CTLA4 Message Reflects Pathway Disruption in Monogenic Disorders and Under Therapeutic Blockade.
ABSTRACT: CTLA-4 is essential for immune tolerance. Heterozygous CTLA4 mutations cause immune dysregulation evident in defective regulatory T cells with low levels of CTLA-4 expression. Biallelic mutations in LRBA also result in immune dysregulation with low levels of CTLA-4 and clinical presentation indistinguishable from CTLA-4 haploinsufficiency. CTLA-4 has become an immunotherapy target whereby its blockade with a monoclonal antibody has resulted in improved survival in advanced melanoma patients, amongst other malignancies. However, this therapeutic manipulation can result in autoimmune/inflammatory complications reminiscent of those seen in genetic defects affecting the CTLA-4 pathway. Despite efforts made to understand and establish disease genotype/phenotype correlations in CTLA-4-haploinsufficiency and LRBA-deficiency, such relationships remain elusive. There is currently no specific immunological marker to assess the degree of CTLA-4 pathway disruption or its relationship with clinical manifestations. Here we compare three different patient groups with disturbances in the CTLA-4 pathway-CTLA-4-haploinsufficiency, LRBA-deficiency, and ipilimumab-treated melanoma patients. Assessment of CTLA4 mRNA expression in these patient groups demonstrated an inverse correlation between the CTLA4 message and degree of CTLA-4 pathway disruption. CTLA4 mRNA levels from melanoma patients under therapeutic CTLA-4 blockade (ipilimumab) were increased compared to patients with either CTLA4 or LRBA mutations that were clinically stable with abatacept treatment. In summary, we show that increased CTLA4 mRNA levels correlate with the degree of CTLA-4 pathway disruption, suggesting that CTLA4 mRNA levels may be a quantifiable surrogate for altered CTLA-4 expression.
Project description:One of the primary targets of immune checkpoint inhibition is the negative immune regulatory molecule CTLA-4. Immune-related adverse events are commonly observed following CTLA-4 inhibition in melanoma treatment, and a spectrum of these conditions are also observed in individuals with germline haploinsufficiency of CTLA4. Here we describe a heterozygous de novo missense variant of CTLA4 in a young girl with childhood-onset autoimmune hepatitis and polyarthritis, the latter responding to treatment with CTLA-4-Ig fusion protein. This variant lay within the highly conserved MYPPPY motif of CTLA-4: a critical structural determinant of ligand binding, which is also bound by the anti-CTLA-4 monoclonal antibody ipilimumab. Within the spectrum of CTLA4 variants reported, missense variants in the MYPPPY motif were overrepresented when compared to variants within a control population, highlighting the physiological importance of this motif in both the genetic and pharmacological regulation of autoimmunity and anti-tumor immunity.
Project description:It is assumed that anti-CTLA-4 antibodies cause tumor rejection by blocking negative signaling from B7-CTLA-4 interactions. Surprisingly, at concentrations considerably higher than plasma levels achieved by clinically effective dosing, the anti-CTLA-4 antibody Ipilimumab blocks neither B7 trans-endocytosis by CTLA-4 nor CTLA-4 binding to immobilized or cell-associated B7. Consequently, Ipilimumab does not increase B7 on dendritic cells (DCs) from either CTLA4 gene humanized (Ctla4 h/h ) or human CD34+ stem cell-reconstituted NSG™ mice. In Ctla4 h/m mice expressing both human and mouse CTLA4 genes, anti-CTLA-4 antibodies that bind to human but not mouse CTLA-4 efficiently induce Treg depletion and Fc receptor-dependent tumor rejection. The blocking antibody L3D10 is comparable to the non-blocking Ipilimumab in causing tumor rejection. Remarkably, L3D10 progenies that lose blocking activity during humanization remain fully competent in inducing Treg depletion and tumor rejection. Anti-B7 antibodies that effectively block CD4 T cell activation and de novo CD8 T cell priming in lymphoid organs do not negatively affect the immunotherapeutic effect of Ipilimumab. Thus, clinically effective anti-CTLA-4 mAb causes tumor rejection by mechanisms that are independent of checkpoint blockade but dependent on the host Fc receptor. Our data call for a reappraisal of the CTLA-4 checkpoint blockade hypothesis and provide new insights for the next generation of safe and effective anti-CTLA-4 mAbs.
Project description:CTLA-4 (Cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4) is traditionally known as a negative regulator of T cell activation. The blocking of CTLA-4 using human monoclonal antibodies, such as Ipilimumab, is currently used to relieve CTLA-4-mediated inhibition of anti-tumor immune response in metastatic melanoma. Herein, we have analyzed CTLA-4 expression and Ipilimumab reactivity on melanoma cell lines and tumor tissues from cutaneous melanoma patients. Then, we investigated whether Ipilimumab can trigger innate immunity in terms of antibody dependent cellular cytotoxicity (ADCC) or Tumor Necrosis Factor (TNF)-? release. Finally, a xenograft murine model was set up to determine in vivo the effects of Ipilimumab and NK cells on melanoma.CTLA-4 expression and Ipilimumab reactivity were analyzed on 17 melanoma cell lines (14 primary and 3 long-term cell lines) by cytofluorimetry and on 33 melanoma tissues by immunohistochemistry. CTLA-4 transcripts were analyzed by quantitative RT-PCR. Soluble CTLA-4 and TNF-? were tested by ELISA. Peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC), NK and ??T cells were tested in ADCC assay with Ipilimumab and melanoma cell lines. TNF-? release was analyzed in NK-melanoma cell co-cultures in the presence of ipilimumab. In vivo experiments of xenotransplantation were carried out in NOD/SCID mice. Results were analyzed using unpaired Student's t-test.All melanoma cell lines expressed mRNA and cytoplasmic CTLA-4 but surface reactivity with Ipilimumab was quite heterogeneous. Accordingly, about 2/3 of melanoma specimens expressed CTLA-4 at different level of intensity.Ipilimumab triggered, via Fc?ReceptorIIIA (CD16), ex vivo NK cells as well as PBMC, IL-2 activated NK and ??T cells to ADCC of CTLA-4+ melanoma cells. No ADCC was detected upon interaction with CTLA-4- FO-1 melanoma cell line. TNF-? was released upon interaction of NK cells with CTLA-4+ melanoma cell lines. Remarkably, Ipilimumab neither affected proliferation and viability nor triggered ADCC of CTLA-4+ T lymphocytes. In a chimeric murine xenograft model, the co-engraftment of Ipilimumab-treated melanoma cells with human allogeneic NK cells delayed and significantly reduced tumor growth, as compared to mice receiving control xenografts.Our studies demonstrate that Ipilimumab triggers effector lymphocytes to cytotoxicity and TNF-? release. These findings suggest that Ipilimumab, besides blocking CTLA-4, can directly activate the elimination of CTLA-4+ melanomas.
Project description:Ipilimumab (BMS734016; MDX 101; MDX-010; MDX-CTLA-4; MDX-CTLA4) is an anti-CTLA-4 monoclonal antibody, which is in development by Medarex Inc. and Bristol-Myers Squibb as treatment for malignant melanoma, prostate cancer, lymphoma, and lung cancer. It is currently in phase III development for the melanoma and prostate cancer indications, and phase II for lymphoma and non-small cell lung cancer in the US and other areas of the world. This review discusses the key development milestones and therapeutic trials on this drug to date.
Project description:Inherited mutations in lipopolysaccharide-responsive beige-like anchor (LRBA) cause a recessive human immune dysregulation syndrome with memory B-cell and antibody deficiency (common variable immunodeficiency), inflammatory bowel disease, enlarged spleen and lymph nodes, accumulation of activated T cells and multiple autoimmune diseases. To understand the pathogenesis of the syndrome, C57BL/6 mice carrying a homozygous truncating mutation in Lrba were produced using CRISPR/Cas9-mediated gene targeting. These mice revealed that LRBA has a critical, cell-autonomous role in promoting cytotoxic T-lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) accumulation within CD4 effector T cells and FOXP3+ T-regulatory cells (Tregs). In young mice, or in chimeric mice where only half of the T cells are LRBA deficient, low CTLA-4 was the only detectable abnormality in Tregs, whereas in old mice FOXP3 was also decreased. Low CTLA-4 did not translate into increased CD86 on B cells unless the LRBA-deficient mice were immunised, and neither immunisation nor chronic lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus infection precipitated immune dysregulation. LRBA deficiency did not alter antigen-specific B-cell activation, germinal centre (GC) formation, isotype switching or affinity maturation. Paradoxically, CD86 was decreased on GC B cells in LRBA-deficient mice, pointing to compensatory mechanisms for controlling CD86 in the face of low CTLA-4. These results add to the experimental rationale for treating LRBA deficiency with the CTLA4-Ig fusion protein, Abatacept, and pose questions about the limitations of laboratory experiments in mice to reproduce human disease in natura.
Project description:Lipopolysaccharide-responsive, beige-like anchor protein (LRBA) deficiency is characterized by primary immunodeficiency and autoimmunity. Cancer may present another feature of LRBA deficiency. We describe a case history of a young adult with LRBA deficiency and two independent malignancies.Family-trio whole exome sequencing with unbiased phenotype ontology approach was used for identification of causative mutations of a primary immune deficiency disorder. Additionally, we sought to identify germline mutations in genes known to be associated with two independent malignancies using a targeted approach. A cytotoxic T-lymphocyte associated protein 4 (CTLA4) expression in T lymphocytes was determined by flow cytometry.In the patient with clinical signs of LRBA deficiency multifocal gastric carcinoma and malignant melanoma were diagnosed and surgically treated at 19 and 27 years of age, respectively. Despite refusal of any adjuvant chemotherapy or radiotherapy, the patient demonstrated disease free survival for at least 13 years after the first cancer diagnosis. A homozygous frameshift deletion in LRBA gene (p.Glu946Ter) and two common variants in TYR gene were identified. Reduced CTLA4 expression in a subset of regulatory T lymphocytes was identified in the patient and his unaffected mother carrying a heterozygous LRBA mutation as compared to control in a dose-dependent manner.This is the first description of gastric cancer and malignant melanoma in a young adult with LRBA deficiency. The role of LRBA gene knockout in cancer development and its prognosis remains to be elucidated.
Project description:Rational modulation of the immune response with biologics represents one of the most promising and active areas for the realization of new therapeutic strategies. In particular, the use of function blocking monoclonal antibodies targeting checkpoint inhibitors such as CTLA-4 and PD-1 have proven to be highly effective for the systemic activation of the human immune system to treat a wide range of cancers. Ipilimumab is a fully human antibody targeting CTLA-4 that received FDA approval for the treatment of metastatic melanoma in 2011. Ipilimumab is the first-in-class immunotherapeutic for blockade of CTLA-4 and significantly benefits overall survival of patients with metastatic melanoma. Understanding the chemical and physical determinants recognized by these mAbs provides direct insight into the mechanisms of pathway blockade, the organization of the antigen-antibody complexes at the cell surface, and opportunities to further engineer affinity and selectivity. Here, we report the 3.0 Å resolution X-ray crystal structure of the complex formed by ipilimumab with its human CTLA-4 target. This structure reveals that ipilimumab contacts the front ?-sheet of CTLA-4 and intersects with the CTLA-4:?7 recognition surface, indicating that direct steric overlap between ipilimumab and the B7 ligands is a major mechanistic contributor to ipilimumab function. The crystallographically observed binding interface was confirmed by a comprehensive cell-based binding assay against a library of CTLA-4 mutants and by direct biochemical approaches. This structure also highlights determinants responsible for the selectivity exhibited by ipilimumab toward CTLA-4 relative to the homologous and functionally related CD28.
Project description:Cytotoxic T lymphocyte antigen-4 (CTLA-4) is an inhibitory receptor found on immune cells. The consequences of mutations in CTLA4 in humans are unknown. We identified germline heterozygous mutations in CTLA4 in subjects with severe immune dysregulation from four unrelated families. Whereas Ctla4 heterozygous mice have no obvious phenotype, human CTLA4 haploinsufficiency caused dysregulation of FoxP3(+) regulatory T (Treg) cells, hyperactivation of effector T cells, and lymphocytic infiltration of target organs. Patients also exhibited progressive loss of circulating B cells, associated with an increase of predominantly autoreactive CD21(lo) B cells and accumulation of B cells in nonlymphoid organs. Inherited human CTLA4 haploinsufficiency demonstrates a critical quantitative role for CTLA-4 in governing T and B lymphocyte homeostasis.
Project description:BACKGROUND:LPS-responsive beige-like anchor protein (LRBA) and cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen 4 (CTLA4) deficiencies give rise to overlapping phenotypes of immune dysregulation and autoimmunity, with dramatically increased frequencies of circulating follicular helper T (cTFH) cells. OBJECTIVE:We sought to determine the mechanisms of cTFH cell dysregulation in patients with LRBA deficiency and the utility of monitoring cTFH cells as a correlate of clinical response to CTLA4-Ig therapy. METHODS:cTFH cells and other lymphocyte subpopulations were characterized. Functional analyses included in vitro follicular helper T (TFH) cell differentiation and cTFH/naive B-cell cocultures. Serum soluble IL-2 receptor ? chain levels and in vitro immunoglobulin production by cultured B cells were quantified by using ELISA. RESULTS:cTFH cell frequencies in patients with LRBA or CTLA4 deficiency sharply decreased with CTLA4-Ig therapy in parallel with other markers of immune dysregulation, including soluble IL-2 receptor ? chain, CD45RO+CD4+ effector T cells, and autoantibodies, and this was predictive of favorable clinical responses. cTFH cells in patients with LRBA deficiency were biased toward a TH1-like cell phenotype, which was partially reversed by CTLA4-Ig therapy. LRBA-sufficient but not LRBA-deficient regulatory T cells suppressed in vitro TFH cell differentiation in a CTLA4-dependent manner. LRBA-deficient TFH cells supported in vitro antibody production by naive LRBA-sufficient B cells. CONCLUSIONS:cTFH cell dysregulation in patients with LRBA deficiency reflects impaired control of TFH cell differentiation because of profoundly decreased CTLA4 expression on regulatory T cells and probably contributes to autoimmunity in patients with this disease. Serial monitoring of cTFH cell frequencies is highly useful in gauging the clinical response of LRBA-deficient patients to CTLA4-Ig therapy.