Life Sciences Research for Lifelong Health

Publications rahul-roychoudhuri

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BACH2 immunodeficiency illustrates an association between super-enhancers and haploinsufficiency.
Afzali B, Grönholm J, Vandrovcova J, O'Brien C, Sun HW, Vanderleyden I, Davis FP, Khoder A, Zhang Y, Hegazy AN, Villarino AV, Palmer IW, Kaufman J, Watts NR, Kazemian M, Kamenyeva O, Keith J, Sayed A, Kasperaviciute D, Mueller M, Hughes JD, Fuss IJ, Sadiyah MF, Montgomery-Recht K, McElwee J, Restifo NP, Strober W, Linterman MA, Wingfield PT, Uhlig HH, Roychoudhuri R, Aitman TJ, Kelleher P, Lenardo MJ, O'Shea JJ, Cooper N, Laurence ADJ

The transcriptional programs that guide lymphocyte differentiation depend on the precise expression and timing of transcription factors (TFs). The TF BACH2 is essential for T and B lymphocytes and is associated with an archetypal super-enhancer (SE). Single-nucleotide variants in the BACH2 locus are associated with several autoimmune diseases, but BACH2 mutations that cause Mendelian monogenic primary immunodeficiency have not previously been identified. Here we describe a syndrome of BACH2-related immunodeficiency and autoimmunity (BRIDA) that results from BACH2 haploinsufficiency. Affected subjects had lymphocyte-maturation defects that caused immunoglobulin deficiency and intestinal inflammation. The mutations disrupted protein stability by interfering with homodimerization or by causing aggregation. We observed analogous lymphocyte defects in Bach2-heterozygous mice. More generally, we observed that genes that cause monogenic haploinsufficient diseases were substantially enriched for TFs and SE architecture. These findings reveal a previously unrecognized feature of SE architecture in Mendelian diseases of immunity: heterozygous mutations in SE-regulated genes identified by whole-exome/genome sequencing may have greater significance than previously recognized.

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Nature immunology, , 1529-2916, , 2017

PMID: 28530713

BACH transcription factors in innate and adaptive immunity.
Igarashi K, Kurosaki T, Roychoudhuri R

BTB and CNC homology (BACH) proteins are transcriptional repressors of the basic region leucine zipper (bZIP) transcription factor family. Recent studies indicate widespread roles of BACH proteins in controlling the development and function of the innate and adaptive immune systems, including the differentiation of effector and memory cells of the B and T cell lineages, CD4(+) regulatory T cells and macrophages. Here, we emphasize similarities at a molecular level in the cell-type-specific activities of BACH factors, proposing that competitive interactions of BACH proteins with transcriptional activators of the bZIP family form a common mechanistic theme underlying their diverse actions. The findings contribute to a general understanding of how transcriptional repressors shape lineage commitment and cell-type-specific functions through repression of alternative lineage programmes.

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Nature reviews. Immunology, , 1474-1741, , 2017

PMID: 28461702

Ionic immune suppression within the tumour microenvironment limits T cell effector function.
Eil R, Vodnala SK, Clever D, Klebanoff CA, Sukumar M, Pan JH, Palmer DC, Gros A, Yamamoto TN, Patel SJ, Guittard GC, Yu Z, Carbonaro V, Okkenhaug K, Schrump DS, Linehan WM, Roychoudhuri R, Restifo NP

Tumours progress despite being infiltrated by tumour-specific effector T cells. Tumours contain areas of cellular necrosis, which are associated with poor survival in a variety of cancers. Here, we show that necrosis releases intracellular potassium ions into the extracellular fluid of mouse and human tumours, causing profound suppression of T cell effector function. Elevation of the extracellular potassium concentration ([K(+)]e) impairs T cell receptor (TCR)-driven Akt-mTOR phosphorylation and effector programmes. Potassium-mediated suppression of Akt-mTOR signalling and T cell function is dependent upon the activity of the serine/threonine phosphatase PP2A. Although the suppressive effect mediated by elevated [K(+)]e is independent of changes in plasma membrane potential (Vm), it requires an increase in intracellular potassium ([K(+)]i). Accordingly, augmenting potassium efflux in tumour-specific T cells by overexpressing the potassium channel Kv1.3 lowers [K(+)]i and improves effector functions in vitro and in vivo and enhances tumour clearance and survival in melanoma-bearing mice. These results uncover an ionic checkpoint that blocks T cell function in tumours and identify potential new strategies for cancer immunotherapy.

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Nature, 537, 1476-4687, 539-543, 2016

PMID: 27626381

Oxygen Sensing by T Cells Establishes an Immunologically Tolerant Metastatic Niche.
Clever D, Roychoudhuri R, Constantinides MG, Askenase MH, Sukumar M, Klebanoff CA, Eil RL, Hickman HD, Yu Z, Pan JH, Palmer DC, Phan AT, Goulding J, Gattinoni L, Goldrath AW, Belkaid Y, Restifo NP

Cancer cells must evade immune responses at distant sites to establish metastases. The lung is a frequent site for metastasis. We hypothesized that lung-specific immunoregulatory mechanisms create an immunologically permissive environment for tumor colonization. We found that T-cell-intrinsic expression of the oxygen-sensing prolyl-hydroxylase (PHD) proteins is required to maintain local tolerance against innocuous antigens in the lung but powerfully licenses colonization by circulating tumor cells. PHD proteins limit pulmonary type helper (Th)-1 responses, promote CD4(+)-regulatory T (Treg) cell induction, and restrain CD8(+) T cell effector function. Tumor colonization is accompanied by PHD-protein-dependent induction of pulmonary Treg cells and suppression of IFN-γ-dependent tumor clearance. T-cell-intrinsic deletion or pharmacological inhibition of PHD proteins limits tumor colonization of the lung and improves the efficacy of adoptive cell transfer immunotherapy. Collectively, PHD proteins function in T cells to coordinate distinct immunoregulatory programs within the lung that are permissive to cancer metastasis. PAPERCLIP.

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Cell, 166, 1097-4172, 1117-1131.e14, 2016

PMID: 27565342

Identification of novel regulators of developmental hematopoiesis using endoglin regulatory elements as molecular probes.
Nasrallah R, Fast EM, Solaimani P, Knezevic K, Eliades A, Patel R, Thambyrajah R, Unnikrishnan A, Thoms J, Beck D, Vink CS, Smith A, Wong J, Shepherd M, Kent D, Roychoudhuri R, Paul F, Klippert J, Hammes A, Willnow T, Göttgens B, Dzierzak E, Zon LI, Lacaud G, Kouskoff V, Pimanda JE

Enhancers are the primary determinants of cell identity and specific promoter/enhancer combinations of Endoglin (ENG) have been shown to target blood and endothelium in the embryo. Here, we generated a series of embryonic stem cell lines, each targeted with reporter constructs driven by specific promoter/enhancer combinations of ENG, to evaluate their discriminative potential and value as molecular probes of the corresponding transcriptome. The Eng promoter (P) in combination with the -8/+7/+9kb enhancers, targeted cells in FLK1 mesoderm that were enriched for blast colony forming potential, whereas the P/-8kb enhancer targeted TIE2+/c-KIT+/CD41- endothelial cells that were enriched for hematopoietic potential. These fractions were isolated using reporter expression and their transcriptomes profiled by RNA-seq. There was high concordance between our signatures and those from embryos with defects at corresponding stages of hematopoiesis. Of the six genes that were up-regulated in both hemogenic mesoderm and hemogenic endothelial fractions targeted by the reporters, LRP2, a multiligand receptor, was the only gene that had not previously been associated with hematopoiesis. We show that LRP2 is indeed involved in definitive hematopoiesis and by doing so validate the use of reporter gene coupled enhancers as probes to gain insights into transcriptional changes that facilitate cell fate transitions.

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Blood, , 1528-0020, , 2016

PMID: 27554085

BACH2 regulates CD8(+) T cell differentiation by controlling access of AP-1 factors to enhancers.
Roychoudhuri R, Clever D, Li P, Wakabayashi Y, Quinn KM, Klebanoff CA, Ji Y, Sukumar M, Eil RL, Yu Z, Spolski R, Palmer DC, Pan JH, Patel SJ, Macallan DC, Fabozzi G, Shih HY, Kanno Y, Muto A, Zhu J, Gattinoni L, O'Shea JJ, Okkenhaug K, Igarashi K, Leonard WJ, Restifo NP

T cell antigen receptor (TCR) signaling drives distinct responses depending on the differentiation state and context of CD8(+) T cells. We hypothesized that access of signal-dependent transcription factors (TFs) to enhancers is dynamically regulated to shape transcriptional responses to TCR signaling. We found that the TF BACH2 restrains terminal differentiation to enable generation of long-lived memory cells and protective immunity after viral infection. BACH2 was recruited to enhancers, where it limited expression of TCR-driven genes by attenuating the availability of activator protein-1 (AP-1) sites to Jun family signal-dependent TFs. In naive cells, this prevented TCR-driven induction of genes associated with terminal differentiation. Upon effector differentiation, reduced expression of BACH2 and its phosphorylation enabled unrestrained induction of TCR-driven effector programs.

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Nature immunology, , 1529-2916, , 2016

PMID: 27158840

The transcription factor BACH2 promotes tumor immunosuppression.
Roychoudhuri R, Eil RL, Clever D, Klebanoff CA, Sukumar M, Grant FM, Yu Z, Mehta G, Liu H, Jin P, Ji Y, Palmer DC, Pan JH, Chichura A, Crompton JG, Patel SJ, Stroncek D, Wang E, Marincola FM, Okkenhaug K, Gattinoni L, Restifo NP

The immune system has a powerful ability to recognize and kill cancer cells, but its function is often suppressed within tumors, preventing clearance of disease. Functionally diverse innate and adaptive cellular lineages either drive or constrain immune reactions within tumors. The transcription factor (TF) BACH2 regulates the differentiation of multiple innate and adaptive cellular lineages, but its role in controlling tumor immunity has not been elucidated. Here, we demonstrate that BACH2 is required to establish immunosuppression within tumors. Tumor growth was markedly impaired in Bach2-deficient mice and coincided with intratumoral activation of both innate and adaptive immunity. However, augmented tumor clearance in the absence of Bach2 was dependent upon the adaptive immune system. Analysis of tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes from Bach2-deficient mice revealed high frequencies of rapidly proliferating effector CD4+ and CD8+ T cells that expressed the inflammatory cytokine IFN-γ. Effector T cell activation coincided with a reduction in the frequency of intratumoral Foxp3+ Tregs. Mechanistically, BACH2 promoted tumor immunosuppression through Treg-mediated inhibition of intratumoral CD8+ T cells and IFN-γ. These findings demonstrate that BACH2 is a key component of the molecular program of tumor immunosuppression and identify therapeutic targets for the reversal of immunosuppression in cancer.

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The Journal of clinical investigation, , 1558-8238, , 2016

PMID: 26731475

Open Access

Mitochondrial Membrane Potential Identifies Cells with Enhanced Stemness for Cellular Therapy.
Sukumar M, Liu J, Mehta GU, Patel SJ, Roychoudhuri R, Crompton JG, Klebanoff CA, Ji Y, Li P, Yu Z, Whitehill GD, Clever D, Eil RL, Palmer DC, Mitra S, Rao M, Keyvanfar K, Schrump DS, Wang E, Marincola FM, Gattinoni L, Leonard WJ, Muranski P, Finkel T, Restifo NP

Long-term survival and antitumor immunity of adoptively transferred CD8(+) T cells is dependent on their metabolic fitness, but approaches to isolate therapeutic T cells based on metabolic features are not well established. Here we utilized a lipophilic cationic dye tetramethylrhodamine methyl ester (TMRM) to identify and isolate metabolically robust T cells based on their mitochondrial membrane potential (ΔΨm). Comprehensive metabolomic and gene expression profiling demonstrated global features of improved metabolic fitness in low-ΔΨm-sorted CD8(+) T cells. Transfer of these low-ΔΨm T cells was associated with superior long-term in vivo persistence and an enhanced capacity to eradicate established tumors compared with high-ΔΨm cells. Use of ΔΨm-based sorting to enrich for cells with superior metabolic features was observed in CD8(+), CD4(+) T cell subsets, and long-term hematopoietic stem cells. This metabolism-based approach to cell selection may be broadly applicable to therapies involving the transfer of HSC or lymphocytes for the treatment of viral-associated illnesses and cancer.

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Cell metabolism, , 1932-7420, , 2015

PMID: 26674251

Memory T cell-driven differentiation of naive cells impairs adoptive immunotherapy.
Klebanoff CA, Scott CD, Leonardi AJ, Yamamoto TN, Cruz AC, Ouyang C, Ramaswamy M, Roychoudhuri R, Ji Y, Eil RL, Sukumar M, Crompton JG, Palmer DC, Borman ZA, Clever D, Thomas SK, Patel S, Yu Z, Muranski P, Liu H, Wang E, Marincola FM, Gros A, Gattinoni L, Rosenberg SA, Siegel RM, Restifo NP

Adoptive cell transfer (ACT) of purified naive, stem cell memory, and central memory T cell subsets results in superior persistence and antitumor immunity compared with ACT of populations containing more-differentiated effector memory and effector T cells. Despite a clear advantage of the less-differentiated populations, the majority of ACT trials utilize unfractionated T cell subsets. Here, we have challenged the notion that the mere presence of less-differentiated T cells in starting populations used to generate therapeutic T cells is sufficient to convey their desirable attributes. Using both mouse and human cells, we identified a T cell-T cell interaction whereby antigen-experienced subsets directly promote the phenotypic, functional, and metabolic differentiation of naive T cells. This process led to the loss of less-differentiated T cell subsets and resulted in impaired cellular persistence and tumor regression in mouse models following ACT. The T memory-induced conversion of naive T cells was mediated by a nonapoptotic Fas signal, resulting in Akt-driven cellular differentiation. Thus, induction of Fas signaling enhanced T cell differentiation and impaired antitumor immunity, while Fas signaling blockade preserved the antitumor efficacy of naive cells within mixed populations. These findings reveal that T cell subsets can synchronize their differentiation state in a process similar to quorum sensing in unicellular organisms and suggest that disruption of this quorum-like behavior among T cells has potential to enhance T cell-based immunotherapies.

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The Journal of clinical investigation, , 1558-8238, , 2015

PMID: 26657860

Oncogenic PI3Kα promotes multipotency in breast epithelial cells.
Okkenhaug K, Roychoudhuri R

The phosphoinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signaling pathway is among the most frequently altered in cancer. Now, two studies show that a mutated oncogenic PI3Kα, commonly found in breast cancer, leads to dedifferentiation or destabilization of luminal and basal epithelial lineages, which in turn leads to increased cancer cell heterogeneity.

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Science signaling, 8, 1937-9145, pe3, 2015

PMID: 26535006

Open Access

The kinase DYRK1A reciprocally regulates the differentiation of Th17 and regulatory T cells.
Khor B, Gagnon JD, Goel G, Roche MI, Conway KL, Tran K, Aldrich LN, Sundberg TB, Paterson AM, Mordecai S, Dombkowski D, Schirmer M, Tan PH, Bhan AK, Roychoudhuri R, Restifo NP, O'Shea JJ, Medoff BD, Shamji AF, Schreiber SL, Sharpe AH, Shaw SY, Xavier RJ

The balance between Th17 and T regulatory (Treg) cells critically modulates immune homeostasis, with an inadequate Treg response contributing to inflammatory disease. Using an unbiased chemical biology approach, we identified a novel role for the dual specificity tyrosine-phosphorylation-regulated kinase DYRK1A in regulating this balance. Inhibition of DYRK1A enhances Treg differentiation and impairs Th17 differentiation without affecting known pathways of Treg/Th17 differentiation. Thus, DYRK1A represents a novel mechanistic node at the branch point between commitment to either Treg or Th17 lineages. Importantly, both Treg cells generated using the DYRK1A inhibitor harmine and direct administration of harmine itself potently attenuate inflammation in multiple experimental models of systemic autoimmunity and mucosal inflammation. Our results identify DYRK1A as a physiologically relevant regulator of Treg cell differentiation and suggest a broader role for other DYRK family members in immune homeostasis. These results are discussed in the context of human diseases associated with dysregulated DYRK activity.

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eLife, 4, 2050-084X, , 2015

PMID: 25998054

Open Access

Lineage relationship of CD8(+) T cell subsets is revealed by progressive changes in the epigenetic landscape.
Crompton JG, Narayanan M, Cuddapah S, Roychoudhuri R, Ji Y, Yang W, Patel SJ, Sukumar M, Palmer DC, Peng W, Wang E, Marincola FM, Klebanoff CA, Zhao K, Tsang JS, Gattinoni L, Restifo NP

To better elucidate epigenetic mechanisms that correlate with the dynamic gene expression program observed upon T-cell differentiation, we investigated the genomic landscape of histone modifications in naive and memory CD8(+) T cells. Using a ChIP-Seq approach coupled with global gene expression profiling, we generated genome-wide histone H3 lysine 4 (H3K4me3) and H3 lysine 27 (H3K27me3) trimethylation maps in naive, T memory stem cells, central memory cells, and effector memory cells in order to gain insight into how histone architecture is remodeled during T cell differentiation. We show that H3K4me3 histone modifications are associated with activation of genes, while H3K27me3 is negatively correlated with gene expression at canonical loci and enhancers associated with T-cell metabolism, effector function, and memory. Our results also reveal histone modifications and gene expression signatures that distinguish the recently identified T memory stem cells from other CD8(+) T-cell subsets. Taken together, our results suggest that CD8(+) lymphocytes undergo chromatin remodeling in a progressive fashion. These findings have major implications for our understanding of peripheral T-cell ontogeny and the formation of immunological memory.Cellular & Molecular Immunology advance online publication, 27 April 2015; doi:10.1038/cmi.2015.032.

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Cellular & molecular immunology, , 2042-0226, , 2015

PMID: 25914936

The interplay of effector and regulatory T cells in cancer.
Roychoudhuri R, Eil RL, Restifo NP

Regulatory T (Treg) cells suppress effector T (Teff) cells and prevent immune-mediated rejection of cancer. Much less appreciated are mechanisms by which Teff cells antagonize Treg cells. Herein, we consider how complex reciprocal interactions between Teff and Treg cells shape their population dynamics within tumors. Under states of tolerance, including during tumor escape, suppressed Teff cells support Treg cell populations through antigen-dependent provision of interleukin (IL)-2. During immune activation, Teff cells can lose this supportive capacity and directly antagonize Treg cell populations to neutralize their immunosuppressive function. While this latter state is rarely achieved spontaneously within tumors, we propose that therapeutic induction of immune activation has the potential to stably disrupt immunosuppressive population states resulting in durable cancer regression.

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Current opinion in immunology, 33C, 1879-0372, 101-111, 2015

PMID: 25728990

Super-enhancers delineate disease-associated regulatory nodes in T cells.
Vahedi G, Kanno Y, Furumoto Y, Jiang K, Parker SC, Erdos MR, Davis SR, Roychoudhuri R, Restifo NP, Gadina M, Tang Z, Ruan Y, Collins FS, Sartorelli V, O'Shea JJ

Enhancers regulate spatiotemporal gene expression and impart cell-specific transcriptional outputs that drive cell identity. Super-enhancers (SEs), also known as stretch-enhancers, are a subset of enhancers especially important for genes associated with cell identity and genetic risk of disease. CD4(+) T cells are critical for host defence and autoimmunity. Here we analysed maps of mouse T-cell SEs as a non-biased means of identifying key regulatory nodes involved in cell specification. We found that cytokines and cytokine receptors were the dominant class of genes exhibiting SE architecture in T cells. Nonetheless, the locus encoding Bach2, a key negative regulator of effector differentiation, emerged as the most prominent T-cell SE, revealing a network in which SE-associated genes critical for T-cell biology are repressed by BACH2. Disease-associated single-nucleotide polymorphisms for immune-mediated disorders, including rheumatoid arthritis, were highly enriched for T-cell SEs versus typical enhancers or SEs in other cell lineages. Intriguingly, treatment of T cells with the Janus kinase (JAK) inhibitor tofacitinib disproportionately altered the expression of rheumatoid arthritis risk genes with SE structures. Together, these results indicate that genes with SE architecture in T cells encompass a variety of cytokines and cytokine receptors but are controlled by a 'guardian' transcription factor, itself endowed with an SE. Thus, enumeration of SEs allows the unbiased determination of key regulatory nodes in T cells, which are preferentially modulated by pharmacological intervention.

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Nature, , 1476-4687, , 2015

PMID: 25686607

miR-155 augments CD8+ T-cell antitumor activity in lymphoreplete hosts by enhancing responsiveness to homeostatic γc cytokines.
Ji Y, Wrzesinski C, Yu Z, Hu J, Gautam S, Hawk NV, Telford WG, Palmer DC, Franco Z, Sukumar M, Roychoudhuri R, Clever D, Klebanoff CA, Surh CD, Waldmann TA, Restifo NP, Gattinoni L

Lymphodepleting regimens are used before adoptive immunotherapy to augment the antitumor efficacy of transferred T cells by removing endogenous homeostatic "cytokine sinks." These conditioning modalities, however, are often associated with severe toxicities. We found that microRNA-155 (miR-155) enabled tumor-specific CD8(+) T cells to mediate profound antitumor responses in lymphoreplete hosts that were not potentiated by immune-ablation. miR-155 enhanced T-cell responsiveness to limited amounts of homeostatic γc cytokines, resulting in delayed cellular contraction and sustained cytokine production. miR-155 restrained the expression of the inositol 5-phosphatase Ship1, an inhibitor of the serine-threonine protein kinase Akt, and multiple negative regulators of signal transducer and activator of transcription 5 (Stat5), including suppressor of cytokine signaling 1 (Socs1) and the protein tyrosine phosphatase Ptpn2. Expression of constitutively active Stat5a recapitulated the survival advantages conferred by miR-155, whereas constitutive Akt activation promoted sustained effector functions. Our results indicate that overexpression of miR-155 in tumor-specific T cells can be used to increase the effectiveness of adoptive immunotherapies in a cell-intrinsic manner without the need for life-threatening, lymphodepleting maneuvers.

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Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences of the United States of America, 112, 1091-6490, 476-81, 2015

PMID: 25548153

Transcriptional profiles reveal a stepwise developmental program of memory CD8(+) T cell differentiation.
Roychoudhuri R,Lefebvre F,Honda M,Pan L,Ji Y,Klebanoff CA,Nichols CN,Fourati S,Hegazy AN,Goulet JP,Gattinoni L,Nabel GJ,Gilliet M,Cameron M,Restifo NP,Sekaly RP,Flatz L

The generation of CD8(+) T-cell memory is a major aim of vaccination. While distinct subsets of CD8(+) T-cells are generated following immunization that differ in their ability to confer long-term immunity against infection, the transcriptional profiles of these subsets within endogenous vaccine-induced CD8(+) T cell responses have not been resolved. Here, we measure global transcriptional profiles of endogenous effector (TEFF), effector memory (TEM) and central memory (TCM) CD8(+) T-cells arising from immunization with three distinct prime-boost vaccine regimens. While a proportion of transcripts were uniquely regulated within distinct CD8(+) T cell populations, we observed progressive up- or down-regulation in the expression of a majority of differentially expressed transcripts when subsets were compared in the order TN>TCM>TEM>TEFF. Strikingly, when we compared global differences in gene expression between TN, TCM, TEM and TEFF cells with known transcriptional changes that result when CD8(+) T cells repetitively encounter antigen, our analysis overwhelmingly favored a model whereby cumulative antigen stimulation drives differentiation specifically from TN>TCM>TEM>TEFF and this was common to all vaccines tested. These findings provide insight into the molecular basis of immunological memory and identify potential biomarkers for characterization of vaccine-induced responses and prediction of vaccine efficacy.

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Vaccine, , 1873-2518, , 2014

PMID: 25446821

Akt inhibition enhances expansion of potent tumor-specific lymphocytes with memory cell characteristics.
Crompton JG, Sukumar M, Roychoudhuri R, Clever D, Gros A, Eil RL, Tran E, Hanada K, Yu Z, Palmer DC, Kerkar SP, Michalek RD, Upham T, Leonardi A, Acquavella N, Wang E, Marincola FM, Gattinoni L, Muranski P, Sundrud MS, Klebanoff CA, Rosenberg SA, Fearon DT, Restifo NP

Adoptive cell therapy (ACT) using autologous tumor-infiltrating lymphocytes (TIL) results in complete regression of advanced cancer in some patients, but the efficacy of this potentially curative therapy may be limited by poor persistence of TIL after adoptive transfer. Pharmacologic inhibition of the serine/threonine kinase Akt has recently been shown to promote immunologic memory in virus-specific murine models, but whether this approach enhances features of memory (e.g., long-term persistence) in TIL that are characteristically exhausted and senescent is not established. Here, we show that pharmacologic inhibition of Akt enables expansion of TIL with the transcriptional, metabolic, and functional properties characteristic of memory T cells. Consequently, Akt inhibition results in enhanced persistence of TIL after adoptive transfer into an immunodeficient animal model and augments antitumor immunity of CD8 T cells in a mouse model of cell-based immunotherapy. Pharmacologic inhibition of Akt represents a novel immunometabolomic approach to enhance the persistence of antitumor T cells and improve the efficacy of cell-based immunotherapy for metastatic cancer.

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Cancer research, 75, 1538-7445, 296-305, 2015

PMID: 25432172

Type I cytokines synergize with oncogene inhibition to induce tumor growth arrest.
Acquavella N,Clever D,Yu Z,Roelke-Parker M,Palmer DC,Xi L,Pflicke H,Ji Y,Gros A,Hanada K,Goldlust IS,Mehta GU,Klebanoff CA,Crompton JG,Sukumar M,Morrow JJ,Franco Z,Gattinoni L,Liu H,Wang E,Marincola F,Stroncek DF,Lee CC,Raffeld M,Bosenberg MW,Roychoudhuri R,Restifo NP

Both targeted inhibition of oncogenic driver mutations and immune-based therapies show efficacy in treatment of patients with metastatic cancer, but responses can be either short lived or incompletely effective. Oncogene inhibition can augment the efficacy of immune-based therapy, but mechanisms by which these two interventions might cooperate are incompletely resolved. Using a novel transplantable BRAF(V600E)-mutant murine melanoma model (SB-3123), we explored potential mechanisms of synergy between the selective BRAF(V600E) inhibitor vemurafenib and adoptive cell transfer (ACT)-based immunotherapy. We found that vemurafenib cooperated with ACT to delay melanoma progression without significantly affecting tumor infiltration or effector function of endogenous or adoptively transferred CD8(+) T cells, as previously observed. Instead, we found that the T-cell cytokines IFNγ and TNFα synergized with vemurafenib to induce cell-cycle arrest of tumor cells in vitro. This combinatorial effect was recapitulated in human melanoma-derived cell lines and was restricted to cancers bearing a BRAF(V600E) mutation. Molecular profiling of treated SB-3123 indicated that the provision of vemurafenib promoted the sensitization of SB-3123 to the antiproliferative effects of T-cell effector cytokines. The unexpected finding that immune cytokines synergize with oncogene inhibitors to induce growth arrest has major implications for understanding cancer biology at the intersection of oncogenic and immune signaling and provides a basis for design of combinatorial therapeutic approaches for patients with metastatic cancer. Cancer Immunol Res; 3(1); 37-47. ©2014 AACR. See related commentary by Riddell, p. 23.

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Cancer immunology research, 3, 2326-6074, 37-47, 2015

PMID: 25358764

Identification of the genomic insertion site of Pmel-1 TCR α and β transgenes by next-generation sequencing.
Ji Y, Abrams N, Zhu W, Salinas E, Yu Z, Palmer DC, Jailwala P, Franco Z, Roychoudhuri R, Stahlberg E, Gattinoni L, Restifo NP

The pmel-1 T cell receptor transgenic mouse has been extensively employed as an ideal model system to study the mechanisms of tumor immunology, CD8+ T cell differentiation, autoimmunity and adoptive immunotherapy. The 'zygosity' of the transgene affects the transgene expression levels and may compromise optimal breeding scheme design. However, the integration sites for the pmel-1 mouse have remained uncharacterized. This is also true for many other commonly used transgenic mice created before the modern era of rapid and inexpensive next-generation sequencing. Here, we show that whole genome sequencing can be used to determine the exact pmel-1 genomic integration site, even with relatively 'shallow' (8X) coverage. The results were used to develop a validated polymerase chain reaction-based genotyping assay. For the first time, we provide a quick and convenient polymerase chain reaction method to determine the dosage of pmel-1 transgene for this freely and publically available mouse resource. We also demonstrate that next-generation sequencing provides a feasible approach for mapping foreign DNA integration sites, even when information of the original vector sequences is only partially known.

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PloS one, 9, 1932-6203, e96650, 2014

PMID: 24827921

Open Access

Inhibiting glycolytic metabolism enhances CD8+ T cell memory and antitumor function.
Sukumar M,Liu J,Ji Y,Subramanian M,Crompton JG,Yu Z,Roychoudhuri R,Palmer DC,Muranski P,Karoly ED,Mohney RP,Klebanoff CA,Lal A,Finkel T,Restifo NP,Gattinoni L

Naive CD8+ T cells rely upon oxidation of fatty acids as a primary source of energy. After antigen encounter, T cells shift to a glycolytic metabolism to sustain effector function. It is unclear, however, whether changes in glucose metabolism ultimately influence the ability of activated T cells to become long-lived memory cells. We used a fluorescent glucose analog, 2-NBDG, to quantify glucose uptake in activated CD8+ T cells. We found that cells exhibiting limited glucose incorporation had a molecular profile characteristic of memory precursor cells and an increased capacity to enter the memory pool compared with cells taking up high amounts of glucose. Accordingly, enforcing glycolytic metabolism by overexpressing the glycolytic enzyme phosphoglycerate mutase-1 severely impaired the ability of CD8+ T cells to form long-term memory. Conversely, activation of CD8+ T cells in the presence of an inhibitor of glycolysis, 2-deoxyglucose, enhanced the generation of memory cells and antitumor functionality. Our data indicate that augmenting glycolytic flux drives CD8+ T cells toward a terminally differentiated state, while its inhibition preserves the formation of long-lived memory CD8+ T cells. These results have important implications for improving the efficacy of T cell-based therapies against chronic infectious diseases and cancer.

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The Journal of clinical investigation, 123, 1558-8238, 4479-88, 2013

PMID: 24091329

Open Access

Retinoic acid controls the homeostasis of pre-cDC-derived splenic and intestinal dendritic cells.
Klebanoff CA,Spencer SP,Torabi-Parizi P,Grainger JR,Roychoudhuri R,Ji Y,Sukumar M,Muranski P,Scott CD,Hall JA,Ferreyra GA,Leonardi AJ,Borman ZA,Wang J,Palmer DC,Wilhelm C,Cai R,Sun J,Napoli JL,Danner RL,Gattinoni L,Belkaid Y,Restifo NP

Dendritic cells (DCs) comprise distinct populations with specialized immune-regulatory functions. However, the environmental factors that determine the differentiation of these subsets remain poorly defined. Here, we report that retinoic acid (RA), a vitamin A derivative, controls the homeostasis of pre-DC (precursor of DC)-derived splenic CD11b(+)CD8α(-)Esam(high) DCs and the developmentally related CD11b(+)CD103(+) subset within the gut. Whereas mice deprived of RA signaling significantly lost both of these populations, neither pre-DC-derived CD11b(-)CD8α(+) and CD11b(-)CD103(+) nor monocyte-derived CD11b(+)CD8α(-)Esam(low) or CD11b(+)CD103(-) DC populations were deficient. In fate-tracking experiments, transfer of pre-DCs into RA-supplemented hosts resulted in near complete conversion of these cells into the CD11b(+)CD8α(-) subset, whereas transfer into vitamin A-deficient (VAD) hosts caused diversion to the CD11b(-)CD8α(+) lineage. As vitamin A is an essential nutrient, we evaluated retinoid levels in mice and humans after radiation-induced mucosal injury and found this conditioning led to an acute VAD state. Consequently, radiation led to a selective loss of both RA-dependent DC subsets and impaired class II-restricted auto and antitumor immunity that could be rescued by supplemental RA. These findings establish a critical role for RA in regulating the homeostasis of pre-DC-derived DC subsets and have implications for the management of patients with immune deficiencies resulting from malnutrition and irradiation.

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The Journal of experimental medicine, 210, 1540-9538, 1961-76, 2013

PMID: 23999499

Open Access

BACH2 represses effector programs to stabilize T(reg)-mediated immune homeostasis.
Roychoudhuri R,Hirahara K,Mousavi K,Clever D,Klebanoff CA,Bonelli M,Sciume G,Zare H,Vahedi G,Dema B,Yu Z,Liu H,Takahashi H,Rao M,Muranski P,Crompton JG,Punkosdy G,Bedognetti D,Wang E,Hoffmann V,Rivera J,Marincola FM,Nakamura A,Sartorelli V,Kanno Y,Gattinoni L,Muto A,Igarashi K,O'Shea JJ,Restifo NP

Through their functional diversification, distinct lineages of CD4(+) T cells can act to either drive or constrain immune-mediated pathology. Transcription factors are critical in the generation of cellular diversity, and negative regulators antagonistic to alternate fates often act in conjunction with positive regulators to stabilize lineage commitment. Genetic polymorphisms within a single locus encoding the transcription factor BACH2 are associated with numerous autoimmune and allergic diseases including asthma, Crohn's disease, coeliac disease, vitiligo, multiple sclerosis and type 1 diabetes. Although these associations point to a shared mechanism underlying susceptibility to diverse immune-mediated diseases, a function for BACH2 in the maintenance of immune homeostasis has not been established. Here, by studying mice in which the Bach2 gene is disrupted, we define BACH2 as a broad regulator of immune activation that stabilizes immunoregulatory capacity while repressing the differentiation programs of multiple effector lineages in CD4(+) T cells. BACH2 was required for efficient formation of regulatory (Treg) cells and consequently for suppression of lethal inflammation in a manner that was Treg-cell-dependent. Assessment of the genome-wide function of BACH2, however, revealed that it represses genes associated with effector cell differentiation. Consequently, its absence during Treg polarization resulted in inappropriate diversion to effector lineages. In addition, BACH2 constrained full effector differentiation within TH1, TH2 and TH17 cell lineages. These findings identify BACH2 as a key regulator of CD4(+) T-cell differentiation that prevents inflammatory disease by controlling the balance between tolerance and immunity.

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Nature, 498, 1476-4687, 506-10, 2013

PMID: 23728300

Open Access

Gene-based vaccination with a mismatched envelope protects against simian immunodeficiency virus infection in nonhuman primates.
Flatz L,Cheng C,Wang L,Foulds KE,Ko SY,Kong WP,Roychoudhuri R,Shi W,Bao S,Todd JP,Asmal M,Shen L,Donaldson M,Schmidt SD,Gall JG,Pinschewer DD,Letvin NL,Rao S,Mascola JR,Roederer M,Nabel GJ

The RV144 trial demonstrated that an experimental AIDS vaccine can prevent human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) infection in humans. Because of its limited efficacy, further understanding of the mechanisms of preventive AIDS vaccines remains a priority, and nonhuman primate (NHP) models of lentiviral infection provide an opportunity to define immunogens, vectors, and correlates of immunity. In this study, we show that prime-boost vaccination with a mismatched SIV envelope (Env) gene, derived from simian immunodeficiency virus SIVmac239, prevents infection by SIVsmE660 intrarectally. Analysis of different gene-based prime-boost immunization regimens revealed that recombinant adenovirus type 5 (rAd5) prime followed by replication-defective lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (rLCMV) boost elicited robust CD4 and CD8 T-cell and humoral immune responses. This vaccine protected against infection after repetitive mucosal challenge with efficacies of 82% per exposure and 62% cumulatively. No effect was seen on viremia in infected vaccinated monkeys compared to controls. Protection correlated with the presence of neutralizing antibodies to the challenge viruses tested in peripheral blood mononuclear cells. These data indicate that a vaccine expressing a mismatched Env gene alone can prevent SIV infection in NHPs and identifies an immune correlate that may guide immunogen selection and immune monitoring for clinical efficacy trials.

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Journal of virology, 86, 1098-5514, 7760-70, 2012

PMID: 22593152

Open Access

Th17 cells are long lived and retain a stem cell-like molecular signature.
Muranski P,Borman ZA,Kerkar SP,Klebanoff CA,Ji Y,Sanchez-Perez L,Sukumar M,Reger RN,Yu Z,Kern SJ,Roychoudhuri R,Ferreyra GA,Shen W,Durum SK,Feigenbaum L,Palmer DC,Antony PA,Chan CC,Laurence A,Danner RL,Gattinoni L,Restifo NP

Th17 cells have been described as short lived, but this view is at odds with their capacity to trigger protracted damage to normal and transformed tissues. We report that Th17 cells, despite displaying low expression of CD27 and other phenotypic markers of terminal differentiation, efficiently eradicated tumors and caused autoimmunity, were long lived, and maintained a core molecular signature resembling early memory CD8(+) cells with stem cell-like properties. In addition, we found that Th17 cells had high expression of Tcf7, a direct target of the Wnt and β-catenin signaling axis, and accumulated β-catenin, a feature observed in stem cells. In vivo, Th17 cells gave rise to Th1-like effector cell progeny and also self-renewed and persisted as IL-17A-secreting cells. Multipotency was required for Th17 cell-mediated tumor eradication because effector cells deficient in IFN-γ or IL-17A had impaired activity. Thus, Th17 cells are not always short lived and are a less-differentiated subset capable of superior persistence and functionality.

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Immunity, 35, 1097-4180, 972-85, 2011

PMID: 22177921

Open Access

Permissivity of the NCI-60 cancer cell lines to oncolytic Vaccinia Virus GLV-1h68.
Ascierto ML,Worschech A,Yu Z,Adams S,Reinboth J,Chen NG,Pos Z,Roychoudhuri R,Di Pasquale G,Bedognetti D,Uccellini L,Rossano F,Ascierto PA,Stroncek DF,Restifo NP,Wang E,Szalay AA,Marincola FM

Oncolytic viral therapy represents an alternative therapeutic strategy for the treatment of cancer. We previously described GLV-1h68, a modified Vaccinia Virus with exclusive tropism for tumor cells, and we observed a cell line-specific relationship between the ability of GLV-1h68 to replicate in vitro and its ability to colonize and eliminate tumor in vivo.

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BMC cancer, 11, 1471-2407, 451, 2011

PMID: 22011439

Open Access