Harnessing the tumour-derived cytokine, CSF-1, to co-stimulate T-cell growth and activation
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Aberrant growth factor production is a prevalent mechanism in tumourigenesis. If T-cells responded positively to a cancer-derived cytokine, this might result in selective enhancement of function within the tumour microenvironment. Here, we have chosen colony-stimulating factor-1 (CSF-1) as a candidate to test this concept. CSF-1 is greatly overproduced in many cancers but has no direct effects upon T-lymphocytes, which do not express the c-fms-encoded CSF-1 receptor. To confer CSF-1-responsiveness, we have expressed the human c fins gene in immortalized and primary T-cells. Addition of soluble CSF-1 resulted in synergistic enhancement of IL-2-driven T-cell proliferation. CSF-1 also co-stimulated the production of interferon (IFN)-gamma by activated T-cells. These effects required Y809 of the CSF-1R and activation of the Ras-MEK-MAP kinase cascade, but were independent of PI3K signalling. T-cells that express c-fins are also responsive to membrane-anchored CSF-1 (mCSF-1) which, unlike its soluble counterpart, could co-stimulate IL-2 production. CSF-1 promoted chemotaxis of c-fms-expressing primary human T-cells and greatly augmented proliferation mediated by a tumour-targeted chimeric antigen receptor, with preservation of tumour cytolytic activity. Taken together, these data establish that T-cells may be genetically modified to acquire responsiveness to CSF-1 and provide proof-of-principle for a novel strategy to enhance the effectiveness of adoptive T-cell immunotherapy. (c) 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.
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MOLECULAR IMMUNOLOGY, 2008, 45 pp. 1276 - 1287
PERGAMON-ELSEVIER SCIENCE LTD