Cancer cell-binding peptide fused Fc domain activates immune effector cells and blocks tumor growth
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Anne Mobergslien1, Qian Peng2, Vlada Vasovic2, Mouldy Sioud1
1Department of Cancer Immunology, Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital-Radiumhospitalet, N-0310 Oslo, Norway
2Department of Pathology, Institute for Cancer Research, Oslo University Hospital-Radiumhospitalet, N-0310 Oslo, Norway
Mouldy Sioud, email: Mouldy.Sioud@rr-research.no
Keywords: Fc-fusion proteins, innate effector cells, NK cells, immunotherapy, immunostimulation
Received: February 17, 2016 Accepted: September 24, 2016 Published: October 04, 2016
Therapeutic strategies aiming at mobilizing immune effector cells to kill tumor cells independent of tumor mutational load and MHC expression status are expected to benefit cancer patients. Recently, we engineered various peptide-Fc fusion proteins for directing Fcg receptor-bearing immune cells toward tumor cells. Here, we investigated the immunostimulatory and anti-tumor effects of one of the engineered Fc fusion proteins (WN-Fc). In contrast to the Fc control, soluble WN-Fc-1 fusion protein activated innate immune cells (e.g. monocytes, macrophages, dendritic cells, NK cells), resulting in cytokine production and surface display of the lytic granule marker CD107a on NK cells. An engineered Fc-fusion variant carrying two peptide sequences (WN-Fc-2) also activated immune cells and bound to various cancer cell types with high affinity, including the murine 4T1 breast carcinoma cells. When injected into 4T1 tumor-bearing BALB/c mice, both peptide-Fc fusions accumulated in tumor tissues as compared to other organs such as the lungs. Moreover, treatment of 4T1 tumor-bearing BALB/c mice by means of two intravenous injections of the WN-Fc fusion proteins inhibited tumor growth with WN-Fc-2 being more effective than WN-Fc-1. Treatment resulted in tumor infiltration by T cells and NK cells. These new engineered WN-Fc fusion proteins may be a promising alternative to existing immunotherapies for cancer.
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