cells (DCs), MDSCs modeling tumor-infiltrating subsets or modeling non-cancerous (NC)-MDSCs were compared by in-depth quantitative proteomics. We found that neoplastic MDSCs differentially expressed a core of kinases which controlled lineage-specific (PI3K-AKT and SRC kinases) and cancer-induced (ERK and PKC kinases) protein interaction networks (interactomes). These kinases contributed to some extent to myeloid differentiation. However, only AKT and ERK specifically drove MDSC differentiation from myeloid precursors. Interfering with AKT and ERK with selective small molecule inhibitors or shRNAs selectively hampered MDSC differentiation and viability. Thus, we provide compelling evidence that MDSCs constitute a distinct myeloid lineage distinguished by a kinase signature and well-defined interactomes. Our results define new opportunities for the development of anti-cancer treatments targeting these tumor-promoting immune cells.


Franks H.A.,University of Nottingham | Wang Q.,University of Nottingham | Lax S.J.,University of Nottingham | Collins M.K.,University College London | And 3 more authors.
International Journal of Cancer | Year: 2013

There is growing interest in myeloid (my) dendritic cells (DC) as an alternative to monocyte-derived DC (moDC) for immunotherapy. However, in contrast to moDC, little is known regarding the effect of malignancy on the function, abundance or use of intracellular signaling pathways in myDC. Understanding the molecular detail of circulating myDC is therefore important for future use in advanced cancer. Advanced cancer patients had similar numbers of circulating myDC to cancer-free patients and healthy individuals, and secreted similar levels of IL-1β, IL-6, IL-10, IL-12 and IL-23. However, myDC from some patients failed to secrete the Th1-cytokine IL-12. Surprisingly, inhibiting p38 (p38i) signaling (using BIRB0796 or SB203580) markedly increased IL-12 secretion by myDC. This is in complete contrast to what is established for moDC where inhibiting p38 ablates IL-12. Interestingly, this was specific to IL-12, since IL-10 was suppressed by p38i in both DC types. The opposing effect of p38i on IL-12 was evident at the transcriptional level and in both DC types was mediated through the p38-MK2 pathway but did not involve differential phosphorylation of the distal Rsk kinase. Importantly, where patient myDC did not secrete IL-12 (or after treatment with suppressive melanoma lysate), p38i restored IL-12 to normal levels. In contrast to p38, inhibiting the other MAPK pathways had similar consequences in both DC types. We show for the first time the differential use of a major intracellular signaling pathway by myDC. Importantly, there are sufficient circulating myDC in advanced cancer patients to consider development of adoptive immunotherapy. © 2013 UICC.


Dufait I.,Vrije Universiteit Brussel | Schwarze J.K.,Vrije Universiteit Brussel | Liechtenstein T.,Immunomodulation group | Liechtenstein T.,University College London | And 6 more authors.
Oncotarget | Year: 2015

Myeloid-derived suppressor cells (MDSC) are a heterogeneous population of cells that accumulate in tumor-bearing subjects and which strongly inhibit anticancer immune responses. To study the biology of MDSC in colorectal cancer (CRC), we cultured bone marrow cells in conditioned medium from CT26 cells, which are genetically modified to secrete high levels of granulocyte-macrophage colonystimulating factor. This resulted in the generation of high numbers of CD11b+ Ly6G+ granulocytic and CD11b+ Ly6C+ monocytic MDSC, which closely resemble those found within the tumor but not the spleen of CT26 tumor-bearing mice. Such MDSC potently inhibited T-cell responses in vitro, a process that could be reversed upon blocking of arginase-1 or inducible nitric oxide synthase (iNOS). We confirmed that inhibition of arginase-1 or iNOS in vivo resulted in the stimulation of cytotoxic T-cell responses. A delay in tumor growth was observed upon functional repression of both enzymes. These data confirm the role of MDSC as inhibitors of T-cell-mediated immune responses in CRC. Moreover, MDSC differentiated in vitro from bone marrow cells using conditioned medium of GM-CSF-secreting CT26 cells, represent a valuable platform to study/identify drugs that counteract MDSC activities.


PubMed | Immunomodulation Group
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Immunotherapy | Year: 2016

Immunotherapies are achieving clinical success for the treatment of many cancers. However, it has taken a long time to exploit the potential of the immune system for the treatment of human cancers. We cannot forget that this has been the consequence of very extensive work in basic research in preclinical models and in human patients. Thus, it is rather hard to compile all of it while giving a comprehensive view on this subject. Here we have attempted to give an overall perspective in immunotherapy of melanoma. A brief overview on current therapies is provided, followed by adoptive cell therapies. Gene engineering strategies to improve these therapies are also explained, finishing with therapies based on interference with immune checkpoint pathways.

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