In silico Evaluation of PLAC1-fliC As a Chimeric Vaccine against Breast Cancer
ABSTRACT: Background:Breast cancer is one of the most prevalent cancers among women. Common cancer treatment methods are not effective enough, and there is a need for a more efficient treatment procedure. Cancer vaccine is a novel immunotherapy method that stimulates humoral and/or cellular immunity against cancer. Placenta-specific protein 1 (PLAC1) is a cancer/testis antigen, prevalent in breast cancer and rarely found in normal tissues. FliC, as a bacterial adjuvant, when fused to PLAC1 can elicit humoral and cellular responses. Therefore, PLAC1-fliC is a chimeric protein, which can be considered a suitable candidate against breast cancer. Methods:ProtParam was used to evaluate the physicochemical properties of PLAC1-fliC. Second structures were determined using the GOR V server. PLAC1-fliC 3D structure was modeled by Phyre2, and it was refined using GalaxyWEB. The refined model was submitted to RAMPAGE, PROCHECK, and ProSA-web for validation. Antigenicity and allergenicity of the construct were predicted by ANTIGENpro, VaxiJen, AllergenFP, and SDAP databases. Then MHC-I- and MHC-II-binding epitopes of PLAC1-fliC were forecasted by NetMHC 4.0 and NetMHCII 2.3 Servers. Finally, Ellipro and CTLpred were employed to predict B-cell and cytotoxic T lymphocyte epitopes. Results:The construct was evaluated as a stable fusion protein, which could be antigenic and could stimulate B and T cells against breast cancer. Conclusion:PLAC1-fliC, as a cancer vaccine candidate, might be suitable and specific for breast cancer, which could evoke humoral and cellular immunity against this type of tumor.
Project description:Plac1 is an X-linked (Xq26) trophoblast gene expressed at high levels in the placenta, at low levels in the testis, but not in other normal somatic tissues. However, it is re-expressed in several malignancies, including breast, colon, lung, gastric, liver and endometrial cancers as well as in most human cancer cell lines. Plac1 contains HLA-A2-restricted epitopes capable of eliciting a cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response against human breast cancer cells, and colorectal cancer patients with a Plac1-specific CTL response demonstrate long-term survival. To explore the role of Plac1 in cancer, mouse mammary tumor E0771 cells expressing high levels of Plac1 were transduced with a lentivirus expressing a Plac1 shRNA (E0771/shPlac1). The RNeasy Mini Kit was used to purify total RNA from three independent cell culture samples for gene expression analysis. After isolation in parallel, 1 Î¼g of each of the total RNA from E0771/Scram or E0771/Shplac1 was pooled prior to microarray gene expression analysis. E0771/Scram was considered as control group in this experiment.
Project description:BACKGROUND:Chlamydia trachomatis is the most common sexually transmitted bacterial infection globally. Currently, there are no vaccines available despite the efforts made to develop a protective one. Polymorphic membrane protein D (PmpD) is an attractive immunogen candidate as it is conserved among strains and it is target of neutralizing antibodies. However, its high molecular weight and its complex structure make it difficult to handle by recombinant DNA techniques. Our aim is to predict B-cell and T-cell epitopes of PmpD. METHOD:A sequence (Genbank AAK69391.2) having 99-100% identity with various serovars of C. trachomatis was used for predictions. NetMHC and NetMHCII were used for T-cell epitope linked to MHC I or MHC II alleles prediction, respectively. BepiPred predicted linear B-cell epitopes. For three dimensional epitopes, PmpD was homology-modeled by Raptor X. Surface epitopes were predicted on its globular structure using DiscoTope. RESULTS:NetMHC predicted 271 T-cell epitopes of 9-12aa with weak affinity, and 70 with strong affinity to MHC I molecules. NetMHCII predicted 2903 T-cell epitopes of 15aa with weak affinity, and 742 with strong affinity to MHC II molecules. Twenty four linear B-cell epitopes were predicted. Raptor X was able to model 91% of the three-dimensional structure whereas 57 residues of discontinuous epitopes were suggested by DiscoTope. Six regions containing B-cell and T-cell epitopes were identified by at least two predictors. CONCLUSIONS:PmpD has potential B-cell and T-cell epitopes distributed throughout the sequence. Thus, several fragments were identified as valuable candidates for subunit vaccines against C. trachomatis.
Project description:Plac1 is an X-linked (Xq26) trophoblast gene expressed at high levels in the placenta, at low levels in the testis, but not in other normal somatic tissues. However, it is re-expressed in several malignancies, including breast, colon, lung, gastric, liver and endometrial cancers as well as in most human cancer cell lines. Plac1 contains HLA-A2-restricted epitopes capable of eliciting a cytotoxic T lymphocyte (CTL) response against human breast cancer cells, and colorectal cancer patients with a Plac1-specific CTL response demonstrate long-term survival. To explore the role of Plac1 in cancer, mouse mammary tumor E0771 cells expressing high levels of Plac1 were transduced with a lentivirus expressing a Plac1 shRNA (E0771/shPlac1). The RNeasy Mini Kit was used to purify total RNA from three independent cell culture samples for gene expression analysis. After isolation in parallel, 1 μg of each of the total RNA from E0771/Scram or E0771/Shplac1 was pooled prior to microarray gene expression analysis. E0771/Scram was considered as control group in this experiment.
Project description:Placenta-specific protein 1 (Plac1) is a cancer/testis antigen that plays a critical role in promoting cancer initiation and progression. However, the clinical significance and mechanism of Plac1 in cancer progression remain elusive. Here, we report that Plac1 is an important oncogenic and prognostic factor, which physically interacts with Furin to drive breast cancer invasion and metastasis. We have shown that Plac1 expression positively correlates with clinical stage, lymph node metastasis, hormone receptor status, and overall patient survival. Overexpression of Plac1 promoted invasion and metastasis of breast cancer cells in vitro and in vivo. Co-immunoprecipitation and immunofluorescence cell staining assays revealed that interaction of Plac1 and Furin degraded Notch1 and generated Notch1 intracellular domain (NICD) that could inhibit PTEN activity. These findings are consistent with the results of microarray study in MDA-MB-231 cells overexpressing Plac1. A rescue study showed that inhibition of Furin and overexpression of PTEN in Plac1 overexpression cells blocked Plac1-induced tumor cell progression. Taken together, our findings suggest that functional interaction between Plac1 and Furin enhances breast cancer invasion and metastasis and the Furin/NICD/PTEN axis may act as an important therapeutic target for breast cancer treatment.
Project description:BACKGROUND: The placenta-specific 1 (PLAC1) gene encodes a membrane-associated protein which is selectively expressed in the placental syncytiotrophoblast and in murine fetal tissues during embryonic development. In contrast to its transcriptional repression in all other adult normal tissues, PLAC1 is frequently activated and highly expressed in a variety of human cancers, in particular breast cancer, where it associates with estrogen receptor ? (ER?) positivity. In a previous study, we showed that ER?-signaling in breast cancer cells transactivates PLAC1 expression in a non-classical pathway. As the members of the p160/nuclear receptor co-activator (NCOA) family, NCOA1, NCOA2 and NCOA3 are known to be overexpressed in breast cancer and essentially involved in estrogen-mediated cancer cell proliferation we asked if these proteins are involved in the ER?-mediated transactivation of PLAC1 in breast cancer cells. METHODS: Applying quantitative real-time RT-PCR (qRT-PCR), Western Blot analysis and chromatin immunoprecipitation, we analyzed the involvement of NCOA1, NCOA2, NCOA3 in the ER?-mediated transactivation of PLAC1 in the breast cancer cell lines MCF-7 and SK-BR-3. RNAi-mediated silencing of NCOA3, qRT-PCR, Western blot analysis and ER? activation assays were used to examine the role of NCOA3 in the ER?-mediated regulation of PLAC1 in further detail. Transcript expression of NCOA3 and PLAC1 in 48 human breast cancer samples was examined by qRT-PCR and statistical analysis was performed using Student's t-test. RESULTS: We detected selective recruitment of NCOA3 but not NCOA1 or NCOA2 to the PLAC1 promoter only in ER?-positive MCF-7 cells but not in ER?-negative SK-BR-3 breast cancer cells. In addition, we demonstrate that silencing of NCOA3 results in a remarkable decrease of PLAC1 expression levels in MCF-7 cells which cannot be restored by treatment with estradiol (E?). Moreover, significant higher transcript levels of PLAC1 were found only in ER?-positive human breast cancer samples which also show a NCOA3 overexpression. CONCLUSIONS: In this study, we identified NCOA3 as a selective co-activator of ER?-mediated transactivation of PLAC1 in MCF-7 breast cancer cells. Our data introduce PLAC1 as novel target gene of NCOA3 in breast cancer, supporting the important role of both factors in breast cancer biology.
Project description:Currently marketed influenza vaccines only confer protection against matching influenza virus strains. The influenza A composition of these vaccines needs to be annually updated. Vaccines that target conserved epitopes of influenza viruses would in principle offer broad cross-protection against influenza A viruses. In our study, we investigated the specific immune responses and protective efficacy of protein nanoparticles based on fusion proteins of flagellin carrier linked to conserved influenza epitopes. We designed fusion proteins by replacing the hyperimmunogenic region of flagellin (FliC) with four tandem copies of the ectodomain of matrix protein 2 (f4M2e), H1 HA2 domain (fHApr8) or H3 HA2 domain (fHAaichi). Protein nanoparticles fabricated from these fusion proteins by using DTSSP crosslinking retained Toll-like receptor 5 agonist activity of FliC. Intranasal immunization with f4M2e, f4M2e/fHApr8 or f4M2e/fHAaichi nanoparticles induced vaccine antigen-specific humoral immune responses. It was also found that the incorporation of the H1 HA2 domain into f4M2e/fHApr8 nanoparticles boosted M2e specific antibody responses. Immunized mice were fully protected against lethal doses of virus challenge.
Project description:The trophoblast-specific gene PLAC1 (placenta-specific 1) is ectopically expressed in a wide range of human malignancies, most frequently in breast cancer, and is essentially involved in cancer cell proliferation, migration, and invasion. Here we show that basal activity of the PLAC1 promoter is selectively controlled by ubiquitous transcription factor SP1 and isoform 2 of CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein beta that we found to be selectively expressed in placental tissue and cancer cells. Binding of both factors to their respective elements within the PLAC1 promoter was essential to attain full promoter activity. Estrogen receptor alpha (ERalpha) signaling further augmented transcription and translation of PLAC1 and most likely accounts for the positive correlation between PLAC1 expression levels and the ERalpha status we observed in primary breast cancer specimens. DNA affinity precipitation and chromatin immunoprecipitation assays revealed that transactivation of the PLAC1 promoter by ligand-activated ERalpha is based on a nonclassical pathway independent of estrogen-response elements, by tethering of ERalpha to DNA-bound CCAAT/enhancer-binding protein beta-2, and SP1. Our findings provide first insight into a novel and hitherto unknown regulatory mechanism governing selective activation of trophoblast-specific gene expression in breast cancer.
Project description:Placental-specific protein 1 (PLAC1) is an X-linked trophoblast gene that is re-expressed in several malignancies, including breast cancer, and is therefore a potential biomarker to follow disease onset and progression. Sera from 117 preoperative/pretreatment breast cancer patients and 51 control subjects, including those with fibrocystic disease, were analyzed for the presence of PLAC1 protein as well as its expression by IHC in tumor biopsies in a subset of subjects. Serum PLAC1 levels exceeded the mean plus one standard deviation (mean+SD) of the level in control subjects in 67% of subjects with ductal carcinoma in situ (DCIS), 67% with HER2+ tumors, 73% with triple-negative cancer and 73% with ER+/PR+ tumors. Greater sensitivity was achieved using the mean+2 SD of control PLAC1 serum values, where the false positive rate was 3% and was exceeded by 38%, 40%, 60% and 43% of subjects with DCIS, HER2+, TNBC and ER+/PR+/HER2- tumors. PLAC1 was detected in 97% of tumor biopsies, but did not correlate quantitatively with serum levels. There was no significant correlation of serum PLAC1 levels with race, age at diagnosis, body mass index (BMI) or the presence of metastatic disease. It remains to be determined whether PLAC1 serum levels can serve as a diagnostic biomarker for the presence or recurrence of disease post-surgery and/or therapy.
Project description:PLAC1 (placenta enriched 1) is a mammalian trophoblast-specific protein. Aberrant expression of PLAC1 is observed in various human cancers, where it is involved in the motility, migration, and invasion of tumor cells, which are associated with the phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K)/AKT pathway. We previously demonstrated that AKT activation mediates the downstream effects of PLAC1; however, the molecular mechanisms of PLAC1-induced AKT-mediated tumor-related processes are unclear. We studied human choriocarcinoma and breast cancer cell lines to explore the localization and receptor-ligand interactions, as well as the downstream effects of PLAC1. We show secretion and adherence of PLAC1 to the extracellular matrix, where it forms a trimeric complex with fibroblast growth factor 7 (FGF7) and its receptor, FGF receptor 2 IIIb (FGFR2IIIb). We further show that PLAC1 signaling via FGFR2IIIb activates AKT phosphorylation in cancer cell lines. As the FGF pathway is of major interest in anticancer therapeutic strategies, these data further promote PLAC1 as a promising anticancer drug target.
Project description:Cancer immunotherapy continues to make headway as a treatment for advanced stage tumors, revealing an urgent need to understand the fundamentals of anti-tumor immune responses. Noteworthy is a scarcity of data pertaining to the breadth and specificity of tumor-specific T cell responses in metastatic breast cancer. Autochthonous transgenic models of breast cancer display spontaneous metastasis in the FVB/NJ mouse strain, yet a lack of knowledge regarding tumor-bound MHC/peptide immune epitopes in this mouse model limits the characterization of tumor-specific T cell responses, and the mechanisms that regulate T cell responses in the metastatic setting. We recently generated the NetH2pan prediction tool for murine class I MHC ligands by building an FVB/NJ H-2q ligand database and combining it with public information from six other murine MHC alleles. Here, we deployed NetH2pan in combination with an advanced proteomics workflow to identify immunogenic T cell epitopes in the MMTV-PyMT transgenic model for metastatic breast cancer. Five unique MHC I/PyMT epitopes were identified. These tumor-specific epitopes were confirmed to be presented by the class I MHC of primary MMTV-PyMT tumors and their T cell immunogenicity was validated. Vaccination using a DNA construct encoding a truncated PyMT protein generated CD8 + T cell responses to these MHC class I/peptide complexes and prevented tumor development. In sum, we have established an MHC-ligand discovery pipeline in FVB/NJ mice, identified and tracked H-2Dq/PyMT neoantigen-specific T cells, and developed a vaccine that prevents tumor development in this metastatic model of breast cancer.