Interleukin-11 Receptor Is a Candidate Target for Ligand-Directed Therapy in Lung Cancer: Analysis of Clinical Samples and BMTP-11 Preclinical Activity.
ABSTRACT: We previously isolated an IL-11-mimic motif (CGRRAGGSC) that binds to IL-11 receptor (IL-11R) in vitro and accumulates in IL-11R-expressing tumors in vivo. This synthetic peptide ligand was used as a tumor-targeting moiety in the rational design of BMTP-11, which is a drug candidate in clinical trials. Here, we investigated the specificity and accessibility of IL-11R as a target and the efficacy of BMTP-11 as a ligand-targeted drug in lung cancer. We observed high IL-11R expression levels in a large cohort of patients (n = 368). In matching surgical specimens (i.e., paired tumors and nonmalignant tissues), the cytoplasmic levels of IL-11R in tumor areas were significantly higher than in nonmalignant tissues (n = 36; P = 0.003). Notably, marked overexpression of IL-11R was observed in both tumor epithelial and vascular endothelial cell membranes (n = 301; P < 0.0001). BMTP-11 induced in vitro cell death in a representative panel of human lung cancer cell lines. BMTP-11 treatment attenuated the growth of subcutaneous xenografts and reduced the number of pulmonary tumors after tail vein injection of human lung cancer cells in mice. Our findings validate BMTP-11 as a pharmacologic candidate drug in preclinical models of lung cancer and patient-derived tumors. Moreover, the high expression level in patients with non-small cell lung cancer is a promising feature for potential translational applications.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Receptors in tumor blood vessels are attractive targets for ligand-directed drug discovery and development. The authors have worked systematically to map human endothelial receptors ("vascular zip codes") within tumors through direct peptide library selection in cancer patients. Previously, they selected a ligand-binding motif to the interleukin-11 receptor alpha (IL-11R?) in the human vasculature. METHODS:The authors generated a ligand-directed, peptidomimetic drug (bone metastasis-targeting peptidomimetic-11 [BMTP-11]) for IL-11R?-based human tumor vascular targeting. Preclinical studies (efficacy/toxicity) included evaluating BMTP-11 in prostate cancer xenograft models, drug localization, targeted apoptotic effects, pharmacokinetic/pharmacodynamic analyses, and dose-range determination, including formal (good laboratory practice) toxicity across rodent and nonhuman primate species. The initial BMTP-11 clinical development also is reported based on a single-institution, open-label, first-in-class, first-in-man trial (National Clinical Trials number NCT00872157) in patients with metastatic, castrate-resistant prostate cancer. RESULTS:BMTP-11 was preclinically promising and, thus, was chosen for clinical development in patients. Limited numbers of patients who had castrate-resistant prostate cancer with osteoblastic bone metastases were enrolled into a phase 0 trial with biology-driven endpoints. The authors demonstrated biopsy-verified localization of BMTP-11 to tumors in the bone marrow and drug-induced apoptosis in all patients. Moreover, the maximum tolerated dose was identified on a weekly schedule (20-30 mg/m(2) ). Finally, a renal dose-limiting toxicity was determined, namely, dose-dependent, reversible nephrotoxicity with proteinuria and casts involving increased serum creatinine. CONCLUSIONS:These biologic endpoints establish BMTP-11 as a targeted drug candidate in metastatic, castrate-resistant prostate cancer. Within a larger discovery context, the current findings indicate that functional tumor vascular ligand-receptor targeting systems may be identified through direct combinatorial selection of peptide libraries in cancer patients.
Project description:Osteosarcoma occurs predominantly in children and young adults. High-grade tumors require multidisciplinary treatment consisting of chemotherapy in the neoadjuvant and adjuvant settings, along with surgical intervention. Despite this approach, death from respiratory failure secondary to the development and progression of pulmonary metastases remains a significant problem. Here, we identify the IL-11 receptor α subunit (IL-11Rα) as a cell surface marker of tumor progression that correlates with poor prognosis in patients with osteosarcoma. We also show that both IL-11Rα and its ligand, IL-11, are specifically up-regulated in human metastatic osteosarcoma cell lines; engagement of this autocrine loop leads to tumor cell proliferation, invasion, and anchorage-independent growth in vitro. Consistently, IL-11Rα promotes lung colonization by human metastatic osteosarcoma cells in vivo in an orthotopic mouse model. Finally, we evaluate the IL-11Rα-targeted proapoptotic agent bone metastasis-targeting peptidomimetic (BMTP-11) in preclinical models of primary intratibial osteosarcomas, observing marked inhibition of both tumor growth and lung metastases. This effect was enhanced when BMTP-11 was combined with the chemotherapeutic drug gemcitabine. Our combined data support the development of approaches targeting IL-11Rα, and establish BMTP-11 as a leading drug candidate for clinical translation in patients with high-risk osteosarcoma.
Project description:Cancer-associated fibroblasts (CAF) are recognized as one of the key determinants in the malignant progression of lung adenocarcinoma. And its contributions to chemoresistance acquisition of lung cancer has raised more and more attention. In our study, cancer associated fibroblasts treated with cisplatin conferred chemoresistance to lung cancer cells. Meanwhile, Interleukin-11(IL-11) was significantly up-regulated in the CAF stimulated by cisplatin. As confirmed in lung adenocarcinoma cells in vivo and in vitro, IL-11 could protect cancer cells from cisplatin-induced apoptosis and thus promote their chemoresistance. Furthermore, it was also observed that IL-11 induced STAT3 phosphorylation and increased anti-apoptotic protein Bcl-2 and Survivin expression in cancer cells. The effect could be abrogated by suppressing STAT3 phosphorylation or silencing IL-11R? expression in cancer cells. In conclusion, chemotherapy-induced IL-11 upregulation in CAF promotes lung adenocarcinoma cell chemoresistance by activating IL-11R/STAT3 anti-apoptotic signaling pathway.
Project description:The IL11 receptor (IL11R) is an established molecular target in primary tumors of bone, such as osteosarcoma, and in secondary bone metastases from solid tumors, such as prostate cancer. However, its potential role in management of hematopoietic malignancies has not yet been determined. Here, we evaluated the IL11R as a candidate therapeutic target in human leukemia and lymphoma.First, we show that the IL11R protein is expressed in a variety of human leukemia- and lymphoma-derived cell lines and in a large panel of bone marrow samples from leukemia and lymphoma patients, whereas expression is absent from nonmalignant control bone marrow. Moreover, a targeted peptidomimetic prototype (termed BMTP-11), specifically bound to leukemia and lymphoma cell membranes, induced ligand-receptor internalization mediated by the IL11R, and resulted in a specific dose-dependent cell death induction in these cells. Finally, a pilot drug lead-optimization program yielded a new myristoylated BMTP-11 analogue with an apparent improved antileukemia cell profile.These results indicate (i) that the IL11R is a suitable cell surface target for ligand-directed applications in human leukemia and lymphoma and (ii) that BMTP-11 and its derivatives have translational potential against this group of malignant diseases.
Project description:Interleukin-11 (IL-11) is a polyfunctional cytokine whose biological actions require a specific IL-11 receptor (IL-11R) and the transmembrane transducer gp130. Here we report the production of a soluble form of the murine IL-11R and demonstrate that it interacts with IL-11 ligand with high affinity. The affinity of IL-11 alone for gp130 is below the level of detection, but a complex of IL-11 and soluble IL-11R interacts with gp130 with high affinity. The addition of soluble IL-11R potentiates the effects of exogenous IL-11 in cells that are normally responsive to IL-11. A biological response to IL-11 can be reconstituted in BAF cells transfected with gp130 by addition of IL-11 and soluble IL-11R. These findings show that the cytoplasmic domain of the IL-11R is not required for the biological effects of IL-11 and that a complex of IL-11 and IL-11R mediates signalling by association with gp130.
Project description:Interleukin-11 (IL-11) is a multifunctional cytokine involved in the regulation of cell proliferation and differentiation in a variety of cell types and tissues in vitro and in vivo. The effects of IL-11 were shown to be mediated by the IL-11 receptor (hereafter referred to as IL-11 R alpha), which is a ligand-binding subunit and provides ligand specificity in a functional multimeric signal-transduction complex with gp130. Here we show that the mouse genome contains a second gene encoding an IL-11-binding protein, referred to as IL-11R beta. The structure of the IL-11R beta gene is highly similar to that of IL-11R alpha, and IL-11R beta exhibits 99% sequence identity with IL-11R alpha at the amino acid level. IL-11R beta is co-expressed with IL-11R alpha, albeit at lower levels, in embryos and in various adult tissues. IL-11R beta transcripts are abundant in testis, and, in contrast with IL-11R alpha, absent from skeletal muscle. IL-11R beta expressed in vitro binds IL-11 with high affinity, suggesting that the mouse genome contains a second functional IL-11R.
Project description:Interleukin (IL)-11 is a multifunctional cytokine that was traditionally recognized for its hematopoietic and anti-inflammatory functions, but has recently been shown also to be involved in tumorigenesis. IL-11 signaling is initiated by binding of the cytokine to the IL-11 receptor (IL-11R), which is not directly involved in signaling but required for IL-11 binding to the signal-transducing receptor glycoprotein (gp) 130. In classic signaling, IL-11 binds to the membrane-bound IL-11R to initiate signal transduction. Additionally, IL-11 signaling can be initiated via soluble IL-11R, known as trans-signaling, and this pathway only requires the three extracellular domains of the IL-11R, but not stalk, transmembrane, or intracellular region. Here, we analyzed the role of the IL-11R stalk region, a 55 amino acid stretch connecting the extracellular domains with the transmembrane helix, in classic IL-11 signaling with the help of cytokine-dependent cell lines. We showed that the stalk region is crucial for IL-11 signaling via the membrane-bound IL-11R. Using different deletion variants, we found that a minimal length of 23 amino acid residues is required for efficient signal transduction. We further found that classic IL-11 signaling depended solely on the length, but not the sequence, of the IL-11R stalk region, suggesting that the stalk functions as a spacer in the signaling complex. We previously described the IL-11R stalk region as determinant of proteolysis and regulator of IL-11 trans-signaling. The results presented here reveal an additional function in classic IL-11 signaling, highlighting the importance of the IL-11R stalk in IL-11 signaling.
Project description:Interleukin-11 (IL-11) is a pleiotropic cytokine approved by the FDA against chemotherapy-induced thrombocytopenia. From a combinatorial selection in a cancer patient, we isolated an IL-11-like peptide mapping to domain I of the IL-11 (sequence CGRRAGGSC). Although this motif has ligand attributes, it is not within the previously characterized interacting sites. Here we design and validate in-tandem binding assays, site-directed mutagenesis and NMR spectroscopy to show (i) the peptide mimics a receptor-binding site within IL-11, (ii) the binding of CGRRAGGSC to the IL-11R alpha is functionally relevant, (iii) Arg4 and Ser8 are the key residues mediating the interaction, and (iv) the IL-11-like motif induces cell proliferation through STAT3 activation. These structural and functional results uncover an as yet unrecognized receptor-binding site in human IL-11. Given that IL-11R alpha has been proposed as a target in human cancer, our results provide clues for the rational design of targeted drugs.
Project description:Intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIg) has been used to treat a variety of autoimmune disorders including multiple sclerosis (MS); however its mechanism of action remains elusive. Recent work has shown that interleukin-11 (IL-11) mRNAs are upregulated by IVIg in MS patient T cells. Both IVIg and IL-11 have been shown to ameliorate experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis (EAE), an animal model of MS. The objective of this study was to determine whether the protective effects of IVIg in EAE occur through an IL-11 and IL-11 receptor (IL-11R)-dependent mechanism.We measured IL-11 in the circulation of mice and IL-11 mRNA expression in various organs after IVIg treatment. We then followed with EAE studies to test the efficacy of IVIg in wild-type (WT) mice and in mice deficient for the IL-11 receptor (IL-11R?-/-). Furthermore, we evaluated myelin-specific Th1 and Th17 responses and assessed spinal cord inflammation and demyelination in WT and IL-11R?-/- mice, with and without IVIg treatment. We also examined the direct effects of mouse recombinant IL-11 on the production of IL-17 by lymph node mononuclear cells.IVIg treatment induced a dramatic surge (>1000-fold increase) in the levels of IL-11 in the circulation and a prominent increase of IL-11 mRNA expression in the liver. Furthermore, we found that IL-11R?-/- mice, unlike WT mice, although initially protected, were resistant to full protection by IVIg during EAE and developed disease with a similar incidence and severity as control-treated IL-11R?-/- mice, despite initially showing protection. We observed that Th17 cytokine production by myelin-reactive T cells in the draining lymph nodes was unaffected by IVIg in IL-11R?-/- mice, yet was downregulated in WT mice. Finally, IL-11 was shown to directly inhibit IL-17 production of lymph node cells in culture.These results implicate IL-11 as an important immune effector of IVIg in the prevention of Th17-mediated autoimmune inflammation during EAE.
Project description:The transmembrane glycoprotein gp130 is involved in many cytokine-mediated cellular responses and acts therein as the signal transducing receptor subunit. Interleukin-6 (IL-6) and interleukin-11 (IL-11), in complex with their specific alpha-receptors, homodimerize gp130 and, as a consequence, activate the Janus kinase (Jak)/signal transducer and activator of transcription (STAT) signalling pathway in their target cells. So far, it is not clear whether gp130 is bound to these cytokines and their specific alpha-receptor subunits through identical or different epitopes. In order to study the interaction of IL-11 and IL-11R with human gp130 the soluble form of the recently cloned human IL-11R was expressed in baculovirus-infected insect cells. By a coprecipitation binding-assay it is demonstrated that IL-11 and IL-6 compete for binding to gp130. Using deletion and point mutants of gp130 it is shown that IL-11-IL-11R and IL-6-IL-6R recognize overlapping binding motifs on gp130. Moreover, using well-established Jak-deficient cell lines we demonstrate that STAT activation by IL-11 requires Jak1. Taken together, our data support the concept that IL-6 and IL-11 activate gp130 by very similar molecular mechanisms.