EphA2 targeting peptide tethered bioreducible poly(cystamine bisacrylamide-diamino hexane) for the delivery of therapeutic pCMV-RAE-1? to pancreatic islets.
ABSTRACT: The pathogenesis of type-1 diabetes is complicated, and a clear, single mechanism has yet to be identified. Reports have indicated that the activating receptor NKG2D plays an important role in the development of disease. Exploiting a natural phenomenon observed in tumors, plasmid DNA encoding for a soluble ligand to NKG2D (sRAE-1?) was isolated and engineered into a plasmid expression system. A polymeric gene delivery system was developed to deliver the soluble RAE-1 plasmid locally to the pancreatic islets for the prevention of type-1 diabetes. The bioreducible cationic polymer poly(cystamine bisacrylamide-diamino hexane) (p(CBA-DAH)) was modified with poly(ethylene glycol) (PEG) and the targeting peptide CHVLWSTRC, known to target the EphA2 and EphA4 receptors. The PEG serves to improve stability and tissue selectivity, while the peptide will target EphA2 and A4, overexpressed in the pancreatic microvasculature. The targeting polymer Eph-PEG-p(CBA-DAH) shows selective uptake by the target cell line, indicative of the targeting properties that will be seen in systemic administration. Using the delivery system, the therapeutic plasmid can be delivered to the pancreas, reduce interactions between the beta-cells and infiltrating NKG2D positive lymphocytes, and effectively protect beta-cells from autoimmune destruction and prevent type 1 diabetes.
Project description:Small interfering RNAs (siRNAs) are able to silence their target genes when they are successfully delivered intact into the cytoplasm. Delivery systems that enhance siRNA localization to the cytoplasm can facilitate gene silencing by siRNA therapeutics. We describe an arginine-conjugated poly(cystaminebisacrylamide-diaminohexane) (poly(CBA-DAH-R)), a bioreducible cationic polymer, as an siRNA carrier for therapeutic gene silencing for cancer. After intracellular uptake of the siRNA/poly(CBA-DAH-R) polyplexes, the reductive environment of the cytoplasm cleaves the disulfide linkages in the polymeric backbone, resulting in decomplexing of the siRNA/poly(CBA-DAH-R) polyplexes and release of siRNA molecules throughout the cytoplasm. The siRNA/poly(CBA-DAH-R) polyplexes, which demonstrate increased membrane permeability with arginine modification, have a similar level of cellular uptake as siRNA/bPEI polyplexes. The VEGF siRNA/poly(CBA-DAH-R) polyplexes, however, inhibit VEGF expression to a greater degree than VEGF siRNA/bPEI in various human cancer cell lines. The improved RNAi activity demonstrated by the VEGF siRNA/poly(CBA-DAH-R) polyplexes is due to enhanced intracellular delivery and effective localization to the cytoplasm of the VEGF siRNAs. These results demonstrate that the VEGF siRNA/poly(CBA-DAH-R) polyplex delivery system may useful for siRNA-based approaches for cancer therapy.
Project description:Two different disulfide (SS)-containing poly(amidoamine) (PAA) polymers were constructed using guanidino (Gua)-containing monomers (ie, arginine [Arg] and agmatine [Agm]) and <i>N</i>,<i>N</i>'-cystamine bisacrylamide (CBA) by Michael-addition polymerization. In order to characterize these two Gua-SS-PAA polymers and investigate their potentials as short hairpin RNA (shRNA)-delivery carriers, pSilencer 4.1-CMV <i>FANCF</i> shRNA was chosen as a model plasmid DNA to form complexes with these two polymers. The Gua-SS-PAAs and plasmid DNA complexes were determined with particle sizes less than 90 nm and positive ?-potentials under 20 mV at nucleic acid:polymer weight ratios lower than 1:24. Bioresponsive release of plasmid DNA was observed from both newly constructed complexes. Significantly lower cytotoxicity was observed for both polymer complexes compared with polyethylenimine and Lipofectamine 2000, two widely used transfection reagents as reference carriers. Arg-CBA showed higher transfection efficiency and gene-silencing efficiency in MCF7 cells than Agm-CBA and the reference carriers. In addition, the cellular uptake of Arg-CBA in MCF7 cells was found to be higher and faster than Agm-CBA and the reference carriers. Similarly, plasmid DNA transport into the nucleus mediated by Arg-CBA was more than that by Agm-CBA and the reference carriers. The study suggested that guanidine and carboxyl introduced into Gua-SS-PAAs polymers resulted in a better nuclear localization effect, which played a key role in the observed enhancement of transfection efficiency and low cytotoxicity. Overall, two newly synthesized Gua-SS-PAAs polymers demonstrated great potential to be used as shRNA carriers for gene-therapy applications.
Project description:The formation of a microvasculature is regulated in large part by cell-cell interactions. Ephrins and their Eph receptors mediate cell adhesion, repulsion, and migration, all critical processes in angiogenesis. (1) Here we use a covalently immobilized ephrinA1, conjugated to poly(ethylene glycol), to induce vessel formation both in vitro and in vivo in poly(ethylene glycol) diacrylate (PEGDA) hydrogels. Human umbilical vein endothelial cell (HUVEC) tubulogenesis in matrix metalloproteinase-sensitive hydrogels was visualized from 6 h to 7 days in response to three different concentrations of PEG-ephrinA1. The deposition of extracellular matrix proteins collagen IV and laminin that stabilize tubule formation were imaged, quantified, and found to be dependent on PEG-ephrinA1 concentration. To confirm the importance of the EphA2-ephrinA1 interaction in tubule formation, soluble EphA2 was used to disrupt the EphA2-ephrinA1 interaction between a coculture of HUVEC and human brain vascular pericyte cells. HUVECs seeded onto PEGDA hydrogels displayed a dose-dependent reduction in tubule formation in response to the soluble EphA2. Finally, hydrogels with releasable platelet-derived growth factor (PDGF), immobilized RGDS, and covalently immobilized PEG-ephrinA1 were implanted into the mouse cornea micropocket. These hydrogels induced a more robust vascular response with an increase in vessel density as compared with hydrogels with releasable PDGF alone. As such, PEG-ephrinA1 may represent a promising molecule to regulate cell adhesion and migration for formation of a microvasculature in tissue-engineered constructs.
Project description:Hepatitis C virus (HCV) genotype 1 infections are significantly more difficult to eradicate with PEG-IFN/ribavirin therapy, compared to HCV genotype 2. The aim of this work is to investigate the difference of immunological impairments underlying this phenomenon. Pre-treatment NKG2D expression on peripheral CD56+CD3+ lymphocytes and CD56+CD3- NK cells from cases of chronic hepatitis C were analyzed and assessed by treatment effect. Two strains of HCV were used to co-incubate with immune cells in vitro. NKG2D expression on peripheral CD56+CD3+ lymphocytes, but not NK cells, was significantly impaired in genotype 1 infection, compared to genotype 2. When peripheral blood mononuclear cells from healthy donors were co-incubated with TNS2J1, a genotype 1b/2a chimera strain, or with JFH1, a genotype 2a strain, genotype-specific decrease of NKG2D on CD56+CD3+ lymphocytes, but not NK cells, was observed.?Pre-treatment NKG2D expression on peripheral CD56+CD3+ lymphocytes significantly correlated with reduction in serum HCV RNA levels from week 0 to week 4, and predicted treatment response. Ex vivo stimulation of peripheral CD56+CD3+ lymphocytes showed NKG2D expression-correlated IFN-? production. In conclusion, Decreased NKG2D expression on CD56+CD3+ lymphocytes in chronic HCV genotype 1 infection predicts inferior treatment response to PEG-IFN/ribavirin therapy compared to genotype 2.
Project description:The NK group 2 member D (NKG2D) immune receptor is implicated in both human and mouse autoimmune diabetes. However, the significance of NKG2D in diabetes pathogenesis has been unclear due to conflicting reports as to the importance of this receptor in the NOD mouse model. In this study we demonstrate that NKG2D expression affects NOD diabetes development by at least two previously undescribed, and opposing, mechanisms. First, we demonstrate that the NKG2D ligand H60a is induced on activated NOD T cells, and that NKG2D-H60a interaction during CD8+ T cell differentiation into CTLs generally decreases the subsequent CTL effector cytokine response. This corresponds to an increase in diabetes development in NKG2D-deficient compared with wild-type NOD mice under microbiota-depleted conditions. Second, we demonstrate that NKG2D promotes NOD diabetes development through interaction with the microbiota. Together these findings reveal a previously undescribed role for NKG2D ligand expression by activated T cells in CTL development. Further, they demonstrate that NKG2D has both diabetogenic and antidiabetogenic roles in NOD diabetes development.
Project description:EphA2 is an attractive therapeutic target because of its diverse roles in cancer growth and progression. Dasatinib is a multikinase inhibitor that targets EphA2 and other kinases. However, reliable predictive markers and a better understanding of the mechanisms of response to this agent are needed.The effects of dasatinib on human uterine cancer cell lines were examined using a series of in vitro experiments, including MTT, Western blot analysis, and plasmid transfection. In vivo, an orthotopic mouse model of uterine cancer was utilized to identify the biologic effects of dasatinib. Molecular markers for response prediction and the mechanisms relevant to response to dasatinib were identified by using reverse phase protein array (RPPA), immunoprecipitation, and double immunofluorescence staining.We show that high levels of CAV-1, EphA2 phosphorylation at S897, and the status of PTEN are key determinants of dasatinib response in uterine carcinoma. A set of markers essential for dasatinib response was also identified and includes CRaf, pCRaf(S338), pMAPK(T202/Y204) (mitogen-activated protein kinase [MAPK] pathway), pS6(S240/244), p70S6k(T389) (mTOR pathway), and pAKT(S473). A novel mechanism for response was discovered whereby high expression level of CAV-1 at the plasma membrane disrupts the BRaf/CRaf heterodimer and thus inhibits the activation of MAPK pathway during dasatinib treatment.Our in vitro and in vivo results provide a new understanding of EphA2 targeting by dasatinib and identify key predictors of therapeutic response. These findings have implications for ongoing dasatinib-based clinical trials.
Project description:Eph receptors and the corresponding Eph receptor-interacting (ephrin) ligands jointly constitute a critical cell signaling network that has multiple functions. The tyrosine kinase EphA2, which belongs to the family of Eph receptors, is highly produced in tumor tissues, while found at relatively low levels in most normal adult tissues, indicating its potential application in cancer treatment. After 30?years of investigation, a large amount of data regarding EphA2 functions have been compiled. Meanwhile, several compounds targeting EphA2 have been evaluated and tested in clinical studies, albeit with limited clinical success. The present review briefly describes the contribution of EphA2-ephrin A1 signaling axis to carcinogenesis. In addition, the roles of EphA2 in resistance to molecular-targeted agents were examined. In particular, we focused on EphA2's potential as a target for cancer treatment to provide insights into the application of EphA2 targeting in anticancer strategies. Overall, EphA2 represents a potential target for treating malignant tumors.
Project description:Outcomes for patients with glioblastoma (GBM) remain poor despite aggressive multimodal therapy. Immunotherapy with genetically modified T cells expressing chimeric antigen receptors (CARs) targeting interleukin (IL)-13R?2, epidermal growth factor receptor variant III (EGFRvIII), or human epidermal growth factor receptor 2 (HER2) has shown promise for the treatment of gliomas in preclinical models and in a clinical study (IL-13R?2). However, targeting IL-13R?2 and EGFRvIII is associated with the development of antigen loss variants, and there are safety concerns with targeting HER2. Erythropoietin-producing hepatocellular carcinoma A2 (EphA2) has emerged as an attractive target for the immunotherapy of GBM as it is overexpressed in glioma and promotes its malignant phenotype. To generate EphA2-specific T cells, we constructed an EphA2-specific CAR with a CD28-? endodomain. EphA2-specific T cells recognized EphA2-positive glioma cells as judged by interferon-? (IFN-?) and IL-2 production and tumor cell killing. In addition, EphA2-specific T cells had potent activity against human glioma-initiating cells preventing neurosphere formation and destroying intact neurospheres in coculture assays. Adoptive transfer of EphA2-specific T cells resulted in the regression of glioma xenografts in severe combined immunodeficiency (SCID) mice and a significant survival advantage in comparison to untreated mice and mice treated with nontransduced T cells. Thus, EphA2-specific T-cell immunotherapy may be a promising approach for the treatment of EphA2-positive GBM.
Project description:Ephrin receptor A2 (EphA2) is a member of the Ephrin/Eph receptor cell-to-cell signaling family of molecules, and it plays a key role in cell proliferation, differentiation, and migration. EphA2 is overexpressed in a broad range of cancers, and its expression is in many cases associated with poor prognosis. We recently developed a novel EphA2-targeting antibody-directed nanotherapeutic encapsulating a labile prodrug of docetaxel (EphA2-ILs-DTXp) for the treatment of EphA2-expressing malignancies. Here, we characterized the expression of EphA2 in bladder cancer using immunohistochemistry in 177 human bladder cancer samples and determined the preclinical efficacy of EphA2-ILs-DTXp in four EphA2-positive patient-derived xenograft (PDX) models of the disease, either as a monotherapy, or in combination with gemcitabine. EphA2 expression was detected in 80-100% of bladder cancer samples and correlated with shorter patient survival. EphA2 was found to be expressed in tumor cells and/or tumor-associated blood vessels in both primary and metastatic lesions with a concordance rate of approximately 90%. The EphA2-targeted antibody-directed nanotherapeutic EphA2-ILs-DTXp controlled tumor growth, mediated greater regression, and was more active than free docetaxel at equitoxic dosing in all four EphA2-positive bladder cancer PDX models. Combination of EphA2-ILs-DTXp and gemcitabine in one PDX model led to improved tumor growth control compared to monotherapies or the combination of free docetaxel and gemcitabine. These data demonstrating the prevalence of EphA2 in bladder cancers and efficacy of EphA2-ILs-DTXp in PDX models support the clinical exploration of EphA2 targeting in bladder cancer.
Project description:The NKG2D activating receptor has been implicated in numerous autoimmune diseases. We tested the role of NKG2D in models of autoimmunity and inflammation using NKG2D knockout mice and antibody blockade experiments. The severity of experimental autoimmune encephalitis (EAE) was decreased in NKG2D-deficient mice when the disease was induced with a limiting antigen dose, but unchanged with an optimal antigen dose. Surprisingly, however, NKG2D deficiency had no detectable effect in several other models, including two models of type 1 diabetes, and a model of intestinal inflammation induced by poly(I:C). NKG2D antibody blockade in normal mice also failed to inhibit disease in the NOD diabetes model or the intestinal inflammation model. Published evidence using NKG2D knockout mice demonstrated a role for NKG2D in mouse models of atherosclerosis and liver inflammation, as well as in chronic obstructive pulmonary disease. Therefore, our results suggest that NKG2D plays selective roles in inflammatory diseases.