Cancer is one of the main causes of disease-related deaths in the world. Although cancer treatment strategies have been improved in recent years, the survival time of cancer patients is still far from satisfied. Cancer immunotherapy, such as Oncolytic virotherapy, Immune checkpoints inhibition, Chimeric antigen receptor T (CAR-T) cell therapy, Chimeric antigen receptor natural killer (CAR-NK) cell therapy and macrophages genomic modification, has emerged as an effective therapeutic strategy for different kinds of cancer. However, many patients do not respond to the cancer immunotherapy which warrants further investigation to optimize this strategy. The clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats and CRISPR-associated protein 9 (CRISPR/Cas9), as a versatile genome engineering tool, has become popular in the biology research field and it was also applied to optimize tumor immunotherapy. Moreover, CRISPR-based high-throughput screening can be used in the study of immunomodulatory drug resistance mechanism. In this review, we summarized the development as well as the application of CRISPR/Cas9 technology in the cancer immunotherapy and discussed the potential problems that may be caused by this combination.
AbstractTumor-derived exosomes (TDEs) play pivotal roles in several aspects of cancer biology. It is now evident that TDEs also favor tumor growth by negatively affecting anti-tumor immunity. As important sentinels of immune surveillance system, natural killer (NK) cells can recognize malignant cells very early and counteract the tumor development and metastasis without a need for additional activation. Based on this rationale, adoptive transfer of ex vivo expanded NK cells/NK cell lines, such as NK-92 cells, has attracted great attention and is widely studied as a promising immunotherapy for cancer treatment. However, by exploiting various strategies, including secretion of exosomes, cancer cells are able to subvert NK cell responses. This paper reviews the roles of TDEs in cancer-induced NK cells impairments with mechanistic insights. The clinical significance and potential approaches to nullify the effects of TDEs on NK cells in cancer immunotherapy are also discussed.
Epigenetic clocks use DNA methylation (DNAm) levels of specific sets of CpG dinucleotides to accurately predict individual chronological age. A popular application of these clocks is to explore whether the deviation of predicted age from chronological age is associated with disease phenotypes, where this deviation is interpreted as a potential biomarker of biological age. This wide application, however, contrasts with the limited insight in the processes that may drive the running of epigenetic clocks.
We perform a functional genomics analysis on four epigenetic clocks, including Hannum’s blood predictor and Horvath’s multi-tissue predictor, using blood DNA methylome and transcriptome data from 3132 individuals. The four clocks result in similar predictions of individual chronological age, and their constituting CpGs are correlated in DNAm level and are enriched for similar histone modifications and chromatin states. Interestingly, DNAm levels of CpGs from the clocks are commonly associated with gene expression in trans. The gene sets involved are highly overlapping and enriched for T cell processes. Further analysis of the transcriptome and methylome of sorted blood cell types identifies differences in DNAm between naive and activated T and NK cells as a probable contributor to the clocks. Indeed, within the same donor, the four epigenetic clocks predict naive cells to be up to 40 years younger than activated cells.
The ability of epigenetic clocks to predict chronological age involves their ability to detect changes in proportions of naive and activated immune blood cells, an established feature of immuno-senescence. This finding may contribute to the interpretation of associations between clock-derived measures and age-related health outcomes.
Primary EBV+ nodal T/NK-cell lymphoma (PTCL-EBV) is a poorly understood disease which shows features resembling extranodal NK/T-cell lymphoma (ENKTL) and is currently not recognized as a distinct entity but categorized as a variant of PTCL-NOS. Herein, we analyzed copy-number aberrations (n=77) with focus on global measures of genomic instability (GI) and homologous recombination deficiency (HRD) and performed gene expression (n=84) and EBV miRNA expression profiling (n=24) and targeted mutational analysis (n=16) to further characterize PTCL-EBV in relation to ENKTL and PTCL-NOS. Multivariate analysis revealed a significantly worse outcome of PTCL-EBV compared to PTCL-NOS (P=0.002) but not ENKTL. Remarkably, PTCL-EBV exhibited significantly lower GI and HRD scores compared to ENKTL and PTCL-NOS. Gene Set Enrichment Analysis revealed many immune-related pathways, interferon alpha/gamma response, and IL6_JAK_STAT3 signaling to be significantly upregulated in PTCL-EBV and correlated with lower GI-scores. We also identified NFκB-associated genes, BIRC3, NFκB1 (p50) and CD27, and their proteins to be upregulated in PTCLEBV. PTCL-EBV demonstrated mostly type 2 EBV latency pattern and, strikingly, exhibited downregulated expression of most EBV miRNAs compared to ENKTL and their target genes were also enriched in immune-related pathways. PTCL-EBV also showed frequent mutations of TET2, PIK3CD and STAT3, and are microsatellite stable. Overall, the poor outcome, low genomic instability, upregulation of immune pathways and downregulation of EBV miRNAs are distinctive features of PTCL-EBV. Our data support the consideration of PTCL-EBV as a distinct entity, provide novel insights into the disease pathogenesis and offer potential new therapeutic targets for this tumor.
The axis of platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF) and PDGF receptor-beta (PDGFRβ) plays prominent roles in cell growth and motility. In addition, PDGF-D enhances human natural killer (NK) cell effector functions when binding to the NKp44 receptor. Here, we report an additional but previously unknown role of PDGF-D, whereby it mediates interleukin-15 (IL-15)–induced human NK cell survival but not effector functions via its binding to PDGFRβ but independent of its binding to NKp44. Resting NK cells express no PDGFRβ and only a low level of PDGF-D, but both are significantly up-regulated by IL-15, via the nuclear factor κB signaling pathway, to promote cell survival in an autocrine manner. Both ectopic and IL-15–induced expression of PDGFRβ improves NK cell survival in response to treatment with PDGF-D. Our results suggest that the PDGF-D−PDGFRβ signaling pathway is a mechanism by which IL-15 selectively regulates the survival of human NK cells without modulating their effector functions.