Sir Peter MacCallum Department of Oncology - Research Publications

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    CRISPR-Cas9 screening identifies an IRF1-SOCS1-mediated negative feedback loop that limits CXCL9 expression and antitumor immunity
    House, IG ; Derrick, EB ; Sek, K ; Chen, AXY ; Li, J ; Lai, J ; Todd, KL ; Munoz, I ; Michie, J ; Chan, CW ; Huang, Y-K ; Chan, JD ; Petley, E ; Tong, J ; Nguyen, D ; Engel, S ; Savas, P ; Hogg, SJ ; Vervoort, SJ ; Kearney, CJ ; Burr, ML ; Lam, EYN ; Gilan, O ; Bedoui, S ; Johnstone, RW ; Dawson, MA ; Loi, S ; Darcy, PK ; Beavis, PA (CELL PRESS, 2023-08-29)
    CXCL9 expression is a strong predictor of response to immune checkpoint blockade therapy. Accordingly, we sought to develop therapeutic strategies to enhance the expression of CXCL9 and augment antitumor immunity. To perform whole-genome CRISPR-Cas9 screening for regulators of CXCL9 expression, a CXCL9-GFP reporter line is generated using a CRISPR knockin strategy. This approach finds that IRF1 limits CXCL9 expression in both tumor cells and primary myeloid cells through induction of SOCS1, which subsequently limits STAT1 signaling. Thus, we identify a subset of STAT1-dependent genes that do not require IRF1 for their transcription, including CXCL9. Targeting of either IRF1 or SOCS1 potently enhances CXCL9 expression by intratumoral macrophages, which is further enhanced in the context of immune checkpoint blockade therapy. We hence show a non-canonical role for IRF1 in limiting the expression of a subset of STAT1-dependent genes through induction of SOCS1.
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    Epigenetic Activation of Plasmacytoid DCs Drives IFNAR-Dependent Therapeutic Differentiation of AML
    Salmon, JM ; Todorovski, I ; Stanley, KL ; Bruedigam, C ; Kearney, CJ ; Martelotto, LG ; Rossello, F ; Semple, T ; Arnau, GM ; Zethoven, M ; Bots, M ; Bjelosevic, S ; Cluse, LA ; Fraser, PJ ; Litalien, V ; Vidacs, E ; Mcarthur, K ; Matthews, AY ; Gressier, E ; de Weerd, NA ; Lichte, J ; Kelly, MJ ; Hogg, SJ ; Hertzog, PJ ; Kats, LM ; Vervoort, SJ ; De Carvalho, DD ; Scheu, S ; Bedoui, S ; Kile, BT ; Lane, SW ; Perkins, AC ; Wei, AH ; Dominguez, PM ; Johnstone, RW (AMER ASSOC CANCER RESEARCH, 2022-06-02)
    UNLABELLED: Pharmacologic inhibition of epigenetic enzymes can have therapeutic benefit against hematologic malignancies. In addition to affecting tumor cell growth and proliferation, these epigenetic agents may induce antitumor immunity. Here, we discovered a novel immunoregulatory mechanism through inhibition of histone deacetylases (HDAC). In models of acute myeloid leukemia (AML), leukemia cell differentiation and therapeutic benefit mediated by the HDAC inhibitor (HDACi) panobinostat required activation of the type I interferon (IFN) pathway. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDC) produced type I IFN after panobinostat treatment, through transcriptional activation of IFN genes concomitant with increased H3K27 acetylation at these loci. Depletion of pDCs abrogated panobinostat-mediated induction of type I IFN signaling in leukemia cells and impaired therapeutic efficacy, whereas combined treatment with panobinostat and IFNα improved outcomes in preclinical models. These discoveries offer a new therapeutic approach for AML and demonstrate that epigenetic rewiring of pDCs enhances antitumor immunity, opening the possibility of exploiting this approach for immunotherapies. SIGNIFICANCE: We demonstrate that HDACis induce terminal differentiation of AML through epigenetic remodeling of pDCs, resulting in production of type I IFN that is important for the therapeutic effects of HDACis. The study demonstrates the important functional interplay between the immune system and leukemias in response to HDAC inhibition. This article is highlighted in the In This Issue feature, p. 1397.
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    Ptpn2 and KLRG1 regulate the generation and in skin
    Hochheiser, K ; Wiede, F ; Wagner, T ; Freestone, D ; Enders, MH ; Olshansky, M ; Russ, B ; Nussing, S ; Bawden, E ; Braun, A ; Bachem, A ; Gressier, E ; McConville, R ; Park, SL ; Jones, CM ; Davey, GM ; Gyorki, DE ; Tscharke, D ; Parish, IA ; Turner, S ; Herold, MJ ; Tiganis, T ; Bedoui, S ; Gebhardt, T (ROCKEFELLER UNIV PRESS, 2021-06-07)
    Tissue-resident memory T cells (TRM cells) are key elements of tissue immunity. Here, we investigated the role of the regulator of T cell receptor and cytokine signaling, Ptpn2, in the formation and function of TRM cells in skin. Ptpn2-deficient CD8+ T cells displayed a marked defect in generating CD69+ CD103+ TRM cells in response to herpes simplex virus type 1 (HSV-1) skin infection. This was accompanied by a reduction in the proportion of KLRG1- memory precursor cells and a transcriptional bias toward terminal differentiation. Of note, forced expression of KLRG1 was sufficient to impede TRM cell formation. Normalizing memory precursor frequencies by transferring equal numbers of KLRG1- cells restored TRM generation, demonstrating that Ptpn2 impacted skin seeding with precursors rather than downstream TRM cell differentiation. Importantly, Ptpn2-deficient TRM cells augmented skin autoimmunity but also afforded superior protection from HSV-1 infection. Our results emphasize that KLRG1 repression is required for optimal TRM cell formation in skin and reveal an important role of Ptpn2 in regulating TRM cell functionality.
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    Epigenetic reprogramming of plasmacytoid dendritic cells drives type I interferon-dependent differentiation of acute myeloid leukemias for therapeutic benefit
    Salmon, J ; Todorovski, I ; Vervoort, S ; Stanley, K ; Kearney, C ; Martelotto, L ; Rossello, F ; Semple, T ; Mir-Arnau, G ; Zethoven, M ; Bots, M ; Vidacs, E ; McArthur, K ; Gressier, E ; de Weerd, N ; Lichte, J ; Kelly, M ; Cluse, L ; Hogg, S ; Hertzog, P ; Kats, L ; de Carvalho, D ; Scheu, S ; Bedoui, S ; Kile, B ; Wei, A ; Dominguez, P ; Johnstone, R ( 2020-08-24)
    Pharmacological inhibition of epigenetic enzymes can have therapeutic benefit, particularly against hematological malignancies. While these agents can affect tumor cell growth and proliferation, recent studies have demonstrated that pharmacological de-regulation of epigenetic modifiers may additionally mediate anti-tumor immune responses. Here we discovered a novel mechanism of immune regulation through the inhibition of histone deacetylases (HDACs). In a genetically engineered model of t(8;21) AML, leukemia cell differentiation and therapeutic benefit mediated by the HDAC inhibitor panobinostat required activation of the type I interferon (IFN) signaling pathway. Plasmacytoid dendritic cells (pDCs) were identified as the cells producing type I IFN in response to panobinostat, through transcriptional activation of IFN genes concomitant with increased H3K27 acetylation at these loci. Depletion of pDCs abrogated panobinostat-mediated activation of type I IFN signaling in leukemia cells and impaired therapeutic efficacy, while combined treatment of panobinostat and recombinant IFNα improved therapeutic outcomes. These discoveries offer a new therapeutic approach for t(8;21) AML and demonstrate that epigenetic rewiring of pDCs enhances anti-tumor immunity, opening the possibility of exploiting this cell type as a new target for immunotherapy.