PD-L1 siRNA-mediated silencing in acute myeloid leukemia enhances anti-leukemic T cell reactivity
SourceBone Marrow Transplantation, 55, 12, (2020), pp. 2308-2318
Article / Letter to editor
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Bone Marrow Transplantation
SubjectRadboudumc 2: Cancer development and immune defence RIMLS: Radboud Institute for Molecular Life Sciences
Acute myeloid leukemia (AML) is an immune-susceptible malignancy, as demonstrated by its responsiveness to allogeneic stem cell transplantation (alloSCT). However, by employing inhibitory signaling pathways, including PD-1/PD-L1, leukemia cells suppress T cell-mediated immune attack. Notably, impressive clinical efficacy has been obtained with PD-1/PD-L1 blocking antibodies in cancer patients. Yet, these systemic treatments are often accompanied by severe toxicity, especially after alloSCT. Here, we investigated RNA interference technology as an alternative strategy to locally interfere with PD-1/PD-L1 signaling in AML. We demonstrated efficient siRNA-mediated PD-L1 silencing in HL-60 and patients' AML cells. Importantly, WT1-antigen T cell receptor(+) PD-1(+) 2D3 cells showed increased activation toward PD-L1 silenced WT1(+) AML. Moreover, PD-L1 silenced AML cells significantly enhanced the activation, degranulation, and IFN-γ production of minor histocompatibility antigen-specific CD8(+) T cells. Notably, PD-L1 silencing was equally effective as PD-1 antibody blockade. Together, our study demonstrates that PD-L1 silencing may be an effective strategy to augment AML immune-susceptibility. This provides rationale for further development of targeted approaches to locally interfere with immune escape mechanisms in AML, thereby minimizing severe toxicity. In combination with alloSCT and/or adoptive T cell transfer, this strategy could be very appealing to boost graft-versus-leukemia immunity and improve outcome in AML patients.
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