CD40L membrane retention enhances the immunostimulatory effects of CD40 ligation.
ABSTRACT: In carcinomas, the nature of CD40 ligand shapes the outcome of CD40 ligation. To date, the consequences of membrane-bound CD40L (mCD40L) on its immune-stimulatory function are unknown. Here, we examined the impact of mCD40L versus soluble CD40L (sCD40L) on T24 bladder carcinoma gene expression profiling. Of 410 differentially expressed genes, 286 were upregulated and 124 downregulated by mCD40L versus sCD40L. Gene ontology enrichment analysis revealed immune-stimulatory function as the most significant enriched biological process affected by upregulated transcripts, while those downregulated were critical for cell growth and division. Furthermore, immature dendritic cells (iDC) responded to mCD40L with enhanced maturation and activation over sCD40L evidenced by higher expression levels of CD83, CD86, HLA-DR and CD54, increased secretion of IL12 and IL10 and higher tumour-antigen (TA) uptake capacity. Furthermore, autologus CD3+ T cells responded to TA-loaded mCD40L-activated DC with increased proliferation and cytotoxic response (CD107a and IFN-?-producing CD3+ CD8+ T cells) to the tumour-loaded autologous PBMCs compared to sCD40L. Thus, these data indicate that mCD40L enhances the immunostimulatory capacity over sCD40L. Furthermore, the ability of mCD40L to also directly induce cell death in CD40-expressing carcinomas, subsequently releasing tumour-specific antigens into the tumour microenvironment highlights the potential for mCD40L as a multi-faceted anti-cancer immunotherapeutic.
Project description:Membrane-bound CD40L (mCD40L) but not soluble CD40L (sCD40L) has been implicated in direct cell death induction and apoptosis in CD40-expressing carcinomas. In this study, we show that mCD40L but not sCD40L induces NORE1A/Rassf5 expression in an NFκB-dependant mechanism. NORE1A expression appeared to contribute to mCD40L-induced cell death and enhance cell transition from G1 to S phase of the cell cycle in a p21-dependent mechanism. The upregulation of p21 protein was attributed to NORE1A expression, since NORE1A inhibition resulted in p21 downregulation. p21 upregulation was concomitant with lower p53 expression in the cytoplasmic fraction with no detectable increase at the nuclear p53 level. Moreover, mCD40L-induced cell death mediated by NORE1A expression appeared to be independent of mCD40L-induced cell death mediated by sustained JNK activation since NORE1A inhibition did not affect JNK phosphorylation and vice versa. The presented data allow better understanding of the mechanism by which mCD40L induces cell death which could be exploited in the clinical development of CD40-targeted anti-cancer therapies.
Project description:CD40/CD40 ligand (CD40L) dyad, a co-stimulatory bi-molecular complex involved in the adaptive immune response, has also potent pro-inflammatory actions in haematopoietic and non-haematopoietic cells. We describe here a novel role for soluble CD40L (sCD40L) as modifier of glomerular permselectivity directly acting on glomerular epithelial cells (GECs). We found that stimulation of CD40, constitutively expressed on GEC cell membrane, by the sCD40L rapidly induced redistribution and loss of nephrin in GECs, and increased albumin permeability in isolated rat glomeruli. Pre-treatment with inhibitors of CD40-CD40L interaction completely prevented these effects. Furthermore, in vivo injection of sCD40L induced a significant reduction of nephrin and podocin expression in mouse glomeruli, although no significant increase of urine protein/creatinine ratio was observed after in vivo injection. The same effects were induced by plasma factors partially purified from post-transplant plasma exchange eluates of patients with focal segmental glomerulosclerosis (FSGS), and were blocked by CD40-CD40L inhibitors. Moreover, 17 and 34 kDa sCD40L isoforms were detected in the same plasmapheresis eluates by Western blotting. Finally, the levels of sCD40Lwere significantly increased in serum of children both with steroid-sensitive and steroid-resistant nephrotic syndrome (NS), and in adult patients with biopsy-proven FSGS, compared to healthy subjects, but neither in children with congenital NS nor in patients with membranous nephropathy. Our results demonstrate that sCD40L directly modifies nephrin and podocin distribution in GECs. Moreover, they suggest that sCD40L contained in plasmapheresis eluates from FSGS patients with post-transplant recurrence may contribute, presumably cooperating with other mediators, to FSGS pathogenesis by modulating glomerular permeability.
Project description:We utilised the Affymetrix microarray analysis to compare the expression profiling of the CD40-positive bladder carcinoma T24 cells expressing mCD40L delivered by a replication-deficient adenovirus (RAdnCD40L) or treated with sCD40L (1µg/ml) for 24 hours Overall design: Bladder carcinoma T24 cells were infected with 50 MOI RAdMock (RAd expressing GFP) or RAdnCD40L (RAd expressing noncleavable version of human CD40L) or left uninfected for 24 hours or treated with sCD40L (1 µg/ml) for 24 hours, total RNA was isolated and processed for microarray analysis
Project description:Atherosclerosis is a major underlying cause of cardiovascular disease. Previous studies showed that inhibition of the co-stimulatory CD40 ligand (CD40L)-CD40 signaling axis profoundly attenuates atherosclerosis. As CD40L exerts multiple functions depending on the cell-cell interactions involved, we sought to investigate the function of the most relevant CD40L-expressing cell types in atherosclerosis: T cells and platelets. Atherosclerosis-prone mice with a CD40L-deficiency in CD4<sup>+</sup> T cells display impaired Th1 polarization, as reflected by reduced interferon-γ production, and smaller atherosclerotic plaques containing fewer T-cells, smaller necrotic cores, an increased number of smooth muscle cells and thicker fibrous caps. Mice with a corresponding CD40-deficiency in CD11c<sup>+</sup> dendritic cells phenocopy these findings, suggesting that the T cell-dendritic cell CD40L-CD40 axis is crucial in atherogenesis. Accordingly, sCD40L/sCD40 and interferon-γ concentrations in carotid plaques and plasma are positively correlated in patients with cerebrovascular disease. Platelet-specific deficiency of CD40L does not affect atherogenesis but ameliorates atherothrombosis. Our results establish divergent and cell-specific roles of CD40L-CD40 in atherosclerosis, which has implications for therapeutic strategies targeting this pathway.
Project description:Background CD40 ligand (CD40L) is a thromboinflammatory molecule that predicts cardiovascular events. CD40L is a strong activator of nuclear factor kappa B (NF-κB) in platelets that primes and enhances platelet activation in response to thrombotic stimuli. In addition to its classical receptor CD40, CD40L binds αIIbβ3, α5β1, and αMβ2 in various cell types. However, the function of the different CD40L receptors on platelets remains unexplored. The present study aims to identify the receptors of CD40L, involved in platelet NF-κB activation, their downstream signaling and their implication in platelet aggregation. Methods and Results We showed that platelets express CD40, αIIbβ3, and α5β1 and release CD40L in response to sCD40L stimulation. sCD40L alone dose-dependently induced platelet NF-κB activation; this effect was absent in CD40-/- mouse platelets and inhibited by the CD40 blockade, but was unaffected by the αIIbβ3 or α5β1 blockade in human platelets. sCD40L/CD40 axis activates transforming growth factor-β-activated kinase 1 upstream of NF-κB. In functional studies, sCD40L alone did not affect platelet aggregation but potentiated the aggregation response in the presence of suboptimal doses of thrombin; this effect was abolished by CD40, transforming growth factor-β-activated kinase 1, and NF-κB inhibitors. Conclusions CD40L primes platelets via signaling pathways involving CD40/transforming growth factor-β-activated kinase 1/NF-κB, which predisposes platelets to enhanced activation and aggregation in response to thrombotic stimuli.
Project description:A unique feature of CD40 among the TNF receptor (TNFR) superfamily is its exquisitely contextual effects, as originally demonstrated in normal and malignant B-lymphocytes. We studied renal cell carcinoma (RCC) in comparison to normal (human renal proximal tubule) cells, as a model to better understand the role of CD40 in epithelial cells. CD40 ligation by membrane-presented CD40 ligand (mCD40L), but not soluble CD40 agonist, induced extensive apoptosis in RCC cells; by contrast, normal cells were totally refractory to mCD40L. These findings underline the importance of CD40 'signal-quality' on cell fate and explain the lack of pro-apoptotic effects in RCC cells previously, while confirming the tumour specificity of CD40 in epithelial cells. mCD40L differentially regulated TRAF expression, causing sustained TRAF2/TRAF3 induction in RCC cells, yet downregulation of TRAF2 and no TRAF3 induction in normal cells, observations strikingly reminiscent of TRAF modulation in B-lymphocytes. mCD40L triggered reactive oxygen species (ROS) production, critical in apoptosis, and NADPH oxidase (Nox)-subunit p40phox phosphorylation, with Nox blockade abrogating apoptosis thus implying Nox-dependent initial ROS release. mCD40L mediated downregulation of Thioredoxin-1 (Trx-1), ASK1 phosphorylation, and JNK and p38 activation. Although both JNK/p38 were essential in apoptosis, p38 activation was JNK-dependent, which is the first report of such temporally defined JNK-p38 interplay during an apoptotic programme. CD40-killing entrained Bak/Bax induction, controlled by JNK/p38, and caspase-9-dependent mitochondrial apoptosis, accompanied by pro-inflammatory cytokine secretion, the repertoire of which also depended on CD40 signal quality. Previous reports suggested that, despite the ability of soluble CD40 agonist to reduce RCC tumour size in vivo via immunocyte activation, RCC could be targeted more effectively by combining CD40-mediated immune activation with direct tumour CD40 signalling. Since mCD40L represents a potent tumour cell-specific killing signal, our work not only offers insights into CD40's biology in normal and malignant epithelial cells, but also provides an avenue for a 'double-hit' approach for inflammatory, tumour cell-specific CD40-based therapy.
Project description:The CD40 ligand (CD40L) is a transmembrane molecule of crucial interest in cell signaling in innate and adaptive immunity. It is expressed by a variety of cells, but mainly by activated T-lymphocytes and platelets. CD40L may be cleaved into a soluble form (sCD40L) that has a cytokine-like activity. Both forms bind to several receptors, including CD40. This interaction is necessary for the antigen specific immune response. Furthermore, CD40L and sCD40L are involved in inflammation and a panoply of immune related and vascular pathologies. Soluble CD40L is primarily produced by platelets after activation, degranulation and cleavage, which may present a problem for transfusion. Soluble CD40L is involved in adverse transfusion events including transfusion related acute lung injury (TRALI). Although platelet storage designed for transfusion occurs in sterile conditions, platelets are activated and release sCD40L without known agonists. Recently, proteomic studies identified signaling pathways activated in platelet concentrates. Soluble CD40L is a good candidate for platelet activation in an auto-amplification loop. In this review, we describe the immunomodulatory role of CD40L in physiological and pathological conditions. We will focus on the main signaling pathways activated by CD40L after binding to its different receptors.
Project description:Studies have suggested that soluble factors in plasma from patients with active (aBD) and inactive (iBD) Behçet's disease (BD) stimulate neutrophil function. Soluble CD40 ligand (sCD40L) is an important mediator of inflammation in BD. Its expression and effect on neutrophil oxidative burst and neutrophil extracellular trap (NET) release have not been characterized. In this study, we sought to investigate the role of plasma and the CD40L pathway on NET release and the oxidative burst profile in patients with aBD and iBD.Neutrophils and peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMCs) were obtained from patients with aBD (n?=?30), patients with iBD (n?=?31), and healthy control subjects (HCs; n?=?30). sCD40L plasma concentration was determined in individual samples. A pool of plasma for each group was created. In some experiments, plasma pools were treated with recombinant CD40 (rhCD40-muIg) for sCD40L blockade. NET release and H2O2/O2- production were determined after stimulation with phorbol 12-myristate 13-acetate, sCD40L, or plasma pool. Flow cytometric analysis was performed to evaluate the expression of (1) CD40, Mac-1, and phosphorylated NF-?B p65 on neutrophils and monocytes and (2) CD40L on activated T cells and platelets. CD40L gene expression in PBMCs was determined by qRT-PCR.sCD40L plasma levels were significantly higher in patients with iBD (median 17,234, range 2346-19,279 pg/ml) and patients with aBD (median 18,289, range 413-19,883 pg/ml) than in HCs (median 47.5, range 33.7-26.7 pg/ml; p?<?0.001). NET release was constitutively increased in BD compared with HC. NET release and H2O2/O2- were higher after stimulation with sCD40L or BD plasma and decreased after sCD40L blockade. Mac-1 expression was constitutively increased in neutrophils of patients with aBD (88.7?±?13.2% of cells) and patients with iBD (89.2?±?20.1% of cells) compared with HC (27.1?±?18.8% of cells; p?<?0.01). CD40 expression on phagocytes and CD40L expression on platelets were similar in the three groups. PBMCs as well as nonactivated and activated CD4+ T cells from patients with BD showed higher CD40L expression.Plasma from patients with aBD exerts a stimulus on NET release and oxidative burst, probably induced by sCD40L.
Project description:<h4>Background</h4>Stimulation of CD40 can augment anti-cancer T cell immune responses by triggering effective activation and maturation of antigen-presenting cells (APCs). Although CD40 agonists have clinical activity in humans, the associated systemic activation of the immune system triggers dose-limiting side-effects.<h4>Methods</h4>To increase the tumor selectivity of CD40 agonist-based therapies, we developed an approach in which soluble trimeric CD40L (sCD40L) is genetically fused to tumor targeting antibody fragments, yielding scFv:CD40L fusion proteins. We hypothesized that scFv:CD40L fusion proteins would have reduced CD40 agonist activity similar to sCD40L but will be converted to a highly agonistic membrane CD40L-like form of CD40L upon anchoring to cell surface exposed antigen via the scFv domain.<h4>Results</h4>Targeted delivery of CD40L to the carcinoma marker EpCAM on carcinoma cells induced dose-dependent paracrine maturation of DCs ~20-fold more effective than a non-targeted control scFv:CD40L fusion protein. Similarly, targeted delivery of CD40L to the B cell leukemia marker CD20 induced effective paracrine maturation of DCs. Of note, the CD20-selective delivery of CD40L also triggered loss of cell viability in certain B cell leukemic cell lines as a result of CD20-induced apoptosis.<h4>Conclusions</h4>Targeted delivery of CD40L to cancer cells is a promising strategy that may help to trigger cancer-localized activation of CD40 and can be modified to exert additional anti-cancer activity via the targeting domain.
Project description:CD40, a member of the tumour necrosis factor receptor (TNFR) superfamily, has the capacity to cause extensive apoptosis in carcinoma cells, while sparing normal epithelial cells. Yet, apoptosis is only achieved by membrane-presented CD40 ligand (mCD40L), as soluble receptor agonists are but weakly pro-apoptotic. Here, for the first time we have identified the precise signalling cascade underpinning mCD40L-mediated death as involving sequential TRAF3 stabilisation, ASK1 phosphorylation, MKK4 (but not MKK7) activation and JNK/AP-1 induction, leading to a Bak- and Bax-dependent mitochondrial apoptosis pathway. TRAF3 is central in the activation of the NADPH oxidase (Nox)-2 component p40phox and the elevation of reactive oxygen species (ROS) is essential in apoptosis. Strikingly, CD40 activation resulted in down-regulation of Thioredoxin (Trx)-1 to permit ASK1 activation and apoptosis. Although soluble receptor agonist alone could not induce death, combinatorial treatment incorporating soluble CD40 agonist and pharmacological inhibition of Trx-1 was functionally equivalent to the signal triggered by mCD40L. Finally, we demonstrate using normal, 'para-malignant' and tumour-derived cells that progression to malignant transformation is associated with increase in oxidative stress in epithelial cells, which coincides with increased susceptibility to CD40 killing, while in normal cells CD40 signalling is cytoprotective. Our studies have revealed the molecular nature of the tumour specificity of CD40 signalling and explained the differences in pro-apoptotic potential between soluble and membrane-bound CD40 agonists. Equally importantly, by exploiting a unique epithelial culture system that allowed us to monitor alterations in the redox-state of epithelial cells at different stages of malignant transformation, our study reveals how pro-apoptotic signals can elevate ROS past a previously hypothesised 'lethal pro-apoptotic threshold' to induce death; an observation that is both of fundamental importance and carries implications for cancer therapy.