Protein Nanocage Mediated Fibroblast-Activation Protein Targeted Photoimmunotherapy to Enhance Cytotoxic T Cell Infiltration and Tumor Control

Zipeng Zhen, Wei Tang, Mengzhe Wang, Shiyi Zhou, Hui Wang, Zhanhong Wu, Zhonglin Hao, Zibo Li, Lin Liu, Jin Xie

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

26 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are found in many types of cancer and play an important role in tumor growth and metastasis. Fibroblast-activation protein (FAP), which is overexpressed on the surface of CAFs, has been proposed as a universal tumor targeting antigen. However, recent studies show that FAP is also expressed on multipotent bone marrow stem cells. A systematic anti-FAP therapy may lead to severe side effects and even death. Hence, there is an urgent need of a therapy that can selectively kill CAFs without causing systemic toxicity. Herein we report a nanoparticle-based photoimmunotherapy (nano-PIT) approach that addresses the need. Specifically, we exploit ferritin, a compact nanoparticle protein cage, as a photosensitizer carrier, and we conjugate to the surface of ferritin a FAP-specific single chain variable fragment (scFv). With photoirradiation, the enabled nano-PIT efficiently eliminates CAFs in tumors but causes little damage to healthy tissues due to the localized nature of the treatment. Interestingly, while not directly killing cancer cells, the nano-PIT caused efficient tumor suppression in tumor-bearing immunocompetent mice. Further investigations found that the nano-PIT led to suppressed C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 12 (CXCL12) secretion and extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition, both of which are regulated by CAFs in untreated tumors and mediate T cell exclusion that prevents physical contact between T cells and cancer cells. By selective killing of CAFs, the nano-PIT reversed the effect, leading to significantly enhanced T cell infiltration, followed by efficient tumor suppression. Our study suggests a new and safe CAF-targeted therapy and a novel strategy to modulate tumor microenvironment (TME) for enhanced immunity against cancer.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)862-869
Number of pages8
JournalNano Letters
Volume17
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - Feb 8 2017

Fingerprint

T-cells
fibroblasts
infiltration
Fibroblasts
Infiltration
Tumors
tumors
cancer
Chemical activation
activation
proteins
Proteins
Nanoparticles
nanoparticles
therapy
Ferritins
Bearings (structural)
Cells
retarding
Chemokine CXCL12

Keywords

  • Photodynamic therapy
  • carcinoma-associated fibroblast
  • cytotoxic T cells
  • fibroblast-activation protein
  • immunotherapy

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Bioengineering
  • Chemistry(all)
  • Materials Science(all)
  • Condensed Matter Physics
  • Mechanical Engineering

Cite this

Protein Nanocage Mediated Fibroblast-Activation Protein Targeted Photoimmunotherapy to Enhance Cytotoxic T Cell Infiltration and Tumor Control. / Zhen, Zipeng; Tang, Wei; Wang, Mengzhe; Zhou, Shiyi; Wang, Hui; Wu, Zhanhong; Hao, Zhonglin; Li, Zibo; Liu, Lin; Xie, Jin.

In: Nano Letters, Vol. 17, No. 2, 08.02.2017, p. 862-869.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Zhen, Zipeng ; Tang, Wei ; Wang, Mengzhe ; Zhou, Shiyi ; Wang, Hui ; Wu, Zhanhong ; Hao, Zhonglin ; Li, Zibo ; Liu, Lin ; Xie, Jin. / Protein Nanocage Mediated Fibroblast-Activation Protein Targeted Photoimmunotherapy to Enhance Cytotoxic T Cell Infiltration and Tumor Control. In: Nano Letters. 2017 ; Vol. 17, No. 2. pp. 862-869.
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abstract = "Carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are found in many types of cancer and play an important role in tumor growth and metastasis. Fibroblast-activation protein (FAP), which is overexpressed on the surface of CAFs, has been proposed as a universal tumor targeting antigen. However, recent studies show that FAP is also expressed on multipotent bone marrow stem cells. A systematic anti-FAP therapy may lead to severe side effects and even death. Hence, there is an urgent need of a therapy that can selectively kill CAFs without causing systemic toxicity. Herein we report a nanoparticle-based photoimmunotherapy (nano-PIT) approach that addresses the need. Specifically, we exploit ferritin, a compact nanoparticle protein cage, as a photosensitizer carrier, and we conjugate to the surface of ferritin a FAP-specific single chain variable fragment (scFv). With photoirradiation, the enabled nano-PIT efficiently eliminates CAFs in tumors but causes little damage to healthy tissues due to the localized nature of the treatment. Interestingly, while not directly killing cancer cells, the nano-PIT caused efficient tumor suppression in tumor-bearing immunocompetent mice. Further investigations found that the nano-PIT led to suppressed C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 12 (CXCL12) secretion and extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition, both of which are regulated by CAFs in untreated tumors and mediate T cell exclusion that prevents physical contact between T cells and cancer cells. By selective killing of CAFs, the nano-PIT reversed the effect, leading to significantly enhanced T cell infiltration, followed by efficient tumor suppression. Our study suggests a new and safe CAF-targeted therapy and a novel strategy to modulate tumor microenvironment (TME) for enhanced immunity against cancer.",
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T1 - Protein Nanocage Mediated Fibroblast-Activation Protein Targeted Photoimmunotherapy to Enhance Cytotoxic T Cell Infiltration and Tumor Control

AU - Zhen, Zipeng

AU - Tang, Wei

AU - Wang, Mengzhe

AU - Zhou, Shiyi

AU - Wang, Hui

AU - Wu, Zhanhong

AU - Hao, Zhonglin

AU - Li, Zibo

AU - Liu, Lin

AU - Xie, Jin

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N2 - Carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are found in many types of cancer and play an important role in tumor growth and metastasis. Fibroblast-activation protein (FAP), which is overexpressed on the surface of CAFs, has been proposed as a universal tumor targeting antigen. However, recent studies show that FAP is also expressed on multipotent bone marrow stem cells. A systematic anti-FAP therapy may lead to severe side effects and even death. Hence, there is an urgent need of a therapy that can selectively kill CAFs without causing systemic toxicity. Herein we report a nanoparticle-based photoimmunotherapy (nano-PIT) approach that addresses the need. Specifically, we exploit ferritin, a compact nanoparticle protein cage, as a photosensitizer carrier, and we conjugate to the surface of ferritin a FAP-specific single chain variable fragment (scFv). With photoirradiation, the enabled nano-PIT efficiently eliminates CAFs in tumors but causes little damage to healthy tissues due to the localized nature of the treatment. Interestingly, while not directly killing cancer cells, the nano-PIT caused efficient tumor suppression in tumor-bearing immunocompetent mice. Further investigations found that the nano-PIT led to suppressed C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 12 (CXCL12) secretion and extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition, both of which are regulated by CAFs in untreated tumors and mediate T cell exclusion that prevents physical contact between T cells and cancer cells. By selective killing of CAFs, the nano-PIT reversed the effect, leading to significantly enhanced T cell infiltration, followed by efficient tumor suppression. Our study suggests a new and safe CAF-targeted therapy and a novel strategy to modulate tumor microenvironment (TME) for enhanced immunity against cancer.

AB - Carcinoma-associated fibroblasts (CAFs) are found in many types of cancer and play an important role in tumor growth and metastasis. Fibroblast-activation protein (FAP), which is overexpressed on the surface of CAFs, has been proposed as a universal tumor targeting antigen. However, recent studies show that FAP is also expressed on multipotent bone marrow stem cells. A systematic anti-FAP therapy may lead to severe side effects and even death. Hence, there is an urgent need of a therapy that can selectively kill CAFs without causing systemic toxicity. Herein we report a nanoparticle-based photoimmunotherapy (nano-PIT) approach that addresses the need. Specifically, we exploit ferritin, a compact nanoparticle protein cage, as a photosensitizer carrier, and we conjugate to the surface of ferritin a FAP-specific single chain variable fragment (scFv). With photoirradiation, the enabled nano-PIT efficiently eliminates CAFs in tumors but causes little damage to healthy tissues due to the localized nature of the treatment. Interestingly, while not directly killing cancer cells, the nano-PIT caused efficient tumor suppression in tumor-bearing immunocompetent mice. Further investigations found that the nano-PIT led to suppressed C-X-C motif chemokine ligand 12 (CXCL12) secretion and extracellular matrix (ECM) deposition, both of which are regulated by CAFs in untreated tumors and mediate T cell exclusion that prevents physical contact between T cells and cancer cells. By selective killing of CAFs, the nano-PIT reversed the effect, leading to significantly enhanced T cell infiltration, followed by efficient tumor suppression. Our study suggests a new and safe CAF-targeted therapy and a novel strategy to modulate tumor microenvironment (TME) for enhanced immunity against cancer.

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KW - cytotoxic T cells

KW - fibroblast-activation protein

KW - immunotherapy

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