Matching Items (44)

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Effect of Rexinoids on Inducing Effector T Cell Chemotaxis

Description

The retinoid-X receptor (RXR) can form heterodimers with both the retinoic-acid
receptor (RAR) and vitamin D receptor (VDR). The RXR/RAR dimer is activated by ligand all
trans retinoic acid (ATRA), which culminates in gut-specific effector T cell migration. Similarly,

The retinoid-X receptor (RXR) can form heterodimers with both the retinoic-acid
receptor (RAR) and vitamin D receptor (VDR). The RXR/RAR dimer is activated by ligand all
trans retinoic acid (ATRA), which culminates in gut-specific effector T cell migration. Similarly,
the VDR/RXR dimer binds 1,25(OH)2D3 to cause skin-specific effector T cell migration.
Targeted migration is a potent addition to current vaccines, as it would induce activated T cell
trafficking to appropriate areas of the immune system and ensure optimal stimulation (40).
ATRA, while in use clinically, is limited by toxicity and chemical instability. Rexinoids
are stable, synthetically developed ligands specific for the RXR. We have previously shown that
select rexinoids can enhance upregulation of gut tropic CCR9 receptors on effector T cells.
However, it is important to establish whether these cells can actually migrate, to show the
potential of rexinoids as vaccine adjuvants that can cause gut specific T cell migration.
Additionally, since the RXR is a major contributor to VDR-mediated transcription and
epidermotropism (15), it is worth investigating whether these compounds can also function as
adjuvants that promote migration by increasing expression of skin tropic CCR10 receptors on T
cells.
Prior experiments have demonstrated that select rexinoids can induce gut tropic migration
of CD8+ T cells in an in vitro assay and are comparable in effectiveness to ATRA (7). The effect
of rexinoids on CD4+ T cells is unknown however, so the aim of this project was to determine if
rexinoids can cause gut tropic migration in CD4+ T cells to a similar extent. A secondary aim
was to investigate whether varying concentrations in 1,25-Dihydroxyvitamin D3 can be linked to
increasing CCR10 upregulation on Jurkat CD4+ T cells, with the future aim to combine 1,25
Dihydroxyvitamin D3 with rexinoids.
These hypotheses were tested using murine splenocytes for the migration experiment, and
human Jurkat CD4+ T cells for the vitamin D experiment. Migration was assessed using a
Transwell chemotaxis assay. Our findings support the potential of rexinoids as compounds
capable of causing gut-tropic migration in murine CD4+ T cells in vitro, like ATRA. We did not
observe conclusive evidence that vitamin D3 causes upregulated CCR10 expression, but this
experiment must be repeated with a human primary T cell line.

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2020-05

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The Effects of Human Hairless Gene Overexpression on U87 MG Glioblastoma Cell Function

Description

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is an aggressive malignant brain tumor with a median prognosis of 14 months. Human hairless protein (HR) is a 130 kDa nuclear transcription factor that plays a critical role in skin and hair function but was found

Glioblastoma multiforme (GBM) is an aggressive malignant brain tumor with a median prognosis of 14 months. Human hairless protein (HR) is a 130 kDa nuclear transcription factor that plays a critical role in skin and hair function but was found to be highly expressed in neural tissue as well. The expression of HR in GBM tumor cells is significantly decreased compared to the normal brain tissue and low levels of HR expression is associated with shortened patient survival. We have recently reported that HR is a DNA binding phosphoprotein, which binds to p53 protein and p53 responsive element (p53RE) in vitro and in intact cells. We hypothesized that HR can regulate p53 downstream target genes, and consequently affects cellular function and activity. To test the hypothesis, we overexpressed HR in normal human embryonic kidney HEK293 and GBM U87MG cell lines and characterized these cells by analyzing p53 target gene expression, viability, cell-cycle arrest, and apoptosis. The results revealed that the overexpressed HR not only regulates p53-mediated target gene expression, but also significantly inhibit cell viability, induced early apoptosis, and G2/M cell cycle arrest in U87MG cells, compared to mock groups. Translating the knowledge gained from this research on the connections between HR and GBM could aid in identifying novel therapies to circumvent GBM progression or improve clinical outcome.

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2018-05

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Utilizing Confocal Laser Scanning Microscopy to Visualize Origami Nanostructure Transfection in Primary Immune Cells

Description

An aim of fundamental immunology is quantifying the diversity of the T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire to elucidate the vast recognition by T cells for protection against pathogen and cancer. The utilization of DNA origami nanostructures engineered to capture single

An aim of fundamental immunology is quantifying the diversity of the T cell receptor (TCR) repertoire to elucidate the vast recognition by T cells for protection against pathogen and cancer. The utilization of DNA origami nanostructures engineered to capture single cell paired TCR mRNA sequences has transformed the financial and time requirements of repertoire establishment. To further support this protocol, confocal laser scanning microscopy was implemented following transfection to visualize the stability of the DNA origami within primary immune lymphocytes.

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2018-05

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CXCL10-Induced Migration of Triple-Negative Breast Cancer Cells

Description

Inhibitor of growth factor 4 (ING4) is a tumor suppressor of which low expression has been associated with poor patient survival and aggressive tumor progression in breast cancer. ING4 is characterized as a transcription regulator of inflammatory genes. Among the

Inhibitor of growth factor 4 (ING4) is a tumor suppressor of which low expression has been associated with poor patient survival and aggressive tumor progression in breast cancer. ING4 is characterized as a transcription regulator of inflammatory genes. Among the ING4-regulated genes is CXCL10, a chemokine secreted by endothelial cells during normal inflammation response, which induces chemotactic migration of immune cells to the site. High expression of CXCL10 has been implicated in aggressive breast cancer, but the mechanism is not well understood. A potential signaling molecule downstream of Cxcl10 is Janus Kinase 2 (Jak2), a kinase activated in normal immune response. Deregulation of Jak2 is associated with metastasis, immune evasion, and tumor progression in breast cancer. Thus, we hypothesized that the Ing4/Cxcl10/Jak2 axis plays a key role in breast cancer progression. We first investigated whether Cxcl10 affected breast cancer cell migration. We also investigated whether Cxcl10-mediated migration is dependent on ING4 expression levels. We utilized genetically engineered MDAmb231 breast cancer cells with a CRISPR/Cas9 ING4-knockout construct or a viral ING4 overexpression construct. We performed Western blot analysis to confirm Ing4 expression. Cell migration was assessed using Boyden Chamber assay with or without exogenous Cxcl10 treatment. The results showed that in the presence of Cxcl10, ING4-deficient cells had a two-fold increase in migration as compared to the vector controls, suggesting Ing4 inhibits Cxcl10-induced migration. These findings support our hypothesis that ING4-deficient tumor cells have increased migration when Cxcl10 signaling is present in breast cancer. These results implicate Ing4 is a key regulator of a chemokine-induced tumor migration. Our future plan includes evaluation of Jak2 as an intermediate signaling molecule in Cxcl10/Ing4 pathway. Therapeutic implications of these findings are targeting Cxcl10 and/or Jak2 may be effective in treating ING4-deficient aggressive breast cancer.

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2019-05

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Armed Oncolytic Myxoma Viruses to Eliminate Acute Myeloid Leukemia and Multiple Myeloma Cells

Description

Novel biological strategies for cancer therapy have recently been able to generate antitumor effects in the clinic. Of these new advancements, oncolytic virotherapy seems to be a promising strategy through a dual mechanism of oncolysis and immunogenicity of the host

Novel biological strategies for cancer therapy have recently been able to generate antitumor effects in the clinic. Of these new advancements, oncolytic virotherapy seems to be a promising strategy through a dual mechanism of oncolysis and immunogenicity of the host to the target cells. Myxoma virus (MYXV) is an oncolytic poxvirus that has a natural tropism for European rabbits, being nonpathogenic in humans and all other known vertebrates. MYXV is able to infect cancer cells which, due to mutations, have defects in many signaling pathways, notably pathways involved in antiviral responses. While MYXV alone elicits lysis of cancer cells, recombinant techniques allow for the implementation of transgenes, which have the potential of ‘arming’ the virus to enhance its potential as an oncolytic virus. The implementation of certain transgenes allow for the promotion of robust anti-tumor immune responses. To investigate the potential of immune-inducing transgenes in MYXV, in vitro experiments were performed with several armed recombinant MYXVs as well as unarmed wild-type and rabbit-attenuated MYXV. As recent studies have shown the ability of MYXV to uniquely target malignant human hematopoietic stem cells, the potential of oncolytic MYXV armed with immune-inducing transgenes was investigated through in vitro killing analysis using human acute myeloid leukemia (AML) and multiple myeloma (MM) cell lines. Furthermore, in vitro experiments were also performed using primary bone marrow (BM) cells obtained from human patients diagnosed with MM. In this study, armed MYXV-infected human AML and MM cells resulted in increased cell death relative to unarmed MYXV-infected cells, suggesting enhanced killing via induced mechanisms of cell death from the immune-inducing transgenes. Furthermore, increased killing of primary BM cells with multiple myeloma was seen in armed MYXV-infected primary cells relative to unarmed MYXV-infected primary cells.

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2019-05

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Effects of LCMV Infection on Murine Fetal Development in Immunized Mothers

Description

Despite a continuously growing body of evidence that they are one of the major causes of pregnancy loss, preterm birth, pregnancy complications, and developmental abnormalities leading to high rates of morbidity and mortality, viruses are often overlooked and underestimated as

Despite a continuously growing body of evidence that they are one of the major causes of pregnancy loss, preterm birth, pregnancy complications, and developmental abnormalities leading to high rates of morbidity and mortality, viruses are often overlooked and underestimated as teratogens. The Zika virus epidemic beginning in Brazil in 2015 brought teratogenic viruses into the spotlight for the public health community and popular media, and its infamy may bring about positive motivation and funding for novel treatments and vaccination strategies against it and a variety of other viruses that can lead to severe congenital disease. Lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV) is famous in the biomedical community for its historic and continued utility in mouse models of the human immune system, but it is rarely a source of clinical concern in terms of its teratogenic risk to humans, despite its ability to cause consistently severe ocular and neurological abnormalities in cases of congenital infection. Possibilities for a safe and effective LCMV vaccine remain difficult, as the robust immune response typical to LCMV can be either efficiently protective or lethally pathological based on relatively small changes in the host type, viral strain, viral dose, method of infection/immunization, or molecular characteristics of synthetic vaccination. Introducing the immunologically unique state of pregnancy and fetal development to the mix adds complexity to the process. This thesis consists of a literature review of teratogenic viruses as a whole, of LCMV and its complications during pregnancy, of LCMV immunopathology, and of current understanding of vaccination against LCMV and against other teratogenic viruses, as well as a hypothetical experimental design intended to initially bridge the gaps between LCMV vaccinology and LCMV teratogenicity by bringing a vaccine study of LCMV into the context of viral challenge during pregnancy.

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2020-05

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Inhibition of PKR phosphorylation by Vaccinia Virus' E3 Protein

Description

Vaccinia virus is a cytoplasmic, double-stranded DNA orthopoxvirus. Unlike mammalian cells, vaccinia virus produces double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) during its viral life cycle. The protein kinase R, PKR, is one of the principal host defense mechanisms against orthopoxvirus infection. PKR can

Vaccinia virus is a cytoplasmic, double-stranded DNA orthopoxvirus. Unlike mammalian cells, vaccinia virus produces double-stranded RNA (dsRNA) during its viral life cycle. The protein kinase R, PKR, is one of the principal host defense mechanisms against orthopoxvirus infection. PKR can bind double-stranded RNA and phosphorylate eukaryotic translation initiation factor, eIF2α, shutting down protein synthesis and halting the viral life cycle. To combat host defenses, vaccinia virus encodes E3, a potent inhibitor of the cellular anti-viral eIF2α kinase, PKR. The E3 protein contains a C-terminal dsRNA-binding motif that sequesters dsRNA and inhibits PKR activation. We demonstrate that E3 also interacts with PKR by co-immunoprecipitation. This interaction is independent of the presence of dsRNA and dsRNA-binding by E3, indicating that the interaction is not due to dsRNA-bridging.
PKR interaction mapped to a region within the dsRNA-binding domain of E3 and overlapped with sequences in the C-terminus of this domain that are necessary for binding to dsRNA. Point mutants of E3 were generated and screened for PKR inhibition and direct interaction. Analysis of these mutants demonstrates that dsRNA-binding but not PKR interaction plays a critical role in the broad host range of VACV. Nonetheless, full inhibition of PKR in cells in culture requires both dsRNA-binding and PKR interaction. Because E3 is highly conserved among orthopoxviruses, understanding the mechanisms that E3 uses to inhibit PKR can give insight into host range pathogenesis of dsRNA producing viruses.

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2017-05

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Immune Blockade Therapy in Metastatic Osteosarcoma

Description

Since Metastatic Osteosarcoma is unresponsive to most of the current standards of care currently available, and yields a survival rate of 20%, it is pertinent that novel approaches to treating it be undertaken in scientific research. Past studies in our

Since Metastatic Osteosarcoma is unresponsive to most of the current standards of care currently available, and yields a survival rate of 20%, it is pertinent that novel approaches to treating it be undertaken in scientific research. Past studies in our lab have used a The Immune Blockade Therapy, utilizing α-CTLA-4 and α-PD-L1 to treat mice with metastatic osteosarcoma; this resulted in 60% of mice achieving disease-free survival and protective immunity against metastatic osteosarcoma. 12 We originally wanted to see if the survival rate could be boosted by pairing the immune blockade therapy with another current, standard of care, radiation. We had found that there were certain, key features to experimental design that had to be maintained and explored further in order to raise survival rates, ultimately with the goal of reestablishing the 60% survival rate seen in mice treated with the immune blockade therapy. Our results show that mice with mature immune systems, which develop by 6-8 weeks, should be used in experiments testing an immune blockade, or other forms of immunotherapy, as they are capable of properly responding to treatment. Treatment as early as one day after should be maintained in future experiments looking at the immune blockade therapy for the treatment of metastatic osteosarcoma in mice. The immune blockade therapy, using α-PD-L1 and α-CTLA-4, seems to work synergistically with radiation, a current standard of care. The combination of these therapies could potentially boost the 60% survival rate, as previously seen in mice treated with α-PD-L1 and α-CTLA-4, to a higher percent by means of reducing tumor burden and prolonging length of life in metastatic osteosarcoma.

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2017-05

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Comparison of Inflammatory Changes in Ethmoid Mucosa and Nasal Turbinate Tissue: A Histopathological Study

Description

Abstract:
Background: Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is defined as symptomatic inflammation of the nose and paranasal sinuses lasting more than 12 weeks. Persistent inflammation is thought to originate from multiple factors including host physical and innate barrier defects and the exposure

Abstract:
Background: Chronic rhinosinusitis (CRS) is defined as symptomatic inflammation of the nose and paranasal sinuses lasting more than 12 weeks. Persistent inflammation is thought to originate from multiple factors including host physical and innate barrier defects and the exposure of the sinonasal mucosa to exogenous microorganisms. Regional differences in the innate host defense molecules present in nasal and sinus tissue have been recently reported. Thus, a histopathological study was conducted by Lal et al. to compare inflammatory changes in the ethmoid sinus mucosa and nasal turbinate tissue for CRS patients and controls. The objective of this work was to interpret the histopathological data from an immunobiological perspective and describe the significance of the results within the context of current scientific literature.
Methods: Tissue samples were collected from sinonasal surgery patients in three specific regions: ethmoid cells ± uncinate process (EC) in all patients and the inferior (IT) or middle turbinate (MT). EC and IT/MT samples were compared using Cohen’s kappa coefficient to measure agreement based on overall severity of inflammation, eosinophil count per high power field, and the predominant inflammatory cell infiltrate. The results of this study were compared with the current cohort of scientific literature regarding CRS pathogenesis. Both previous and current hypotheses were considered to construct a holistic overview of the development of the current understanding of CRS.
Results: The histopathology study determined that regional differences in degree and type of inflammation may be present in the nose and paranasal cavity. These findings support the current understanding of CRS as an inflammatory disease that is likely mediated by both host and environmental factors.
Conclusions: The histopathology study supports the current cohort of CRS research and provides evidence in support of the involvement of host factors in CRS pathogenesis.

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Date Created
2017-05

Evaluation of target cell binding by an immunotherapeutic bispecific fusion protein, anti-CD3/chlorotoxin

Description

Engaging the immune system to attack neoplastic glial cells in the brain may be a promising approach to eliminate glioblastoma (GBM), a deadly form of primary brain cancer with low median survival. A bispecific fusion protein, anti-CD3/chlorotoxin (ACDClx), has been

Engaging the immune system to attack neoplastic glial cells in the brain may be a promising approach to eliminate glioblastoma (GBM), a deadly form of primary brain cancer with low median survival. A bispecific fusion protein, anti-CD3/chlorotoxin (ACDClx), has been developed to engage cytotoxic T cells for destruction against GBM with little to no expected toxicity to surrounding healthy tissue. Previously, ACDClx has been demonstrated to induce calcium flux in T cells, indicating activation when cultured with GBM cells in vitro. Here, ACDClx fails to demonstrate successful binding to the CD3 domain of the T-cell receptor on CD4 T cells in vitro and fails to bind GBM cells despite demonstrated binding of chlorotoxin to the same cell line. This data warrants further investigation into the binding characteristics of ACDClx to target cells.

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2017-05