Active vaccination with Dickkopf-1 induces protective and therapeutic antitumor immunity in murine multiple myeloma.
ABSTRACT: Dickkopf-1 (DKK1), broadly expressed in myeloma cells but highly restricted in normal tissues, together with its functional roles as an osteoblast formation inhibitor, may be an ideal target for immunotherapy in myeloma. Our previous studies have shown that DKK1 (peptide)-specific CTLs can effectively lyse primary myeloma cells in vitro. The goal of this study was to examine whether DKK1 can be used as a tumor vaccine to elicit DKK1-specific immunity that can control myeloma growth or even eradicate established myeloma in vivo. We used DKK1-DNA vaccine in the murine MOPC-21 myeloma model, and the results clearly showed that active vaccination using the DKK1 vaccine not only was able to protect mice from developing myeloma, but it was also therapeutic against established myeloma. Furthermore, the addition of CpG as an adjuvant, or injection of B7H1-blocking or OX40-agonist Abs, further enhanced the therapeutic effects of the vaccine. Mechanistic studies revealed that DKK1 vaccine elicited a strong DKK1- and tumor-specific CD4+ and CD8+ immune responses, and treatment with B7H1 or OX40 Abs significantly reduced the numbers of IL-10-expressing and Foxp3+ regulatory T cells in vaccinated mice. Thus, our studies provide strong rationale for targeting DKK1 for immunotherapy of myeloma patients.
Project description:Dickkopf 1 (DKK1), an inhibitor of Wnt signaling, not only functions as a head inducer during development, but also regulates joint remodeling and bone formation, which suggests roles for DKK1 in the pathogenesis of rheumatoid arthritis and multiple myeloma. We recently demonstrated that levels of DKK1 in palmoplantar dermal fibroblasts are physiologically higher than those observed in non-palmoplantar dermal fibroblasts. Thus, the DKK1-rich mesenchyme in palmoplantar dermis affects the overlying epithelium and induces a palmoplantar phenotype in the epidermis. More specifically, DKK1 suppresses melanocyte function and growth through the regulation of microphthalmia-associated transcription factor (MITF) and beta-catenin. Furthermore, DKK1 induces the expression of keratin 9 and alpha-Kelch-like ECT2-interacting protein (alphaKLEIP) but downregulates the expression of beta-catenin, glycogen synthase kinase 3beta, protein kinase C, and proteinase-activated receptor-2 (PAR-2) in keratinocytes. Treatment of reconstructed skin with DKK1 reproduces the hypopigmentation and thickening of skin through Wnt/beta-catenin signaling. These studies elucidate why human palmoplantar skin is thicker and paler than non-palmoplantar skin through the secretion of DKK1 by fibroblasts that affect the overlying epidermis. Thus, DKK1 may be useful for reducing skin pigmentation and for thickening photo-aged skin and palmoplantar wounds caused by diabetes mellitus and rheumatic skin diseases.Journal of Investigative Dermatology Symposium Proceedings (2009) 14, 73-75; doi:10.1038/jidsymp.2009.4.
Project description:BACKGROUND:It was reported that tumor-expressed dickkopf-related (DKK) proteins affect micro-environment. However, the influence of DKK1 on colorectal cancer (CRC) liver oligometastases (CRCLOM) remains unclear. METHODS:CRC cases after resection of liver oligometastases were enrolled in Sun Yat-Sen University Cancer Center with intact clinical data. Serum DKK1 was detected by ELISA assay. Immunofluorescent staining examination for CD3 and CD8 in slices were also conducted. RESULTS:Among 65 patients included, the recurrence-free survival (RFS) and overall survival (OS) were significantly better in the low serum DKK1 group (RFS: P?=?0.021; OS: P?=?0.043). DKK1 was overexpressed in stage IV CRC patients in TCGA data. The number of CD8+ tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TILs) in invasive margin of CRC liver oligometastases was significantly higher in low serum DKK1 group (P?=?0.042). CONCLUSION:Elevated serum DKK1 level was associated with poorer RFS and OS, and less CD8+ TILs in invasive margin in CRC liver oligometastases. DKK1 might serve as a supplementalprognostic factor for clinical risk score and a potential target for immunotherapy.
Project description:Neuroblastomas are tumors of the developing peripheral sympathetic nervous system, which originates from the neural crest. Twenty percent of neuroblastomas show amplification of the MYCN oncogene, which correlates with poor prognosis. The MYCN transcription factor can activate and repress gene expression. To broaden our insight in the spectrum of genes down-regulated by MYCN, we generated gene expression profiles of the neuroblastoma cell lines SHEP-21N and SKNAS-NmycER, in which MYCN activity can be regulated. In this study, we show that MYCN suppresses the expression of Dickkopf-1 (DKK1) in both cell lines. DKK1 is a potent inhibitor of the wnt/beta-catenin signalling cascade, which is known to function in neural crest cell migration. We generated a DKK1 inducible cell line, IMR32-DKK1, which showed impaired proliferation upon DKK1 expression. Surprisingly, DKK1 expression did not inhibit the canonical wnt/beta-catenin signalling, suggesting a role of DKK1 in an alternative route of the wnt pathway. Gene expression profiling of two IMR32-DKK1 clones showed that only a few genes, amongst which SYNPO2, were up-regulated by DKK1. SYNPO2 encodes an actin-binding protein and was previously found to inhibit proliferation and invasiveness of prostate cancer cells. These results suggest that MYCN might stimulate cell proliferation by inhibiting the expression of DKK1. DKK1 might exert part of its growth suppressive effect by induction of SYNPO2 expression. Keywords: DKK1, MYCN, neuroblastoma, Dickkopf Overall design: Single time course experiment, including 4 time points
Project description:The aim of the study was to determine the heritability of serum dickkopf-1 (DKK1) and its association with DKK1 polymorphisms in African ancestry subjects. Serum DKK1 was measured in 422 Afro-Caribbean men and women aged 18+ from 7 large, multi-generational families (mean family size: 60; 3,215 relative pairs). Twenty-four common single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) were genotyped within an 80 kilobase-pair region encompassing the DKK1 gene. Heritability was estimated and SNPs were tested for association with serum DKK1 using variance components analysis. DKK1 mRNA expression was tested in peripheral blood of 16 individuals from each of the rs7069912 genotypes. Mean serum DKK1 was 1724.1 pg/mL and was significantly lower in women than men (P = 0.043). Residual genetic heritability of serum DKK1 was 0.4460 (P < 0.0001). Six SNPs reached nominal significance with DKK1, with rs7069912 being significant after adjustment for multiple comparisons. Two of these six SNPs represented independent association signals (rs7069912 and rs16928725), which accounted for 4.6% of the phenotypic variation in DKK1. Additionally, carriers of the rs7069912 variant had significantly greater DKK1 expression than non-carriers (P = 0.036). Serum DKK1 levels are highly heritable in the African ancestry families. Two SNPs within the DKK1 region accounted for nearly 5% of the variation in serum DKK1.
Project description:Osteoblast differentiation on tissue culture polystyrene (TCPS) requires Wnt/beta-catenin signaling, regulating modulators of the Wnt pathway like Dickkopf-1 (Dkk1) and Dkk2. Osteoblast differentiation is increased on microstructured titanium (Ti) surfaces compared to TCPS; therefore, we hypothesized that surface topography and hydrophilicity affect Dkk1 and Dkk2 expression and that their roles in osteoblast differentiation on Ti differs depending on cell maturation state. Human osteoblast-like MG63 cells, normal human osteoblasts (HOBs), and human mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs), as well as MG63 cells stably silenced for Dkk1 or Dkk2 were grown for 6 days on TCPS and Ti surfaces (PT [Ra<0.2 microm], SLA [Ra=4 microm], modSLA [hydrophilic-SLA]). Dkk1 and Dkk2 mRNA and protein increased on SLA and modSLA for all cell types, but exogenous rhDkk1 and rhDkk2 affected MSCs differently than MG63 cells and HOBs. Silencing Dkk1 reduced MG63 cell number on TCPS and PT, but increased differentiation on these substrates. Silencing Dkk2 reduced stimulatory effects of SLA and modSLA on osteoblast differentiation; Dkk2 but not Dkk1 restored these effects. Antibodies to Dkk1 or Dkk2 specifically blocked substrate-dependent changes caused by the proteins, demonstrating their autocrine action. This indicates major roles for Dkk1 and the canonical Wnt pathway in early-stage differentiation, and for Dkk2 and Wnt/Ca2+-dependent signaling in late-stage differentiation on microstructured and hydrophilic surfaces, during osseointegration.
Project description:Wnt signalling is a fundamental pathway involved in embryonic development and adult tissue homeostasis. Mutations in the pathway frequently lead to developmental defects and cancer. As such, therapeutic intervention of this pathway has generated tremendous interest. Dickkopf-1 (DKK1) is a secreted inhibitor of ?-catenin-dependent Wnt signalling and was originally characterized as a tumour suppressor based on the prevailing view that Wnt signalling promotes cancer pathogenesis. However, DKK1 appears to increase tumour growth and metastasis in preclinical models and its elevated expression correlates with a poor prognosis in a range of cancers, indicating that DKK1 has more complex cellular and biological functions than originally appreciated. Here, we review current evidence for the cancer-promoting activity of DKK1 and recent insights into the effects of DKK1 on signalling pathways in both cancer and immune cells. We discuss the rationale and promise of targeting DKK1 for oncology. LINKED ARTICLES:This article is part of a themed section on WNT Signalling: Mechanisms and Therapeutic Opportunities. To view the other articles in this section visit http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/bph.v174.24/issuetoc.
Project description:In addition to new tumour antigens, new prognostic and diagnostic markers are needed for common cancers. In this study, we report the expression of Dickkopf-1 (DKK1) in multiple common cancers. This constitutes a comprehensive analysis of the DKK1 expression profile. Dickkopf-1 expression was evaluated by classical and quantitative reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) and enzyme-linked immunosorbant assay for protein determination, in cancer lines and clinical specimens of several cancer origins. For breast cancer, expression was correlated with clinicopathological parameters. Dickkopf-1 expression was confirmed in several cancer cell lines derived from breast and other common cancers. Dickkopf-1 protein secretion was documented in breast, prostate and lung cancer lines, but was negligible in melanoma. Analysis of DKK1 expression in human cancer specimens revealed DKK1 expression in breast (21 out of 73), lung (11 out of 23) and kidney cancers (six out of 20). Interestingly, DKK1 was preferentially expressed in oestrogen and progesterone receptor-negative tumours (ER(-)/PR(-); P=0.005) and in tumours from women with a family history of breast cancer (P=0.024). Importantly, DKK1 protein production was confirmed in multiple breast cancer specimens that were positive by RT-PCR. This work establishes DKK1 as a potential prognostic and diagnostic marker for cohorts of breast cancer patients with poor prognosis. Dickkopf-1 may also become a relevant candidate target for immunotherapy of different cancers.
Project description:Wnt/beta-catenin signaling mediates renal fibrosis in several model systems including diabetic nephropathy. Dickkopf-1 (DKK-1) is an endogenous inhibitor of Wnt/beta-catenin signaling, but whether DKK-1 modulates diabetic nephropathy is unknown. Here, we studied whether DKK-1 participates in high glucose (HG)-induced expression of profibrotic factors and renal damage. In vitro, HG increased expression of DKK1, receptor Kremen-2, TGF-beta1, and fibronectin in mesangial cells. Loss and gain of DKK1 function modulated HG-mediated c-Jun, TGF-beta1, and fibronectin expression. DKK1 mediated HG-induced phosphorylation of Ser45-beta-catenin and reduction of nuclear beta-catenin levels, but not phosphorylation of ERK kinase. Wnt3a protein and the beta-catenin (Delta45) mutation increased nuclear beta-catenin but abrogated HG-induced DKK1 and fibronectin expression. Exogenous DKK1 antisense oligonucleotide attenuated the increase in both serum DKK1 and urinary protein excretion in streptozotocin-induced diabetic rats. Knocking down DKK1 inhibited mesangial expression of TGF-beta1 and fibronectin and reduced both the glomerular volume and deposition of mesangial matrix in diabetic kidneys. Taken together, DKK1 mediates HG-induced destabilization of beta-catenin and matrix accumulation in mesangial cells. Knocking down DKK1 prevents diabetes-induced renal dysfunction and microstructure deterioration, suggesting that inhibition of DKK1offers therapeutic potential for diabetic nephropathy.
Project description:The role of osteolineage cells in regulating hematopoietic stem cell (HSC) regeneration following myelosuppression is not well understood. Here we show that deletion of the pro-apoptotic genes Bak and Bax in osterix (Osx, also known as Sp7 transcription factor 7)-expressing cells in mice promotes HSC regeneration and hematopoietic radioprotection following total body irradiation. These mice showed increased bone marrow (BM) levels of the protein dickkopf-1 (Dkk1), which was produced in Osx-expressing BM cells. Treatment of irradiated HSCs with Dkk1 in vitro increased the recovery of both long-term repopulating HSCs and progenitor cells, and systemic administration of Dkk1 to irradiated mice increased hematopoietic recovery and improved survival. Conversely, inducible deletion of one allele of Dkk1 in Osx-expressing cells in adult mice inhibited the recovery of BM stem and progenitor cells and of complete blood counts following irradiation. Dkk1 promoted hematopoietic regeneration via both direct effects on HSCs, in which treatment with Dkk1 decreased the levels of mitochondrial reactive oxygen species and suppressed senescence, and indirect effects on BM endothelial cells, in which treatment with Dkk1 induced epidermal growth factor (EGF) secretion. Accordingly, blockade of the EGF receptor partially abrogated Dkk1-mediated hematopoietic recovery. These data identify Dkk1 as a regulator of hematopoietic regeneration and demonstrate paracrine cross-talk between BM osteolineage cells and endothelial cells in regulating hematopoietic reconstitution following injury.
Project description:Dickkopf-1 (DKK1) is a Wnt/ß-catenin pathway antagonist related to gastric cancer (GC) carcinogenesis. However, the prognostic role of combined DKK1 and ß-catenin expression in advanced GC (AGC) is not clear.In total, 158 patients with AGC who underwent gastric resection were enrolled in this study. DKK1 and ß-catenin expression was evaluated in whole tumor sections by immunohistochemistry.DKK1 expression was high in 73 (46.2%) patients, while ß-catenin expression was positive in 51 (32.3%) patients. The expression of DKK1 was positively correlated with that of ß-catenin (P < 0.001). The combined expression of DKK1 and ß-catenin was significantly associated with high N stage (N2 and N3) (P = 0.042). In addition, patients with high DKK expression demonstrated poorer overall (OS) (P < 0.001) and disease-free survival (DFS) (P = 0.001). However, there were no differences between high DKK1 expression with ß-catenin positivity and high DKK1 expression with ß-catenin negativity (OS, P = 0.379: DFS, P = 0.255). Multivariate analysis revealed that high DKK1 alone or high DKK1 with ß-catenin positivity were independent prognostic factors for both OS (high DKK1: hazard ratio [HR], 2.130; 95% confidence interval [CI]; 1.370-3.312, P = 0.001; high DKK1 with ß-catenin positivity: HR, 2.140; 95% CI, 1.343-3.409: P = 0.001) and DFS (high DKK1: HR, 2.092; 95% CI, 1.180-3.708; P = 0.012; high DKK1 with ß-catenin positivity: HR, 2.357; 95% CI, 1.291-4.306; P = 0.005).Our results indicate that high DKK1 expression regardless of ß-catenin positivity is a crucial prognostic factor for predicting tumor recurrence and survival in patients with resected AGC.